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´╗┐Title: The Journal to Stella
Author: Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Journal to Stella" ***

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THE JOURNAL TO STELLA

By Jonathan Swift

With preface, introduction and notes by George A. Aitken.

(Numbers thus (5) refer to the Notes at the end, which are arranged by
"Introduction" or by "Letter 'number'".)



PREFACE


The history of the publication of the Journal to Stella is somewhat
curious. On Swift's death twenty-five of the letters, forming the
closing portion of the series, fell into the hands of Dr. Lyon, a
clergyman who had been in charge of Swift for some years. The letters
passed to a man named Wilkes, who sold them for publication. They
accordingly appeared in 1766 in the tenth volume of Dr. Hawkesworth's
quarto edition of Swift's works; but the editor made many changes in
the text, including a suppression of most of the "little language." The
publishers, however, fortunately for us, were public-spirited enough to
give the manuscripts (with one exception) to the British Museum, where,
after many years, they were examined by John Forster, who printed in his
unfinished "Life of Swift" numerous passages from the originals, showing
the manner in which the text had been tampered with by Hawkesworth.
Swift himself, too, in his later years, obliterated many words and
sentences in the letters, and Forster was able to restore not a few of
these omissions. His zeal, however, sometimes led him to make guesses at
words which are quite undecipherable. Besides Forster's work, I have had
the benefit of the careful collation made by Mr. Ryland for his edition
of 1897. Where these authorities differ I have usually found myself in
agreement with Mr. Ryland, but I have felt justified in accepting some
of Forster's readings which were rejected by him as uncertain; and the
examination of the manuscripts has enabled me to make some additions and
corrections of my own. Swift's writing is extremely small, and abounds
in abbreviations. The difficulty of arriving at the true reading is
therefore considerable, apart from the erasures.

The remainder of the Journal, consisting of the first forty letters,
was published in 1768 by Deane Swift, Dr. Swift's second cousin. These
letters had been given to Mrs. Whiteway in 1788, and by her to her
son-in-law, Deane Swift. The originals have been lost, with the
exception of the first, which, by some accident, is in the British
Museum; but it is evident that Deane Swift took even greater liberties
with the text than Hawkesworth. He substituted for "Ppt" the word
"Stella," a name which Swift seems not to have used until some years
later; he adopted the name "Presto" for Swift, and in other ways tried
to give a greater literary finish to the letters. The whole of the
correspondence was first brought together, under the title of the
"Journal to Stella", in Sheridan's edition of 1784.

Previous editions of the Journal have been but slightly annotated.
Swift's letters abound with allusions to people of all classes with whom
he came in contact in London, and to others known to Esther Johnson in
Ireland; and a large proportion of these persons have been passed over
in discreet silence by Sir Walter Scott and others. The task of
the annotator has, of course, been made easier of late years by the
publication of contemporary journals and letters, and of useful works
of reference dealing with Parliament, the Army, the Church, the Civil
Service, and the like, besides the invaluable Dictionary of National
Biography. I have also been assisted by a collection of MS. notes kindly
placed at my disposal by Mr. Thomas Seccombe. I have aimed at brevity
and relevance, but it is hoped that the reader will find all the
information that is necessary. Here and there a name has baffled
research, but I have been able to give definite particulars of a very
large number of people--noblemen and ladies in society in London or
Dublin, Members of Parliament, doctors, clergymen, Government officials,
and others who have hitherto been but names to the reader of the
Journal. I have corrected a good many errors in the older notes, but in
dealing with so large a number of persons, some of whom it is difficult
to identify, I cannot hope that I myself have escaped pitfalls.

G. A. A.



INTRODUCTION.

When Swift began to write the letters known as the Journal to Stella, he
was forty-two years of age, and Esther Johnson twenty-nine. Perhaps the
most useful introduction to the correspondence will be a brief setting
forth of what is known of their friendship from Stella's childhood, the
more specially as the question has been obscured by many assertions and
theories resting on a very slender basis of fact.

Jonathan Swift, born in 1667 after his father's death, was educated
by his uncle Godwin, and after a not very successful career at Trinity
College, Dublin, went to stay with his mother, Abigail Erick, at
Leicester. Mrs. Swift feared that her son would fall in love with a girl
named Betty Jones, but, as Swift told a friend, he had had experience
enough "not to think of marriage till I settle my fortune in the world,
which I am sure will not be in some years; and even then, I am so hard
to please that I suppose I shall put it off to the other world." Soon
afterwards an opening for Swift presented itself. Sir William Temple,
now living in retirement at Moor Park, near Farnham, had been, like his
father, Master of the Irish Rolls, and had thus become acquainted with
Swift's uncle Godwin. Moreover, Lady Temple was related to Mrs. Swift,
as Lord Orrery tells us. Thanks to these facts, the application to
Sir William Temple was successful, and Swift went to live at Moor Park
before the end of 1689. There he read to Temple, wrote for him, and kept
his accounts, and growing into confidence with his employer, "was
often trusted with matters of great importance." The story--afterwards
improved upon by Lord Macaulay--that Swift received only 20 pounds
and his board, and was not allowed to sit at table with his master, is
wholly untrustworthy. Within three years of their first intercourse,
Temple had introduced his secretary to William the Third, and sent
him to London to urge the King to consent to a bill for triennial
Parliaments.

When Swift took up his residence at Moor Park he found there a little
girl of eight, daughter of a merchant named Edward Johnson, who had died
young. Swift says that Esther Johnson was born on March 18, 1681; in
the parish register of Richmond,(1) which shows that she was baptized on
March 20, 1680-81, her name is given as Hester; but she signed her
will "Esther," the name by which she was always known. Swift says, "Her
father was a younger brother of a good family in Nottinghamshire, her
mother of a lower degree; and indeed she had little to boast in her
birth." Mrs. Johnson had two children, Esther and Ann, and lived at
Moor Park as companion to Lady Giffard, Temple's widowed sister. Another
member of the household, afterwards to be Esther's constant companion,
was Rebecca Dingley, a relative of the Temple family.(2) She was a year
or two older than Swift.

The lonely young man of twenty-two was both playfellow and teacher
of the delicate child of eight. How he taught her to write has been
charmingly brought before us in the painting exhibited by Miss Dicksee
at the Royal Academy a few years ago; he advised her what books to read,
and instructed her, as he says, "in the principles of honour and virtue,
from which she never swerved in any one action or moment of her life."

By 1694 Swift had grown tired of his position, and finding that Temple,
who valued his services, was slow in finding him preferment, he left
Moor Park in order to carry out his resolve to go into the Church. He
was ordained, and obtained the prebend of Kilroot, near Belfast, where
he carried on a flirtation with a Miss Waring, whom he called Varina.
But in May 1696 Temple made proposals which induced Swift to return
to Moor Park, where he was employed in preparing Temple's memoirs and
correspondence for publication, and in supporting the side taken by
Temple in the Letters of Phalaris controversy by writing The Battle of
the Books, which was, however, not published until 1704. On his return
to Temple's house, Swift found his old playmate grown from a sickly
child into a girl of fifteen, in perfect health. She came, he says, to
be "looked upon as one of the most beautiful, graceful, and agreeable
young women in London, only a little too fat. Her hair was blacker than
a raven, and every feature of her face in perfection."

On his death in January 1699, Temple left a will,(3) dated 1694,
directing the payment of 20 pounds each, with half a year's wages, to
Bridget Johnson "and all my other servants"; and leaving a lease of some
land in Monistown, County Wicklow, to Esther Johnson, "servant to my
sister Giffard." By a codicil of February 1698, Temple left 100 pounds
to "Mr. Jonathan Swift, now living with me." It may be added that by her
will of 1722, proved in the following year, Lady Giffard gave 20 pounds
to Mrs. Moss--Mrs. Bridget Johnson, who had married Richard Mose or
Moss, Lady Giffard's steward. The will proceeds: "To Mrs. Hester (sic)
Johnson I give 10 pounds, with the 100 pounds I put into the Exchequer
for her life and my own, and declare the 100 pounds to be hers which I
am told is there in my name upon the survivorship, and for which she has
constantly sent over her certificate and received the interest. I give
her besides my two little silver candlesticks."

Temple left in Swift's hands the task of publishing his posthumous
works, a duty which afterwards led to a quarrel with Lady Giffard and
other members of the family. Many years later Swift told Lord Palmerston
that he stopped at Moor Park solely for the benefit of Temple's
conversation and advice, and the opportunity of pursuing his studies. At
Temple's death he was "as far to seek as ever." In the summer of 1699,
however, he was offered and accepted the post of secretary and chaplain
to the Earl of Berkeley, one of the Lords Justices, but when he reached
Ireland he found that the secretaryship had been given to another. He
soon, however, obtained the living of Laracor, Agher, and Rathbeggan,
and the prebend of Dunlavin in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. The
total value of these preferments was about 230 pounds a year, an
income which Miss Waring seems to have thought enough to justify him in
marrying. Swift's reply to the lady whom he had "singled out at first
from the rest of women" could only have been written with the intention
of breaking off the connection, and accordingly we hear no more of poor
Varina.

At Laracor, a mile or two from Trim, and twenty miles from Dublin, Swift
ministered to a congregation of about fifteen persons, and had abundant
leisure for cultivating his garden, making a canal (after the Dutch
fashion of Moor Park), planting willows, and rebuilding the vicarage. As
chaplain to Lord Berkeley, he spent much of his time in Dublin. He was
on intimate terms with Lady Berkeley and her daughters, one of whom is
best known by her married name of Lady Betty Germaine; and through them
he had access to the fashionable society of Dublin. When Lord Berkeley
returned to England in April 1701, Swift, after taking his Doctor's
degree at Dublin, went with him, and soon afterwards published,
anonymously, a political pamphlet, A Discourse on the Contests and
Dissentions in Athens and Rome. When he returned to Ireland in September
he was accompanied by Stella--to give Esther Johnson the name by which
she is best known--and her friend Mrs. Dingley. Stella's fortune was
about 1500 pounds, and the property Temple had left her was in County
Wicklow. Swift, very much for his "own satisfaction, who had few
friends or acquaintance in Ireland," persuaded Stella--now twenty years
old--that living was cheaper there than in England, and that a better
return was obtainable on money. The ladies took his advice, and made
Ireland their home. At first they felt themselves strangers in Dublin;
"the adventure looked so like a frolic," Swift says, "the censure held
for some time as if there were a secret history in such a removal: which
however soon blew off by her excellent conduct." Swift took every
step that was possible to avoid scandal. When he was away, the ladies
occupied his rooms; when he returned, they went into their own lodgings.
When he was absent, they often stopped at the vicarage at Laracor, but
if he were there, they moved to Trim, where they visited the vicar, Dr.
Raymond, or lived in lodgings in the town or neighbourhood. Swift was
never with Stella except in the presence of a third person, and in 1726
he said that he had not seen her in a morning "these dozen years, except
once or twice in a journey."

During a visit to England in the winter of 1703-4 we find Swift in
correspondence with the Rev. William Tisdall, a Dublin incumbent whom he
had formerly known at Belfast. Tisdall was on friendly terms with Stella
and Mrs. Dingley, and Swift sent messages to them through him. "Pray put
them upon reading," he wrote, "and be always teaching something to
Mrs. Johnson, because she is good at comprehending, remembering and
retaining." But the correspondence soon took a different turn. Tisdall
paid his addresses to Stella, and charged Swift with opposing his suit.
Tisdall's letters are missing, but Swift's reply of April 20, 1704,
puts things sufficiently clearly. "My conjecture is," he says, "that
you think I obstructed your inclinations to please my own, and that my
intentions were the same with yours. In answer to all which I will, upon
my conscience and honour, tell you the naked truth. First, I think I
have said to you before that, if my fortunes and humour served me to
think of that state, I should certainly, among all persons upon earth,
make your choice; because I never saw that person whose conversation I
entirely valued but hers; this was the utmost I ever gave way to. And
secondly, I must assure you sincerely that this regard of mine never
once entered into my head to be an impediment to you." He had thought
Tisdall not rich enough to marry; "but the objection of your fortune
being removed, I declare I have no other; nor shall any consideration
of my own misfortune, in losing so good a friend and companion as her,
prevail on me, against her interest and settlement in the world, since
it is held so necessary and convenient a thing for ladies to marry, and
that time takes off from the lustre of virgins in all other eyes but
mine. I appeal to my letters to herself whether I was your friend or not
in the whole concern, though the part I designed to act in it was purely
passive." He had even thought "it could not be decently broken," without
disadvantage to the lady's credit, since he supposed it was known to the
town; and he had always spoken of her in a manner far from discouraging.
Though he knew many ladies of rank, he had "nowhere met with an humour,
a wit, or conversation so agreeable, a better portion of good sense, or
a truer judgment of men or things." He envied Tisdall his prudence and
temper, and love of peace and settlement, "the reverse of which has been
the great uneasiness of my life, and is likely to continue so."

This letter has been quoted at some length because of its great
importance. It is obviously capable of various interpretations, and
some, like Dr. Johnson, have concluded that Swift was resolved to keep
Stella in his power, and therefore prevented an advantageous match
by making unreasonable demands. I cannot see any ground for this
interpretation, though it is probable that Tisdall's appearance as
a suitor was sufficiently annoying. There is no evidence that Stella
viewed Tisdall's proposal with any favour, unless it can be held to
be furnished by Swift's belief that the town thought--rightly or
wrongly--that there was an engagement. In any case, there could be no
mistake in future with regard to Swift's attitude towards Stella. She
was dearer to him than anyone else, and his feeling for her would not
change, but for marriage he had neither fortune nor humour. Tisdall
consoled himself by marrying another lady two years afterwards; and
though for a long time Swift entertained for him feelings of dislike,
in later life their relations improved, and Tisdall was one of the
witnesses to Swift's will.

The Tale of a Tub was published in 1704, and Swift was soon in constant
intercourse with Addison and the other wits. While he was in England in
1705, Stella and Mrs. Dingley made a short visit to London. This and a
similar visit in 1708 are the only occasions on which Stella is known to
have left Ireland after taking up her residence in that country. Swift's
influence over women was always very striking. Most of the toasts of the
day were his friends, and he insisted that any lady of wit and quality
who desired his acquaintance should make the first advances. This, he
says--writing in 1730--had been an established rule for over twenty
years. In 1708 a dispute on this question with one toast, Mrs. Long,
was referred for settlement to Ginckel Vanhomrigh, the son of the house
where it was proposed that the meeting should take place; and by the
decision--which was in Swift's favour--"Mrs. Vanhomrigh and her fair
daughter Hessy" were forbidden to aid Mrs. Long in her disobedience
for the future. This is the first that we hear of Hester or Esther
Vanhomrigh, who was afterwards to play so marked a part in the story
of Swift's life. Born on February 14, 1690, she was now eighteen. Her
father, Bartholomew Vanhomrigh, a Dublin merchant of Dutch origin,
had died in 1703, leaving his wife a fortune of some sixteen thousand
pounds. On the income from this money Mrs. Vanhomrigh, with her two
daughters, Hester and Mary, were able to mix in fashionable society in
London. Swift was introduced to them by Sir Andrew Fountaine early in
1708, but evidently Stella did not make their acquaintance, nor indeed
hear much, if anything, of them until the time of the Journal.

Swift's visit to London in 1707-9 had for its object the obtaining for
the Irish Church of the surrender by the Crown of the First-Fruits and
Twentieths, which brought in about 2500 pounds a year. Nothing came
of Swift's interviews with the Whig statesmen, and after many
disappointments he returned to Laracor (June 1709), and conversed with
none but Stella and her card-playing friends, and Addison, now secretary
to Lord Wharton.(4) Next year came the fall of the Whigs, and a request
to Swift from the Irish bishops that he would renew the application for
the First-Fruits, in the hope that there would be greater success with
the Tories. Swift reached London in September 1710, and began the series
of letters, giving details of the events of each day, which now form the
Journal to Stella. "I will write something every day to MD," he says,
"and make it a sort of journal; and when it is full I will send it,
whether MD writes or no; and so that will be pretty; and I shall always
be in conversation with MD, and MD with Presto." It is interesting to
note that by way of caution these letters were usually addressed to Mrs.
Dingley, and not to Stella.

The story of Swift's growing intimacy with the Tory leaders, of the
success of his mission, of the increasing coolness towards older
acquaintances, and of his services to the Government, can best be read
in the Journal itself. In the meantime the intimacy with the Vanhomrighs
grew rapidly. They were near neighbours of Swift's, and in a few weeks
after his arrival in town we find frequent allusions to the dinners at
their house (where he kept his best gown and periwig), sometimes with
the explanation that he went there "out of mere listlessness," or
because it was wet, or because another engagement had broken down. Only
thrice does he mention the "eldest daughter": once on her birthday; once
on the occasion of a trick played him, when he received a message that
she was suddenly very ill ("I rattled off the daughter"); and once to
state that she was come of age, and was going to Ireland to look after
her fortune. There is evidence that "Miss Essy," or Vanessa, to give her
the name by which she will always be known, was in correspondence with
Swift in July 1710--while he was still in Ireland--and in the spring of
1711;(5) and early in 1711 Stella seems to have expressed surprise at
Swift's intimacy with the family, for in February he replied, "You say
they are of no consequence; why, they keep as good female company as
I do male; I see all the drabs of quality at this end of the town
with them." In the autumn Swift seems to have thought that Vanessa was
keeping company with a certain Hatton, but Mrs. Long--possibly meaning
to give him a warning hint--remarked that if this were so "she is not
the girl I took her for; but to me she seems melancholy."

In 1712 occasional letters took the place of the daily journal to "MD,"
but there is no change in the affectionate style in which Swift wrote.
In the spring he had a long illness, which affected him, indeed,
throughout the year. Other reasons which he gives for the falling off in
his correspondence are his numerous business engagements, and the hope
of being able to send some good news of an appointment for himself.
There is only one letter to Stella between July 19 and September 15,
and Dr. Birkbeck Hill argues that the poem "Cadenus and Vanessa" was
composed at that time.(6) If this be so, it must have been altered next
year, because it was not until 1713 that Swift was made a Dean. Writing
on April 19, 1726, Swift said that the poem "was written at Windsor near
fourteen years ago, and dated: it was a task performed on a frolic among
some ladies, and she it was addressed to died some time ago in Dublin,
and on her death the copy shewn by her executor." Several copies were in
circulation, and he was indifferent what was done with it; it was "only
a cavalier business," and if those who would not give allowances were
malicious, it was only what he had long expected.

From this letter it would appear that this remarkable poem was written
in the summer of 1712; whereas the title-page of the pamphlet says it
was "written at Windsor, 1713." Swift visited Windsor in both years,
but he had more leisure in 1712, and we know that Vanessa was also at
Windsor in that year. In that year, too, he was forty-four, the
age mentioned in the poem. Neither Swift nor Vanessa forgot this
intercourse: years afterwards Swift wrote to her, "Go over the scenes
of Windsor.... Cad thinks often of these"; and again, "Remember the
indisposition at Windsor." We know that this poem was revised in 1719,
when in all probability Swift added the lines to which most exception
can be taken. Cadenus was to be Vanessa's instructor:--

     "His conduct might have made him styled
      A father, and the nymph his child."

He had "grown old in politics and wit," and "in every scene had kept
his heart," so that he now "understood not what was love." But he
had written much, and Vanessa admired his wit. Cadenus found that her
thoughts wandered--

     "Though she seemed to listen more
      To all he spoke than e'er before."

When she confessed her love, he was filled with "shame, disappointment,
guilt, surprise." He had aimed only at cultivating the mind, and had
hardly known whether she was young or old. But he was flattered, and
though he could not give her love, he offered her friendship, "with
gratitude, respect, esteem." Vanessa took him at his word, and said she
would now be tutor, though he was not apt to learn:--

     "But what success Vanessa met
      Is to the world a secret yet.
      Whether the nymph to please her swain
      Talks in a high romantic strain;
      Or whether he at last descends
      To act with less seraphic ends;
      Or, to compound the business, whether
      They temper love and books together,
      Must never to mankind be told,
      Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold."

Such is the poem as we now have it, written, it must be remembered, for
Vanessa's private perusal. It is to be regretted, for her own sake, that
she did not destroy it.

Swift received the reward of his services to the Government--the
Deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin--in April 1713. Disappointed at what he
regarded as exile, he left London in June. Vanessa immediately began to
send him letters which brought home to him the extent of her passion;
and she hinted at jealousy in the words, "If you are very happy, it is
ill-natured of you not to tell me so, except 'tis what is inconsistent
with my own." In his reply Swift dwelt upon the dreariness of his
surroundings at Laracor, and reminded her that he had said he would
endeavour to forget everything in England, and would write as seldom as
he could.

Swift was back again in the political strife in London in September,
taking Oxford's part in the quarrel between that statesman and
Bolingbroke. On the fall of the Tories at the death of Queen Anne, he
saw that all was over, and retired to Ireland, not to return again
for twelve years. In the meantime the intimacy with Vanessa had been
renewed. Her mother had died, leaving debts, and she pressed Swift for
advice in the management of her affairs. When she suggested coming to
Ireland, where she had property, he told her that if she took this
step he would "see her very seldom." However, she took up her abode at
Celbridge, only a few miles from Dublin. Swift gave her many cautions,
out of "the perfect esteem and friendship" he felt for her, but he often
visited her. She was dissatisfied, however, begging him to speak kindly,
and at least to counterfeit his former indulgent friendship. "What can
be wrong," she wrote, "in seeing and advising an unhappy young woman?
You cannot but know that your frowns make my life unsupportable."
Sometimes he treated the matter lightly; sometimes he showed annoyance;
sometimes he assured her of his esteem and love, but urged her not
to make herself or him "unhappy by imaginations." He was uniformly
unsuccessful in stopping Vanessa's importunity. He endeavoured, she
said, by severities to force her from him; she knew she was the cause of
uneasy reflections to him; but nothing would lessen her "inexpressible
passion."

Unfortunately he failed--partly no doubt from mistaken considerations
of kindness, partly because he shrank from losing her affection--to take
effective steps to put an end to Vanessa's hopes. It would have been
better if he had unhesitatingly made it clear to her that he could
not return her passion, and that if she could not be satisfied with
friendship the intimacy must cease. To quote Sir Henry Craik, "The
friendship had begun in literary guidance: it was strengthened by
flattery: it lived on a cold and almost stern repression, fed by
confidences as to literary schemes, and by occasional literary
compliments: but it never came to have a real hold over Swift's heart."

With 1716 we come to the alleged marriage with Stella. In 1752, seven
years after Swift's death, Lord Orrery, in his Remarks on Swift, said
that Stella was "the concealed, but undoubted, wife of Dr. Swift....
If my informations are right, she was married to Dr. Swift in the year
1716, by Dr. Ashe, then Bishop of Clogher." Ten years earlier, in 1742,
in a letter to Deane Swift which I have not seen quoted before, Orrery
spoke of the advantage of a wife to a man in his declining years; "nor
had the Dean felt a blow, or wanted a companion, had he been married,
or, in other words, had Stella lived." What this means is not at all
clear. In 1754, Dr. Delany, an old friend of Swift's, wrote, in comment
upon Orrery's Remarks, "Your account of his marriage is, I am satisfied,
true." In 1789, George Monck Berkeley, in his Literary Relics, said
that Swift and Stella were married by Dr. Ashe, "who himself related
the circumstances to Bishop Berkeley, by whose relict the story was
communicated to me." Dr. Ashe cannot have told Bishop Berkeley by
word of mouth, because Ashe died in 1717, the year after the supposed
marriage, and Berkeley was then still abroad. But Berkeley was at
the time tutor to Ashe's son, and may therefore have been informed by
letter, though it is difficult to believe that Ashe would write about
such a secret so soon after the event. Thomas Sheridan, on information
received from his father, Dr. Sheridan, Swift's friend, accepted the
story of the marriage in his book (1784), adding particulars which are
of very doubtful authenticity; and Johnson, in his Lives of the Poets,
says that Dr. Madden told him that Stella had related her "melancholy
story" to Dr. Sheridan before her death. On the other hand, Dr. Lyon,
Swift's attendant in his later years, disbelieved the story of the
marriage, which was, he said, "founded only on hearsay"; and Mrs.
Dingley "laughed at it as an idle tale," founded on suspicion.

Sir Henry Craik is satisfied with the evidence for the marriage. Mr.
Leslie Stephen is of opinion that it is inconclusive, and Forster could
find no evidence that is at all reasonably sufficient; while Mr. Stanley
Lane-Poole, Mr. Churton Collins, and others are strongly of opinion
that no such marriage ever took place. A full discussion of the evidence
would involve the consideration of the reliability of the witnesses, and
the probability of their having authentic information, and would be out
of place here. My own opinion is that the evidence for the marriage is
very far from convincing, and this view seems to be confirmed by all
that we know from his own letters of Swift's relations with Stella. It
has been suggested that she was pained by reports of Swift's intercourse
with Vanessa, and felt that his feelings towards herself were growing
colder; but this is surmise, and no satisfactory explanation has been
given to account for a form of marriage being gone through after so
many years of the closest friendship. There is no reason to suppose that
there was at the time any gossip in circulation about Stella, and if her
reputation was in question, a marriage of which the secret was carefully
kept would obviously be of no benefit to her. Moreover, we are told that
there was no change in their mode of life; if they were married, what
reason could there be for keeping it a secret, or for denying themselves
the closer relationship of marriage? The only possible benefit to
Stella was that Swift would be prevented marrying anyone else. It is
impossible, of course, to disprove a marriage which we are told was
secretly performed, without banns or licence or witnesses; but we may
reasonably require strong evidence for so startling a step. If we
reject the tale, the story of Swift's connection with Stella is at least
intelligible; while the acceptance of this marriage introduces many
puzzling circumstances, and makes it necessary to believe that during
the remainder of Stella's life Swift repeatedly spoke of his wife as a
friend, and of himself as one who had never married.(7) What right have
we to put aside Swift's plain and repeated statements? Moreover, his
attitude towards Vanessa for the remaining years of her life becomes
much more culpable if we are to believe that he had given Stella the
claim of a wife upon him.(8)

From 1719 onwards we have a series of poems to Stella, written chiefly
in celebration of her birthday. She was now thirty-eight (Swift says,
"Thirty-four--we shan't dispute a year or more"), and the verses abound
in laughing allusions to her advancing years and wasting form. Hers was
"an angel's face a little cracked," but all men would crowd to her door
when she was fourscore. His verses to her had always been

     "Without one word of Cupid's darts,
      Of killing eyes, or bleeding hearts;
      With friendship and esteem possessed,
      I ne'er admitted Love a guest."

Her only fault was that she could not bear the lightest touch of blame.
Her wit and sense, her loving care in illness--to which he owed that
fact that he was alive to say it--made her the "best pattern of true
friends." She replied, in lines written on Swift's birthday in 1721,
that she was his pupil and humble friend. He had trained her judgment
and refined her fancy and taste:--

     "You taught how I might youth prolong
      By knowing what was right and wrong;
      How from my heart to bring supplies
      Of lustre to my fading eyes;
      How soon a beauteous mind repairs
      The loss of changed or falling hairs;
      How wit and virtue from within
      Send out a smoothness o'er the skin
      Your lectures could my fancy fix,
      And I can please at thirty-six."

In 1723 Vanessa is said to have written to Stella or to Swift--there are
discrepancies in the versions given by Sheridan and Lord Orrery, both
of whom are unreliable--asking whether the report that they were married
was true. Swift, we are told, rode to Celbridge, threw down Vanessa's
letter in a great rage, and left without speaking a word.(9) Vanessa,
whose health had been failing for some time, died shortly afterwards,
having cancelled a will in Swift's favour. She left "Cadenus and
Vanessa" for publication, and when someone said that she must have been
a remarkable woman to inspire such a poem, Stella replied that it was
well known that the Dean could write finely upon a broomstick.

Soon after this tragedy Swift became engrossed in the Irish agitation
which led to the publication of the Drapier's Letters, and in 1726 he
paid a long-deferred visit to London, taking with him the manuscript
of Gulliver's Travels. While in England he was harassed by bad news of
Stella, who had been in continued ill-health for some years. His letters
to friends in Dublin show how greatly he suffered. To the Rev. John
Worrall he wrote, in a letter which he begged him to burn, "What you
tell me of Mrs. Johnson I have long expected with great oppression
and heaviness of heart. We have been perfect friends these thirty-five
years. Upon my advice they both came to Ireland, and have been ever
since my constant companions; and the remainder of my life will be a
very melancholy scene, when one of them is gone, whom I most esteemed,
upon the score of every good quality that can possibly recommend a human
creature." He would not for the world be present at her death: "I should
be a trouble to her, and a torment to myself." If Stella came to Dublin,
he begged that she might be lodged in some airy, healthy part, and not
in the Deanery, where too it would be improper for her to die. "There
is not a greater folly," he thinks, "than to contract too great and
intimate a friendship, which must always leave the survivor miserable."
To Dr. Stopford he wrote in similar terms of the "younger of the two"
"oldest and dearest friends I have in the world." "This was a person
of my own rearing and instructing from childhood, who excelled in every
good quality that can possibly accomplish a human creature.... I know
not what I am saying; but believe me that violent friendship is much
more lasting and as much engaging as violent love." To Dr. Sheridan he
said, "I look upon this to be the greatest event that can ever happen
to me; but all my preparation will not suffice to make me bear it like
a philosopher nor altogether like a Christian. There hath been the most
intimate friendship between us from our childhood, and the greatest
merit on her side that ever was in one human creature towards
another."(10) Pope alludes in a letter to Sheridan to the illness of
Swift's "particular friend," but with the exception of another reference
by Pope, and of a curiously flippant remark by Bolingbroke, the subject
is nowhere mentioned in Swift's correspondence with his literary and
fashionable friends in London.

Swift crossed to Ireland in August, fearing the worst; but Stella
rallied, and in the spring of 1727 he returned to London. In August,
however, there came alarming news, when Swift was himself suffering from
giddiness and deafness. To Dr. Sheridan he wrote that the last act of
life was always a tragedy at best: "it is a bitter aggravation to have
one's best friend go before one." Life was indifferent to him; if he
recovered from his disorder it would only be to feel the loss of "that
person for whose sake only life was worth preserving. I brought both
those friends over that we might be happy together as long as God should
please; the knot is broken, and the remaining person you know has ill
answered the end; and the other, who is now to be lost, is all that was
valuable." To Worrall he again wrote (in Latin) that Stella ought not
to be lodged at the Deanery; he had enemies who would place a bad
interpretation upon it if she died there.

Swift left London for Dublin in September; he was detained some days at
Holyhead by stress of weather, and in the private journal which he kept
during that time he speaks of the suspense he was in about his "dearest
friend."(11) In December Stella made a will--signed "Esther Johnson,
spinster"--disposing of her property in the manner Swift had suggested.
Her allusions to Swift are incompatible with any such feeling of
resentment as is suggested by Sheridan. She died on January 28, 1728.
Swift could not bear to be present, but on the night of her death he
began to write his very interesting Character of Mrs. Johnson, from
which passages have already been quoted. He there calls her "the truest,
most virtuous and valuable friend that I, or perhaps any other person,
was ever blessed with." Combined with excellent gifts of the mind, "she
had a gracefulness, somewhat more than human, in every motion, word, and
action. Never was so happy a conjunction of civility, freedom, easiness,
and sincerity." Everyone treated her with marked respect, yet everyone
was at ease in her society. She preserved her wit, judgment, and
vivacity to the last, but often complained of her memory. She chose
men rather than women for her companions, "the usual topic of ladies'
discourse being such as she had little knowledge of and less relish."
"Honour, truth, liberality, good nature, and modesty were the virtues
she chiefly possessed, and most valued in her acquaintance." In some
Prayers used by Swift during her last sickness, he begged for pity for
"the mournful friends of Thy distressed servant, who sink under the
weight of her present condition, and the fear of losing the most
valuable of our friends." He was too ill to be present at the funeral at
St. Patrick's. Afterwards, we are told, a lock of her hair was found in
his desk, wrapped in a paper bearing the words, "Only a woman's hair."

Swift continued to produce pamphlets manifesting growing misanthropy,
though he showed many kindnesses to people who stood in need of help. He
seems to have given Mrs. Dingley fifty guineas a year, pretending that
it came from a fund for which he was trustee. The mental decay which he
had always feared--"I shall be like that tree," he once said, "I shall
die at the top"--became marked about 1738. Paralysis was followed by
aphasia, and after acute pain, followed by a long period of apathy,
death relieved him in October 1745. He was buried by Stella's side, in
accordance with his wishes. The bulk of his fortune was left to found a
hospital for idiots and lunatics.

There has been much rather fruitless discussion respecting the reason or
reasons why Swift did not marry Stella; for if there was any marriage,
it was nothing more than a form. Some have supposed that Swift resolved
to remain unmarried because the insanity of an uncle and the fits and
giddiness to which he was always subject led him to fear insanity in his
own case. Others, looking rather to physical causes, have dwelt upon his
coldness of temperament and indisposition to love; upon the repugnance
he often showed towards marriage, and the tone of some of the verses
on the subject written in his later years. Others, again, have found a
cause in his parsimonious habits, in his dread of poverty, the effects
of which he had himself felt, and in the smallness of his income, at
least until he was middle-aged.(12) It may well be that one or all of
these things influenced Swift's action. We cannot say more. He himself,
as we have seen, said, as early as 1704, that if his humour and means
had permitted him to think of marriage, his choice would have been
Stella. Perhaps, however, there is not much mystery in the matter. Swift
seems to have been wanting in passion; probably he was satisfied with
the affection which Stella gave him, and did not wish for more. Such an
attachment as his usually results in marriage, but not necessarily.
It is not sufficiently remembered that the affection began in Stella's
childhood. They were "perfect friends" for nearly forty years, and her
advancing years in no way lessened his love, which was independent
of beauty. Whether Stella was satisfied, who shall say? Mrs. Oliphant
thought that few women would be disposed to pity Stella, or think her
life one of blight or injury. Mr. Leslie Stephen says, "She might
and probably did regard his friendship as a full equivalent for the
sacrifice.... Is it better to be the most intimate friend of a man of
genius or the wife of a commonplace Tisdall?" Whatever we may surmise,
there is nothing to prove that she was disappointed. She was the one
star which brightened Swift's storm-tossed course; it is well that she
was spared seeing the wreck at the end.


The Journal to Stella is interesting from many points of view: for its
bearing upon Swift's relations with Stella and upon his own character;
for the light which it throws upon the history of the time and upon
prominent men of the day; and for the illustrations it contains of the
social life of people of various classes in London and elsewhere. The
fact that it was written without any thought of publication is one of
its greatest attractions. Swift jotted down his opinions, his hopes, his
disappointments, without thought of their being seen by anybody but his
correspondents. The letters are transparently natural. It has been said
more than once that the Journal, by the nature of the case, contains
no full-length portraits, and hardly any sketches. Swift mentions the
people he met, but rarely stops to draw a picture of them. But though
this is true, the casual remarks which he makes often give a vivid
impression of what he thought of the person of whom he is speaking, and
in many cases those few words form a chief part of our general estimate
of the man. There are but few people of note at the time who are not
mentioned in these pages. We see Queen Anne holding a Drawing-room in
her bedroom: "she looked at us round with her fan in her mouth, and once
a minute said about three words to some that were nearest her." We see
Harley, afterwards the Earl of Oxford, "a pure trifler," who was always
putting off important business; Bolingbroke, "a thorough rake"; the
prudent Lord Dartmouth, the other Secretary of State, from whom Swift
could never "work out a dinner." There is Marlborough, "covetous as
Hell, and ambitious as the prince of it," yet a great general and unduly
pressed by the Tories; and the volatile Earl of Peterborough, "above
fifty, and as active as one of five-and-twenty"--"the ramblingest lying
rogue on earth." We meet poor Congreve, nearly blind, and in fear
of losing his commissionership; the kindly Arbuthnot, the Queen's
physician; Addison, whom Swift met more and more rarely, busy with the
preparation and production of Cato; Steele, careless as ever, neglecting
important appointments, and "governed by his wife most abominably";
Prior, poet and diplomatist, with a "lean carcass"; and young
Berkeley of Trinity College, Dublin, "a very ingenious man and great
philosopher," whom Swift determined to favour as much as he could. Mrs.
Masham, the Duchess of Somerset, the Duchess of Shrewsbury, the Duchess
of Hamilton, Lady Betty Germaine, and many other ladies appear with more
or less distinctness; besides a host of people of less note, of whom we
often know little but what Swift tells us.

Swift throws much light, too, on the daily life of his time. The bellman
on his nightly rounds, calling "Paaast twelvvve o'clock"; the dinner
at three, or at the latest, four; the meetings at coffee-houses; the
book-sales; the visit to the London sights--the lions at the Tower,
Bedlam, the tombs in Westminster Abbey, and the puppet-show; the
terrible Mohocks, of whom Swift stood in so much fear; the polite
"howdees" sent to friends by footmen; these and more are all described
in the Journal. We read of curious habits and practices of fashionable
ladies; of the snuff used by Mrs. Dingley and others; of the
jokes--"bites," puns, and the like--indulged in by polite persons.
When Swift lodged at Chelsea, he reached London either by boat, or
by coach,--which was sometimes full when he wanted it,--or by walking
across the "Five Fields," not without fear of robbers at night. The
going to or from Ireland was a serious matter; after the long journey
by road came the voyage (weather permitting) of some fifteen hours,
with the risk of being seized or pursued by French privateers; and when
Ireland was reached the roads were of the worst. We have glimpses of
fashionable society in Dublin, of the quiet life at Laracor and Trim,
and of the drinking of the waters at Wexford, where visitors had to put
up with primitive arrangements: "Mrs. Dingley never saw such a place in
her life."

Swift's own characteristics come out in the clearest manner in the
Journal, which gives all his hopes and fears during three busy years. He
was pleased to find on his arrival in London how great a value was set
on his friendship by both political parties: "The Whigs were ravished to
see me, and would lay hold on me as a twig while they are drowning;"
but Godolphin's coldness enraged him, so that he was "almost vowing
vengeance." Next day he talked treason heartily against the Whigs, their
baseness and ingratitude, and went home full of schemes of revenge. "The
Tories drily tell me I may make my fortune, if I please; but I do not
understand them, or rather, I DO understand them." He realised that the
Tories might not be more grateful than others, but he thought they were
pursuing the true interests of the public, and was glad to contribute
what was in his power. His vanity was gratified by Harley inviting him
to the private dinners with St. John and Harcourt which were given on
Saturdays, and by their calling him Jonathan; but he did not hope too
much from their friendship: "I said I believed they would leave me
Jonathan, as they found me... but I care not."

Of Swift's frugal habits there is abundant evidence in the Journal.
When he came to town he took rooms on a first floor, "a dining-room and
bed-chamber, at eight shillings a week; plaguy dear, but I spend nothing
for eating, never go to a tavern, and very seldom in a coach; yet after
all it will be expensive." In November he mentions that he had a fire:
"I am spending my second half-bushel of coals." In another place
he says, "People have so left the town, that I am at a loss for a
dinner.... It cost me eighteenpence in coach-hire before I could find
a place to dine in." Elsewhere we find: "This paper does not cost me a
farthing: I have it from the Secretary's office." He often complains
of having to take a coach owing to the dirty condition of the streets:
"This rain ruins me in coach-hire; I walked away sixpennyworth, and came
within a shilling length, and then took a coach, and got a lift back for
nothing."(13)

Swift's arrogance--the arrogance, sometimes, of a man who is morbidly
suspicious that he may be patronised--is shown in the manner in which
he speaks of the grand ladies with whom he came in contact. He calls the
Duke of Ormond's daughters "insolent drabs," and talks of his "mistress,
Ophy Butler's wife, who is grown a little charmless." When the Duchess
of Shrewsbury reproached him for not dining with her, Swift said that
was not so soon done; he expected more advances from ladies,
especially duchesses. On another occasion he was to have supped at Lady
Ashburnham's, "but the drab did not call for us in her coach, as she
promised, but sent for us, and so I sent my excuses." The arrogance was,
however, often only on the surface. It is evident that Swift was very
kind in many cases. He felt deeply for Mrs. Long in her misfortunes,
living and dying in an obscure country town. On the last illness of the
poet Harrison he says, "I am very much afflicted for him, as he is my
own creature.... I was afraid to knock at the door; my mind misgave me."
He was "heartily sorry for poor Mrs. Parnell's death; she seemed to be
an excellent good-natured young woman, and I believe the poor lad
is much afflicted; they appeared to live perfectly well together."
Afterwards he helped Parnell by introducing him to Bolingbroke and
Oxford. He found kind words for Mrs. Manley in her illness, and Lady
Ashburnham's death was "extremely moving.... She was my greatest
favourite, and I am in excessive concern for her loss." Lastly, he was
extraordinarily patient towards his servant Patrick, who drank, stopped
out at night, and in many ways tried Swift's temper. There were good
points about Patrick, but no doubt the great consideration which Swift
showed him was due in part to the fact that he was a favourite of the
ladies in Dublin, and had Mrs. Vanhomrigh to intercede for him.

But for the best example of the kindly side of Swift's nature, we
must turn to what he tells us in the Journal about Stella herself. The
"little language" which Swift used when writing to her was the language
he employed when playing with Stella as a little child at Moor Park.
Thackeray, who was not much in sympathy with Swift, said that he knew of
"nothing more manly, more tender, more exquisitely touching, than some
of these notes." Swift says that when he wrote plainly, he felt as if
they were no longer alone, but "a bad scrawl is so snug it looks like
a PMD." In writing his fond and playful prattle, he made up his mouth
"just as if he were speaking it."(14)

Though Mrs. Dingley is constantly associated with Stella in the
affectionate greetings in the Journal, she seems to have been included
merely as a cloak to enable him to express the more freely his
affection for her companion. Such phrases as "saucy girls," "sirrahs,"
"sauceboxes," and the like, are often applied to both; and sometimes
Swift certainly writes as if the one were as dear to him as the other;
thus we find, "Farewell, my dearest lives and delights, I love you
better than ever, if possible, as hope saved, I do, and ever will....
I can count upon nothing, nor will, but upon MD's love and kindness....
And so farewell, dearest MD, Stella, Dingley, Presto, all together,
now and for ever, all together." But as a rule, notwithstanding
Swift's caution, the greetings intended for Stella alone are easily
distinguishable in tone. He often refers to her weak eyes and delicate
health. Thus he writes, "The chocolate is a present, madam, for Stella.
Don't read this, you little rogue, with your little eyes; but give it to
Dingley, pray now; and I will write as plain as the skies." And again,
"God Almighty bless poor Stella, and her eyes and head: what shall we do
to cure them, poor dear life?" Or, "Now to Stella's little postscript;
and I am almost crazed that you vex yourself for not writing. Can't you
dictate to Dingley, and not strain your dear little eyes? I am sure
'tis the grief of my soul to think you are out of order." They had been
keeping his birthday; Swift wished he had been with them, rather than
in London, where he had no manner of pleasure: "I say Amen with all my
heart and vitals, that we may never be asunder again ten days together
while poor Presto lives." A few days later he says, "I wish I were at
Laracor, with dear charming MD," and again, "Farewell, dearest beloved
MD, and love poor poor Presto, who has not had one happy day since he
left you." "I will say no more, but beg you to be easy till Fortune
takes his course, and to believe MD's felicity is the great goal I aim
at in all my pursuits." "How does Stella look, Madam Dingley?" he asks;
"pretty well, a handsome young woman still? Will she pass in a crowd?
Will she make a figure in a country church?" Elsewhere he writes, on
receipt of a letter, "God Almighty bless poor dear Stella, and send her
a great many birthdays, all happy and healthy and wealthy, and with
me ever together, and never asunder again, unless by chance.... I can
hardly imagine you absent when I am reading your letter or writing to
you. No, faith, you are just here upon this little paper, and therefore
I see and talk with you every evening constantly, and sometimes in the
morning." The letters lay under Swift's pillow, and he fondled them as
if he were caressing Stella's hand.

Of Stella herself we naturally have no direct account in the Journal,
but we hear a good deal of her life in Ireland, and can picture what she
was. Among her friends in and about Trim and Laracor were Dr. Raymond,
the vicar of Trim, and his wife, the Garret Wesleys, the Percevals, and
Mr. Warburton, Swift's curate. At Dublin there were Archdeacon Walls and
his family; Alderman Stoyte, his wife and sister-in-law; Dean Sterne
and the Irish Postmaster-General, Isaac Manley. For years these friends
formed a club which met in Dublin at each other's houses, to sup and
play cards ("ombre and claret, and toasted oranges"), and we have
frequent allusions to Stella's indifferent play, and the money which
she lost, much to Mrs. Dingley's chagrin: "Poor Dingley fretted to
see Stella lose that four and elevenpence t'other night." Mrs. Dingley
herself could hardly play well enough to hold the cards while Stella
went into the next room. If at dinner the mutton was underdone, and
"poor Stella cannot eat, poor dear rogue," then "Dingley is so vexed."
Swift was for ever urging Stella to walk and ride; she was "naturally a
stout walker," and "Dingley would do well enough if her petticoats were
pinned up." And we see Stella setting out on and returning from her
ride, with her riband and mask: "Ah, that riding to Laracor gives me
short sighs as well as you," he says; "all the days I have passed here
have been dirt to those."

If the Journal shows us some of Swift's less attractive qualities, it
shows still more how great a store of humour, tenderness, and affection
there was in him. In these letters we see his very soul; in his literary
work we are seldom moved to anything but admiration of his wit and
genius. Such daily outpourings could never have been written for
publication, they were meant only for one who understood him perfectly;
and everything that we know of Stella--her kindliness, her wit, her
vivacity, her loyalty--shows that she was worthy of the confidence.



JOURNAL TO STELLA



LETTER 1.(1)

CHESTER, Sept. 2, 1710.

Joe(2) will give you an account of me till I got into the boat; after
which the rogues made a new bargain, and forced me to give them two
crowns, and talked as if we should not be able to overtake any ship: but
in half an hour we got to the yacht; for the ships lay by (to) wait for
my Lord Lieutenant's steward. We made our voyage in fifteen hours
just. Last night I came to this town, and shall leave it, I believe, on
Monday. The first man I met in Chester was Dr. Raymond.(3) He and Mrs.
Raymond were here about levying a fine, in order to have power to sell
their estate. They have found everything answer very well. They both
desire to present their humble services to you: they do not think of
Ireland till next year. I got a fall off my horse, riding here from
Parkgate,(4) but no hurt; the horse understanding falls very well, and
lying quietly till I get up. My duty to the Bishop of Clogher.(5) I saw
him returning from Dunleary; but he saw not me. I take it ill he was not
at Convocation, and that I have not his name to my powers.(6) I beg you
will hold your resolution of going to Trim, and riding there as much as
you can. Let the Bishop of Clogher remind the Bishop of Killala(7) to
send me a letter, with one enclosed to the Bishop of Lichfield.(8) Let
all who write to me, enclose to Richard Steele, Esq., at his office at
the Cockpit, near Whitehall.(9) But not MD; I will pay for their letters
at St. James's Coffee-house,(10) that I may have them the sooner. My
Lord Mountjoy(11) is now in the humour that we should begin our journey
this afternoon; so that I have stole here again to finish this letter,
which must be short or long accordingly. I write this post to Mrs.
Wesley,(12) and will tell her, that I have taken care she may have her
bill of one hundred and fifteen pounds whenever she pleases to send for
it; and in that case I desire you will send it her enclosed and sealed,
and have it ready so, in case she should send for it: otherwise keep it.
I will say no more till I hear whether I go to-day or no: if I do, the
letter is almost at an end. My cozen Abigail is grown prodigiously old.
God Almighty bless poo dee richar MD; and, for God's sake, be merry, and
get oo health. I am perfectly resolved to return as soon as I have done
my commission, whether it succeeds or no. I never went to England with
so little desire in my life. If Mrs. Curry(13) makes any difficulty
about the lodgings, I will quit them and pay her from July 9 last, and
Mrs. Brent(14) must write to Parvisol(15) with orders accordingly. The
post is come from London, and just going out; so I have only time to
pray God to bless poor richr MD FW FW MD MD ME ME ME.



LETTER 2.

LONDON, Sept. 9, 1710.

Got here last Thursday,(1) after five days' travelling, weary the first,
almost dead the second, tolerable the third, and well enough the rest;
and am now glad of the fatigue, which has served for exercise; and I am
at present well enough. The Whigs were ravished to see me, and would
lay hold on me as a twig while they are drowning,(2) and the great men
making me their clumsy apologies, etc. But my Lord Treasurer(3) received
me with a great deal of coldness, which has enraged me so, I am almost
vowing revenge. I have not yet gone half my circle; but I find all my
acquaintance just as I left them. I hear my Lady Giffard(4) is much at
Court, and Lady Wharton(5) was ridiculing it t'other day; so I have
lost a friend there. I have not yet seen her, nor intend it; but I will
contrive to see Stella's mother(6) some other way. I writ to the Bishop
of Clogher from Chester; and I now write to the Archbishop of Dublin.(7)
Everything is turning upside down; every Whig in great office will, to a
man, be infallibly put out; and we shall have such a winter as hath not
been seen in England. Everybody asks me, how I came to be so long in
Ireland, as naturally as if here were my being; but no soul offers to
make it so: and I protest I shall return to Dublin, and the Canal at
Laracor,(8) with more satisfaction than ever I did in my life. The
Tatler(9) expects every day to be turned out of his employment; and the
Duke of Ormond,(10) they say, will be Lieutenant of Ireland. I hope you
are now peaceably in Presto's(11) lodgings; but I resolve to turn you
out by Christmas; in which time I shall either do my business, or find
it not to be done. Pray be at Trim by the time this letter comes to
you; and ride little Johnson, who must needs be now in good case. I have
begun this letter unusually, on the post-night, and have already written
to the Archbishop; and cannot lengthen this. Henceforth I will write
something every day to MD, and make it a sort of journal; and when it
is full, I will send it, whether MD writes or no; and so that will
be pretty: and I shall always be in conversation with MD, and MD with
Presto. Pray make Parvisol pay you the ten pounds immediately; so I
ordered him. They tell me I am grown fatter, and look better; and,
on Monday, Jervas(12) is to retouch my picture. I thought I saw Jack
Temple(13) and his wife pass by me to-day in their coach; but I took no
notice of them. I am glad I have wholly shaken off that family. Tell the
Provost,(14) I have obeyed his commands to the Duke of Ormond; or let
it alone, if you please. I saw Jemmy Leigh(15) just now at the
Coffee-house, who asked after you with great kindness: he talks of going
in a fortnight to Ireland. My service to the Dean,(16) and Mrs. Walls,
and her Archdeacon.(17) Will Frankland's(18) wife is near bringing
to-bed, and I have promised to christen the child. I fancy you had my
Chester letter the Tuesday after I writ. I presented Dr. Raymond to Lord
Wharton(19) at Chester. Pray let me know when Joe gets his money.(20)
It is near ten, and I hate to send by the bellman.(21) MD shall have
a longer letter in a week, but I send this only to tell I am safe in
London; and so farewell, etc.



LETTER 3.

LONDON, Sept. 9, 1710.

After seeing the Duke of Ormond, dining with Dr. Cockburn,(1) passing
some part of the afternoon with Sir Matthew Dudley(2) and Will
Frankland, the rest at St. James's Coffee-house, I came home, and writ
to the Archbishop of Dublin and MD, and am going to bed. I forgot to
tell you, that I begged Will Frankland to stand Manley's(3) friend with
his father in this shaking season for places. He told me, his father
was in danger to be out; that several were now soliciting for Manley's
place; that he was accused of opening letters; that Sir Thomas
Frankland(4) would sacrifice everything to save himself; and in that, I
fear, Manley is undone, etc.

10. To-day I dined with Lord Mountjoy at Kensington; saw my mistress,
Ophy Butler's(5) wife, who is grown a little charmless. I sat till ten
in the evening with Addison and Steele: Steele will certainly lose his
Gazetteer's place, all the world detesting his engaging in parties.(6)
At ten I went to the Coffee-house, hoping to find Lord Radnor,(7) whom I
had not seen. He was there; and for an hour and a half we talked treason
heartily against the Whigs, their baseness and ingratitude. And I
am come home, rolling resentments in my mind, and framing schemes of
revenge: full of which (having written down some hints) I go to bed.
I am afraid MD dined at home, because it is Sunday; and there was the
little half-pint of wine: for God's sake, be good girls, and all will be
well. Ben Tooke(8) was with me this morning.

11. Seven, morning. I am rising to go to Jervas to finish my picture,
and 'tis shaving-day, so good-morrow MD; but don't keep me now, for I
can't stay; and pray dine with the Dean, but don't lose your money. I
long to hear from you, etc.--Ten at night. I sat four hours this morning
to Jervas, who has given my picture quite another turn, and now approves
it entirely; but we must have the approbation of the town. If I were
rich enough, I would get a copy of it, and bring it over. Mr. Addison
and I dined together at his lodgings, and I sat with him part of this
evening; and I am now come home to write an hour. Patrick(9) observes,
that the rabble here are much more inquisitive in politics than
in Ireland. Every day we expect changes, and the Parliament to be
dissolved. Lord Wharton expects every day to be out: he is working like
a horse for elections; and, in short, I never saw so great a ferment
among all sorts of people. I had a miserable letter from Joe last
Saturday, telling me Mr. Pratt(10) refuses payment of his money. I
have told it Mr. Addison, and will to Lord Wharton; but I fear with no
success. However, I will do all I can.

12. To-day I presented Mr. Ford(11) to the Duke of Ormond; and paid my
first visit to Lord President,(12) with whom I had much discourse; but
put him always off when he began to talk of Lord Wharton in relation
to me, till he urged it: then I said, he knew I never expected anything
from Lord Wharton, and that Lord Wharton knew that I understood it so.
He said that he had written twice to Lord Wharton about me, who both
times said nothing at all to that part of his letter. I am advised not
to meddle in the affair of the First-Fruits, till this hurry is a little
over, which still depends, and we are all in the dark. Lord President
told me he expects every day to be out, and has done so these two
months. I protest, upon my life, I am heartily weary of this town, and
wish I had never stirred.

13. I went this morning to the city, to see Mr. Stratford the Hamburg
merchant, my old schoolfellow;(13) but calling at Bull's(14) on Ludgate
Hill, he forced me to his house at Hampstead to dinner among a great
deal of ill company; among the rest Mr. Hoadley,(15) the Whig clergyman,
so famous for acting the contrary part to Sacheverell:(16) but
tomorrow I design again to see Stratford. I was glad, however, to be
at Hampstead, where I saw Lady Lucy(17) and Moll Stanhope. I hear very
unfortunate news of Mrs. Long;(18) she and her comrade(19) have broke up
house, and she is broke for good and all, and is gone to the country: I
should be extremely sorry if this be true.

14. To-day, I saw Patty Rolt,(20) who heard I was in town; and I dined
with Stratford at a merchant's in the city, where I drank the first
Tokay wine I ever saw; and it is admirable, yet not to the degree
I expected. Stratford is worth a plum,(21) and is now lending the
Government forty thousand pounds; yet we were educated together at the
same school and university.(22) We hear the Chancellor(23) is to be
suddenly out, and Sir Simon Harcourt(24) to succeed him: I am come early
home, not caring for the Coffee-house.

15. To-day Mr. Addison, Colonel Freind,(25) and I, went to see the
million lottery(26) drawn at Guildhall. The jackanapes of bluecoat boys
gave themselves such airs in pulling out the tickets, and showed white
hands open to the company, to let us see there was no cheat. We dined
at a country-house near Chelsea, where Mr. Addison often retires; and
to-night, at the Coffee-house, we hear Sir Simon Harcourt is made
Lord Keeper; so that now we expect every moment the Parliament will be
dissolved; but I forgot that this letter will not go in three or four
days, and that my news will be stale, which I should therefore put in
the last paragraph. Shall I send this letter before I hear from MD,
or shall I keep it to lengthen? I have not yet seen Stella's mother,
because I will not see Lady Giffard; but I will contrive to go there
when Lady Giffard is abroad. I forgot to mark my two former letters; but
I remember this is Number 3, and I have not yet had Number 1 from MD;
but I shall by Monday, which I reckon will be just a fortnight after you
had my first. I am resolved to bring over a great deal of china. I loved
it mightily to-day.(27) What shall I bring?

16. Morning. Sir John Holland,(28) Comptroller of the Household, has
sent to desire my acquaintance: I have a mind to refuse him, because he
is a Whig, and will, I suppose, be out among the rest; but he is a man
of worth and learning. Tell me, do you like this journal way of writing?
Is it not tedious and dull?

Night. I dined to-day with a cousin, a printer,(29) where Patty Rolt
lodges, and then came home, after a visit or two; and it has been a very
insipid day. Mrs. Long's misfortune is confirmed to me; bailiffs were
in her house; she retired to private lodgings; thence to the country,
nobody knows where: her friends leave letters at some inn, and they
are carried to her; and she writes answers without dating them from any
place. I swear, it grieves me to the soul.

17. To-day I dined six miles out of town, with Will Pate,(30) the
learned woollen-draper; Mr. Stratford went with me; six miles here is
nothing: we left Pate after sunset, and were here before it was dark.
This letter shall go on Tuesday, whether I hear from MD or no. My health
continues pretty well; pray God Stella may give me a good account
of hers! and I hope you are now at Trim, or soon designing it. I was
disappointed to-night: the fellow gave me a letter, and I hoped to
see little MD's hand; and it was only to invite me to a venison pasty
to-day: so I lost my pasty into the bargain. Pox on these declining
courtiers! Here is Mr. Brydges,(31) the Paymaster-General, desiring my
acquaintance; but I hear the Queen sent Lord Shrewsbury(32) to assure
him he may keep his place; and he promises me great assistance in the
affair of the First-Fruits. Well, I must turn over this leaf to-night,
though the side would hold another line; but pray consider this is
a whole sheet; it holds a plaguy deal, and you must be content to
be weary; but I'll do so no more. Sir Simon Harcourt is made
Attorney-General, and not Lord Keeper.

18. To-day I dined with Mr. Stratford at Mr. Addison's retirement near
Chelsea; then came to town; got home early, and began a letter to the
Tatler,(33) about the corruptions of style and writing, etc., and,
having not heard from you, am resolved this letter shall go to-night.
Lord Wharton was sent for to town in mighty haste, by the Duke of
Devonshire:(34) they have some project in hand; but it will not do, for
every hour we expect a thorough revolution, and that the Parliament will
be dissolved. When you see Joe, tell him Lord Wharton is too busy to
mind any of his affairs; but I will get what good offices I can from
Mr. Addison, and will write to-day to Mr. Pratt; and bid Joe not to
be discouraged, for I am confident he will get the money under any
Government; but he must have patience.

19. I have been scribbling this morning, and I believe shall hardly
fill this side to-day, but send it as it is; and it is good enough for
naughty girls that won't write to a body, and to a good boy like Presto.
I thought to have sent this to-night, but was kept by company, and could
not; and, to say the truth, I had a little mind to expect one post more
for a letter from MD. Yesterday at noon died the Earl of Anglesea,(35)
the great support of the Tories; so that employment of Vice-Treasurer of
Ireland is again vacant. We were to have been great friends, and I could
hardly have a loss that could grieve me more. The Bishop of Durham(36)
died the same day. The Duke of Ormond's daughter(37) was to visit me
to-day at a third place by way of advance,(38) and I am to return
it to-morrow. I have had a letter from Lady Berkeley, begging me for
charity to come to Berkeley Castle, for company to my lord,(39) who
has been ill of a dropsy; but I cannot go, and must send my excuse
to-morrow. I am told that in a few hours there will be more removals.

20. To-day I returned my visits to the Duke's daughters;(40) the
insolent drabs came up to my very mouth to salute me. Then I heard the
report confirmed of removals; my Lord President Somers; the Duke of
Devonshire, Lord Steward; and Mr. Boyle,(41) Secretary of State, are all
turned out to-day. I never remember such bold steps taken by a Court: I
am almost shocked at it, though I did not care if they were all hanged.
We are astonished why the Parliament is not yet dissolved, and why they
keep a matter of that importance to the last. We shall have a strange
winter here, between the struggles of a cunning provoked discarded
party, and the triumphs of one in power; of both which I shall be an
indifferent spectator, and return very peaceably to Ireland, when I have
done my part in the affair I am entrusted with, whether it succeeds
or no. To-morrow I change my lodgings in Pall Mall for one in Bury
Street,(42) where I suppose I shall continue while I stay in London. If
anything happens tomorrow, I will add it.--Robin's Coffee-house.(43) We
have great news just now from Spain; Madrid taken, and Pampeluna. I am
here ever interrupted.

21. I have just received your letter, which I will not answer now;
God be thanked all things are so well. I find you have not yet had my
second: I had a letter from Parvisol, who tells me he gave Mrs. Walls a
bill of twenty pounds for me, to be given to you; but you have not sent
it. This night the Parliament is dissolved: great news from Spain;
King Charles and Stanhope are at Madrid, and Count Staremberg has taken
Pampeluna. Farewell. This is from St. James's Coffee-house. I will begin
my answer to your letter to-night, but not send it this week. Pray tell
me whether you like this journal way of writing.--I don't like your
reasons for not going to Trim. Parvisol tells me he can sell your horse.
Sell it, with a pox? Pray let him know that he shall sell his soul as
soon. What? sell anything that Stella loves, and may sometimes ride? It
is hers, and let her do as she pleases: pray let him know this by the
first that you know goes to Trim. Let him sell my grey, and be hanged.



LETTER 4.

LONDON, Sept. 21, 1710.

Here must I begin another letter, on a whole sheet, for fear saucy
little MD should be angry, and think MUCH that the paper is too LITTLE.
I had your letter this night, as told you just and no more in my last;
for this must be taken up in answering yours, saucebox. I believe I told
you where I dined to-day; and to-morrow I go out of town for two days to
dine with the same company on Sunday; Molesworth(1) the Florence Envoy,
Stratford, and some others. I heard to-day that a gentlewoman from Lady
Giffard's house had been at the Coffee-house to inquire for me. It was
Stella's mother, I suppose. I shall send her a penny-post letter(2)
to-morrow, and contrive to see her without hazarding seeing Lady
Giffard, which I will not do until she begs my pardon.

22. I dined to-day at Hampstead with Lady Lucy, etc., and when I got
home found a letter from Joe, with one enclosed to Lord Wharton, which I
will send to his Excellency, and second it as well as I can; but to talk
of getting the Queen's order is a jest. Things are in such a combustion
here, that I am advised not to meddle yet in the affair I am upon, which
concerns the clergy of a whole kingdom; and does he think anybody will
trouble the Queen about Joe? We shall, I hope, get a recommendation from
the Lord Lieutenant to the trustees for the linen business, and I hope
that will do; and so I will write to him in a few days, and he must have
patience. This is an answer to part of your letter as well as his. I
lied; it is to-morrow I go to the country, and I won't answer a bit more
of your letter yet.

23. Here is such a stir and bustle with this little MD of ours; I must
be writing every night; I can't go to bed without a word to them; I
can't put out my candle till I have bid them good-night: O Lord, O
Lord! Well, I dined the first time to-day, with Will Frankland and his
fortune: she is not very handsome. Did I not say I would go out of town
to-day? I hate lying abroad and clutter; I go tomorrow in Frankland's
chariot, and come back at night. Lady Berkeley has invited me
to Berkeley Castle, and Lady Betty Germaine(3) to Drayton in
Northamptonshire; and I'll go to neither. Let me alone, I must finish my
pamphlet. I have sent a long letter to Bickerstaff:(4) let the Bishop
of Clogher smoke(5) it if he can. Well, I'll write to the Bishop of
Killala; but you might have told him how sudden and unexpected my
journey was though. Deuce take Lady S---; and if I know D---y, he is a
rawboned-faced fellow, not handsome, nor visibly so young as you say:
she sacrifices two thousand pounds a year, and keeps only six hundred.
Well, you have had all my land journey in my second letter, and so much
for that. So, you have got into Presto's lodgings; very fine, truly! We
have had a fortnight of the most glorious weather on earth, and still
continues: I hope you have made the best of it. Ballygall(6) will be a
pure(7) good place for air, if Mrs. Ashe makes good her promise. Stella
writes like an emperor: I am afraid it hurts your eyes; take care of
that pray, pray, Mrs. Stella. Can't you do what you will with your own
horse? Pray don't let that puppy Parvisol sell him. Patrick is drunk
about three times a week, and I bear it, and he has got the better of
me; but one of these days I will positively turn him off to the wide
world, when none of you are by to intercede for him.--Stuff--how can
I get her husband into the Charter-house? get a ---- into the
Charter-house.--Write constantly! Why, sirrah, don't I write every day,
and sometimes twice a day to MD? Now I have answered all your letter,
and the rest must be as it can be: send me my bill. Tell Mrs. Brent what
I say of the Charter-house. I think this enough for one night; and so
farewell till this time to-morrow.

24. To-day I dined six miles out of town at Will Pate's, with Stratford,
Frankland, and the Molesworths,(8) and came home at night, and was weary
and lazy. I can say no more now, but good-night.

25. I was so lazy to-day that I dined at next door,(9) and have sat at
home since six, writing to the Bishop of Clogher, Dean Sterne, and Mr.
Manley: the last, because I am in fear for him about his place, and have
sent him my opinion, what I and his other friends here think he ought
to do. I hope he will take it well. My advice was, to keep as much in
favour as possible with Sir Thomas Frankland, his master here.

26. Smoke how I widen the margin by lying in bed when I write. My bed
lies on the wrong side for me, so that I am forced often to write when
I am up. Manley, you must know, has had people putting in for his place
already; and has been complained of for opening letters. Remember that
last Sunday, September 24, 1710, was as hot as midsummer. This was
written in the morning; it is now night, and Presto in bed. Here's a
clutter, I have gotten MD's second letter, and I must answer it here.
I gave the bill to Tooke, and so--Well, I dined to-day with Sir John
Holland the Comptroller, and sat with him till eight; then came home,
and sent my letters, and writ part of a lampoon,(10) which goes on very
slow: and now I am writing to saucy MD; no wonder, indeed, good boys
must write to naughty girls. I have not seen your mother yet; my
penny-post letter, I suppose, miscarried: I will write another. Mr.
S---- came to see me; and said M---- was going to the country next
morning with her husband (who I find is a surly brute); so I could only
desire my service to her.

27. To-day all our company dined at Will Frankland's, with Steele and
Addison too. This is the first rainy day since I came to town; I cannot
afford to answer your letter yet. Morgan,(11) the puppy, writ me a long
letter, to desire I would recommend him for purse-bearer or secretary to
the next Lord Chancellor that would come with the next Governor. I
will not answer him; but beg you will say these words to his father
Raymond,(12) or anybody that will tell him: That Dr. Swift has received
his letter; and would be very ready to serve him, but cannot do it in
what he desires, because he has no sort of interest in the persons to
be applied to. These words you may write, and let Joe, or Mr.
Warburton,(13) give them to him: a pox on him! However, it is by these
sort of ways that fools get preferment. I must not end yet, because I
cannot say good-night without losing a line, and then MD would scold;
but now, good-night.

28. I have the finest piece of Brazil tobacco for Dingley that ever
was born.(14) You talk of Leigh; why, he won't be in Dublin these two
months: he goes to the country, then returns to London, to see how the
world goes here in Parliament. Good-night, sirrahs; no, no, not night;
I writ this in the morning, and looking carelessly I thought it had
been of last night. I dined to-day with Mrs. Barton(15) alone at her
lodgings; where she told me for certain, that Lady S---- was with
child when she was last in England, and pretended a tympany, and saw
everybody; then disappeared for three weeks, her tympany was gone, and
she looked like a ghost, etc. No wonder she married when she was so ill
at containing. Connolly(16) is out; and Mr. Roberts in his place, who
loses a better here, but was formerly a Commissioner in Ireland. That
employment cost Connolly three thousand pounds to Lord Wharton; so he
has made one ill bargain in his life.

29. I wish MD a merry Michaelmas. I dined with Mr. Addison, and Jervas
the painter, at Addison's country place; and then came home, and writ
more to my lampoon. I made a Tatler since I came: guess which it is, and
whether the Bishop of Clogher smokes it. I saw Mr. Sterne(17) to-day: he
will do as you order, and I will give him chocolate for Stella's health.
He goes not these three weeks. I wish I could send it some other way.
So now to your letter, brave boys. I don't like your way of saving
shillings: nothing vexes me but that it does not make Stella a coward
in a coach.(18) I don't think any lady's advice about my ear signifies
twopence: however I will, in compliance to you, ask Dr. Cockburn.
Radcliffe(19) I know not, and Barnard(20) I never see. Walls will
certainly be stingier for seven years, upon pretence of his robbery. So
Stella puns again; why, 'tis well enough; but I'll not second it,
though I could make a dozen: I never thought of a pun since I left
Ireland.--Bishop of Clogher's bill? Why, he paid it to me; do you think
I was such a fool to go without it? As for the four shillings, I will
give you a bill on Parvisol for it on t'other side of this paper; and
pray tear off the two letters I shall write to him and Joe, or let
Dingley transcribe and send them; though that to Parvisol, I believe, he
must have my hand for. No, no, I'll eat no grapes; I ate about six
the other day at Sir John Holland's; but would not give sixpence for a
thousand, they are so bad this year. Yes, faith, I hope in God Presto
and MD will be together this time twelvemonth. What then? Last year I
suppose I was at Laracor; but next I hope to eat my Michaelmas goose
at my two little gooses' lodgings. I drink no aile (I suppose you mean
ale); but yet good wine every day, of five and six shillings a bottle.
O Lord, how much Stella writes! pray don't carry that too far, young
women, but be temperate, to hold out. To-morrow I go to Mr. Harley.(21)
Why, small hopes from the Duke of Ormond: he loves me very well, I
believe, and would, in my turn, give me something to make me easy; and I
have good interest among his best friends. But I don't think of anything
further than the business I am upon. You see I writ to Manley before
I had your letter, and I fear he will be out. Yes, Mrs. Owl, Bligh's
corpse(22) came to Chester when I was there; and I told you so in my
letter, or forgot it. I lodge in Bury Street, where I removed a week
ago. I have the first floor, a dining-room, and bed-chamber, at eight
shillings a week; plaguy deep, but I spend nothing for eating, never
go to a tavern, and very seldom in a coach; yet after all it will
be expensive. Why do you trouble yourself, Mistress Stella, about my
instrument? I have the same the Archbishop gave me; and it is as good
now the bishops are away. The Dean friendly! the Dean be poxed: a
great piece of friendship indeed, what you heard him tell the Bishop of
Clogher; I wonder he had the face to talk so: but he lent me money, and
that's enough. Faith, I would not send this these four days, only for
writing to Joe and Parvisol. Tell the Dean that when the bishops send me
any packets, they must not write to me at Mr. Steele's; but direct
for Mr. Steele, at his office at the Cockpit, and let the enclosed be
directed for me: that mistake cost me eighteenpence the other day.

30. I dined with Stratford to-day, but am not to see Mr. Harley till
Wednesday: it is late, and I send this before there is occasion for the
bell; because I would have Joe have his letter, and Parvisol too; which
you must so contrive as not to cost them double postage. I can say no
more, but that I am, etc.



LETTER 5.

LONDON, Sept. 30, 1710.

Han't I brought myself into a fine praemunire,(1) to begin writing
letters in whole sheets? and now I dare not leave it off. I cannot tell
whether you like these journal letters: I believe they would be dull
to me to read them over; but, perhaps, little MD is pleased to know how
Presto passes his time in her absence. I always begin my last the same
day I ended my former. I told you where I dined to-day at a tavern with
Stratford: Lewis,(2) who is a great favourite of Harley's, was to have
been with us; but he was hurried to Hampton Court, and sent his excuse;
and that next Wednesday he would introduce me to Harley. 'Tis good to
see what a lamentable confession the Whigs all make me of my ill
usage: but I mind them not. I am already represented to Harley as a
discontented person, that was used ill for not being Whig enough; and
I hope for good usage from him. The Tories drily tell me, I may make
my fortune, if I please; but I do not understand them--or rather, I do
understand them.

Oct. 1. To-day I dined at Molesworth's, the Florence Envoy; and sat this
evening with my friend Darteneuf,(3) whom you have heard me talk of;
the greatest punner of this town next myself. Have you smoked the Tatler
that I writ?(4) It is much liked here, and I think it a pure(5) one.
To-morrow I go with Delaval,(6) the Portugal Envoy, to dine with Lord
Halifax near Hampton Court.(7) Your Manley's brother, a Parliament-man
here, has gotten an employment;(8) and I am informed uses much interest
to preserve his brother: and, to-day, I spoke to the elder Frankland
to engage his father (Postmaster here); and I hope he will be safe,
although he is cruelly hated by all the Tories of Ireland. I have almost
finished my lampoon, and will print it for revenge on a certain great
person.(9) It has cost me but three shillings in meat and drink since I
came here, as thin as the town is. I laugh to see myself so disengaged
in these revolutions. Well, I must leave off, and go write to Sir John
Stanley,(10) to desire him to engage Lady Hyde as my mistress to engage
Lord Hyde(11) in favour of Mr. Pratt.(12)

2. Lord Halifax was at Hampton Court at his lodgings, and I dined
with him there with Methuen,(13) and Delaval, and the late
Attorney-General.(14) I went to the Drawing-room before dinner (for
the Queen was at Hampton Court), and expected to see nobody; but I
met acquaintance enough. I walked in the gardens, saw the cartoons
of Raphael, and other things; and with great difficulty got from Lord
Halifax, who would have kept me to-morrow to show me his house and park,
and improvements. We left Hampton Court at sunset, and got here in a
chariot and two horses time enough by starlight. That's something charms
me mightily about London; that you go dine a dozen miles off in October,
stay all day, and return so quickly: you cannot do anything like this in
Dublin.(15) I writ a second penny post letter to your mother, and hear
nothing of her. Did I tell you that Earl Berkeley died last Sunday was
se'nnight, at Berkeley Castle, of a dropsy? Lord Halifax began a health
to me to-day; it was the Resurrection of the Whigs, which I refused
unless he would add their Reformation too and I told him he was the only
Whig in England I loved, or had any good opinion of.

3. This morning Stella's sister(16) came to me with a letter from her
mother, who is at Sheen; but will soon be in town, and will call to see
me: she gave me a bottle of palsy water,(17) a small one, and desired I
would send it you by the first convenience, as I will; and she promises
a quart bottle of the same: your sister looked very well, and seems a
good modest sort of girl. I went then to Mr. Lewis, first secretary to
Lord Dartmouth,(18) and favourite to Mr. Harley, who is to introduce
me to-morrow morning. Lewis had with him one Mr. Dyot,(19) a Justice of
Peace, worth twenty thousand pounds, a Commissioner of the Stamp Office,
and married to a sister of Sir Philip Meadows,(20) Envoy to the Emperor.
I tell you this, because it is odds but this Mr. Dyot will be hanged;
for he is discovered to have counterfeited stamped paper, in which he
was a Commissioner; and, with his accomplices, has cheated the Queen of
a hundred thousand pounds. You will hear of it before this come to you,
but may be not so particularly; and it is a very odd accident in such a
man. Smoke Presto writing news to MD. I dined to-day with Lord Mountjoy
at Kensington, and walked from thence this evening to town like an
emperor. Remember that yesterday, October 2, was a cruel hard frost,
with ice; and six days ago I was dying with heat. As thin as the town
is, I have more dinners than ever; and am asked this month by some
people, without being able to come for pre-engagements. Well, but
I should write plainer, when I consider Stella cannot read,(21) and
Dingley is not so skilful at my ugly hand. I had tonight a letter from
Mr. Pratt, who tells me Joe will have his money when there are trustees
appointed by the Lord Lieutenant for receiving and disposing the linen
fund; and whenever those trustees are appointed, I will solicit whoever
is Lord Lieutenant, and am in no fear of succeeding. So pray tell or
write him word, and bid him not be cast down; for Ned Southwell(22)
and Mr. Addison both think Pratt in the right. Don't lose your money at
Manley's to-night, sirrahs.

4. After I had put out my candle last night, my landlady came into my
room, with a servant of Lord Halifax, to desire I would go dine with him
at his house near Hampton Court; but I sent him word, I had business
of great importance that hindered me, etc. And to-day I was brought
privately to Mr. Harley, who received me with the greatest respect and
kindness imaginable: he has appointed me an hour on Saturday at four,
afternoon, when I will open my business to him; which expression I would
not use if I were a woman. I know you smoked it; but I did not till I
writ it. I dined to-day at Mr. Delaval's, the Envoy for Portugal, with
Nic Rowe(23) the poet, and other friends; and I gave my lampoon to be
printed. I have more mischief in my heart; and I think it shall go
round with them all, as this hits, and I can find hints. I am certain I
answered your 2d letter, and yet I do not find it here. I suppose it was
in my 4th: and why N. 2d, 3d; is it not enough to say, as I do, 1, 2, 3?
etc. I am going to work at another Tatler:(24) I'll be far enough but
I say the same thing over two or three times, just as I do when I am
talking to little MD; but what care I? they can read it as easily as I
can write it: I think I have brought these lines pretty straight again.
I fear it will be long before I finish two sides at this rate. Pray,
dear MD, when I occasionally give you any little commission mixed with
my letters, don't forget it, as that to Morgan and Joe, etc., for I
write just as I can remember, otherwise I would put them all together.
I was to visit Mr. Sterne to-day, and give him your commission about
handkerchiefs: that of chocolate I will do myself, and send it him when
he goes, and you'll pay me when the GIVER'S BREAD,(25) etc. To-night I
will read a pamphlet, to amuse myself. God preserve your dear healths!

5. This morning Delaval came to see me, and we went together to
Kneller's,(26) who was not in town. In the way we met the electors for
Parliament-men:(27) and the rabble came about our coach, crying, "A
Colt, a Stanhope," etc. We were afraid of a dead cat, or our glasses
broken, and so were always of their side. I dined again at Delaval's;
and in the evening, at the Coffee-house, heard Sir Andrew Fountaine(28)
was come to town. This has been but an insipid sort of day, and I have
nothing to remark upon it worth threepence: I hope MD had a better, with
the Dean, the Bishop, or Mrs. Walls.(29) Why, the reason you lost four
and eightpence last night but one at Manley's was, because you played
bad games: I took notice of six that you had ten to one against you:
Would any but a mad lady go out twice upon Manilio; Basto, and two small
diamonds?(30) Then in that game of spades, you blundered when you had
ten-ace; I never saw the like of you: and now you are in a huff because
I tell you this. Well, here's two and eightpence halfpenny towards your
loss.

6. Sir Andrew Fountaine came this morning, and caught me writing in bed.
I went into the city with him; and we dined at the Chop-house with
Will Pate,(31) the learned woollen-draper: then we sauntered at
China-shops(32) and booksellers; went to the tavern, drank two pints of
white wine, and never parted till ten: and now I am come home, and must
copy out some papers I intend for Mr. Harley, whom I am to see, as I
told you, to-morrow afternoon; so that this night I shall say little to
MD, but that I heartily wish myself with them, and will come as soon as
I either fail, or compass my business. We now hear daily of elections;
and, in a list I saw yesterday of about twenty, there are seven or eight
more Tories than in the last Parliament; so that I believe they need
not fear a majority, with the help of those who will vote as the Court
pleases. But I have been told that Mr. Harley himself would not let
the Tories be too numerous, for fear they should be insolent, and
kick against him; and for that reason they have kept several Whigs
in employments, who expected to be turned out every day; as Sir John
Holland the Comptroller, and many others. And so get you gone to your
cards, and your claret and orange, at the Dean's; and I'll go write.

7. I wonder when this letter will be finished: it must go by Tuesday,
that's certain; and if I have one from MD before, I will not answer it,
that's as certain too. 'Tis now morning, and I did not finish my papers
for Mr. Harley last night; for you must understand Presto was sleepy,
and made blunders and blots. Very pretty that I must be writing to young
women in a morning fresh and fasting, faith. Well, good-morrow to
you; and so I go to business, and lay aside this paper till night,
sirrahs.--At night. Jack How(33) told Harley that if there were a lower
place in hell than another, it was reserved for his porter, who tells
lies so gravely, and with so civil a manner. This porter I have had to
deal with, going this evening at four to visit Mr. Harley, by his own
appointment. But the fellow told me no lie, though I suspected every
word he said. He told me his master was just gone to dinner, with much
company, and desired I would come an hour hence: which I did, expecting
to hear Mr. Harley was gone out; but they had just done dinner. Mr.
Harley came out to me, brought me in, and presented to me his son-in-law
Lord Doblane(34) (or some such name) and his own son,(35) and, among
others, Will Penn(36) the Quaker: we sat two hours drinking as good wine
as you do; and two hours more he and I alone; where he heard me tell my
business; entered into it with all kindness; asked for my powers, and
read them; and read likewise a memorial(37) I had drawn up, and put it
in his pocket to show the Queen; told me the measures he would take;
and, in short, said everything I could wish: told me, he must bring Mr.
St. John(38) (Secretary of State) and me acquainted; and spoke so many
things of personal kindness and esteem for me, that I am inclined half
to believe what some friends have told me, that he would do everything
to bring me over. He has desired to dine with me (what a comical mistake
was that!). I mean he has desired me to dine with him on Tuesday; and
after four hours being with him, set me down at St. James's Coffee-house
in a hackney-coach. All this is odd and comical, if you consider him and
me. He knew my Christian name very well. I could not forbear saying thus
much upon this matter, although you will think it tedious. But I'll tell
you; you must know, 'tis fatal(39) to me to be a scoundrel and a prince
the same day: for, being to see him at four, I could not engage myself
to dine at any friend's; so I went to Tooke,(40) to give him a ballad,
and dine with him; but he was not at home: so I was forced to go to
a blind(41) chop-house, and dine for tenpence upon gill-ale,(42) bad
broth, and three chops of mutton; and then go reeking from thence to the
First Minister of State. And now I am going in charity to send Steele
a Tatler, who is very low of late. I think I am civiller than I used
to be; and have not used the expression of "you in Ireland" and "we
in England" as I did when I was here before, to your great
indignation.--They may talk of the you know what;(43) but, gad, if it
had not been for that, I should never have been able to get the access I
have had; and if that helps me to succeed, then that same thing will be
serviceable to the Church. But how far we must depend upon new friends,
I have learnt by long practice, though I think among great Ministers,
they are just as good as old ones. And so I think this important day has
made a great hole in this side of the paper; and the fiddle-faddles of
tomorrow and Monday will make up the rest; and, besides, I shall see
Harley on Tuesday before this letter goes.

8. I must tell you a great piece of refinement(44) of Harley. He charged
me to come to him often: I told him I was loth to trouble him in so much
business as he had, and desired I might have leave to come at his levee;
which he immediately refused, and said, that was not a place for friends
to come to. 'Tis now but morning; and I have got a foolish trick, I must
say something to MD when I wake, and wish them a good-morrow; for this
is not a shaving-day, Sunday, so I have time enough: but get you gone,
you rogues, I must go write: Yes, 'twill vex me to the blood if any
of these long letters should miscarry: if they do, I will shrink to
half-sheets again; but then what will you do to make up the journal?
there will be ten days of Presto's life lost; and that will be a sad
thing, faith and troth.--At night. I was at a loss today for a dinner,
unless I would have gone a great way, so I dined with some friends
that board hereabout,(45) as a spunger;(46) and this evening Sir Andrew
Fountaine would needs have me go to the tavern; where, for two bottles
of wine, Portugal and Florence, among three of us, we had sixteen
shillings to pay; but if ever he catches me so again, I'll spend as many
pounds: and therefore I have it among my extraordinaries but we had a
neck of mutton dressed a la Maintenon, that the dog could not eat: and
it is now twelve o'clock, and I must go sleep. I hope this letter will
go before I have MD's third. Do you believe me? and yet, faith, I long
for MD's third too and yet I would have it to say, that I writ five for
two. I am not fond at all of St. James's Coffee-house,(47) as I used to
be. I hope it will mend in winter; but now they are all out of town at
elections, or not come from their country houses. Yesterday I was going
with Dr. Garth(48) to dine with Charles Main,(49) near the Tower, who
has an employment there: he is of Ireland; the Bishop of Clogher knows
him well: an honest, good-natured fellow, a thorough hearty laugher,
mightily beloved by the men of wit: his mistress is never above a
cook-maid. And so, good-night, etc.

9. I dined to-day at Sir John Stanley's; my Lady Stanley(50) is one
of my favourites: I have as many here as the Bishop of Killala has in
Ireland. I am thinking what scurvy company I shall be to MD when I come
back: they know everything of me already: I will tell you no more, or
I shall have nothing to say, no story to tell, nor any kind of thing.
I was very uneasy last night with ugly, nasty, filthy wine, that turned
sour on my stomach. I must go to the tavern: oh, but I told you that
before. To-morrow I dine at Harley's, and will finish this letter at my
return; but I can write no more now, because of the Archbishop: faith,
'tis true; for I am going now to write to him an account of what I have
done in the business with Harley:(51) and, faith, young women, I'll tell
you what you must count upon, that I never will write one word on the
third side in these long letters.

10. Poor MD's letter was lying so huddled up among papers, I could not
find it: I mean poor Presto's letter. Well, I dined with Mr. Harley
to-day, and hope some things will be done; but I must say no more: and
this letter must be sent to the post-house, and not by the bellman.(52)
I am to dine again there on Sunday next; I hope to some good issue. And
so now, soon as ever I can in bed, I must begin my 6th to MD as gravely
as if I had not written a word this month: fine doings, faith! Methinks
I don't write as I should, because I am not in bed: see the ugly wide
lines. God Almighty ever bless you, etc.

Faith, this is a whole treatise; I'll go reckon the lines on the other
sides. I've reckoned them.(53)



LETTER 6.

LONDON, Oct. 10, 1710.

So, as I told you just now in the letter I sent half an hour ago, I
dined with Mr. Harley to-day, who presented me to the Attorney-General,
Sir Simon Harcourt, with much compliment on all sides, etc. Harley told
me he had shown my memorial to the Queen, and seconded it very heartily;
and he desires me to dine with him again on Sunday, when he promises
to settle it with Her Majesty, before she names a Governor:(1) and I
protest I am in hopes it will be done, all but the forms, by that time;
for he loves the Church. This is a popular thing, and he would not have
a Governor share in it; and, besides, I am told by all hands, he has a
mind to gain me over. But in the letter I writ last post (yesterday) to
the Archbishop, I did not tell him a syllable of what Mr. Harley said to
me last night, because he charged me to keep it secret; so I would not
tell it to you, but that, before this goes, I hope the secret will be
over. I am now writing my poetical "Description of a Shower in London,"
and will send it to the Tatler.(2) This is the last sheet of a whole
quire I have written since I came to town. Pray, now it comes into my
head, will you, when you go to Mrs. Walls, contrive to know whether
Mrs. Wesley(3) be in town, and still at her brother's, and how she is
in health, and whether she stays in town. I writ to her from Chester,
to know what I should do with her note; and I believe the poor woman is
afraid to write to me: so I must go to my business, etc.

11. To-day at last I dined with Lord Mountrath,(4) and carried Lord
Mountjoy, and Sir Andrew Fountaine with me; and was looking over them
at ombre till eleven this evening like a fool: they played running ombre
half-crowns; and Sir Andrew Fountaine won eight guineas of Mr. Coote;(5)
so I am come home late, and will say but little to MD this night. I have
gotten half a bushel of coals, and Patrick, the extravagant whelp, had
a fire ready for me; but I picked off the coals before I went to bed. It
is a sign London is now an empty place, when it will not furnish me with
matter for above five or six lines in a day. Did you smoke in my last
how I told you the very day and the place you were playing at ombre? But
I interlined and altered a little, after I had received a letter from
Mr. Manley, that said you were at it in his house, while he was writing
to me; but without his help I guessed within one day. Your town is
certainly much more sociable than ours. I have not seen your mother yet,
etc.

12. I dined to-day with Dr. Garth and Mr. Addison, at the Devil
Tavern(6) by Temple Bar, and Garth treated; and 'tis well I dine every
day, else I should be longer making out my letters: for we are yet in a
very dull state, only inquiring every day after new elections, where
the Tories carry it among the new members six to one. Mr. Addison's
election(7) has passed easy and undisputed; and I believe if he had a
mind to be chosen king, he would hardly be refused. An odd accident has
happened at Colchester: one Captain Lavallin,(8) coming from Flanders or
Spain, found his wife with child by a clerk of Doctors' Commons, whose
trade, you know, it is to prevent fornications: and this clerk was the
very same fellow that made the discovery of Dyot's(9) counterfeiting the
stamp-paper. Lavallin has been this fortnight hunting after the clerk,
to kill him; but the fellow was constantly employed at the Treasury,
about the discovery he made: the wife had made a shift to patch up the
business, alleging that the clerk had told her her husband was dead
and other excuses; but t'other day somebody told Lavallin his wife had
intrigues before he married her: upon which he goes down in a rage,
shoots his wife through the head, then falls on his sword; and, to make
the matter sure, at the same time discharges a pistol through his own
head, and died on the spot, his wife surviving him about two hours, but
in what circumstances of mind and body is terrible to imagine. I have
finished my poem on the "Shower," all but the beginning; and am going on
with my Tatler. They have fixed about fifty things on me since I came: I
have printed but three.(10) One advantage I get by writing to you daily,
or rather you get, is, that I shall remember not to write the same
things twice; and yet, I fear, I have done it often already: but I will
mind and confine myself to the accidents of the day; and so get you gone
to ombre, and be good girls, and save your money, and be rich against
Presto comes, and write to me now and then: I am thinking it would be a
pretty thing to hear sometimes from saucy MD; but do not hurt your eyes,
Stella, I charge you.

13. O Lord, here is but a trifle of my letter written yet; what shall
Presto do for prattle-prattle, to entertain MD? The talk now grows
fresher of the Duke of Ormond for Ireland; though Mr. Addison says he
hears it will be in commission, and Lord Galway(11) one. These letters
of mine are a sort of journal, where matters open by degrees; and, as I
tell true or false, you will find by the event whether my intelligence
be good; but I do not care twopence whether it be or no.--At night.
To-day I was all about St. Paul's, and up at the top like a fool, with
Sir Andrew Fountaine and two more; and spent seven shillings for my
dinner like a puppy: this is the second time he has served me so; but
I will never do it again, though all mankind should persuade me,
unconsidering puppies! There is a young fellow here in town we are
all fond of, and about a year or two come from the University, one
Harrison,(12) a little pretty fellow, with a great deal of wit, good
sense, and good nature; has written some mighty pretty things; that in
your 6th Miscellanea,(13) about the Sprig of an Orange, is his: he
has nothing to live on but being governor to one of the Duke of
Queensberry's(14) sons for forty pounds a year. The fine fellows are
always inviting him to the tavern, and make him pay his club. Henley(15)
is a great crony of his: they are often at the tavern at six or seven
shillings reckoning, and he always makes the poor lad pay his full
share. A colonel and a lord were at him and me the same way to-night: I
absolutely refused, and made Harrison lag behind, and persuaded him not
to go to them. I tell you this, because I find all rich fellows have
that humour of using all people without any consideration of their
fortunes; but I will see them rot before they shall serve me so. Lord
Halifax is always teasing me to go down to his country house, which will
cost me a guinea to his servants, and twelve shillings coach-hire; and
he shall be hanged first. Is not this a plaguy silly story? But I am
vexed at the heart; for I love the young fellow, and am resolved to stir
up people to do something for him: he is a Whig, and I will put him upon
some of my cast Whigs; for I have done with them; and they have, I hope,
done with this kingdom for our time. They were sure of the four members
for London above all places, and they have lost three in the four.(16)
Sir Richard Onslow,(17) we hear, has lost for Surrey; and they are
overthrown in most places. Lookee, gentlewomen, if I write long letters,
I must write you news and stuff, unless I send you my verses; and some I
dare not; and those on the "Shower in London" I have sent to the Tatler,
and you may see them in Ireland. I fancy you will smoke me in the Tatler
I am going to write; for I believe I have told you the hint. I had a
letter sent me tonight from Sir Matthew Dudley, and found it on my table
when I came in. Because it is extraordinary, I will transcribe it from
beginning to end. It is as follows: "Is the Devil in you? Oct. 13,
1710." I would have answered every particular passage in it, only I
wanted time. Here is enough for to-night, such as it is, etc.

14. Is that tobacco at the top of the paper,(18) or what? I do not
remember I slobbered. Lord, I dreamt of Stella, etc., so confusedly last
night, and that we saw Dean Bolton(19) and Sterne(20) go into a shop:
and she bid me call them to her, and they proved to be two parsons I
know not; and I walked without till she was shifting, and such stuff,
mixed with much melancholy and uneasiness, and things not as they should
be, and I know not how: and it is now an ugly gloomy morning.--At night.
Mr. Addison and I dined with Ned Southwell, and walked in the Park; and
at the Coffee-house I found a letter from the Bishop of Clogher, and
a packet from MD. I opened the Bishop's letter; but put up MD's, and
visited a lady just come to town; and am now got into bed, and going to
open your little letter: and God send I may find MD well, and happy, and
merry, and that they love Presto as they do fires. Oh, I will not open
it yet! yes I will! no I will not! I am going; I cannot stay till I turn
over.(21) What shall I do? My fingers itch; and now I have it in my left
hand; and now I will open it this very moment.--I have just got it, and
am cracking the seal, and cannot imagine what is in it; I fear only some
letter from a bishop, and it comes too late; I shall employ nobody's
credit but my own. Well, I see though-- Pshaw, 'tis from Sir Andrew
Fountaine. What, another! I fancy that's from Mrs. Barton;(22) she told
me she would write to me; but she writes a better hand than this: I wish
you would inquire; it must be at Dawson's(23) office at the Castle.
I fear this is from Patty Rolt, by the scrawl. Well, I will read MD's
letter. Ah, no; it is from poor Lady Berkeley, to invite me to Berkeley
Castle this winter; and now it grieves my heart: she says, she hopes my
lord is in a fair way of recovery;(24) poor lady! Well, now I go to MD's
letter: faith, it is all right; I hoped it was wrong. Your letter, N.3,
that I have now received, is dated Sept. 26; and Manley's letter, that
I had five days ago, was dated Oct. 3, that's a fortnight difference:
I doubt it has lain in Steele's office, and he forgot. Well, there's
an end of that: he is turned out of his place;(25) and you must desire
those who send me packets, to enclose them in a paper directed to Mr.
Addison, at St. James's Coffee-house: not common letters, but packets:
the Bishop of Clogher may mention it to the Archbishop when he sees him.
As for your letter, it makes me mad: slidikins, I have been the best
boy in Christendom, and you come with your two eggs a penny.--Well; but
stay, I will look over my book: adad, I think there was a chasm between
my N.2 and N.3. Faith, I will not promise to write to you every week;
but I will write every night, and when it is full I will send it; that
will be once in ten days, and that will be often enough: and if you
begin to take up the way of writing to Presto, only because it is
Tuesday, a Monday bedad it will grow a task; but write when you have
a mind.--No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no--Agad, agad, agad, agad,
agad, agad; no, poor Stellakins.(26) Slids, I would the horse were in
your--chamber! Have not I ordered Parvisol to obey your directions about
him? And han't I said in my former letters that you may pickle him, and
boil him, if you will? What do you trouble me about your horses for?
Have I anything to do with them?--Revolutions a hindrance to me in
my business? Revolutions to me in my business? If it were not for
the revolutions, I could do nothing at all; and now I have all hopes
possible, though one is certain of nothing; but to-morrow I am to have
an answer, and am promised an effectual one. I suppose I have said
enough in this and a former letter how I stand with new people; ten
times better than ever I did with the old; forty times more caressed.
I am to dine to-morrow at Mr. Harley's; and if he continues as he has
begun, no man has been ever better treated by another. What you say
about Stella's mother, I have spoken enough to it already. I believe she
is not in town; for I have not yet seen her. My lampoon is cried up to
the skies; but nobody suspects me for it, except Sir Andrew Fountaine:
at least they say nothing of it to me. Did not I tell you of a great man
who received me very coldly?(27) That's he; but say nothing; 'twas
only a little revenge. I will remember to bring it over. The Bishop of
Clogher has smoked my Tatler,(28) about shortening of words, etc. But,
God So!(29) etc.

15. I will write plainer if I can remember it; for Stella must not spoil
her eyes, and Dingley can't read my hand very well; and I am afraid my
letters are too long: then you must suppose one to be two, and read them
at twice. I dined to-day with Mr. Harley: Mr. Prior(30) dined with us.
He has left my memorial with the Queen, who has consented to give the
First-Fruits and Twentieth Parts,(31) and will, we hope, declare it
to-morrow in the Cabinet. But I beg you to tell it to no person alive;
for so I am ordered, till in public: and I hope to get something of
greater value. After dinner came in Lord Peterborow:(32) we renewed our
acquaintance, and he grew mightily fond of me. They began to talk of a
paper of verses called "Sid Hamet." Mr. Harley repeated part, and then
pulled them out, and gave them to a gentleman at the table to read,
though they had all read them often. Lord Peterborow would let nobody
read them but himself: so he did; and Mr. Harley bobbed(33) me at every
line, to take notice of the beauties. Prior rallied Lord Peterborow for
author of them; and Lord Peterborow said he knew them to be his; and
Prior then turned it upon me, and I on him. I am not guessed at all
in town to be the author; yet so it is: but that is a secret only to
you.(34) Ten to one whether you see them in Ireland; yet here they run
prodigiously. Harley presented me to Lord President of Scotland,(35) and
Mr. Benson,(36) Lord of the Treasury. Prior and I came away at nine, and
sat at the Smyrna(37) till eleven, receiving acquaintance.

16. This morning early I went in a chair, and Patrick before it, to Mr.
Harley, to give him another copy of my memorial, as he desired; but he
was full of business, going to the Queen, and I could not see him;
but he desired I would send up the paper, and excused himself upon his
hurry. I was a little baulked; but they tell me it is nothing. I shall
judge by next visit. I tipped his porter with half a crown; and so I am
well there for a time at least. I dined at Stratford's in the City, and
had Burgundy and Tokay: came back afoot like a scoundrel: then went with
Mr. Addison and supped with Lord Mountjoy, which made me sick all night.
I forgot that I bought six pounds of chocolate for Stella, and a little
wooden box; and I have a great piece of Brazil tobacco for Dingley,(38)
and a bottle of palsy-water(39) for Stella: all which, with the two
handkerchiefs that Mr. Sterne has bought, and you must pay him for,
will be put in the box, directed to Mrs. Curry's, and sent by Dr.
Hawkshaw,(40) whom I have not seen; but Sterne has undertaken it. The
chocolate is a present, madam, for Stella. Don't read this, you little
rogue, with your little eyes; but give it to Dingley, pray now; and I
will write as plain as the skies: and let Dingley write Stella's part,
and Stella dictate to her, when she apprehends her eyes, etc.

17. This letter should have gone this post, if I had not been taken
up with business, and two nights being late out; so it must stay till
Thursday. I dined to-day with your Mr. Sterne,(41) by invitation, and
drank Irish wine;(42) but, before we parted, there came in the prince
of puppies, Colonel Edgworth;(43) so I went away. This day came out the
Tatler, made up wholly of my "Shower," and a preface to it. They say it
is the best thing I ever writ, and I think so too. I suppose the Bishop
of Clogher will show it you. Pray tell me how you like it. Tooke is
going on with my Miscellany.(44) I'd give a penny the letter to the
Bishop of Killaloe(45) was in it: 'twould do him honour. Could not you
contrive to say, you hear they are printing my things together; and that
you with the bookseller had that letter among the rest: but don't say
anything of it as from me. I forget whether it was good or no; but only
having heard it much commended, perhaps it may deserve it. Well, I have
to-morrow to finish this letter in, and then I will send it next day. I
am so vexed that you should write your third to me, when you had but my
second, and I had written five, which now I hope you have all: and so I
tell you, you are saucy, little, pretty, dear rogues, etc.

18. To-day I dined, by invitation, with Stratford and others, at a young
merchant's in the City, with Hermitage and Tokay, and stayed till nine,
and am now come home. And that dog Patrick is abroad, and drinking, and
I cannot I get my night-gown. I have a mind to turn that puppy away: he
has been drunk ten times in three weeks. But I han't time to say more;
so good-night, etc.

19. I am come home from dining in the city with Mr. Addison, at a
merchant's; and just now, at the Coffee-house, we have notice that the
Duke of Ormond was this day declared Lord Lieutenant at Hampton Court,
in Council. I have not seen Mr. Harley since; but hope the affair is
done about First-Fruits. I will see him, if possible, to-morrow morning;
but this goes to-night. I have sent a box to Mr. Sterne, to send to you
by some friend: I have directed it for Mr. Curry, at his house; so you
have warning when it comes, as I hope it will soon. The handkerchiefs
will be put in some friend's pocket, not to pay custom. And so here ends
my sixth, sent when I had but three of MD's: now I am beforehand, and
will keep so; and God Almighty bless dearest MD, etc.



LETTER 7.

LONDON, Oct. 19, 1710.

Faith, I am undone! this paper is larger than the other, and yet I am
condemned to a sheet; but, since it is MD, I did not value though I were
condemned to a pair. I told you in my letter to-day where I had been,
and how the day passed; and so, etc.

20. To-day I went to Mr. Lewis, at the Secretary's office, to know when
I might see Mr. Harley; and by and by comes up Mr. Harley himself, and
appoints me to dine with him to-morrow. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh,(1)
and went to wait on the two Lady Butlers;(2) but the porter answered
they were not at home: the meaning was, the youngest, Lady Mary, is
to be married to-morrow to Lord Ashburnham,(3) the best match now in
England, twelve thousand pounds a year, and abundance of money. Tell me
how my "Shower" is liked in Ireland: I never knew anything pass better
here. I spent the evening with Wortley Montagu(4) and Mr. Addison, over
a bottle of Irish wine. Do they know anything in Ireland of my greatness
among the Tories? Everybody reproaches me of it here; but I value them
not. Have you heard of the verses about the "Rod of Sid Hamet"? Say
nothing of them for your life. Hardly anybody suspects me for them; only
they think nobody but Prior or I could write them. But I doubt they
have not reached you. There is likewise a ballad full of puns on the
Westminster Election,(5) that cost me half an hour: it runs, though it
be good for nothing. But this is likewise a secret to all but MD. If you
have them not, I will bring them over.

21. I got MD's fourth to-day at the Coffee-house. God Almighty bless
poor, dear Stella, and her eyes and head! What shall we do to cure them?
poor, dear life! Your disorders are a pull-back for your good qualities.
Would to Heaven I were this minute shaving your poor, dear head, either
here or there! Pray do not write, nor read this letter, nor anything
else; and I will write plainer for Dingley to read from henceforward,
though my pen is apt to ramble when I think whom I am writing to. I will
not answer your letter until I tell you that I dined this day with Mr.
Harley, who presented me to the Earl of Stirling,(6) a Scotch lord; and
in the evening came in Lord Peterborow. I stayed till nine before Mr.
Harley would let me go, or tell me anything of my affair. He says the
Queen has now granted the First-Fruits and Twentieth Parts; but he will
not give me leave to write to the Archbishop, because the Queen designs
to signify it to the Bishops in Ireland in form; and to take notice,
that it was done upon a memorial from me; which, Mr. Harley tells me he
does to make it look more respectful to me, etc.; and I am to see him
on Tuesday. I know not whether I told you that, in my memorial which was
given to the Queen, I begged for two thousand pounds a year more, though
it was not in my commission; but that, Mr. Harley says, cannot yet be
done, and that he and I must talk of it further: however, I have started
it, and it may follow in time. Pray say nothing of the First-Fruits
being granted, unless I give leave at the bottom of this. I believe
never anything was compassed so soon, and purely done by my personal
credit with Mr. Harley, who is so excessively obliging, that I know not
what to make of it, unless to show the rascals of the other party that
they used a man unworthily who had deserved better. The memorial given
to the Queen from me speaks with great plainness of Lord Wharton. I
believe this business is as important to you as the Convocation disputes
from Tisdall.(7) I hope in a month or two all the forms of settling this
matter will be over; and then I shall have nothing to do here. I will
only add one foolish thing more, because it is just come into my head.
When this thing is made known, tell me impartially whether they give
any of the merit to me, or no; for I am sure I have so much, that I will
never take it upon me.--Insolent sluts! because I say Dublin, Ireland,
therefore you must say London, England: that is Stella's malice.--Well,
for that I will not answer your letter till to-morrow-day, and so and
so: I will go write something else, and it will not be much; for 'tis
late.

22. I was this morning with Mr. Lewis, the under-secretary to Lord
Dartmouth, two hours, talking politics, and contriving to keep Steele in
his office of stamped paper: he has lost his place of Gazetteer, three
hundred pounds a year, for writing a Tatler,(8) some months ago, against
Mr. Harley, who gave it him at first, and raised the salary from sixty
to three hundred pounds. This was devilish ungrateful; and Lewis was
telling me the particulars: but I had a hint given me, that I might save
him in the other employment: and leave was given me to clear matters
with Steele. Well, I dined with Sir Matthew Dudley, and in the evening
went to sit with Mr. Addison, and offer the matter at distance to him,
as the discreeter person; but found party had so possessed him, that
he talked as if he suspected me, and would not fall in with anything I
said. So I stopped short in my overture, and we parted very drily; and
I shall say nothing to Steele, and let them do as they will; but, if
things stand as they are, he will certainly lose it, unless I save him;
and therefore I will not speak to him, that I may not report to his
disadvantage. Is not this vexatious? and is there so much in the proverb
of proffered service? When shall I grow wise? I endeavour to act in the
most exact points of honour and conscience; and my nearest friends will
not understand it so. What must a man expect from his enemies? This
would vex me, but it shall not; and so I bid you good-night, etc.

23. I know 'tis neither wit nor diversion to tell you every day where I
dine; neither do I write it to fill my letter; but I fancy I shall,
some time or other, have the curiosity of seeing some particulars how
I passed my life when I was absent from MD this time; and so I tell you
now that I dined to-day at Molesworth's, the Florence Envoy, then
went to the Coffee-house, where I behaved myself coldly enough to Mr.
Addison, and so came home to scribble. We dine together to-morrow and
next day by invitation; but I shall alter my behaviour to him, till he
begs my pardon, or else we shall grow bare acquaintance. I am weary of
friends; and friendships are all monsters, but MD's.

24. I forgot to tell you, that last night I went to Mr. Harley's,
hoping--faith, I am blundering, for it was this very night at six; and I
hoped he would have told me all things were done and granted: but he
was abroad, and came home ill, and was gone to bed, much out of order,
unless the porter lied. I dined to-day at Sir Matthew Dudley's, with Mr.
Addison, etc.

25. I was to-day to see the Duke of Ormond; and, coming out, met Lord
Berkeley of Stratton,(9) who told me that Mrs. Temple,(10) the widow,
died last Saturday, which, I suppose, is much to the outward grief and
inward joy of the family. I dined to-day with Addison and Steele, and
a sister of Mr. Addison, who is married to one Mons. Sartre,(11) a
Frenchman, prebendary of Westminster, who has a delicious house and
garden; yet I thought it was a sort of monastic life in those cloisters,
and I liked Laracor better. Addison's sister is a sort of a wit, very
like him. I am not fond of her, etc.

26. I was to-day to see Mr. Congreve,(12) who is almost blind with
cataracts growing on his eyes; and his case is, that he must wait two or
three years, until the cataracts are riper, and till he is quite blind,
and then he must have them couched; and, besides, he is never rid of the
gout, yet he looks young and fresh, and is as cheerful as ever. He is
younger by three years or more than I; and I am twenty years younger
than he. He gave me a pain in the great toe, by mentioning the gout. I
find such suspicions frequently, but they go off again. I had a second
letter from Mr. Morgan,(13) for which I thank you: I wish you were
whipped, for forgetting to send him that answer I desired you in one of
my former, that I could do nothing for him of what he desired, having
no credit at all, etc. Go, be far enough, you negligent baggages. I have
had also a letter from Parvisol, with an account how my livings are set;
and that they are fallen, since last year, sixty pounds. A comfortable
piece of news! He tells me plainly that he finds you have no mind to
part with the horse, because you sent for him at the same time you sent
him my letter; so that I know not what must be done. It is a sad thing
that Stella must have her own horse, whether Parvisol will or no. So now
to answer your letter that I had three or four days ago. I am not now in
bed, but am come home by eight; and, it being warm, I write up. I never
writ to the Bishop of Killala, which, I suppose, was the reason he had
not my letter. I have not time, there is the short of it.--As fond as
the Dean(14) is of my letter, he has not written to me. I would only
know whether Dean Bolton(15) paid him the twenty pounds; and for the
rest, he may kiss--And that you may ask him, because I am in pain about
it, that Dean Bolton is such a whipster. 'Tis the most obliging thing
in the world in Dean Sterne to be so kind to you. I believe he knows it
will please me, and makes up, that way, his other usage.(16) No, we
have had none of your snow, but a little one morning; yet I think it
was great snow for an hour or so, but no longer. I had heard of Will
Crowe's(17) death before, but not the foolish circumstance that hastened
his end. No, I have taken care that Captain Pratt(18) shall not suffer
by Lord Anglesea's death.(19) I will try some contrivance to get a copy
of my picture from Jervas. I will make Sir Andrew Fountaine buy one as
for himself, and I will pay him again, and take it, that is, provided I
have money to spare when I leave this.--Poor John! is he gone? and
Madam Parvisol(20) has been in town! Humm. Why, Tighe(21) and I, when he
comes, shall not take any notice of each other; I would not do it
much in this town, though we had not fallen out.--I was to-day at Mr.
Sterne's lodging: he was not within; and Mr. Leigh is not come to town;
but I will do Dingley's errand when I see him. What do I know whether
china be dear or no? I once took a fancy of resolving to grow mad for
it, but now it is off; I suppose I told you in some former letter. And
so you only want some salad-dishes, and plates, and etc. Yes, yes, you
shall. I suppose you have named as much as will cost five pounds.--Now
to Stella's little postscript; and I am almost crazed that you vex
yourself for not writing. Cannot you dictate to Dingley, and not strain
your little, dear eyes? I am sure it is the grief of my soul to think
you are out of order. Pray be quiet; and, if you will write, shut your
eyes, and write just a line, and no more, thus, "How do you do, Mrs.
Stella?" That was written with my eyes shut. Faith, I think it is better
than when they are open: and then Dingley may stand by, and tell you
when you go too high or too low.--My letters of business, with packets,
if there be any more occasion for such, must be enclosed to Mr. Addison,
at St. James's Coffee-house: but I hope to hear, as soon as I see Mr.
Harley, that the main difficulties are over, and that the rest will be
but form.--Take two or three nutgalls, take two or three----galls, stop
your receipt in your--I have no need on't. Here is a clutter! Well, so
much for your letter, which I will now put up in my letter-partition in
my cabinet, as I always do every letter as soon as I answer it. Method
is good in all things. Order governs the world. The Devil is the author
of confusion. A general of an army, a minister of state; to descend
lower, a gardener, a weaver, etc. That may make a fine observation,
if you think it worth finishing; but I have not time. Is not this a
terrible long piece for one evening? I dined to-day with Patty Rolt at
my cousin Leach's,(22) with a pox, in the City: he is a printer, and
prints the Postman, oh hoo, and is my cousin, God knows how, and he
married Mrs. Baby Aires of Leicester; and my cousin Thomson was with us:
and my cousin Leach offers to bring me acquainted with the author of the
Postman;(23) and says he does not doubt but the gentleman will be glad
of my acquaintance; and that he is a very ingenious man, and a great
scholar, and has been beyond sea. But I was modest and said, may be the
gentleman was shy, and not fond of new acquaintance; and so put it off:
and I wish you could hear me repeating all I have said of this in its
proper tone, just as I am writing it. It is all with the same cadence
with "Oh hoo," or as when little girls say, "I have got an apple, miss,
and I won't give you some." It is plaguy twelvepenny weather this last
week, and has cost me ten shillings in coach and chair hire. If the
fellow that has your money will pay it, let me beg you to buy Bank Stock
with it, which is fallen near thirty per cent. and pays eight pounds per
cent. and you have the principal when you please: it will certainly soon
rise. I would to God Lady Giffard would put in the four hundred pounds
she owes you,(24) and take the five per cent. common interest, and give
you the remainder. I will speak to your mother about it when I see her.
I am resolved to buy three hundred pounds of it for myself, and take
up what I have in Ireland; and I have a contrivance for it, that I hope
will do, by making a friend of mine buy it as for himself, and I will
pay him when I can get in my money. I hope Stratford will do me that
kindness. I'll ask him tomorrow or next day.

27. Mr. Rowe(25) the poet desired me to dine with him to-day. I went to
his office (he is under-secretary in Mr. Addison's place that he had
in England), and there was Mr. Prior; and they both fell commending my
"Shower" beyond anything that has been written of the kind: there never
was such a "Shower" since Danae's, etc. You must tell me how it is liked
among you. I dined with Rowe; Prior could not come: and after dinner
we went to a blind tavern,(26) where Congreve, Sir Richard Temple,(27)
Estcourt,(28) and Charles Main,(29) were over a bowl of bad punch. The
knight sent for six flasks of his own wine for me, and we stayed till
twelve. But now my head continues pretty well; I have left off my
drinking, and only take a spoonful mixed with water, for fear of the
gout, or some ugly distemper; and now, because it is late, I will, etc.

28. Garth and Addison and I dined to-day at a hedge(30) tavern; then I
went to Mr. Harley, but he was denied, or not at home: so I fear I
shall not hear my business is done before this goes. Then I visited Lord
Pembroke,(31) who is just come to town; and we were very merry talking
of old things; and I hit him with one pun. Then I went to see the Ladies
Butler, and the son of a whore of a porter denied them: so I sent them a
threatening message by another lady, for not excepting me always to the
porter. I was weary of the Coffee-house, and Ford(32) desired me to sit
with him at next door; which I did, like a fool, chatting till twelve,
and now am got into bed. I am afraid the new Ministry is at a terrible
loss about money: the Whigs talk so, it would give one the spleen; and I
am afraid of meeting Mr. Harley out of humour. They think he will never
carry through this undertaking. God knows what will come of it. I should
be terribly vexed to see things come round again: it will ruin the
Church and clergy for ever; but I hope for better. I will send this on
Tuesday, whether I hear any further news of my affair or not.

29. Mr. Addison and I dined to-day with Lord Mountjoy; which is all the
adventures of this day.--I chatted a while to-night in the Coffee-house,
this being a full night; and now am come home, to write some business.

30. I dined to-day at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and sent a letter to poor Mrs.
Long,(33) who writes to us, but is God knows where, and will not tell
anybody the place of her residence. I came home early, and must go
write.

31. The month ends with a fine day; and I have been walking, and
visiting Lewis, and concerting where to see Mr. Harley. I have no news
to send you. Aire,(34) they say, is taken, though the Whitehall letters
this morning say quite the contrary: 'tis good, if it be true. I dined
with Mr. Addison and Dick Stewart, Lord Mountjoy's brother;(35) a treat
of Addison's. They were half-fuddled, but not I; for I mixed water with
my wine, and left them together between nine and ten; and I must send
this by the bellman, which vexes me, but I will put it off no longer.
Pray God it does not miscarry. I seldom do so; but I can put off little
MD no longer. Pray give the under note to Mrs. Brent.

I am a pretty gentleman; and you lose all your money at cards, sirrah
Stella. I found you out; I did so.

I am staying before I can fold up this letter, till that ugly D is dry
in the last line but one. Do not you see it? O Lord, I am loth to leave
you, faith--but it must be so, till the next time. Pox take that D; I
will blot it, to dry it.



LETTER 8.

LONDON, Oct. 31, 1710.

So, now I have sent my seventh to your fourth, young women; and now I
will tell you what I would not in my last, that this morning, sitting
in my bed, I had a fit of giddiness: the room turned round for about a
minute, and then it went off, leaving me sickish, but not very: and so I
passed the day as I told you; but I would not end a letter with telling
you this, because it might vex you: and I hope in God I shall have no
more of it. I saw Dr. Cockburn(1) to-day, and he promises to send me the
pills that did me good last year; and likewise has promised me an oil
for my ear, that he has been making for that ailment for somebody else.

Nov. 1. I wish MD a merry new year. You know this is the first day of
it with us.(2) I had no giddiness to-day; but I drank brandy, and have
bought a pint for two shillings. I sat up the night before my giddiness
pretty late, and writ very much; so I will impute it to that. But I
never eat fruit, nor drink ale; but drink better wine than you do, as I
did to-day with Mr. Addison at Lord Mountjoy's: then went at five to
see Mr. Harley, who could not see me for much company; but sent me his
excuse, and desired I would dine with him on Friday; and then I expect
some answer to this business, which must either be soon done, or begun
again; and then the Duke of Ormond and his people will interfere for
their honour, and do nothing. I came home at six, and spent my time in
my chamber, without going to the Coffee-house, which I grow weary of;
and I studied at leisure, writ not above forty lines, some inventions
of my own, and some hints, and read not at all, and this because I would
take care of Presto, for fear little MD should be angry.

2. I took my four pills last night, and they lay an hour in my throat,
and so they will do to-night. I suppose I could swallow four affronts
as easily. I dined with Dr. Cockburn to-day, and came home at seven; but
Mr. Ford has been with me till just now, and it is near eleven. I have
had no giddiness to-day. Mr. Dopping(3) I have seen; and he tells me
coldly, my "Shower" is liked well enough; there's your Irish judgment!
I writ this post to the Bishop of Clogher. It is now just a fortnight
since I heard from you. I must have you write once a fortnight, and then
I will allow for wind and weather. How goes ombre? Does Mrs. Walls(4)
win constantly, as she used to do? And Mrs. Stoyte;(5) I have not
thought of her this long time: how does she? I find we have a cargo of
Irish coming for London: I am sorry for it; but I never go near them.
And Tighe is landed; but Mrs. Wesley,(6) they say, is going home to her
husband, like a fool. Well, little monkeys mine, I must go write; and so
goodnight.

3. I ought to read these letters I write, after I have done; for,
looking over thus much, I found two or three literal mistakes, which
should not be when the hand is so bad. But I hope it does not puzzle
little Dingley to read, for I think I mend: but methinks, when I write
plain, I do not know how, but we are not alone, all the world can see
us. A bad scrawl is so snug, it looks like a PMD.(7) We have scurvy
Tatlers of late: so pray do not suspect me. I have one or two hints I
design to send him, and never any more: he does not deserve it. He is
governed by his wife most abominably,(8) as bad as ----. I never saw
her since I came; nor has he ever made me an invitation: either he dares
not, or is such a thoughtless Tisdall(9) fellow, that he never minds(10)
it. So what care I for his wit? for he is the worst company in the
world, till he has a bottle of wine in his head. I cannot write
straighter in bed, so you must be content.--At night in bed. Stay, let
me see where's this letter to MD among these papers? Oh! here. Well, I
will go on now; but I am very busy (smoke the new pen.) I dined with Mr.
Harley to-day, and am invited there again on Sunday. I have now leave
to write to the Primate and Archbishop of Dublin, that the Queen has
granted the First-Fruits; but they are to take no notice of it, till a
letter is sent them by the Queen's orders from Lord Dartmouth, Secretary
of State, to signify it. The bishops are to be made a corporation, to
dispose of the revenue, etc.; and I shall write to the Archbishop of
Dublin to-morrow (I have had no giddiness to-day). I know not whether
they will have any occasion for me longer to be here; nor can I judge
till I see what letter the Queen sends to the bishops, and what they
will do upon it. If despatch be used, it may be done in six weeks; but
I cannot judge. They sent me to-day a new Commission, signed by the
Primate and Archbishop of Dublin,(11) and promise me letters to the two
archbishops here; but mine a ---- for it all. The thing is done, and has
been so these ten days; though I had only leave to tell it to-day. I had
this day likewise a letter from the Bishop of Clogher, who complains of
my not writing; and, what vexes me, says he knows you have long letters
from me every week. Why do you tell him so? 'Tis not right, faith: but
I won't be angry with MD at distance. I writ to him last post, before I
had his; and will write again soon, since I see he expects it, and that
Lord and Lady Mountjoy(12) put him off upon me, to give themselves ease.
Lastly, I had this day a letter from a certain naughty rogue called MD,
and it was N. 5; which I shall not answer to-night, I thank you. No,
faith, I have other fish to fry; but to-morrow or next day will be time
enough. I have put MD's commissions in a memorandum paper. I think I
have done all before, and remember nothing but this to-day about glasses
and spectacles and spectacle cases. I have no commission from Stella,
but the chocolate and handkerchiefs; and those are bought, and I expect
they will be soon sent. I have been with, and sent to, Mr. Sterne, two
or three times to know; but he was not within. Odds my life, what am I
doing? I must go write and do business.

4. I dined to-day at Kensington, with Addison, Steele, etc., came home,
and writ a short letter to the Archbishop of Dublin, to let him know
the Queen has granted the thing, etc. I writ in the Coffee-house, for
I stayed at Kensington till nine, and am plaguy weary; for Colonel
Proud(13) was very ill company, and I will never be of a party with him
again; and I drank punch, and that and ill company has made me hot.

5. I was with Mr. Harley from dinner to seven this night, and went to
the Coffee-house, where Dr. Davenant(14) would fain have had me gone and
drink a bottle of wine at his house hard by, with Dr. Chamberlen,(15)
but the puppy used so many words, that I was afraid of his company; and
though we promised to come at eight, I sent a messenger to him, that
Chamberlen was going to a patient, and therefore we would put it off
till another time: so he, and the Comptroller,(16) and I, were prevailed
on by Sir Matthew Dudley to go to his house, where I stayed till twelve,
and left them. Davenant has been teasing me to look over some of his
writings that he is going to publish; but the rogue is so fond of his
own productions, that I hear he will not part with a syllable; and he
has lately put out a foolish pamphlet, called The Third Part of Tom
Double; to make his court to the Tories, whom he had left.

6. I was to-day gambling(17) in the City to see Patty Rolt, who is going
to Kingston, where she lodges; but, to say the truth, I had a mind for a
walk to exercise myself, and happened to be disengaged: for dinners are
ten times more plentiful with me here than ever, or than in Dublin. I
won't answer your letter yet, because I am busy. I hope to send this
before I have another from MD: it would be a sad thing to answer two
letters together, as MD does from Presto. But when the two sides are
full, away the letter shall go, that is certain, like it or not like it;
and that will be about three days hence, for the answering-night will be
a long one.

7. I dined to-day at Sir Richard Temple's, with Congreve, Vanbrugh,
Lieutenant-General Farrington,(18) etc. Vanbrugh, I believe I told you,
had a long quarrel with me about those verses on his house;(19) but we
were very civil and cold. Lady Marlborough used to tease him with them,
which had made him angry, though he be a good-natured fellow. It was a
Thanksgiving-day,(20) and I was at Court, where the Queen passed us by
with all Tories about her; not one Whig: Buckingham,(21) Rochester,(22)
Leeds,(23) Shrewsbury, Berkeley of Stratton, Lord Keeper Harcourt, Mr.
Harley, Lord Pembroke, etc.; and I have seen her without one Tory. The
Queen made me a curtsey, and said, in a sort of familiar way to Presto,
"How does MD?" I considered she was a Queen, and so excused her.(24) I
do not miss the Whigs at Court; but have as many acquaintance there as
formerly.

8. Here's ado and a clutter! I must now answer MD's fifth; but first
you must know I dined at the Portugal Envoy's(25) to-day, with Addison,
Vanbrugh, Admiral Wager,(26) Sir Richard Temple,(27) Methuen,(28) etc. I
was weary of their company, and stole away at five, and came home like a
good boy, and studied till ten, and had a fire, O ho! and now am in bed.
I have no fireplace in my bed-chamber; but 'tis very warm weather when
one's in bed. Your fine cap,(29) Madam Dingley, is too little, and too
hot: I will have that fur taken off; I wish it were far enough; and my
old velvet cap is good for nothing. Is it velvet under the fur? I was
feeling, but cannot find: if it be, 'twill do without it else I will
face it; but then I must buy new velvet: but may be I may beg a piece.
What shall I do? Well, now to rogue MD's letter. God be thanked for
Stella's eyes mending; and God send it holds; but faith you writ too
much at a time: better write less, or write it at ten times. Yes, faith,
a long letter in a morning from a dear friend is a dear thing. I smoke
a compliment, little mischievous girls, I do so. But who are those WIGGS
that think I am turned Tory? Do you mean Whigs? Which WIGGS and WAT do
you mean? I know nothing of Raymond, and only had one letter from him a
little after I came here.(Pray remember Morgan.) Raymond is indeed
like to have much influence over me in London, and to share much of
my conversation. I shall, no doubt, introduce him to Harley, and Lord
Keeper, and the Secretary of State. The Tatler upon Ithuriel's spear(30)
is not mine, madam. What a puzzle there is betwixt you and your
judgment! In general you may be sometimes sure of things, as that about
STYLE,(31) because it is what I have frequently spoken of; but guessing
is mine a----, and I defy mankind, if I please. Why, I writ a pamphlet
when I was last in London, that you and a thousand have seen, and never
guessed it to be mine. Could you have guessed the "Shower in Town" to be
mine? How chance you did not see that before your last letter went? but
I suppose you in Ireland did not think it worth mentioning. Nor am I
suspected for the lampoon; only Harley said he smoked me; (have I told
you so before?) and some others knew it. 'Tis called "The Rod of Sid
Hamet." And I have written several other things that I hear commended,
and nobody suspects me for them; nor you shall not know till I see you
again. What do you mean, "That boards near me, that I dine with now and
then?" I know no such person: I do not dine with boarders. What the pox!
You know whom I have dined with every day since I left you, better than
I do. What do you mean, sirrah? Slids, my ailment has been over these
two months almost. Impudence, if you vex me, I will give ten shillings
a week for my lodging; for I am almost st--k out of this with the sink,
and it helps me to verses in my "Shower."(32) Well, Madam Dingley, what
say you to the world to come? What ballad? Why go look, it was not good
for much: have patience till I come back: patience is a gay thing as,
etc. I hear nothing of Lord Mountjoy's coming for Ireland. When
is Stella's birthday? in March? Lord bless me, my turn at Christ
Church;(33) it is so natural to hear you write about that, I believe
you have done it a hundred times; it is as fresh in my mind, the verger
coming to you; and why to you? Would he have you preach for me? O, pox
on your spelling of Latin, Johnsonibus atque, that is the way. How did
the Dean get that name by the end? 'Twas you betrayed me: not I, faith;
I'll not break his head. Your mother is still in the country, I suppose;
for she promised to see me when she came to town. I writ to her four
days ago, to desire her to break it to Lady Giffard, to put some money
for you in the Bank, which was then fallen thirty per cent. Would to God
mine had been here, I should have gained one hundred pounds, and got
as good interest as in Ireland, and much securer. I would fain have
borrowed three hundred pounds; but money is so scarce here, there is no
borrowing, by this fall of stocks. 'Tis rising now, and I knew it would:
it fell from one hundred and twenty-nine to ninety-six. I have not heard
since from your mother. Do you think I would be so unkind not to see
her, that you desire me in a style so melancholy? Mrs. Raymond,(34)
you say, is with child: I am sorry for it; and so is, I believe, her
husband. Mr. Harley speaks all the kind things to me in the world; and,
I believe, would serve me, if I were to stay here; but I reckon in time
the Duke of Ormond may give me some addition to Laracor. Why should
the Whigs think I came to England to leave them? Sure my journey was no
secret. I protest sincerely, I did all I could to hinder it, as the Dean
can tell you, although now I do not repent it. But who the Devil cares
what they think? Am I under obligations in the least to any of them all?
Rot 'em, for ungrateful dogs; I will make them repent their usage before
I leave this place. They say here the same thing of my leaving the
Whigs; but they own they cannot blame me, considering the treatment I
have had. I will take care of your spectacles, as I told you before,
and of the Bishop of Killala's; but I will not write to him, I have not
time. What do you mean by my fourth, Madam Dinglibus? Does not Stella
say you have had my fifth, Goody Blunder? You frighted me till I looked
back. Well, this is enough for one night. Pray give my humble service to
Mrs. Stoyte and her sister, Kate is it, or Sarah?(35) I have forgot her
name, faith. I think I will even (and to Mrs. Walls and the Archdeacon)
send this to-morrow: no, faith, that will be in ten days from the last.
I will keep it till Saturday, though I write no more. But what if a
letter from MD should come in the meantime? Why then I would only say,
"Madam, I have received your sixth letter; your most humble servant to
command, Presto"; and so conclude. Well, now I will write and think a
little, and so to bed, and dream of MD.

9. I have my mouth full of water, and was going to spit it out, because
I reasoned with myself, how could I write when my mouth was full? Han't
you done things like that, reasoned wrong at first thinking? Well, I was
to see Mr. Lewis this morning, and am to dine a few days hence, as he
tells me, with Mr. Secretary St. John; and I must contrive to see Harley
soon again, to hasten this business from the Queen. I dined to-day at
Lord Mountrath's,(36) with Lord Mountjoy,(37) etc.; but the wine was not
good, so I came away, stayed at the Coffee-house till seven, then came
home to my fire, the maidenhead of my second half-bushel, and am now
in bed at eleven, as usual. 'Tis mighty warm; yet I fear I should catch
cold this wet weather, if I sat an evening in my room after coming from
warm places: and I must make much of myself, because MD is not here to
take care of Presto; and I am full of business, writing, etc., and do
not care for the Coffee-house; and so this serves for all together, not
to tell it you over and over, as silly people do; but Presto is a wiser
man, faith, than so, let me tell you, gentlewomen. See, I am got to
the third side; but, faith, I will not do that often; but I must say
something early to-day, till the letter is done, and on Saturday it
shall go; so I must leave something till to-morrow, till to-morrow and
next day.

10. O Lord, I would this letter was with you with all my heart! If it
should miscarry, what a deal would be lost! I forgot to leave a gap
in the last line but one for the seal, like a puppy; but I should have
allowed for night, goodnight; but when I am taking leave, I cannot leave
a bit, faith; but I fancy the seal will not come there. I dined to-day
at Lady Lucy's, where they ran down my "Shower"; and said, "Sid Hamet"
was the silliest poem they ever read; and told Prior so, whom they
thought to be author of it. Don't you wonder I never dined there before?
But I am too busy, and they live too far off; and, besides, I do not
like women so much as I did. (MD, you must know, are not women.) I
supped to-night at Addison's, with Garth, Steele, and Mr. Dopping; and
am come home late. Lewis has sent to me to desire I will dine with
some company I shall like. I suppose it is Mr. Secretary St. John's
appointment. I had a letter just now from Raymond, who is at Bristol,
and says he will be at London in a fortnight, and leave his wife behind
him; and desires any lodging in the house where I am: but that must not
be. I shall not know what to do with him in town: to be sure, I will
not present him to any acquaintance of mine; and he will live a delicate
life, a parson and a perfect stranger! Paaast twelvvve o'clock,(38) and
so good-night, etc. Oh! but I forgot, Jemmy Leigh is come to town;
says he has brought Dingley's things, and will send them with the first
convenience. My parcel, I hear, is not sent yet. He thinks of going for
Ireland in a month, etc. I cannot write tomorrow, because--what, because
of the Archbishop; because I will seal my letter early; because I am
engaged from noon till night; because of many kind of things; and yet
I will write one or two words to-morrow morning, to keep up my journal
constant, and at night I will begin my ninth.

11. Morning by candlelight. You must know that I am in my nightgown
every morning between six and seven, and Patrick is forced to ply me
fifty times before I can get on my nightgown; and so now I will take my
leave of my own dear MD for this letter, and begin my next when I come
home at night. God Almighty bless and protect dearest MD. Farewell, etc.

This letter's as long as a sermon, faith.



LETTER 9.

LONDON, Nov. 11, 1710.

I dined to-day, by invitation, with the Secretary of State, Mr. St.
John. Mr. Harley came in to us before dinner, and made me his excuses
for not dining with us, because he was to receive people who came to
propose advancing money to the Government: there dined with us only
Mr. Lewis, and Dr. Freind(1) (that writ "Lord Peterborow's Actions in
Spain"). I stayed with them till just now between ten and eleven, and
was forced again to give my eighth to the bellman, which I did with my
own hands, rather than keep it till next post. The Secretary used me
with all the kindness in the world. Prior came in after dinner; and,
upon an occasion, he (the Secretary) said, "The best thing I ever read
is not yours, but Dr. Swift's on Vanbrugh"; which I do not reckon so
very good neither.(2) But Prior was damped, until I stuffed him with two
or three compliments. I am thinking what a veneration we used to have
for Sir William Temple, because he might have been Secretary of State at
fifty; and here is a young fellow, hardly thirty, in that employment.(3)
His father is a man of pleasure,(4) that walks the Mall, and frequents
St. James's Coffee-house, and the chocolate-houses; and the young son is
principal Secretary of State. Is there not something very odd in that?
He told me, among other things, that Mr. Harley complained he could keep
nothing from me, I had the way so much of getting into him. I knew that
was a refinement; and so I told him, and it was so: indeed, it is hard
to see these great men use me like one who was their betters, and the
puppies with you in Ireland hardly regarding me: but there are some
reasons for all this, which I will tell you when we meet. At coming
home, I saw a letter from your mother, in answer to one I sent her two
days ago. It seems she is in town; but cannot come out in a morning,
just as you said; and God knows when I shall be at leisure in an
afternoon: for if I should send her a penny-post letter, and afterwards
not be able to meet her, it would vex me; and, besides, the days are
short, and why she cannot come early in a morning, before she is wanted,
I cannot imagine. I will desire her to let Lady Giffard know that she
hears I am in town; and that she would go to see me, to inquire after
you. I wonder she will confine herself so much to that old beast's
humour. You know I cannot in honour see Lady Giffard, and consequently
not go into her house. This I think is enough for the first time.

12. And how could you write with such thin paper? (I forgot to say this
in my former.) Cannot you get thicker? Why, that's a common caution that
writing-masters give their scholars; you must have heard it a hundred
times. 'Tis this:

     "If paper be thin,
      Ink will slip in;
      But, if it be thick,
      You may write with a stick."(5)

I had a letter to-day from poor Mrs. Long,(6) giving me an account of
her present life, obscure in a remote country town, and how easy she
is under it. Poor creature! 'tis just such an alteration in life, as if
Presto should be banished from MD, and condemned to converse with Mrs.
Raymond. I dined to-day with Ford, Sir Richard Levinge,(7) etc., at a
place where they board, hard by. I was lazy, and not very well, sitting
so long with company yesterday. I have been very busy writing this
evening at home, and had a fire: I am spending my second half-bushel of
coals; and now am in bed, and 'tis late.

13. I dined to-day in the City, and then went to christen Will
Frankland's(8) child; and Lady Falconbridge(9) was one of the
godmothers: this is a daughter of Oliver Cromwell, and extremely like
him by his pictures that I have seen. I stayed till almost eleven, and
am now come home and gone to bed. My business in the City was, to thank
Stratford for a kindness he has done me, which now I will tell you. I
found Bank Stock was fallen thirty-four in the hundred, and was mighty
desirous to buy it; but I was a little too late for the cheapest time,
being hindered by business here; for I was so wise to guess to a day
when it would fall. My project was this: I had three hundred pounds in
Ireland; and so I writ to Mr. Stratford in the City, to desire he would
buy me three hundred pounds in Bank Stock, and that he should keep the
papers, and that I would be bound to pay him for them; and, if it
should rise or fall, I would take my chance, and pay him interest in the
meantime. I showed my letter to one or two people who understand those
things; and they said money was so hard to be got here, that no man
would do it for me. However, Stratford, who is the most generous man
alive, has done it: but it costs one hundred pounds and a half, that is,
ten shillings; so that three hundred pounds cost me three hundred pounds
and thirty shillings. This was done about a week ago, and I can have
five pounds for my bargain already. Before it fell, it was one hundred
and thirty pounds; and we are sure it will be the same again. I told
you I writ to your mother, to desire that Lady Giffard would do the same
with what she owes you; but she tells your mother she has no money.
I would to God all you had in the world was there. Whenever you lend
money, take this rule, to have two people bound, who have both visible
fortunes; for they will hardly die together; and, when one dies, you
fall upon the other, and make him add another security: and if Rathburn
(now I have his name) pays you in your money, let me know, and I will
direct Parvisol accordingly: however, he shall wait on you and know. So,
ladies, enough of business for one night. Paaaaast twelvvve o'clock. I
must only add, that, after a long fit of rainy weather, it has been fair
two or three days, and is this day grown cold and frosty; so that you
must give poor little Presto leave to have a fire in his chamber morning
and evening too; and he will do as much for you.

14. What, has your Chancellor(10) lost his senses, like Will Crowe?(11)
I forgot to tell Dingley that I was yesterday at Ludgate, bespeaking the
spectacles at the great shop there, and shall have them in a day or two.
This has been an insipid day. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and came
gravely home, after just visiting the Coffee-house. Sir Richard Cox,(12)
they say, is sure of going over Lord Chancellor, who is as arrant a
puppy as ever ate bread: but the Duke of Ormond has a natural affection
to puppies; which is a thousand pities, being none himself. I have been
amusing myself at home till now, and in bed bid you good-night.

15. I have been visiting this morning, but nobody was at home, Secretary
St. John, Sir Thomas Hanmer,(13) Sir Chancellor Cox-comb, etc. I
attended the Duke of Ormond with about fifty other Irish gentlemen at
Skinners' Hall, where the Londonderry Society laid out three hundred
pounds to treat us and his Grace with a dinner. Three great tables
with the dessert laid in mighty figure. Sir Richard Levinge and I got
discreetly to the head of the second table, to avoid the crowd at the
first: but it was so cold, and so confounded a noise with the trumpets
and hautboys, that I grew weary, and stole away before the second course
came on; so I can give you no account of it, which is a thousand pities.
I called at Ludgate for Dingley's glasses, and shall have them in a day
or two; and I doubt it will cost me thirty shillings for a microscope,
but not without Stella's permission; for I remember she is a virtuoso.
Shall I buy it or no? 'Tis not the great bulky ones, nor the common
little ones, to impale a louse (saving your presence) upon a needle's
point; but of a more exact sort, and clearer to the sight, with all its
equipage in a little trunk that you may carry in your pocket. Tell me,
sirrah, shall I buy it or not for you? I came home straight, etc.

16. I dined to-day in the city with Mr. Manley,(14) who invited Mr.
Addison and me, and some other friends, to his lodging, and entertained
us very handsomely. I returned with Mr. Addison, and loitered till nine
in the Coffee-house, where I am hardly known, by going so seldom. I am
here soliciting for Trounce; you know him: he was gunner in the former
yacht, and would fain be so in the present one if you remember him,
a good, lusty, fresh-coloured fellow. Shall I stay till I get another
letter from MD before I close up this? Mr. Addison and I meet a little
seldomer than formerly, although we are still at bottom as good friends
as ever, but differ a little about party.

17. To-day I went to Lewis at the Secretary's office; where I saw and
spoke to Mr. Harley, who promised, in a few days, to finish the rest of
my business. I reproached him for putting me on the necessity of minding
him of it, and rallied him, etc., which he took very well. I dined
to-day with one Mr. Gore, elder brother to a young merchant of my
acquaintance; and Stratford and my other friend merchants dined with us,
where I stayed late, drinking claret and burgundy; and am just got to
bed, and will say no more, but that it now begins to be time to have a
letter from my own little MD; for the last I had above a fortnight ago,
and the date was old too.

18. To-day I dined with Lewis and Prior at an eating-house, but
with Lewis's wine. Lewis went away, and Prior and I sat on, where we
complimented one another for an hour or two upon our mutual wit and
poetry. Coming home at seven, a gentleman unknown stopped me in the Pall
Mall, and asked my advice; said he had been to see the Queen (who was
just come to town), and the people in waiting would not let him see her;
that he had two hundred thousand men ready to serve her in the war; that
he knew the Queen perfectly well, and had an apartment at Court, and
if she heard he was there, she would send for him immediately; that she
owed him two hundred thousand pounds, etc., and he desired my opinion,
whether he should go try again whether he could see her; or because,
perhaps, she was weary after her journey, whether he had not better stay
till to-morrow. I had a mind to get rid of my companion, and begged
him of all love to go and wait on her immediately; for that, to my
knowledge, the Queen would admit him; that this was an affair of great
importance, and required despatch: and I instructed him to let me know
the success of his business, and come to the Smyrna Coffee-house, where
I would wait for him till midnight; and so ended this adventure. I would
have fain given the man half a crown; but was afraid to offer it him,
lest he should be offended; for, beside his money, he said he had a
thousand pounds a year. I came home not early; and so, madams both,
goodnight, etc.

19. I dined to-day with poor Lord Mountjoy, who is ill of the gout; and
this evening I christened our coffee-man Elliot's(15) child, where the
rogue had a most noble supper, and Steele and I sat among some scurvy
company over a bowl of punch; so that I am come home late, young women,
and can't stay to write to little rogues.

20. I loitered at home, and dined with Sir Andrew Fountaine at his
lodging, and then came home: a silly day.

21. I was visiting all this morning, and then went to the Secretary's
office, and found Mr. Harley, with whom I dined; and Secretary St. John,
etc., and Harley promised in a very few days to finish what remains
of my business. Prior was of the company, and we all dine at the
Secretary's to-morrow. I saw Stella's mother this morning: she came
early, and we talked an hour. I wish you would propose to Lady Giffard
to take the three hundred pounds out of her hands, and give her common
interest for life, and security that you will pay her: the Bishop of
Clogher, or any friend, would be security for you, if you gave them
counter-security; and it may be argued that it will pass better to be
in your hands than hers, in case of mortality, etc. Your mother says,
if you write, she will second it; and you may write to your mother, and
then it will come from her. She tells me Lady Giffard has a mind to see
me, by her discourse; but I told her what to say, with a vengeance. She
told Lady Giffard she was going to see me: she looks extremely well. I
am writing(16) in my bed like a tiger; and so good-night, etc.

22. I dined with Secretary St. John; and Lord Dartmouth, who is t'other
Secretary, dined with us, and Lord Orrery(17) and Prior, etc. Harley
called, but could not dine with us, and would have had me away while I
was at dinner; but I did not like the company he was to have. We stayed
till eight, and I called at the Coffee-house, and looked where the
letters lie; but no letter directed for Mr. Presto: at last I saw a
letter to Mr. Addison, and it looked like a rogue's hand; so I made the
fellow give it me, and opened it before him, and saw three letters all
for myself: so, truly, I put them in my pocket, and came home to my
lodging. Well, and so you shall hear: well, and so I found one of
them in Dingley's hand, and t'other in Stella's, and the third in
Domville's.(18) Well, so you shall hear; so, said I to myself, What now,
two letters from MD together? But I thought there was something in the
wind; so I opened one, and I opened t'other; and so you shall hear, one
was from Walls. Well, but t'other was from our own dear MD; yes it was.
O faith, have you received my seventh, young women, already? Then I must
send this to-morrow, else there will be old(19) doings at our house,
faith.--Well, I won't answer your letter in this: no, faith, catch me
at that, and I never saw the like. Well; but as to Walls, tell him
(with service to him and wife, etc.) that I have no imagination of Mr.
Pratt's(20) losing his place: and while Pratt continues, Clements is in
no danger; and I have already engaged Lord Hyde(21) he speaks of, for
Pratt and twenty others; but, if such a thing should happen, I will
do what I can. I have above ten businesses of other people's now on my
hands, and, I believe, shall miscarry in half. It is your sixth I now
have received. I writ last post to the Bishop of Clogher again. Shall I
send this to-morrow? Well, I will, to oblige MD. Which would you rather,
a short letter every week, or a long one every fortnight? A long one;
well, it shall be done, and so good-night. Well, but is this a long one?
No, I warrant you: too long for naughty girls.

23. I only ask, have you got both the ten pounds, or only the first; I
hope you mean both. Pray be good housewives; and I beg you to walk when
you can, for health. Have you the horse in town? and do you ever ride
him? how often? Confess. Ahhh, sirrah, have I caught you? Can you
contrive to let Mrs. Fenton(22) know, that the request she has made me
in her letter I will use what credit I have to bring about, although I
hear it is very difficult, and I doubt I shall not succeed? Cox is not
to be your Chancellor: all joined against him. I have been supping with
Lord Peterborow at his house, with Prior, Lewis, and Dr. Freind. 'Tis
the ramblingest lying rogue on earth. Dr. Raymond is come to town: 'tis
late, and so I bid you good-night.

24. I tell you, pretty management! Ned Southwell told me the other day
he had a letter from the bishops of Ireland, with an address to the Duke
of Ormond, to intercede with the Queen to take off the First-Fruits. I
dined with him to-day, and saw it, with another letter to him from the
Bishop of Kildare,(23) to call upon me for the papers, etc.; and I had
last post one from the Archbishop of Dublin, telling me the reason of
this proceeding; that, upon hearing the Duke of Ormond was declared Lord
Lieutenant, they met; and the bishops were for this project, and talked
coldly of my being solicitor, as one that was favoured by t'other party,
etc., but desired that I would still solicit.(24) Now the wisdom of this
is admirable; for I had given the Archbishop an account of my reception
from Mr. Harley, and how he had spoken to the Queen, and promised it
should be done; but Mr. Harley ordered me to tell no person alive. Some
time after, he gave me leave to let the Primate and Archbishop know that
the Queen had remitted the First-Fruits; and that in a short time they
should have an account of it in form from Lord Dartmouth, Secretary of
State. So while their letter was on the road to the Duke of Ormond and
Southwell, mine was going to them with an account of the thing being
done. I writ a very warm answer(25) to the Archbishop immediately; and
showed my resentments, as I ought, against the bishops; only, in good
manners, excepting himself. I wonder what they will say when they hear
the thing is done. I was yesterday forced to tell Southwell so, that
the Queen had done it, etc.; for he said, my Lord Duke would think of
it some months hence, when he was going for Ireland; and he had it three
years in doing formerly, without any success. I give you free leave to
say, on occasion, that it is done; and that Mr. Harley prevailed on the
Queen to do it, etc., as you please. As I hope to live, I despise the
credit of it, out of an excess of pride; and desire you will not give
me the least merit when you talk of it; but I would vex the bishops, and
have it spread that Mr. Harley had done it: pray do so. Your mother
sent me last night a parcel of wax candles, and a bandbox full of small
plumcakes. I thought it had been something for you; and, without opening
them, sent answer by the maid that brought them, that I would take care
to send the things, etc.; but I will write her thanks. Is this a long
letter, sirrahs? Now, are you satisfied? I have had no fit since the
first: I drink brandy every morning, and take pills every night. Never
fear, I an't vexed at this puppy business of the bishops, although I was
a little at first. I will tell you my reward: Mr. Harley will think he
has done me a favour; the Duke of Ormond, perhaps, that I have put a
neglect on him; and the bishops in Ireland, that I have done nothing at
all. So goes the world. But I have got above all this, and, perhaps, I
have better reason for it than they know: and so you shall hear no more
of First-Fruits, dukes, Harleys, archbishops, and Southwells.

I have slipped off Raymond upon some of his countrymen, to show him the
town, etc., and I lend him Patrick. He desires to sit with me in the
evenings; upon which I have given Patrick positive orders that I am not
within at evenings.



LETTER 10.

LONDON, Nov. 25, 1710.

I will tell you something that's plaguy silly: I had forgot to say on
the 23d in my last, where I dined; and because I had done it constantly,
I thought it was a great omission, and was going to interline it; but at
last the silliness of it made me cry, Pshah, and I let it alone. I was
to-day to see the Parliament meet; but only saw a great crowd; and Ford
and I went to see the tombs at Westminster, and sauntered so long I
was forced to go to an eating-house for my dinner. Bromley(1) is chosen
Speaker, nemine contradicente: Do you understand those two words?
And Pompey, Colonel Hill's(2) black, designs to stand Speaker for the
footmen.(3) I am engaged to use my interest for him, and have spoken to
Patrick to get him some votes. We are now all impatient for the Queen's
speech, what she will say about removing the Ministry, etc. I have got
a cold, and I don't know how; but got it I have, and am hoarse: I don't
know whether it will grow better or worse. What's that to you? I won't
answer your letter to-night. I'll keep you a little longer in suspense:
I can't send it. Your mother's cakes are very good, and one of them
serves me for a breakfast, and so I'll go sleep like a good boy.

26. I have got a cruel cold, and stayed within all this day in my
nightgown, and dined on sixpennyworth of victuals, and read and writ,
and was denied to everybody. Dr. Raymond(4) called often, and I was
denied; and at last, when I was weary, I let him come up, and asked him,
without consequence, how Patrick denied me, and whether he had the
art of it? So by this means he shall be used to have me denied to him;
otherwise he would be a plaguy trouble and hindrance to me: he has sat
with me two hours, and drank a pint of ale cost me fivepence, and smoked
his pipe, and it is now past eleven that he is just gone. Well, my
eighth is with you now, young women; and your seventh to me is somewhere
in a post-boy's bag; and so go to your gang of deans, and Stoytes, and
Walls, and lose your money; go, sauceboxes: and so good-night, and be
happy, dear rogues. Oh, but your box was sent to Dr. Hawkshaw by Sterne,
and you will have it with Hawkshaw, and spectacles, etc., etc.

27. To-day Mr. Harley met me in the Court of Requests,(5) and whispered
me to dine with him. At dinner I told him what those bishops had done,
and the difficulty I was under. He bid me never trouble myself; he would
tell the Duke of Ormond the business was done, and that he need not
concern himself about it. So now I am easy, and they may hang themselves
for a parcel of insolent, ungrateful rascals. I suppose I told you in
my last, how they sent an address to the Duke of Ormond, and a letter to
Southwell, to call on me for the papers, after the thing was over; but
they had not received my letter, though the Archbishop might, by what
I writ to him, have expected it would be done. Well, there is an end of
that; and in a little time the Queen will send them notice, etc. And
so the methods will be settled; and then I shall think of returning,
although the baseness of those bishops makes me love Ireland less than I
did.

28. Lord Halifax sent to invite me to dinner; where I stayed till six,
and crossed him in all his Whig talk, and made him often come over to
me. I know he makes court to the new men, although he affects to talk
like a Whig. I had a letter to-day from the Bishop of Clogher; but
I writ to him lately, that I would obey his commands to the Duke of
Ormond. He says I bid him read the London "Shaver," and that you both
swore it was "Shaver," and not "Shower."(6) You all lie, and you are
puppies, and can't read Presto's hand. The Bishop is out entirely in his
conjectures of my share in the Tatlers.--I have other things to mind,
and of much greater importance;(7) else I have little to do to be
acquainted with a new Ministry, who consider me a little more than Irish
bishops do.

29. Now for your saucy, good dear letter: let me see, what does it
say? come then. I dined to-day with Ford, and went home early; he
debauched(8) me to his chamber again with a bottle of wine till twelve:
so good-night. I cannot write an answer now, you rogues.

30. To-day I have been visiting, which I had long neglected; and I dined
with Mrs. Barton alone; and sauntered at the Coffee-house till past
eight, and have been busy till eleven, and now I'll answer your letter,
saucebox. Well, let me see now again. My wax candle's almost out, but
however I'll begin. Well then, do not be so tedious, Mr. Presto;
what can you say to MD's letter? Make haste, have done with your
preambles--Why, I say I am glad you are so often abroad; your mother
thinks it is want of exercise hurts you, and so do I. (She called here
to-night, but I was not within, that's by the bye.) Sure you do not
deceive me, Stella, when you say you are in better health than you were
these three weeks; for Dr. Raymond told me yesterday, that Smyth of the
Blind Quay had been telling Mr. Leigh that he left you extremely ill;
and in short, spoke so, that he almost put poor Leigh into tears, and
would have made me run distracted; though your letter is dated the 11th
instant, and I saw Smyth in the city above a fortnight ago, as I passed
by in a coach. Pray, pray, don't write, Stella, until you are mighty,
mighty, mighty, mighty well in your eyes, and are sure it won't do you
the least hurt. Or come, I'll tell you what; you, Mistress Stella, shall
write your share at five or six sittings, one sitting a day; and then
comes Dingley all together, and then Stella a little crumb towards
the end, to let us see she remembers Presto; and then conclude with
something handsome and genteel, as your most humblecumdumble, or, etc.
O Lord! does Patrick write word of my not coming till spring? Insolent
man! he know my secrets? No; as my Lord Mayor said, No; if I thought my
shirt knew, etc. Faith, I will come as soon as it is any way proper for
me to come; but, to say the truth, I am at present a little involved
with the present Ministry in some certain things (which I tell you as a
secret); and soon as ever I can clear my hands, I will stay no longer;
for I hope the First-Fruit business will be soon over in all its forms.
But, to say the truth, the present Ministry have a difficult task,
and want me, etc. Perhaps they may be just as grateful as others:
but, according to the best judgment I have, they are pursuing the true
interest of the public; and therefore I am glad to contribute what is
in my power. For God's sake, not a word of this to any alive.--Your
Chancellor?(9) Why, madam, I can tell you he has been dead this
fortnight. Faith, I could hardly forbear our little language about a
nasty dead Chancellor, as you may see by the blot.(10) Ploughing? A pox
plough them; they'll plough me to nothing. But have you got your money,
both the ten pounds? How durst he pay you the second so soon? Pray be
good huswifes. Ay, well, and Joe, why, I had a letter lately from Joe,
desiring I would take some care of their poor town,(11) who, he says,
will lose their liberties. To which I desired Dr. Raymond would return
answer, that the town had behaved themselves so ill to me, so little
regarded the advice I gave them, and disagreed so much among themselves,
that I was resolved never to have more to do with them; but that
whatever personal kindness I could do to Joe, should be done. Pray, when
you happen to see Joe, tell him this, lest Raymond should have blundered
or forgotten--Poor Mrs. Wesley!--Why these poligyes(12) for being
abroad? Why should you be at home at all, until Stella is quite
well?--So, here is Mistress Stella again, with her two eggs, etc. My
"Shower" admired with you; why, the Bishop of Clogher says, he has seen
something of mine of the same sort, better than the "Shower." I suppose
he means "The Morning";(13) but it is not half so good. I want your
judgment of things, and not your country's. How does MD like it? and do
they taste it ALL? etc. I am glad Dean Bolton(14) has paid the twenty
pounds. Why should not I chide the Bishop of Clogher for writing to the
Archbishop of Cashel,(15) without sending the letter first to me? It
does not signify a ----; for he has no credit at Court. Stuff--they are
all puppies. I will break your head in good earnest, young woman, for
your nasty jest about Mrs. Barton.(16) Unlucky sluttikin, what a word is
there! Faith, I was thinking yesterday, when I was with her, whether she
could break them or no, and it quite spoilt my imagination. "Mrs. Walls,
does Stella win as she pretends?" "No indeed, Doctor; she loses always,
and will play so VENTERSOMELY, how can she win?" See here now; an't
you an impudent lying slut? Do, open Domville's letter; what does it
signify, if you have a mind? Yes, faith, you write smartly with your
eyes shut; all was well but the _n_. See how I can do it; MADAM STELLA,
YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT.(17) O, but one may look whether one goes crooked or
no, and so write on. I will tell you what you may do; you may write with
your eyes half shut, just as when one is going to sleep: I have done
so for two or three lines now; it is but just seeing enough to go
straight.--Now, Madam Dingley, I think I bid you tell Mr. Walls that, in
case there be occasion, I will serve his friend as far as I can; but I
hope there will be none. Yet I believe you will have a new Parliament;
but I care not whether you have or no a better. You are mistaken in all
your conjectures about the Tatlers. I have given him one or two
hints, and you have heard me talk about the Shilling.(18) Faith, these
answering letters are very long ones: you have taken up almost the room
of a week in journals; and I will tell you what, I saw fellows wearing
crosses to-day,(19) and I wondered what was the matter; but just this
minute I recollect it is little Presto's birthday; and I was resolved
these three days to remember it when it came, but could not. Pray, drink
my health to-day at dinner; do, you rogues. Do you like "Sid Hamet's
Rod"? Do you understand it all? Well, now at last I have done with your
letter, and so I will lay me down to sleep, and about, fair maids; and I
hope merry maids all.

Dec. 1. Morning. I wish Smyth were hanged. I was dreaming the most
melancholy things in the world of poor Stella, and was grieving and
crying all night.--Pshah, it is foolish: I will rise and divert myself;
so good-morrow; and God of His infinite mercy keep and protect you!
The Bishop of Clogher's letter is dated Nov. 21. He says you thought of
going with him to Clogher. I am heartily glad of it, and wish you would
ride there, and Dingley go in a coach. I have had no fit since my first,
although sometimes my head is not quite in good order.--At night. I was
this morning to visit Mr. Pratt, who is come over with poor, sick Lord
Shelburne: they made me dine with them; and there I stayed, like a
booby, till eight, looking over them at ombre, and then came home. Lord
Shelburne's giddiness is turned into a colic, and he looks miserably.

2. Steele, the rogue, has done the imprudentest thing in the world:
he said something in a Tatler,(20) that we ought to use the word Great
Britain, and not England, in common conversation, as, "The finest lady
in Great Britain," etc. Upon this, Rowe, Prior, and I sent him a letter,
turning this into ridicule. He has to-day printed the letter,(21) and
signed it J.S., M.P., and N.R., the first letters of all our names.
Congreve told me to-day, he smoked it immediately. Congreve and I, and
Sir Charles Wager, dined to-day at Delaval's, the Portugal Envoy; and I
stayed there till eight, and came home, and am now writing to you before
I do business, because that dog Patrick is not at home, and the fire
is not made, and I am not in my gear. Pox take him!--I was looking
by chance at the top of this side, and find I make plaguy mistakes
in words; so that you must fence against that as well as bad writing.
Faith, I can't nor won't read what I have written. (Pox of this puppy!)
Well, I'll leave you till I am got to bed, and then I will say a word or
two.--Well, 'tis now almost twelve, and I have been busy ever since,
by a fire too (I have my coals by half a bushel at a time, I'll assure
you), and now I am got to bed. Well, and what have you to say to Presto
now he is abed? Come now, let us hear your speeches. No, 'tis a lie; I
an't sleepy yet. Let us sit up a little longer, and talk. Well, where
have you been to-day, that you are but just this minute come home in a
coach? What have you lost? Pay the coachman, Stella. No, faith, not I,
he'll grumble.--What new acquaintance have you got? come, let us hear.
I have made Delaval promise to send me some Brazil tobacco from
Portugal for you, Madam Dingley. I hope you will have your chocolate and
spectacles before this comes to you.

3. Pshaw, I must be writing to these dear saucy brats every night,
whether I will or no, let me have what business I will, or come home
ever so late, or be ever so sleepy; but an old saying, and a true one,

     "Be you lords, or be you earls,
      You must write to naughty girls."

I was to-day at Court, and saw Raymond among the Beefeaters, staying to
see the Queen: so I put him in a better station, made two or three
dozen of bows, and went to church, and then to Court again, to pick up
a dinner, as I did with Sir John Stanley; and then we went to visit Lord
Mountjoy, and just now left him; and 'tis near eleven at night, young
women; and methinks this letter comes pretty near to the bottom, and
'tis but eight days since the date, and don't think I'll write on
the other side, I thank you for nothing. Faith, if I would use you to
letters on sheets as broad as this room, you would always expect them
from me. O, faith, I know you well enough; but an old saying, etc.,

     "Two sides in a sheet,
      And one in a street."

I think that's but a silly old saying; and so I'll go to sleep, and do
you so too.

4. I dined to-day with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and then came home, and studied
till eleven. No adventure at all to-day.

5. So I went to the Court of Requests (we have had the Devil and all of
rain by the bye) to pick up a dinner; and Henley made me go dine
with him and one Colonel Bragg(22) at a tavern; cost me money, faith.
Congreve was to be there, but came not. I came with Henley to the
Coffee-house, where Lord Salisbury(23) seemed mighty desirous to talk
with me; and, while he was wriggling himself into my favour, that dog
Henley asked me aloud, whether I would go to see Lord Somers as I had
promised (which was a lie); and all to vex poor Lord Salisbury, who is a
high Tory. He played two or three other such tricks; and I was forced
to leave my lord, and I came home at seven, and have been writing ever
since, and will now go to bed. The other day I saw Jack Temple(24) in
the Court of Requests: it was the first time of seeing him; so we talked
two or three careless words, and parted. Is it true that your Recorder
and Mayor, and fanatic aldermen, a month or two ago, at a solemn feast,
drank Mr. Harley's, Lord Rochester's,(25) and other Tory healths? Let me
know; it was confidently said here.--The scoundrels! It shan't do, Tom.

6. When is this letter to go, I wonder? harkee, young women, tell me
that. Saturday next for certain, and not before: then it will be just
a fortnight; time enough for naughty girls, and long enough for two
letters, faith. Congreve and Delaval have at last prevailed on Sir
Godfrey Kneller to entreat me to let him draw my picture for nothing;
but I know not yet when I shall sit.(26)--It is such monstrous rainy
weather, that there is no doing with it. Secretary St. John sent to me
this morning, that my dining with him to-day was put off till to-morrow;
so I peaceably sat with my neighbour Ford, dined with him, and came home
at six, and am now in bed as usual; and now it is time to have another
letter from MD, yet I would not have it till this goes; for that would
look like two letters for one. Is it not whimsical that the Dean has
never once written to me? And I find the Archbishop very silent to that
letter I sent him with an account that the business was done. I believe
he knows not what to write or say; and I have since written twice to
him, both times with a vengeance.(27) Well, go to bed, sirrahs, and so
will I. But have you lost to-day? Three shillings! O fie, O fie!

7. No, I won't send this letter to-day, nor till Saturday, faith; and I
am so afraid of one from MD between this and that; if it comes, I will
just say I received a letter, and that is all. I dined to-day with Mr.
Secretary St. John, where were Lord Anglesea,(28) Sir Thomas Hanmer,
Prior, Freind, etc., and then made a debauch after nine at Prior's
house, and have eaten cold pie, and I hate the thoughts of it, and I am
full, and I don't like it, and I will go to bed, and it is late, and so
good-night.

8. To-day I dined with Mr. Harley and Prior; but Mr. St. John did not
come, though he promised: he chid me for not seeing him oftener. Here is
a damned, libellous pamphlet come out against Lord Wharton, giving the
character first, and then telling some of his actions: the character is
very well, but the facts indifferent.(29) It has been sent by dozens to
several gentlemen's lodgings, and I had one or two of them; but nobody
knows the author or printer. We are terribly afraid of the plague; they
say it is at Newcastle.(30) I begged Mr. Harley for the love of God to
take some care about it, or we are all ruined. There have been orders
for all ships from the Baltic to pass their quarantine before they land;
but they neglect it. You remember I have been afraid these two years.

9. O, faith, you are a saucy rogue. I have had your sixth letter just
now, before this is gone; but I will not answer a word of it, only
that I never was giddy since my first fit; but I have had a cold just a
fortnight, and cough with it still morning and evening; but it will go
off. It is, however, such abominable weather that no creature can walk.
They say here three of your Commissioners will be turned out, Ogle,
South, and St. Quintin;(31) and that Dick Stewart(32) and Ludlow will
be two of the new ones. I am a little soliciting for another: it is poor
Lord Abercorn,(33) but that is a secret; I mean, that I befriend him
is a secret; but I believe it is too late, by his own fault and ill
fortune. I dined with him to-day. I am heartily sorry you do not go
to Clogher, faith, I am; and so God Almighty protect poor, dear,
dear, dear, dearest MD. Farewell till to-night. I'll begin my eleventh
to-night; so I am always writing to little MD.



LETTER 11.

LONDON, Dec. 9, 1710.

So, young women, I have just sent my tenth to the post-office, and, as I
told you, have received your seventh (faith, I am afraid I mistook,
and said your sixth, and then we shall be all in confusion this month.)
Well, I told you I dined with Lord Abercorn to-day; and that is
enough till by and bye; for I must go write idle things, and twittle
twattle.(1) What's here to do with your little MD's? and so I put this
by for a while. 'Tis now late, and I can only say MD is a dear, saucy
rogue, and what then? Presto loves them the better.

10. This son of a b---- Patrick is out of the way, and I can do nothing;
am forced to borrow coals: 'tis now six o'clock, and I am come home
after a pure walk in the park; delicate weather, begun only to-day.
A terrible storm last night: we hear one of your packet-boats is cast
away, and young Beau Swift(2) in it, and General Sankey:(3) I know not
the truth; you will before me. Raymond talks of leaving the town in a
few days, and going in a month to Ireland, for fear his wife should be
too far gone, and forced to be brought to bed here. I think he is in the
right; but perhaps this packet-boat will fright him. He has no relish
for London; and I do not wonder at it. He has got some Templars from
Ireland that show him the town. I do not let him see me above twice a
week, and that only while I am dressing in the morning.--So, now the
puppy's come in, and I have got my own ink, but a new pen; and so now
you are rogues and sauceboxes till I go to bed; for I must go study,
sirrahs. Now I think of it, tell the Bishop of Clogher, he shall not
cheat me of one inch of my bell metal. You know it is nothing but to
save the town money; and Enniskillen can afford it better than Laracor:
he shall have but one thousand five hundred weight. I have been reading,
etc., as usual, and am now going to bed; and I find this day's article
is long enough: so get you gone till to-morrow, and then. I dined with
Sir Matthew Dudley.

11. I am come home again as yesterday, and the puppy had again locked up
my ink, notwithstanding all I said to him yesterday; but he came home a
little after me, so all is well: they are lighting my fire, and I'll go
study. The fair weather is gone again, and it has rained all day. I do
not like this open weather, though some say it is healthy. They say
it is a false report about the plague at Newcastle.(4) I have no news
to-day: I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, to desire them to buy me a scarf;
and Lady Abercorn(5) is to buy me another, to see who does best: mine is
all in rags. I saw the Duke of Richmond(6) yesterday at Court again, but
would not speak to him: I believe we are fallen out. I am now in bed;
and it has rained all this evening, like wildfire: have you so much rain
in your town? Raymond was in a fright, as I expected, upon the news of
this shipwreck; but I persuaded him, and he leaves this town in a week.
I got him acquainted with Sir Robert Raymond,(7) the Solicitor-General,
who owns him to be of his family; and I believe it may do him a
kindness, by being recommended to your new Lord Chancellor.--I had a
letter from Mrs. Long, that has quite turned my stomach against her:
no less than two nasty jests in it, with dashes to suppose them. She is
corrupted in that country town(8) with vile conversation.--I will not
answer your letter till I have leisure: so let this go on as it will,
what care I? what cares saucy Presto?

12. I was to-day at the Secretary's office with Lewis, and in came Lord
Rivers;(9) who took Lewis out and whispered him; and then came up to me
to desire my acquaintance, etc., so we bowed and complimented a while,
and parted and I dined with Phil. Savage(10) and his Irish Club, at
their boarding-place; and, passing an evening scurvily enough, did not
come home till eight. Mr. Addison and I hardly meet once a fortnight;
his Parliament and my different friendships keep us asunder. Sir Matthew
Dudley turned away his butler yesterday morning; and at night the poor
fellow died suddenly in the streets: was not it an odd event? But what
care you? But then I knew the butler.--Why, it seems your packet-boat is
not lost: psha, how silly that is, when I had already gone through the
forms, and said it was a sad thing, and that I was sorry for it! But
when must I answer this letter of our MD's? Here it is, it lies between
this paper on t'other side of the leaf: one of these odd-come-shortly's
I'll consider, and so good-night.

13. Morning. I am to go trapesing with Lady Kerry(11) and Mrs. Pratt(12)
to see sights all this day: they engaged me yesterday morning at tea.
You hear the havoc making in the army: Meredith, Maccartney, and Colonel
Honeywood(13) are obliged to sell their commands at half-value, and
leave the army, for drinking destruction to the present Ministry, and
dressing up a hat on a stick, and calling it Harley; then drinking a
glass with one hand, and discharging a pistol with the other at the
maukin,(14) wishing it were Harley himself; and a hundred other such
pretty tricks, as inflaming their soldiers, and foreign Ministers,
against the late changes at Court. Cadogan(15) has had a little paring:
his mother(16) told me yesterday he had lost the place of Envoy; but I
hope they will go no further with him, for he was not at those mutinous
meetings.--Well, these saucy jades take up so much of my time with
writing to them in a morning; but, faith, I am glad to see you whenever
I can: a little snap and away; and so hold your tongue, for I must rise:
not a word, for your life. How nowww? So, very well; stay till I come
home, and then, perhaps, you may hear further from me. And where will
you go to-day, for I can't be with you for these ladies? It is a rainy,
ugly day. I'd have you send for Walls, and go to the Dean's; but don't
play small games when you lose. You'll be ruined by Manilio, Basto,
the queen, and two small trumps, in red.(17) I confess 'tis a good hand
against the player: but then there are Spadilio, Punto, the king, strong
trumps, against you, which, with one trump more, are three tricks ten
ace: for, suppose you play your Manilio--Oh, silly, how I prate, and
can't get away from this MD in a morning! Go, get you gone, dear naughty
girls, and let me rise. There, Patrick locked up my ink again the third
time last night: the rogue gets the better of me; but I will rise
in spite of you, sirrahs.--At night. Lady Kerry, Mrs. Pratt, Mrs.
Cadogan,(18) and I, in one coach; Lady Kerry's son(19) and his governor,
and two gentlemen, in another; maids, and misses and little master
(Lord Shelburne's(20) children, in a third, all hackneys, set out at ten
o'clock this morning from Lord Shelburne's house in Piccadilly to the
Tower, and saw all the sights, lions,(21) etc.; then to Bedlam;(22) then
dined at the chop-house behind the Exchange; then to Gresham College(23)
(but the keeper was not at home); and concluded the night at the
Puppet-show,(24) whence we came home safe at eight, and I left them. The
ladies were all in mobs(25) (how do you call it?), undrest; and it was
the rainiest day that ever dripped; and I am weary; and it is now past
eleven.

14. Stay, I'll answer some of your letter this morning in bed: let me
see; come and appear, little letter. Here I am, says he: and what
say you to Mrs. MD this morning fresh and fasting? Who dares think MD
negligent? I allow them a fortnight; and they give it me. I could fill
a letter in a week; but it is longer every day; and so I keep it a
fortnight, and then 'tis cheaper by one half. I have never been giddy,
dear Stella, since that morning: I have taken a whole box of pills,
and kecked(26) at them every night, and drank a pint of brandy at
mornings.--Oh then, you kept Presto's little birthday:(27) would to
God I had been with you! I forgot it, as I told you before. REdiculous,
madam? I suppose you mean rIdiculous: let me have no more of that; 'tis
the author of the Atalantis's(28) spelling. I have mended it in your
letter. And can Stella read this writing without hurting her dear eyes?
O, faith, I am afraid not. Have a care of those eyes, pray, pray, pretty
Stella.--'Tis well enough what you observe, that, if I writ better,
perhaps you would not read so well, being used to this manner; 'tis an
alphabet you are used to: you know such a pot-hook makes a letter; and
you know what letter, and so and so.--I'll swear he told me so, and that
they were long letters too; but I told him it was a gasconnade of
yours, etc. I am talking of the Bishop of Clogher, how he forgot. Turn
over.(29) I had not room on t'other side to say that, so I did it on
this: I fancy that's a good Irish blunder. Ah, why do not you go down to
Clogher, nautinautinautideargirls; I dare not say nauti without dear: O,
faith, you govern me. But, seriously, I'm sorry you don't go, as far as
I can judge at this distance. No, we would get you another horse; I will
make Parvisol get you one. I always doubted that horse of yours: prythee
sell him, and let it be a present to me. My heart aches when I think you
ride him. Order Parvisol to sell him, and that you are to return me the
money: I shall never be easy until he is out of your hands. Faith,
I have dreamt five or six times of horses stumbling since I had your
letter. If he can't sell him, let him run this winter. Faith, if I was
near you, I would whip your ---- to some tune, for your grave, saucy
answer about the Dean and Johnsonibus; I would, young women. And did the
Dean preach for me?(30) Very well. Why, would they have me stand here
and preach to them? No, the Tatler of the Shilling(31) was not mine,
more than the hint, and two or three general heads for it. I have much
more important business on my hands; and, besides, the Ministry hate
to think that I should help him, and have made reproaches on it; and I
frankly told them I would do it no more. This is a secret though, Madam
Stella. You win eight shillings? you win eight fiddlesticks. Faith, you
say nothing of what you lose, young women.--I hope Manley is in no great
danger; for Ned Southwell is his friend, and so is Sir Thomas Frankland;
and his brother John Manley stands up heartily for him. On t'other
side, all the gentlemen of Ireland here are furiously against him. Now,
Mistress Dingley, an't you an impudent slut, to expect a letter next
packet from Presto, when you confess yourself that you had so lately
two letters in four days? Unreasonable baggage! No, little Dingley, I am
always in bed by twelve; I mean my candle is out by twelve, and I take
great care of myself. Pray let everybody know, upon occasion, that Mr.
Harley got the First-Fruits from the Queen for the clergy of Ireland,
and that nothing remains but the forms, etc. So you say the Dean and
you dined at Stoyte's, and Mrs. Stoyte was in raptures that I remembered
her. I must do it but seldom, or it will take off her rapture. But what
now, you saucy sluts? all this written in a morning, and I must rise and
go abroad. Pray stay till night: do not think I will squander mornings
upon you, pray, good madam. Faith, if I go on longer in this trick of
writing in the morning, I shall be afraid of leaving it off, and think
you expect it, and be in awe. Good-morrow, sirrahs, I will rise.--At
night. I went to-day to the Court of Requests (I will not answer the
rest of your letter yet, that by the way, in hopes to dine with Mr.
Harley: but Lord Dupplin,(32) his son-in-law, told me he did not dine at
home; so I was at a loss, until I met with Mr. Secretary St. John, and
went home and dined with him, where he told me of a good bite.(33)
Lord Rivers told me two days ago, that he was resolved to come Sunday
fortnight next to hear me preach before the Queen. I assured him the day
was not yet fixed, and I knew nothing of it. To-day the Secretary told
me that his father, Sir Harry St. John,(34) and Lord Rivers were to be
at St. James's Church, to hear me preach there; and were assured I was
to preach: so there will be another bite; for I know nothing of the
matter, but that Mr. Harley and St. John are resolved I must preach
before the Queen; and the Secretary of State has told me he will give
me three weeks' warning; but I desired to be excused, which he will not.
St. John, "You shall not be excused": however, I hope they will forget
it; for if it should happen, all the puppies hereabouts will throng to
hear me, and expect something wonderful, and be plaguily baulked; for I
shall preach plain honest stuff. I stayed with St. John till eight, and
then came home; and Patrick desired leave to go abroad, and by and by
comes up the girl to tell me, a gentleman was below in a coach, who had
a bill to pay me; so I let him come up, and who should it be but Mr.
Addison and Sam Dopping, to haul me out to supper, where I stayed till
twelve. If Patrick had been at home, I should have 'scaped this; for I
have taught him to deny me almost as well as Mr. Harley's porter.--Where
did I leave off in MD's letter? let me see. So, now I have it. You are
pleased to say, Madam Dingley, that those who go for England can never
tell when to come back. Do you mean this as a reflection upon Presto,
madam? Sauceboxes, I will come back as soon as I can, as hope saved,(35)
and I hope with some advantage, unless all Ministries be alike, as
perhaps they may. I hope Hawkshaw is in Dublin before now, and that you
have your things, and like your spectacles: if you do not, you shall
have better. I hope Dingley's tobacco did not spoil Stella's chocolate,
and that all is safe: pray let me know. Mr. Addison and I are different
as black and white, and I believe our friendship will go off, by this
damned business of party: he cannot bear seeing me fall in so with
this Ministry: but I love him still as well as ever, though we seldom
meet.--Hussy, Stella, you jest about poor Congreve's eyes;(36) you do
so, hussy; but I'll bang your bones, faith.--Yes, Steele was a little
while in prison, or at least in a spunging-house, some time before
I came, but not since.(37)--Pox on your convocations, and your
Lamberts;(38) they write with a vengeance! I suppose you think it a
piece of affectation in me to wish your Irish folks would not like my
"Shower,"; but you are mistaken. I should be glad to have the general
applause there as I have here (though I say it); but I have only that of
one or two, and therefore I would have none at all, but let you all be
in the wrong. I don't know, this is not what I would say; but I am so
tosticated with supper and stuff, that I can't express myself.--What you
say of "Sid Hamet" is well enough; that an enemy should like it, and
a friend not; and that telling the author would make both change their
opinions. Why did you not tell Griffyth(39) that you fancied there was
something in it of my manner; but first spur up his commendation to the
height, as we served my poor uncle about the sconce that I mended? Well,
I desired you to give what I intended for an answer to Mrs. Fenton,(40)
to save her postage, and myself trouble; and I hope I have done it, if
you han't.

15. Lord, what a long day's writing was yesterday's answer to your
letter, sirrahs! I dined to-day with Lewis and Ford, whom I have brought
acquainted. Lewis told me a pure thing. I had been hankering with Mr.
Harley to save Steele his other employment, and have a little mercy on
him; and I had been saying the same thing to Lewis, who is Mr. Harley's
chief favourite. Lewis tells Mr. Harley how kindly I should take it, if
he would be reconciled to Steele, etc. Mr. Harley, on my account, falls
in with it, and appoints Steele a time to let him attend him, which
Steele accepts with great submission, but never comes, nor sends any
excuse. Whether it was blundering, sullenness, insolence, or rancour of
party, I cannot tell; but I shall trouble myself no more about him. I
believe Addison hindered him out of mere spite, being grated(41) to the
soul to think he should ever want my help to save his friend; yet now
he is soliciting me to make another of his friends Queen's Secretary at
Geneva; and I'll do it if I can; it is poor Pastoral Philips.(42)

16. O, why did you leave my picture behind you at t'other lodgings?
Forgot it? Well; but pray remember it now, and don't roll it up, d'ye
hear; but hang it carefully in some part of your room, where chairs and
candles and mop-sticks won't spoil it, sirrahs. No, truly, I will not
be godfather to Goody Walls this bout, and I hope she will have no more.
There will be no quiet nor cards for this child. I hope it will die the
day after the christening. Mr. Harley gave me a paper, with an
account of the sentence you speak of against the lads that defaced the
statue,(43) and that Ingoldsby(44) reprieved that part of it of standing
before the statue. I hope it was never executed. We have got your
Broderick out;(45) Doyne(46) is to succeed him, and Cox(47) Doyne. And
so there's an end of your letter; 'tis all answered; and now I must go
on upon my own stock. Go on, did I say? Why, I have written enough; but
this is too soon to send it yet, young women; faith, I dare not use
you to it, you'll always expect it; what remains shall be only short
journals of a day, and so I'll rise for this morning.--At night. I dined
with my opposite neighbour, Darteneuf; and I was soliciting this day to
present the Bishop of Clogher Vice-Chancellor;(48) but it won't do; they
are all set against him, and the Duke of Ormond, they say, has resolved
to dispose of it somewhere else. Well; little saucy rogues, do not stay
out too late to-night, because it is Saturday night, and young women
should come home soon then.

17. I went to Court to seek a dinner: but the Queen was not at church,
she has got a touch of the gout; so the Court was thin, and I went to
the Coffee-house; and Sir Thomas Frankland and his eldest son and I went
and dined with his son William.(49) I talked a great deal to Sir Thomas
about Manley; and find he is his good friend, and so has Ned Southwell
been, and I hope he will be safe, though all the Irish folks here are
his mortal enemies. There was a devilish bite to-day. They had it, I
know not how, that I was to preach this morning at St. James's Church;
an abundance went, among the rest Lord Radnor, who never is abroad till
three in the afternoon. I walked all the way home from Hatton Garden at
six, by moonlight, a delicate night. Raymond called at nine, but I was
denied; and now I am in bed between eleven and twelve, just going to
sleep, and dream of my own dear roguish impudent pretty MD.

18. You will now have short days' works, just a few lines to tell you
where I am, and what I am doing; only I will keep room for the last day
to tell you news, if there be any worth sending. I have been sometimes
like to do it at the top of my letter, until I remark it would be old
before it reached you. I was hunting to dine with Mr. Harley to-day, but
could not find him; and so I dined with honest Dr. Cockburn, and came
home at six, and was taken out to next door by Dopping and Ford, to
drink bad claret and oranges; and we let Raymond come to us, who talks
of leaving the town to-morrow, but I believe will stay a day or two
longer. It is now late, and I will say no more, but end this line with
bidding my own dear saucy MD goodnight, etc.

19. I am come down proud stomach in one instance, for I went to-day to
see the Duke of Buckingham,(50) but came too late: then I visited Mrs.
Barton,(51) and thought to have dined with some of the Ministry; but
it rained, and Mrs. Vanhomrigh was nigh, and I took the opportunity of
paying her for a scarf she bought me, and dined there; at four I went to
congratulate with Lord Shelburne, for the death of poor Lady Shelburne
dowager;(52) he was at his country house, and returned while I was
there, and had not heard of it, and he took it very well. I am now come
home before six, and find a packet from the Bishop of Clogher, with one
enclosed to the Duke of Ormond, which is ten days earlier dated than
another I had from Parvisol; however, 'tis no matter, for the Duke
has already disposed of the Vice-Chancellorship to the Archbishop of
Tuam,(53) and I could not help it, for it is a thing wholly you know in
the Duke's power; and I find the Bishop has enemies about the Duke. I
write this while Patrick is folding up my scarf, and doing up the fire
(for I keep a fire, it costs me twelvepence a week); and so be quiet
till I am gone to bed, and then sit down by me a little, and we will
talk a few words more. Well; now MD is at my bedside; and now what shall
we say? How does Mrs. Stoyte? What had the Dean for supper? How much did
Mrs. Walls win? Poor Lady Shelburne: well, go get you to bed, sirrahs.

20. Morning. I was up this morning early, and shaved by candlelight, and
write this by the fireside. Poor Raymond just came in and took his leave
of me; he is summoned by high order from his wife, but pretends he has
had enough of London. I was a little melancholy to part with him; he
goes to Bristol, where they are to be with his merchant brother, and now
thinks of staying till May; so she must be brought to bed in England. He
was so easy and manageable, that I almost repent I suffered him to see
me so seldom. But he is gone, and will save Patrick some lies in a week:
Patrick is grown admirable at it, and will make his fortune. How now,
sirrah, must I write in a morning to your impudence?

     Stay till night,
     And then I'll write,
     In black and white,
     By candlelight,
     Of wax so bright,
     It helps the sight--
     A bite, a bite!

Marry come up, Mistress Boldface.--At night. Dr. Raymond came back, and
goes to-morrow. I did not come home till eleven, and found him here to
take leave of me. I went to the Court of Requests, thinking to find Mr.
Harley and dine with him, and refused Henley, and everybody, and at last
knew not where to go, and met Jemmy Leigh by chance, and he was just in
the same way, so I dined at his lodgings on a beef-steak, and drank
your health; then left him and went to the tavern with Ben Tooke and
Portlack, the Duke of Ormond's secretary, drinking nasty white wine till
eleven. I am sick, and ashamed of it, etc.

21. I met that beast Ferris, Lord Berkeley's(54) steward formerly; I
walked with him a turn in the Park, and that scoundrel dog is as happy
as an emperor, has married a wife with a considerable estate in land and
houses about this town, and lives at his ease at Hammersmith. See your
confounded sect!(55) Well; I had the same luck to-day with Mr. Harley;
'twas a lovely day, and went by water into the City, and dined with
Stratford at a merchant's house, and walked home with as great a dunce
as Ferris, I mean honest Colonel Caulfeild,(56) and came home by eight,
and now am in bed, and going to sleep for a wager, and will send this
letter on Saturday, and so; but first I will wish you a merry Christmas
and a happy New Year, and pray God we may never keep them asunder again.

22. Morning. I am going now to Mr. Harley's levee on purpose to vex him;
I will say I had no other way of seeing him, etc. Patrick says it is a
dark morning, and that the Duke of Argyle(57) is to be knighted to-day;
the booby means installed at Windsor. But I must rise, for this is a
shaving-day, and Patrick says there is a good fire; I wish MD were by
it, or I by MD's.--At night. I forgot to tell you, Madam Dingley, that
I paid nine shillings for your glass and spectacles, of which three were
for the Bishop's case: I am sorry I did not buy you such another case;
but if you like it, I will bring one over with me; pray tell me: the
glass to read was four shillings, the spectacles two. And have you had
your chocolate? Leigh says he sent the petticoat by one Mr. Spencer.
Pray have you no further commissions for me? I paid the glass-man but
last night, and he would have made me a present of the microscope worth
thirty shillings, and would have sent it home along with me; I thought
the deuce was in the man: he said I could do him more service than that
was worth, etc. I refused his present, but promised him all service
I could do him; and so now I am obliged in honour to recommend him to
everybody.--At night. I went to Mr. Harley's levee; he came and asked
me what I had to do there, and bid me come and dine with him on a family
dinner; which I did, and it was the first time I ever saw his lady(58)
and daughter;(59) at five my Lord Keeper(60) came in: I told Mr. Harley,
he had formerly presented me to Sir Simon Harcourt, but now must to my
Lord Keeper; so he laughed, etc.

23. Morning. This letter goes to-night without fail; I hope there is
none from you yet at the Coffee-house; I will send and see by and by,
and let you know, and so and so. Patrick goes to see for a letter: what
will you lay, is there one from MD or no? No, I say; done for sixpence.
Why has the Dean never once written to me? I won sixpence; I won
sixpence; there is not one letter to Presto. Good-morrow, dear sirrahs:
Stratford and I dine to-day with Lord Mountjoy. God Almighty preserve
and bless you; farewell, etc.

I have been dining at Lord Mountjoy's; and am come to study; our news
from Spain this post takes off some of our fears. The Parliament is
prorogued to-day, or adjourned rather till after the holidays. Bank
Stock is 105, so I may get 12 shillings for my bargain already. Patrick,
the puppy, is abroad, and how shall I send this letter? Good-night,
little dears both, and be happy; and remember your poor Presto, that
wants you sadly, as hope saved. Let me go study, naughty girls, and
don't keep me at the bottom of the paper. O, faith, if you knew what
lies on my hands constantly, you would wonder to see how I could write
such long letters; but we'll talk of that some other time. Good-night
again, and God bless dear MD with His best blessings, yes, yes, and
Dingley and Stella and me too, etc.

Ask the Bishop of Clogher about the pun I sent him of Lord Stawel's
brother;(61) it will be a pure bite. This letter has 199 lines in it,
beside all postscripts; I had a curiosity to reckon.

There is a long letter for you.

It is longer than a sermon, faith.

I had another letter from Mrs. Fenton, who says you were with her; I
hope you did not go on purpose. I will answer her letter soon; it is
about some money in Lady Giffard's hands.

They say you have had eight packets due to you; so pray, madams, do not
blame Presto, but the wind.

My humble service to Mrs. Walls and Mrs. Stoyte; I missed the former a
good while.



LETTER 12.

LONDON, Dec. 23, 1710.

I have sent my 11th to-night as usual, and begin the dozenth, and I told
you I dined with Stratford at Lord Mountjoy's, and I will tell you no
more at present, guess for why; because I am going to mind things, and
mighty affairs, not your nasty First-Fruits--I let them alone till Mr.
Harley gets the Queen's letter--but other things of greater moment, that
you shall know one day, when the ducks have eaten up all the dirt. So
sit still a while just by me, while I am studying, and don't say a word,
I charge you, and when I am going to bed, I will take you along, and
talk with you a little while, so there, sit there.--Come then, let us
see what we have to say to these saucy brats, that will not let us go
sleep at past eleven. Why, I am a little impatient to know how you do;
but that I take it for a standing maxim, that when you are silent, all
is pretty well, because that is the way I will deal with you; and if
there was anything you ought to know now, I would write by the first
post, although I had written but the day before. Remember this, young
women; and God Almighty preserve you both, and make us happy together;
and tell me how accompts stand between us, that you may be paid long
before it is due, not to want. I will return no more money while I stay,
so that you need not be in pain to be paid; but let me know at least a
month before you can want. Observe this, d'ye hear, little dear sirrahs,
and love Presto, as Presto loves MD, etc.

24. You will have a merrier Christmas Eve than we here. I went up to
Court before church; and in one of the rooms, there being but little
company, a fellow in a red coat without a sword came up to me, and,
after words of course, asked me how the ladies did? I asked, "What
ladies?" He said, "Mrs. Dingley and Mrs. Johnson." "Very well," said I,
"when I heard from them last: and pray when came you from thence,
sir?" He said, "I never was in Ireland"; and just at that word Lord
Winchelsea(1) comes up to me, and the man went off: as I went out I saw
him again, and recollected him, it was Vedeau(2) with a pox: I then went
and made my apologies, that my head was full of something I had to say
to Lord Winchelsea, etc., and I asked after his wife, and so all was
well; and he inquired after my lodging, because he had some favour to
desire of me in Ireland, to recommend somebody to somebody, I know not
what it is. When I came from church, I went up to Court again, where Sir
Edmond Bacon(3) told me the bad news from Spain,(4) which you will hear
before this reaches you; as we have it now, we are undone there, and
it was odd to see the whole countenances of the Court changed so in two
hours. Lady Mountjoy(5) carried me home to dinner, where I stayed not
long after, and came home early, and now am got into bed, for you must
always write to your MD's in bed, that is a maxim.

     Mr. White and Mr. Red,
     Write to MD when abed;
     Mr. Black and Mr. Brown,
     Write to MD when you're down;
     Mr. Oak and Mr. Willow,
     Write to MD on your pillow.--

What is this? faith, I smell fire; what can it be? this house has a
thousand stinks in it. I think to leave it on Thursday, and lodge over
the way. Faith, I must rise, and look at my chimney, for the smell grows
stronger, stay--I have been up, and in my room, and found all safe, only
a mouse within the fender to warm himself, which I could not catch.
I smelt nothing there, but now in my bed-chamber I smell it again; I
believe I have singed the woollen curtain, and that is all, though I
cannot smoke it. Presto is plaguy silly to-night, an't he? Yes, and so
he be. Ay, but if I should wake and see fire. Well; I will venture; so
good-night, etc.

25. Pray, young women, if I write so much as this every day, how will
this paper hold a fortnight's work, and answer one of yours into the
bargain? You never think of this, but let me go on like a simpleton.
I wish you a merry Christmas, and many, many a one with poor Presto at
some pretty place. I was at church to-day by eight, and received the
Sacrament, and came home by ten; then went to Court at two: it was a
Collar-day, that is, when the Knights of the Garter wear their collars;
but the Queen stayed so late at Sacrament, that I came back, and dined
with my neighbour Ford, because all people dine at home on this day.
This is likewise a Collar-day all over England in every house, at least
where there is BRAWN: that's very well.--I tell you a good pun; a fellow
hard by pretends to cure agues, and has set out a sign, and spells it
EGOES; a gentleman and I observing it, he said, "How does that fellow
pretend to cure AGUES?" I said I did not know; but I was sure it was not
by a SPELL. That is admirable. And so you asked the Bishop about that
pun of Lord Stawel's brother. Bite! Have I caught you, young women? Must
you pretend to ask after roguish puns, and Latin ones too? Oh but you
smoked me, and did not ask the Bishop. Oh but you are a fool, and you
did. I met Vedeau again at Court to-day, and I observed he had a sword
on; I fancy he was broke, and has got a commission, but I never asked
him. Vedeau I think his name is, yet Parvisol's man is Vedel, that is
true. Bank Stock will fall like stock-fish by this bad news, and two
days ago I could have got twelve pounds by my bargain; but I do not
intend to sell, and in time it will rise. It is odd that my Lord
Peterborow foretold this loss two months ago, one night at Mr. Harley's,
when I was there; he bid us count upon it, that Stanhope would lose
Spain before Christmas; that he would venture his head upon it, and gave
us reasons; and though Mr. Harley argued the contrary, he still held to
his opinion. I was telling my Lord Angelsea this at Court this morning;
and a gentleman by said he had heard my Lord Peterborow affirm the same
thing. I have heard wise folks say, "An ill tongue may do much." And
'tis an odd saying,

     "Once I guessed right,
      And I got credit by't;
      Thrice I guessed wrong,
      And I kept my credit on."

No, it is you are sorry, not I.

26. By the Lord Harry, I shall be undone here with Christmas boxes.
The rogues of the Coffee-house have raised their tax, everyone giving
a crown; and I gave mine for shame, besides a great many half-crowns
to great men's porters, etc. I went to-day by water into the city, and
dined with no less a man than the City Printer.(6) There is an intimacy
between us, built upon reasons that you shall know when I see you; but
the rain caught me within twelvepenny length of home. I called at Mr.
Harley's, who was not within, dropped my half-crown with his porter,
drove to the Coffee-house, where the rain kept me till nine. I had
letters to-day from the Archbishop of Dublin and Mr. Bernage;(7) the
latter sends me a melancholy account of Lady Shelburne's(8) death, and
his own disappointments, and would gladly be a captain; if I can help
him, I will.

27. Morning. I bespoke a lodging over the way for tomorrow, and the dog
let it yesterday to another; I gave him no earnest, so it seems he could
do it; Patrick would have had me give him earnest to bind him; but I
would not. So I must go saunter to-day for a lodging somewhere else.
Did you ever see so open a winter in England? We have not had two frosty
days; but it pays it off in rain: we have not had three fair days
these six weeks. O, faith, I dreamt mightily of MD last night; but so
confused, I cannot tell a word. I have made Ford acquainted with Lewis;
and to-day we dined together: in the evening I called at one or two
neighbours, hoping to spend a Christmas evening; but none were at home,
they were all gone to be merry with others. I have often observed this,
that in merry times everybody is abroad; where the deuce are they? So
I went to the Coffee-house, and talked with Mr. Addison an hour, who at
last remembered to give me two letters, which I cannot answer to-night,
nor to-morrow neither, I can assure you, young women, count upon that. I
have other things to do than to answer naughty girls, an old saying and
true,

     Letters from MD's
     Must not be answered in ten days:

it is but bad rhyme, etc.

28. To-day I had a message from Sir Thomas Hanmer, to dine with him; the
famous Dr. Smalridge(9) was of the company, and we sat till six; and I
came home to my new lodgings in St. Albans Street,(10) where I pay the
same rent (eight shillings a week) for an apartment two pair of stairs;
but I have the use of the parlour to receive persons of quality, and I
am got into my new bed, etc.

29. Sir Andrew Fountaine has been very ill this week; and sent to me
early this morning to have prayers, which you know is the last thing. I
found the doctors and all in despair about him. I read prayers to him,
found he had settled all things; and, when I came out, the nurse asked
me whether I thought it possible he could live; for the doctors thought
not. I said, I believed he would live; for I found the seeds of life
in him, which I observe seldom fail (and I found them in poor, dearest
Stella, when she was ill many years ago); and to-night I was with him
again, and he was mightily recovered, and I hope he will do well, and
the doctor approved my reasons; but, if he should die, I should come off
scurvily. The Secretary of State (Mr. St. John) sent to me to dine with
him; Mr. Harley and Lord Peterborow dined there too; and at night came
Lord Rivers. Lord Peterborow goes to Vienna in a day or two: he has
promised to make me write to him. Mr. Harley went away at six; but we
stayed till seven. I took the Secretary aside, and complained to him
of Mr. Harley, that he had got the Queen to grant the First-Fruits,
promised to bring me to her, and get her letter to the bishops of
Ireland; but the last part he had not done in six weeks, and I was in
danger to lose reputation, etc. He took the matter right, desired me to
be with him on Sunday morning, and promises me to finish the affair in
four days; so I shall know in a little time what I have to trust
to.--It is nine o'clock, and I must go study, you little rogues; and so
good-night, etc.

30. Morning. The weather grows cold, you sauceboxes. Sir Andrew
Fountaine, they bring me word, is better. I will go rise, for my hands
are starving while I write in bed. Night. Now Sir Andrew Fountaine is
recovering, he desires to be at ease; for I called in the morning to
read prayers, but he had given orders not to be disturbed. I have lost
a legacy by his living; for he told me he had left me a picture and some
books, etc. I called to see my quondam neighbour Ford (do you know what
quondam is, though?), and he engaged me to dine with him; for he always
dines at home on Opera-days. I came home at six, writ to the Archbishop,
then studied till past eleven, and stole to bed, to write to MD these
few lines, to let you know I am in good health at the present writing
hereof, and hope in God MD is so too. I wonder I never write politics to
you: I could make you the profoundest politician in all the lane.--Well,
but when shall we answer this letter, No. 8 of MD's? Not till next year,
faith. O Lord--bo--but that will be a Monday next. Cod's-so, is it?
and so it is: never saw the like.--I made a pun t'other day to Ben
Portlack(11) about a pair of drawers. Poh, said he, that's mine a--- all
over. Pray, pray, Dingley, let me go sleep; pray, pray, Stella, let me
go slumber; and put out my wax-candle.

31. Morning. It is now seven, and I have got a fire, but am writing abed
in my bed-chamber. 'Tis not shaving-day, so I shall be ready early to
go before church to Mr. St. John; and to-morrow I will answer our MD's
letter.

     Would you answer MD's letter,
     On New Year's Day you'll do it better;
     For, when the year with MD 'gins,
     It without MD never lins.

(These proverbs have always old words in them; lins is leave off.)

     But, if on New Year you write nones,
     MD then will bang your bones.

But Patrick says I must rise.--Night. I was early this morning with
Secretary St. John, and gave him a memorial to get the Queen's letter
for the First-Fruits, who has promised to do it in a very few days. He
told me he had been with the Duke of Marlborough, who was lamenting his
former wrong steps in joining with the Whigs, and said he was worn out
with age, fatigues, and misfortunes. I swear it pitied me; and I really
think they will not do well in too much mortifying that man, although
indeed it is his own fault. He is covetous as hell, and ambitious as the
Prince of it: he would fain have been General for life, and has broken
all endeavours for peace, to keep his greatness and get money. He told
the Queen he was neither covetous nor ambitious. She said if she could
have conveniently turned about, she would have laughed, and could hardly
forbear it in his face. He fell in with all the abominable measures of
the late Ministry, because they gratified him for their own designs.
Yet he has been a successful General, and I hope he will continue his
command. O Lord, smoke the politics to MD! Well; but, if you like them,
I will scatter a little now and then, and mine are all fresh from the
chief hands. Well, I dined with Mr. Harley, and came away at six: there
was much company, and I was not merry at all. Mr. Harley made me read a
paper of verses of Prior's. I read them plain, without any fine manner;
and Prior swore, I should never read any of his again; but he would be
revenged, and read some of mine as bad. I excused myself, and said I
was famous for reading verses the worst in the world; and that everybody
snatched them from me when I offered to begin. So we laughed.--Sir
Andrew Fountaine still continues ill. He is plagued with some sort of
bile.

Jan. 1. Morning. I wish my dearest, pretty Dingley and Stella a happy
New Year, and health, and mirth, and good stomachs, and Fr's company.
Faith, I did not know how to write Fr. I wondered what was the matter;
but now I remember I always write Pdfr. Patrick wishes me a happy New
Year, and desires I would rise, for it is a good fire, and faith 'tis
cold. I was so politic last night with MD, never saw the like. Get the
Examiners, and read them; the last nine or ten are full of the reasons
for the late change, and of the abuses of the last Ministry; and
the great men assure me they are all true. They are written by
their encouragement and direction. I must rise and go see Sir
Andrew Fountaine; but perhaps to-night I may answer MD's letter: so
good-morrow, my mistresses all, good-morrow.

     I wish you both a merry New Year,
     Roast beef, minced pies, and good strong beer,
     And me a share of your good cheer,
     That I was there, or you were here;
     And you're a little saucy dear.

Good-morrow again, dear sirrahs; one cannot rise for your play.--At
night. I went this morning to visit Lady Kerry and Lord Shelburne; and
they made me dine with them. Sir Andrew Fountaine is better. And now
let us come and see what this saucy, dear letter of MD says. Come out,
letter, come out from between the sheets; here it is underneath, and
it will not come out. Come out again, I say: so there. Here it is. What
says Presto to me, pray? says it. Come, and let me answer for you to
your ladies. Hold up your head then, like a good letter. There. Pray,
how have you got up with Presto, Madam Stella? You write your eighth
when you receive mine: now I write my twelfth when I receive your
eighth. Do not you allow for what are upon the road, simpleton? What say
you to that? And so you kept Presto's little birthday, I warrant: would
to God I had been at the health rather than here, where I have no manner
of pleasure, nothing but eternal business upon my hands. I shall grow
wise in time; but no more of that: only I say Amen with my heart and
vitals, that we may never be asunder again ten days together while poor
Presto lives.

*****

I can't be merry so near any splenetic talk; so I made that long line,
and now all's well again. Yes, you are a pretending slut, indeed, with
your fourth and fifth in the margin, and your journal, and everything.
Wind--we saw no wind here, nothing at all extraordinary at any time. We
had it once when you had it not. But an old saying and a true:

     "I hate all wind,
      Before and behind,
      From cheeks with eyes,
      Or from blind.----"

Your chimney fall down! God preserve you. I suppose you only mean a
brick or two: but that's a d--ned lie of your chimney being carried
to the next house with the wind. Don't put such things upon us; those
matters will not pass here: keep a little to possibilities. My Lord
Hertford(12) would have been ashamed of such a stretch. You should take
care of what company you converse with: when one gets that faculty, 'tis
hard to break one's self of it. Jemmy Leigh talks of going over; but
quando? I do not know when he will go. Oh, now you have had my ninth,
now you are come up with me; marry come up with you, indeed. I know all
that business of Lady S----.(13) Will nobody cut that D--y's throat?
Five hundred pounds do you call poor pay for living three months the
life of a king? They say she died with grief, partly, being forced
to appear as a witness in court about some squabble among their
servants.--The Bishop of Clogher showed you a pamphlet.(14) Well, but
you must not give your mind to believe those things; people will say
anything. The Character is here reckoned admirable, but most of the
facts are trifles. It was first printed privately here; and then some
bold cur ventured to do it publicly, and sold two thousand in two
days: who the author is must remain uncertain. Do you pretend to
know, impudence? How durst you think so? Pox on your Parliaments: the
Archbishop has told me of it; but we do not vouchsafe to know anything
of it here. No, no, no more of your giddiness yet; thank you, Stella,
for asking after it; thank you; God Almighty bless you for your kindness
to poor Presto. You write to Lady Giffard and your mother upon what I
advise when it is too late. But yet I fancy this bad news will bring
down stocks so low, that one might buy to great advantage. I design to
venture going to see your mother some day when Lady Giffard is abroad.
Well, keep your Rathburn(15) and stuff. I thought he was to pay in
your money upon his houses to be flung down about the what do you call
it.--Well, Madam Dingley, I sent your enclosed to Bristol, but have not
heard from Raymond since he went. Come, come, young women, I keep a good
fire; it costs me twelvepence a week, and I fear something more; vex me,
and I will have one in my bed-chamber too. No, did not I tell you but
just now, we have no high winds here? Have you forgot already?--Now
you're at it again, silly Stella; why does your mother say my candles
are scandalous? They are good sixes in the pound, and she said I was
extravagant enough to burn them by daylight. I never burn fewer at a
time than one. What would people have? The D---- burst Hawkshaw. He told
me he had not the box; and the next day Sterne told me he had sent it
a fortnight ago. Patrick could not find him t'other day, but he shall
to-morrow. Dear life and heart, do you tease me? does Stella tease
Presto? That palsy-water was in the box; it was too big for a packet,
and I was afraid of its breaking. Leigh was not in town then; or I would
not have trusted it to Sterne, whom yet I have befriended enough to do
me more kindness than that. I'll never rest till you have it, or till
it is in a way for you to have it. Poor dear rogue, naughty to think it
teases me; how could I ever forgive myself for neglecting anything that
related to your health? Sure I were a Devil if I did.

 ------------------------------------------------------

See how far I am forced to stand from Stella, because I am afraid she
thinks poor Presto has not been careful about her little things; I am
sure I bought them immediately according to order, and packed them up
with my own hands, and sent them to Sterne, and was six times with him
about sending them away. I am glad you are pleased with your glasses.
I have got another velvet cap; a new one Lord Herbert(16) bought and
presented me one morning I was at breakfast with him, where he was as
merry and easy as ever I saw him, yet had received a challenge half an
hour before, and half an hour after fought a duel. It was about ten days
ago. You are mistaken in your guesses about Tatlers: I did neither write
that on Noses nor Religion,(17) nor do I send him of late any hints at
all.--Indeed, Stella, when I read your letter, I was not uneasy at all;
but when I came to answer the particulars, and found that you had not
received your box, it grated me to the heart, because I thought, through
your little words, that you imagined I had not taken the care I ought.
But there has been some blunder in this matter, which I will know
to-morrow, and write to Sterne, for fear he should not be within.--And
pray, pray, Presto, pray now do.--No, Raymond was not above four times
with me while he stayed, and then only while I was dressing. Mrs. Fenton
has written me another letter about some money of hers in Lady Giffard's
hands, that is entrusted to me by my mother, not to come to her husband.
I send my letters constantly every fortnight, and, if you will have them
oftener, you may, but then they will be the shorter. Pray, let Parvisol
sell the horse. I think I spoke to you of it in a former letter: I am
glad you are rid of him, and was in pain while I thought you rode him;
but, if he would buy you another, or anybody else, and that you could be
often able to ride, why do not you do it?

2. I went this morning early to the Secretary of State, Mr. St. John;
and he told me from Mr. Harley that the warrant was now drawn, in order
for a patent for the First-Fruits: it must pass through several offices,
and take up some time, because in things the Queen gives they are always
considerate; but that, he assures me, 'tis granted and done, and past
all dispute, and desires I will not be in any pain at all. I will write
again to the Archbishop to-morrow, and tell him this, and I desire you
will say it on occasion. From the Secretary I went to Mr. Sterne,
who said he would write to you to-night; and that the box must be at
Chester; and that some friend of his goes very soon, and will carry it
over. I dined with Mr. Secretary St. John, and at six went to Darteneufs
house to drink punch with him, and Mr. Addison, and little Harrison,(18)
a young poet, whose fortune I am making. Steele was to have been there,
but came not, nor never did twice, since I knew him, to any appointment.
I stayed till past eleven, and am now in bed. Steele's last Tatler came
out to-day. You will see it before this comes to you, and how he takes
leave of the world. He never told so much as Mr. Addison of it, who was
surprised as much as I; but, to say the truth, it was time, for he grew
cruel dull and dry. To my knowledge he had several good hints to go
upon; but he was so lazy and weary of the work that he would not improve
them. I think I will send this after(19) to-morrow: shall I before 'tis
full, Dingley?

3. Lord Peterborow yesterday called me into a barber's shop, and there
we talked deep politics: he desired me to dine with him to-day at the
Globe in the Strand; he said he would show me so clearly how to get
Spain, that I could not possibly doubt it. I went to-day accordingly,
and saw him among half a dozen lawyers and attorneys and hang-dogs,
signing of deeds and stuff before his journey; for he goes to-morrow
to Vienna. I sat among that scurvy company till after four, but heard
nothing of Spain; only I find, by what he told me before, that he fears
he shall do no good in his present journey.(20) We are to be mighty
constant correspondents. So I took my leave of him, and called at Sir
Andrew Fountaine's, who mends much. I came home, an't please you, at
six, and have been studying till now past eleven.

4. Morning. Morrow, little dears. O, faith, I have been dreaming; I was
to be put in prison. I do not know why, and I was so afraid of a black
dungeon; and then all I had been inquiring yesterday of Sir Andrew
Fountaine's sickness I thought was of poor Stella. The worst of dreams
is, that one wakes just in the humour they leave one. Shall I send this
to-day? With all my heart: it is two days within the fortnight; but may
be MD are in haste to have a round dozen: and then how are you come up
to me with your eighth, young women? But you indeed ought to write twice
slower than I, because there are two of you; I own that. Well then, I
will seal up this letter by my morning candle, and carry it into the
city with me, where I go to dine, and put it into the post-office with
my own fair hands. So, let me see whether I have any news to tell MD.
They say they will very soon make some inquiries into the corruptions
of the late Ministry; and they must do it, to justify their turning them
out. Atterbury,(21) we think, is to be Dean of Christ Church in Oxford;
but the College would rather have Smalridge--What's all this to you?
What care you for Atterburys and Smalridges? No, you care for nothing
but Presto, faith. So I will rise, and bid you farewell; yet I am loth
to do so, because there is a great bit of paper yet to talk upon; but
Dingley will have it so: "Yes," says she, "make your journals shorter,
and send them oftener;" and so I will. And I have cheated you another
way too; for this is clipped paper, and holds at least six lines less
than the former ones. I will tell you a good thing I said to my Lord
Carteret.(22) "So," says he, "my Lord came up to me, and asked me," etc.
"No," said I, "my Lord never did, nor ever can come up to you." We all
pun here sometimes. Lord Carteret set down Prior t'other day in his
chariot; and Prior thanked him for his CHARITY; that was fit for
Dilly.(23) I do not remember I heard one good one from the Ministry;
which is really a shame. Henley is gone to the country for Christmas.
The puppy comes here without his wife,(24) and keeps no house, and would
have me dine with him at eating-houses; but I have only done it
once, and will do it no more. He had not seen me for some time in the
Coffee-house, and asking after me, desired Lord Herbert to tell me I was
a beast for ever, after the order of Melchisedec. Did you ever read the
Scripture?(25) It is only changing the word priest to beast.--I think
I am bewitched, to write so much in a morning to you, little MD. Let
me go, will you? and I'll come again to-night in a fine clean sheet of
paper; but I can nor will stay no longer now; no, I won't, for all your
wheedling: no, no, look off, do not smile at me, and say, "Pray, pray,
Presto, write a little more." Ah! you are a wheedling slut, you be so.
Nay, but prithee turn about, and let me go, do; 'tis a good girl, and
do. O, faith, my morning candle is just out, and I must go now in spite
of my teeth; for my bed-chamber is dark with curtains, and I am at the
wrong side. So farewell, etc. etc.

I am in the dark almost: I must have another candle, when I am up, to
seal this; but I will fold it up in the dark, and make what you can of
this, for I can only see this paper I am writing upon. Service to Mrs.
Walls and Mrs. Stoyte.

God Almighty bless you, etc. What I am doing I can't see; but I will
fold it up, and not look on it again.



LETTER 13.

LONDON, Jan. 4, 1710-11.

I was going into the City (where I dined and put my 12th, with my own
fair hands, into the post-office as I came back, which was not till nine
this night). I dined with people that you never heard of, nor is it worth
your while to know; an authoress and a printer.(1) I walked home for
exercise, and at eleven got to bed; and, all the while I was undressing
myself, there was I speaking monkey things in air, just as if MD had
been by, and did not recollect myself till I got into bed. I writ last
night to the Archbishop, and told him the warrant was drawn for the
First-Fruits; and I told him Lord Peterborow was set out for his journey
to Vienna; but it seems the Lords have addressed to have him stay, to
be examined about Spanish affairs, upon this defeat there, and to know
where the fault lay, etc. So I writ to the Archbishop a lie; but I think
it was not a sin.

5. Mr. Secretary St. John sent for me this morning so early, that I was
forced to go without shaving, which put me quite out of method. I called
at Mr. Ford's, and desired him to lend me a shaving; and so made a
shift to get into order again. Lord! here is an impertinence: Sir Andrew
Fountaine's mother and sister(2) are come above a hundred miles, from
Worcester, to see him before he died. They got here but yesterday; and
he must have been past hopes, or past fears, before they could reach
him. I fell a scolding when I heard they were coming; and the people
about him wondered at me, and said what a mighty content it would be on
both sides to die when they were with him! I knew the mother; she is the
greatest Overdo(3) upon earth; and the sister, they say, is worse; the
poor man will relapse again among them. Here was the scoundrel brother
always crying in the outer room till Sir Andrew was in danger; and
the dog was to have all his estate if he died; and it is an ignorant,
worthless, scoundrel-rake: and the nurses were comforting him, and
desiring he would not take on so. I dined to-day the first time with
Ophy Butler(4) and his wife; and you supped with the Dean, and lost
two-and-twenty pence at cards. And so Mrs. Walls is brought to bed of
a girl, who died two days after it was christened; and, betwixt you and
me, she is not very sorry: she loves her ease and diversions too well to
be troubled with children. I will go to bed.

6. Morning. I went last night to put some coals on my fire after Patrick
was gone to bed; and there I saw in a closet a poor linnet he has bought
to bring over to Dingley: it cost him sixpence, and is as tame as a
dormouse. I believe he does not know he is a bird: where you put him,
there he stands, and seems to have neither hope nor fear; I suppose in a
week he will die of the spleen. Patrick advised with me before he bought
him. I laid fairly before him the greatness of the sum, and the rashness
of the attempt; showed how impossible it was to carry him safe over the
salt sea: but he would not take my counsel; and he will repent it. 'Tis
very cold this morning in bed; and I hear there is a good fire in the
room without (what do you call it?), the dining-room. I hope it will be
good weather, and so let me rise, sirrahs, do so.--At night. I was this
morning to visit the Dean,(5) or Mr. Prolocutor, I think you call him,
don't you? Why should not I go to the Dean's as well as you? A little,
black man, of pretty near fifty? Ay, the same. A good, pleasant man? Ay,
the same. Cunning enough? Yes. One that understands his own interests?
As well as anybody. How comes it MD and I don't meet there sometimes? A
very good face, and abundance of wit? Do you know his lady? O Lord! whom
do you mean?(6) I mean Dr. Atterbury, Dean of Carlisle and Prolocutor.
Pshaw, Presto, you are a fool: I thought you had meant our Dean of St.
Patrick's.--Silly, silly, silly, you are silly, both are silly, every
kind of thing is silly. As I walked into the city I was stopped with
clusters of boys and wenches buzzing about the cake-shops like flies.(7)
There had the fools let out their shops two yards forward into the
streets, all spread with great cakes frothed with sugar, and stuck with
streamers of tinsel. And then I went to Bateman's the bookseller, and
laid out eight-and-forty shillings for books. I bought three little
volumes of Lucian in French for our Stella, and so and so. Then I went
to Garraway's(8) to meet Stratford and dine with him; but it was an idle
day with the merchants, and he was gone to our end of the town: so I
dined with Sir Thomas Frankland at the Post Office, and we drank your
Manley's health. It was in a newspaper that he was turned out; but
Secretary St. John told me it was false: only that newswriter is a
plaguy Tory. I have not seen one bit of Christmas merriment.

7. Morning. Your new Lord Chancellor(9) sets out to-morrow for Ireland:
I never saw him. He carries over one Trapp(10) a parson as his chaplain,
a sort of pretender to wit, a second-rate pamphleteer for the cause,
whom they pay by sending him to Ireland. I never saw Trapp neither. I
met Tighe(11) and your Smyth of Lovet's yesterday by the Exchange. Tighe
and I took no notice of each other; but I stopped Smyth, and told him of
the box that lies for you at Chester, because he says he goes very soon
to Ireland, I think this week: and I will send this morning to Sterne,
to take measures with Smyth; so good-morrow, sirrahs, and let me rise,
pray. I took up this paper when I came in at evening, I mean this
minute, and then said I, "No, no, indeed, MD, you must stay"; and then
was laying it aside, but could not for my heart, though I am very busy,
till I just ask you how you do since morning; by and by we shall talk
more, so let me leave you: softly down, little paper, till then; so
there--now to business; there, I say, get you gone; no, I will not push
you neither, but hand you on one side--So--Now I am got into bed, I'll
talk with you. Mr. Secretary St. John sent for me this morning in all
haste; but I would not lose my shaving, for fear of missing church. I
went to Court, which is of late always very full; and young Manley and
I dined at Sir Matthew Dudley's.--I must talk politics. I protest I am
afraid we shall all be embroiled with parties. The Whigs, now they are
fallen, are the most malicious toads in the world. We have had now a
second misfortune, the loss of several Virginia ships. I fear people
will begin to think that nothing thrives under this Ministry: and if the
Ministry can once be rendered odious to the people, the Parliament may
be chosen Whig or Tory as the Queen pleases. Then I think our friends
press a little too hard on the Duke of Marlborough. The country
members(12) are violent to have past faults inquired into, and they have
reason; but I do not observe the Ministry to be very fond of it. In my
opinion we have nothing to save us but a Peace; and I am sure we cannot
have such a one as we hoped; and then the Whigs will bawl what they
would have done had they continued in power. I tell the Ministry this
as much as I dare; and shall venture to say a little more to them,
especially about the Duke of Marlborough, who, as the Whigs give out,
will lay down his command; and I question whether ever any wise State
laid aside a general who had been successful nine years together, whom
the enemy so much dread, and his own soldiers cannot but believe must
always conquer; and you know that in war opinion is nine parts in
ten. The Ministry hear me always with appearance of regard, and much
kindness; but I doubt they let personal quarrels mingle too much with
their proceedings. Meantime, they seem to value all this as nothing,
and are as easy and merry as if they had nothing in their hearts or upon
their shoulders; like physicians, who endeavour to cure, but feel no
grief, whatever the patient suffers.--Pshaw, what is all this? Do you
know one thing, that I find I can write politics to you much easier
than to anybody alive? But I swear my head is full; and I wish I were at
Laracor, with dear, charming MD, etc.

8. Morning. Methinks, young women, I have made a great progress in four
days, at the bottom of this side already, and no letter yet come from
MD (that word interlined is morning). I find I have been writing State
affairs to MD. How do they relish it? Why, anything that comes from
Presto is welcome; though really, to confess the truth, if they had
their choice, not to disguise the matter, they had rather, etc. Now,
Presto, I must tell you, you grow silly, says Stella. That is but one
body's opinion, madam. I promised to be with Mr. Secretary St. John this
morning; but I am lazy, and will not go, because I had a letter from
him yesterday, to desire I would dine there to-day. I shall be chid;
but what care I?--Here has been Mrs. South with me, just come from Sir
Andrew Fountaine, and going to market. He is still in a fever, and may
live or die. His mother and sister are now come up, and in the house; so
there is a lurry.(13) I gave Mrs. South half a pistole for a New Year's
gift. So good-morrow, dears both, till anon.--At night. Lord! I have
been with Mr. Secretary from dinner till eight; and, though I drank
wine and water, I am so hot! Lady Stanley(14) came to visit Mrs. St.
John,(15) and sent up for me to make up a quarrel with Mrs. St. John,
whom I never yet saw; and do you think that devil of a Secretary would
let me go, but kept me by main force, though I told him I was in love
with his lady, and it was a shame to keep back a lover, etc.? But all
would not do; so at last I was forced to break away, but never went
up, it was then too late; and here I am, and have a great deal to do
to-night, though it be nine o'clock; but one must say something to these
naughty MD's, else there will be no quiet.

9. To-day Ford and I set apart to go into the City to buy books; but we
only had a scurvy dinner at an alehouse; and he made me go to the tavern
and drink Florence, four and sixpence a flask; damned wine! so I spent
my money, which I seldom do, and passed an insipid day, and saw nobody,
and it is now ten o'clock, and I have nothing to say, but that 'tis a
fortnight to-morrow since I had a letter from MD; but if I have it
time enough to answer here, 'tis well enough, otherwise woe betide you,
faith. I will go to the toyman's, here just in Pall Mall, and he sells
great hugeous battoons;(16) yes, faith, and so he does. Does not he,
Dingley? Yes, faith. Don't lose your money this Christmas.

10. I must go this morning to Mr. Secretary St. John. I promised
yesterday, but failed, so can't write any more till night to poor, dear
MD.--At night. O, faith, Dingley. I had company in the morning, and
could not go where I designed; and I had a basket from Raymond at
Bristol, with six bottles of wine and a pound of chocolate, and some
tobacco to snuff; and he writ under, the carriage was paid; but he lied,
or I am cheated, or there is a mistake; and he has written to me so
confusedly about some things, that Lucifer could not understand him.
This wine is to be drunk with Harley's brother(17) and Sir Robert
Raymond, Solicitor-General, in order to recommend the Doctor to your new
Lord Chancellor, who left this place on Monday; and Raymond says he
is hasting to Chester, to go with him.--I suppose he leaves his wife
behind; for when he left London he had no thoughts of stirring till
summer. So I suppose he will be with you before this. Ford came and
desired I would dine with him, because it was Opera-day; which I did,
and sent excuses to Lord Shelburne, who had invited me.

11. I am setting up a new Tatler, little Harrison,(18) whom I have
mentioned to you. Others have put him on it, and I encourage him; and he
was with me this morning and evening, showing me his first, which comes
out on Saturday. I doubt he will not succeed, for I do not much approve
his manner; but the scheme is Mr. Secretary St. John's and mine, and
would have done well enough in good hands. I recommended him to a
printer,(19) whom I sent for, and settled the matter between them this
evening. Harrison has just left me, and I am tired with correcting his
trash.

12. I was this morning upon some business with Mr. Secretary St. John,
and he made me promise to dine with him; which otherwise I would have
done with Mr. Harley, whom I have not been with these ten days. I cannot
but think they have mighty difficulties upon them; yet I always find
them as easy and disengaged as schoolboys on a holiday. Harley has the
procuring of five or six millions on his shoulders, and the Whigs will
not lend a groat;(20) which is the only reason of the fall of stocks:
for they are like Quakers and fanatics, that will only deal among
themselves, while all others deal indifferently with them. Lady
Marlborough offers, if they will let her keep her employments, never to
come into the Queen's presence. The Whigs say the Duke of Marlborough
will serve no more; but I hope and think otherwise. I would to Heaven
I were this minute with MD at Dublin; for I am weary of politics, that
give me such melancholy prospects.

13. O, faith, I had an ugly giddy fit last night in my chamber, and I
have got a new box of pills to take, and hope I shall have no more
this good while. I would not tell you before, because it would vex you,
little rogues; but now it is over. I dined to-day with Lord Shelburne;
and to-day little Harrison's new Tatler came out: there is not much in
it, but I hope he will mend. You must understand that, upon Steele's
leaving off, there were two or three scrub Tatlers(21) came out, and one
of them holds on still, and to-day it advertised against Harrison's;
and so there must be disputes which are genuine, like the strops for
razors.(22) I am afraid the little toad has not the true vein for it.
I will tell you a copy of verses. When Mr. St. John was turned out from
being Secretary at War, three years ago, he retired to the country:
there he was talking of something he would have written over his
summer-house, and a gentleman gave him these verses--

     From business and the noisy world retired,
     Nor vexed by love, nor by ambition fired;
     Gently I wait the call of Charon's boat,
     Still drinking like a fish, and ------- like a stoat.

He swore to me he could hardly bear the jest; for he pretended to retire
like a philosopher, though he was but twenty-eight years old: and I
believe the thing was true: for he had been a thorough rake. I think the
three grave lines do introduce the last well enough. Od so, but I will
go sleep; I sleep early now.

14. O, faith, young women, I want a letter from MD; 'tis now nineteen
days since I had the last: and where have I room to answer it, pray? I
hope I shall send this away without any answer at all; for I'll hasten
it, and away it goes on Tuesday, by which time this side will be full. I
will send it two days sooner on purpose out of spite; and the very next
day after, you must know, your letter will come, and then 'tis too late,
and I will so laugh, never saw the like! 'Tis spring with us already. I
ate asparagus t'other day. Did you ever see such a frostless winter? Sir
Andrew Fountaine lies still extremely ill; it costs him ten guineas a
day to doctors, surgeons, and apothecaries, and has done so these three
weeks. I dined to-day with Mr. Ford; he sometimes chooses to dine at
home, and I am content to dine with him; and at night I called at the
Coffee-house, where I had not been in a week, and talked coldly a while
with Mr. Addison. All our friendship and dearness are off: we are civil
acquaintance, talk words of course, of when we shall meet, and that is
all. I have not been at any house with him these six weeks: t'other day
we were to have dined together at the Comptroller's;(23) but I sent my
excuses, being engaged to the Secretary of State. Is not it odd? But
I think he has used me ill; and I have used him too well, at least his
friend Steele.

15. It has cost me three guineas to-day for a periwig.(24) I am undone!
It was made by a Leicester lad, who married Mr. Worrall's daughter,
where my mother lodged;(25) so I thought it would be cheap, and
especially since he lives in the city. Well, London lickpenny:(26) I
find it true. I have given Harrison hints for another Tatler to-morrow.
The jackanapes wants a right taste: I doubt he won't do. I dined with my
friend Lewis of the Secretary's office, and am got home early, because I
have much business to do; but before I begin, I must needs say something
to MD, faith--No, faith, I lie, it is but nineteen days to-day since my
last from MD. I have got Mr. Harley to promise that whatever changes are
made in the Council, the Bishop of Clogher shall not be removed, and he
has got a memorial accordingly. I will let the Bishop know so much in a
post or two. This is a secret; but I know he has enemies, and they shall
not be gratified, if they designed any such thing, which perhaps they
might; for some changes there will be made. So drink up your claret, and
be quiet, and do not lose your money.

16. Morning. Faith, I will send this letter to-day to shame you, if I
han't one from MD before night, that's certain. Won't you grumble for
want of the third side, pray now? Yes, I warrant you; yes, yes, you
shall have the third, you shall so, when you can catch it, some other
time; when you be writing girls.--O, faith, I think I won't stay till
night, but seal up this just now, and carry it in my pocket, and whip
it into the post-office as I come home at evening. I am going out
early this morning.--Patrick's bills for coals and candles, etc., come
sometimes to three shillings a week; I keep very good fires, though the
weather be warm. Ireland will never be happy till you get small coal(27)
likewise; nothing so easy, so convenient, so cheap, so pretty, for
lighting a fire. My service to Mrs. Stoyte and Walls; has she a boy or a
girl? A girl, hum; and died in a week, humm; and was poor Stella forced
to stand for godmother?--Let me know how accompts stand, that you may
have your money betimes. There's four months for my lodging, that must
be thought on too: and so go dine with Manley, and lose your money, do,
extravagant sluttikin, but don't fret.--It will be just three weeks when
I have the next letter, that's to-morrow. Farewell, dearest beloved MD;
and love poor, poor Presto, who has not had one happy day since he left
you, as hope saved.--It is the last sally I will ever make, but I hope
it will turn to some account. I have done more for these,(28) and
I think they are more honest than the last; however, I will not
be disappointed. I would make MD and me easy; and I never desired
more.--Farewell, etc. etc.



LETTER 14.

LONDON, Jan. 16, 1710-11.

O faith, young women, I have sent my letter N.13 without one crumb of an
answer to any of MD's, there's for you now; and yet Presto ben't angry,
faith, not a bit, only he will begin to be in pain next Irish post,
except he sees MD's little handwriting in the glass-frame at the bar
of St. James's Coffee-house, where Presto would never go but for that
purpose. Presto is at home, God help him, every night from six till
bed-time, and has as little enjoyment or pleasure in life at present as
anybody in the world, although in full favour with all the Ministry. As
hope saved, nothing gives Presto any sort of dream of happiness but a
letter now and then from his own dearest MD. I love the expectation of
it; and when it does not come, I comfort myself that I have it yet to
be happy with. Yes, faith, and when I write to MD, I am happy too; it is
just as if methinks you were here, and I prating to you, and telling you
where I have been: "Well," says you, "Presto, come, where have you been
to-day? come, let's hear now." And so then I answer: "Ford and I were
visiting Mr. Lewis and Mr. Prior; and Prior has given me a fine Plautus;
and then Ford would have had me dine at his lodgings, and so I would
not; and so I dined with him at an eating-house, which I have not done
five times since I came here; and so I came home, after visiting Sir
Andrew Fountaine's mother and sister, and Sir Andrew Fountaine is
mending, though slowly."

17. I was making, this morning, some general visits, and at twelve I
called at the Coffee-house for a letter from MD; so the man said he had
given it to Patrick. Then I went to the Court of Requests and Treasury,
to find Mr. Harley, and, after some time spent in mutual reproaches,
I promised to dine with him. I stayed there till seven, then called
at Sterne's and Leigh's to talk about your box, and to have it sent by
Smyth. Sterne says he has been making inquiries, and will set things
right as soon as possible. I suppose it lies at Chester, at least I hope
so, and only wants a lift over to you. Here has little Harrison been
to complain that the printer I recommended to him for his Tatler is a
coxcomb; and yet to see how things will happen; for this very printer
is my cousin, his name is Dryden Leach;(1) did you never hear of Dryden
Leach, he that prints the Postman? He acted Oroonoko;(2) he's in love
with Miss Cross.(3)--Well, so I came home to read my letter from Stella,
but the dog Patrick was abroad; at last he came, and I got my letter.
I found another hand had superscribed it; when I opened it, I found it
written all in French, and subscribed Bernage:(4) faith, I was ready to
fling it at Patrick's head. Bernage tells me he had been to desire your
recommendation to me, to make him a captain; and your cautious answer,
that he had as much power with me as you, was a notable one; if you
were here, I would present you to the Ministry as a person of ability.
Bernage should let me know where to write to him; this is the second
letter I have had without any direction; however, I beg I may not have a
third, but that you will ask him, and send me how I shall direct to him.
In the meantime, tell him that if regiments are to be raised here, as he
says, I will speak to George Granville,(5) Secretary at War, to make him
a captain; and use what other interest I conveniently can. I think that
is enough, and so tell him, and do not trouble me with his letters, when
I expect them from MD; do you hear, young women? write to Presto.

18. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary St. John, and we were to dine
at Mr. Harley's alone, about some business of importance; but there were
two or three gentlemen there. Mr. Secretary and I went together from
his office to Mr. Harley's, and thought to have been very wise; but the
deuce a bit, the company stayed, and more came, and Harley went away at
seven, and the Secretary and I stayed with the rest of the company till
eleven; I would then have had him come away; but he was in for't; and
though he swore he would come away at that flask, there I left him. I
wonder at the civility of these people; when he saw I would drink no
more, he would always pass the bottle by me, and yet I could not keep
the toad from drinking himself, nor he would not let me go neither, nor
Masham,(6) who was with us. When I got home, I found a parcel directed
to me; and opening it, I found a pamphlet written entirely against
myself, not by name, but against something I writ:(7) it is pretty
civil, and affects to be so, and I think I will take no notice of it;
'tis against something written very lately; and indeed I know not what
to say, nor do I care. And so you are a saucy rogue for losing your
money to-day at Stoyte's; to let that bungler beat you, fie, Stella,
an't you ashamed? Well, I forgive you this once, never do so again; no,
noooo. Kiss and be friends, sirrah.--Come, let me go sleep, I go earlier
to bed than formerly; and have not been out so late these two
months; but the Secretary was in a drinking humour. So good-night,
myownlittledearsaucyinsolentrogues.

19. Then you read that long word in the last line; no,(8) faith, han't
you. Well, when will this letter come from our MD? to-morrow or next day
without fail; yes, faith, and so it is coming. This was an insipid snowy
day, no walking day, and I dined gravely with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and
came home, and am now got to bed a little after ten; I remember old
Culpepper's maxim:

     "Would you have a settled head,
      You must early go to bed:
      I tell you, and I tell't again,
      You must be in bed at ten."

20. And so I went to-day with my new wig, o hoao, to visit Lady
Worsley,(9) whom I had not seen before, although she was near a month in
town. Then I walked in the Park to find Mr. Ford, whom I had promised to
meet; and coming down the Mall, who should come towards me but Patrick,
and gives me five letters out of his pocket. I read the superscription
of the first, "Pshoh," said I; of the second, "Pshoh" again; of the
third, "Pshah, pshah, pshah"; of the fourth, "A gad, a gad, a gad, I'm
in a rage"; of the fifth and last, "O hoooa; ay marry this is something,
this is our MD"; so truly we opened it, I think immediately, and it
began the most impudently in the world, thus: "Dear Presto, We are even
thus far." "Now we are even," quoth Stephen, when he gave his wife
six blows for one. I received your ninth four days after I had sent my
thirteenth. But I'll reckon with you anon about that, young women. Why
did not you recant at the end of your letter, when you got my eleventh,
tell me that, huzzies base? were we even then, were we, sirrah? But I
won't answer your letter now, I'll keep it for another time. We had a
great deal of snow to-day, and 'tis terrible cold. I dined with Ford,
because it was his Opera-day and snowed, so I did not care to stir
farther. I will send tomorrow to Smyth.

21. Morning. It has snowed terribly all night, and is vengeance cold. I
am not yet up, but cannot write long; my hands will freeze. "Is there a
good fire, Patrick?" "Yes, sir." "Then I will rise; come, take away the
candle." You must know I write on the dark side of my bed-chamber, and
am forced to have a candle till I rise, for the bed stands between me
and the window, and I keep the curtains shut this cold weather. So pray
let me rise; and Patrick, here, take away the candle.--At night. We are
now here in high frost and snow, the largest fire can hardly keep us
warm. It is very ugly walking; a baker's boy broke his thigh yesterday.
I walk slow, make short steps, and never tread on my heel. 'Tis a good
proverb the Devonshire people have:

     "Walk fast in snow,
      In frost walk slow;
      And still as you go,
      Tread on your toe.
   When frost and snow are both together,
   Sit by the fire, and spare shoe-leather."

I dined to-day with Dr. Cockburn,(10) but will not do so again in haste,
he has generally such a parcel of Scots with him.

22. Morning. Starving, starving, uth, uth, uth, uth, uth.--Don't you
remember I used to come into your chamber, and turn Stella out of her
chair, and rake up the fire in a cold morning, and cry Uth, uth, uth?
etc. O, faith, I must rise, my hand is so cold I can write no more. So
good-morrow, sirrahs.--At night. I went this morning to Lady Giffard's
house, and saw your mother, and made her give me a pint bottle of
palsy-water,(11) which I brought home in my pocket; and sealed and tied
up in a paper, and sent it to Mr. Smyth, who goes to-morrow for Ireland,
and sent a letter to him to desire his care of it, and that he would
inquire at Chester about the box. He was not within: so the bottle and
letter were left for him at his lodgings, with strict orders to give
them to him; and I will send Patrick in a day or two, to know whether
it was given, etc. Dr. Stratford(12) and I dined to-day with Mr.
Stratford(13) in the City, by appointment; but I chose to walk there,
for exercise in the frost. But the weather had given a little, as you
women call it, so it was something slobbery. I did not get home till
nine.

     And now I'm in bed,
     To break your head.

23. Morning. They tell me it freezes again, but it is not so cold as
yesterday: so now I will answer a bit of your letter.--At night. O,
faith, I was just going to answer some of our MD's letter this morning,
when a printer came in about some business, and stayed an hour; so I
rose, and then came in Ben Tooke, and then I shaved and scribbled; and
it was such a terrible day, I could not stir out till one, and then I
called at Mrs. Barton's, and we went to Lady Worsley's, where we were to
dine by appointment. The Earl of Berkeley(14) is going to be married to
Lady Louisa Lennox, the Duke of Richmond's daughter. I writ this night
to Dean Sterne, and bid him tell you all about the bottle of palsy-water
by Smyth; and to-morrow morning I will say something to your letter.

24. Morning. Come now to your letter. As for your being even with me, I
have spoken to that already. So now, my dearly beloved, let us proceed
to the next. You are always grumbling that you han't letters fast
enough; "surely we shall have your tenth;" and yet, before you end your
letter, you own you have my eleventh.--And why did not MD go into the
country with the Bishop of Clogher? faith, such a journey would have
done you good; Stella should have rode, and Dingley gone in the coach.
The Bishop of Kilmore(15) I know nothing of; he is old, and may die; he
lives in some obscure corner, for I never heard of him. As for my old
friends, if you mean the Whigs, I never see them, as you may find by my
journals, except Lord Halifax, and him very seldom; Lord Somers never
since the first visit, for he has been a false, deceitful rascal.(16)
My new friends are very kind, and I have promises enough, but I do
not count upon them, and besides my pretences are very young to them.
However, we will see what may be done; and if nothing at all, I shall
not be disappointed; although perhaps poor MD may, and then I shall be
sorrier for their sakes than my own.--Talk of a merry Christmas (why do
you write it so then, young women? sauce for the goose is sauce for the
gander), I have wished you all that two or three letters ago. Good lack;
and your news, that Mr. St. John is going to Holland; he has no such
thoughts, to quit the great station he is in; nor, if he had, could I
be spared to go with him. So, faith, politic Madam Stella, you come
with your two eggs a penny, etc. Well, Madam Dingley, and so Mrs. Stoyte
invites you, and so you stay at Donnybrook, and so you could not write.
You are plaguy exact in your journals, from Dec. 25 to Jan. 4. Well,
Smyth and the palsy-water I have handled already, and he does not lodge
(or rather did not, for, poor man, now he is gone) at Mr. Jesse's, and
all that stuff; but we found his lodging, and I went to Stella's mother
on my own head, for I never remembered it was in the letter to desire
another bottle; but I was so fretted, so tosticated, and so impatient
that Stella should have her water (I mean decently, do not be rogues),
and so vexed with Sterne's carelessness.--Pray God, Stella's illness
may not return! If they come seldom, they begin to be weary; I judge by
myself; for when I seldom visit, I grow weary of my acquaintance.--Leave
a good deal of my tenth unanswered! Impudent slut, when did you ever
answer my tenth, or ninth, or any other number? or who desires you
to answer, provided you write? I defy the D---- to answer my letters:
sometimes there may be one or two things I should be glad you would
answer; but I forget them, and you never think of them. I shall never
love answering letters again, if you talk of answering. Answering,
quotha! pretty answerers truly.--As for the pamphlet you speak of, and
call it scandalous, and that one Mr. Presto is said to write it, hear my
answer. Fie, child, you must not mind what every idle body tells you--I
believe you lie, and that the dogs were not crying it when you said so;
come, tell truth. I am sorry you go to St. Mary's(17) so soon, you will
be as poor as rats; that place will drain you with a vengeance: besides,
I would have you think of being in the country in summer. Indeed,
Stella, pippins produced plentifully; Parvisol could not send from
Laracor: there were about half a score, I would be glad to know whether
they were good for anything.--Mrs. Walls at Donnybrook with you; why is
not she brought to bed? Well, well, well, Dingley, pray be satisfied;
you talk as if you were angry about the Bishop's not offering you
conveniences for the journey; and so he should.--What sort of Christmas?
Why, I have had no Christmas at all; and has it really been Christmas
of late? I never once thought of it. My service to Mrs. Stoyte, and
Catherine; and let Catherine get the coffee ready against I come, and
not have so much care on her countenance; for all will go well.--Mr.
Bernage, Mr. Bernage, Mr. Fiddlenage, I have had three letters from
him now successively; he sends no directions, and how the D---- shall
I write to him? I would have burnt his last, if I had not seen Stella's
hand at the bottom: his request is all nonsense. How can I assist him in
buying? and if he be ordered to go to Spain, go he must, or else sell,
and I believe one can hardly sell in such a juncture. If he had stayed,
and new regiments raised, I would have used my endeavour to have had him
removed; although I have no credit that way, or very little: but, if
the regiment goes, he ought to go too; he has had great indulgence, and
opportunities of saving; and I have urged him to it a hundred times.
What can I do? whenever it lies in my power to do him a good office, I
will do it. Pray draw up this into a handsome speech, and represent it
to him from me, and that I would write, if I knew where to direct to
him; and so I have told you, and desired you would tell him, fifty
times. Yes, Madam Stella, I think I can read your long concluding word,
but you can't read mine after bidding you good-night. And yet methinks,
I mend extremely in my writing; but when Stella's eyes are well, I hope
to write as bad as ever.--So now I have answered your letter, and mine
is an answer; for I lay yours before me, and I look and write, and write
and look, and look and write again.--So good-morrow, madams both, and I
will go rise, for I must rise; for I take pills at night, and so I must
rise early, I don't know why.

25. Morning. I did not tell you how I passed my time yesterday, nor
bid you good-night, and there was good reason. I went in the morning
to Secretary St. John about some business; he had got a great Whig with
him; a creature of the Duke of Marlborough, who is a go-between to make
peace between the Duke and the Ministry: so he came out of his closet,
and, after a few words, desired I would dine with him at three; but Mr.
Lewis stayed till six before he came; and there we sat talking, and the
time slipped so, that at last, when I was positive to go, it was past
two o'clock; so I came home, and went straight to bed. He would never
let me look at his watch, and I could not imagine it above twelve when
we went away. So I bid you good-night for last night, and now I bid you
good-morrow, and I am still in bed, though it be near ten, but I must
rise.

26, 27, 28, 29, 30. I have been so lazy and negligent these last four
days that I could not write to MD. My head is not in order, and yet is
not absolutely ill, but giddyish, and makes me listless; I walk every
day, and take drops of Dr. Cockburn, and I have just done a box of
pills; and to-day Lady Kerry sent me some of her bitter drink, which I
design to take twice a day, and hope I shall grow better. I wish I were
with MD; I long for spring and good weather, and then I will come over.
My riding in Ireland keeps me well. I am very temperate, and eat of the
easiest meats as I am directed, and hope the malignity will go off;
but one fit shakes me a long time. I dined to-day with Lord Mountjoy,
yesterday at Mr. Stone's, in the City, on Sunday at Vanhomrigh's,
Saturday with Ford, and Friday I think at Vanhomrigh's; and that is all
the journal I can send MD, for I was so lazy while I was well, that I
could not write. I thought to have sent this to-night, but 'tis ten,
and I'll go to bed, and write on t'other side to Parvisol to-morrow, and
send it on Thursday; and so good-night, my dears; and love Presto, and
be healthy, and Presto will be so too, etc.

Cut off these notes handsomely, d'ye hear, sirrahs, and give Mrs. Brent
hers, and keep yours till you see Parvisol, and then make up the letter
to him, and send it him by the first opportunity; and so God Almighty
bless you both, here and ever, and poor Presto.

What, I warrant you thought at first that these last lines were another
letter.

Dingley, Pray pay Stella six fishes, and place them to the account of
your humble servant, Presto.

Stella, Pray pay Dingley six fishes, and place them to the account of
your humble servant, Presto.

There are bills of exchange for you.



LETTER 15.

LONDON, Jan. 31, 1710-11.

I am to send you my fourteenth to-morrow; but my head, having some
little disorders, confounds all my journals. I was early this morning
with Mr. Secretary St. John about some business, so I could not scribble
my morning lines to MD. They are here intending to tax all little
printed penny papers a halfpenny every half-sheet, which will utterly
ruin Grub Street, and I am endeavouring to prevent it.(1) Besides, I was
forwarding an impeachment against a certain great person; that was two
of my businesses with the Secretary, were they not worthy ones? It was
Ford's birthday, and I refused the Secretary, and dined with Ford.
We are here in as smart a frost for the time as I have seen; delicate
walking weather, and the Canal and Rosamond's Pond(2) full of the rabble
sliding and with skates, if you know what those are. Patrick's bird's
water freezes in the gallipot, and my hands in bed.

Feb. 1. I was this morning with poor Lady Kerry, who is much worse in
her head than I. She sends me bottles of her bitter; and we are so fond
of one another, because our ailments are the same; don't you know that,
Madam Stella? Han't I seen you conning ailments with Joe's wife,(3)
and some others, sirrah? I walked into the City to dine, because of the
walk, for we must take care of Presto's health, you know, because of
poor little MD. But I walked plaguy carefully, for fear of sliding
against my will; but I am very busy.

2. This morning Mr. Ford came to me to walk into the City, where he had
business, and then to buy books at Bateman's; and I laid out one pound
five shillings for a Strabo and Aristophanes, and I have now got books
enough to make me another shelf, and I will have more, or it shall cost
me a fall; and so as we came back, we drank a flask of right French wine
at Ben Tooke's chamber; and when I got home, Mrs. Vanhomrigh sent me
word her eldest daughter(4) was taken suddenly very ill, and desired I
would come and see her. I went, and found it was a silly trick of Mrs.
Armstrong,(5) Lady Lucy's sister, who, with Moll Stanhope, was visiting
there: however, I rattled off the daughter.

3. To-day I went and dined at Lady Lucy's, where you know I have not
been this long time. They are plaguy Whigs, especially the sister
Armstrong, the most insupportable of all women, pretending to wit,
without any taste. She was running down the last Examiner,(6) the
prettiest I had read, with a character of the present Ministry.--I left
them at five, and came home. But I forgot to tell you, that this morning
my cousin Dryden Leach, the printer, came to me with a heavy complaint,
that Harrison the new Tatler had turned him off, and taken the last
Tatler's printers again. He vowed revenge; I answered gravely, and so he
left me, and I have ordered Patrick to deny me to him from henceforth:
and at night comes a letter from Harrison, telling me the same thing,
and excused his doing it without my notice, because he would bear all
the blame; and in his Tatler of this day(7) he tells you the story, how
he has taken his old officers, and there is a most humble letter from
Morphew and Lillie to beg his pardon, etc.(8) And lastly, this morning
Ford sent me two letters from the Coffee-house (where I hardly ever go),
one from the Archbishop of Dublin, and t'other from--Who do you think
t'other was from?--I'll tell you, because you are friends; why, then it
was, faith, it was from my own dear little MD, N.10. Oh, but will not
answer it now, no, noooooh, I'll keep it between the two sheets; here it
is, just under; oh, I lifted up the sheet and saw it there: lie still,
you shan't be answered yet, little letter; for I must go to bed, and
take care of my head.

4. I avoid going to church yet, for fear of my head, though it has been
much better these last five or six days, since I have taken Lady Kerry's
bitter. Our frost holds like a dragon. I went to Mr. Addison's, and
dined with him at his lodgings; I had not seen him these three weeks, we
are grown common acquaintance; yet what have not I done for his friend
Steele? Mr. Harley reproached me the last time I saw him, that to please
me he would be reconciled to Steele, and had promised and appointed
to see him, and that Steele never came. Harrison, whom Mr. Addison
recommended to me, I have introduced to the Secretary of State, who has
promised me to take care of him; and I have represented Addison himself
so to the Ministry, that they think and talk in his favour, though they
hated him before.--Well, he is now in my debt, and there's an end; and
I never had the least obligation to him, and there's another end. This
evening I had a message from Mr. Harley, desiring to know whether I was
alive, and that I would dine with him to-morrow. They dine so late, that
since my head has been wrong I have avoided being with them.--Patrick
has been out of favour these ten days; I talk dry and cross to him,
and have called him "friend" three or four times. But, sirrahs, get you
gone.

5. Morning. I am going this morning to see Prior, who dines with me
at Mr. Harley's; so I can't stay fiddling and talking with dear little
brats in a morning, and 'tis still terribly cold.--I wish my cold hand
was in the warmest place about you, young women, I'd give ten guineas
upon that account with all my heart, faith; oh, it starves my thigh; so
I'll rise and bid you good-morrow, my ladies both, good-morrow. Come,
stand away, let me rise: Patrick, take away the candle. Is there a good
fire?--So--up-a-dazy.--At night. Mr. Harley did not sit down till six,
and I stayed till eleven; henceforth I will choose to visit him in the
evenings, and dine with him no more if I can help it. It breaks all my
measures, and hurts my health; my head is disorderly, but not ill, and I
hope it will mend.

6. Here has been such a hurry with the Queen's Birthday, so much fine
clothes, and the Court so crowded that I did not go there. All the frost
is gone. It thawed on Sunday, and so continues, yet ice is still on the
Canal (I did not mean that of Laracor, but St. James's Park) and boys
sliding on it. Mr. Ford pressed me to dine with him in his chamber.--Did
not I tell you Patrick has got a bird, a linnet, to carry over to
Dingley? It was very tame at first, and 'tis now the wildest I ever saw.
He keeps it in a closet, where it makes a terrible litter; but I say
nothing: I am as tame as a clout. When must we answer our MD's letter?
One of these odd-come-shortlies. This is a week old, you see, and no
farther yet. Mr. Harley desired I would dine with him again to-day; but
I refused him, for I fell out with him yesterday,(9) and will not see
him again till he makes me amends: and so I go to bed.

7. I was this morning early with Mr. Lewis of the Secretary's office,
and saw a letter Mr. Harley had sent to him, desiring to be reconciled;
but I was deaf to all entreaties, and have desired Lewis to go to him,
and let him know I expect further satisfaction. If we let these great
Ministers pretend too much, there will be no governing them. He promises
to make me easy, if I will but come and see him; but I won't, and he
shall do it by message, or I will cast him off. I'll tell you the cause
of our quarrel when I see you, and refer it to yourselves. In that he
did something, which he intended for a favour; and I have taken it quite
otherwise, disliking both the thing and the manner, and it has heartily
vexed me, and all I have said is truth, though it looks like jest; and I
absolutely refused to submit to his intended favour, and expect further
satisfaction. Mr. Ford and I dined with Mr. Lewis. We have a monstrous
deal of snow, and it has cost me two shillings to-day in chair and
coach, and walked till I was dirty besides. I know not what it is now
to read or write after I am in bed. The last thing I do up is to write
something to our MD, and then get into bed, and put out my candle,
and so go sleep as fast as ever I can. But in the mornings I do write
sometimes in bed, as you know.

8. Morning. I HAVE DESIRED APRONIA TO BE ALWAYS CAREFUL, ESPECIALLY
ABOUT THE LEGS. Pray, do you see any such great wit in that sentence?
I must freely own that I do not. But party carries everything nowadays,
and what a splutter have I heard about the wit of that saying, repeated
with admiration above a hundred times in half an hour! Pray read it over
again this moment, and consider it. I think the word is ADVISED, and not
DESIRED. I should not have remembered it if I had not heard it so often.
Why--ay--You must know I dreamed it just now, and waked with it in my
mouth. Are you bit, or are you not, sirrahs? I met Mr. Harley in the
Court of Requests, and he asked me how long I had learnt the trick of
writing to myself? He had seen your letter through the glass case at the
Coffee-house, and would swear it was my hand; and Mr. Ford, who took and
sent it me, was of the same mind. I remember others have formerly said
so too. I think I was little MD's writing-master.(10)--But come, what
is here to do, writing to young women in a morning? I have other fish
to fry; so good-morrow, my ladies all, good-morrow. Perhaps I'll answer
your letter to-night, perhaps I won't; that's as saucy little Presto
takes the humour.--At night. I walked in the Park to-day in spite of the
weather, as I do always when it does not actually rain. Do you know what
it has gone and done? We had a thaw for three days, then a monstrous
dirt and snow, and now it freezes, like a pot-lid, upon our snow. I
dined with Lady Betty Germaine, the first time since I came for England;
and there did I sit, like a booby, till eight, looking over her and
another lady at piquet, when I had other business enough to do. It was
the coldest day I felt this year.

9. Morning. After I had been abed an hour last night, I was forced to
rise and call to the landlady and maid to have the fire removed in a
chimney below stairs, which made my bed-chamber smoke, though I had no
fire in it. I have been twice served so. I never lay so miserable an
hour in my life. Is it not plaguy vexatious?--It has snowed all night,
and rains this morning.--Come, where's MD's letter? Come, Mrs. Letter,
make your appearance. Here am I, says she, answer me to my face.--O,
faith, I am sorry you had my twelfth so soon; I doubt you will stay
longer for the rest. I'm so 'fraid you have got my fourteenth while I
am writing this; and I would always have one letter from Presto reading,
one travelling, and one writing. As for the box, I now believe it lost.
It is directed for Mr. Curry, at his house in Capel Street, etc. I had
a letter yesterday from Dr. Raymond in Chester, who says he sent his
man everywhere, and cannot find it; and God knows whether Mr. Smyth will
have better success. Sterne spoke to him, and I writ to him with the
bottle of palsy-water; that bottle, I hope, will not miscarry: I long
to hear you have it. O, faith, you have too good an opinion of Presto's
care. I am negligent enough of everything but MD, and I should not have
trusted Sterne.--But it shall not go so: I will have one more tug for
it.--As to what you say of Goodman Peasly and Isaac,(11) I answer as I
did before. Fie, child, you must not give yourself the way to believe
any such thing: and afterwards, only for curiosity, you may tell me
how these things are approved, and how you like them; and whether they
instruct you in the present course of affairs, and whether they are
printed in your town, or only sent from hence.--Sir Andrew Fountaine is
recovered; so take your sorrow again, but don't keep it, fling it to the
dogs. And does little MD walk indeed?--I'm glad of it at heart.--Yes, we
have done with the plague here: it was very saucy in you to pretend to
have it before your betters. Your intelligence that the story is false
about the officers forced to sell,(12) is admirable. You may see them
all three here every day, no more in the army than you. Twelve shillings
for mending the strong box; that is, for putting a farthing's worth of
iron on a hinge, and gilding it; give him six shillings, and I'll pay
it, and never employ him or his again.--No indeed, I put off preaching
as much as I can. I am upon another foot: nobody doubts here whether
I can preach, and you are fools.--The account you give of that weekly
paper(13) agrees with us here. Mr. Prior was like to be insulted in the
street for being supposed the author of it; but one of the last papers
cleared him. Nobody knows who it is, but those few in the secret, I
suppose the Ministry and the printer.--Poor Stella's eyes! God bless
them, and send them better. Pray spare them, and write not above two
lines a day in broad daylight. How does Stella look, Madam Dingley?
Pretty well, a handsome young woman still. Will she pass in a crowd?
Will she make a figure in a country church?--Stay a little, fair ladies.
I this minute sent Patrick to Sterne: he brings back word that your box
is very safe with one Mr. Earl's sister in Chester, and that Colonel
Edgworth's widow(14) goes for Ireland on Monday next, and will receive
the box at Chester, and deliver it you safe: so there are some hopes
now.--Well, let us go on to your letter.--The warrant is passed for the
First-Fruits. The Queen does not send a letter; but a patent will be
drawn here, and that will take up time. Mr. Harley of late has said
nothing of presenting me to the Queen: I was overseen(15) when I
mentioned it to you. He has such a weight of affairs on him, that he
cannot mind all; but he talked of it three or four times to me, long
before I dropped it to you. What, is not Mrs. Walls' business over
yet? I had hopes she was up and well, and the child dead before this
time.--You did right, at last, to send me your accompts; but I did not
stay for them, I thank you. I hope you have your bill sent in my last,
and there will be eight pounds' interest soon due from Hawkshaw: pray
look at his bond. I hope you are good managers; and that, when I say so,
Stella won't think I intend she should grudge herself wine. But going to
those expensive lodgings requires some fund. I wish you had stayed till
I came over, for some reasons. That Frenchwoman(16) will be grumbling
again in a little time: and if you are invited anywhere to the country,
it will vex you to pay in absence; and the country may be necessary for
poor Stella's health: but do as you like, and do not blame Presto.--Oh,
but you are telling your reasons.--Well, I have read them; do as you
please.--Yes, Raymond says he must stay longer than he thought, because
he cannot settle his affairs. M---- is in the country at some friend's,
comes to town in spring, and then goes to settle in Herefordshire. Her
husband is a surly, ill-natured brute, and cares not she should see
anybody. O Lord, see how I blundered, and left two lines short; it was
that ugly score in the paper(17) that made me mistake.--I believe you
lie about the story of the fire, only to make it more odd. Bernage must
go to Spain; and I will see to recommend him to the Duke of Argyle, his
General, when I see the Duke next: but the officers tell me it would be
dishonourable in the last degree for him to sell now, and he would never
be preferred in the army; so that, unless he designs to leave it for
good and all, he must go. Tell him so, and that I would write if I knew
where to direct to him; which I have said fourscore times already. I had
rather anything almost than that you should strain yourselves to send
a letter when it is inconvenient; we have settled that matter already.
I'll write when I can, and so shall MD; and upon occasions extraordinary
I will write, though it be a line; and when we have not letters soon, we
agree that all things are well; and so that's settled for ever, and
so hold your tongue.--Well, you shall have your pins; but for candles'
ends, I cannot promise, because I burn them to the stumps; besides, I
remember what Stella told Dingley about them many years ago, and she
may think the same thing of me.--And Dingley shall have her hinged
spectacles.--Poor dear Stella, how durst you write those two lines by
candlelight? bang your bones! Faith, this letter shall go to-morrow, I
think, and that will be in ten days from the last, young women; that's
too soon of all conscience: but answering yours has filled it up so
quick, and I do not design to use you to three pages in folio, no,
nooooh. All this is one morning's work in bed;--and so good-morrow,
little sirrahs; that's for the rhyme.(18) You want politics: faith, I
can't think of any; but may be at night I may tell you a passage. Come,
sit off the bed, and let me rise, will you?--At night. I dined to-day
with my neighbour Vanhomrigh; it was such dismal weather I could not
stir further. I have had some threatenings with my head, but no fits. I
still drink Dr. Radcliffe's(19) bitter, and will continue it.

10. I was this morning to see the Secretary of State, and have engaged
him to give a memorial from me to the Duke of Argyle in behalf of
Bernage. The Duke is a man that distinguishes people of merit, and I
will speak to him myself; but the Secretary backing it will be very
effectual, and I will take care to have it done to purpose. Pray tell
Bernage so, and that I think nothing can be luckier for him, and that I
would have him go by all means. I will order it that the Duke shall send
for him when they are in Spain; or, if he fails, that he shall receive
him kindly when he goes to wait on him. Can I do more? Is not this a
great deal?--I now send away this letter, that you may not stay.--I
dined with Ford upon his Opera-day, and am now come home, and am going
to study; do not you presume to guess, sirrahs, impudent saucy dear
boxes. Towards the end of a letter I could not say saucy boxes without
putting dear between. An't that right now? Farewell. THIS should BE
longer, BUT that _I_ send IT to-night.(20)

O silly, silly loggerhead!

I send a letter this post to one Mr. Staunton, and I direct it to Mr.
Acton's in St. Michael's Lane. He formerly lodged there, but he has not
told me where to direct. Pray send to that Acton, whether(21) the letter
is come there, and whether he has sent it to Staunton.

If Bernage designs to sell his commission and stay at home, pray let him
tell me so, that my recommendation to the Duke of Argyle may not be in
vain.



LETTER 16.

LONDON, Feb. 10, 1710-11.

I have just despatched my fifteenth to the post; I tell you how things
will be, after I have got a letter from MD. I am in furious haste
to finish mine, for fear of having two of MD's to answer in one of
Presto's, which would be such a disgrace, never saw the like; but,
before you write to me, I write at my leisure, like a gentleman, a
little every day, just to let you know how matters go, and so and
so; and I hope before this comes to you, you'll have got your box and
chocolate, and Presto will take more care another time.

11. Morning. I must rise and go see my Lord Keeper,(1) which will
cost me two shillings in coach-hire. Don't you call them two
thirteens?(2)--At night. It has rained all day, and there was no
walking. I read prayers to Sir Andrew Fountaine in the forenoon, and I
dined with three Irishmen, at one Mr. Cope's(3) lodgings; the other two
were one Morris an archdeacon,(4) and Mr. Ford. When I came home this
evening, I expected that little jackanapes Harrison would have come to
get help about his Tatler for Tuesday: I have fixed two evenings in the
week which I allow him to come. The toad never came, and I expecting him
fell a reading, and left off other business.--Come, what are you doing?
How do you pass your time this ugly weather? Gaming and drinking, I
suppose: fine diversions for young ladies, truly! I wish you had some
of our Seville oranges, and we some of your wine. We have the finest
oranges for twopence apiece, and the basest wine for six shillings a
bottle. They tell me wine grows cheap with you. I am resolved to have
half a hogshead when I get to Ireland, if it be good and cheap, as it
used to be; and I will treat MD at my table in an evening, oh hoa, and
laugh at great Ministers of State.

12. The days are grown fine and long, ---- be thanked. O, faith, you
forget all our little sayings, and I am angry. I dined to-day with Mr.
Secretary St. John: I went to the Court of Requests at noon, and sent
Mr. Harley into the House to call the Secretary, to let him know I would
not dine with him if he dined late. By good luck the Duke of Argyle was
at the lobby of the House too, and I kept him in talk till the Secretary
came out; then told them I was glad to meet them together, and that
I had a request to the Duke, which the Secretary must second, and
his Grace must grant. The Duke said he was sure it was something
insignificant, and wished it was ten times greater. At the Secretary's
house I writ a memorial, and gave it to the Secretary to give the Duke,
and shall see that he does it. It is, that his Grace will please to
take Mr. Bernage into his protection; and if he finds Bernage answers my
character, to give him all encouragement. Colonel Masham(5) and Colonel
Hill(6) Mrs. Masham's(7) brother tell me my request is reasonable, and
they will second it heartily to the Duke too: so I reckon Bernage is
on a very good foot when he goes to Spain. Pray tell him this, though
perhaps I will write to him before he goes; yet where shall I direct?
for I suppose he has left Connolly's.(8)

13. I have left off Lady Kerry's bitter, and got another box of pills.
I have no fits of giddiness, but only some little disorders towards it;
and I walk as much as I can. Lady Kerry is just as I am, only a great
deal worse: I dined to-day at Lord Shelburne's, where she is, and we
con ailments, which makes us very fond of each other. I have taken Mr.
Harley into favour again, and called to see him, but he was not within;
I will use to visit him after dinner, for he dines too late for my head:
then I went to visit poor Congreve, who is just getting out of a severe
fit of the gout; and I sat with him till near nine o'clock. He gave me a
Tatler(9) he had written out, as blind as he is, for little Harrison. It
is about a scoundrel that was grown rich, and went and bought a coat of
arms at the Herald's, and a set of ancestors at Fleet Ditch; 'tis well
enough, and shall be printed in two or three days, and if you read those
kind of things, this will divert you. It is now between ten and eleven,
and I am going to bed.

14. This was Mrs. Vanhomrigh's daughter's(10) birthday, and Mr. Ford
and I were invited to dinner to keep it, and we spent the evening there,
drinking punch. That was our way of beginning Lent; and in the morning
Lord Shelburne, Lady Kerry, Mrs. Pratt, and I, went to Hyde Park,
instead of going to church; for, till my head is a little settled, I
think it better not to go; it would be so silly and troublesome to go
out sick. Dr. Duke(11) died suddenly two or three nights ago; he was one
of the wits when we were children, but turned parson, and left it, and
never writ farther than a prologue or recommendatory copy of verses. He
had a fine living given him by the Bishop of Winchester(12) about three
months ago; he got his living suddenly, and he got his dying so too.

15. I walked purely to-day about the Park, the rain being just over, of
which we have had a great deal, mixed with little short frosts. I went
to the Court of Requests, thinking, if Mr. Harley dined early, to go
with him. But meeting Leigh and Sterne, they invited me to dine
with them, and away we went. When we got into his room, one H----, a
worthless Irish fellow, was there, ready to dine with us; so I stepped
out, and whispered them, that I would not dine with that fellow: they
made excuses, and begged me to stay; but away I went to Mr. Harley's,
and he did not dine at home; and at last I dined at Sir John
Germaine's,(13) and found Lady Betty but just recovered of a
miscarriage. I am writing an inscription for Lord Berkeley's(14) tomb;
you know the young rake his son, the new Earl, is married to the Duke of
Richmond's daughter,(15) at the Duke's country house, and are now coming
to town. She will be fluxed in two months, and they'll be parted in a
year. You ladies are brave, bold, venturesome folks; and the chit is but
seventeen, and is ill-natured, covetous, vicious, and proud in extremes.
And so get you gone to Stoyte to-morrow.

16. Faith, this letter goes on but slow; 'tis a week old, and the first
side not written. I went to-day into the City for a walk, but the person
I designed to dine with was not at home; so I came back, and called at
Congreve's, and dined with him and Estcourt,(16) and laughed till six;
then went to Mr. Harley's, who was not gone to dinner; there I stayed
till nine, and we made up our quarrel, and he has invited me to dinner
to-morrow, which is the day of the week (Saturday) that Lord Keeper
and Secretary St. John dine with him privately, and at last they have
consented to let me among them on that day. Atterbury and Prior went
to bury poor Dr. Duke. Congreve's nasty white wine has given me the
heart-burn.

17. I took some good walks in the Park to-day, and then went to
Mr. Harley. Lord Rivers was got there before me, and I chid him for
presuming to come on a day when only Lord Keeper and the Secretary and I
were to be there; but he regarded me not; so we all dined together,
and sat down at four; and the Secretary has invited me to dine with him
to-morrow. I told them I had no hopes they could ever keep in, but that
I saw they loved one another so well, as indeed they seem to do. They
call me nothing but Jonathan; and I said I believed they would leave me
Jonathan as they found me; and that I never knew a Ministry do anything
for those whom they make companions of their pleasures; and I believe
you will find it so; but I care not. I am upon a project of getting
five hundred pounds,(17) without being obliged to anybody; but that is
a secret, till I see my dearest MD; and so hold your tongue, and do not
talk, sirrahs, for I am now about it.

18. My head has no fits, but a little disordered before dinner; yet I
walk stoutly, and take pills, and hope to mend. Secretary St. John would
needs have me dine with him to-day; and there I found three persons I
never saw, two I had no acquaintance with, and one I did not care for:
so I left them early and came home, it being no day to walk, but scurvy
rain and wind. The Secretary tells me he has put a cheat on me; for Lord
Peterborow sent him twelve dozen flasks of burgundy, on condition that I
should have my share; but he never was quiet till they were all gone,
so I reckon he owes me thirty-six pounds. Lord Peterborow is now got
to Vienna, and I must write to him to-morrow. I begin now to be towards
looking for a letter from some certain ladies of Presto's acquaintance,
that live at St. Mary's,(18) and are called in a certain language, our
little MD. No, stay, I don't expect one these six days, that will be
just three weeks; an't I a reasonable creature? We are plagued here with
an October Club, that is, a set of above a hundred Parliament men of
the country, who drink October beer at home, and meet every evening at
a tavern near the Parliament to consult affairs, and drive things on to
extremes against the Whigs, to call the old Ministry to account, and get
off five or six heads.(19) The Ministry seem not to regard them; yet one
of them in confidence told me that there must be something thought
on, to settle things better. I'll tell you one great State secret: the
Queen, sensible how much she was governed by the late Ministry, runs a
little into t'other extreme, and is jealous in that point, even of
those who got her out of the others' hands. The Ministry is for gentler
measures, and the other Tories for more violent. Lord Rivers, talking
to me the other day, cursed the paper called the Examiner, for speaking
civilly of the Duke of Marlborough; this I happened to talk of to the
Secretary, who blamed the warmth of that lord and some others, and swore
that if their advice were followed they would be blown up in twenty-four
hours. And I have reason to think that they will endeavour to prevail
on the Queen to put her affairs more in the hands of a Ministry than she
does at present; and there are, I believe, two men thought on, one
of them you have often met the name of in my letters. But so much for
politics.

19. This proved a terrible rainy day, which prevented my walk into the
City, and I was only able to run and dine with my neighbour Vanhomrigh,
where Sir Andrew Fountaine dined too, who has just began to sally out,
and has shipped his mother and sister, who were his nurses, back to the
country. This evening was fair, and I walked a little in the Park, till
Prior made me go with him to the Smyrna Coffee-house, where I sat
a while, and saw four or five Irish persons, who are very handsome,
genteel fellows; but I know not their names. I came away at seven, and
got home. Two days ago I writ to Bernage, and told him what I had
done, and directed the letter to Mr. Curry's, to be left with Dingley.
Brigadiers Hill and Masham, brother and husband to Mrs. Masham, the
Queen's favourite, Colonel Disney,(20) and I, have recommended Bernage
to the Duke of Argyle; and Secretary St. John has given the Duke
my memorial; and, besides, Hill tells me, that Bernage's colonel,
Fielding,(21) designs to make him his captain-lieutenant: but I believe
I said this to you before, and in this letter; but I will not look.

20. Morning. It snows terribly again; and 'tis mistaken, for I now want
a little good weather. I bid you good-morrow; and, if it clear up, get
you gone to poor Mrs. Walls, who has had a hard time of it, but is now
pretty well again. I am sorry it is a girl: the poor Archdeacon too, see
how simply he looked when they told him: what did it cost Stella to be
gossip? I'll rise; so, d'ye hear, let me see you at night; and do not
stay late out, and catch cold, sirrahs.--At night. It grew good weather,
and I got a good walk, and dined with Ford upon his Opera-day; but, now
all his wine is gone, I shall dine with him no more. I hope to send
this letter before I hear from MD, methinks there is--something great in
doing so, only I can't express where it lies; and, faith, this shall go
by Saturday, as sure as you're a rogue. Mrs. Edgworth was to set out but
last Monday; so you won't have your box so soon perhaps as this letter;
but Sterne told me since that it is safe at Chester, and that she will
take care of it. I'd give a guinea you had it.

21. Morning. Faith, I hope it will be fair for me to walk into the City;
for I take all occasions of walking.--I should be plaguy busy at Laracor
if I were there now, cutting down willows, planting others, scouring my
canal, and every kind of thing. If Raymond goes over this summer, you
must submit, and make them a visit, that we may have another eel and
trout fishing; and that Stella may ride by, and see Presto in his
morning-gown in the garden, and so go up with Joe to the Hill of Bree,
and round by Scurlock's Town. O Lord, how I remember names! faith,
it gives me short sighs; therefore no more of that, if you love me.
Good-morrow, I will go rise like a gentleman; my pills say I must.--At
night. Lady Kerry sent to desire me to engage some lords about an affair
she has in their house here: I called to see her, but found she
had already engaged every lord I knew, and that there was no great
difficulty in the matter; and it rained like a dog; so I took coach,
for want of better exercise, and dined privately with a hang-dog in the
City, and walked back in the evening. The days are now long enough to
walk in the Park after dinner; and so I do whenever it is fair. This
walking is a strange remedy: Mr. Prior walks, to make himself fat, and
I to bring myself down; he has generally a cough, which he only calls a
cold; we often walk round the Park together. So I'll go sleep.

22. It snowed all this morning prodigiously, and was some inches thick
in three or four hours. I dined with Mr. Lewis of the Secretary's office
at his lodgings: the chairmen that carried me squeezed a great fellow
against a wall, who wisely turned his back, and broke one of the
side-glasses in a thousand pieces. I fell a scolding, pretended I was
like to be cut to pieces, and made them set down the chair in the Park,
while they picked out the bits of glasses; and, when I paid them, I
quarrelled still; so they dared not grumble, and I came off for my fare;
but I was plaguily afraid they would have said, "God bless your honour,
won't you give us something for our glass?" Lewis and I were forming
a project how I might get three or four hundred pounds,(22) which
I suppose may come to nothing. I hope Smyth has brought you your
palsy-drops. How does Stella do? I begin more and more to desire to
know. The three weeks since I had your last is over within two days, and
I will allow three for accidents.

23. The snow is gone every bit, except the remainder of some great balls
made by the boys. Mr. Sterne was with me this morning about an affair he
has before the Treasury. That drab Mrs. Edgworth is not yet set out, but
will infallibly next Monday: and this is the third infallible Monday,
and pox take her! So you will have this letter first; and this shall go
to-morrow; and, if I have one from MD in that time, I will not answer it
till my next; only I will say, "Madam, I received your letter, and so,
and so." I dined to-day with my Mistress Butler,(23) who grows very
disagreeable.

24. Morning. This letter certainly goes this evening, sure as you're
alive, young women, and then you will be so shamed that I have had none
from you; and, if I was to reckon like you, I would say, I were six
letters before you, for this is N.16, and I have had your N.10. But I
reckon you have received but fourteen, and have sent eleven. I think to
go to-day a Minister-of-State-hunting in the Court of Requests; for
I have something to say to Mr. Harley. And it is fine, cold, sunshiny
weather; I wish dear MD would walk this morning in your Stephen's Green;
'tis as good as our Park, but not so large.(24) Faith, this summer we'll
take a coach for sixpence(25) to the Green Well, the two walks, and
thence all the way to Stoyte's.(26) My hearty service to Goody Stoyte
and Catherine; and I hope Mrs. Walls had a good time. How inconstant I
am! I can't imagine I was ever in love with her. Well, I'm going; what
have you to say? I DO NOT CARE HOW I WRITE NOW.(27) I don't design to
write on this side; these few lines are but so much more than your
due; so I will write LARGE or small as I please. O, faith, my hands are
starving in bed; I believe it is a hard frost. I must rise, and bid
you good-bye, for I'll seal this letter immediately, and carry it in
my pocket, and put it into the post-office with my own fair hands.
Farewell.

This letter is just a fortnight's journal to-day. Yes, and so it is, I'm
sure, says you, with your two eggs a penny.

Lele, lele, lele.(28)

O Lord, I am saying lele, lele, to myself, in all our little keys: and,
now you talk of keys, that dog Patrick broke the key-general of the
chest of drawers with six locks, and I have been so plagued to get a new
one, besides my good two shillings!



LETTER 17.

LONDON, Feb. 24, 1710-11.

Now, young women, I gave in my sixteenth this evening. I dined with Ford
(it was his Opera-day) as usual; it is very convenient to me to do so,
for coming home early after a walk in the Park, which now the days will
allow. I called on the Secretary at his office, and he had forgot to
give the memorial about Bernage to the Duke of Argyle; but, two days
ago, I met the Duke, who desired I would give it him myself, which
should have more power with him than all the Ministry together, as he
protested solemnly, repeated it two or three times, and bid me count
upon it. So that I verily believe Bernage will be in a very good way
to establish himself. I think I can do no more for him at present, and
there's an end of that; and so get you gone to bed, for it is late.

25. The three weeks are out yesterday since I had your last, and so now
I will be expecting every day a pretty dear letter from my own MD, and
hope to hear that Stella has been much better in her head and eyes:
my head continues as it was, no fits, but a little disorder every day,
which I can easily bear, if it will not grow worse. I dined to-day with
Mr. Secretary St. John, on condition I might choose my company, which
were Lord Rivers, Lord Carteret, Sir Thomas Mansel,(1) and Mr. Lewis; I
invited Masham, Hill, Sir John Stanley, and George Granville, but they
were engaged; and I did it in revenge of his having such bad company
when I dined with him before; so we laughed, etc. And I ventured to go
to church to-day, which I have not done this month before. Can you send
me such a good account of Stella's health, pray now? Yes, I hope, and
better too. We dined (says you) at the Dean's, and played at cards
till twelve, and there came in Mr. French, and Dr. Travors, and Dr.
Whittingham, and Mr. (I forget his name, that I always tell Mrs. Walls
of) the banker's son, a pox on him. And we were so merry; I vow they are
pure good company. But I lost a crown; for you must know I had always
hands tempting me to go out, but never took in anything, and often
two black aces without a manilio; was not that hard, Presto? Hold your
tongue, etc.

26. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary about some business, and
he tells me that Colonel Fielding is now going to make Bernage
his captain-lieutenant, that is, a captain by commission, and the
perquisites of the company; but not captain's pay, only the first step
to it. I suppose he will like it; and the recommendation to the Duke
of Argyle goes on. And so trouble me no more about your Bernage; the
jackanapes understands what fair solicitors he has got, I warrant you.
Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined, by invitation, with Mrs. Vanhomrigh.
You say they are of no consequence: why, they keep as good female
company as I do male; I see all the drabs of quality at this end of
the town with them: I saw two Lady Bettys(2) there this afternoon; the
beauty of one, the good-breeding and nature of t'other, and the wit of
neither, would have made a fine woman. Rare walking in the Park now: why
don't you walk in the Green of St. Stephen? The walks there are finer
gravelled than the Mall. What beasts the Irish women are, never to walk!

27. Darteneuf and I, and little Harrison the new Tatler, and Jervas the
painter, dined to-day with James,(3) I know not his other name, but it
is one of Darteneuf's dining-places, who is a true epicure. James is
clerk of the kitchen to the Queen, and has a little snug house at St.
James's; and we had the Queen's wine, and such very fine victuals that
I could not eat it. Three weeks and three days since my last letter from
MD; rare doings! why, truly we were so busy with poor Mrs. Walls, that
indeed, Presto, we could not write, we were afraid the poor woman would
have died; and it pitied us to see the Archdeacon, how concerned he was.
The Dean never came to see her but once; but now she is up again, and we
go and sit with her in the evenings. The child died the next day after
it was born; and I believe, between friends, she is not very sorry for
it.--Indeed, Presto, you are plaguy silly tonight, and han't guessed one
word right; for she and the child are both well, and it is a fine girl,
likely to live; and the Dean was godfather, and Mrs. Catherine and I
were godmothers; I was going to say Stoyte, but I think I have heard
they don't put maids and married women together; though I know not why I
think so, nor I don't care; what care I? but I must prate, etc.

28. I walked to-day into the City for my health, and there dined; which
I always do when the weather is fair, and business permits, that I may
be under a necessity of taking a good walk, which is the best thing I
can do at present for my health. Some bookseller has raked up everything
I writ, and published it t'other day in one volume; but I know nothing
of it, 'twas without my knowledge or consent: it makes a four-shilling
book, and is called Miscellanies in Prose and Verse.(4) Tooke pretends
he knows nothing of it; but I doubt he is at the bottom. One must have
patience with these things; the best of it is, I shall be plagued
no more. However, I will bring a couple of them over with me for MD;
perhaps you may desire to see them. I hear they sell mightily.

March 1. Morning. I have been calling to Patrick to look in his almanac
for the day of the month; I did not know but it might be leap-year. The
almanac says 'tis the third after leap-year; and I always thought till
now, that every third year was leap-year. I am glad they come so seldom;
but I'm sure 'twas otherwise when I was a young man; I see times are
mightily changed since then.--Write to me, sirrahs; be sure do by the
time this side is done, and I'll keep t'other side for the answer: so
I'll go write to the Bishop of Clogher; good-morrow, sirrahs.--Night.
I dined to-day at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, being a rainy day; and Lady Betty
Butler, knowing it, sent to let me know she expected my company in the
evening, where the Vans (so we call them) were to be. The Duchess(5) and
they do not go over this summer with the Duke; so I go to bed.

2. This rainy weather undoes me in coaches and chairs. I was traipsing
to-day with your Mr. Sterne, to go along with them to Moore,(6) and
recommend his business to the Treasury. Sterne tells me his dependence
is wholly on me; but I have absolutely refused to recommend it to Mr.
Harley, because I have troubled him lately so much with other folks'
affairs; and besides, to tell the truth, Mr. Harley told me he did not
like Sterne's business: however, I will serve him, because I suppose MD
would have me. But, in saying his dependence lies wholly on me, he lies,
and is a fool. I dined with Lord Abercorn, whose son Peasley(7) will be
married at Easter to ten thousand pounds.

3. I forgot to tell you that yesterday morning I was at Mr. Harley's
levee: he swore I came in spite, to see him among a parcel of fools.
My business was to desire I might let the Duke of Ormond know how the
affair stood of the First-Fruits. He promised to let him know it,
and engaged me to dine with him to-day. Every Saturday, Lord Keeper,
Secretary St. John, and I dine with him, and sometimes Lord Rivers; and
they let in none else. Patrick brought me some letters into the Park;
among which one was from Walls; and t'other, yes, faith, t'other was
from our little MD, N.11. I read the rest in the Park, and MD's in a
chair as I went from St. James's to Mr. Harley; and glad enough I was,
faith, to read it, and see all right. Oh, but I won't answer it these
three or four days at least, or may be sooner. An't I silly? faith, your
letters would make a dog silly, if I had a dog to be silly, but it must
be a little dog.--I stayed with Mr. Harley till past nine, where we had
much discourse together after the rest were gone; and I gave him very
truly my opinion where he desired it. He complained he was not very
well, and has engaged me to dine with him again on Monday. So I came
home afoot, like a fine gentleman, to tell you all this.

4. I dined to-day with Mr. Secretary St. John; and after dinner he had
a note from Mr. Harley, that he was much out of order.(8) Pray God
preserve his health! everything depends upon it. The Parliament at
present cannot go a step without him, nor the Queen neither. I long
to be in Ireland; but the Ministry beg me to stay: however, when this
Parliament lurry(9) is over, I will endeavour to steal away; by which
time I hope the First-Fruit business will be done. This kingdom is
certainly ruined as much as was ever any bankrupt merchant. We must have
peace, let it be a bad or a good one, though nobody dares talk of it.
The nearer I look upon things, the worse I like them. I believe
the confederacy will soon break to pieces, and our factions at home
increase. The Ministry is upon a very narrow bottom, and stand like an
isthmus, between the Whigs on one side, and violent Tories on the other.
They are able seamen; but the tempest is too great, the ship too rotten,
and the crew all against them. Lord Somers has been twice in the Queen's
closet, once very lately; and your Duchess of Somerset,(10) who now has
the key, is a most insinuating woman; and I believe they will endeavour
to play the same game that has been played against them.--I have told
them of all this, which they know already, but they cannot help it.
They have cautioned the Queen so much against being governed, that she
observes it too much. I could talk till to-morrow upon these things, but
they make me melancholy. I could not but observe that lately, after much
conversation with Mr. Harley, though he is the most fearless man alive,
and the least apt to despond, he confessed to me that uttering his mind
to me gave him ease.

5. Mr. Harley continues out of order, yet his affairs force him abroad:
he is subject to a sore throat, and was cupped last night: I sent and
called two or three times. I hear he is better this evening. I dined
to-day in the City with Dr. Freind at a third body's house, where I was
to pass for somebody else; and there was a plaguy silly jest carried on,
that made me sick of it. Our weather grows fine, and I will walk like
camomile. And pray walk you to your Dean's, or your Stoyte's, or your
Manley's, or your Walls'. But your new lodgings make you so proud, you
will walk less than ever. Come, let me go to bed, sirrahs.

6. Mr. Harley's going out yesterday has put him a little backwards. I
called twice, and sent, for I am in pain for him. Ford caught me, and
made me dine with him on his Opera-day; so I brought Mr. Lewis with
me, and sat with him till six. I have not seen Mr. Addison these three
weeks; all our friendship is over. I go to no Coffee-house. I presented
a parson of the Bishop of Clogher's, one Richardson,(11) to the Duke of
Ormond to-day: he is translating prayers and sermons into Irish, and has
a project about instructing the Irish in the Protestant religion.

7. Morning. Faith, a little would make me, I could find in my heart, if
it were not for one thing, I have a good mind, if I had not something
else to do, I would answer your dear saucy letter. O, Lord, I am going
awry with writing in bed. O, faith, but I must answer it, or I shan't
have room, for it must go on Saturday; and don't think I will fill the
third side, I an't come to that yet, young women. Well then, as for your
Bernage, I have said enough: I writ to him last week.--Turn over that
leaf. Now, what says MD to the world to come? I tell you, Madam Stella,
my head is a great deal better, and I hope will keep so. How came yours
to be fifteen days coming, and you had my fifteenth in seven? Answer me
that, rogues. Your being with Goody Walls is excuse enough: I find I was
mistaken in the sex, 'tis a boy.(12) Yes, I understand your cypher,
and Stella guesses right, as she always does. He(13) gave me al bsadnuk
lboinlpl dfaonr ufainf btoy dpionufnad,(14) which I sent him again by
Mr. Lewis, to whom I writ a very complaining letter that was showed him;
and so the matter ended. He told me he had a quarrel with me; I said I
had another with him, and we returned to our friendship, and I should
think he loves me as well as a great Minister can love a man in so
short a time. Did not I do right? I am glad at heart you have got your
palsy-water;(15) pray God Almighty it may do my dearest little Stella
good! I suppose Mrs. Edgworth set out last Monday se'ennight. Yes, I do
read the Examiners, and they are written very finely, as you judge. I
do not think they are too severe on the Duke;(16) they only tax him of
avarice, and his avarice has ruined us. You may count upon all things in
them to be true. The author has said it is not Prior, but perhaps it
may be Atterbury.--Now, Madam Dingley, says she, 'tis fine weather, says
she; yes, says she, and we have got to our new lodgings. I compute you
ought to save eight pounds by being in the others five months; and you
have no more done it than eight thousand. I am glad you are rid of that
squinting, blinking Frenchman. I will give you a bill on Parvisol for
five pounds for the half-year. And must I go on at four shillings a
week, and neither eat nor drink for it? Who the Devil said Atterbury and
your Dean were alike? I never saw your Chancellor, nor his chaplain.
The latter has a good deal of learning, and is a well-wisher to be an
author: your Chancellor is an excellent man. As for Patrick's bird, he
bought him for his tameness, and is grown the wildest I ever saw. His
wings have been quilled thrice, and are now up again: he will be able
to fly after us to Ireland, if he be willing.--Yes, Mrs. Stella, Dingley
writes more like Presto than you; for all you superscribed the letter,
as who should say, Why should not I write like our Presto as well as
Dingley? You with your awkward SS;(17) cannot you write them thus, SS?
No, but always SSS. Spiteful sluts, to affront Presto's writing; as that
when you shut your eyes you write most like Presto. I know the time when
I did not write to you half so plain as I do now; but I take pity on you
both. I am very much concerned for Mrs. Walls's eyes. Walls says nothing
of it to me in his letter dated after yours. You say, "If she recovers,
she may lose her sight." I hope she is in no danger of her life. Yes,
Ford is as sober as I please: I use him to walk with me as an easy
companion, always ready for what I please, when I am weary of business
and Ministers. I don't go to a Coffee-house twice a month. I am very
regular in going to sleep before eleven.--And so you say that Stella
is a pretty girl; and so she be, and methinks I see her just now as
handsome as the day is long. Do you know what? when I am writing in
our language, I make up my mouth just as if I was speaking it. I caught
myself at it just now. And I suppose Dingley is so fair and so fresh as
a lass in May, and has her health, and no spleen.--In your account
you sent do you reckon as usual from the 1st of November(18) was
twelvemonth? Poor Stella, will not Dingley leave her a little daylight
to write to Presto? Well, well, we'll have daylight shortly, spite of
her teeth; and zoo(19) must cly Lele and Hele, and Hele aden. Must loo
mimitate Pdfr, pay? Iss, and so la shall. And so lele's fol ee rettle.
Dood-mollow.--At night. Mrs. Barton sent this morning to invite me to
dinner; and there I dined, just in that genteel manner that MD used when
they would treat some better sort of body than usual.

8. O dear MD, my heart is almost broken. You will hear the thing
before this comes to you. I writ a full account of it this night to the
Archbishop of Dublin; and the Dean may tell you the particulars from
the Archbishop. I was in a sorry way to write, but thought it might be
proper to send a true account of the fact; for you will hear a thousand
lying circumstances. It is of Mr. Harley's being stabbed this afternoon,
at three o'clock, at a Committee of the Council. I was playing Lady
Catharine Morris's(20) cards, where I dined, when young Arundel(21) came
in with the story. I ran away immediately to the Secretary, which was
in my way: no one was at home. I met Mrs. St. John in her chair; she had
heard it imperfectly. I took a chair to Mr. Harley, who was asleep, and
they hope in no danger; but he has been out of order, and was so when he
came abroad to-day, and it may put him in a fever: I am in mortal pain
for him. That desperate French villain, Marquis de Guiscard,(22) stabbed
Mr. Harley. Guiscard was taken up by Mr. Secretary St. John's warrant
for high treason, and brought before the Lords to be examined; there
he stabbed Mr. Harley. I have told all the particulars already to the
Archbishop. I have now, at nine, sent again, and they tell me he is in a
fair way. Pray pardon my distraction; I now think of all his kindness to
me.--The poor creature now lies stabbed in his bed by a desperate French
Popish villain. Good-night, and God preserve you both, and pity me; I
want it.

9. Morning; seven, in bed. Patrick is just come from Mr. Harley's. He
slept well till four; the surgeon sat(23) up with him: he is asleep
again: he felt a pain in his wound when he waked: they apprehend him in
no danger. This account the surgeon left with the porter, to tell
people that send. Pray God preserve him. I am rising, and going to Mr.
Secretary St. John. They say Guiscard will die with the wounds Mr. St.
John and the rest gave him. I shall tell you more at night.--Night.
Mr. Harley still continues on the mending hand; but he rested ill last
night, and felt pain. I was early with the Secretary this morning, and I
dined with him, and he told me several particularities of this accident,
too long to relate now. Mr. Harley is still mending this evening, but
not at all out of danger; and till then I can have no peace. Good-night,
etc., and pity Presto.

10. Mr. Harley was restless last night; but he has no fever, and the
hopes of his mending increase. I had a letter from Mr. Walls, and one
from Mr. Bernage. I will answer them here, not having time to write. Mr.
Walls writes about three things. First, about a hundred pounds from
Dr. Raymond, of which I hear nothing, and it is now too late. Secondly,
about Mr. Clements:(24) I can do nothing in it, because I am not to
mention Mr. Pratt; and I cannot recommend without knowing Mr. Pratt's
objections, whose relation Clements is, and who brought him into the
place. The third is about my being godfather to the child:(25) that
is in my power, and (since there is no remedy) will submit. I wish you
could hinder it; but if it can't be helped, pay what you think proper,
and get the Provost to stand for me, and let his Christian name be
Harley, in honour of my friend, now lying stabbed and doubtful of his
life. As for Bernage, he writes me word that his colonel has offered to
make him captain-lieutenant for a hundred pounds. He was such a fool to
offer him money without writing to me till it was done, though I have
had a dozen letters from him; and then he desires I would say nothing of
this, for fear his colonel should be angry. People are mad. What can
I do? I engaged Colonel Disney, who was one of his solicitors to the
Secretary, and then told him the story. He assured me that Fielding
(Bernage's colonel) said he might have got that sum; but, on account of
those great recommendations he had, would give it him for nothing: and I
would have Bernage write him a letter of thanks, as of a thing given him
for nothing, upon recommendations, etc. Disney tells me he will again
speak to Fielding, and clear up this matter; then I will write to
Bernage. A pox on him for promising money till I had it promised to me;
and then making it such a ticklish point, that one cannot expostulate
with the colonel upon it: but let him do as I say, and there is an
end. I engaged the Secretary of State in it; and am sure it was meant a
kindness to me, and that no money should be given, and a hundred pounds
is too much in a Smithfield bargain,(26) as a major-general told me,
whose opinion I asked. I am now hurried, and can say no more. Farewell,
etc. etc.

How shall I superscribe to your new lodgings, pray, madams? Tell me but
that, impudence and saucy-face.

Are not you sauceboxes to write "lele"(27) like Presto? O poor Presto!

Mr. Harley is better to-night, that makes me so pert, you saucy Gog and
Magog.



LETTER 18.

LONDON, March 10, 1710-11.

Pretty little MD must expect little from me till Mr. Harley is out of
danger. We hope he is so now; but I am subject to fear for my friends.
He has a head full of the whole business of the nation, was out of order
when the villain stabbed him, and had a cruel contusion by the second
blow. But all goes on well yet. Mr. Ford and I dined with Mr. Lewis, and
we hope the best.

11. This morning Mr. Secretary and I met at Court, where he went to
the Queen, who is out of order, and aguish: I doubt the worse for this
accident to Mr. Harley. We went together to his house, and his wound
looks well, and he is not feverish at all, and I think it is foolish in
me to be so much in pain as I am. I had the penknife in my hand, which
is broken within a quarter of an inch of the handle. I have a mind to
write and publish an account of all the particularities of this fact:(1)
it will be very curious, and I would do it when Mr. Harley is past
danger.

12. We have been in terrible pain to-day about Mr. Harley, who never
slept last night, and has been very feverish. But this evening I called
there; and young Mr. Harley (his only son) tells me he is now much
better, and was then asleep. They let nobody see him, and that is
perfectly right. The Parliament cannot go on till he is well, and are
forced to adjourn their money businesses, which none but he can help
them in. Pray God preserve him.

13. Mr. Harley is better to-day, slept well all night, and we are a
little out of our fears. I send and call three or four times every day.
I went into the City for a walk, and dined there with a private man; and
coming home this evening, broke my shin in the Strand over a tub of sand
left just in the way. I got home dirty enough, and went straight to
bed, where I have been cooking it with gold-beater's skin, and have been
peevish enough with Patrick, who was near an hour bringing a rag from
next door. It is my right shin, where never any humour fell when t'other
used to swell; so I apprehend it less: however, I shall not stir till
'tis well, which I reckon will be in a week. I am very careful in these
sort of things; but I wish I had Mrs. J----'s water:(2) she is out
of town, and I must make a shift with alum. I will dine with Mrs.
Vanhomrigh till I am well, who lives but five doors off; and that I may
venture.

14. My journals are like to be very diverting, now I cannot stir abroad,
between accounts of Mr. Harley's mending, and of my broken shin. I just
walked to my neighbour Vanhomrigh at two, and came away at six, when
little Harrison the Tatler came to me, and begged me to dictate a paper
to him, which I was forced in charity to do. Mr. Harley still mends;
and I hope in a day or two to trouble you no more with him, nor with my
shin. Go to bed and sleep, sirrahs, that you may rise to-morrow and walk
to Donnybrook, and lose your money with Stoyte and the Dean; do so,
dear little rogues, and drink Presto's health. O pray, don't you drink
Presto's health sometimes with your deans, and your Stoytes, and your
Walls, and your Manleys, and your everybodies, pray now? I drink MD's to
myself a hundred thousand times.

15. I was this morning at Mr. Secretary St. John's for all my shin; and
he has given me for young Harrison the Tatler the prettiest employment
in Europe; secretary to my Lord Raby,(3) who is to be Ambassador
Extraordinary at the Hague, where all the great affairs will be
concerted; so we shall lose the Tatlers in a fortnight. I will send
Harrison to-morrow morning to thank the Secretary. Poor Biddy Floyd(4)
has got the smallpox. I called this morning to see Lady Betty Germaine,
and when she told me so, I fairly took my leave. I have the luck of
it;(5) for about ten days ago I was to see Lord Carteret;(6) and my lady
was entertaining me with telling of a young lady, a cousin, who was then
ill in the house of the smallpox, and is since dead: it was near Lady
Betty's, and I fancy Biddy took the fright by it. I dined with Mr.
Secretary; and a physician came in just from Guiscard, who tells us he
is dying of his wounds, and can hardly live till to-morrow. A poor wench
that Guiscard kept, sent him a bottle of sack; but the keeper would
not let him touch it, for fear it was poison. He had two quarts of old
clotted blood come out of his side to-day, and is delirious. I am sorry
he is dying; for they had found out a way to hang him. He certainly had
an intention to murder the Queen.

16. I have made but little progress in this letter for so many days,
thanks to Guiscard and Mr. Harley; and it would be endless to tell you
all the particulars of that odious fact. I do not yet hear that Guiscard
is dead, but they say 'tis impossible he should recover. I walked too
much yesterday for a man with a broken shin; to-day I rested, and went
no farther than Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, where I dined; and Lady Betty Butler
coming in about six, I was forced in good manners to sit with her till
nine; then I came home, and Mr. Ford came in to visit my shin, and sat
with me till eleven: so I have been very idle and naughty. It vexes me
to the pluck(7) that I should lose walking this delicious day. Have
you seen the Spectator(8) yet, a paper that comes out every day? 'Tis
written by Mr. Steele, who seems to have gathered new life, and have a
new fund of wit; it is in the same nature as his Tatlers, and they have
all of them had something pretty. I believe Addison and he club. I never
see them; and I plainly told Mr. Harley and Mr. St. John, ten days ago,
before my Lord Keeper and Lord Rivers, that I had been foolish enough
to spend my credit with them in favour of Addison and Steele; but that
I would engage and promise never to say one word in their behalf, having
been used so ill for what I had already done.--So, now I am got into the
way of prating again, there will be no quiet for me.

     When Presto begins to prate,
     Give him a rap upon the pate.

O Lord, how I blot! it is time to leave off, etc.

17. Guiscard died this morning at two; and the coroner's inquest have
found that he was killed by bruises received from a messenger, so to
clear the Cabinet Councillors from whom he received his wounds. I had a
letter from Raymond, who cannot hear of your box; but I hope you have
it before this comes to your hands. I dined to-day with Mr. Lewis of the
Secretary's office. Mr. Harley has abundance of extravasated blood comes
from his breast out of his wound, and will not be well so soon as we
expected. I had something to say, but cannot call it to mind. (What was
it?)

18. I was to-day at Court to look for the Duke of Argyle, and gave him
the memorial about Bernage. The Duke goes with the first fair wind. I
could not find him, but I have given the memorial to another to give
him; and, however, it shall be sent after him. Bernage has made a
blunder in offering money to his colonel without my advice; however, he
is made captain-lieutenant, only he must recruit the company, which
will cost him forty pounds, and that is cheaper than an hundred. I dined
to-day with Mr. Secretary St. John, and stayed till seven, but would not
drink his champagne and burgundy, for fear of the gout. My shin mends,
but is not well. I hope it will by the time I send this letter, next
Saturday.

19. I went to-day into the City, but in a coach, and sossed(9) up my
leg on the seat; and as I came home, I went to see poor Charles
Barnard's(10) books, which are to be sold by auction, and I itch to lay
out nine or ten pounds for some fine editions of fine authors. But
'tis too far, and I shall let it slip, as I usually do all such
opportunities. I dined in a coffee-house with Stratford upon chops and
some of his wine. Where did MD dine? Why, poor MD dined at home to-day,
because of the Archbishop, and they could not go abroad, and had a
breast of mutton and a pint of wine. I hope Mrs. Walls mends; and pray
give me an account what sort of godfather I made, and whether I behaved
myself handsomely. The Duke of Argyle is gone; and whether he has my
memorial, I know not, till I see Dr. Arbuthnot,(11) to whom I gave it.
That hard name belongs to a Scotch doctor, an acquaintance of the Duke's
and me; Stella can't pronounce it. Oh that we were at Laracor this fine
day! the willows begin to peep, and the quicks to bud. My dream is out:
I was a-dreamed last night that I ate ripe cherries.--And now they
begin to catch the pikes, and will shortly the trouts (pox on these
Ministers!)--and I would fain know whether the floods were ever so high
as to get over the holly bank or the river walk; if so, then all my
pikes are gone; but I hope not. Why don't you ask Parvisol these things,
sirrahs? And then my canal, and trouts, and whether the bottom be fine
and clear? But harkee, ought not Parvisol to pay in my last year's rents
and arrears out of his hands? I am thinking, if either of you have heads
to take his accounts, it should be paid in to you; otherwise to Mr.
Walls. I will write an order on t'other side; and do as you will. Here's
a world of business; but I must go sleep, I'm drowsy; and so goodnight,
etc.

20. This sore shin ruins me in coach-hire; no less than two shillings
to-day going and coming from the City, where I dined with one you never
heard of, and passed an insipid day. I writ this post to Bernage, with
the account I told you above. I hope he will like it; 'tis his own
fault, or it would have been better. I reckon your next letter will
be full of Mr. Harley's stabbing. He still mends, but abundance of
extravasated blood has come out of the wound: he keeps his bed, and sees
nobody. The Speaker's eldest son(12) is just dead of the smallpox, and
the House is adjourned a week, to give him time to wipe off his tears.
I think it very handsomely done; but I believe one reason is, that they
want Mr. Harley so much. Biddy Floyd is like to do well: and so go to
your Dean's, and roast his oranges, and lose your money, do so, you
saucy sluts. Stella, you lost three shillings and fourpence t'other
night at Stoyte's, yes, you did, and Presto stood in a corner, and
saw you all the while, and then stole away. I dream very often I am in
Ireland, and that I have left my clothes and things behind me, and have
not taken leave of anybody; and that the Ministry expect me tomorrow,
and such nonsense.

21. I would not for a guinea have a letter from you till this goes; and
go it shall on Saturday, faith. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, to save my
shin, and then went on some business to the Secretary, and he was not at
home.

22. Yesterday was a short day's journal: but what care I? what cares
saucy Presto? Darteneuf(13) invited me to dinner to-day. Do not you
know Darteneuf? That's the man that knows everything, and that everybody
knows; and that knows where a knot of rabble are going on a holiday, and
when they were there last: and then I went to the Coffee-house. My shin
mends, but is not quite healed: I ought to keep it up, but I don't; I
e'en let it go as it comes. Pox take Parvisol and his watch! If I do
not receive the ten-pound bill I am to get towards it, I will neither
receive watch nor chain; so let Parvisol know.

23. I this day appointed the Duke of Ormond to meet him at Ned
Southwell's, about an affair of printing Irish Prayer-Books, etc.,(14)
but the Duke never came. There Southwell had letters that two packets
are taken; so if MD writ then, the letters are gone; for they are
packets coming hither. Mr. Harley is not yet well, but his extravasated
blood continues, and I doubt he will not be quite well in a good while:
I find you have heard of the fact by Southwell's letters from Ireland:
what do you think of it? I dined with Sir John Perceval,(15) and saw his
lady sitting in the bed, in the forms of a lying-in woman; and coming
home my sore shin itched, and I forgot what it was, and rubbed off the
scab, and blood came; but I am now got into bed, and have put on alum
curd, and it is almost well. Lord Rivers told me yesterday a piece of
bad news, as a secret, that the Pretender is going to be married to
the Duke of Savoy's daughter.(16) 'Tis very bad if it be true. We were
walking in the Mall with some Scotch lords, and he could not tell it
until they were gone, and he bade me tell it to none but the Secretary
of State and MD. This goes tomorrow, and I have no room but to bid my
dearest little MD good-night. 24. I will now seal up this letter, and
send it; for I reckon to have none from you ('tis morning now) between
this and night; and I will put it in the post with my own hands. I am
going out in great haste; so farewell, etc.



LETTER 19.

LONDON, March 24, 1710-11.

It was a little cross in Presto not to send to-day to the Coffee-house
to see whether there was a letter from MD before I sent away mine; but,
faith, I did it on purpose, because I would scorn to answer two letters
of yours successively. This way of journal is the worst in the world for
writing of news, unless one does it the last day; and so I will observe
henceforward, if there be any politics or stuff worth sending. My shin
mends in spite of the scratching last night. I dined to-day at
Ned Southwell's with the Bishop of Ossory(1) and a parcel of Irish
gentlemen. Have you yet seen any of the Spectators? Just three weeks
to-day since I had your last, N.11. I am afraid I have lost one by the
packet that was taken; that will vex me, considering the pains MD take
to write, especially poor pretty Stella, and her weak eyes. God bless
them and the owner, and send them well, and little me together, I hope
ere long. This illness of Mr. Harley puts everything backwards, and he
is still down, and like to be so, by that extravasated blood which comes
from his breast to the wound: it was by the second blow Guiscard
gave him after the penknife was broken. I am shocked at that villainy
whenever I think of it. Biddy Floyd is past danger, but will lose all
her beauty: she had them mighty thick, especially about her nose.

25. Morning. I wish you a merry New Year; this is the first day of the
year, you know, with us, and 'tis Lady-day. I must rise and go to my
Lord Keeper: it is not shaving-day to-day, so I shall be early. I am
to dine with Mr. Secretary St. John. Good-morrow, my mistresses
both, good-morrow. Stella will be peeping out of her room at Mrs. De
Caudres'(2) down upon the folks as they come from church; and there
comes Mrs. Proby,(3) and that is my Lady Southwell,(4) and there is
Lady Betty Rochfort.(5) I long to hear how you are settled in your new
lodgings. I wish I were rid of my old ones, and that Mrs. Brent could
contrive to put up my books in boxes, and lodge them in some safe place,
and you keep my papers of importance. But I must rise, I tell you.--At
night. So I visited and dined as I told you, and what of that? We have
let Guiscard be buried at last, after showing him pickled in a trough
this fortnight for twopence apiece: and the fellow that showed would
point to his body, and, "See, gentlemen, this is the wound that was
given him by his Grace the Duke of Ormond; and this is the wound," etc.,
and then the show was over, and another set of rabble came in. 'Tis hard
our laws would not suffer us to hang his body in chains, because he
was not tried; and in the eye of our law every man is innocent till
then.--Mr. Harley is still very weak, and never out of bed.

26. This was a most delicious day; and my shin being past danger, I
walked like lightning above two hours in the Park. We have generally one
fair day, and then a great deal of rain for three or four days together.
All things are at a stop in Parliament for want of Mr. Harley; they
cannot stir an inch without him in their most material affairs: and
we fear, by the caprice of Radcliffe, who will admit none but his own
surgeon,(6) he has not been well looked after. I dined at an alehouse
with Mr. Lewis, but had his wine. Don't you begin to see the flowers and
blossoms of the field? How busy should I be now at Laracor! No news
of your box? I hope you have it, and are this minute drinking the
chocolate, and that the smell of the Brazil tobacco has not affected it.
I would be glad to know whether you like it, because I would send you
more by people that are now every day thinking of going to Ireland;
therefore pray tell me, and tell me soon: and I will have the strong
box.

27. A rainy, wretched, scurvy day from morning till night: and my
neighbour Vanhomrigh invited me to dine with them and this evening I
passed at Mr. Prior's with Dr. Freind; and 'tis now past twelve, so I
must go sleep.

28. Morning. O, faith, you're an impudent saucy couple of sluttikins for
presuming to write so soon, said I to myself this morning; who knows but
there may be a letter from MD at the Coffee-house? Well, you must know,
and so, I just now sent Patrick, and he brought me three letters, but
not one from MD, no indeed, for I read all the superscriptions; and
not one from MD. One I opened, it was from the Archbishop;(7) t'other
I opened, it was from Staunton;(8) the third I took, and looked at the
hand. Whose hand is this? says I; yes, says I, whose hand is this? Then
there was wax between the folds; then I began to suspect; then I peeped;
faith, it was Walls's hand after all: then I opened it in a rage, and
then it was little MD's hand, dear, little, pretty, charming MD's sweet
hand again. O Lord, an't here a clutter and a stir, and a bustle? never
saw the like. Faith, I believe yours lay some days at the post-office,
and that it came before my eighteenth went, but that I did not expect
it, and I hardly ever go there. Well, and so you think I'll answer this
letter now; no, faith, and so I won't. I'll make you wait, young women;
but I'll inquire immediately about poor Dingley's exchequer trangum.(9)
What, is that Vedel again a soldier? was he broke? I'll put it in Ben
Tooke's hand. I hope Vedel could not sell it.--At night. Vedel, Vedel,
poh, pox, I think it is Vedeau;(10) ay, Vedeau, now I have it; let me
see, do you name him in yours? Yes, Mr. John Vedeau is the brother; but
where does this brother live? I'll inquire. This was a fast-day for the
public; so I dined late with Sir Matthew Dudley, whom I have not been
with a great while. He is one of those that must lose his employment
whenever the great shake comes; and I can't contribute to keep him in,
though I have dropped words in his favour to the Ministry; but he is too
violent a Whig, and friend to the Lord Treasurer,(11) to stay in. 'Tis
odd to think how long they let those people keep their places; but the
reason is, they have not enough to satisfy all expecters, and so they
keep them all in hopes, that they may be good boys in the meantime; and
thus the old ones hold in still. The Comptroller(12) told me that there
are eight people expect his staff. I walked after dinner to-day round
the Park. What, do I write politics to little young women? Hold your
tongue, and go to your Dean's.

29. Morning. If this be a fine day, I will walk into the City, and see
Charles Barnard's library. What care I for your letter, saucy N.12? I
will say nothing to it yet: faith, I believe this will be full before
its time, and then go it must. I will always write once a fortnight; and
if it goes sooner by filling sooner, why, then there is so much clear
gain. Morrow, morrow, rogues and lasses both, I can't lie scribbling
here in bed for your play; I must rise, and so morrow again.--At night.
Your friend Montgomery and his sister are here, as I am told by Patrick.
I have seen him often, but take no notice of him: he is grown very ugly
and pimpled. They tell me he is a gamester, and wins money.--How could I
help it, pray? Patrick snuffed the candle too short, and the grease ran
down upon the paper.(13) It an't my fault, 'tis Patrick's fault; pray
now don't blame Presto. I walked today in the City, and dined at a
private house, and went to see the auction of poor Charles Barnard's
books; they were in the middle of the physic books, so I bought none;
and they are so dear, I believe I shall buy none, and there is an end;
and go to Stoyte's, and I'll go sleep.

30. Morning. This is Good Friday, you must know; and I must rise and go
to Mr. Secretary about some business, and Mrs. Vanhomrigh desires me to
breakfast with her, because she is to intercede for Patrick, who is so
often drunk and quarrelsome in the house, that I was resolved to send
him over; but he knows all the places where I send, and is so used to my
ways, that it would be inconvenient to me; but when I come to Ireland,
I will discharge him.(14) Sir Thomas Mansel,(15) one of the Lords of the
Treasury, setting me down at my door to-day, saw Patrick, and swore he
was a Teague-lander.(16) I am so used to his face, I never observed it,
but thought him a pretty fellow. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I supped this
fast-day with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. We were afraid Mr. Harley's wound would
turn to a fistula; but we think the danger is now past. He rises
every day, and walks about his room, and we hope he will be out in a
fortnight. Prior showed me a handsome paper of verses he has writ on Mr.
Harley's accident:(17) they are not out; I will send them to you, if he
will give me a copy.

31. Morning. What shall we do to make April fools this year, now it
happens on Sunday? Patrick brings word that Mr. Harley still mends, and
is up every day. I design to see him in a few days: and he brings me
word too that he has found out Vedeau's brother's shop: I shall call
there in a day or two. It seems the wife lodges next door to the
brother. I doubt the scoundrel was broke, and got a commission, or
perhaps is a volunteer gentleman, and expects to get one by his valour.
Morrow, sirrahs, let me rise.--At night. I dined to-day with Sir Thomas
Mansel. We were walking in the Park, and Mr. Lewis came to us. Mansel
asked where we dined. We said, "Together." He said, we should dine with
him, only his wife(18) desired him to bring nobody, because she had only
a leg of mutton. I said I would dine with him to choose; but he would
send a servant to order a plate or two: yet this man has ten thousand
pounds a year in land, and is a Lord of the Treasury, and is not
covetous neither, but runs out merely by slattering(19) and negligence.
The worst dinner I ever saw at the Dean's was better: but so it is with
abundance of people here. I called at night at Mr. Harley's, who begins
to walk in his room with a stick, but is mighty weak.--See how much I
have lost with that ugly grease.(20) 'Tis your fault, pray; and I'll go
to bed.

April 1. The Duke of Buckingham's house fell down last night with an
earthquake, and is half swallowed up; won't you go and see it?--An April
fool, an April fool, oh ho, young women. Well, don't be angry. I will
make you an April fool no more till the next time; we had no sport here,
because it is Sunday, and Easter Sunday. I dined with the Secretary, who
seemed terribly down and melancholy, which Mr. Prior and Lewis observed
as well as I: perhaps something is gone wrong; perhaps there is nothing
in it. God bless my own dearest MD, and all is well.

2. We have such windy weather, 'tis troublesome walking, yet all the
rabble have got into our Park these Easter holidays. I am plagued with
one Richardson, an Irish parson, and his project of printing Irish
Bibles, etc., to make you Christians in that country: I befriend him
what I can, on account of the Archbishop and Bishop of Clogher.--But
what business have I to meddle, etc. Do not you remember that, sirrah
Stella? what was that about, when you thought I was meddling with
something that was not my business? O, faith, you are an impudent slut,
I remember your doings, I'll never forget you as long as I live. Lewis
and I dined together at his lodgings. But where's the answer to this
letter of MD's? O, faith, Presto, you must think of that. Time enough,
says saucy Presto.

3. I was this morning to see Mrs. Barton: I love her better than anybody
here, and see her seldomer. Why, really now, so it often happens in the
world, that where one loves a body best--pshah, pshah, you are so silly
with your moral observations. Well, but she told me a very good story.
An old gentlewoman died here two months ago, and left in her will, to
have eight men and eight maids bearers, who should have two guineas
apiece, ten guineas to the parson for a sermon, and two guineas to the
clerk. But bearers, parson, and clerk must be all true virgins; and
not to be admitted till they took their oaths of virginity: so the
poor woman still lies unburied, and so must do till the general
resurrection.--I called at Mr. Secretary's, to see what the D---- ailed
him on Sunday. I made him a very proper speech; told him I observed
he was much out of temper; that I did not expect he would tell me the
cause, but would be glad to see he was in better; and one thing I warned
him of, never to appear cold to me, for I would not be treated like a
schoolboy; that I had felt too much of that in my life already (meaning
from Sir William Temple); that I expected every great Minister who
honoured me with his acquaintance, if he heard or saw anything to my
disadvantage, would let me know it in plain words, and not put me in
pain to guess by the change or coldness of his countenance or behaviour;
for it was what I would hardly bear from a crowned head, and I thought
no subject's favour was worth it; and that I designed to let my Lord
Keeper(21) and Mr. Harley know the same thing, that they might use me
accordingly. He took all right; said I had reason; vowed nothing ailed
him but sitting up whole nights at business, and one night at drinking;
would have had me dine with him and Mrs. Masham's brother, to make up
matters; but I would not. I don't know, but I would not. But indeed I
was engaged with my old friend Rollinson;(22) you never heard of him
before.

4. I sometimes look a line or two back, and see plaguy mistakes of the
pen; how do you get over them? You are puzzled sometimes. Why, I think
what I said to Mr. Secretary was right. Don't you remember how I used to
be in pain when Sir William Temple would look cold and out of humour
for three or four days, and I used to suspect a hundred reasons? I have
plucked up my spirit since then, faith; he spoilt a fine gentleman. I
dined with my neighbour Vanhomrigh, and MD, poor MD, at home on a loin
of mutton and half a pint of wine, and the mutton was raw, poor Stella
could not eat, poor dear rogue, and Dingley was so vexed; but we will
dine at Stoyte's to-morrow. Mr. Harley promised to see me in a day or
two, so I called this evening; but his son and others were abroad, and
he asleep, so I came away, and found out Mrs. Vedeau. She drew out a
letter from Dingley, and said she would get a friend to receive the
money. I told her I would employ Mr. Tooke in it henceforward. Her
husband bought a lieutenancy of foot, and is gone to Portugal. He sold
his share of the shop to his brother, and put out the money to maintain
her, all but what bought the commission. She lodges within two doors
of her brother. She told me it made her very melancholy to change her
manner of life thus, but trade was dead, etc. She says she will write to
you soon. I design to engage Ben Tooke, and then receive the parchment
from her.--I gave Mr. Dopping a copy of Prior's verses on Mr. Harley; he
sent them yesterday to Ireland, so go look for them, for I won't be at
the trouble to transcribe them here. They will be printed in a day or
two. Give my hearty service to Stoyte and Catherine: upon my word I love
them dearly, and desire you will tell them so: pray desire Goody Stoyte
not to let Mrs. Walls and Mrs. Johnson cheat her of her money at ombre,
but assure her from me that she is a bungler. Dine with her to-day, and
tell her so, and drink my health, and good voyage, and speedy return,
and so you're a rogue.

5. Morning. Now let us proceed to examine a saucy letter from one Madam
MD.--God Almighty bless poor dear Stella, and send her a great many
birthdays, all happy, and healthy, and wealthy, and with me ever
together, and never asunder again, unless by chance. When I find you are
happy or merry there, it makes me so here, and I can hardly imagine you
absent when I am reading your letter, or writing to you. No, faith, you
are just here upon this little paper, and therefore I see and talk with
you every evening constantly, and sometimes in the morning, but
not always in the morning, because that is not so modest to young
ladies.--What, you would fain palm a letter on me more than you sent:
and I, like a fool, must look over all yours, to see whether this was
really N.12, or more. (Patrick has this moment brought me letters from
the Bishop of Clogher and Parvisol; my heart was at my mouth for fear of
one from MD; what a disgrace would it be to have two of yours to answer
together! But, faith, this shall go to-night, for fear; and then come
when it will, I defy it.) No, you are not naughty at all, write when you
are disposed. And so the Dean told you the story of Mr. Harley from the
Archbishop; I warrant it never spoiled your supper, or broke off your
game. Nor yet, have not you the box? I wish Mrs. Edgworth had the -----.
But you have it now, I suppose; and is the chocolate good, or has the
tobacco spoilt it? Leigh stays till Sterne has done his business, no
longer; and when that will be, God knows: I befriend him as much as I
can, but Harley's accident stops that as well as all things else. You
guess, Madam Dingley, that I shall stay a round twelvemonth; as hope
saved, I would come over, if I could, this minute; but we will talk of
that by and by. Your affair of Vedeau I have told you of already; now
to the next, turn over the leaf. Mrs. Dobbins lies, I have no more
provision here or in Ireland than I had. I am pleased that Stella the
conjurer approves what I did with Mr. Harley;(23) but your generosity
makes me mad; I know you repine inwardly at Presto's absence; you think
he has broken his word of coming in three months, and that this is
always his trick; and now Stella says she does not see possibly how I
can come away in haste, and that MD is satisfied, etc. An't you a rogue
to overpower me thus? I did not expect to find such friends as I
have done. They may indeed deceive me too. But there are important
reasons (Pox on this grease, this candle tallow!) why they should
not.(24) I have been used barbarously by the late Ministry; I am a
little piqued in honour to let people see I am not to be despised. The
assurances they give me, without any scruple or provocation, are such
as are usually believed in the world; they may come to nothing, but the
first opportunity that offers, and is neglected, I shall depend no more,
but come away. I could say a thousand things on this head, if I were
with you. I am thinking why Stella should not go to the Bath, if she be
told it will do her good. I will make Parvisol get up fifty pounds, and
pay it you; and you may be good housewives, and live cheap there some
months, and return in autumn, or visit London, as you please: pray think
of it. I writ to Bernage, directed to Curry's; I wish he had the letter.
I will send the bohea tea, if I can. The Bishop of Kilmore,(25) I don't
keep such company; an old dying fool whom I never was with in my life.
So I am no godfather;(26) all the better. Pray, Stella, explain those
two words of yours to me, what you mean by VILLIAN and DAINGER;(27) and
you, Madam Dingley, what is CHRISTIANING?--Lay your letter THIS WAY,
THIS WAY, and the devil a bit of difference between this way and the
other way. No; I will show you, lay them THIS WAY, THIS WAY, and not
THAT WAY, THAT WAY.(28)--You shall have your aprons; and I will put all
your commissions as they come, in a paper together, and do not think I
will forget MD's orders, because they are friends; I will be as
careful as if they were strangers. I knew not what to do about this
Clements.(29) Walls will not let me say anything as if Mr. Pratt was
against him; and now the Bishop of Clogher has written to me in his
behalf. This thing does not rightly fall in my way, and that people
never consider: I always give my good offices where they are proper, and
that I am judge of; however, I will do what I can. But, if he has
the name of a Whig, it will be hard, considering my Lord Anglesea and
Hyde(30) are very much otherwise, and you know they have the employment
of Deputy Treasurer. If the frolic should take you of going to the Bath,
I here send you a note on Parvisol; if not, you may tear it, and there's
an end. Farewell.

If you have an imagination that the Bath will do you good, I say again,
I would have you go; if not, or it be inconvenient, burn this note. Or,
if you would go, and not take so much money, take thirty pounds, and I
will return you twenty from hence. Do as you please, sirrahs. I suppose
it will not be too late for the first season; if it be, I would have you
resolve however to go the second season, if the doctors say it will do
you good, and you fancy so.



LETTER 20.

LONDON, April 5, 1711.

I put my nineteenth in the post-office just now myself, as I came out of
the City, where I dined. This rain ruins me in coach-hire; I walked
away sixpennyworth, and came within a shilling length, and then took a
coach,(1) and got a lift back for nothing; and am now busy.

6. Mr. Secretary desired I would see him this morning; said he had
several things to say to me, and said not one; and the Duke of Ormond
sent to desire I would meet him at Mr. Southwell's by ten this morning
too, which I did, thinking it was some particular matter. All the Irish
in town were there, to consult upon preventing a Bill for laying a duty
on Irish yarn; so we talked a while, and then all went to the lobby of
the House of Commons, to solicit our friends, and the Duke came among
the rest; and Lord Anglesea solicited admirably, and I did wonders. But,
after all, the matter was put off till Monday, and then we are to be
at it again. I dined with Lord Mountjoy, and looked over him at chess,
which put me in mind of Stella and Griffyth.(2) I came home, and that
dog Patrick was not within; so I fretted, and fretted, and what good did
that do me?

     And so get you gone to your deans,
     You couple of queans.

I cannot find rhyme to Walls and Stoyte.--Yes, yes,

     You expect Mrs. Walls,
     Be dressed when she calls,
     To carry you to Stoyte,
     Or else HONI SOIT.

Henley told me that the Tories were insup-port-able people, because they
are for bringing in French claret, and will not SUP-PORT. Mr. Harley
will hardly get abroad this week or ten days yet. I reckon, when I send
away this letter, he will be just got into the House of Commons. My last
letter went in twelve days, and so perhaps may this. No it won't, for
those letters that go under a fortnight are answers to one of yours,
otherwise you must take the days as they happen, some dry, some wet,
some barren, some fruitful, some merry, some insipid; some, etc.--I will
write you word exactly the first day I see young gooseberries, and pray
observe how much later you are. We have not had five fine days this five
weeks, but rain or wind. 'Tis a late spring they say here.--Go to bed,
you two dear saucy brats, and don't keep me up all night.

7. Ford has been at Epsom, to avoid Good Friday and Easter Sunday. He
forced me to-day to dine with him; and tells me there are letters from
Ireland, giving an account of a great indiscretion in the Archbishop
of Dublin, who applied a story out of Tacitus very reflectingly on Mr.
Harley, and that twenty people have written of it; I do not believe it
yet.(3) I called this evening to see Mr. Secretary, who has been very
ill with the gravel and pain in his back, by burgundy and champagne,
added to the sitting up all night at business; I found him drinking tea
while the rest were at champagne, and was very glad of it. I have chid
him so severely that I hardly knew whether he would take it well: then
I went and sat an hour with Mrs. St. John, who is growing a great
favourite of mine; she goes to the Bath on Wednesday, for she is much
out of health, and has begged me to take care of the Secretary.

8. I dined to-day with Mr. Secretary St. John; he gave me a letter
to read, which was from the publisher of the newspaper called the
Postboy;(4) in it there was a long copy of a letter from Dublin, giving
an account of what the Whigs said upon Mr. Harley's being stabbed, and
how much they abuse him and Mr. Secretary St. John; and at the end there
were half a dozen lines, telling the story of the Archbishop of Dublin,
and abusing him horribly; this was to be printed on Tuesday. I told the
Secretary I would not suffer that about the Archbishop to be printed,
and so I crossed it out; and afterwards, to prevent all danger, I made
him give me the letter, and, upon further thought, would let none of it
be published: and I sent for the printer, and told him so, and ordered
him, in the Secretary's name, to print nothing reflecting on anybody
in Ireland till he had showed it me. Thus I have prevented a terrible
scandal to the Archbishop, by a piece of perfect good fortune. I will
let him know it by next post; and pray, if you pick it out, let me know,
and whether he is thankful for it; but say nothing.

9. I was to-day at the House of Commons again about their yarn, at Lord
Anglesea's desire; but the business is again put off till Monday. I
dined with Sir John Stanley, by an assignation I had made with Mr. St.
John, and George Granville, the Secretary at War; but they let in other
company, some ladies, and so we were not so easy as I intended. My head
is pretty tolerable, but every day I feel some little disorders; I have
left off snuff since Sunday, finding myself much worse after taking
a good deal at the Secretary's. I would not let him drink one drop of
champagne or burgundy without water, and in compliment I did so myself.
He is much better; but when he is well, he is like Stella, and will not
be governed. So go to your Stoyte's, and I'll go sleep.

10. I have been visiting Lady Worsley and Mrs. Barton today, and dined
soberly with my friend Lewis. The Dauphin is dead of an apoplexy; I wish
he had lived till the finishing of this letter, that it might be news
to you. Duncombe,(5) the rich alderman, died to-day, and I hear has left
the Duke of Argyle, who married his niece, two hundred thousand pounds;
I hope it is true, for I love that Duke mightily. I writ this evening to
the Archbishop of Dublin, about what I told you; and then went to take
leave of poor Mrs. St. John, who gave me strict charge to take care of
the Secretary in her absence; said she had none to trust but me; and the
poor creature's tears came fresh in her eyes. Before we took leave, I
was drawn in by the other ladies and Sir John Stanley to raffle for
a fan, with a pox; it was four guineas, and we put in seven shillings
apiece, several raffling for absent people; but I lost, and so missed an
opportunity of showing my gallantry to Mrs. St. John, whom I designed
to have presented it to if I had won. Is Dilly(6) gone to the Bath? His
face will whizz in the water; I suppose he will write to us from thence,
and will take London in his way back.--The rabble will say, "There goes
a drunken parson"; and, which is worse, they will say true. Oh, but you
must know I carried Ford to dine with Mr. St. John last Sunday, that he
may brag, when he goes back, of dining with a Secretary of State. The
Secretary and I went away early, and left him drinking with the rest,
and he told me that two or three of them were drunk. They talk of great
promotions to be made; that Mr. Harley is to be Lord Treasurer, and Lord
Poulett(7) Master of the Horse, etc., but they are only conjecture. The
Speaker is to make Mr. Harley a compliment the first time he comes into
the House, which I hope will be in a week. He has had an ill surgeon,
by the caprice of that puppy Dr. Radcliffe, which has kept him back so
long; and yesterday he got a cold, but is better to-day.--What! I think
I am stark mad, to write so much in one day to little saucy MD; here
is a deal of stuff, indeed! can't you bid those little dear rogues
good-night, and let them go sleep, Mr. Presto? When your tongue runs
there's no ho with you, pray.

11. Again at the lobby (like a lobcock)(8) of the House of Commons,
about your Irish yarn, and again put off till Friday; and I and Patrick
went into the City by water, where I dined, and then I went to the
auction of Charles Barnard's books; but the good ones were so monstrous
dear, I could not reach them, so I laid out one pound seven shillings
but very indifferently, and came away, and will go there no more. Henley
would fain engage me to go with Steele and Rowe, etc., to an invitation
at Sir William Read's.(9) Surely you have heard of him. He has been a
mountebank, and is the Queen's oculist; he makes admirable punch, and
treats you in gold vessels. But I am engaged, and will not go, neither
indeed am I fond of the jaunt. So good-night, and go sleep.

12. I went about noon to the Secretary, who is very ill with a cold, and
sometimes of the gravel, with his champagne, etc. I scolded him like a
dog, and he promises faithfully more care for the future. To-day my Lord
Anglesea, and Sir Thomas Hammer, and Prior, and I dined, by appointment,
with Lieutenant-General Webb.(10) My lord and I stayed till ten o'clock;
but we drank soberly, and I always with water. There was with us one Mr.
Campain,(11) one of the October Club, if you know what that is; a
Club of country members, who think the Ministers are too backward
in punishing and turning out the Whigs. I found my lord and the rest
thought I had more credit with the Ministry than I pretend to have,
and would have engaged me to put them upon something that would satisfy
their desires, and indeed I think they have some reason to complain;
however, I will not burn my fingers. I will remember Stella's chiding,
"What had you to do with what did not belong to you?" etc. However, you
will give me leave to tell the Ministry my thoughts when they ask them,
and other people's thoughts sometimes when they do not ask; so thinks
Dingley.

13. I called this morning at Mrs. Vedeau's again, who has employed a
friend to get the money; it will be done in a fortnight, and then she
will deliver me up the parchment. I went then to see Mr. Harley, who I
hope will be out in a few days; he was in excellent good humour, only
complained to me of the neglect of Guiscard's cure, how glad he would
have been to have had him live. Mr. Secretary came in to us, and we were
very merry till Lord Chamberlain (Duke of Shrewsbury)(12) came up; then
Colonel Masham and I went off, after I had been presented to the
Duke, and that we made two or three silly compliments suitable to the
occasion. Then I attended at the House of Commons about your yarn, and
it is again put off. Then Ford drew me to dine at a tavern; it happened
to be the day and the house where the October Club dine. After we had
dined, coming down we called to inquire whether our yarn business
had been over that day, and I sent into the room for Sir George
Beaumont.(13) But I had like to be drawn into a difficulty; for in two
minutes out comes Mr. Finch,(14) Lord Guernsey's son, to let me know
that my Lord Compton,(15) the steward of this feast, desired, in the
name of the Club, that I would do them the honour to dine with them. I
sent my excuses, adorned with about thirty compliments, and got off as
fast as I could. It would have been a most improper thing for me to dine
there, considering my friendship with the Ministry. The Club is about a
hundred and fifty, and near eighty of them were then going to dinner at
two long tables in a great ground-room. At evening I went to the auction
of Barnard's books, and laid out three pounds three shillings, but I'll
go there no more; and so I said once before, but now I'll keep to it. I
forgot to tell that when I dined at Webb's with Lord Anglesea, I spoke
to him of Clements, as one recommended for a very honest gentleman and
good officer, and hoped he would keep him. He said he had not thought
otherwise, and that he should certainly hold his place while he
continued to deserve it; and I could not find there had been any
intentions from his lordship against him. But I tell you, hunny, the
impropriety of this. A great man will do a favour for me, or for my
friend; but why should he do it for my friend's friend? Recommendations
should stop before they come to that. Let any friend of mine recommend
one of his to me for a thing in my power, I will do it for his sake; but
to speak to another for my friend's friend is against all reason; and I
desire you will understand this, and discourage any such troubles given
me.--I hope this may do some good to Clements, it can do him no hurt;
and I find by Mrs. Pratt,(16) that her husband is his friend; and the
Bishop of Clogher says Clements's danger is not from Pratt, but from
some other enemies, that think him a Whig.

14. I was so busy this morning that I did not go out till late. I
writ to-day to the Duke of Argyle, but said nothing of Bernage, who, I
believe, will not see him till Spain is conquered, and that is, not at
all. I was to-day at Lord Shelburne's, and spoke to Mrs. Pratt again
about Clements; her husband himself wants some good offices, and I
have done him very good ones lately, and told Mrs. Pratt I expected her
husband should stand by Clements in return. Sir Andrew Fountaine and
I dined with neighbour Vanhomrigh; he is mighty ill of an asthma, and
apprehends himself in much danger; 'tis his own fault, that will rake
and drink, when he is but just crawled out of his grave. I will send
this letter just now, because I think my half-year is out for my
lodging; and, if you please, I would be glad it were paid off, and some
deal boxes made for my books, and kept in some safe place. I would give
something for their keeping: but I doubt that lodging will not serve me
when I come back; I would have a larger place for books, and a stable,
if possible. So pray be so kind to pay the lodging, and all accounts
about it; and get Mrs. Brent to put up my things. I would have no books
put in that trunk where my papers are. If you do not think of going to
the Bath, I here send you a bill on Parvisol for twenty pounds Irish,
out of which you will pay for the lodging, and score the rest to me. Do
as you please, and love poor Presto, that loves MD better than his life
a thousand millions of times. Farewell, MD, etc. etc.



LETTER 21.

LONDON, April 14, 1711.

Remember, sirrahs, that there are but nine days between the dates of
my two former letters. I sent away my twentieth this moment, and now am
writing on like a fish, as if nothing was done. But there was a cause
for my hasting away the last, for fear it should not come time enough
before a new quarter began. I told you where I dined to-day; but forgot
to tell you what I believe, that Mr. Harley will be Lord Treasurer in
a short time, and other great removes and promotions made. This is my
thought, etc.

15. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary, and he is grown pretty well.
I dined with him to-day, and drank some of that wine which the Duke of
Tuscany used to send to Sir William Temple:(1) he always sends some
to the chief Ministers. I liked it mightily, but he does not; and he
ordered his butler to send me a chest of it to-morrow. Would to God MD
had it! The Queen is well again, and was at chapel to-day, etc.

16. I went with Ford into the City to-day, and dined with Stratford,
and drank Tokay, and then we went to the auction; but I did not lay
out above twelve shillings. My head is a little out of order to-night,
though no formal fit. My Lord Keeper has sent to invite me to dinner
to-morrow, and you'll dine better with the Dean; and God bless you. I
forgot to tell you that yesterday was sent me a Narrative printed, with
all the circumstances of Mr. Harley's stabbing. I had not time to do it
myself; so I sent my hints to the author of the Atalantis,(2) and she
has cooked it into a sixpenny pamphlet, in her own style, only the first
page is left as I was beginning it. But I was afraid of disobliging Mr.
Harley or Mr. St. John in one critical point about it, and so would not
do it myself. It is worth your reading, for the circumstances are all
true. My chest of Florence was sent me this morning, and cost me seven
and sixpence to two servants. I would give two guineas you had it, etc.

17. I was so out of order with my head this morning, that I was going to
send my excuses to my Lord Keeper; but however I got up at eleven, and
walked there after two, and stayed till eight. There was Sir Thomas
Mansel, Prior, George Granville, and Mr. Caesar,(3) and we were very
merry. My head is still wrong, but I have had no formal fit, only I
totter a little. I have left off snuff altogether. I have a noble roll
of tobacco for grating, very good. Shall I send it to MD, if she likes
that sort? My Lord Keeper and our this day's company are to dine on
Saturday with George Granville, and to-morrow I dine with Lord Anglesea.

18. Did you ever see such a blundering goosecap as Presto? I saw the
number 21 at top, and so I went on as if it were the day of the month,
whereas this is but Wednesday the 18th. How shall I do to blot and alter
them? I have made a shift to do it behind, but it is a great botch. I
dined with Lord Anglesea to-day, but did not go to the House of Commons
about the yarn; my head was not well enough. I know not what is the
matter; it has never been thus before: two days together giddy from
morning till night, but not with any violence or pain; and I totter
a little, but can make shift to walk. I doubt I must fall to my pills
again: I think of going into the country a little way. I tell you
what you must do henceforward: you must enclose your letter in a fair
half-sheet of paper, and direct the outside "To Erasmus Lewis, Esquire,
at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall": for I never go to the
Coffee-house, and they will grudge to take in my letters. I forgot to
tell you that your mother was to see me this morning, and brought me a
flask of sweet-water for a present, admirable for my head; but I shall
not smell to it. She is going to Sheen, with Lady Giffard: she would
fain send your papers over to you, or give them to me. Say what you
would have done, and it shall be done; because I love Stella, and she is
a good daughter, they say, and so is Dingley.

19. This morning General Webb was to give me a visit: he goes with
a crutch and stick, yet was forced to come up two pair of stairs. I
promised to dine with him, but afterwards sent my excuses, and dined
privately in my friend Lewis's lodgings at Whitehall, with whom I had
much business to talk of, relating to the public and myself. Little
Harrison the Tatler goes to-morrow to the secretaryship I got him at the
Hague, and Mr. St. John has made him a present of fifty guineas to bear
his charges. An't I a good friend? Why are not you a young fellow, that
I might prefer you? I had a letter from Bernage from Kinsale: he tells
me his commission for captain-lieutenant was ready for him at his
arrival: so there are two jackanapeses I have done with. My head is
something better this evening, though not well.

20. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary, whose packets were just come
in, and among them a letter from Lord Peterborow to me: he writes so
well, I have no mind to answer him, and so kind, that I must answer him.
The Emperor's(4) death must, I think, cause great alterations in Europe,
and, I believe, will hasten a peace. We reckon our King Charles will be
chosen Emperor, and the Duke of Savoy set up for Spain; but I believe
he will make nothing of it. Dr. Freind and I dined in the City at a
printer's, and it has cost me two shillings in coach-hire, and a great
deal more this week and month, which has been almost all rain, with now
and then sunshine, and is the truest April that I have known these many
years. The lime-trees in the Park are all out in leaves, though not
large leaves yet. Wise people are going into the country; but many think
the Parliament can hardly be up these six weeks. Mr. Harley was with the
Queen on Tuesday. I believe certainly he will be Lord Treasurer: I have
not seen him this week.

21. Morning. Lord Keeper, and I, and Prior, and Sir Thomas Mansel, have
appointed to dine this day with George Granville. My head, I thank God,
is better; but to be giddyish three or four days together mortified me.
I take no snuff, and I will be very regular in eating little and the
gentlest meats. How does poor Stella just now, with her deans and
her Stoytes? Do they give you health for the money you lose at ombre,
sirrah? What say you to that? Poor Dingley frets to see Stella lose that
four and elevenpence, the other night. Let us rise. Morrow, sirrahs. I
will rise, spite of your little teeth; good-morrow.--At night. O, faith,
you are little dear saucyboxes. I was just going in the morning to tell
you that I began to want a letter from MD, and in four minutes after Mr.
Ford sends me one that he had picked up at St. James's Coffee-house; for
I go to no coffee-house at all. And, faith, I was glad at heart to see
it, and to see Stella so brisk. O Lord, what pretending? Well, but I
will not answer it yet; I'll keep it for t'other side. Well, we dined
to-day according to appointment: Lord Keeper went away at near eight,
I at eight, and I believe the rest will be fairly fuddled; for young
Harcourt,(5) Lord Keeper's son, began to prattle before I came away.
It will not do with Prior's lean carcass. I drink little, miss my glass
often, put water in my wine, and go away before the rest, which I take
to be a good receipt for sobriety. Let us put it into rhyme, and so make
a proverb--

     Drink little at a time;
     Put water with your wine;
     Miss your glass when you can;
     And go off the first man.

God be thanked, I am much better than I was, though something of a
totterer. I ate but little to-day, and of the gentlest meat. I refused
ham and pigeons, pease-soup, stewed beef, cold salmon, because they were
too strong. I take no snuff at all, but some herb snuff prescribed by
Dr. Radcliffe.

     Go to your deans,
     You couple of queans.

I believe I said that already. What care I? what cares Presto?

22. Morning. I must rise and go to the Secretary's. Mr. Harley has
been out of town this week to refresh himself before he comes into
Parliament. Oh, but I must rise, so there is no more to be said; and so
morrow, sirrahs both.--Night. I dined to-day with the Secretary, who
has engaged me for every Sunday; and I was an hour with him this morning
deep in politics, where I told him the objections of the October Club,
and he answered all except one, that no inquiries are made into past
mismanagement. But indeed I believe they are not yet able to make
any: the late Ministry were too cunning in their rogueries, and fenced
themselves with an Act of general pardon. I believe Mr. Harley must be
Lord Treasurer; yet he makes one difficulty which is hard to answer: he
must be made a lord, and his estate is not large enough, and he is too
generous to make it larger; and if the Ministry should change soon by
any accident, he will be left in the suds. Another difficulty is, that
if he be made a peer, they will want him prodigiously in the House of
Commons, of which he is the great mover, and after him the Secretary,
and hardly any else of weight. Two shillings more to-day for coach and
chair. I shall be ruined.

23. So you expect an answer to your letter, do you so? Yes, yes, you
shall have an answer, you shall, young women. I made a good pun
on Saturday to my Lord Keeper. After dinner we had coarse Doiley
napkins,(6) fringed at each end, upon the table, to drink with: my Lord
Keeper spread one of them between him and Mr. Prior; I told him I was
glad to see there was such a fringeship (friendship) between Mr. Prior
and his lordship. Prior swore it was the worst he ever heard: I said I
thought so too; but at the same time I thought it was most like one of
Stella's that ever I heard. I dined to-day with Lord Mountjoy, and this
evening saw the Venetian Ambassador(7) coming from his first public
audience. His coach was the most monstrous, huge, fine, rich gilt thing
that ever I saw. I loitered this evening, and came home late.

24. I was this morning to visit the Duchess of Ormond,(8) who has long
desired it, or threatened she would not let me visit her daughters.
I sat an hour with her, and we were good company, when in came the
Countess of Bellamont,(9) with a pox. I went out, and we did not know
one another; yet hearing me named, she asked, "What, is that Dr. Swift?"
said she and I were very well acquainted, and fell a railing at me
without mercy, as a lady told me that was there; yet I never was but
once in the company of that drab of a Countess. Sir Andrew Fountaine and
I dined with my neighbour Van. I design in two days, if possible, to
go lodge at Chelsea for the air, and put myself under a necessity of
walking to and from London every day. I writ this post to the Bishop of
Clogher a long politic letter, to entertain him. I am to buy statues and
harnese(10) for them, with a vengeance. I have packed and sealed up MD's
twelve letters against I go to Chelsea. I have put the last commissions
of MD in my account-book; but if there be any former ones, I have forgot
them. I have Dingley's pocket-book down, and Stella's green silk apron,
and the pound of tea; pray send me word if you have any other, and down
they shall go. I will not answer your letter yet, saucy boxes. You are
with the Dean just now, Madam Stella, losing your money. Why do not
you name what number you have received? You say you have received my
letters, but do not tell the number.

25. I was this day dining in the City with very insignificant, low, and
scurvy company. I had a letter from the Archbishop of Dublin, with a
long denial of the report raised on him,(11) which yet has been since
assured to me from those who say they have it from the first hand; but
I cannot believe them. I will show it to the Secretary to-morrow. I will
not answer yours till I get to Chelsea.

26. Chelsea. I have sent two boxes of lumber to my friend Darteneuf's
house, and my chest of Florence and other things to Mrs. Vanhomrigh,
where I dined to-day. I was this morning with the Secretary, and showed
him the Archbishop's letter, and convinced him of his Grace's innocence,
and I will do the same to Mr. Harley. I got here in the stage-coach with
Patrick and my portmanteau for sixpence, and pay six shillings a week
for one silly room with confounded coarse sheets.(12) We have had such a
horrible deal of rain, that there is no walking to London, and I must go
as I came until it mends; and besides the whelp has taken my lodging as
far from London as this town could afford, at least half a mile farther
than he need; but I must be content. The best is, I lodge just over
against Dr. Atterbury's house, and yet perhaps I shall not like the
place the better for that. Well, I will stay till to-morrow before I
answer your letter; and you must suppose me always writing at Chelsea
from henceforward, till I alter, and say London. This letter goes on
Saturday, which will be just a fortnight; so go and cheat Goody Stoyte,
etc.

27. Do you know that I fear my whole chest of Florence is turned sour,
at least the two first flasks were so, and hardly drinkable. How plaguy
unfortunate am I! and the Secretary's own is the best I ever tasted;
and I must not tell him, but be as thankful as if it were the best in
Christendom. I went to town in the sixpenny stage to-day; and hearing
Mr. Harley was not at home, I went to see him, because I knew by the
message of his lying porter that he was at home. He was very well, and
just going out, but made me promise to dine with him; and betwixt
that and indeed strolling about, I lost four pound seven shillings
at play--with a--a--a--bookseller, and got but about half a dozen
books.(13) I will buy no more books now, that's certain. Well, I
dined at Mr. Harley's, came away at six, shifted my gown, cassock, and
periwig, and walked hither to Chelsea, as I always design to do when
it is fair. I am heartily sorry to find my friend the Secretary stand
a little ticklish with the rest of the Ministry; there have been one or
two disobliging things that have happened, too long to tell: and t'other
day in Parliament, upon a debate of about thirty-five millions that have
not been duly accounted for, Mr. Secretary, in his warmth of speech,
and zeal for his friend Mr. Brydges,(14) on whom part of the blame
was falling, said he did not know that either Mr. Brydges or the late
Ministry were at all to blame in this matter; which was very desperately
spoken, and giving up the whole cause: for the chief quarrel against the
late Ministry was the ill management of the treasure, and was more than
all the rest together. I had heard of this matter: but Mr. Foley(15)
beginning to discourse to-day at table, without naming Mr. St. John, I
turned to Mr. Harley, and said if the late Ministry were not to blame
in that article, he (Mr. Harley) ought to lose his head for putting the
Queen upon changing them. He made it a jest; but by some words dropped,
I easily saw that they take things ill of Mr. St. John; and by some
hints given me from another hand that I deal with, I am afraid the
Secretary will not stand long. This is the fate of Courts. I will, if I
meet Mr. St. John alone on Sunday, tell him my opinion, and beg him to
set himself right, else the consequences may be very bad; for I see
not how they can well want him neither, and he would make a troublesome
enemy. But enough of politics.

28. Morning. I forgot to tell you that Mr. Harley asked me yesterday how
he came to disoblige the Archbishop of Dublin. Upon which (having not
his letter about me) I told him what the Bishop had written to me on
that subject,(16) and desired I might read him the letter some other
time. But after all, from what I have heard from other hands, I am
afraid the Archbishop is a little guilty. Here is one Brent Spencer, a
brother of Mr. Proby's,(17) who affirms it, and says he has leave to do
so from Charles Dering,(18) who heard the words; and that Ingoldsby,(19)
abused the Archbishop, etc. Well, but now for your saucy letter: I have
no room to answer it; O yes, enough on t'other side. Are you no sicker?
Stella jeers Presto for not coming over by Christmas; but indeed Stella
does not jeer, but reproach, poor poor Presto. And how can I come away
and the First-Fruits not finished? I am of opinion the Duke of Ormond
will do nothing in them before he goes, which will be in a fortnight,
they say; and then they must fall to me to be done in his absence.
No, indeed, I have nothing to print: you know they have printed the
Miscellanies(20) already. Are they on your side yet? If you have my
snuff box, I will have your strong box. Hi, does Stella take snuff
again? or is it only because it is a fine box? Not the Meddle, but the
Medley,(21) you fool. Yes, yes, a wretched thing, because it is against
you Tories: now I think it very fine, and the Examiner a wretched
thing.--Twist your mouth, sirrah. Guiscard, and what you will read
in the Narrative,(22) I ordered to be written, and nothing else. The
Spectator is written by Steele, with Addison's help: it is often very
pretty. Yesterday it was made of a noble hint I gave him long ago
for his Tatlers, about an Indian supposed to write his Travels into
England.(23) I repent he ever had it. I intended to have written a book
on that subject. I believe he has spent it all in one paper, and all
the under-hints there are mine too; but I never see him or Addison. The
Queen is well, but I fear will be no long liver; for I am told she has
sometimes the gout in her bowels (I hate the word bowels). My ears
have been, these three months past, much better than any time these two
years; but now they begin to be a little out of order again. My head is
better, though not right; but I trust to air and walking. You have got
my letter, but what number? I suppose 18. Well, my shin has been
well this month. No, Mrs. Westley(24) came away without her husband's
knowledge, while she was in the country: she has written to me for some
tea. They lie; Mr. Harley's wound was very terrible: he had convulsions,
and very narrowly escaped. The bruise was nine times worse than the
wound: he is weak still. Well, Brooks married; I know all that. I am
sorry for Mrs. Walls's eye: I hope 'tis better. O yes, you are great
walkers: but I have heard them say, "Much talkers, little walkers": and
I believe I may apply the old proverb to you--

     If you talked no more than you walked,
     Those that think you wits would be baulked.

Yes, Stella shall have a large printed Bible: I have put it down among
my commissions for MD. I am glad to hear you have taken the fancy of
intending to read the Bible. Pox take the box; is not it come yet?
This is trusting to your young fellows, young women; 'tis your fault:
I thought you had such power with Sterne that he would fly over Mount
Atlas to serve you. You say you are not splenetic; but if you be, faith,
you will break poor Presto's--I will not say the rest; but I vow to God,
if I could decently come over now, I would, and leave all schemes of
politics and ambition for ever. I have not the opportunities here of
preserving my health by riding, etc., that I have in Ireland; and the
want of health is a great cooler of making one's court. You guess right
about my being bit with a direction from Walls, and the letter from MD:
I believe I described it in one of my last. This goes to-night; and
I must now rise and walk to town, and walk back in the evening. God
Almighty bless and preserve poor MD. Farewell.

O, faith, don't think, saucy noses, that I'll fill this third side: I
can't stay a letter above a fortnight: it must go then; and you would
rather see a short one like this, than want it a week longer.

My humble service to the Dean, and Mrs. Walls, and good, kind, hearty
Mrs. Stoyte, and honest Catherine.



LETTER 22.

CHELSEA, April 28, 1711.

At night. I say at night, because I finished my twenty-first this
morning here, and put it into the post-office my own self, like a good
boy. I think I am a little before you now, young women: I am writing my
twenty-second, and have received your thirteenth. I got to town between
twelve and one, and put on my new gown and periwig, and dined with
Lord Abercorn, where I had not been since the marriage of his son Lord
Peasley,(1) who has got ten thousand pounds with a wife. I am now a
country gentleman. I walked home as I went, and am a little weary, and
am got into bed: I hope in God the air and exercise will do me a little
good. I have been inquiring about statues for Mrs. Ashe: I made Lady
Abercorn(2) go with me; and will send them word next post to Clogher. I
hate to buy for her: I am sure she will maunder. I am going to study.

29. I had a charming walk to and from town to-day: I washed, shaved and
all, and changed gown and periwig, by half an hour after nine, and went
to the Secretary, who told me how he had differed with his friends in
Parliament: I apprehended this division, and told him a great deal of
it. I went to Court, and there several mentioned it to me as what they
much disliked. I dined with the Secretary; and we proposed doing some
business of importance in the afternoon, which he broke to me first, and
said how he and Mr. Harley were convinced of the necessity of it; yet he
suffered one of his under-secretaries to come upon us after dinner, who
stayed till six, and so nothing was done: and what care I? he shall send
to me the next time, and ask twice. To-morrow I go to the election at
Westminster School, where lads are chosen for the University: they say
it is a sight, and a great trial of wits. Our Expedition Fleet is but
just sailed: I believe it will come to nothing. Mr. Secretary frets at
their tediousness, but hopes great things from it, though he owns four
or five princes are in the secret; and, for that reason, I fear it is no
secret to France. There are eight regiments; and the Admiral(3) is your
Walker's brother the midwife.

30. Morn. I am here in a pretty pickle: it rains hard; and the cunning
natives of Chelsea have outwitted me, and taken up all the three stage
coaches. What shall I do? I must go to town: this is your fault. I
cannot walk: I will borrow a coat. This is the blind side of my lodging
out of town; I must expect such inconveniences as these. Faith, I'll
walk in the rain. Morrow.--At night. I got a gentleman's chaise by
chance, and so went to town for a shilling, and lie this night in town.
I was at the election of lads at Westminster to-day, and a very silly
thing it is; but they say there will be fine doings to-morrow. I dined
with Dr. Freind,(4) the second master of the school, with a dozen
parsons and others: Prior would make me stay. Mr. Harley is to hear the
election to-morrow; and we are all to dine with tickets, and hear fine
speeches. 'Tis terrible rainy weather again: I lie at a friend's in the
City.

May 1. I wish you a merry May Day, and a thousand more. I was baulked at
Westminster; I came too late: I heard no speeches nor verses. They would
not let me in to their dining-place for want of a ticket; and I
would not send in for one, because Mr. Harley excused his coming, and
Atterbury was not there; and I cared not for the rest: and so my friend
Lewis and I dined with Kitt Musgrave,(5) if you know such a man: and,
the weather mending, I walked gravely home this evening; and so I design
to walk and walk till I am well: I fancy myself a little better already.
How does poor Stella? Dingley is well enough. Go, get you gone, naughty
girl, you are well enough. O dear MD, contrive to have some share of
the country this spring: go to Finglas, or Donnybrook, or Clogher, or
Killala, or Lowth. Have you got your box yet? Yes, yes. Do not write to
me again till this letter goes: I must make haste, that I may write two
for one. Go to the Bath: I hope you are now at the Bath, if you had a
mind to go; or go to Wexford: do something for your living. Have
you given up my lodging, according to order? I have had just now a
compliment from Dean Atterbury's lady,(6) to command the garden and
library, and whatever the house affords. I lodge just over against them;
but the Dean is in town with his Convocation: so I have my Dean and
Prolocutor as well as you, young women, though he has not so good wine,
nor so much meat.

2. A fine day, but begins to grow a little warm; and that makes your
little fat Presto sweat in the forehead. Pray, are not the fine buns
sold here in our town; was it not Rrrrrrrrrare Chelsea buns?(7) I bought
one to-day in my walk; it cost me a penny; it was stale, and I did not
like it, as the man said, etc. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined at
Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and had a flask of my Florence, which lies in their
cellar; and so I came home gravely, and saw nobody of consequence
to-day. I am very easy here, nobody plaguing me in a morning; and
Patrick saves many a score lies. I sent over to Mrs Atterbury to
know whether I might wait on her; but she is gone a visiting: we have
exchanged some compliments, but I have not seen her yet. We have no news
in our town.

3. I did not go to town to-day, it was so terrible rainy; nor have I
stirred out of my room till eight this evening, when I crossed the way
to see Mrs. Atterbury, and thank her for her civilities. She would needs
send me some veal, and small beer, and ale, to-day at dinner; and I have
lived a scurvy, dull, splenetic day, for want of MD: I often thought how
happy I could have been, had it rained eight thousand times more, if MD
had been with a body. My Lord Rochester(8) is dead this morning; they
say at one o'clock; and I hear he died suddenly. To-morrow I shall know
more. He is a great loss to us: I cannot think who will succeed him as
Lord President. I have been writing a long letter to Lord Peterborow,
and am dull.

4. I dined to-day at Lord Shelburne's, where Lady Kerry(9) made me a
present of four India handkerchiefs, which I have a mind to keep
for little MD, only that I had rather, etc. I have been a mighty
handkerchief-monger, and have bought abundance of snuff ones since I
have left off taking snuff. And I am resolved, when I come over,
MD shall be acquainted with Lady Kerry: we have struck up a mighty
friendship; and she has much better sense than any other lady of
your country. We are almost in love with one another: but she is most
egregiously ugly; but perfectly well-bred, and governable as I please. I
am resolved, when I come, to keep no company but MD: you know I kept my
resolution last time; and, except Mr. Addison, conversed with none but
you and your club of deans and Stoytes. 'Tis three weeks, young women,
since I had a letter from you; and yet, methinks, I would not have
another for five pounds till this is gone; and yet I send every day to
the Coffee-house, and I would fain have a letter, and not have a letter:
and I do not know what, nor I do not know how, and this goes on very
slow; it is a week to-morrow since I began it. I am a poor country
gentleman, and do not know how the world passes. Do you know that every
syllable I write I hold my lips just for all the world as if I were
talking in our own little language to MD? Faith, I am very silly; but
I cannot help it for my life. I got home early to-night. My solicitors,
that used to ply me every morning, knew not where to find me; and I am
so happy not to hear "Patrick, Patrick," called a hundred times every
morning. But I looked backward, and find I have said this before. What
care I? Go to the Dean, and roast the oranges.

5. I dined to-day with my friend Lewis, and we were deep in politics
how to save the present Ministry; for I am afraid of Mr. Secretary, as
I believe I told you. I went in the evening to see Mr. Harley; and, upon
my word, I was in perfect joy. Mr. Secretary was just going out of the
door; but I made him come back, and there was the old Saturday Club,
Lord Keeper, Lord Rivers, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Harley, and I; the first
time since his stabbing. Mr. Secretary went away; but I stayed till
nine, and made Mr. Harley show me his breast, and tell all the story;
and I showed him the Archbishop of Dublin's letter, and defended him
effectually. We were all in mighty good humour. Lord Keeper and I left
them together, and I walked here after nine two miles, and I found a
parson drunk fighting with a seaman, and Patrick and I were so wise to
part them, but the seaman followed him to Chelsea, cursing at him, and
the parson slipped into a house, and I know no more. It mortified me to
see a man in my coat so overtaken. A pretty scene for one that just came
from sitting with the Prime Ministers! I had no money in my pocket, and
so could not be robbed. However, nothing but Mr. Harley shall make me
take such a journey again. We don't yet know who will be President in
Lord Rochester's room. I measured, and found that the penknife would
have killed Mr. Harley if it had gone but half the breadth of my
thumb-nail lower, so near was he to death. I was so curious as to ask
him what were his thoughts while they were carrying him home in the
chair. He said he concluded himself a dead man. He will not allow that
Guiscard gave him the second stab; though my Lord Keeper, who is blind,
and I that was not there, are positive in it. He wears a plaster still
as broad as half a crown. Smoke how wide the lines are, but, faith, I
don't do it on purpose: but I have changed my side in this new Chelsea
bed, and I do not know how, methinks, but it is so unfit, and so
awkward, never saw the like.

6. You must remember to enclose your letters in a fair paper, and direct
the outside thus: "To Erasmus Lewis, Esq.; at my Lord Dartmouth's office
at Whitehall." I said so before, but it may miscarry, you know, yet I
think none of my letters did ever miscarry; faith, I think never one;
among all the privateers and the storms. O, faith, my letters are too
good to be lost. MD's letters may tarry, but never miscarry, as the old
woman used to say. And indeed, how should they miscarry, when they never
come before their time? It was a terrible rainy day; yet I made a shift
to steal fair weather overhead enough to go and come in. I was early
with the Secretary, and dined with him afterwards. In the morning I
began to chide him, and tell him my fears of his proceedings. But Arthur
Moore(10) came up and relieved him. But I forgot, for you never heard of
Arthur Moore. But when I get Mr. Harley alone, I will know the bottom.
You will have Dr. Raymond over before this letter, and what care you?

7. I hope and believe my walks every day do me good. I was busy at home,
and set out late this morning, and dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, at whose
lodgings I always change my gown and periwig. I visited this afternoon,
and among others, poor Biddy Floyd,(11) who is very red, but I
believe won't be much marked. As I was coming home, I met Sir George
Beaumont(12) in the Pall Mall, who would needs walk with me as far as
Buckingham House. I was telling him of my head; he said he had been ill
of the same disorder, and by all means forbid me bohea tea, which, he
said, always gave it him; and that Dr. Radcliffe said it was very bad.
Now I had observed the same thing, and have left it off this month,
having found myself ill after it several times; and I mention it that
Stella may consider it for her own poor little head: a pound lies
ready packed up and directed for Mrs. Walls, to be sent by the first
convenience. Mr. Secretary told me yesterday that Mr. Harley would this
week be Lord Treasurer and a peer; so I expect it every day; yet perhaps
it may not be till Parliament is up, which will be in a fortnight.

8. I was to-day with the Duke of Ormond, and recommended to him the care
of poor Joe Beaumont, who promises me to do him all justice and favour,
and give him encouragement; and desired I would give a memorial to Ned
Southwell about it, which I will, and so tell Joe when you see him,
though he knows it already by a letter I writ to Mr. Warburton.(13) It
was bloody hot walking to-day. I dined in the City, and went and came
by water; and it rained so this evening again, that I thought I should
hardly be able to get a dry hour to walk home in. I will send to-morrow
to the Coffee-house for a letter from MD; but I would not have one
methinks till this is gone, as it shall on Saturday. I visited the
Duchess of Ormond this morning; she does not go over with the Duke. I
spoke to her to get a lad touched for the evil,(14) the son of a grocer
in Capel Street, one Bell; the ladies have bought sugar and plums of
him. Mrs. Mary used to go there often. This is Patrick's account; and
the poor fellow has been here some months with his boy. But the Queen
has not been able to touch, and it now grows so warm, I fear she
will not at all. Go, go, go to the Dean's, and let him carry you to
Donnybrook, and cut asparagus. Has Parvisol sent you any this year?
I cannot sleep in the beginnings of the nights, the heat or something
hinders me, and I am drowsy in the mornings.

9. Dr. Freind came this morning to visit Atterbury's lady and children
as physician, and persuaded me to go with him to town in his chariot.
He told me he had been an hour before with Sir Cholmley Dering, Charles
Dering's nephew, and head of that family in Kent, for which he is Knight
of the shire. He said he left him dying of a pistol-shot quite through
the body, by one Mr. Thornhill.(15) They fought at sword and pistol this
morning in Tuttle Fields,(16) their pistols so near that the muzzles
touched. Thornhill discharged first; and Dering, having received the
shot, discharged his pistol as he was falling, so it went into the air.
The story of this quarrel is long. Thornhill had lost seven teeth by a
kick in the mouth from Dering, who had first knocked him down; this
was above a fortnight ago. Dering was next week to be married to a fine
young lady. This makes a noise here, but you will not value it. Well,
Mr. Harley, Lord Keeper, and one or two more, are to be made lords
immediately; their patents are now passing, and I read the preamble to
Mr. Harley's, full of his praises. Lewis and I dined with Ford: I found
the wine; two flasks of my Florence, and two bottles of six that Dr.
Raymond sent me of French wine; he sent it to me to drink with Sir
Robert Raymond and Mr. Harley's brother,(17) whom I had introduced him
to; but they never could find time to come; and now I have left the
town, and it is too late. Raymond will think it a cheat. What care I,
sirrah?

10. Pshaw, pshaw. Patrick brought me four letters to-day: from Dilly at
Bath; Joe; Parvisol; and what was the fourth, who can tell? Stand away,
who'll guess? Who can it be? You old man with a stick, can you tell who
the fourth is from? Iss, an please your honour, it is from one Madam MD,
Number Fourteen. Well; but I can't send this away now, because it
was here, and I was in town; but it shall go on Saturday, and this is
Thursday night, and it will be time enough for Wexford. Take my method:
I write here to Parvisol to lend Stella twenty pounds, and to take her
note promissory to pay it in half a year, etc. You shall see, and if you
want more, let me know afterwards; and be sure my money shall be always
paid constantly too. Have you been good or ill housewives, pray?

11. Joe has written me to get him a collector's place, nothing less; he
says all the world knows of my great intimacy with Mr. Harley, and that
the smallest word to him will do. This is the constant cant of puppies
who are at a distance, and strangers to Courts and Ministers. My answer
is this, which pray send: that I am ready to serve Joe as far as I can;
that I have spoken to the Duke of Ormond about his money, as I writ to
Warburton; that for the particular he mentions, it is a work of time,
which I cannot think of at present; but, if accidents and opportunities
should happen hereafter, I would not be wanting; that I know best how
far my credit goes; that he is at a distance, and cannot judge; that I
would be glad to do him good, and if fortune throws an opportunity in
my way I shall not be wanting. This is my answer, which you may send or
read to him. Pray contrive that Parvisol may not run away with my two
hundred pounds; but get Burton's(18) note, and let the money be returned
me by bill. Don't laugh, for I will be suspicious. Teach Parvisol to
enclose, and direct the outside to Mr. Lewis. I will answer your letter
in my next, only what I take notice of here excepted. I forgot to tell
you that at the Court of Requests to-day I could not find a dinner I
liked, and it grew late, and I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, etc.

12. Morning. I will finish this letter before I go to town, because I
shall be busy, and have neither time nor place there. Farewell, etc.
etc.



LETTER 23.

CHELSEA, May 12, 1711.

I sent you my twenty-second this afternoon in town. I dined with Mr.
Harley and the old Club, Lord Rivers, Lord Keeper, and Mr. Secretary.
They rallied me last week, and said I must have Mr. St. John's leave; so
I writ to him yesterday, that foreseeing I should never dine again with
Sir Simon Harcourt, Knight, and Robert Harley, Esq., I was resolved to
do it to-day. The jest is, that before Saturday(1) next we expect they
will be lords; for Mr. Harley's patent is drawing, to be Earl of Oxford.
Mr. Secretary and I came away at seven, and he brought me to our town's
end in his coach; so I lost my walk. St. John read my letter to the
company, which was all raillery, and passed purely.

13. It rained all last night and this morning as heavy as lead; but I
just got fair weather to walk to town before church. The roads are all
over in deep puddle. The hay of our town is almost fit to be mowed. I
went to Court after church (as I always do on Sundays), and then dined
with Mr. Secretary, who has engaged me for every Sunday; and poor MD
dined at home upon a bit of veal and a pint of wine. Is it not plaguy
insipid to tell you every day where I dine? yet now I have got into
the way of it, I cannot forbear it neither. Indeed, Mr. Presto, you had
better go answer MD's letter, N.14. I will answer it when I please,
Mr. Doctor. What is that you say? The Court was very full this morning,
expecting Mr. Harley would be declared Earl of Oxford and have the
Treasurer's staff. Mr. Harley never comes to Court at all; somebody
there asked me the reason. "Why," said I, "the Lord of Oxford knows." He
always goes to the Queen by the back stairs. I was told for certain, you
jackanapes, Lord Santry(2) was dead, Captain Cammock(3) assured me so;
and now he's alive again, they say; but that shan't do: he shall be dead
to me as long as he lives. Dick Tighe(4) and I meet, and never stir our
hats. I am resolved to mistake him for Witherington, the little nasty
lawyer that came up to me so sternly at the Castle the day I left
Ireland. I'll ask the gentleman I saw walking with him how long
Witherington has been in town.

14. I went to town to-day by water. The hail quite discouraged me from
walking, and there is no shade in the greatest part of the way. I took
the first boat, and had a footman my companion; then I went again
by water, and dined in the City with a printer, to whom I carried a
pamphlet in manuscript, that Mr. Secretary gave me. The printer sent it
to the Secretary for his approbation, and he desired me to look it over,
which I did, and found it a very scurvy piece. The reason I tell you so,
is because it was done by your parson Slap, Scrap, Flap (what d'ye call
him), Trapp,(5) your Chancellor's chaplain. 'Tis called A Character of
the Present Set of Whigs, and is going to be printed, and no doubt the
author will take care to produce it in Ireland. Dr. Freind was with me,
and pulled out a twopenny pamphlet just published, called The State of
Wit,(6) giving a character of all the papers that have come out of late.
The author seems to be a Whig, yet he speaks very highly of a paper
called the Examiner, and says the supposed author of it is Dr. Swift.
But above all things he praises the Tatlers and Spectators; and I
believe Steele and Addison were privy to the printing of it. Thus is one
treated by these impudent dogs. And that villain Curll(7) has scraped
up some trash, and calls it Dr. Swift's Miscellanies, with the name at
large: and I can get no satisfaction of him. Nay, Mr. Harley told me
he had read it, and only laughed at me before Lord Keeper and the
rest. Since I came home, I have been sitting with the Prolocutor, Dean
Atterbury, who is my neighbour over the way, but generally keeps in town
with his Convocation. 'Tis late, etc.

15. My walk to town to-day was after ten, and prodigiously hot. I dined
with Lord Shelburne, and have desired Mrs. Pratt, who lodges there, to
carry over Mrs. Walls's tea; I hope she will do it, and they talk of
going in a fortnight. My way is this: I leave my best gown and periwig
at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, then walk up the Pall Mall, through the Park, out
at Buckingham House, and so to Chelsea a little beyond the church: I set
out about sunset, and get here in something less than an hour; it is two
good miles, and just five thousand seven hundred and forty-eight steps;
so there is four miles a day walking, without reckoning what I walk
while I stay in town. When I pass the Mall in the evening, it is
prodigious to see the number of ladies walking there; and I always cry
shame at the ladies of Ireland, who never walk at all, as if their legs
were of no use, but to be laid aside. I have been now almost three
weeks here, and I thank God, am much better in my head, if it does but
continue. I tell you what, if I was with you, when we went to Stoyte at
Donnybrook, we would only take a coach to the hither end of Stephen's
Green, and from thence go every step on foot, yes, faith, every step;
it would do DD(8) good as well as Presto.(9) Everybody tells me I
look better already; for, faith, I looked sadly, that is certain. My
breakfast is milk porridge: I do not love it; faith, I hate it, but
it is cheap and wholesome; and I hate to be obliged to either of those
qualities for anything.(10)

16. I wonder why Presto will be so tedious in answering MD's letters;
because he would keep the best to the last, I suppose. Well, Presto must
be humoured, it must be as he will have it, or there will be an old to
do.(11) Dead with heat; are not you very hot? My walks make my forehead
sweat rarely; sometimes my morning journey is by water, as it was to-day
with one Parson Richardson,(12) who came to see me, on his going to
Ireland; and with him I send Mrs. Walls's tea, and three books(13) I
got from the Lords of the Treasury for the College. I dined with Lord
Shelburne to-day; Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt are going likewise for
Ireland.--Lord! I forgot, I dined with Mr. Prior to-day, at his house,
with Dean Atterbury and others; and came home pretty late, and I think
I'm in a fuzz, and don't know what I say, never saw the like.

17. Sterne came here by water to see me this morning, and I went back
with him to his boat. He tells me that Mrs. Edgworth(14) married a
fellow in her journey to Chester; so I believe she little thought of
anybody's box but her own. I desired Sterne to give me directions where
to get the box in Chester, which he says he will to-morrow; and I will
write to Richardson to get it up there as he goes by, and whip it over.
It is directed to Mrs. Curry: you must caution her of it, and desire
her to send it you when it comes. Sterne says Jemmy Leigh loves London
mightily; that makes him stay so long, I believe, and not Sterne's
business, which Mr. Harley's accident has put much backward. We expect
now every day that he will be Earl of Oxford and Lord Treasurer. His
patent is passing; but, they say, Lord Keeper's not yet; at least his
son, young Harcourt, told me so t'other day. I dined to-day privately
with my friend Lewis at his lodgings at Whitehall. T'other day at
Whitehall I met a lady of my acquaintance, whom I had not seen before
since I came to England; we were mighty glad to see each other, and she
has engaged me to visit her, as I design to do. It is one Mrs. Colledge:
she has lodgings at Whitehall, having been seamstress to King William,
worth three hundred a year. Her father was a fanatic joiner,(15) hanged
for treason in Shaftesbury's plot. This noble person and I were brought
acquainted, some years ago, by Lady Berkeley.(16) I love good creditable
acquaintance: I love to be the worst of the company: I am not of those
that say, "For want of company, welcome trumpery." I was this evening
with Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt at Vauxhall, to hear the nightingales;
but they are almost past singing.

18. I was hunting the Secretary to-day in vain about some business, and
dined with Colonel Crowe, late Governor of Barbados,(17) and your friend
Sterne was the third: he is very kind to Sterne, and helps him in his
business, which lies asleep till Mr. Harley is Lord Treasurer, because
nothing of moment is now done in the Treasury, the change being expected
every day. I sat with Dean Atterbury till one o'clock after I came home;
so 'tis late, etc.

19. Do you know that about our town we are mowing already and making
hay, and it smells so sweet as we walk through the flowery meads; but
the hay-making nymphs are perfect drabs, nothing so clean and pretty as
farther in the country. There is a mighty increase of dirty wenches in
straw hats since I knew London. I stayed at home till five o'clock, and
dined with Dean Atterbury; then went by water to Mr. Harley's, where the
Saturday Club was met, with the addition of the Duke of Shrewsbury. I
whispered Lord Rivers that I did not like to see a stranger among us;
and the rogue told it aloud: but Mr. Secretary said the Duke writ to
have leave; so I appeared satisfied, and so we laughed. Mr. Secretary
told me the Duke of Buckingham(18) had been talking to him much about
me, and desired my acquaintance. I answered it could not be, for he
had not made sufficient advances. Then the Duke of Shrewsbury said he
thought that Duke was not used to make advances. I said I could not help
that; for I always expected advances in proportion to men's quality, and
more from a duke than any other man. The Duke replied that he did not
mean anything of his quality; which was handsomely said enough; for he
meant his pride: and I have invented a notion to believe that nobody
is proud. At ten all the company went away; and from ten to twelve
Mr. Harley and I sat together, where we talked through a great deal
of matters I had a mind to settle with him; and then walked in a fine
moonshine night to Chelsea, where I got by one. Lord Rivers conjured me
not to walk so late; but I would, because I had no other way; but I had
no money to lose.

20. By what the Lord Keeper told me last night, I find he will not be
made a peer so soon; but Mr. Harley's patent for Earl of Oxford is now
drawing, and will be done in three days. We made him own it, which he
did scurvily, and then talked of it like the rest. Mr. Secretary had too
much company with him to-day; so I came away soon after dinner. I give
no man liberty to swear or talk b---dy, and I found some of them were
in constraint, so I left them to themselves. I wish you a merry
Whitsuntide, and pray tell me how you pass away your time; but, faith,
you are going to Wexford, and I fear this letter is too late; it shall
go on Thursday, and sooner it cannot, I have so much business to hinder
me answering yours. Where must I direct in your absence? Do you quit
your lodgings?

21. Going to town this morning, I met in the Pall Mall a clergyman
of Ireland, whom I love very well and was glad to see, and with him
a little jackanapes, of Ireland too, who married Nanny Swift, Uncle
Adam's(19) daughter, one Perry; perhaps you may have heard of him. His
wife has sent him here, to get a place from Lowndes;(20) because my
uncle and Lowndes married two sisters, and Lowndes is a great man here
in the Treasury; but by good luck I have no acquaintance with him:
however, he expected I should be his friend to Lowndes, and one word
of mine, etc., the old cant. But I will not go two yards to help him.
I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, where I keep my best gown and periwig, to
put on when I come to town and be a spark.

22. I dined to-day in the City, and coming home this evening, I met Sir
Thomas Mansel and Mr. Lewis in the Park. Lewis whispered me that Mr.
Harley's patent for the Earl of Oxford was passed in Mr. Secretary St.
John's office; so to-morrow or next day, I suppose, he will be
declared Earl of Oxford, and have the staff.(21) This man has grown by
persecutions, turnings out, and stabbing. What waiting, and crowding,
and bowing will be at his levee! yet, if human nature be capable of so
much constancy, I should believe he will be the same man still, bating
the necessary forms of grandeur he must keep up. 'Tis late, sirrahs, and
I'll go sleep.

23. Morning. I sat up late last night, and waked late to-day; but will
now answer your letter in bed before I go to town, and I will send it
to-morrow; for perhaps you mayn't go so soon to Wexford.--No, you are
not out in your number; the last was Number 14, and so I told you
twice or thrice; will you never be satisfied? What shall we do for poor
Stella? Go to Wexford, for God's sake: I wish you were to walk there by
three miles a day, with a good lodging at every mile's end. Walking
has done me so much good, that I cannot but prescribe it often to poor
Stella. Parvisol has sent me a bill for fifty pounds, which I am sorry
for, having not written to him for it, only mentioned it two months ago;
but I hope he will be able to pay you what I have drawn upon him for: he
never sent me any sum before, but one bill of twenty pounds half a year
ago. You are welcome as my blood to every farthing I have in the world;
and all that grieves me is, I am not richer, for MD's sake, as hope
saved.(22) I suppose you give up your lodgings when you go to Wexford;
yet that will be inconvenient too: yet I wish again you were under a
necessity of rambling the country until Michaelmas, faith. No, let them
keep the shelves, with a pox; yet they are exacting people about those
four weeks; or Mrs. Brent may have the shelves, if she please. I am
obliged to your Dean for his kind offer of lending me money. Will that
be enough to say? A hundred people would lend me money, or to any man
who has not the reputation of a squanderer. O, faith, I should be glad
to be in the same kingdom with MD, however, although you are at Wexford.
But I am kept here by a most capricious fate, which I would break
through, if I could do it with decency or honour.--To return without
some mark of distinction would look extremely little; and I would
likewise gladly be somewhat richer than I am. I will say no more, but
beg you to be easy till Fortune take her course, and to believe that
MD's felicity is the great end I aim at in all my pursuits. And so let
us talk no more on this subject, which makes me melancholy, and that
I would fain divert. Believe me, no man breathing at present has less
share of happiness in life than I: I do not say I am unhappy at all, but
that everything here is tasteless to me for want of being as I would
be. And so, a short sigh, and no more of this. Well, come and let's see
what's next, young women. Pox take Mrs. Edgworth and Sterne! I will take
some methods about that box. What orders would you have me give about
the picture? Can't you do with it as if it were your own? No, I hope
Manley will keep his place; for I hear nothing of Sir Thomas Frankland's
losing his. Send nothing under cover to Mr. Addison, but "To Erasmus
Lewis, Esq.; at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall." Direct your
outside so.--Poor dear Stella, don't write in the dark, nor in the light
neither, but dictate to Dingley; she is a naughty, healthy girl, and may
drudge for both. Are you good company together? and don't you quarrel
too often? Pray love one another, and kiss one another just now, as
Dingley is reading this; for you quarrelled this morning just after Mrs.
Marget(23) had poured water on Stella's head: I heard the little bird
say so. Well, I have answered everything in your letter that required
it, and yet the second side is not full. I'll come home at night, and
say more; and to-morrow this goes for certain. Go, get you gone to your
own chambers, and let Presto rise like a modest gentleman, and walk to
town. I fancy I begin to sweat less in the forehead by constant walking
than I used to do; but then I shall be so sunburnt, the ladies will not
like me. Come, let me rise, sirrahs. Morrow.--At night. I dined with
Ford to-day at his lodgings, and I found wine out of my own cellar, some
of my own chest of the great Duke's wine: it begins to turn. They say
wine with you in Ireland is half a crown a bottle. 'Tis as Stella says;
nothing that once grows dear in Ireland ever grows cheap again, except
corn, with a pox, to ruin the parson. I had a letter to-day from the
Archbishop of Dublin, giving me further thanks about vindicating him
to Mr. Harley and Mr. St. John, and telling me a long story about your
Mayor's election,(24) wherein I find he has had a finger, and given
way to further talk about him; but we know nothing of it here yet. This
walking to and fro, and dressing myself, takes up so much of my time
that I cannot go among company so much as formerly; yet what must a body
do? I thank God I yet continue much better since I left the town; I know
not how long it may last. I am sure it has done me some good for the
present. I do not totter as I did, but walk firm as a cock, only once
or twice for a minute, I do not know how; but it went off, and I never
followed it. Does Dingley read my hand as well as ever? do you, sirrah?
Poor Stella must not read Presto's ugly small hand.

     Preserve your eyes,
     If you be wise.

Your friend Walls's tea will go in a day or two towards Chester by one
Parson Richardson. My humble service to her, and to good Mrs. Stoyte,
and Catherine; and pray walk while you continue in Dublin. I expect your
next but one will be from Wexford. God bless dearest MD.

24. Morning. Mr. Secretary has sent his groom hither, to invite me to
dinner to-day, etc. God Almighty for ever bless and preserve you both,
and give you health, etc. Amen. Farewell, etc.

Do not I often say the same thing two or three times in the same letter,
sirrah?

Great wits, they say, have but short memories; that's good vile
conversation.



LETTER 24.

CHELSEA, May 24, 1711.

Morning. Once in my life the number of my letters and of the day of the
month is the same; that's lucky, boys; that's a sign that things will
meet, and that we shall make a figure together. What, will you still
have the impudence to say London, England, because I say Dublin,
Ireland? Is there no difference between London and Dublin, saucyboxes?
I have sealed up my letter, and am going to town. Morrow, sirrahs.--At
night. I dined with the Secretary to-day; we sat down between five and
six. Mr. Harley's patent passed this morning: he is now Earl of Oxford,
Earl Mortimer, and Lord Harley of Wigmore Castle. My letter was sealed,
or I would have told you this yesterday; but the public news may tell
it you. The Queen, for all her favour, has kept a rod(1) for him in her
closet this week; I suppose he will take it from her, though, in a day
or two. At eight o'clock this evening it rained prodigiously, as it did
from five; however, I set out, and in half-way the rain lessened, and I
got home, but tolerably wet; and this is the first wet walk I have had
in a month's time that I am here but, however, I got to bed, after a
short visit to Atterbury.

25. It rained this morning, and I went to town by water; and Ford and I
dined with Mr. Lewis by appointment. I ordered Patrick to bring my gown
and periwig to Mr. Lewis, because I designed to go to see Lord Oxford,
and so I told the dog; but he never came, though I stayed an hour longer
than I appointed; so I went in my old gown, and sat with him two hours,
but could not talk over some business I had with him; so he has desired
me to dine with him on Sunday, and I must disappoint the Secretary.
My lord set me down at a coffee-house, where I waited for the Dean
of Carlisle's chariot to bring me to Chelsea; for it has rained
prodigiously all this afternoon. The Dean did not come himself, but sent
me his chariot, which has cost me two shillings to the coachman; and so
I am got home, and Lord knows what is become of Patrick. I think I must
send him over to you; for he is an intolerable rascal. If I had
come without a gown, he would have served me so, though my life and
preferment should have lain upon it: and I am making a livery for him
will cost me four pounds; but I will order the tailor to-morrow to stop
till further orders. My Lord Oxford can't yet abide to be called
"my lord"; and when I called him "my lord," he called me "Dr. Thomas
Swift,"(2) which he always does when he has a mind to tease me. By a
second hand, he proposed my being his chaplain, which I by a second
hand excused; but we had no talk of it to-day: but I will be no man's
chaplain alive. But I must go and be busy.

26. I never saw Patrick till this morning, and that only once, for I
dressed myself without him; and when I went to town he was out of the
way. I immediately sent for the tailor, and ordered him to stop his hand
in Patrick's clothes till further orders. Oh, if it were in Ireland, I
should have turned him off ten times ago; and it is no regard to him,
but myself, that has made me keep him so long. Now I am afraid to give
the rogue his clothes. What shall I do? I wish MD were here to entreat
for him, just here at the bed's side. Lady Ashburnham(3) has been
engaging me this long time to dine with her, and I set to-day apart for
it; and whatever was the mistake, she sent me word she was at dinner and
undressed, but would be glad to see me in the afternoon: so I dined with
Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and would not go to see her at all, in a huff. My fine
Florence is turning sour with a vengeance, and I have not drunk half of
it. As I was coming home to-night, Sir Thomas Mansel and Tom Harley(4)
met me in the Park, and made me walk with them till nine, like
unreasonable whelps; so I got not here till ten: but it was a fine
evening, and the foot-path clean enough already after this hard rain.

27. Going this morning to town, I saw two old lame fellows, walking to
a brandy-shop, and when they got to the door, stood a long time
complimenting who should go in first. Though this be no jest to tell, it
was an admirable one to see. I dined to-day with my Lord Oxford and the
ladies, the new Countess, and Lady Betty,(5) who has been these three
days a lady born. My lord left us at seven, and I had no time to speak
to him about some affairs; but he promises in a day or two we shall dine
alone; which is mighty likely, considering we expect every moment that
the Queen will give him the staff, and then he will be so crowded he
will be good for nothing: for aught I know he may have it to-night at
Council.

28. I had a petition sent me t'other day from one Stephen Gernon,
setting forth that he formerly lived with Harry Tenison,(6) who gave him
an employment of gauger, and that he was turned out after Harry's death,
and came for England, and is now starving, or, as he expresses it, THAT
THE STAFF OF LIFE HAS BEEN OF LATE A STRANGER TO HIS APPETITE. Today
the poor fellow called, and I knew him very well, a young slender fellow
with freckles in his face: you must remember him; he waited at table as
a better sort of servant. I gave him a crown, and promised to do what I
could to help him to a service, which I did for Harry Tenison's memory.
It was bloody hot walking to-day, and I was so lazy I dined where my new
gown was, at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and came back like a fool, and the Dean
of Carlisle has sat with me till eleven. Lord Oxford has not the staff
yet.

29. I was this morning in town by ten, though it was shaving-day, and
went to the Secretary about some affairs, then visited the Duke and
Duchess of Ormond; but the latter was dressing to go out, and I could
not see her. My Lord Oxford had the staff given him this morning; so now
I must call him Lord Oxford no more, but Lord Treasurer: I hope he will
stick there: this is twice he has changed his name this week; and I
heard to-day in the City (where I dined) that he will very soon have the
Garter.--Pr'ythee, do not you observe how strangely I have changed my
company and manner of living? I never go to a coffee-house; you hear no
more of Addison, Steele, Henley, Lady Lucy, Mrs. Finch,(7) Lord Somers,
Lord Halifax, etc. I think I have altered for the better. Did I tell you
the Archbishop of Dublin has writ me a long letter of a squabble in your
town about choosing a Mayor, and that he apprehended some censure for
the share he had in it?(8) I have not heard anything of it here; but I
shall not be always able to defend him. We hear your Bishop Hickman is
dead;(9) but nobody here will do anything for me in Ireland; so they
may die as fast or slow as they please.--Well, you are constant to your
deans, and your Stoyte, and your Walls. Walls will have her tea soon;
Parson Richardson is either going or gone to Ireland, and has it with
him. I hear Mr. Lewis has two letters for me: I could not call for them
to-day, but will to-morrow; and perhaps one of them may be from our
little MD, who knows, man? who can tell? Many a more unlikely thing has
happened.--Pshaw, I write so plaguy little, I can hardly see it myself.
WRITE BIGGER, SIRRAH(10) Presto. No, but I won't. Oh, you are a saucy
rogue, Mr. Presto, you are so impudent. Come, dear rogues, let Presto go
to sleep; I have been with the Dean, and 'tis near twelve.

30. I am so hot and lazy after my morning's walk, that I loitered at
Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, where my best gown and periwig are, and out of mere
listlessness dine there very often; so I did to-day; but I got little
MD's letter, N.15 (you see, sirrahs, I remember to tell the number),
from Mr. Lewis, and I read it in a closet they lend me at Mrs. Van's;
and I find Stella is a saucy rogue and a great writer, and can write
finely still when her hand is in, and her pen good. When I came here
to-night, I had a mighty mind to go swim after I was cool, for my
lodging is just by the river; and I went down with only my nightgown and
slippers on at eleven, but came up again; however, one of these nights I
will venture.

31. I was so hot this morning with my walk, that I resolve to do so
no more during this violent burning weather. It is comical that now we
happen to have such heat to ripen the fruit there has been the greatest
blast that was ever known, and almost all the fruit is despaired of.
I dined with Lord Shelburne: Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt are going to
Ireland. I went this evening to Lord Treasurer, and sat about two hours
with him in mixed company; he left us, and went to Court, and carried
two staves with him, so I suppose we shall have a new Lord Steward or
Comptroller to-morrow; I smoked that State secret out by that accident.
I will not answer your letter yet, sirrahs; no I won't, madam.

June 1. I wish you a merry month of June. I dined again with the Vans
and Sir Andrew Fountaine. I always give them a flask of my Florence,
which now begins to spoil, but it is near an end. I went this afternoon
to Mrs. Vedeau's, and brought away Madam Dingley's parchment and letter
of attorney. Mrs. Vedeau tells me she has sent the bill a fortnight ago.
I will give the parchment to Ben Tooke, and you shall send him a letter
of attorney at your leisure, enclosed to Mr. Presto. Yes, I now think
your mackerel is full as good as ours, which I did not think formerly. I
was bit about two staves, for there is no new officer made to-day. This
letter will find you still in Dublin, I suppose, or at Donnybrook, or
losing your money at Walls' (how does she do?).

2. I missed this day by a blunder and dining in the City.(11)

3. No boats on Sunday, never: so I was forced to walk, and so hot by the
time I got to Ford's lodging that I was quite spent; I think the weather
is mad. I could not go to church. I dined with the Secretary as usual,
and old Colonel Graham(12) that lived at Bagshot Heath, and they said it
was Colonel Graham's house. Pshaw, I remember it very well, when I used
to go for a walk to London from Moor Park. What, I warrant you do not
remember the Golden Farmer(13) neither, figgarkick soley?(14)

4. When must we answer this letter, this N.15 of our little MD? Heat and
laziness, and Sir Andrew Fountaine, made me dine to-day again at Mrs.
Van's; and, in short, this weather is unsupportable: how is it with you?
Lady Betty Butler and Lady Ashburnham sat with me two or three hours
this evening in my closet at Mrs. Van's. They are very good girls; and
if Lady Betty went to Ireland, you should let her be acquainted with
you. How does Dingley do this hot weather? Stella, I think, never
complains of it; she loves hot weather. There has not been a drop of
rain since Friday se'ennight. Yes, you do love hot weather, naughty
Stella, you do so; and Presto can't abide it. Be a good girl then, and I
will love you; and love one another, and don't be quarrelling girls.

5. I dined in the City to-day, and went from hence early to town, and
visited the Duke of Ormond and Mr. Secretary. They say my Lord Treasurer
has a dead warrant in his pocket; they mean a list of those who are to
be turned out of employment; and we every day now expect those changes.
I passed by the Treasury to-day, and saw vast crowds waiting to give
Lord Treasurer petitions as he passes by. He is now at the top of
power and favour: he keeps no levees yet. I am cruel thirsty this hot
weather.--I am just this minute going to swim. I take Patrick down with
me, to hold my nightgown, shirt, and slippers, and borrow a napkin of my
landlady for a cap. So farewell till I come up; but there is no danger,
don't be frighted.--I have been swimming this half-hour and more; and
when I was coming out I dived, to make my head and all through wet, like
a cold bath; but, as I dived, the napkin fell off and is lost, and I
have that to pay for. O, faith, the great stones were so sharp, I could
hardly set my feet on them as I came out. It was pure and warm. I got to
bed, and will now go sleep.

6. Morning. This letter shall go to-morrow; so I will answer yours when
I come home to-night. I feel no hurt from last night's swimming. I lie
with nothing but the sheet over me, and my feet quite bare. I must rise
and go to town before the tide is against me. Morrow, sirrahs; dear
sirrahs, morrow.--At night. I never felt so hot a day as this since I
was born. I dined with Lady Betty Germaine, and there was the young Earl
of Berkeley(15) and his fine lady. I never saw her before, nor think her
near so handsome as she passes for.--After dinner, Mr. Bertue(16) would
not let me put ice in my wine, but said my Lord Dorchester(17) got the
bloody flux with it, and that it was the worst thing in the world. Thus
are we plagued, thus are we plagued; yet I have done it five or six
times this summer, and was but the drier and the hotter for it. Nothing
makes me so excessively peevish as hot weather. Lady Berkeley after
dinner clapped my hat on another lady's head, and she in roguery put it
upon the rails. I minded them not; but in two minutes they called me
to the window, and Lady Carteret(18) showed me my hat out of her window
five doors off, where I was forced to walk to it, and pay her and old
Lady Weymouth(19) a visit, with some more beldames. Then I went and
drank coffee, and made one or two puns, with Lord Pembroke,(20) and
designed to go to Lord Treasurer; but it was too late, and beside I
was half broiled, and broiled without butter; for I never sweat after
dinner, if I drink any wine. Then I sat an hour with Lady Betty Butler
at tea, and everything made me hotter and drier. Then I walked home, and
was here by ten, so miserably hot, that I was in as perfect a passion as
ever I was in my life at the greatest affront or provocation. Then I sat
an hour, till I was quite dry and cool enough to go swim; which I did,
but with so much vexation that I think I have given it over: for I
was every moment disturbed by boats, rot them; and that puppy Patrick,
standing ashore, would let them come within a yard or two, and then call
sneakingly to them. The only comfort I proposed here in hot weather is
gone; for there is no jesting with those boats after it is dark: I had
none last night. I dived to dip my head, and held my cap on with both
my hands, for fear of losing it. Pox take the boats! Amen. 'Tis near
twelve, and so I'll answer your letter (it strikes twelve now) to-morrow
morning.

7. Morning. Well, now let us answer MD's letter, N.15, 15, 15, 15. Now
have I told you the number? 15, 15; there, impudence, to call names in
the beginning of your letter, before you say, How do you do, Mr. Presto?
There is your breeding! Where is your manners, sirrah, to a gentleman?
Get you gone, you couple of jades.--No, I never sit up late now; but
this abominable hot weather will force me to eat or drink something that
will do me hurt. I do venture to eat a few strawberries.--Why then, do
you know in Ireland that Mr. St. John talked so in Parliament?(21) Your
Whigs are plaguily bit; for he is entirely for their being all out.--And
are you as vicious in snuff as ever? I believe, as you say, it does
neither hurt nor good; but I have left it off, and when anybody offers
me their box, I take about a tenth part of what I used to do, and
then just smell to it, and privately fling the rest away. I keep to my
tobacco still,(22) as you say; but even much less of that than formerly,
only mornings and evenings, and very seldom in the day.--As for Joe,(23)
I have recommended his case heartily to my Lord Lieutenant; and, by
his direction, given a memorial of it to Mr. Southwell, to whom I have
recommended it likewise. I can do no more, if he were my brother. His
business will be to apply himself to Southwell. And you must desire
Raymond, if Price of Galway comes to town, to desire him to wait on Mr.
Southwell, as recommended by me for one of the Duke's chaplains, which
was all I could do for him; and he must be presented to the Duke, and
make his court, and ply about, and find out some vacancy, and solicit
early for it. The bustle about your Mayor I had before, as I told you,
from the Archbishop of Dublin. Was Raymond not come till May 18? So
he says fine things of me? Certainly he lies. I am sure I used him
indifferently enough; and we never once dined together, or walked, or
were in any third place; only he came sometimes to my lodgings, and even
there was oftener denied than admitted.--What an odd bill is that you
sent of Raymond's! A bill upon one Murry in Chester, which depends
entirely not only upon Raymond's honesty, but his discretion; and in
money matters he is the last man I would depend on. Why should Sir
Alexander Cairnes(24) in London pay me a bill, drawn by God knows who,
upon Murry in Chester? I was at Cairnes's, and they can do no such
thing. I went among some friends, who are merchants, and I find the bill
must be sent to Murry, accepted by him, and then returned back, and then
Cairnes may accept or refuse it as he pleases. Accordingly I gave Sir
Thomas Frankland the bill, who has sent it to Chester, and ordered the
postmaster there to get it accepted, and then send it back, and in a day
or two I shall have an answer; and therefore this letter must stay a day
or two longer than I intended, and see what answer I get. Raymond should
have written to Murry at the same time, to desire Sir Alexander Cairnes
to have answered such a bill, if it come. But Cairnes's clerks (himself
was not at home) said they had received no notice of it, and could do
nothing; and advised me to send to Murry.--I have been six weeks to-day
at Chelsea, and you know it but just now. And so Dean ------ thinks I
write the Medley. Pox of his judgment! It is equal to his honesty. Then
you han't seen the Miscellany yet?(25) Why, 'tis a four-shilling book:
has nobody carried it over?--No, I believe Manley(26) will not lose his
place; for his friend(27) in England is so far from being out that he
has taken a new patent since the Post Office Act; and his brother
Jack Manley(28) here takes his part firmly; and I have often spoken to
Southwell in his behalf, and he seems very well inclined to him. But the
Irish folks here in general are horribly violent against him. Besides,
he must consider he could not send Stella wine if he were put out. And
so he is very kind, and sends you a dozen bottles of wine AT A TIME,
and you win eight shillings AT A TIME; and how much do you lose? No, no,
never one syllable about that, I warrant you.--Why, this same Stella is
so unmerciful a writer, she has hardly left any room for Dingley. If you
have such summer there as here, sure the Wexford waters are good by this
time. I forgot what weather we had May 6th; go look in my journal. We
had terrible rain the 24th and 25th, and never a drop since. Yes, yes,
I remember Berested's bridge; the coach sosses up and down as one goes
that way, just as at Hockley-in-the-Hole.(29) I never impute any illness
or health I have to good or ill weather, but to want of exercise, or ill
air, or something I have eaten, or hard study, or sitting up; and so
I fence against those as well as I can: but who a deuce can help the
weather? Will Seymour,(30) the General, was excessively hot with the
sun shining full upon him; so he turns to the sun, and says, "Harkee,
friend, you had better go and ripen cucumbers than plague me at this
rate," etc. Another time, fretting at the heat, a gentleman by said it
was such weather as pleased God: Seymour said, "Perhaps it may; but I am
sure it pleases nobody else." Why, Madam Dingley, the First-Fruits
are done. Southwell told me they went to inquire about them, and Lord
Treasurer said they were done, and had been done long ago. And I'll tell
you a secret you must not mention, that the Duke of Ormond is ordered to
take notice of them in his speech in your Parliament: and I desire you
will take care to say on occasion that my Lord Treasurer Harley did it
many months ago, before the Duke was Lord Lieutenant. And yet I cannot
possibly come over yet: so get you gone to Wexford, and make Stella
well. Yes, yes, I take care not to walk late; I never did but once, and
there are five hundred people on the way as I walk. Tisdall is a puppy,
and I will excuse him the half-hour he would talk with me. As for the
Examiner, I have heard a whisper that after that of this day,(31) which
tells us what this Parliament has done, you will hardly find them so
good. I prophesy they will be trash for the future; and methinks in
this day's Examiner the author talks doubtfully, as if he would write no
more.(32) Observe whether the change be discovered in Dublin, only
for your own curiosity, that's all. Make a mouth there. Mrs. Vedeau's
business I have answered, and I hope the bill is not lost. Morrow. 'Tis
stewing hot, but I must rise and go to town between fire and water.
Morrow, sirrahs both, morrow.--At night. I dined to-day with Colonel
Crowe, Governor of Jamaica, and your friend Sterne. I presented Sterne
to my Lord Treasurer's brother,(33) and gave him his case, and engaged
him in his favour. At dinner there fell the swingingest long shower, and
the most grateful to me, that ever I saw: it thundered fifty times at
least, and the air is so cool that a body is able to live; and I walked
home to-night with comfort, and without dirt. I went this evening to
Lord Treasurer, and sat with him two hours, and we were in very good
humour, and he abused me, and called me Dr. Thomas Swift fifty times:
I have told you he does that when he has mind to make me mad.(34) Sir
Thomas Frankland gave me to-day a letter from Murry, accepting my bill;
so all is well: only, by a letter from Parvisol, I find there are some
perplexities.--Joe has likewise written to me, to thank me for what I
have done for him; and desires I would write to the Bishop of Clogher,
that Tom Ashe(35) may not hinder his father(36) from being portreve.
I have written and sent to Joe several times, that I will not trouble
myself at all about Trim. I wish them their liberty, but they do not
deserve it: so tell Joe, and send to him. I am mighty happy with this
rain: I was at the end of my patience, but now I live again. This cannot
go till Saturday; and perhaps I may go out of town with Lord Shelburne
and Lady Kerry to-morrow for two or three days. Lady Kerry has written
to desire it; but tomorrow I shall know farther.--O this dear rain, I
cannot forbear praising it: I never felt myself to be revived so in my
life. It lasted from three till five, hard as a horn, and mixed with
hail.

8. Morning. I am going to town, and will just finish this there, if I go
into the country with Lady Kerry and Lord Shelburne: so morrow, till an
hour or two hence.--In town. I met Cairnes, who, I suppose, will pay me
the money; though he says I must send him the bill first, and I will get
it done in absence. Farewell, etc. etc.



LETTER 25.

CHELSEA, June 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

I have been all this time at Wycombe, between Oxford and London, with
Lord Shelburne, who has the squire's house at the town's end, and an
estate there in a delicious country. Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt were with
us, and we passed our time well enough; and there I wholly disengaged
myself from all public thoughts, and everything but MD, who had the
impudence to send me a letter there; but I'll be revenged: I will
answer it. This day, the 20th, I came from Wycombe with Lady Kerry after
dinner, lighted at Hyde Park Corner, and walked: it was twenty-seven
miles, and we came it in about five hours.

21. I went at noon to see Mr. Secretary at his office, and there was
Lord Treasurer: so I killed two birds, etc., and we were glad to see
one another, and so forth. And the Secretary and I dined at Sir William
Wyndham's,(1) who married Lady Catharine Seymour, your acquaintance, I
suppose. There were ten of us at dinner. It seems, in my absence, they
had erected a Club,(2) and made me one; and we made some laws to-day,
which I am to digest and add to, against next meeting. Our meetings
are to be every Thursday. We are yet but twelve: Lord Keeper and
Lord Treasurer were proposed; but I was against them, and so was Mr.
Secretary, though their sons are of it, and so they are excluded; but
we design to admit the Duke of Shrewsbury. The end of our Club is, to
advance conversation and friendship, and to reward deserving persons
with our interest and recommendation. We take in none but men of wit or
men of interest; and if we go on as we begin, no other Club in this town
will be worth talking of. The Solicitor-General, Sir Robert Raymond,
is one of our Club; and I ordered him immediately to write to your Lord
Chancellor in favour of Dr. Raymond: so tell Raymond, if you see him;
but I believe this will find you at Wexford. This letter will come three
weeks after the last, so there is a week lost; but that is owing to my
being out of town; yet I think it is right, because it goes enclosed to
Mr. Reading:(3) and why should he know how often Presto writes to MD,
pray?--I sat this evening with Lady Betty Butler and Lady Ashburnham,
and then came home by eleven, and had a good cool walk; for we have
had no extreme hot weather this fortnight, but a great deal of rain at
times, and a body can live and breathe. I hope it will hold so. We had
peaches to-day.

22. I went late to-day to town, and dined with my friend Lewis. I saw
Will Congreve attending at the Treasury, by order, with his brethren,
the Commissioners of the Wine Licences. I had often mentioned him with
kindness to Lord Treasurer; and Congreve told me that, after they had
answered to what they were sent for, my lord called him privately, and
spoke to him with great kindness, promising his protection, etc. The
poor man said he had been used so ill of late years that he was quite
astonished at my lord's goodness, etc., and desired me to tell my lord
so; which I did this evening, and recommended him heartily. My lord
assured me he esteemed him very much, and would be always kind to him;
that what he said was to make Congreve easy, because he knew people
talked as if his lordship designed to turn everybody out, and
particularly Congreve: which indeed was true, for the poor man told me
he apprehended it. As I left my Lord Treasurer, I called on Congreve
(knowing where he dined), and told him what had passed between my lord
and me; so I have made a worthy man easy, and that is a good day's
work.(4) I am proposing to my lord to erect a society or academy for
correcting and settling our language, that we may not perpetually be
changing as we do. He enters mightily into it, so does the Dean of
Carlisle;(5) and I design to write a letter to Lord Treasurer with
the proposals of it, and publish it;(6) and so I told my lord, and he
approves it. Yesterday's(7) was a sad Examiner, and last week was very
indifferent, though some little scraps of the old spirit, as if he had
given some hints; but yesterday's is all trash. It is plain the hand is
changed.

23. I have not been in London to-day: for Dr. Gastrell(8) and I dined,
by invitation, with the Dean of Carlisle, my neighbour; so I know not
what they are doing in the world, a mere country gentleman. And are not
you ashamed both to go into the country just when I did, and stay ten
days, just as I did, saucy monkeys? But I never rode; I had no horses,
and our coach was out of order, and we went and came in a hired one. Do
you keep your lodgings when you go to Wexford? I suppose you do; for you
will hardly stay above two months. I have been walking about our town
to-night, and it is a very scurvy place for walking. I am thinking to
leave it, and return to town, now the Irish folks are gone. Ford goes
in three days. How does Dingley divert herself while Stella is riding?
work, or read, or walk? Does Dingley ever read to you? Had you ever a
book with you in the country? Is all that left off? Confess. Well, I'll
go sleep; 'tis past eleven, and I go early to sleep: I write nothing at
night but to MD.

24. Stratford and I, and Pastoral Philips (just come from Denmark) dined
at Ford's to-day, who paid his way, and goes for Ireland on Tuesday. The
Earl of Peterborow is returned from Vienna without one servant: he left
them scattered in several towns of Germany. I had a letter from him,
four days ago, from Hanover, where he desires I would immediately send
him an answer to his house at Parson's Green,(9) about five miles off. I
wondered what he meant, till I heard he was come. He sent expresses,
and got here before them. He is above fifty, and as active as one of
five-and-twenty. I have not seen him yet, nor know when I shall, or
where to find him.

25. Poor Duke of Shrewsbury has been very ill of a fever: we were all
in a fright about him: I thank God, he is better. I dined to-day at Lord
Ashburnham's, with his lady, for he was not at home: she is a very
good girl, and always a great favourite of mine. Sterne tells me he has
desired a friend to receive your box in Chester, and carry it over. I
fear he will miscarry in his business, which was sent to the Treasury
before he was recommended; for I was positive only to second his
recommendations, and all his other friends failed him. However, on your
account I will do what I can for him to-morrow with the secretary of the
Treasury.

26. We had much company to-day at dinner at Lord Treasurer's. Prior
never fails: he is a much better courtier than I; and we expect every
day that he will be a Commissioner of the Customs, and that in a short
time a great many more will be turned out. They blame Lord Treasurer for
his slowness in turning people out; but I suppose he has his reasons.
They still keep my neighbour Atterbury in suspense about the deanery
of Christ Church,(10) which has been above six months vacant, and he
is heartily angry. I reckon you are now preparing for your Wexford
expedition; and poor Dingley is full of carking and caring, scolding.
How long will you stay? Shall I be in Dublin before you return? Don't
fall and hurt yourselves, nor overturn the coach. Love one another, and
be good girls; and drink Presto's health in water, Madam Stella; and in
good ale, Madam Dingley.

27. The Secretary appointed me to dine with him to-day, and we were to
do a world of business: he came at four, and brought Prior with him,
and had forgot the appointment, and no business was done. I left him at
eight, and went to change my gown at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's; and there was
Sir Andrew Fountaine at ombre with Lady Ashburnham and Lady Frederic
Schomberg, and Lady Mary Schomberg,(11) and Lady Betty Butler, and
others, talking; and it put me in mind of the Dean and Stoyte, and
Walls, and Stella at play, and Dingley and I looking on. I stayed with
them till ten, like a fool. Lady Ashburnham is something like Stella; so
I helped her, and wished her good cards. It is late, etc.

28. Well, but I must answer this letter of our MD's. Saturday
approaches, and I han't written down this side. O, faith, Presto has
been a sort of a lazy fellow: but Presto will remove to town this day
se'ennight; the Secretary has commanded me to do so; and I believe he
and I shall go for some days to Windsor, where he will have leisure to
mind some business we have together. To-day, our Society (it must not
be called a Club) dined at Mr. Secretary's: we were but eight; the rest
sent excuses, or were out of town. We sat till eight, and made some laws
and settlements; and then I went to take leave of Lady Ashburnham,
who goes out of town to-morrow, as a great many of my acquaintance are
already, and left the town very thin. I shall make but short journeys
this summer, and not be long out of London. The days are grown sensibly
short already, all our fruit blasted. Your Duke of Ormond is still
at Chester; and perhaps this letter will be with you as soon as he.
Sterne's business is quite blown up: they stand to it to send him back
to the Commissioners of the Revenue in Ireland for a reference, and
all my credit could not alter it, though I almost fell out with
the secretary of the Treasury,(12) who is my Lord Treasurer's
cousin-germain, and my very good friend. It seems every step he has
hitherto taken hath been wrong; at least they say so, and that is the
same thing. I am heartily sorry for it; and I really think they are in
the wrong, and use him hardly; but I can do no more.

29. Steele has had the assurance to write to me that I would engage my
Lord Treasurer to keep a friend of his in an employment: I believe I
told you how he and Addison served me for my good offices in Steele's
behalf; and I promised Lord Treasurer never to speak for either of them
again. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined to-day at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's.
Dilly Ashe has been in town this fortnight: I saw him twice; he was four
days at Lord Pembroke's in the country, punning with him; his face is
very well. I was this evening two or three hours at Lord Treasurer's,
who called me Dr. Thomas Swift twenty times; that's his way of teasing.
I left him at nine, and got home here by ten, like a gentleman; and
to-morrow morning I'll answer your little letter, sirrahs.

30. Morning. I am terribly sleepy always in a morning; I believe it is
my walk over-night that disposes me to sleep: faith, 'tis now striking
eight, and I am but just awake. Patrick comes early, and wakes me five
or six times; but I have excuses, though I am three parts asleep. I tell
him I sat up late, or slept ill in the night, and often it is a lie. I
have now got little MD's letter before me, N.16, no more, nor no less,
no mistake. Dingley says, "This letter won't be above six lines"; and I
was afraid it was true, though I saw it filled on both sides. The Bishop
of Clogher writ me word you were in the country, and that he heard you
were well: I am glad at heart MD rides, and rides, and rides. Our hot
weather ended in May, and all this month has been moderate: it was then
so hot I was not able to endure it; I was miserable every moment, and
found myself disposed to be peevish and quarrelsome: I believe a very
hot country would make me stark mad.--Yes, my head continues pretty
tolerable, and I impute it all to walking. Does Stella eat fruit? I eat
a little; but I always repent, and resolve against it. No, in very hot
weather I always go to town by water; but I constantly walk back, for
then the sun is down. And so Mrs. Proby(13) goes with you to Wexford:
she's admirable company; you'll grow plaguy wise with those you
frequent. Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Proby! take care of infection. I believe
my two hundred pounds will be paid, but that Sir Alexander Cairnes is a
scrupulous puppy: I left the bill with Mr. Stratford, who is to have the
money. Now, Madam Stella, what say you? you ride every day; I know that
already, sirrah; and, if you rid every day for a twelvemonth, you
would be still better and better. No, I hope Parvisol will not have
the impudence to make you stay an hour for the money; if he does, I'll
UN-PARVISOL him; pray let me know. O Lord, how hasty we are! Stella
can't stay writing and writing; she must write and go a cock-horse, pray
now. Well, but the horses are not come to the door; the fellow can't
find the bridle; your stirrup is broken; where did you put the whips,
Dingley? Marget, where have you laid Mrs. Johnson's ribbon to tie about
her? reach me my mask: sup up this before you go. So, so, a gallop, a
gallop: sit fast, sirrah, and don't ride hard upon the stones.--Well,
now Stella is gone, tell me, Dingley, is she a good girl? and what news
is that you are to tell me?--No, I believe the box is not lost: Sterne
says it is not.--No, faith, you must go to Wexford without seeing
your Duke of Ormond, unless you stay on purpose; perhaps you may be
so wise.--I tell you this is your sixteenth letter; will you never be
satisfied? No, no, I will walk late no more; I ought less to venture it
than other people, and so I was told: but I will return to lodge in
town next Thursday. When you come from Wexford, I would have you send
a letter of attorney to Mr. Benjamin Tooke, bookseller, in London,
directed to me; and he shall manage your affair. I have your parchment
safely locked up in London.--O, Madam Stella, welcome home; was it
pleasant riding? did your horse stumble? how often did the man light to
settle your stirrup? ride nine miles! faith, you have galloped indeed.
Well, but where is the fine thing you promised me? I have been a good
boy, ask Dingley else. I believe you did not meet the fine-thing-man:
faith, you are a cheat. So you will see Raymond and his wife in town.
Faith, that riding to Laracor gives me short sighs, as well as you. All
the days I have passed here have been dirt to those. I have been gaining
enemies by the scores, and friends by the couples; which is against the
rules of wisdom, because they say one enemy can do more hurt than
ten friends can do good. But I have had my revenge at least, if I
get nothing else. And so let Fate govern.--Now I think your letter is
answered; and mine will be shorter than ordinary, because it must go
to-day. We have had a great deal of scattering rain for some days past,
yet it hardly keeps down the dust.--We have plays acted in our town; and
Patrick was at one of them, oh oh. He was damnably mauled one day when
he was drunk; he was at cuffs with a brother-footman, who dragged him
along the floor upon his face, which looked for a week after as if he
had the leprosy; and I was glad enough to see it. I have been ten times
sending him over to you; yet now he has new clothes, and a laced hat,
which the hatter brought by his orders, and he offered to pay for the
lace out of his wages.--I am to dine to-day with Dilly at Sir Andrew
Fountaine's, who has bought a new house, and will be weary of it in half
a year. I must rise and shave, and walk to town, unless I go with the
Dean in his chariot at twelve, which is too late: and I have not seen
that Lord Peterborow yet. The Duke of Shrewsbury is almost well again,
and will be abroad in a day or two: what care you? There it is now: you
do not care for my friends. Farewell, my dearest lives and delights; I
love you better than ever, if possible, as hope saved, I do, and ever
will. God Almighty bless you ever, and make us happy together! I pray
for this twice every day; and I hope God will hear my poor hearty
prayers.--Remember, if I am used ill and ungratefully, as I have
formerly been, 'tis what I am prepared for, and shall not wonder at
it. Yet I am now envied, and thought in high favour, and have every
day numbers of considerable men teasing me to solicit for them. And the
Ministry all use me perfectly well; and all that know them say they
love me. Yet I can count upon nothing, nor will, but upon MD's love and
kindness.--They think me useful; they pretended they were afraid of none
but me, and that they resolved to have me; they have often confessed
this: yet all makes little impression on me.--Pox of these speculations!
they give me the spleen; and that is a disease I was not born to. Let
me alone, sirrahs, and be satisfied: I am, as long as MD and Presto are
well.

     Little wealth,
     And much health,
     And a life by stealth:

that is all we want; and so farewell, dearest MD; Stella, Dingley,
Presto, all together, now and for ever all together. Farewell again and
again.



LETTER 26.

CHELSEA, June 30, 1711.

See what large paper I am forced to take, to write to MD; Patrick has
brought me none clipped; but, faith, the next shall be smaller. I dined
to-day, as I told you, with Dilly at Sir Andrew Fountaine's: there were
we wretchedly punning, and writing together to Lord Pembroke. Dilly
is just such a puppy as ever; and it is so uncouth, after so long an
intermission. My twenty-fifth is gone this evening to the post. I think
I will direct my next (which is this) to Mr. Curry's, and let them send
it to Wexford; and then the next enclosed to Reading. Instruct me how I
shall do. I long to hear from you from Wexford, and what sort of place
it is. The town grows very empty and dull. This evening I have had
a letter from Mr. Philips, the pastoral poet, to get him a certain
employment from Lord Treasurer. I have now had almost all the Whig poets
my solicitors; and I have been useful to Congreve, Steele, and Harrison:
but I will do nothing for Philips; I find he is more a puppy than ever,
so don't solicit for him. Besides, I will not trouble Lord Treasurer,
unless upon some very extraordinary occasion.

July 1. Dilly lies conveniently for me when I come to town from Chelsea
of a Sunday, and go to the Secretary's; so I called at his lodgings this
morning, and sent for my gown, and dressed myself there. He had a letter
from the Bishop, with an account that you were set out for Wexford the
morning he writ, which was June 26, and he had the letter the 30th; that
was very quick: the Bishop says you design to stay there two months or
more. Dilly had also a letter from Tom Ashe, full of Irish news;
that your Lady Lyndon(1) is dead, and I know not what besides of Dr.
Coghill(2) losing his drab, etc. The Secretary was gone to Windsor, and
I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. Lord Treasurer is at Windsor too; they
will be going and coming all summer, while the Queen is there, and the
town is empty, and I fear I shall be sometimes forced to stoop beneath
my dignity, and send to the ale-house for a dinner. Well, sirrahs, had
you a good journey to Wexford? did you drink ale by the way? were you
never overturned? how many things did you forget? do you lie on straw in
your new town where you are? Cudshoe,(3) the next letter to Presto
will be dated from Wexford. What fine company have you there? what new
acquaintance have you got? You are to write constantly to Mrs. Walls and
Mrs. Stoyte: and the Dean said, "Shall we never hear from you?" "Yes,
Mr. Dean, we'll make bold to trouble you with a letter." Then at
Wexford; when you meet a lady, "Did your waters pass well this morning,
madam?" Will Dingley drink them too? Yes, I warrant; to get her a
stomach. I suppose you are all gamesters at Wexford. Do not lose your
money, sirrah, far from home. I believe I shall go to Windsor in a few
days; at least, the Secretary tells me so. He has a small house there,
with just room enough for him and me; and I would be satisfied to pass a
few days there sometimes. Sirrahs, let me go to sleep, it is past twelve
in our town.

2. Sterne came to me this morning, and tells me he has yet some hopes
of compassing his business: he was with Tom Harley, the secretary of the
Treasury, and made him doubt a little he was in the wrong; the poor man
tells me it will almost undo him if he fails. I called this morning
to see Will Congreve, who lives much by himself, is forced to read for
amusement, and cannot do it without a magnifying-glass. I have set him
very well with the Ministry, and I hope he is in no danger of losing his
place. I dined in the City with Dr. Freind, not among my merchants, but
with a scrub instrument of mischief of mine, whom I never mentioned to
you, nor am like to do. You two little saucy Wexfordians, you are now
drinking waters. You drink waters! you go fiddlestick. Pray God send
them to do you good; if not, faith, next summer you shall come to the
Bath.

3. Lord Peterborow desired to see me this morning at nine; I had not
seen him before since he came home. I met Mrs. Manley(4) there, who
was soliciting him to get some pension or reward for her service in
the cause, by writing her Atalantis, and prosecution, etc., upon it.
I seconded her, and hope they will do something for the poor woman. My
lord kept me two hours upon politics: he comes home very sanguine;
he has certainly done great things at Savoy and Vienna, by his
negotiations: he is violent against a peace, and finds true what I writ
to him, that the Ministry seems for it. He reasons well; yet I am for a
peace. I took leave of Lady Kerry, who goes to-morrow for Ireland; she
picks up Lord Shelburne and Mrs. Pratt at Lord Shelburne's house. I was
this evening with Lord Treasurer: Tom Harley was there, and whispered me
that he began to doubt about Sterne's business; I told him he would find
he was in the wrong. I sat two or three hours at Lord Treasurer's; he
rallied me sufficiently upon my refusing to take him into our Club, and
told a judge who was with us that my name was Thomas Swift. I had a mind
to prevent Sir H. Belasyse(5) going to Spain, who is a most covetous
cur, and I fell a railing against avarice, and turned it so that he
smoked me, and named Belasyse. I went on, and said it was a shame
to send him; to which he agreed, but desired I would name some who
understood business, and do not love money, for he could not find them.
I said there was something in a Treasurer different from other men; that
we ought not to make a man a Bishop who does not love divinity, or a
General who does not love war; and I wondered why the Queen would make a
man Lord Treasurer who does not love money. He was mightily pleased with
what I said. He was talking of the First-Fruits of England, and I took
occasion to tell him that I would not for a thousand pounds anybody but
he had got them for Ireland, who got them for England too. He bid me
consider what a thousand pounds was; I said I would have him to know I
valued a thousand pounds as little as he valued a million.--Is it not
silly to write all this? but it gives you an idea what our conversation
is with mixed company. I have taken a lodging in Suffolk Street, and go
to it on Thursday; and design to walk the Park and the town, to supply
my walking here: yet I will walk here sometimes too, in a visit now and
then to the Dean.(6) When I was almost at home, Patrick told me he had
two letters for me, and gave them to me in the dark, yet I could see one
of them was from saucy MD. I went to visit the Dean for half an hour;
and then came home, and first read the other letter, which was from the
Bishop of Clogher, who tells me the Archbishop of Dublin mentioned in a
full assembly of the clergy the Queen's granting the First-Fruits, said
it was done by the Lord Treasurer, and talked much of my merit in it:
but reading yours I find nothing of that: perhaps the Bishop lies, out
of a desire to please me. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. Well, sirrahs,
you are gone to Wexford; but I'll follow you.

4. Sterne came to me again this morning, to advise about reasons and
memorials he is drawing up; and we went to town by water together; and
having nothing to do, I stole into the City to an instrument of mine,
and then went to see poor Patty Rolt,(7) who has been in town these
two months with a cousin of hers. Her life passes with boarding in some
country town as cheap as she can, and, when she runs out, shifting to
some cheaper place, or coming to town for a month. If I were rich, I
would ease her, which a little thing would do. Some months ago I sent
her a guinea, and it patched up twenty circumstances. She is now going
to Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire. It has rained and hailed prodigiously
to-day, with some thunder. This is the last night I lie at Chelsea; and
I got home early, and sat two hours with the Dean, and ate victuals,
having had a very scurvy dinner. I'll answer your letter when I come to
live in town. You shall have a fine London answer: but first I will go
sleep, and dream of MD.

London, July 5. This day I left Chelsea for good (that's a genteel
phrase), and am got into Suffolk Street. I dined to-day at our Society,
and we are adjourned for a month, because most of us go into the
country: we dined at Lord Keeper's with young Harcourt, and Lord Keeper
was forced to sneak off, and dine with Lord Treasurer, who had invited
the Secretary and me to dine with him; but we scorned to leave our
company, as George Granville did, whom we have threatened to expel:
however, in the evening I went to Lord Treasurer, and, among other
company, found a couple of judges with him; one of them, Judge
Powell,(8) an old fellow with grey hairs, was the merriest old gentleman
I ever saw, spoke pleasant things, and laughed and chuckled till he
cried again. I stayed till eleven, because I was not now to walk to
Chelsea.

6. An ugly rainy day. I was to visit Mrs. Barton, then called at Mrs.
Vanhomrigh's, where Sir Andrew Fountaine and the rain kept me to dinner;
and there did I loiter all the afternoon, like a fool, out of perfect
laziness, and the weather not permitting me to walk: but I'll do so no
more. Are your waters at Wexford good in this rain? I long to hear how
you are established there, how and whom you visit, what is your lodging,
what are your entertainments. You are got far southwards; but I think
you must eat no fruit while you drink the waters. I ate some Kentish
cherries t'other day, and I repent it already; I have felt my head a
little disordered. We had not a hot day all June, or since, which I
reckon a mighty happiness. Have you left a direction with Reading for
Wexford? I will, as I said, direct this to Curry's, and the next to
Reading; or suppose I send this at a venture straight to Wexford? It
would vex me to have it miscarry. I had a letter to-night from Parvisol,
that White has paid me most of my remaining money; and another from
Joe, that they have had their election at Trim, but not a word of who
is chosen portreeve.(9) Poor Joe is full of complaints, says he has
enemies, and fears he will never get his two hundred pounds; and I fear
so too, although I have done what I could.--I'll answer your letter when
I think fit, when saucy Presto thinks fit, sirrahs. I am not at leisure
yet; when I have nothing to do, perhaps I may vouchsafe.--O Lord, the
two Wexford ladies; I'll go dream of you both.

7. It was the dismallest rainy day I ever saw: I went to the Secretary
in the morning, and he was gone to Windsor. Then it began raining, and
I struck in to Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and dined, and stayed till night very
dull and insipid. I hate this town in summer; I'll leave it for a while,
if I can have time.

8. I have a fellow of your town, one Tisdall,(10) lodges in the same
house with me. Patrick told me Squire Tisdall and his lady lodged here.
I pretended I never heard of him; but I knew his ugly face, and saw him
at church in the next pew to me, and he often looked for a bow, but it
would not do. I think he lives in Capel Street, and has an ugly fine
wife in a fine coach. Dr. Freind and I dined in the City by invitation,
and I drank punch, very good, but it makes me hot. People here are
troubled with agues by this continuance of wet, cold weather; but I am
glad to find the season so temperate. I was this evening to see Will
Congreve, who is a very agreeable companion.

9. I was to-day in the City, and dined with Mr. Stratford, who tells me
Sir Alexander Cairnes makes difficulties about paying my bill; so that I
cannot give order yet to Parvisol to deliver up the bond to Dr. Raymond.
To-morrow I shall have a positive answer: that Cairnes is a shuffling
scoundrel; and several merchants have told me so: what can one expect
from a Scot and a fanatic? I was at Bateman's the bookseller's, to see a
fine old library he has bought; and my fingers itched, as yours would
do at a china-shop; but I resisted, and found everything too dear, and
I have fooled away too much money that way already. So go and drink your
waters, saucy rogue, and make yourself well; and pray walk while you are
there: I have a notion there is never a good walk in Ireland.(11) Do
you find all places without trees? Pray observe the inhabitants about
Wexford; they are old English; see what they have particular in their
manners, names, and language: magpies have been always there, and
nowhere else in Ireland, till of late years. They say the cocks and dogs
go to sleep at noon, and so do the people. Write your travels, and bring
home good eyes and health.

10. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer: we did not sit down till four.
I despatched three businesses with him, and forgot a fourth. I think I
have got a friend an employment; and besides I made him consent to let
me bring Congreve to dine with him. You must understand I have a mind
to do a small thing, only turn out all the Queen's physicians; for in my
conscience they will soon kill her among them. And I must talk over
that matter with some people. My Lord Treasurer told me the Queen and he
between them have lost the paper about the First-Fruits, but desires I
will let the bishops know it shall be done with the first opportunity.

11. I dined to-day with neighbour Van, and walked pretty well in the
Park this evening. Stella, hussy, don't you remember, sirrah, you used
to reproach me about meddling in other folk's affairs? I have enough of
it now: two people came to me to-night in the Park to engage to speak
to Lord Treasurer in their behalf, and I believe they make up fifty who
have asked me the same favour. I am hardened, and resolve to trouble
him, or any other Minister, less than ever. And I observe those who have
ten times more credit than I will not speak a word for anybody. I met
yesterday the poor lad I told you of, who lived with Mr. Tenison,(12)
who has been ill of an ague ever since I saw him. He looked wretchedly,
and was exceeding thankful for half a crown I gave him. He had a crown
from me before.

12. I dined to-day with young Manley(13) in the City, who is to get me
out a box of books and a hamper of wine from Hamburg. I inquired of Mr.
Stratford, who tells me that Cairnes has not yet paid my two hundred
pounds, but shams and delays from day to day. Young Manley's wife is a
very indifferent person of a young woman, goggle-eyed, and looks like a
fool: yet he is a handsome fellow, and married her for love after long
courtship, and she refused him until he got his last employment.--I
believe I shall not be so good a boy for writing as I was during your
stay at Wexford, unless I may send my letters every second time to
Curry's; pray let me know. This, I think, shall go there: or why not
to Wexford itself? That is right, and so it shall this next Tuesday,
although it costs you tenpence. What care I?

13. This toad of a Secretary is come from Windsor, and I cannot find
him; and he goes back on Sunday, and I can't see him to-morrow. I dined
scurvily to-day with Mr. Lewis and a parson; and then went to see Lord
Treasurer, and met him coming from his house in his coach: he smiled,
and I shrugged, and we smoked each other; and so my visit is paid. I
now confine myself to see him only twice a week: he has invited me to
Windsor, and betwixt two stools, etc. I will go live at Windsor, if
possible, that's pozzz. I have always the luck to pass my summer
in London. I called this evening to see poor Sir Matthew Dudley, a
Commissioner of the Customs; I know he is to be out for certain: he is
in hopes of continuing: I would not tell him bad news, but advised him
to prepare for the worst. Dilly was with me this morning, to invite me
to dine at Kensington on Sunday with Lord Mountjoy, who goes soon for
Ireland. Your late Chief-Justice Broderick(14) is here, and they say
violent as a tiger. How is party among you at Wexford? Are the majority
of ladies for the late or present Ministry? Write me Wexford news, and
love Presto, because he is a good boy.

14. Although it was shaving-day, I walked to Chelsea, and was there by
nine this morning; and the Dean of Carlisle and I crossed the water to
Battersea, and went in his chariot to Greenwich, where we dined at
Dr. Gastrell's, and passed the afternoon at Lewisham, at the Dean
of Canterbury's;(15) and there I saw Moll Stanhope,(16) who is grown
monstrously tall, but not so handsome as formerly. It is the first
little rambling journey I have had this summer about London, and they
are the agreeablest pastimes one can have, in a friend's coach, and
to good company. Bank Stock is fallen three or four per cent. by the
whispers about the town of the Queen's being ill, who is however very
well.

15. How many books have you carried with you to Wexford? What, not one
single book? Oh, but your time will be so taken up; and you can borrow
of the parson. I dined to-day with Sir Andrew Fountaine and Dilly at
Kensington with Lord Mountjoy; and in the afternoon Stratford came
there, and told me my two hundred pounds were paid at last; so that
business is over, and I am at ease about it; and I wish all your money
was in the Bank too. I will have my other hundred pounds there, that is
in Hawkshaw's hands. Have you had the interest of it paid yet? I ordered
Parvisol to do it. What makes Presto write so crooked? I will answer
your letter to-morrow, and send it on Tuesday. Here's hot weather come
again, yesterday and to-day: fine drinking waters now. We had a sad pert
dull parson at Kensington to-day. I almost repent my coming to town; I
want the walks I had.

16. I dined in the City to-day with a hedge(17) acquaintance, and the
day passed without any consequence. I will answer your letter to-morrow.

17. Morning. I have put your letter before me, and am going to answer
it. Hold your tongue: stand by. Your weather and ours were not alike; we
had not a bit of hot weather in June, yet you complain of it on the 19th
day. What, you used to love hot weather then? I could never endure it:
I detest and abominate it. I would not live in a hot country, to be king
of it. What a splutter you keep about my bonds with Raymond, and all to
affront Presto! Presto will be suspicious of everything but MD, in spite
of your little nose. Soft and fair, Madam Stella, how you gallop away,
in your spleen and your rage, about repenting my journey, and preferment
here, and sixpence a dozen, and nasty England, and Laracor all my life.
Hey-dazy, will you never have done? I had no offers of any living. Lord
Keeper told me some months ago he would give me one when I pleased;
but I told him I would not take any from him; and the Secretary told me
t'other day he had refused a very good one for me, but it was in a place
he did not like; and I know nothing of getting anything here, and, if
they would give me leave, I would come over just now. Addison, I hear,
has changed his mind about going over; but I have not seen him these
four months.--Oh ay, that's true, Dingley; that's like herself: millions
of businesses to do before she goes. Yes, my head has been pretty well,
but threatening within these two or three days, which I impute to some
fruit I ate; but I will eat no more: not a bit of any sort. I suppose
you had a journey without dust, and that was happy. I long for a Wexford
letter, but must not think of it yet: your last was finished but three
weeks ago. It is d----d news you tell me of Mrs. F----; it makes me love
England less a great deal. I know nothing of the trunk being left or
taken; so 'tis odd enough, if the things in it were mine; and I think
I was told that there are some things for me that my mother left
particularly to me. I am really sorry for -----; that scoundrel -----
will have his estate after his mother's death. Let me know if Mrs. Walls
has got her tea: I hope Richardson(18) stayed in Dublin till it came.
Mrs. Walls needed not have that blemish in her eye; for I am not in love
with her at all. No, I do not like anything in the Examiner after the
45th, except the first part of the 46th;(19) all the rest is trash; and
if you like them, especially the 47th, your judgment is spoiled by ill
company and want of reading, which I am more sorry for than you think:
and I have spent fourteen years in improving you to little purpose.
(Mr. Tooke is come here, and I must stop.)--At night. I dined with
Lord Treasurer to-day, and he kept me till nine; so I cannot send this
to-night, as I intended, nor write some other letters. Green,(20) his
surgeon, was there, and dressed his breast; that is, put on a plaster,
which is still requisite: and I took an opportunity to speak to him of
the Queen; but he cut me short with this saying, "Laissez faire a Don
Antoine," which is a French proverb, expressing, "Leave that to me."
I find he is against her taking much physic; and I doubt he cannot
persuade her to take Dr. Radcliffe. However, she is very well now, and
all the story of her illness, except the first day or two, was a lie.
We had some business, that company hindered us from doing, though he is
earnest for it, yet would not appoint me a certain day, but bids me come
at all times till we can have leisure. This takes up a great deal of my
time, and I can do nothing I would do for them. I was with the Secretary
this morning, and we both think to go to Windsor for some days, to
despatch an affair, if we can have leisure. Sterne met me just now in
the street by his lodgings, and I went in for an hour to Jemmy Leigh,
who loves London dearly: he asked after you with great respect and
friendship.--To return to your letter. Your Bishop Mills(21) hates me
mortally: I wonder he should speak well of me, having abused me in
all places where he went. So you pay your way. Cudsho: you had a
fine supper, I warrant; two pullets, and a bottle of wine, and some
currants.--It is just three weeks to-day since you set out to Wexford;
you were three days going, and I do not expect a letter these ten days
yet, or rather this fortnight. I got a grant of the Gazette(22) for Ben
Tooke this morning from Mr. Secretary: it will be worth to him a hundred
pounds a year.

18. To-day I took leave of Mrs. Barton, who is going into the country;
and I dined with Sir John Stanley,(23) where I have not been this great
while. There dined with us Lord Rochester, and his fine daughter, Lady
Jane,(24) just growing a top-toast. I have been endeavouring to save
Sir Matthew Dudley,(25) but fear I cannot. I walked the Mall six times
to-night for exercise, and would have done more; but, as empty as the
town is, a fool got hold of me, and so I came home, to tell you this
shall go to-morrow, without fail, and follow you to Wexford, like a dog.

19. Dean Atterbury sent to me to dine with him at Chelsea. I refused
his coach, and walked, and am come back by seven, because I would finish
this letter, and some others I am writing. Patrick tells me the maid
says one Mr. Walls, a clergyman, a tall man, was here to visit me. Is it
your Irish Archdeacon? I shall be sorry for it; but I shall make shift
to see him seldom enough, as I do Dilly. What can he do here? or is it
somebody else? The Duke of Newcastle(26) is dead by the fall he had from
his horse. God send poor Stella her health, and keep MD happy! Farewell,
and love Presto, who loves MD above all things ten million of times. God
bless the dear Wexford girls. Farewell again, etc. etc.



LETTER 27.

LONDON, July 19, 1711.

I have just sent my 26th, and have nothing to say, because I have other
letters to write (pshaw, I began too high); but I must lay the beginning
like a nest-egg: to-morrow I will say more, and fetch up this line to be
straight. This is enough at present for two dear saucy naughty girls.

20. Have I told you that Walls has been with me, and leaves the town
in three days? He has brought no gown with him. Dilly carried him to a
play. He has come upon a foolish errand, and goes back as he comes.
I was this day with Lord Peterborow, who is going another ramble: I
believe I told you so. I dined with Lord Treasurer, but cannot get him
to do his own business with me; he has put me off till to-morrow.

21, 22. I dined yesterday with Lord Treasurer, who would needs take me
along with him to Windsor, although I refused him several times, having
no linen, etc. I had just time to desire Lord Forbes(1) to call at my
lodging and order my man to send my things to-day to Windsor by his
servant. I lay last night at the Secretary's lodgings at Windsor, and
borrowed one of his shirts to go to Court in. The Queen is very well. I
dined with Mr. Masham; and not hearing anything of my things, I got Lord
Winchelsea to bring me to town. Here I found that Patrick had broke open
the closet to get my linen and nightgown, and sent them to Windsor, and
there they are; and he, not thinking I would return so soon, is gone
upon his rambles: so here I am left destitute, and forced to borrow a
nightgown of my landlady, and have not a rag to put on to-morrow: faith,
it gives me the spleen.

23. Morning. It is a terrible rainy day, and rained prodigiously on
Saturday night. Patrick lay out last night, and is not yet returned:
faith, poor Presto is a desolate creature; neither servant, nor linen,
nor anything.--Night. Lord Forbes's man has brought back my portmantua,
and Patrick is come; so I am in Christian circumstances: I shall hardly
commit such a frolic again. I just crept out to Mrs. Van's, and dined,
and stayed there the afternoon: it has rained all this day. Windsor is
a delicious place: I never saw it before, except for an hour about
seventeen years ago. Walls has been here in my absence, I suppose, to
take his leave; for he designed not to stay above five days in London.
He says he and his wife will come here for some months next year; and,
in short, he dares not stay now for fear of her.

24. I dined to-day with a hedge(2) friend in the City; and Walls
overtook me in the street, and told me he was just getting on horseback
for Chester. He has as much curiosity as a cow: he lodged with his horse
in Aldersgate Street: he has bought his wife a silk gown, and himself a
hat. And what are you doing? what is poor MD doing now? how do you pass
your time at Wexford? how do the waters agree with you? Let Presto
know soon; for Presto longs to know, and must know. Is not Madam Proby
curious company? I am afraid this rainy weather will spoil your waters.
We have had a great deal of wet these three days. Tell me all the
particulars of Wexford: the place, the company, the diversions, the
victuals, the wants, the vexations. Poor Dingley never saw such a place
in her life; sent all over the town for a little parsley to a boiled
chicken, and it was not to be had; the butter is stark naught, except an
old English woman's; and it is such a favour to get a pound from her now
and then! I am glad you carried down your sheets with you, else you must
have lain in sackcloth. O Lord!

25. I was this forenoon with Mr. Secretary at his office, and helped
to hinder a man of his pardon, who is condemned for a rape. The Under
Secretary was willing to save him, upon an old notion that a woman
cannot be ravished; but I told the Secretary he could not pardon him
without a favourable report from the judge; besides, he was a fiddler,
and consequently a rogue, and deserved hanging for some thing else; and
so he shall swing. What, I must stand up for the honour of the fair sex!
'Tis true the fellow had lain with her a hundred times before, but
what care I for that! What, must a woman be ravished because she is
a whore?--The Secretary and I go on Saturday to Windsor for a week.
I dined with Lord Treasurer, and stayed with him till past ten. I was
to-day at his levee, where I went against my custom, because I had a
mind to do a good office for a gentleman: so I talked with him before
my lord, that he might see me, and then found occasion to recommend him
this afternoon. I was forced to excuse my coming to the levee, that I
did it to see the sight; for he was going to chide me away: I had never
been there but once, and that was long before he was Treasurer. The
rooms were all full, and as many Whigs as Tories. He whispered me a jest
or two, and bid me come to dinner. I left him but just now; and 'tis
late.

26. Mr. Addison and I have at last met again. I dined with him and
Steele to-day at young Jacob Tonson's. The two Jacobs(3) think it is I
who have made the Secretary take from them the printing of the Gazette,
which they are going to lose, and Ben Tooke and another(4) are to have
it. Jacob came to me the other day, to make his court; but I told him it
was too late, and that it was not my doing. I reckon they will lose it
in a week or two. Mr. Addison and I talked as usual, and as if we had
seen one another yesterday; and Steele and I were very easy, though
I writ him lately a biting letter, in answer to one of his, where he
desired me to recommend a friend of his to Lord Treasurer. Go, get you
gone to your waters, sirrah. Do they give you a stomach? Do you eat
heartily?--We have had much rain to-day and yesterday.

27. I dined to-day in the City, and saw poor Patty Rolt, and gave her
a pistole to help her a little forward against she goes to board in the
country. She has but eighteen pounds a year to live on, and is forced
to seek out for cheap places. Sometimes they raise their price, and
sometimes they starve her, and then she is forced to shift. Patrick the
puppy put too much ink in my standish,(5) and, carrying too many things
together, I spilled it on my paper and floor. The town is dull, wet,
and empty; Wexford is worth two of it; I hope so at least, and that poor
little MD finds it so. I reckon upon going to Windsor to-morrow with Mr.
Secretary, unless he changes his mind, or some other business prevents
him. I shall stay there a week, I hope.

28. Morning. Mr. Secretary sent me word he will call at my lodgings by
two this afternoon, to take me to Windsor; so I must dine nowhere; and I
promised Lord Treasurer to dine with him to-day; but I suppose we shall
dine at Windsor at five, for we make but three hours there.(6) I am
going abroad, but have left Patrick to put up my things, and to be sure
to be at home half an hour before two.--Windsor, at night. We did not
leave London till three, and dined here between six and seven; at nine
I left the company, and went to see Lord Treasurer, who is just come. I
chid him for coming so late; he chid me for not dining with him; said he
stayed an hour for me. Then I went and sat with Mr. Lewis till just now,
and it is past eleven. I lie in the same house with the Secretary, one
of the Prebendary's houses. The Secretary is not come from his apartment
in the Castle. Do you think that abominable dog Patrick was out after
two to-day, and I in a fright every moment, for fear the chariot should
come; and when he came in, he had not put up one rag of my things! I
never was in a greater passion, and would certainly have cropped one of
his ears, if I had not looked every moment for the Secretary, who sent
his equipage to my lodging before, and came in a chair from Whitehall
to me, and happened to stay half an hour later than he intended. One of
Lord Treasurer's servants gave me a letter to-night: I found it was
from ----, with an offer of fifty pounds, to be paid me in what manner
I pleased; because, he said, he desired to be well with me. I was in a
rage;(7) but my friend Lewis cooled me, and said it is what the best
men sometimes meet with; and I have been not seldom served in the like
manner, although not so grossly. In these cases I never demur a moment,
nor ever found the least inclination to take anything. Well, I will go
try to sleep in my new bed, and to dream of poor Wexford MD, and Stella
that drinks water, and Dingley that drinks ale.

29. I was at Court and church to-day, as I was this day se'ennight: I
generally am acquainted with about thirty in the drawing-room, and I
am so proud I make all the lords come up to me: one passes half an hour
pleasant enough. We had a dunce to preach before the Queen to-day,
which often happens. Windsor is a delicious situation, but the town is
scoundrel. I have this morning got the Gazette for Ben Tooke and one
Barber a printer; it will be about three hundred pounds a year between
them. The other fellow was printer of the Examiner, which is now laid
down.(8) I dined with the Secretary: we were a dozen in all, three
Scotch lords, and Lord Peterborow. The Duke of Hamilton(9) would needs
be witty, and hold up my train as I walked upstairs. It is an ill
circumstance that on Sundays much company always meet at the great
tables. Lord Treasurer told at Court what I said to Mr. Secretary on
this occasion. The Secretary showed me his bill of fare, to encourage me
to dine with him. "Poh," said I, "show me a bill of company, for I value
not your dinner." See how this is all blotted,(10) I can write no more
here, but to tell you I love MD dearly, and God bless them.

30. In my conscience, I fear I shall have the gout. I sometimes feel
pains about my feet and toes: I never drank till within these two years,
and I did it to cure my head. I often sit evenings with some of these
people, and drink in my turn; but I am now resolved to drink ten times
less than before; but they advise me to let what I drink be all wine,
and not to put water to it. Tooke and the printer stayed to-day to
finish their affair, and treated me and two of the Under Secretaries
upon their getting the Gazette. Then I went to see Lord Treasurer, and
chid him for not taking notice of me at Windsor. He said he kept a place
for me yesterday at dinner, and expected me there; but I was glad I did
not go, because the Duke of Buckingham was there, and that would have
made us acquainted; which I have no mind to. However, we appointed to
sup at Mr. Masham's, and there stayed till past one o'clock; and that is
late, sirrahs: and I have much business.

31. I have sent a noble haunch of venison this afternoon to Mrs.
Vanhomrigh: I wish you had it, sirrahs. I dined gravely with my landlord
the Secretary. The Queen was abroad to-day in order to hunt; but,
finding it disposed to rain, she kept in her coach; she hunts in a
chaise with one horse, which she drives herself, and drives furiously,
like Jehu, and is a mighty hunter, like Nimrod. Dingley has heard of
Nimrod, but not Stella, for it is in the Bible. I was to-day at Eton,
which is but just cross the bridge, to see my Lord Kerry's son,(11) who
is at school there. Mr. Secretary has given me a warrant for a buck; I
can't send it to MD. It is a sad thing, faith, considering how Presto
loves MD, and how MD would love Presto's venison for Presto's sake. God
bless the two dear Wexford girls!

Aug. 1. We had for dinner the fellow of that haunch of venison I sent to
London; 'twas mighty fat and good, and eight people at dinner; that was
bad. The Queen and I were going to take the air this afternoon, but
not together; and were both hindered by a sudden rain. Her coaches
and chaises all went back, and the guards too; and I scoured into the
market-place for shelter. I intended to have walked up the finest avenue
I ever saw, two miles long, with two rows of elms on each side. I walked
in the evening a little upon the terrace, and came home at eight: Mr.
Secretary came soon after, and we were engaging in deep discourse, and I
was endeavouring to settle some points of the greatest consequence, and
had wormed myself pretty well into him, when his Under Secretary came in
(who lodges in the same house with us) and interrupted all my scheme. I
have just left him: it is late, etc.

2. I have been now five days at Windsor, and Patrick has been drunk
three times that I have seen, and oftener I believe. He has lately had
clothes that have cost me five pounds, and the dog thinks he has the
whip-hand of me: he begins to master me; so now I am resolved to part
with him, and will use him without the least pity. The Secretary and
I have been walking three or four hours to-day. The Duchess of
Shrewsbury(12) asked him, was not that Dr.--Dr.--and she could not say
my name in English, but said Dr. Presto, which is Italian for Swift.
Whimsical enough, as Billy Swift(13) says. I go to-morrow with the
Secretary to his house at Bucklebury, twenty-five miles from hence,
and return early on Sunday morning. I will leave this letter behind me
locked up, and give you an account of my journey when I return. I had
a letter yesterday from the Bishop of Clogher, who is coming up to his
Parliament. Have you any correspondence with him to Wexford? Methinks,
I now long for a letter from you, dated Wexford, July 24, etc. O Lord,
that would be so pretending;(14) and then, says you, Stella can't write
much, because it is bad to write when one drinks the waters; and I
think, says you, I find myself better already, but I cannot tell yet
whether it be the journey or the waters. Presto is so silly to-night;
yes he be; but Presto loves MD dearly, as hope saved.

3. Morning. I am to go this day at noon, as I told you, to Bucklebury:
we dine at twelve, and expect to be there in four hours. I cannot bid
you good-night now, because I shall be twenty-five miles from this paper
to-night, and so my journal must have a break; so good-morrow, etc.

4, 5. I dined yesterday at Bucklebury, where we lay two nights, and set
out this morning at eight, and were here at twelve; in four hours we
went twenty-six miles. Mr. Secretary was a perfect country gentleman at
Bucklebury: he smoked tobacco with one or two neighbours; he inquired
after the wheat in such a field; he went to visit his hounds, and
knew all their names; he and his lady saw me to my chamber just in the
country fashion. His house is in the midst of near three thousand pounds
a year he had by his lady,(15) who is descended from Jack Newbury, of
whom books and ballads are written; and there is an old picture of him
in the house. She is a great favourite of mine. I lost church to-day;
but I dressed and shaved, and went to Court, and would not dine with the
Secretary, but engaged myself to a private dinner with Mr. Lewis, and
one friend more. We go to London to-morrow; for Lord Dartmouth, the
other Secretary, is come, and they are here their weeks by turns.

6. Lord Treasurer comes every Saturday to Windsor, and goes away on
Monday or Tuesday. I was with him this morning at his levee, for one
cannot see him otherwise here, he is so hurried: we had some talk; and
I told him I would stay this week at Windsor by myself, where I can have
more leisure to do some business that concerns them. Lord Treasurer
and the Secretary thought to mortify me; for they told me they had been
talking a great deal of me to-day to the Queen, and she said she had
never heard of me. I told them that was their fault, and not hers, etc.,
and so we laughed. I dined with the Secretary, and let him go to London
at five without me; and here am I alone in the Prebendary's house, which
Mr. Secretary has taken; only Mr. Lewis is in my neighbourhood, and we
shall be good company. The Vice-Chamberlain,(16) and Mr. Masham, and the
Green Cloth,(17) have promised me dinners. I shall want but four till
Mr. Secretary returns. We have a music-meeting in our town to-night.
I went to the rehearsal of it, and there was Margarita,(18) and her
sister, and another drab, and a parcel of fiddlers: I was weary, and
would not go to the meeting, which I am sorry for, because I heard it
was a great assembly. Mr. Lewis came from it, and sat with me till just
now; and 'tis late.

7. I can do no business, I fear, because Mr. Lewis, who has nothing or
little to do here, sticks close to me. I dined today with the gentlemen
ushers, among scurvy company; but the Queen was hunting the stag till
four this afternoon, and she drove in her chaise above forty miles, and
it was five before we went to dinner. Here are fine walks about this
town. I sometimes walk up the avenue.

8. There was a Drawing-room to-day at Court; but so few company, that
the Queen sent for us into her bed-chamber, where we made our bows, and
stood about twenty of us round the room, while she looked at us round
with her fan in her mouth, and once a minute said about three words to
some that were nearest her, and then she was told dinner was ready, and
went out. I dined at the Green Cloth, by Mr. Scarborow's(19) invitation,
who is in waiting. It is much the best table in England, and costs
the Queen a thousand pounds a month while she is at Windsor or Hampton
Court, and is the only mark of magnificence or hospitality I can see in
the Queen's family: it is designed to entertain foreign Ministers, and
people of quality, who come to see the Queen, and have no place to dine
at.

9. Mr. Coke, the Vice-Chamberlain, made me a long visit this morning,
and invited me to dinner; but the toast, his lady,(20) was unfortunately
engaged to Lady Sunderland.(21) Lord Treasurer stole here last night,
but did not lie at his lodgings in the Castle; and, after seeing the
Queen, went back again. I just drank a dish of chocolate with him. I
fancy I shall have reason to be angry with him very soon; but what
care I? I believe I shall die with Ministries in my debt.--This night
I received a certain letter from a place called Wexford, from two dear
naughty girls of my acquaintance; but, faith, I will not answer it here,
no in troth. I will send this to Mr. Reading, supposing it will find you
returned; and I hope better for the waters.

10. Mr. Vice-Chamberlain lent me his horses to ride about and see
the country this morning. Dr. Arbuthnot, the Queen's physician and
favourite, went out with me to show me the places: we went a little
after the Queen, and overtook Miss Forester,(22) a maid of honour, on
her palfrey, taking the air; we made her go along with us. We saw a
place they have made for a famous horse-race to-morrow, where the Queen
will come. We met the Queen coming back, and Miss Forester stood, like
us, with her hat off while the Queen went by. The Doctor and I left the
lady where we found her, but under other conductors; and we dined at a
little place he has taken, about a mile off.--When I came back I found
Mr. Scarborow had sent all about to invite me to the Green Cloth, and
lessened his company on purpose to make me easy. It is very obliging,
and will cost me thanks. Much company is come to town this evening,
to see to-morrow's race. I was tired with riding a trotting mettlesome
horse a dozen miles, having not been on horseback this twelvemonth.
And Miss Forester did not make it easier; she is a silly true maid of
honour, and I did not like her, although she be a toast, and was dressed
like a man.(23)

11. I will send this letter to-day. I expect the Secretary by noon. I
will not go to the race unless I can get room in some coach. It is now
morning. I must rise, and fold up and seal my letter. Farewell, and God
preserve dearest MD.

I believe I shall leave this town on Monday.



LETTER 28.

WINDSOR, Aug. 11, 1711.

I sent away my twenty-seventh this morning in an express to London, and
directed to Mr. Reading: this shall go to your lodgings, where I reckon
you will be returned before it reaches you. I intended to go to the
race(1) to-day, but was hindered by a visit: I believe I told you so in
my last. I dined to-day at the Green Cloth, where everybody had been at
the race but myself, and we were twenty in all, and very noisy company;
but I made the Vice-Chamberlain and two friends more sit at a side
table, to be a little quiet. At six I went to see the Secretary, who is
returned; but Lord Keeper sent to desire I would sup with him, where I
stayed till just now: Lord Treasurer and Secretary were to come to us,
but both failed. 'Tis late, etc.

12. I was this morning to visit Lord Keeper, who made me reproaches
that I had never visited him at Windsor. He had a present sent him of
delicious peaches, and he was champing and champing, but I durst not eat
one; I wished Dingley had some of them, for poor Stella can no more eat
fruit than Presto. Dilly Ashe is come to Windsor; and after church
I carried him up to the drawing-room, and talked to the Keeper and
Treasurer, on purpose to show them to him; and he saw the Queen and
several great lords, and the Duchess of Montagu;(2) he was mighty happy,
and resolves to fill a letter to the Bishop.(3) My friend Lewis and I
dined soberly with Dr. Adams,(4) the only neighbour prebendary. One of
the prebendaries here is lately a peer, by the death of his father. He
is now Lord Willoughby of Broke,(5) and will sit in the House of Lords
with his gown. I supped to-night at Masham's with Lord Treasurer, Mr.
Secretary, and Prior. The Treasurer made us stay till twelve, before he
came from the Queen, and 'tis now past two.

13. I reckoned upon going to London to-day; but by an accident the
Cabinet Council did not sit last night, and sat to-day, so we go
to-morrow at six in the morning. I missed the race to-day by coming out
too late, when everybody's coach was gone, and ride I would not: I
felt my last riding three days after. We had a dinner to-day at the
Secretary's lodgings without him: Mr. Hare,(6) his Under Secretary,
Mr. Lewis, Brigadier Sutton,(7) and I, dined together; and I made the
Vice-Chamberlain take a snap with us, rather than stay till five for his
lady, who was gone to the race. The reason why the Cabinet Council was
not held last night was because Mr. Secretary St. John would not sit
with your Duke of Somerset.(8) So to-day the Duke was forced to go to
the race while the Cabinet was held. We have music-meetings in our town,
and I was at the rehearsal t'other day; but I did not value it, nor
would go to the meeting. Did I tell you this before?

London, 14. We came to town this day in two hours and forty minutes:
twenty miles are nothing here. I found a letter from the Archbishop of
Dublin, sent me the Lord knows how. He says some of the bishops
will hardly believe that Lord Treasurer got the Queen to remit the
First-Fruits before the Duke of Ormond was declared Lord Lieutenant, and
that the bishops have written a letter to Lord Treasurer to thank him.
He has sent me the address of the Convocation, ascribing, in good part,
that affair to the Duke, who had less share in it than MD; for if it
had not been for MD, I should not have been so good a solicitor. I dined
to-day in the City, about a little bit of mischief, with a printer.--I
found Mrs. Vanhomrigh all in combustion, squabbling with her rogue of
a landlord; she has left her house, and gone out of our neighbourhood
a good way. Her eldest daughter is come of age, and going to Ireland to
look after her fortune, and get it in her own hands.(9)

15. I dined to-day with Mrs. Van, who goes to-night to her new lodgings.
I went at six to see Lord Treasurer; but his company was gone, contrary
to custom, and he was busy, and I was forced to stay some time before I
could see him. We were together hardly an hour, and he went away, being
in haste. He desired me to dine with him on Friday, because there would
be a friend of his that I must see: my Lord Harley told me, when he was
gone, that it was Mrs. Masham his father meant, who is come to town to
lie-in, and whom I never saw, though her husband is one of our Society.
God send her a good time! her death would be a terrible thing.(10)--Do
you know that I have ventured all my credit with these great Ministers,
to clear some misunderstandings betwixt them; and if there be no breach,
I ought to have the merit of it. 'Tis a plaguy ticklish piece of work,
and a man hazards losing both sides. It is a pity the world does not
know my virtue.--I thought the clergy in Convocation in Ireland would
have given me thanks for being their solicitor; but I hear of no such
thing. Pray talk occasionally on that subject, and let me know what you
hear. Do you know the greatness of my spirit, that I value their thanks
not a rush, but at my return shall freely let all people know that it
was my Lord Treasurer's action, wherein the Duke of Ormond had no more
share than a cat? And so they may go whistle, and I'll go sleep.

16. I was this day in the City, and dined at Pontack's(11) with
Stratford, and two other merchants. Pontack told us, although his wine
was so good, he sold it cheaper than others; he took but seven shillings
a flask. Are not these pretty rates? The books he sent for from Hamburg
are come, but not yet got out of the custom-house. My library will be at
least double when I come back. I shall go to Windsor again on Saturday,
to meet our Society, who are to sup at Mr. Secretary's; but I believe
I shall return on Monday, and then I will answer your letter, that lies
here safe underneath;--I see it; lie still: I will answer you when the
ducks have eaten up the dirt.

17. I dined to-day at Lord Treasurer's with Mrs. Masham, and she is
extremely like one Mrs. Malolly, that was once my landlady in Trim.
She was used with mighty kindness and respect, like a favourite. It
signifies nothing going to this Lord Treasurer about business, although
it be his own. He was in haste, and desires I will come again, and dine
with him to-morrow. His famous lying porter is fallen sick, and they
think he will die: I wish I had all my half-crowns again. I believe I
have told you he is an old Scotch fanatic, and the damn'dest liar in his
office alive.(12) I have a mind to recommend Patrick to succeed him:
I have trained him up pretty well. I reckon for certain you are now in
town. The weather now begins to alter to rain.

Windsor, 18. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, and he would make me go
with him to Windsor, although I was engaged to the Secretary, to whom
I made my excuses: we had in the coach besides, his son and son-in-law,
Lord Harley and Lord Dupplin, who are two of our Society, and seven of
us met by appointment, and supped this night with the Secretary. It was
past nine before we got here, but a fine moonshiny night. I shall go
back, I believe, on Monday. 'Tis very late.

19. The Queen did not stir out to-day, she is in a little fit of the
gout. I dined at Mr. Masham's; we had none but our Society members, six
in all, and I supped with Lord Treasurer. The Queen has ordered twenty
thousand pounds to go on with the building at Blenheim, which has been
starved till now, since the change of the Ministry.(13) I suppose it
is to reward his last action of getting into the French lines.(14) Lord
Treasurer kept me till past twelve.

London, 20. It rained terribly every step of our journey to-day: I
returned with the Secretary after a dinner of cold meat, and went to
Mrs. Van's, where I sat the evening. I grow very idle, because I have a
great deal of business. Tell me how you passed your time at Wexford; and
are not you glad at heart you have got home safe to your lodgings at St.
Mary's, pray? And so your friends come to visit you; and Mrs. Walls is
much better of her eye; and the Dean is just as he used to be: and what
does Walls say of London? 'tis a reasoning coxcomb. And Goody Stoyte,
and Hannah what d'ye call her; no, her name an't Hannah, Catherine I
mean; they were so glad to see the ladies again! and Mrs. Manley wanted
a companion at ombre.

21. I writ to-day to the Archbishop of Dublin, and enclosed a long
politic paper by itself. You know the bishops are all angry (smoke the
wax-candle drop at the bottom of this paper) I have let the world know
the First-Fruits were got by Lord Treasurer before the Duke of Ormond
was Governor. I told Lord Treasurer all this, and he is very angry; but
I pacified him again by telling him they were fools, and knew nothing of
what passed here; but thought all was well enough if they complimented
the Duke of Ormond. Lord Treasurer gave me t'other day a letter of
thanks he received from the bishops of Ireland, signed by seventeen;
and says he will write them an answer. The Dean of Carlisle sat with
me to-day till three; and I went to dine with Lord Treasurer, who dined
abroad, so did the Secretary, and I was left in the suds. 'Twas almost
four, and I got to Sir Matthew Dudley, who had half dined. Thornhill,
who killed Sir Cholmley Dering,(15) was murdered by two men, on Turnham
Green, last Monday night: as they stabbed him, they bid him remember Sir
Cholmley Dering. They had quarrelled at Hampton Court, and followed and
stabbed him on horseback. We have only a Grub Street paper of it, but I
believe it is true. I went myself through Turnham Green the same night,
which was yesterday.

22. We have had terrible rains these two or three days. I intended to
dine at Lord Treasurer's, but went to see Lady Abercorn, who is come
to town, and my lord; and I dined with them, and visited Lord Treasurer
this evening. His porter is mending. I sat with my lord about
three hours, and am come home early to be busy. Passing by White's
Chocolate-house,(16) my brother Masham called me, and told me his wife
was brought to bed of a boy, and both very well. (Our Society, you must
know, are all brothers.) Dr. Garth told us that Mr. Henley(17) is dead
of an apoplexy. His brother-in-law, Earl Poulett, is gone down to the
Grange, to take care of his funeral. The Earl of Danby,(18) the Duke of
Leeds's eldest grandson, a very hopeful young man of about twenty, is
dead at Utrecht of the smallpox.--I long to know whether you begin
to have any good effect by your waters.--Methinks this letter goes on
slowly; 'twill be a fortnight next Saturday since it was begun, and one
side not filled. O fie for shame, Presto! Faith, I'm so tosticated to
and from Windsor, that I know not what to say; but, faith, I'll go to
Windsor again on Saturday, if they ask me, not else. So lose your money
again, now you are come home; do, sirrah.

Take your magnifying-glass, Madam Dingley.

You shan't read this, sirrah Stella; don't read it for your life, for
fear of your dearest eyes.

There's enough for this side; these Ministers hinder me. Pretty, dear,
little, naughty, saucy MD.

Silly, impudent, loggerhead Presto.

23. Dilly and I dined to-day with Lord Abercorn, and had a fine fat
haunch of venison, that smelt rarely on one side: and after dinner
Dilly won half a crown of me at backgammon at his lodgings, to his great
content. It is a scurvy empty town this melancholy season of the year;
but I think our weather begins to mend. The roads are as deep as in
winter. The grapes are sad things; but the peaches are pretty good, and
there are some figs. I sometimes venture to eat one, but always repent
it. You say nothing of the box sent half a year ago. I wish you would
pay me for Mrs. Walls's tea. Your mother is in the country, I suppose.
Pray send me the account of MD, Madam Dingley, as it stands since
November,(19) that is to say, for this year (excluding the twenty pounds
lent Stella for Wexford), for I cannot look in your letters. I think I
ordered that Hawkshaw's interest should be paid to you. When you think
proper, I will let Parvisol know you have paid that twenty pounds, or
part of it; and so go play with the Dean, and I will answer your letter
to-morrow. Good-night, sirrahs, and love Presto, and be good girls.

24. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, who chid me for not dining with
him yesterday, for it seems I did not understand his invitation;
and their Club of the Ministry dined together, and expected me. Lord
Radnor(20) and I were walking the Mall this evening; and Mr. Secretary
met us, and took a turn or two, and then stole away, and we both
believed it was to pick up some wench; and to-morrow he will be at the
Cabinet with the Queen: so goes the world! Prior has been out of town
these two months, nobody knows where, and is lately returned. People
confidently affirm he has been in France, and I half believe it. It
is said he was sent by the Ministry, and for some overtures towards a
peace. The Secretary pretends he knows nothing of it. I believe your
Parliament will be dissolved. I have been talking about the quarrel
between your Lords and Commons with Lord Treasurer, and did, at the
request of some people, desire that the Queen's answer to the Commons'
address might express a dislike of some principles, etc.; but was
answered dubiously.--And so now to your letter, fair ladies. I know
drinking is bad; I mean writing is bad in drinking the waters; and was
angry to see so much in Stella's hand. But why Dingley drinks them, I
cannot imagine; but truly she'll drink waters as well as Stella: why
not? I hope you now find the benefit of them since you are returned;
pray let me know particularly. I am glad you are forced upon exercise,
which, I believe, is as good as the waters for the heart of them. 'Tis
now past the middle of August; so by your reckoning you are in Dublin.
It would vex me to the dogs that letters should miscarry between Dublin
and Wexford, after 'scaping the salt seas. I will write no more to
that nasty town in haste again, I warrant you. I have been four Sundays
together at Windsor, of which a fortnight together; but I believe I
shall not go to-morrow, for I will not, unless the Secretary asks me. I
know all your news about the Mayor: it makes no noise here at all, but
the quarrel of your Parliament does; it is so very extraordinary, and
the language of the Commons so very pretty. The Examiner has been down
this month, and was very silly the five or six last papers; but there
is a pamphlet come out, in answer to a letter to the seven Lords
who examined Gregg.(21) The Answer(22) is by the real author of the
Examiner, as I believe; for it is very well written. We had Trapp's poem
on the Duke of Ormond(23) printed here, and the printer sold just eleven
of them. 'Tis a dull piece, not half so good as Stella's; and she is
very modest to compare herself with such a poetaster. I am heartily
sorry for poor Mrs. Parnell's(24) death; she seemed to be an excellent
good-natured young woman, and I believe the poor lad is much afflicted;
they appeared to live perfectly well together. Dilly is not tired at all
with England, but intends to continue here a good while: he is mighty
easy to be at distance from his two sisters-in-law. He finds some sort
of scrub acquaintance; goes now and then in disguise to a play; smokes
his pipe; reads now and then a little trash, and what else the Lord
knows. I see him now and then; for he calls here, and the town being
thin, I am less pestered with company than usual. I have got rid of many
of my solicitors, by doing nothing for them: I have not above eight or
nine left, and I'll be as kind to them. Did I tell you of a knight who
desired me to speak to Lord Treasurer to give him two thousand pounds,
or five hundred pounds a year, until he could get something better? I
honestly delivered my message to the Treasurer, adding, the knight was
a puppy, whom I would not give a groat to save from the gallows. Cole
Reading's father-in-law has been two or three times at me, to recommend
his lights to the Ministry, assuring me that a word of mine would, etc.
Did not that dog use to speak ill of me, and profess to hate me? He
knows not where I lodge, for I told him I lived in the country; and I
have ordered Patrick to deny me constantly to him.--Did the Bishop of
London(25) die in Wexford? poor gentleman! Did he drink the waters? were
you at his burial? was it a great funeral? so far from his friends!
But he was very old: we shall all follow. And yet it was a pity, if
God pleased. He was a good man; not very learned: I believe he died but
poor. Did he leave any charity legacies? who held up his pall? was there
a great sight of clergy? do they design a tomb for him?--Are you sure
it was the Bishop of London? because there is an elderly gentleman here
that we give the same title to: or did you fancy all this in your water,
as others do strange things in their wine? They say these waters trouble
the head, and make people imagine what never came to pass. Do you make
no more of killing a Bishop? are these your Whiggish tricks?--Yes, yes,
I see you are in a fret. O, faith, says you, saucy Presto, I'll break
your head; what, can't one report what one hears, without being made
a jest and a laughing-stock? Are these your English tricks, with a
murrain? And Sacheverell will be the next Bishop? He would be glad of an
addition of two hundred pounds a year to what he has, and that is more
than they will give him, for aught I see. He hates the new Ministry
mortally, and they hate him, and pretend to despise him too. They will
not allow him to have been the occasion of the late change; at least
some of them will not: but my Lord Keeper owned it to me the other day.
No, Mr. Addison does not go to Ireland this year: he pretended he would;
but he is gone to Bath with Pastoral Philips, for his eyes.--So now I
have run over your letter; and I think this shall go to-morrow, which
will be just a fortnight from the last, and bring things to the old form
again, after your rambles to Wexford, and mine to Windsor. Are there not
many literal faults in my letters? I never read them over, and I fancy
there are. What do you do then? do you guess my meaning, or are you
acquainted with my manner of mistaking? I lost my handkerchief in the
Mall to-night with Lord Radnor; but I made him walk with me to find it,
and find it I did not. Tisdall(26) (that lodges with me) and I have had
no conversation, nor do we pull off our hats in the streets. There is a
cousin of his (I suppose,) a young parson, that lodges in the house
too; a handsome, genteel fellow. Dick Tighe(27) and his wife lodged over
against us; and he has been seen, out of our upper windows, beating her
two or three times: they are both gone to Ireland, but not together; and
he solemnly vows never to live with her. Neighbours do not stick to
say that she has a tongue: in short, I am told she is the most urging,
provoking devil that ever was born; and he a hot, whiffling(28) puppy,
very apt to resent. I'll keep this bottom till to-morrow: I'm sleepy.

25. I was with the Secretary this morning, who was in a mighty hurry,
and went to Windsor in a chariot with Lord Keeper; so I was not invited,
and am forced to stay at home, but not at all against my will; for
I could have gone, and would not. I dined in the City with one of my
printers, for whom I got the Gazette, and am come home early; and have
nothing to say to you more, but finish this letter, and not send it by
the bellman. Days grow short, and the weather grows bad, and the town
is splenetic, and things are so oddly contrived that I cannot be absent;
otherwise I would go for a few days to Oxford, as I promised.--They say
it is certain that Prior has been in France,(29) nobody doubts it: I had
not time to ask the Secretary, he was in such haste. Well, I will take
my leave of dearest MD for a while; for I must begin my next letter
to-night: consider that, young women; and pray be merry, and good girls,
and love Presto. There is now but one business the Ministry want me for,
and when that is done, I will take my leave of them. I never got a
penny from them, nor expect it. In my opinion, some things stand very
ticklish; I dare say nothing at this distance. Farewell, dear sirrahs,
dearest lives: there is peace and quiet with MD, and nowhere else. They
have not leisure here to think of small things, which may ruin them; and
I have been forward enough. Farewell again, dearest rogues; I am never
happy but when I write or think of MD. I have enough of Courts and
Ministries, and wish I were at Laracor; and if I could with honour come
away this moment, I would. Bernage(30) came to see me to-day; he is just
landed from Portugal, and come to raise recruits; he looks very well,
and seems pleased with his station and manner of life. He never saw
London nor England before; he is ravished with Kent, which was his first
prospect when he landed. Farewell again, etc. etc.



LETTER 29.

LONDON, Aug. 25, 1711.

I have got a pretty small gilt sheet of paper, to write to MD. I have
this moment sent my 28th by Patrick, who tells me he has put it in the
post-office; 'tis directed to your lodgings: if it wants more particular
direction, you must set me right. It is now a solar month and two days
since the date of your last, N.18; and I reckon you are now quiet
at home, and thinking to begin your 19th, which will be full of your
quarrel between the two Houses, all which I know already. Where shall
I dine to-morrow? can you tell? Mrs. Vanhomrigh boards now, and cannot
invite one; and there I used to dine when I was at a loss: and all my
friends are gone out of town, and your town is now at the fullest, with
your Parliament and Convocation. But let me alone, sirrahs; for Presto
is going to be very busy; not Presto, but the other I.

26. People have so left the town that I am at a loss for a dinner. It is
a long time since I have been at London upon a Sunday; and the Ministers
are all at Windsor. It cost me eighteenpence in coach-hire before I
could find a place to dine in. I went to Frankland's,(1) and he was
abroad, and the drab his wife looked out at window, and bowed to
me without inviting me up: so I dined with Mr. Coote,(2) my Lord
Mountrath's brother; my lord is with you in Ireland. This morning at
five my Lord Jersey(3) died of the gout in his stomach, or apoplexy,
or both: he was abroad yesterday, and his death was sudden. He was
Chamberlain to King William, and a great favourite, turned out by the
Queen as a Tory, and stood now fair to be Privy Seal; and by his death
will, I suppose, make that matter easier, which has been a very stubborn
business at Court, as I have been informed. I never remember so many
people of quality to have died in so short a time.

27. I went to-day into the City, to thank Stratford for my books,
and dine with him, and settle my affairs of my money in the Bank, and
receive a bill for Mrs. Wesley for some things I am to buy for her; and
the d---- a one of all these could I do. The merchants were all out of
town, and I was forced to go to a little hedge place for my dinner. May
my enemies live here in summer! and yet I am so unlucky that I cannot
possibly be out of the way at this juncture. People leave the town so
late in summer, and return so late in winter, that they have almost
inverted the seasons. It is autumn this good while in St. James's Park;
the limes have been losing their leaves, and those remaining on the
trees are all parched: I hate this season, where everything grows worse
and worse. The only good thing of it is the fruit, and that I dare not
eat. Had you any fruit at Wexford? A few cherries, and durst not eat
them. I do not hear we have yet got a new Privy Seal. The Whigs whisper
that our new Ministry differ among themselves, and they begin to talk
out Mr. Secretary: they have some reasons for their whispers, although
I thought it was a greater secret. I do not much like the posture of
things; I always apprehended that any falling out would ruin them, and
so I have told them several times. The Whigs are mighty full of hopes at
present; and whatever is the matter, all kind of stocks fall. I have not
yet talked with the Secretary about Prior's journey. I should be apt to
think it may foretell a peace, and that is all we have to preserve us.
The Secretary is not come from Windsor, but I expect him to-morrow. Burn
all politics!

28. We begin to have fine weather, and I walked to-day to Chelsea, and
dined with the Dean of Carlisle, who is laid up with the gout. It is now
fixed that he is to be Dean of Christ Church in Oxford. I was advising
him to use his interest to prevent any misunderstanding between our
Ministers; but he is too wise to meddle, though he fears the thing and
the consequences as much as I. He will get into his own warm, quiet
deanery, and leave them to themselves; and he is in the right.--When
I came home to-night, I found a letter from Mr. Lewis, who is now at
Windsor; and in it, forsooth, another which looked like Presto's hand;
and what should it be but a 19th from MD? O, faith, I 'scaped narrowly,
for I sent my 28th but on Saturday; and what should I have done if I had
two letters to answer at once? I did not expect another from Wexford,
that is certain. Well, I must be contented; but you are dear saucy
girls, for all that, to write so soon again, faith; an't you?

29. I dined to-day with Lord Abercorn, and took my leave of them: they
set out to-morrow for Chester, and, I believe, will now fix in Ireland.
They have made a pretty good journey of it: his eldest son(4) is married
to a lady with ten thousand pounds; and his second son(5) has, t'other
day, got a prize in the lottery of four thousand pounds, beside two
small ones of two hundred pounds each: nay, the family was so fortunate,
that my lord bestowing one ticket, which is a hundred pounds, to one of
his servants, who had been his page, the young fellow got a prize, which
has made it another hundred. I went in the evening to Lord Treasurer,
who desires I will dine with him to-morrow, when he will show me the
answer he designs to return to the letter of thanks from your bishops in
Ireland. The Archbishop of Dublin desired me to get myself mentioned
in the answer which my lord would send; but I sent him word I would not
open my lips to my lord upon it. He says it would convince the bishops
of what I have affirmed, that the First-Fruits were granted before the
Duke of Ormond was declared Governor; and I writ to him that I would not
give a farthing to convince them. My Lord Treasurer began a health to my
Lord Privy Seal: Prior punned, and said it was so privy, he knew not who
it was; but I fancy they have fixed it all, and we shall know to-morrow.
But what care you who is Privy Seal, saucy sluttikins?

30. When I went out this morning, I was surprised with the news that
the Bishop of Bristol is made Lord Privy Seal. You know his name is
Robinson,(6) and that he was many years Envoy in Sweden. All the friends
of the present Ministry are extremely glad, and the clergy above the
rest. The Whigs will fret to death to see a civil employment given to a
clergyman. It was a very handsome thing in my Lord Treasurer, and will
bind the Church to him for ever. I dined with him to-day, but he had not
written his letter;(see above, 29th Aug.) but told me he would not offer
to send it without showing it to me: he thought that would not be just,
since I was so deeply concerned in the affair. We had much company: Lord
Rivers, Mar,(7) and Kinnoull,(8) Mr. Secretary, George Granville, and
Masham: the last has invited me to the christening of his son to-morrow
se'ennight; and on Saturday I go to Windsor with Mr. Secretary.

31. Dilly and I walked to-day to Kensington to Lady Mountjoy, who
invited us to dinner. He returned soon, to go to a play, it being the
last that will be acted for some time: he dresses himself like a
beau, and no doubt makes a fine figure. I went to visit some people at
Kensington: Ophy Butler's wife(9) there lies very ill of an ague, which
is a very common disease here, and little known in Ireland. I am apt to
think we shall soon have a peace, by the little words I hear thrown out
by the Ministry. I have just thought of a project to bite the town. I
have told you that it is now known that Mr. Prior has been lately in
France. I will make a printer of my own sit by me one day, and I will
dictate to him a formal relation of Prior's journey,(10) with several
particulars, all pure invention; and I doubt not but it will take.

Sept. 1. Morning. I go to-day to Windsor with Mr. Secretary; and Lord
Treasurer has promised to bring me back. The weather has been fine for
some time, and I believe we shall have a great deal of dust.--At night.
Windsor. The Secretary and I dined to-day at Parson's Green, at my Lord
Peterborow's house, who has left it and his gardens to the Secretary
during his absence. It is the finest garden I have ever seen about this
town; and abundance of hot walls for grapes, where they are in great
plenty, and ripening fast. I durst not eat any fruit but one fig; but
I brought a basket full to my friend Lewis here at Windsor. Does Stella
never eat any? what, no apricots at Donnybrook! nothing but claret and
ombre! I envy people maunching and maunching peaches and grapes, and I
not daring to eat a bit. My head is pretty well, only a sudden turn any
time makes me giddy for a moment, and sometimes it feels very
stuffed; but if it grows no worse, I can bear it very well. I take all
opportunities of walking; and we have a delicious park here just joining
to the Castle, and an avenue in the great park very wide and two miles
long, set with a double row of elms on each side. Were you ever at
Windsor? I was once, a great while ago; but had quite forgotten it.

2. The Queen has the gout, and did not come to chapel, nor stir out from
her chamber, but received the sacrament there, as she always does the
first Sunday in the month. Yet we had a great Court; and, among others,
I saw your Ingoldsby,(11) who, seeing me talk very familiarly with
the Keeper, Treasurer, etc., came up and saluted me, and began a very
impertinent discourse about the siege of Bouchain. I told him I could
not answer his questions, but I would bring him one that should; so
I went and fetched Sutton (who brought over the express about a
month ago), and delivered him to the General, and bid him answer his
questions; and so I left them together. Sutton after some time comes
back in a rage, finds me with Lord Rivers and Masham, and there
complains of the trick I had played him, and swore he had been plagued
to death with Ingoldsby's talk. But he told me Ingoldsby asked him what
I meant by bringing him; so, I suppose, he smoked me a little. So we
laughed, etc. My Lord Willoughby,(12) who is one of the chaplains, and
Prebendary of Windsor, read prayers last night to the family; and the
Bishop of Bristol, who is Dean of Windsor, officiated last night at the
Cathedral. This they do to be popular; and it pleases mightily. I dined
with Mr. Masham, because he lets me have a select company: for the Court
here have got by the end a good thing I said to the Secretary some weeks
ago. He showed me his bill of fare, to tempt me to dine with him. "Poh,"
said I, "I value not your bill of fare; give me your bill of company."
Lord Treasurer was mightily pleased, and told it everybody as a notable
thing. I reckon upon returning to-morrow: they say the Bishop will then
have the Privy Seal delivered him at a great Council.

3. Windsor still. The Council was held so late to-day that I do not go
back to town till to-morrow. The Bishop was sworn Privy Councillor, and
had the Privy Seal given him: and now the patents are passed for those
who were this long time to be made lords or earls. Lord Raby,(13) who is
Earl of Strafford, is on Thursday to marry a namesake of Stella's; the
daughter of Sir H. Johnson in the City; he has three-score thousand
pounds with her, ready money; besides the rest at the father's death. I
have got my friend Stratford to be one of the directors of the South Sea
Company, who were named to-day. My Lord Treasurer did it for me a month
ago; and one of those whom I got to be printer of the Gazette I am
recommending to be printer to the same company. He treated Mr. Lewis and
me to-day at dinner. I supped last night and this with Lord Treasurer,
Keeper, etc., and took occasion to mention the printer. I said it was
the same printer whom my Lord Treasurer has appointed to print for the
South Sea Company. He denied, and I insisted on it; and I got the laugh
on my side.

London, 4. I came as far as Brentford in Lord Rivers's chariot, who
had business with Lord Treasurer; then I went into Lord Treasurer's. We
stopped at Kensington, where Lord Treasurer went to see Mrs. Masham,
who is now what they call in the straw. We got to town by three, and I
lighted at Lord Treasurer's, who commanded me not to stir: but I was not
well; and when he went up, I begged the young lord to excuse me, and so
went into the City by water, where I could be easier, and dined with the
printer, and dictated to him some part of Prior's Journey to France. I
walked from the City, for I take all occasions of exercise. Our journey
was horridly dusty.

5. When I went out to-day, I found it had rained mightily in the night,
and the streets were as dirty as winter: it is very refreshing after ten
days dry.--I went into the City, and dined with Stratford, thanked him
for his books, gave him joy of his being director, of which he had the
first notice by a letter from me. I ate sturgeon, and it lies on my
stomach. I almost finished Prior's Journey at the printer's; and came
home pretty late, with Patrick at my heels.

7. Morning. But what shall we do about this letter of MD's, N.19? Not a
word answered yet, and so much paper spent! I cannot do anything in
it, sweethearts, till night.--At night. O Lord, O Lord! the greatest
disgrace that ever was has happened to Presto. What do you think? but,
when I was going out this forenoon a letter came from MD, N.20, dated
Dublin. O dear, O dear! O sad, O sad!--Now I have two letters together
to answer: here they are, lying together. But I will only answer the
first; for I came in late. I dined with my friend Lewis at his lodgings,
and walked at six to Kensington to Mrs. Masham's son's christening.
It was very private; nobody there but my Lord Treasurer, his son and
son-in-law, that is to say, Lord Harley and Lord Dupplin, and Lord
Rivers and I. The Dean of Rochester(14) christened the child, but soon
went away. Lord Treasurer and Lord Rivers were godfathers; and Mrs.
Hill,(15) Mrs. Masham's sister, godmother. The child roared like a bull,
and I gave Mrs. Masham joy of it; and she charged me to take care of my
nephew, because, Mr. Masham being a brother of our Society, his son, you
know, is consequently a nephew. Mrs. Masham sat up dressed in bed, but
not, as they do in Ireland, with all smooth about her, as if she was
cut off in the middle; for you might see the counterpane (what d'ye
call it?) rise about her hips and body. There is another name of the
counterpane; and you will laugh now, sirrahs. George Granville came in
at supper, and we stayed till eleven; and Lord Treasurer set me down at
my lodging in Suffolk Street. Did I ever tell you that Lord Treasurer
hears ill with the left ear, just as I do? He always turns the right,
and his servants whisper him at that only. I dare not tell him that I am
so too, for fear he should think I counterfeited, to make my court.

6. You must read this before the other; for I mistook, and forgot to
write yesterday's journal, it was so insignificant. I dined with Dr.
Cockburn, and sat the evening with Lord Treasurer till ten o'clock.
On Thursdays he has always a large select company, and expects me. So
good-night for last night, etc.

8. Morning. I go to Windsor with Lord Treasurer to-day, and will leave
this behind me, to be sent to the post. And now let us hear what says
the first letter, N.19. You are still at Wexford, as you say, Madam
Dingley. I think no letter from me ever yet miscarried. And so
Inish-Corthy,(16) and the river Slainy; fine words those in a lady's
mouth. Your hand like Dingley's, you scambling,(17) scattering
sluttikin! YES, MIGHTY LIKE INDEED, IS NOT IT?(18) Pisshh, do not talk
of writing or reading till your eyes are well, and long well; only I
would have Dingley read sometimes to you, that you may not lose the
desire of it. God be thanked, that the ugly numbing is gone! Pray
use exercise when you go to town. What game is that ombra which
Dr. Elwood(19) and you play at? is it the Spanish game ombre? Your
card-purse? you a card-purse! you a fiddlestick. You have luck indeed;
and luck in a bag. What a devil! is that eight-shilling tea-kettle
copper, or tin japanned? It is like your Irish politeness, raffling for
tea-kettles. What a splutter you keep, to convince me that Walls has
no taste! My head continues pretty well. Why do you write, dear sirrah
Stella, when you find your eyes so weak that you cannot see? what
comfort is there in reading what you write, when one knows that? So
Dingley cannot write, because of the clutter of new company come to
Wexford! I suppose the noise of their hundred horses disturbs you; or
do you lie in one gallery, as in an hospital? What! you are afraid of
losing in Dublin the acquaintance you have got in Wexford, and chiefly
the Bishop of Raphoe,(20) an old, doting, perverse coxcomb? Twenty at a
time at breakfast. That is like five pounds at a time, when it was never
but once. I doubt, Madam Dingley, you are apt to lie in your travels,
though not so bad as Stella; she tells thumpers, as I shall prove in my
next, if I find this receives encouragement.--So Dr. Elwood says there
are a world of pretty things in my works. A pox on his praises! an enemy
here would say more. The Duke of Buckingham would say as much, though
he and I are terribly fallen out; and the great men are perpetually
inflaming me against him: they bring me all he says of me, and, I
believe, make it worse out of roguery.--No, 'tis not your pen is
bewitched, Madam Stella, but your old SCRAWLING, SPLAY-FOOT POT-HOOKS,
S, S,(21) ay that's it: there the s, s, s, there, there, that's exact.
Farewell, etc.

Our fine weather is gone; and I doubt we shall have a rainy journey
to-day. Faith, 'tis shaving-day, and I have much to do. When Stella says
her pen was bewitched, it was only because there was a hair in it. You
know, the fellow they call God-help-it had the same thoughts of his
wife, and for the same reason. I think this is very well observed, and I
unfolded the letter to tell you it.

Cut off those two notes above; and see the nine pounds indorsed, and
receive the other; and send me word how my accounts stand, that they
may be adjusted by Nov. 1.(22) Pray be very particular; but the twenty
pounds I lend you is not to be included: so make no blunder. I won't
wrong you, nor you shan't wrong me; that is the short. O Lord, how stout
Presto is of late! But he loves MD more than his life a thousand times,
for all his stoutness; tell them that; and that I'll swear it, as hope
saved, ten millions of times, etc. etc.

I open my letter once more, to tell Stella that if she does not use
exercise after her waters, it will lose all the effects of them: I
should not live if I did not take all opportunities of walking. Pray,
pray, do this, to oblige poor Presto.



LETTER 30.

WINDSOR, Sept. 8, 1711.

I made the coachman stop, and put in my twenty-ninth at the post-office
at two o'clock to-day, as I was going to Lord Treasurer, with whom I
dined, and came here by a quarter-past eight; but the moon shone, and so
we were not in much danger of overturning; which, however, he values not
a straw, and only laughs when I chide at him for it. There was
nobody but he and I, and we supped together, with Mr. Masham, and Dr.
Arbuthnot, the Queen's favourite physician, a Scotchman. I could not
keep myself awake after supper, but did all I was able to disguise it,
and thought I came off clear; but, at parting, he told me I had got my
nap already. It is now one o'clock; but he loves sitting up late.

9. The Queen is still in the gout, but recovering: she saw company in
her bed-chamber after church; but the crowd was so great, I could not
see her. I dined with my brother Sir William Wyndham,(1) and some others
of our Society, to avoid the great tables on Sunday at Windsor, which I
hate. The usual company supped to-night at Lord Treasurer's, which was
Lord Keeper, Mr. Secretary, George Granville, Masham, Arbuthnot, and
I. But showers have hindered me from walking to-day, and that I do not
love.--Noble fruit, and I dare not eat a bit. I ate one fig to-day, and
sometimes a few mulberries, because it is said they are wholesome, and
you know a good name does much. I shall return to town to-morrow, though
I thought to have stayed a week, to be at leisure for something I am
doing. But I have put it off till next; for I shall come here again on
Saturday, when our Society are to meet at supper at Mr. Secretary's.
My life is very regular here: on Sunday morning I constantly visit Lord
Keeper, and sup at Lord Treasurer's with the same set of company. I was
not sleepy to-night; I resolved I would not; yet it is past midnight at
this present writing.

London, 10. Lord Treasurer and Masham and I left Windsor at three this
afternoon: we dropped Masham at Kensington with his lady, and got home
by six. It was seven before we sat down to dinner, and I stayed till
past eleven. Patrick came home with the Secretary: I am more plagued
with Patrick and my portmantua than with myself. I forgot to tell you
that when I went to Windsor on Saturday I overtook Lady Giffard and
Mrs. Fenton(2) in a chariot, going, I suppose, to Sheen. I was then in
a chariot too, of Lord Treasurer's brother, who had business with the
Treasurer; and my lord came after, and overtook me at Turnham Green,
four miles from London; and then the brother went back, and I went in
the coach with Lord Treasurer: so it happened that those people saw me,
and not with Lord Treasurer. Mrs. F. was to see me about a week ago; and
desired I would get her son into the Charter-house.

11. This morning the printer sent me an account of Prior's Journey;(3)
it makes a twopenny pamphlet. I suppose you will see it, for I dare
engage it will run; 'tis a formal, grave lie, from the beginning to
the end. I writ all but about the last page; that I dictated, and the
printer writ. Mr. Secretary sent to me to dine where he did; it was
at Prior's: when I came in, Prior showed me the pamphlet, seemed to be
angry, and said, "Here is our English liberty!" I read some of it, and
said I liked it mightily, and envied the rogue the thought; for, had it
come into my head, I should have certainly done it myself. We stayed at
Prior's till past ten; and then the Secretary received a packet with the
news of Bouchain being taken, for which the guns will go off to-morrow.
Prior owned his having been in France, for it was past denying: it seems
he was discovered by a rascal at Dover, who had positive orders to let
him pass. I believe we shall have a peace.

12. It is terrible rainy weather, and has cost me three shillings in
coaches and chairs to-day, yet I was dirty into the bargain. I was three
hours this morning with the Secretary about some business of moment, and
then went into the City to dine. The printer tells me he sold yesterday
a thousand of Prior's Journey, and had printed five hundred more. It
will do rarely, I believe, and is a pure bite. And what is MD doing all
this while? got again to their cards, their Walls, their deans, their
Stoytes, and their claret? Pray present my service to Mr. Stoyte and
Catherine. Tell Goody Stoyte she owes me a world of dinners, and I will
shortly come over and demand them.--Did I tell you of the Archbishop of
Dublin's last letter? He had been saying, in several of his former, that
he would shortly write to me something about myself; and it looked as if
he intended something for me: at last out it comes, and consists of two
parts. First, he advises me to strike in for some preferment now I have
friends; and secondly, he advises me, since I have parts, and learning,
and a happy pen, to think of some new subject in divinity not handled
by others, which I should manage better than anybody. A rare spark this,
with a pox! but I shall answer him as rarely. Methinks he should have
invited me over, and given me some hopes or promises. But hang him! and
so good-night, etc.

13. It rained most furiously all this morning till about twelve, and
sometimes thundered; I trembled for my shillings, but it cleared up,
and I made a shift to get a walk in the Park, and then went with the
Secretary to dine with Lord Treasurer. Upon Thursdays there is always
a select company: we had the Duke of Shrewsbury, Lord Rivers, the two
Secretaries, Mr. Granville, and Mr. Prior. Half of them went to Council
at six; but Rivers, Granville, Prior, and I, stayed till eight. Prior
was often affecting to be angry at the account of his journey to Paris;
and indeed the two last pages, which the printer got somebody to add,(4)
are so romantic, they spoil all the rest. Dilly Ashe pretended to me
that he was only going to Oxford and Cambridge for a fortnight, and then
would come back. I could not see him as I appointed t'other day; but
some of his friends tell me he took leave of them as going to Ireland;
and so they say at his lodging. I believe the rogue was ashamed to tell
me so, because I advised him to stay the winter, and he said he would.
I find he had got into a good set of scrub acquaintance, and I thought
passed his time very merrily; but I suppose he languished after
Balderig, and the claret of Dublin; and, after all, I think he is in
the right; for he can eat, drink, and converse better there than here.
Bernage was with me this morning: he calls now and then; he is in
terrible fear of a peace. He said he never had his health so well as in
Portugal. He is a favourite of his Colonel.

14. I was mortified enough to-day, not knowing where in the world to
dine, the town is so empty. I met H. Coote,(5) and thought he would
invite me, but he did not: Sir John Stanley did not come into my head;
so I took up with Mrs. Van, and dined with her and her damned landlady,
who, I believe, by her eyebrows, is a bawd. This evening I met Addison
and Pastoral Philips in the Park, and supped with them at Addison's
lodgings: we were very good company, and I yet know no man half so
agreeable to me as he is. I sat with them till twelve, so you may think
it is late, young women; however, I would have some little conversation
with MD before your Presto goes to bed, because it makes me sleep, and
dream, and so forth. Faith, this letter goes on slowly enough, sirrahs;
but I cannot write much at a time till you are quite settled after your
journey, you know, and have gone all your visits, and lost your money at
ombre. You never play at chess now, Stella. That puts me in mind of
Dick Tighe; I fancy I told you he used to beat his wife here; and she
deserved it; and he resolves to part with her; and they went to Ireland
in different coaches. O Lord, I said all this before, I am sure. Go to
bed, sirrahs.

Windsor, 15. I made the Secretary stop at Brentford, because we set
out at two this afternoon, and fasting would not agree with me. I only
designed to eat a bit of bread-and-butter; but he would light, and
we ate roast beef like dragons. And he made me treat him and two more
gentlemen; faith, it cost me a guinea. I do not like such jesting, yet
I was mightily pleased with it too. To-night our Society met at the
Secretary's: there were nine of us; and we have chosen a new member, the
Earl of Jersey,(6) whose father died lately. 'Tis past one, and I have
stolen away.

16. I design to stay here this week by myself, about some business that
lies on my hands, and will take up a great deal of time. Dr. Adams,(7)
one of the canons, invited me to-day to dinner. The tables are so full
here on Sunday that it is hard to dine with a few, and Dr. Adams knows
I love to do so; which is very obliging. The Queen saw company in her
bed-chamber; she looks very well, but she sat down. I supped with Lord
Treasurer as usual, and stayed till past one as usual, and with our
usual company, except Lord Keeper, who did not come this time to
Windsor. I hate these suppers mortally, but I seldom eat anything.

17. Lord Treasurer and Mr. Secretary stay here till tomorrow; some
business keeps them, and I am sorry for it, for they hinder me a day.
Mr. Lewis and I were going to dine soberly with a little Court friend
at one. But Lord Harley and Lord Dupplin kept me by force, and said we
should dine at Lord Treasurer's, who intended to go at four to London. I
stayed like a fool, and went with the two young lords to Lord Treasurer,
who very fairly turned us all three out of doors. They both were invited
to the Duke of Somerset, but he was gone to a horse-race, and would not
come till five; so we were forced to go to a tavern, and sent for wine
from Lord Treasurer's, who at last, we were told, did not go to town
till the morrow, and at Lord Treasurer's we supped again; and I desired
him to let me add four shillings to the bill I gave him. We sat up till
two, yet I must write to little MD.

18. They are all gone early this morning, and I am alone to seek my
fortune; but Dr. Arbuthnot engages me for my dinners; and he yesterday
gave me my choice of place, person, and victuals for to-day. So I chose
to dine with Mrs. Hill, who is one of the dressers, and Mrs. Masham's
sister, no company but us three, and to have a shoulder of mutton, a
small one; which was exactly, only there was too much victuals besides;
and the Doctor's wife(8) was of the company. And to-morrow Mrs. Hill and
I are to dine with the Doctor. I have seen a fellow often about Court
whom I thought I knew. I asked who he was, and they told me it was the
gentleman porter; then I called him to mind; he was Killy's acquaintance
(I won't say yours); I think his name is Lovet,(9) or Lovel, or
something like it. I believe he does not know me, and in my present
posture I shall not be fond of renewing old acquaintance; I believe I
used to see him with the Bradleys; and, by the way, I have not seen Mrs.
Bradley since I came to England. I left your letter in London, like
a fool; and cannot answer it till I go back, which will not be until
Monday next; so this will be above a fortnight from my last; but I will
fetch it up in my next; so go and walk to the Dean's for your health
this fine weather.

19. The Queen designs to have cards and dancing here next week, which
makes us think she will stay here longer than we believed. Mrs. Masham
is not well after her lying-in: I doubt she got some cold; she is lame
in one of her legs with a rheumatic pain. Dr. Arbuthnot and Mrs. Hill go
tomorrow to Kensington to see her, and return the same night. Mrs. Hill
and I dined with the Doctor to-day. I rode out this morning with the
Doctor to see Cranburn, a house of Lord Ranelagh's,(10) and the Duchess
of Marlborough's lodge, and the Park; the finest places they are, for
nature and plantations, that ever I saw; and the finest riding upon
artificial roads, made on purpose for the Queen. Arbuthnot made me draw
up a sham subscription for a book, called A History of the Maids of
Honour since Harry the Eighth, showing they make the best wives, with a
list of all the maids of honour since, etc.; to pay a crown in hand, and
the other crown upon delivery of the book; and all in common forms of
those things. We got a gentleman to write it fair, because my hand is
known; and we sent it to the maids of honour, when they came to supper.
If they bite at it, it will be a very good Court jest; and the Queen
will certainly have it: we did not tell Mrs. Hill.

20. To-day I was invited to the Green Cloth by Colonel Godfrey, who
married the Duke of Marlborough's sister,(11) mother to the Duke of
Berwick by King James: I must tell you those things that happened before
you were born. But I made my excuses, and young Harcourt (Lord Keeper's
son) and I dined with my next neighbour, Dr Adams.(12) Mrs. Masham is
better, and will be here in three or four days. She had need; for the
Duchess of Somerset is thought to gain ground daily.--We have not sent
you over all your bills; and I think we have altered your money-bill.
The Duke of Ormond is censured here, by those in power, for very wrong
management in the affair of the mayoralty.(13) He is governed by fools,
and has usually much more sense than his advisers, but never proceeds
by it. I must know how your health continues after Wexford. Walk and
use exercise, sirrahs both; and get somebody to play at shuttlecock with
you, Madam Stella, and walk to the Dean's and Donnybrook.

21. Colonel Godfrey sent to me again to-day; so I dined at the Green
Cloth, and we had but eleven at dinner, which is a small number there,
the Court being always thin of company till Saturday night.--This new
ink and pen make a strange figure; I MUST WRITE LARGER, YES I MUST, OR
STELLA WILL NOT BE ABLE TO READ THIS.(14) S. S. S., there is your S's
for you, Stella. The maids of honour are bit, and have all contributed
their crowns, and are teasing others to subscribe for the book. I will
tell Lord Keeper and Lord Treasurer to-morrow; and I believe the Queen
will have it. After a little walk this evening, I squandered away the
rest of it in sitting at Lewis's lodging, while he and Dr. Arbuthnot
played at picquet. I have that foolish pleasure, which I believe nobody
has beside me, except old Lady Berkeley.(15) But I fretted when I came
away: I will loiter so no more, for I have a plaguy deal of business
upon my hands, and very little time to do it. The pamphleteers begin to
be very busy against the Ministry: I have begged Mr. Secretary to make
examples of one or two of them, and he assures me he will. They are very
bold and abusive.

22. This being the day the Ministry come to Windsor, I ate a bit or two
at Mr. Lewis's lodgings, because I must sup with Lord Treasurer; and at
half an hour after one, I led Mr. Lewis a walk up the avenue, which is
two miles long. We walked in all about five miles; but I was so tired
with his slow walking, that I left him here, and walked two miles
towards London, hoping to meet Lord Treasurer, and return with him; but
it grew darkish, and I was forced to walk back, so I walked nine miles
in all; and Lord Treasurer did not come till after eight; which is very
wrong, for there was no moon, and I often tell him how ill he does to
expose himself so; but he only makes a jest of it. I supped with him,
and stayed till now, when it is half an hour after two. He is as merry
and careless and disengaged as a young heir at one-and-twenty. 'Tis late
indeed.

23. The Secretary did not come last night, but at three this afternoon.
I have not seen him yet, but I verily think they are contriving a peace
as fast as they can, without which it will be impossible to subsist. The
Queen was at church to-day, but was carried in a chair. I and Mr. Lewis
dined privately with Mr. Lowman,(16) Clerk of the Kitchen. I was to see
Lord Keeper this morning, and told him the jest of the maids of honour;
and Lord Treasurer had it last night. That rogue Arbuthnot puts it all
upon me. The Court was very full to-day. I expected Lord Treasurer
would have invited me to supper; but he only bowed to me; and we had
no discourse in the drawing-room. It is now seven at night, and I am at
home; and I hope Lord Treasurer will not send for me to supper: if he
does not, I will reproach him; and he will pretend to chide me for not
coming.--So farewell till I go to bed, for I am going to be busy.--It is
now past ten, and I went down to ask the servants about Mr. Secretary:
they tell me the Queen is yet at Council, and that she went to supper,
and came out to the Council afterwards. It is certain they are managing
a peace. I will go to bed, and there is an end.--It is now eleven, and
a messenger is come from Lord Treasurer to sup with them; but I have
excused myself, and am glad I am in bed; for else I should sit up till
two, and drink till I was hot. Now I'll go sleep.

London, 24. I came to town by six with Lord Treasurer, and have stayed
till ten. That of the Queen's going out to sup, and coming in again, is
a lie, as the Secretary told me this morning; but I find the Ministry
are very busy with Mr. Prior, and I believe he will go again to France.
I am told so much, that we shall certainly have a peace very soon. I had
charming weather all last week at Windsor; but we have had a little rain
to-day, and yesterday was windy. Prior's Journey sells still; they have
sold two thousand, although the town is empty. I found a letter from
Mrs. Fenton here, desiring me, in Lady Giffard's name, to come and pass
a week at Sheen, while she is at Moor Park. I will answer it with a
vengeance: and now you talk of answering, there is MD's N.20 is yet to
be answered: I had put it up so safe, I could hardly find it; but here
it is, faith, and I am afraid I cannot send this till Thursday; for I
must see the Secretary to-morrow morning, and be in some other place in
the evening.

25. Stella writes like an emperor, and gives such an account of her
journey, never saw the like. Let me see; stand away, let us compute; you
stayed four days at Inish-Corthy, two nights at Mrs. Proby's mother's,
and yet was but six days in journey; for your words are, "We left
Wexford this day se'ennight, and came here last night." I have heard
them say that "travellers may lie by authority." Make up this, if you
can. How far is it from Wexford to Dublin? how many miles did you travel
in a day?(17) Let me see--thirty pounds in two months is nine score
pounds a year; a matter of nothing in Stella's purse! I dreamed Billy
Swift was alive, and that I told him you writ me word he was dead, and
that you had been at his funeral; and I admired at your impudence, and
was in mighty haste to run and let you know what lying rogues you were.
Poor lad! he is dead of his mother's former folly and fondness; and yet
now I believe, as you say, that her grief will soon wear off.--O
yes, Madam Dingley, mightily tired of the company, no doubt of it, at
Wexford! And your description of it is excellent; clean sheets, but bare
walls; I suppose then you lay upon the walls.--Mrs. Walls has got her
tea; but who pays me the money? Come, I shall never get it; so I make a
present of it, to stop some gaps, etc. Where's the thanks of the house?
So, that's well; why, it cost four-and-thirty shillings English--you
must adjust that with Mrs. Walls; I think that is so many pence more
with you.--No, Leigh and Sterne, I suppose, were not at the water-side:
I fear Sterne's business will not be done; I have not seen him this
good while. I hate him, for the management of that box; and I was the
greatest fool in nature for trusting to such a young jackanapes; I will
speak to him once more about it, when I see him. Mr. Addison and I
met once more since, and I supped with him; I believe I told you so
somewhere in this letter. The Archbishop chose an admirable messenger
in Walls, to send to me; yet I think him fitter for a messenger than
anything.--The D---- she has! I did not observe her looks. Will she rot
out of modesty with Lady Giffard? I pity poor Jenny(18)--but her husband
is a dunce, and with respect to him she loses little by her deafness.
I believe, Madam Stella, in your accounts you mistook one liquor for
another, and it was an hundred and forty quarts of wine, and thirty-two
of water.--This is all written in the morning before I go to the
Secretary, as I am now doing. I have answered your letter a little
shorter than ordinary; but I have a mind it should go to-day, and I will
give you my journal at night in my next; for I'm so afraid of
another letter before this goes: I will never have two together again
unanswered.--What care I for Dr. Tisdall and Dr. Raymond, or how many
children they have! I wish they had a hundred apiece.--Lord Treasurer
promises me to answer the bishops' letter to-morrow, and show it me; and
I believe it will confirm all I said, and mortify those that threw the
merit on the Duke of Ormond; for I have made him jealous of it; and
t'other day, talking of the matter, he said, "I am your witness, you got
it for them before the Duke was Lord Lieutenant." My humble service to
Mrs. Walls, Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine. Farewell, etc.

What do you do when you see any literal mistakes in my letters? how
do you set them right? for I never read them over to correct them.
Farewell, again.

Pray send this note to Mrs. Brent, to get the money when Parvisol comes
to town, or she can send to him.



LETTER 31.

LONDON, Sept. 25, 1711.

I dined in the City to-day, and at my return I put my 30th into the
post-office; and when I got home I found for me one of the noblest
letters I ever read: it was from ----, three sides and a half in folio,
on a large sheet of paper; the two first pages made up of satire upon
London, and crowds and hurry, stolen from some of his own schoolboy's
exercises: the side and a half remaining is spent in desiring me to
recommend Mrs. South, your Commissioner's widow,(1) to my Lord Treasurer
for a pension. He is the prettiest, discreetest fellow that ever my eyes
beheld, or that ever dipped pen into ink. I know not what to say to him.
A pox on him, I have too many such customers on this side already. I
think I will send him word that I never saw my Lord Treasurer in my
life: I am sure I industriously avoided the name of any great person
when I saw him, for fear of his reporting it in Ireland. And this
recommendation must be a secret too, for fear the Duke of Bolton(2)
should know it, and think it was too mean. I never read so d----d a
letter in my life: a little would make me send it over to you.--I must
send you a pattern, the first place I cast my eyes on, I will not pick
and choose. IN THIS PLACE (meaning the Exchange in London), WHICH IS THE
COMPENDIUM OF OLD TROYNOVANT, AS THAT IS OF THE WHOLE BUSY WORLD, I GOT
SUCH A SURFEIT, THAT I GREW SICK OF MANKIND, AND RESOLVED FOR EVER AFTER
TO BURY MYSELF IN THE SHADY RETREAT OF -----. You must know that London
has been called by some Troynovant, or New Troy. Will you have any
more? Yes, one little bit for Stella, because she'll be fond of it. This
wondrous theatre (meaning London) was no more to me than a desert, and
I should less complain of solitude in a Connaught shipwreck, or even the
great bog of Allen. A little scrap for Mrs. Marget,(3) and then I have
done. THEIR ROYAL FANUM, WHEREIN THE IDOL PECUNIA IS DAILY WORSHIPPED,
SEEMED TO ME TO BE JUST LIKE A HIVE OF BEES WORKING AND LABOURING UNDER
HUGE WEIGHTS OF CARES. Fanum is a temple, but he means the Exchange; and
Pecunia is money: so now Mrs. Marget will understand her part. One more
paragraph, and I-- Well, come, don't be in such a rage, you shall have
no more. Pray, Stella, be satisfied; 'tis very pretty: and that I must
be acquainted with such a dog as this!--Our peace goes on fast. Prior
was with the Secretary two hours this morning: I was there a little
after he went away, and was told it. I believe he will soon be
despatched again to France; and I will put somebody to write an account
of his second journey: I hope you have seen the other. This latter has
taken up my time with storming at it.

26. Bernage has been with me these two days; yesterday I sent for him
to let him know that Dr. Arbuthnot is putting in strongly to have his
brother made a captain over Bernage's(4) head. Arbuthnot's brother is
but an ensign, but the Doctor has great power with the Queen: yet he
told me he would not do anything hard to a gentleman who is my friend;
and I have engaged the Secretary and his Colonel(5) for him. To-day he
told me very melancholy, that the other had written from Windsor (where
he went to solicit) that he has got the company; and Bernage is full of
the spleen. I made the Secretary write yesterday a letter to the Colonel
in Bernage's behalf. I hope it will do yet; and I have written to Dr.
Arbuthnot to Windsor, not to insist on doing such a hardship. I dined
in the City at Pontack's, with Stratford; it cost me seven shillings: he
would have treated, but I did not let him. I have removed my money from
the Bank to another fund. I desire Parvisol may speak to Hawkshaw to
pay in my money when he can, for I will put it in the funds; and, in the
meantime, borrow so much of Mr. Secretary, who offers to lend it me. Go
to the Dean's, sirrahs.

27. Bernage was with me again to-day, and is in great fear, and so was
I; but this afternoon, at Lord Treasurer's, where I dined, my brother,
George Granville, Secretary at War, after keeping me a while in
suspense, told me that Dr. Arbuthnot had waived the business, because
he would not wrong a friend of mine; that his brother is to be a
lieutenant, and Bernage is made a captain. I called at his lodging, and
the soldier's coffee-house, to put him out of pain, but cannot find him;
so I have left word, and shall see him to-morrow morning, I suppose.
Bernage is now easy; he has ten shillings a day, beside lawful cheating.
However, he gives a private sum to his Colonel, but it is very cheap:
his Colonel loves him well, but is surprised to see him have so many
friends. So he is now quite off my hands. I left the company early
to-night, at Lord Treasurer's; but the Secretary followed me, to desire
I would go with him to W--. Mr. Lewis's man came in before I could
finish that word beginning with a W, which ought to be Windsor, and
brought me a very handsome rallying letter from Dr. Arbuthnot, to tell
me he had, in compliance to me, given up his brother's pretensions in
favour of Bernage, this very morning; that the Queen had spoken to
Mr. Granville to make the company easy in the other's having the
captainship. Whether they have done it to oblige me or no, I must own it
so. He says he this very morning begged Her Majesty to give Mr. Bernage
the company. I am mighty well pleased to have succeeded so well; but you
will think me tedious, although you like the man, as I think.

Windsor, 28. I came here a day sooner than ordinary, at Mr. Secretary's
desire, and supped with him and Prior, and two private Ministers from
France, and a French priest.(6) I know not the two Ministers' names; but
they are come about the peace. The names the Secretary called them,
I suppose, were feigned; they were good rational men. We have already
settled all things with France, and very much to the honour and
advantage of England; and the Queen is in mighty good humour. All this
news is a mighty secret; the people in general know that a peace is
forwarding. The Earl of Strafford(7) is to go soon to Holland, and let
them know what we have been doing: and then there will be the devil
and all to pay; but we'll make them swallow it with a pox. The French
Ministers stayed with us till one, and the Secretary and I sat up
talking till two; so you will own 'tis late, sirrahs, and time for your
little saucy Presto to go to bed and sleep adazy; and God bless poor
little MD: I hope they are now fast asleep, and dreaming of Presto.

29. Lord Treasurer came to-night, as usual, at half an hour after eight,
as dark as pitch. I am weary of chiding him; so I commended him for
observing his friend's advice, and coming so early, etc. I was two hours
with Lady Oglethorpe(8) to-night, and then supped with Lord Treasurer,
after dining at the Green Cloth: I stayed till two; this is the effect
of Lord Treasurer's being here; I must sup with him; and he keeps cursed
hours. Lord Keeper and the Secretary were absent; they cannot sit up
with him. This long sitting up makes the periods in my letters so short.
I design to stay here all the next week, to be at leisure by myself, to
finish something of weight I have upon my hands, and which must soon be
done. I shall then think of returning to Ireland, if these people will
let me; and I know nothing else they have for me to do. I gave Dr.
Arbuthnot my thanks for his kindness to Bernage, whose commission is
now signed. Methinks I long to know something of Stella's health, how it
continues after Wexford waters.

30. The Queen was not at chapel to-day, and all for the better, for we
had a dunce to preach: she has a little of the gout. I dined with
my brother Masham, and a moderate company, and would not go to Lord
Treasurer's till after supper at eleven o'clock, and pretended I had
mistaken the hour; so I ate nothing: and a little after twelve the
company broke up, the Keeper and Secretary refusing to stay; so I saved
this night's debauch. Prior went away yesterday with his Frenchmen, and
a thousand reports are raised in this town. Some said they knew one to
be the Abbe de Polignac: others swore it was the Abbe du Bois. The Whigs
are in a rage about the peace; but we'll wherret(9) them, I warrant,
boys. Go, go, go to the Dean's and don't mind politics, young women,
they are not good after the waters; they are stark naught: they strike
up into the head. Go, get two black aces, and fish for a manilio.

Oct. 1. Sir John Walter,(10) an honest drunken fellow, is now in
waiting, and invited me to the Green Cloth to-day, that he might not
be behindhand with Colonel Godfrey, who is a Whig. I was engaged to
the Mayor's feast with Mr. Masham; but waiting to take leave of Lord
Treasurer, I came too late, and so returned sneaking to the Green Cloth,
and did not see my Lord Treasurer neither; but was resolved not to lose
two dinners for him. I took leave to-day of my friend and solicitor
Lord Rivers, who is commanded by the Queen to set out for Hanover on
Thursday. The Secretary does not go to town till to-morrow; he and I,
and two friends more, drank a sober bottle of wine here at home, and
parted at twelve; he goes by seven to-morrow morning, so I shall not see
him. I have power over his cellar in his absence, and make little use
of it. Lord Dartmouth and my friend Lewis stay here this week; but I can
never work out a dinner from Dartmouth. Masham has promised to provide
for me: I squired his lady out of her chaise to-day, and must visit her
in a day or two. So you have had a long fit of the finest weather in the
world; but I am every day in pain that it will go off. I have done no
business to-day; I am very idle.

2. My friend Lewis and I, to avoid over much eating and great tables,
dined with honest Jemmy Eckershall,(11) Clerk of the Kitchen, now in
waiting, and I bespoke my dinner: but the cur had your acquaintance
Lovet, the gentleman porter, to be our company. Lovet, towards the end
of dinner, after twenty wrigglings, said he had the honour to see me
formerly at Moor Park, and thought he remembered my face. I said I
thought I remembered him, and was glad to see him, etc., and I escaped
for that much, for he was very pert. It has rained all this day, and I
doubt our good weather is gone. I have been very idle this afternoon,
playing at twelvepenny picquet with Lewis: I won seven shillings, which
is the only money I won this year: I have not played above four times,
and I think always at Windsor. Cards are very dear: there is a duty on
them of sixpence a pack, which spoils small gamesters.

3. Mr. Masham sent this morning to desire I would ride out with him, the
weather growing again very fine. I was very busy, and sent my excuses;
but desired he would provide me a dinner. I dined with him, his lady,
and her sister, Mrs. Hill, who invites us to-morrow to dine with her,
and we are to ride out in the morning. I sat with Lady Oglethorpe till
eight this evening, then was going home to write; looked about for the
woman that keeps the key of the house: she told me Patrick had it.
I cooled my heels in the cloisters till nine, then went in to the
music-meeting, where I had been often desired to go; but was weary
in half an hour of their fine stuff, and stole out so privately that
everybody saw me; and cooled my heels in the cloisters again till after
ten: then came in Patrick. I went up, shut the chamber door, and gave
him two or three swinging cuffs on the ear, and I have strained the
thumb of my left hand with pulling him, which I did not feel until he
was gone. He was plaguily afraid and humbled.

4. It was the finest day in the world, and we got out before eleven, a
noble caravan of us. The Duchess of Shrewsbury in her own chaise
with one horse, and Miss Touchet(12) with her, Mrs. Masham and Mrs.
Scarborow, one of the dressers, in one of the Queen's chaises; Miss
Forester and Miss Scarborow,(13) two maids of honour, and Mrs. Hill
on horseback. The Duke of Shrewsbury, Mr. Masham, George Fielding,(14)
Arbuthnot, and I, on horseback too. Mrs. Hill's horse was hired for Miss
Scarborow, but she took it in civility; her own horse was galled and
could not be rid, but kicked and winced: the hired horse was not worth
eighteenpence. I borrowed coat, boots, and horse, and in short we had
all the difficulties, and more than we used to have in making a party
from Trim to Longfield's.(15) My coat was light camlet, faced with red
velvet, and silver buttons. We rode in the great park and the forest
about a dozen miles, and the Duchess and I had much conversation: we got
home by two, and Mr. Masham, his lady, Arbuthnot and I, dined with
Mrs. Hill. Arbuthnot made us all melancholy, by some symptoms of bloody
u---e: he expects a cruel fit of the stone in twelve hours; he says
he is never mistaken, and he appears like a man that was to be racked
to-morrow. I cannot but hope it will not be so bad; he is a perfectly
honest man, and one I have much obligation to. It rained a little this
afternoon, and grew fair again. Lady Oglethorpe sent to speak to me, and
it was to let me know that Lady Rochester(16) desires she and I may be
better acquainted. 'Tis a little too late; for I am not now in love with
Lady Rochester: they shame me out of her, because she is old. Arbuthnot
says he hopes my strained thumb is not the gout; for he has often found
people so mistaken. I do not remember the particular thing that gave it
me, only I had it just after beating Patrick, and now it is better; so I
believe he is mistaken.

5. The Duchess of Shrewsbury sent to invite me to dinner; but I was
abroad last night when her servant came, and this morning I sent my
excuses, because I was engaged, which I was sorry for. Mrs. Forester
taxed me yesterday about the History of the Maids of Honour;(17) but I
told her fairly it was no jest of mine; for I found they did not relish
it altogether well; and I have enough already of a quarrel with that
brute Sir John Walter, who has been railing at me in all companies ever
since I dined with him; that I abused the Queen's meat and drink, and
said nothing at the table was good, and all a d----d lie; for after
dinner, commending the wine, I said I thought it was something small.
You would wonder how all my friends laugh at this quarrel. It will be
such a jest for the Keeper, Treasurer, and Secretary.--I dined with
honest Colonel Godfrey, took a good walk of an hour on the terrace, and
then came up to study; but it grows bloody cold, and I have no waistcoat
here.

6. I never dined with the chaplains till to-day; but my friend Gastrell
and the Dean of Rochester(18) had often invited me, and I happened to be
disengaged: it is the worst provided table at Court. We ate on pewter:
every chaplain, when he is made a dean, gives a piece of plate, and so
they have got a little, some of it very old. One who was made Dean of
Peterborough (a small deanery) said he would give no plate; he was
only Dean of Pewterborough. The news of Mr. Hill's miscarriage in his
expedition(19) came to-day, and I went to visit Mrs. Masham and Mrs.
Hill, his two sisters, to condole with them. I advised them by all means
to go to the music-meeting to-night, to show they were not cast down,
etc., and they thought my advice was right, and went. I doubt Mr. Hill
and his admiral made wrong steps; however, we lay it all to a storm,
etc. I sat with the Secretary at supper; then we both went to Lord
Treasurer's supper, and sat till twelve. The Secretary is much mortified
about Hill, because this expedition was of his contriving, and he
counted much upon it; but Lord Treasurer was just as merry as usual,
and old laughing at Sir John Walter and me falling out. I said nothing
grieved me but that they would take example, and perhaps presume upon
it, and get out of my government; but that I thought I was not obliged
to govern bears, though I governed men. They promise to be as obedient
as ever, and so we laughed; and so I go to bed; for it is colder still,
and you have a fire now, and are at cards at home.

7. Lord Harley and I dined privately to-day with Mrs. Masham and Mrs.
Hill, and my brother Masham. I saw Lord Halifax at Court, and we joined
and talked; and the Duchess of Shrewsbury came up and reproached me for
not dining with her. I said that was not so soon done, for I expected
more advances from ladies, especially duchesses: she promised to comply
with any demands I pleased; and I agreed to dine with her to-morrow,
if I did not go to London too soon, as I believe I shall before dinner.
Lady Oglethorpe brought me and the Duchess of Hamilton(20) together
to-day in the drawing-room, and I have given her some encouragement, but
not much. Everybody has been teasing Walter. He told Lord Treasurer that
he took his company from him that were to dine with him: my lord said,
"I will send you Dr. Swift:" Lord Keeper bid him take care what he
did; "for," said he, "Dr. Swift is not only all our favourite, but our
governor." The old company supped with Lord Treasurer, and got away by
twelve.

London, 8. I believe I shall go no more to Windsor, for we expect the
Queen will come in ten days to Hampton Court. It was frost last night,
and cruel cold to-day. I could not dine with the Duchess, for I left
Windsor half an hour after one with Lord Treasurer, and we called at
Kensington, where Mrs. Masham was got to see her children for two days.
I dined, or rather supped, with Lord Treasurer, and stayed till after
ten. Tisdall(21) and his family are gone from hence, upon some wrangle
with the family. Yesterday I had two letters brought me to Mr. Masham's;
one from Ford, and t'other from our little MD, N.21. I would not tell
you till to-day, because I would not. I won't answer it till the next,
because I have slipped two days by being at Windsor, which I must
recover here. Well, sirrahs, I must go to sleep. The roads were as dry
as at midsummer to-day. This letter shall go to-morrow.

9. Morning. It rains hard this morning. I suppose our fair weather is
now at an end. I think I'll put on my waistcoat to-day: shall I? Well,
I will then, to please MD. I think of dining at home to-day upon a chop
and a pot. The town continues yet very thin. Lord Strafford is gone to
Holland, to tell them what we have done here toward a peace. We shall
soon hear what the Dutch say, and how they take it. My humble service
to Mrs. Walls, Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine.--Morrow, dearest sirrahs, and
farewell; and God Almighty bless MD, poor little dear MD, for so I mean,
and Presto too. I'll write to you again to-night, that is, I'll begin my
next letter. Farewell, etc.

This little bit belongs to MD; we must always write on the margin:(22)
you are saucy rogues.



LETTER 32.

LONDON, Oct. 9, 1711.

I was forced to lie down at twelve to-day, and mend my night's sleep: I
slept till after two, and then sent for a bit of mutton and pot of ale
from the next cook's shop, and had no stomach. I went out at four, and
called to see Biddy Floyd, which I had not done these three months: she
is something marked, but has recovered her complexion quite, and looks
very well. Then I sat the evening with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and drank
coffee, and ate an egg. I likewise took a new lodging to-day, not liking
a ground-floor, nor the ill smell, and other circumstances. I lodge,
or shall lodge, by Leicester Fields, and pay ten shillings a week; that
won't hold out long, faith. I shall lie here but one night more. It
rained terribly till one o'clock to-day. I lie, for I shall lie here two
nights, till Thursday, and then remove. Did I tell you that my friend
Mrs. Barton has a brother(1) drowned, that went on the expedition with
Jack Hill? He was a lieutenant-colonel, and a coxcomb; and she keeps her
chamber in form, and the servants say she receives no messages.--Answer
MD's letter, Presto, d'ye hear? No, says Presto, I won't yet, I'm busy;
you're a saucy rogue. Who talks?

10. It cost me two shillings in coach-hire to dine in the City with a
printer. I have sent, and caused to be sent, three pamphlets out in a
fortnight. I will ply the rogues warm; and whenever anything of theirs
makes a noise, it shall have an answer. I have instructed an under
spur-leather to write so, that it is taken for mine. A rogue that writes
a newspaper, called The Protestant Postboy, has reflected on me in one
of his papers; but the Secretary has taken him up, and he shall have a
squeeze extraordinary. He says that an ambitious tantivy,(2) missing of
his towering hopes of preferment in Ireland, is come over to vent his
spleen on the late Ministry, etc. I'll tantivy him with a vengeance. I
sat the evening at home, and am very busy, and can hardly find time to
write, unless it were to MD. I am in furious haste.

11. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer. Thursdays are now his days
when his choice company comes, but we are too much multiplied. George
Granville sent his excuses upon being ill; I hear he apprehends the
apoplexy, which would grieve me much. Lord Treasurer calls Prior nothing
but Monsieur Baudrier, which was the feigned name of the Frenchman that
writ his Journey to Paris.(3) They pretend to suspect me, so I talk
freely of it, and put them out of their play. Lord Treasurer calls me
now Dr. Martin, because martin(4) is a sort of a swallow, and so is a
swift. When he and I came last Monday from Windsor, we were reading
all the signs on the road.(5) He is a pure trifler; tell the Bishop of
Clogher so. I made him make two lines in verse for the Bell and Dragon,
and they were rare bad ones. I suppose Dilly is with you by this time:
what could his reason be of leaving London, and not owning it? 'Twas
plaguy silly. I believe his natural inconstancy made him weary. I think
he is the king of inconstancy. I stayed with Lord Treasurer till ten; we
had five lords and three commoners. Go to ombre, sirrahs.

12. Mrs. Vanhomrigh has changed her lodging as well as I. She found she
had got with a bawd, and removed. I dined with her to-day; for though
she boards, her landlady does not dine with her. I am grown a mighty
lover of herrings; but they are much smaller here than with you. In the
afternoon I visited an old major-general, and ate six oysters; then sat
an hour with Mrs. Colledge,(6) the joiner's daughter that was hanged; it
was the joiner was hanged, and not his daughter; with Thompson's wife, a
magistrate. There was the famous Mrs. Floyd of Chester, who, I think,
is the handsomest woman (except MD) that ever I saw. She told me that
twenty people had sent her the verses upon Biddy,(7) as meant to her:
and, indeed, in point of handsomeness, she deserves them much better. I
will not go to Windsor to-morrow, and so I told the Secretary to-day.
I hate the thoughts of Saturday and Sunday suppers with Lord Treasurer.
Jack Hill is come home from his unfortunate expedition, and is, I think,
now at Windsor: I have not yet seen him. He is privately blamed by his
own friends for want of conduct. He called a council of war, and therein
it was determined to come back. But they say a general should not do
that, because the officers will always give their opinion for returning,
since the blame will not lie upon them, but the general. I pity him
heartily. Bernage received his commission to-day.

13. I dined to-day with Colonel Crowe,(8) late Governor of Barbadoes;
he is a great acquaintance of your friend Sterne, to whom I trusted the
box. Lord Treasurer has refused Sterne's business, and I doubt he is a
rake; Jemmy Leigh stays for him, and nobody knows where to find him. I
am so busy now I have hardly time to spare to write to our little MD,
but in a fortnight I hope it will be over. I am going now to be busy,
etc.

14. I was going to dine with Dr. Cockburn, but Sir Andrew Fountaine
met me, and carried me to Mrs. Van's, where I drank the last bottle
of Raymond's wine, admirable good, better than any I get among the
Ministry. I must pick up time to answer this letter of MD's; I'll do it
in a day or two for certain.--I am glad I am not at Windsor, for it is
very cold, and I won't have a fire till November. I am contriving how to
stop up my grate with bricks. Patrick was drunk last night; but did
not come to me, else I should have given him t'other cuff. I sat this
evening with Mrs. Barton; it is the first day of her seeing company; but
I made her merry enough, and we were three hours disputing upon Whig and
Tory. She grieved for her brother only for form, and he was a sad
dog. Is Stella well enough to go to church, pray? no numbings left?
no darkness in your eyes? do you walk and exercise? Your exercise is
ombre.--People are coming up to town: the Queen will be at Hampton Court
in a week. Lady Betty Germaine, I hear, is come; and Lord Pembroke is
coming: his wife(9) is as big with child as she can tumble.

15. I sat at home till four this afternoon to-day writing, and ate a
roll and butter; then visited Will Congreve an hour or two, and supped
with Lord Treasurer, who came from Windsor to-day, and brought Prior
with him. The Queen has thanked Prior for his good service in France,
and promised to make him a Commissioner of the Customs. Several of that
Commission are to be out; among the rest, my friend Sir Matthew Dudley.
I can do nothing for him, he is so hated by the Ministry. Lord Treasurer
kept me till twelve, so I need not tell you it is now late.

16. I dined to-day with Mr. Secretary at Dr. Coatesworth's,(10) where he
now lodges till his house be got ready in Golden Square. One Boyer,(11)
a French dog, has abused me in a pamphlet, and I have got him up in
a messenger's hands: the Secretary promises me to swinge him. Lord
Treasurer told me last night that he had the honour to be abused with me
in a pamphlet. I must make that rogue an example, for warning to
others. I was to see Jack Hill this morning, who made that unfortunate
expedition; and there is still more misfortune; for that ship, which was
admiral of his fleet,(12) is blown up in the Thames, by an accident and
carelessness of some rogue, who was going, as they think, to steal some
gunpowder: five hundred men are lost. We don't yet know the particulars.
I am got home by seven, and am going to be busy, and you are going to
play and supper; you live ten times happier than I; but I should live
ten times happier than you if I were with MD. I saw Jemmy Leigh to-day
in the street, who tells me that Sterne has not lain above once these
three weeks in his lodgings, and he doubts he takes ill courses; he
stays only till he can find Sterne to go along with him, and he cannot
hear of him. I begged him to inquire about the box when he comes to
Chester, which he promises.

17. The Secretary and I dined to-day with Brigadier Britton,(13) a great
friend of his. The lady of the house is very gallant, about thirty-five;
she is said to have a great deal of wit; but I see nothing among any of
them that equals MD by a bar's length, as hope saved. My Lord Treasurer
is much out of order; he has a sore throat, and the gravel, and a pain
in his breast where the wound was: pray God preserve him. The Queen
comes to Hampton Court on Tuesday next; people are coming fast to town,
and I must answer MD's letter, which I can hardly find time to do,
though I am at home the greatest part of the day. Lady Betty Germaine
and I were disputing Whig and Tory to death this morning. She is grown
very fat, and looks mighty well. Biddy Floyd was there, and she is, I
think, very much spoiled with the smallpox.

18. Lord Treasurer is still out of order, and that breaks our method of
dining there to-day. He is often subject to a sore throat, and some time
or other it will kill him, unless he takes more care than he is apt to
do. It was said about the town that poor Lord Peterborow was dead at
Frankfort; but he is something better, and the Queen is sending him to
Italy, where I hope the warm climate will recover him: he has abundance
of excellent qualities, and we love one another mightily. I was this
afternoon in the City, ate a bit of meat, and settled some things with
a printer. I will answer your letter on Saturday, if possible, and then
send away this; so to fetch up the odd days I lost at Windsor, and keep
constant to my fortnight. Ombre time is now coming on, and we shall have
nothing but Manley, and Walls, and Stoytes, and the Dean. Have you got
no new acquaintance? Poor girls; nobody knows MD's good qualities.--'Tis
very cold; but I will not have a fire till November, that's pozz.--Well,
but coming home to-night, I found on my table a letter from MD; faith,
I was angry, that is, with myself; and I was afraid too to see MD's hand
so soon, for fear of something, I don't know what: at last I opened it,
and it was over well, and a bill for the two hundred guineas. However,
'tis a sad thing that this letter is not gone, nor your twenty-first
answered yet.

19. I was invited to-day to dine with Mrs. Van, with some company who
did not come; but I ate nothing but herrings; you must know I hardly
ever eat of above one thing, and that the plainest ordinary meat at
table; I love it best, and believe it wholesomest. You love rarities;
yes you do; I wish you had all that I ever see where I go. I was coming
home early, and met the Secretary in his chair, who persuaded me to go
with him to Britton's; for he said he had been all day at business, and
had eaten nothing. So I went, and the time passed so, that we stayed
till two, so you may believe 'tis late enough.

20. This day has gone all wrong, by sitting up so late last night. Lord
Treasurer is not yet well, and can't go to Windsor. I dined with Sir
Matthew Dudley, and took occasion to hint to him that he would lose his
employment, for which I am very sorry. Lord Pembroke and his family are
all come to town. I was kept so long at a friend's this evening that I
cannot send this to-night. When I knocked at my lodgings, a fellow asked
me where lodged Dr. Swift? I told him I was the person: he gave me
a letter he brought from the Secretary's office, and I gave him a
shilling: when I came up, I saw Dingley's hand: faith, I was afraid, I
do not know what. At last it was a formal letter, from Dingley about
her exchequer business. Well, I'll do it on Monday, and settle it with
Tooke. And now, boys, for your letter, I mean the first, N.21. Let's
see; come out, little letter. I never had the letter from the Bishop
that Raymond mentions; but I have written to Ned Southwell, to desire
the Duke of Ormond to speak to his reverence, that he may leave off his
impertinence. What a pox can they think I am doing for the Archbishop
here? You have a pretty notion of me in Ireland, to make me an agent
for the Archbishop of Dublin.--Why! do you think I value your
people's ingratitude about my part in serving them? I remit them their
first-fruits of ingratitude, as freely as I got the other remitted to
them. The Lord Treasurer defers writing his letter to them, or else they
would be plaguily confounded by this time. For he designs to give the
merit of it wholly to the Queen and me, and to let them know it was
done before the Duke of Ormond was Lord Lieutenant. You visit, you dine
abroad, you see friends; you pilgarlick;(14) you walk from Finglas, you
a cat's foot. O Lord--Lady Gore(15) hung her child by the WAIST; what is
that waist?(16) I don't understand that word; he must hang on till
you explain or spell it.--I don't believe he was pretty, that's a
liiii.--Pish! burn your First-Fruits; again at it. Stella has made
twenty false spellings in her writing; I'll send them to you all back
again on the other side of this letter, to mend them; I won't miss one.
Why, I think there were seventeen bishops' names to the letter Lord
Oxford received.--I will send you some pamphlets by Leigh; put me in
mind of it on Monday, for I shall go then to the printer; yes, and the
Miscellany. I am mightily obliged to Walls, but I don't deserve it by
any usage of him here, having seen him but twice, and once en passant.
Mrs. Manley forsworn ombre! What! and no blazing star appear? no
monsters born? no whale thrown up? have you not found out some evasion
for her? She had no such regard to oaths in her younger days. I got the
books for nothing, Madam Dingley; but the wine I got not; it was but a
promise.--Yes, my head is pretty well in the main, only now and then a
little threatening or so.--You talk of my reconciling some great folks.
I tell you what. The Secretary told me last night that he had found the
reason why the Queen was cold to him for some months past; that a friend
had told it him yesterday; and it was, that they suspected he was at the
bottom with the Duke of Marlborough. Then he said he had reflected upon
all I had spoken to him long ago, but he thought it had only been my
suspicion, and my zeal and kindness for him. I said I had reason to take
that very ill, to imagine I knew so little of the world as to talk at
a venture to a great Minister; that I had gone between him and Lord
Treasurer often, and told each of them what I had said to the other, and
that I had informed him so before. He said all that you may imagine to
excuse himself, and approve my conduct. I told him I knew all along that
this proceeding of mine was the surest way to send me back to my willows
in Ireland, but that I regarded it not, provided I could do the kingdom
service in keeping them well together. I minded him how often I had told
Lord Treasurer, Lord Keeper, and him together, that all things depended
on their union, and that my comfort was to see them love one another;
and I had told them all singly that I had not said this by chance, etc.
He was in a rage to be thus suspected; swears he will be upon a better
foot, or none at all; and I do not see how they can well want him in
this juncture. I hope to find a way of settling this matter. I act an
honest part, that will bring me neither honour nor praise. MD must
think the better of me for it: nobody else shall ever know of it. Here's
politics enough for once; but Madam DD gave me occasion for it. I think
I told you I have got into lodgings that don't smell ill--O Lord! the
spectacles: well, I'll do that on Monday too; although it goes against
me to be employed for folks that neither you nor I care a groat for. Is
the eight pounds from Hawkshaw included in the thirty-nine pounds five
shillings and twopence? How do I know by this how my account stands?
Can't you write five or six lines to cast it up? Mine is forty-four
pounds per annum, and eight pounds from Hawkshaw makes fifty-two pounds.
Pray set it right, and let me know; you had best.--And so now I have
answered N.21, and 'tis late, and I will answer N.22 in my next: this
cannot go to-night, but shall on Tuesday: and so go to your play, and
lose your money, with your two eggs a penny; silly jade; you witty? very
pretty.

21. Mrs. Van would have me dine with her again to-day, and so I did,
though Lady Mountjoy has sent two or three times to have me see and dine
with her, and she is a little body I love very well. My head has ached
a little in the evenings these three or four days, but it is not of the
giddy sort, so I do not much value it. I was to see Lord Harley to-day,
but Lord Treasurer took physic; and I could not see him. He has voided
much gravel, and is better, but not well: he talks of going on Tuesday
to see the Queen at Hampton Court; I wish he may be able. I never saw so
fine a summer day as this was: how is it with you, pray? and can't you
remember, naughty packs? I han't seen Lord Pembroke yet. He will be
sorry to miss Dilly: I wonder you say nothing of Dilly's being got
to Ireland; if he be not there soon, I shall have some certain odd
thoughts: guess them if you can.

22. I dined in the City to-day with Dr. Freind, at one of my printers:
I inquired for Leigh, but could not find him: I have forgot what sort of
apron you want. I must rout among your letters, a needle in a bottle of
hay. I gave Sterne directions, but where to find him Lord knows. I have
bespoken the spectacles; got a set of Examiners, and five pamphlets,
which I have either written or contributed to, except the best, which
is the vindication of the Duke of Marlborough, and is entirely of the
author of the Atalantis.(17) I have settled Dingley's affair with Tooke,
who has undertaken it, and understands it. I have bespoken a Miscellany:
what would you have me do more? It cost me a shilling coming home; it
rains terribly, and did so in the morning. Lord Treasurer has had an ill
day, in much pain. He writes and does business in his chamber now he is
ill: the man is bewitched: he desires to see me, and I'll maul him, but
he will not value it a rush. I am half weary of them all. I often burst
out into these thoughts, and will certainly steal away as soon as I
decently can. I have many friends, and many enemies; and the last are
more constant in their nature. I have no shuddering at all to think of
retiring to my old circumstances, if you can be easy; but I will always
live in Ireland as I did the last time; I will not hunt for dinners
there, nor converse with more than a very few.

23. Morning. This goes to-day, and shall be sealed by and by. Lord
Treasurer takes physic again to-day: I believe I shall dine with Lord
Dupplin. Mr. Tooke brought me a letter directed for me at Morphew's the
bookseller. I suppose, by the postage, it came from Ireland. It is a
woman's hand, and seems false spelt on purpose: it is in such sort of
verse as Harris's petition;(18) rallies me for writing merry things,
and not upon divinity; and is like the subject of the Archbishop's last
letter, as I told you. Can you guess whom it came from? It is not ill
written; pray find it out. There is a Latin verse at the end of it all
rightly spelt; yet the English, as I think, affectedly wrong in many
places. My plaguing time is coming. A young fellow brought me a
letter from Judge Coote,(19) with recommendation to be lieutenant of a
man-of-war. He is the son of one Echlin,(20) who was minister of Belfast
before Tisdall, and I have got some other new customers; but I shall
trouble my friends as little as possible. Saucy Stella used to jeer
me for meddling with other folks' affairs; but now I am punished for
it.--Patrick has brought the candle, and I have no more room. Farewell,
etc. etc.

Here is a full and true account of Stella's new spelling:--(21)

Plaguely, Plaguily. Dineing, Dining. Straingers, Strangers. Chais,
Chase. Waist, Wast. Houer, Hour. Immagin, Imagine. A bout, About.
Intellegence, Intelligence. Merrit, Merit. Aboundance, Abundance.
Secreet, Secret. Phamphlets, Pamphlets. Bussiness, Business.

Tell me truly, sirrah, how many of these are mistakes of the pen, and
how many are you to answer for as real ill spelling? There are but
fourteen; I said twenty by guess. You must not be angry, for I will have
you spell right, let the world go how it will. Though, after all,
there is but a mistake of one letter in any of these words. I allow you
henceforth but six false spellings in every letter you send me.



LETTER 33.

LONDON, Oct. 23, 1711.

I dined with Lord Dupplin as I told you I would, and put my
thirty-second into the post-office my own self; and I believe there has
not been one moment since we parted wherein a letter was not upon the
road going or coming to or from PMD. If the Queen knew it, she would
give us a pension; for it is we bring good luck to their post-boys and
their packets; else they would break their necks and sink. But, an old
saying and a true one:

     Be it snow, or storm, or hail,
     PMD's letters never fail;
     Cross winds may sometimes make them tarry,
     But PMD's letters can't miscarry.

Terrible rain to-day, but it cleared up at night enough to save my
twelvepence coming home. Lord Treasurer is much better this evening.
I hate to have him ill, he is so confoundedly careless. I won't answer
your letter yet, so be satisfied.

24. I called at Lord Treasurer's to-day at noon: he was eating some
broth in his bed-chamber, undressed, with a thousand papers about him.
He has a little fever upon him, and his eye terribly bloodshot; yet he
dressed himself and went out to the Treasury. He told me he had a letter
from a lady with a complaint against me; it was from Mrs. Cutts, a
sister of Lord Cutts, who writ to him that I had abused her brother:(1)
you remember the "Salamander," it is printed in the Miscellany. I told
my lord that I would never regard complaints, and that I expected,
whenever he received any against me, he would immediately put them into
the fire, and forget them, else I should have no quiet. I had a little
turn in my head this morning; which, though it did not last above a
moment, yet being of the true sort, has made me as weak as a dog all
this day. 'Tis the first I have had this half-year. I shall take my
pills if I hear of it again. I dined at Lady Mountjoy's with Harry
Coote,(2) and went to see Lord Pembroke upon his coming to town.--The
Whig party are furious against a peace, and every day some ballad comes
out reflecting on the Ministry on that account. The Secretary St. John
has seized on a dozen booksellers and publishers into his messengers'
hands.(3) Some of the foreign Ministers have published the preliminaries
agreed on here between France and England; and people rail at them as
insufficient to treat a peace upon; but the secret is, that the French
have agreed to articles much more important, which our Ministers
have not communicated, and the people, who think they know all, are
discontented that there is no more. This was an inconvenience I foretold
to the Secretary, but we could contrive no way to fence against it. So
there's politics for you.

25. The Queen is at Hampton Court: she went on Tuesday in that terrible
rain. I dined with Lewis at his lodgings, to despatch some business we
had. I sent this morning and evening to Lord Treasurer, and he is much
worse by going out; I am in pain about evening. He has sent for Dr.
Radcliffe; pray God preserve him. The Chancellor of the Exchequer(4)
showed me to-day a ballad(5) in manuscript against Lord Treasurer and
his South Sea project; it is very sharply written: if it be not
printed, I will send it you. If it be, it shall go in your packet of
pamphlets.--I found out your letter about directions for the apron, and
have ordered to be bought a cheap green silk work apron; I have it by
heart. I sat this evening with Mrs. Barton, who is my near neighbour. It
was a delicious day, and I got my walk, and was thinking whether MD was
walking too just at that time that Presto was. This paper does not
cost me a farthing, I have it from the Secretary's office. I long till
to-morrow to know how my Lord Treasurer sleeps this night, and to hear
he mends: we are all undone without him; so pray for him, sirrahs, and
don't stay too late at the Dean's.

26. I dined with Mrs. Van; for the weather is so bad, and I am so busy,
that I can't dine with great folks: and besides I dare eat but little,
to keep my head in order, which is better. Lord Treasurer is very ill,
but I hope in no danger. We have no quiet with the Whigs, they are so
violent against a peace; but I'll cool them, with a vengeance, very
soon. I have not heard from the Bishop of Clogher, whether he has got
his statues.(6) I writ to him six weeks ago; he's so busy with his
Parliament. I won't answer your letter yet, say what you will, saucy
girls.

27. I forgot to go about some business this morning, which cost me
double the time; and I was forced to be at the Secretary's office till
four, and lose my dinner; so I went to Mrs. Van's, and made them get me
three herrings, which I am very fond of, and they are a light victuals:
besides, I was to have supped at Lady Ashburnham's; but the drab did
not call for us in her coach, as she promised, but sent for us, and so I
sent my excuses. It has been a terrible rainy day, but so flattering in
the morning, that I would needs go out in my new hat. I met Leigh and
Sterne as I was going into the Park. Leigh says he will go to Ireland
in ten days, if he can get Sterne to go with him; so I will send him the
things for MD, and I have desired him to inquire about the box. I hate
that Sterne for his carelessness about it; but it was my fault.

29. I was all this terrible rainy day with my friend Lewis upon business
of importance; and I dined with him, and came home about seven, and
thought I would amuse myself a little, after the pains I had taken. I
saw a volume of Congreve's plays in my room, that Patrick had taken
to read; and I looked into it, and in mere loitering read in it till
twelve, like an owl and a fool: if ever I do so again; never saw
the like. Count Gallas,(7) the Emperor's Envoy, you will hear, is in
disgrace with us: the Queen has ordered her Ministers to have no more
commerce with him; the reason is, the fool writ a rude letter to Lord
Dartmouth, Secretary of State, complaining of our proceedings about
a peace; and he is always in close confidence with Lord Wharton and
Sunderland, and others of the late Ministry. I believe you begin to
think there will be no peace; the Whigs here are sure it cannot be, and
stocks are fallen again. But I am confident there will, unless France
plays us tricks; and you may venture a wager with any of your Whig
acquaintance that we shall not have another campaign. You will get
more by it than by ombre, sirrah.--I let slip telling you yesterday's
journal, which I thought to have done this morning, but blundered. I
dined yesterday at Harry Coote's, with Lord Hatton,(8) Mr. Finch, a son
of Lord Nottingham, and Sir Andrew Fountaine. I left them soon, but
hear they stayed till two in the morning, and were all drunk: and so
good-night for last night, and good-night for to-night. You blundering
goosecap, an't you ashamed to blunder to young ladies? I shall have a
fire in three or four days now, oh ho.

30. I was to-day in the City concerting some things with a printer, and
am to be to-morrow all day busy with Mr. Secretary about the same. I
won't tell you now; but the Ministers reckon it will do abundance of
good, and open the eyes of the nation, who are half bewitched against a
peace. Few of this generation can remember anything but war and taxes,
and they think it is as it should be; whereas 'tis certain we are the
most undone people in Europe, as I am afraid I shall make appear beyond
all contradiction. But I forgot; I won't tell you what I will do, nor
what I will not do: so let me alone, and go to Stoyte, and give Goody
Stoyte and Catherine my humble service; I love Goody Stoyte better than
Goody Walls. Who'll pay me for this green apron? I will have the money;
it cost ten shillings and sixpence. I think it plaguy dear for a cheap
thing; but they said that English silk would cockle,(9) and I know not
what. You have the making into the bargain. 'Tis right Italian: I have
sent it and the pamphlets to Leigh, and will send the Miscellanies and
spectacles in a day or two. I would send more; but, faith, I'm plaguy
poor at present.

31. The devil's in this Secretary: when I went this morning he had
people with him; but says he, "we are to dine with Prior to-day, and
then will do all our business in the afternoon": at two, Prior sends
word he is otherwise engaged; then the Secretary and I go and dine with
Brigadier Britton, sit till eight, grow merry, no business done; he is
in haste to see Lady Jersey;(10) we part, and appoint no time to meet
again. This is the fault of all the present Ministers, teasing me to
death for my assistance, laying the whole weight of their affairs upon
it, yet slipping opportunities. Lord Treasurer mends every day, though
slowly: I hope he will take care of himself. Pray, will you send to
Parvisol to send me a bill of twenty pounds as soon as he can, for I
want money. I must have money; I will have money, sirrahs.

Nov. 1. I went to-day into the City to settle some business with
Stratford, and to dine with him; but he was engaged, and I was so angry
I would not dine with any other merchant, but went to my printer, and
ate a bit, and did business of mischief with him, and I shall have the
spectacles and Miscellany to-morrow, and leave them with Leigh. A fine
day always makes me go into the City, if I can spare time, because it is
exercise; and that does me more good than anything. I have heard nothing
since of my head, but a little, I don't know how, sometimes: but I am
very temperate, especially now the Treasurer is ill, and the Ministers
often at Hampton Court, and the Secretary not yet fixed in his house,
and I hate dining with many of my old acquaintance. Here has been
a fellow discovered going out of the East India House with sixteen
thousand pounds in money and bills; he would have escaped, if he had not
been so uneasy with thirst, that he stole out before his time, and was
caught. But what is that to MD? I wish we had the money, provided the
East India Company was never the worse; you know we must not covet, etc.
Our weather, for this fortnight past, is chequered, a fair and a rainy
day: this was very fine, and I have walked four miles; wish MD would do
so, lazy sluttikins.

2. It has rained all day with a continuendo, and I went in a chair to
dine with Mrs. Van; always there in a very rainy day. But I made a shift
to come back afoot. I live a very retired life, pay very few visits, and
keep but very little company; I read no newspapers. I am sorry I sent
you the Examiner, for the printer is going to print them in a small
volume: it seems the author is too proud to have them printed by
subscription, though his friends offered, they say, to make it worth
five hundred pounds to him. The Spectators are likewise printing in a
larger and a smaller volume, so I believe they are going to leave
them off, and indeed people grow weary of them, though they are often
prettily written. We have had no news for me to send you now towards
the end of my letter. The Queen has the gout a little: I hoped the Lord
Treasurer would have had it too, but Radcliffe told me yesterday it was
the rheumatism in his knee and foot; however, he mends, and I hope will
be abroad in a short time. I am told they design giving away several
employments before the Parliament sits, which will be the thirteenth
instant. I either do not like, or not understand this policy; and if
Lord Treasurer does not mend soon, they must give them just before the
session. But he is the greatest procrastinator in the world.

3. A fine day this, and I walked a pretty deal. I stuffed the
Secretary's pockets with papers, which he must read and settle at
Hampton Court, where he went to-day, and stays some time. They have no
lodgings for me there, so I can't go, for the town is small, chargeable,
and inconvenient. Lord Treasurer had a very ill night last night, with
much pain in his knee and foot, but is easier to-day.--And so I went to
visit Prior about some business, and so he was not within, and so Sir
Andrew Fountaine made me dine to-day again with Mrs. Van, and I came
home soon, remembering this must go to-night, and that I had a letter of
MD's to answer. O Lord, where is it? let me see; so, so, here it is. You
grudge writing so soon. Pox on that bill! the woman would have me manage
that money for her. I do not know what to do with it now I have it: I am
like the unprofitable steward in the Gospel: I laid it up in a napkin;
there thou hast what is thine own, etc. Well, well, I know of your new
Mayor. (I'll tell you a pun: a fishmonger owed a man two crowns; so he
sent him a piece of bad ling and a tench, and then said he was paid: how
is that now? find it out; for I won't tell it you: which of you finds
it out?) Well, but as I was saying, what care I for your Mayor? I
fancy Ford may tell Forbes right about my returning to Ireland before
Christmas, or soon after. I'm sorry you did not go on with your story
about Pray God you be John; I never heard it in my life, and wonder what
it can be.--Ah, Stella, faith, you leaned upon your Bible to think what
to say when you writ that. Yes, that story of the Secretary's making me
an example is true; "never heard it before;" why, how could you hear
it? is it possible to tell you the hundredth part of what passes in our
companies here? The Secretary is as easy with me as Mr. Addison was. I
have often thought what a splutter Sir William Temple makes about being
Secretary of State:(11) I think Mr. St. John the greatest young man
I ever knew; wit, capacity, beauty, quickness of apprehension, good
learning, and an excellent taste; the best orator in the House of
Commons, admirable conversation, good nature, and good manners;
generous, and a despiser of money. His only fault is talking to his
friends in way of complaint of too great a load of business, which looks
a little like affectation; and he endeavours too much to mix the fine
gentleman and man of pleasure with the man of business. What truth and
sincerity he may have I know not: he is now but thirty-two, and has been
Secretary above a year. Is not all this extraordinary? how he stands
with the Queen and Lord Treasurer I have told you before. This is his
character; and I believe you will be diverted by knowing it. I writ to
the Archbishop of Dublin, Bishop of Cloyne(12) and of Clogher together,
five weeks ago from Windsor: I hope they had my letters; pray know if
Clogher had his.--Fig for your physician and his advice, Madam Dingley:
if I grow worse, I will; otherwise I will trust to temperance and
exercise: your fall of the leaf; what care I when the leaves fall? I am
sorry to see them fall with all my heart; but why should I take physic
because leaves fall off from trees? that won't hinder them from falling.
If a man falls from a horse, must I take physic for that?--This arguing
makes you mad; but it is true right reason, not to be disproved.--I
am glad at heart to hear poor Stella is better; use exercise and walk,
spend pattens and spare potions, wear out clogs and waste claret. Have
you found out my pun of the fishmonger? don't read a word more till you
have got it. And Stella is handsome again, you say? and is she fat? I
have sent to Leigh the set of Examiners: the first thirteen were written
by several hands, some good, some bad; the next three-and-thirty were
all by one hand, that makes forty-six: then that author,(13) whoever he
was, laid it down on purpose to confound guessers; and the last six were
written by a woman.(14) Then there is an account of Guiscard by the same
woman, but the facts sent by Presto. Then an answer to the letter to the
Lords about Gregg by Presto; Prior's Journey by Presto; Vindication of
the Duke of Marlborough, entirely by the same woman; Comment on Hare's
Sermon by the same woman, only hints sent to the printer from Presto to
give her.(15) Then there's the Miscellany, an apron for Stella, a pound
of chocolate, without sugar, for Stella, a fine snuff-rasp of ivory,
given me by Mrs. St. John for Dingley, and a large roll of tobacco,
which she must hide or cut shorter out of modesty, and four pair of
spectacles for the Lord knows who. There's the cargo, I hope it will
come safe. Oh, Mrs. Masham and I are very well; we write to one another,
but it is upon business; I believe I told you so before: pray pardon my
forgetfulness in these cases; poor Presto can't help it. MD shall have
the money as soon as Tooke gets it. And so I think I have answered all,
and the paper is out, and now I have fetched up my week, and will
send you another this day fortnight.--Why, you rogues, two crowns make
TENCH-ILL-LING:(16) you are so dull you could never have found it out.
Farewell, etc. etc.



LETTER 34.

LONDON, Nov. 3, 1711.

My thirty-third lies now before me just finished, and I am going to seal
and send it, so let me know whether you would have me add anything: I
gave you my journal of this day; and it is now nine at night, and I am
going to be busy for an hour or two.

4. I left a friend's house to-day where I was invited, just when dinner
was setting on, and pretended I was engaged, because I saw some fellows
I did not know; and went to Sir Matthew Dudley's, where I had the same
inconvenience, but he would not let me go; otherwise I would have gone
home, and sent for a slice of mutton and a pot of ale, rather than dine
with persons unknown, as bad, for aught I know, as your deans, parsons,
and curates. Bad slabby weather to-day.--Now methinks I write at ease,
when I have no letter of MD's to answer. But I mistook, and have got the
large paper. The Queen is laid up with the gout at Hampton Court: she
is now seldom without it any long time together; I fear it will wear her
out in a very few years. I plainly find I have less twitchings about my
toes since these Ministers are sick and out of town, and that I don't
dine with them. I would compound for a light easy gout to be perfectly
well in my head.--Pray walk when the frost comes, young ladies go a
frost-biting. It comes into my head, that, from the very time you first
went to Ireland, I have been always plying you to walk and read. The
young fellows here have begun a kind of fashion to walk, and many of
them have got swingeing strong shoes on purpose; it has got as far as
several young lords; if it hold, it would be a very good thing. Lady
Lucy(1) and I are fallen out; she rails at me, and I have left visiting
her.

5. MD was very troublesome to me last night in my sleep; I was a
dreamed, methought, that Stella was here. I asked her after Dingley, and
she said she had left her in Ireland, because she designed her stay to
be short, and such stuff.--Monsieur Pontchartain, the Secretary of State
in France, and Monsieur Fontenelle, the Secretary of the Royal Academy
there (who writ the Dialogues des Morts, etc.), have sent letters to
Lord Pembroke that the Academy have, with the King's consent, chosen
him one of their members in the room of one who is lately dead. But the
cautious gentleman has given me the letters to show my Lord Dartmouth
and Mr. St. John, our two Secretaries, and let them see there is no
treason in them; which I will do on Wednesday, when they come from
Hampton Court. The letters are very handsome, and it is a very great
mark of honour and distinction to Lord Pembroke. I hear the two French
Ministers are come over again about the peace; but I have seen nobody
of consequence to know the truth. I dined to-day with a lady of my
acquaintance, who was sick, in her bed-chamber, upon three herrings and
a chicken: the dinner was my bespeaking. We begin now to have chestnuts
and Seville oranges; have you the latter yet? 'Twas a terrible windy
day, and we had processions in carts of the Pope and the Devil, and the
butchers rang their cleavers. You know this is the Fifth of November,
Popery and gunpowder.

6. Since I am used to this way of writing, I fancy I could hardly make
out a long letter to MD without it. I think I ought to allow for every
line taken up by telling you where I dined; but that will not be above
seven lines in all, half a line to a dinner. Your Ingoldsby(2) is going
over, and they say here he is to be made a lord.--Here was I staying in
my room till two this afternoon for that puppy Sir Andrew Fountaine, who
was to go with me into the City, and never came; and if I had not shot
a dinner flying, with one Mr. Murray, I might have fasted, or gone to an
alehouse.--You never said one word of Goody Stoyte in your letter; but
I suppose these winter nights we shall hear more of her. Does the
Provost(3) laugh as much as he used to do? We reckon him here a
good-for-nothing fellow.--I design to write to your Dean one of these
days, but I can never find time, nor what to say.--I will think of
something: but if DD(4) were not in Ireland I believe seriously I
should not think of the place twice a year. Nothing there ever makes the
subject of talk in any company where I am.

7. I went to-day to the City on business; but stopped at a printer's,
and stayed there: it was a most delicious day. I hear the Parliament is
to be prorogued for a fortnight longer; I suppose, either because the
Queen has the gout, or that Lord Treasurer is not well, or that they
would do something more towards a peace. I called at Lord Treasurer's
at noon, and sat a while with Lord Harley, but his father was asleep.
A bookseller has reprinted or new-titled a sermon of Tom Swift's,(5)
printed last year, and publishes an advertisement calling it Dr. Swift's
Sermon. Some friend of Lord Galway(6) has, by his directions, published
a four-shilling book about his conduct in Spain, to defend him; I
have but just seen it. But what care you for books, except Presto's
Miscellanies? Leigh promised to call and see me, but has not yet; I hope
he will take care of his cargo, and get your Chester box. A murrain take
that box! everything is spoiled that is in it. How does the strong box
do? You say nothing of Raymond: is his wife brought to bed again; or
how? has he finished his house; paid his debts; and put out the rest
of the money to use? I am glad to hear poor Joe is like to get his two
hundred pounds. I suppose Trim is now reduced to slavery again. I am
glad of it; the people were as great rascals as the gentlemen. But I
must go to bed, sirrahs: the Secretary is still at Hampton Court with my
papers, or is come only to-night. They plague me with attending them.

8. I was with the Secretary this morning, and we dined with Prior, and
did business this afternoon till about eight; and I must alter and undo,
and a clutter. I am glad the Parliament is prorogued. I stayed with
Prior till eleven; the Secretary left us at eight. Prior, I believe,
will be one of those employed to make the peace, when a Congress is
opened. Lord Ashburnham told to-day at the Coffee-house that Lord
Harley(7) was yesterday morning married to the Duke of Newcastle's
daughter, the great heiress, and it got about all the town. But I saw
Lord Harley yesterday at noon in his nightgown, and he dined in the City
with Prior and others; so it is not true; but I hope it will be so; for
I know it has been privately managing this long time:(8) the lady will
not have half her father's estate; for the Duke left Lord Pelham's son
his heir.(9) The widow Duchess will not stand to the will, and she is
now at law with Pelham. However, at worst, the girl will have about ten
thousand pounds a year to support the honour; for Lord Treasurer will
never save a groat for himself. Lord Harley is a very valuable young
gentleman; and they say the girl is handsome, and has good sense, but
red hair.

9. I designed a jaunt into the City to-day to be merry, but was
disappointed; so one always is in this life; and I could not see Lord
Dartmouth to-day, with whom I had some business. Business and pleasure
both disappointed. You can go to your Dean, and for want of him, Goody
Stoyte, or Walls, or Manley, and meet everywhere with cards and claret.
I dined privately with a friend on a herring and chicken, and half a
flask of bad Florence. I begin to have fires now, when the mornings
are cold. I have got some loose bricks at the back of my grate for good
husbandry. Fine weather. Patrick tells me my caps are wearing out. I
know not how to get others. I want a necessary woman strangely. I am
as helpless as an elephant.--I had three packets from the Archbishop of
Dublin, cost me four shillings, all about Higgins,(10) printed stuff,
and two long letters. His people forgot to enclose them to Lewis;
and they were only directed to Doctor Swift, without naming London
or anything else. I wonder how they reached me, unless the postmaster
directed them. I have read all the trash, and am weary.

10. Why, if you must have it out, something is to be published of great
moment,(11) and three or four great people are to see there are no
mistakes in point of fact: and 'tis so troublesome to send it among
them, and get their corrections, that I am weary as a dog. I dined
to-day with the printer, and was there all the afternoon; and it plagues
me, and there's an end, and what would you have? Lady Dupplin, Lord
Treasurer's daughter,(12) is brought to bed of a son. Lord Treasurer
has had an ugly return of his gravel. 'Tis good for us to live in gravel
pits,(13) but not for gravel pits to live in us; a man in this case
should leave no stone unturned. Lord Treasurer's sickness, the Queen's
gout, the forwarding the peace, occasion putting off the Parliament a
fortnight longer. My head has had no ill returns. I had good walking
to-day in the City, and take all opportunities of it on purpose for my
health; but I can't walk in the Park, because that is only for walking's
sake, and loses time, so I mix it with business. I wish MD walked half
as much as Presto. If I was with you, I'd make you walk; I would walk
behind or before you, and you should have masks on, and be tucked up
like anything; and Stella is naturally a stout walker, and carries
herself firm; methinks I see her strut, and step clever over a kennel;
and Dingley would do well enough if her petticoats were pinned up; but
she is so embroiled, and so fearful, and then Stella scolds, and Dingley
stumbles, and is so daggled.(14) Have you got the whalebone petticoats
among you yet? I hate them; a woman here may hide a moderate gallant
under them. Pshaw, what's all this I'm saying? Methinks I am talking to
MD face to face.

11. Did I tell you that old Frowde,(15) the old fool, is selling his
estate at Pepperhara, and is skulking about the town nobody knows where?
and who do you think manages all this for him, but that rogue Child,(16)
the double squire of Farnham? I have put Mrs. Masham, the Queen's
favourite, upon buying it, but that is yet a great secret; and I have
employed Lady Oglethorpe to inquire about it. I was with Lady Oglethorpe
to-day, who is come to town for a week or two, and to-morrow I will see
to hunt out the old fool: he is utterly ruined, and at this present
in some blind alley with some dirty wench. He has two sons that must
starve, and he never gives them a farthing. If Mrs. Masham buys the
land, I will desire her to get the Queen to give some pension to the
old fool, to keep him from absolutely starving. What do you meddle with
other people's affairs for? says Stella. Oh, but Mr. Masham and his wife
are very urgent with me, since I first put them in the head of it.
I dined with Sir Matthew Dudley, who, I doubt, will soon lose his
employment.

12. Morning. I am going to hunt out old Frowde, and to do some business
in the City. I have not yet called to Patrick to know whether it be
fair.--It has been past dropping these two days. Rainy weather hurts my
pate and my purse. He tells me 'tis very windy, and begins to look dark;
woe be to my shillings! an old saying and a true,

     Few fillings,
     Many shillings.

If the day be dark, my purse will be light.

     To my enemies be this curse,
     A dark day and a light purse.

And so I'll rise, and go to my fire, for Patrick tells me I have a
fire; yet it is not shaving-day, nor is the weather cold; this is too
extravagant. What is become of Dilly? I suppose you have him with you.
Stella is just now showing a white leg, and putting it into the slipper.
Present my service to her, and tell her I am engaged to the Dean, and
desire she will come too: or, Dingley, can't you write a note? This is
Stella's morning dialogue, no, morning speech I mean.--Morrow, sirrahs,
and let me rise as well as you; but I promise you Walls can't dine with
the Dean to-day, for she is to be at Mrs. Proby's just after dinner, and
to go with Gracy Spencer(17) to the shops to buy a yard of muslin, and a
silver lace for an under petticoat. Morrow again, sirrahs.--At night. I
dined with Stratford in the City, but could not finish my affairs with
him; but now I am resolved to buy five hundred pounds South Sea Stock,
which will cost me three hundred and eighty ready money; and I will make
use of the bill of a hundred pounds you sent me, and transfer Mrs. Walls
over to Hawkshaw; or if she dislikes it, I will borrow a hundred pounds
of the Secretary, and repay her. Three shillings coach-hire to-day.
I have spoken to Frowde's brother to get me the lowest price of the
estate, to tell Mrs. Masham.

13. I dined privately with a friend to-day in the neighbourhood. Last
Saturday night I came home, and the drab had just washed my room, and
my bed-chamber was all wet, and I was forced to go to bed in my own
defence, and no fire: I was sick on Sunday, and now have got a swingeing
cold. I scolded like a dog at Patrick, although he was out with me: I
detest washing of rooms; can't they wash them in a morning, and make
a fire, and leave open the windows? I slept not a wink last night for
hawking(18) and spitting: and now everybody has colds. Here's a clutter:
I'll go to bed and sleep if I can.

14. Lady Mountjoy sent to me two days ago, so I dined with her to-day,
and in the evening went to see Lord Treasurer. I found Patrick had been
just there with a how d'ye,(19) and my lord had returned answer that he
desired to see me. Mrs. Masham was with him when I came, and they are
never disturbed: 'tis well she is not very handsome; they sit alone
together settling the nation. I sat with Lady Oxford, and stopped Mrs.
Masham as she came out, and told her what progress I had made, etc., and
then went to Lord Treasurer: he is very well, only uneasy at rising
or sitting, with some rheumatic pain in his thigh, and a foot weak. He
showed me a small paper, sent by an unknown hand to one Mr. Cook, who
sent it to my lord: it was written in plain large letters thus

     "Though G----d's knife did not succeed,
      A F----n's yet may do the deed."

And a little below: "BURN THIS, YOU DOG." My lord has frequently such
letters as these: once he showed me one, which was a vision describing
a certain man, his dress, his sword, and his countenance, who was to
murder my lord. And he told me he saw a fellow in the chapel at Windsor
with a dress very like it. They often send him letters signed, "Your
humble servant, The Devil," and such stuff. I sat with him till after
ten, and have business to do.

15. The Secretary came yesterday to town from Hampton Court, so I went
to him early this morning; but he went back last night again: and coming
home to-night I found a letter from him to tell me that he was just
come from Hampton Court, and just returning, and will not be here till
Saturday night. A pox take him! he stops all my business. I'll beg leave
to come back when I have got over this, and hope to see MD in Ireland
soon after Christmas.--I'm weary of Courts, and want my journeys to
Laracor; they did me more good than all the Ministries these twenty
years. I dined to-day in the City, but did no business as I designed.
Lady Mountjoy tells me that Dilly is got to Ireland, and that the
Archbishop of Dublin was the cause of his returning so soon. The
Parliament was prorogued two days ago for a fortnight, which, with the
Queen's absence, makes the town very dull and empty. They tell me the
Duke of Ormond brings all the world away with him from Ireland. London
has nothing so bad in it in winter as your knots of Irish folks; but I
go to no coffee-house, and so I seldom see them. This letter shall go
on Saturday; and then I am even with the world again. I have lent money,
and cannot get it, and am forced to borrow for myself.

16. My man made a blunder this morning, and let up a visitor, when I had
ordered to see nobody; so I was forced to hurry a hang-dog instrument of
mine into my bed-chamber, and keep him cooling his heels there above
an hour.--I am going on fairly in the common forms of a great cold; I
believe it will last me about ten days in all.--I should have told
you, that in those two verses sent to Lord Treasurer, G---d stands for
Guiscard; that is easy; but we differed about F---n; I thought it was
for Frenchman, because he hates them, and they him: and so it would
be, That although Guiscard's knife missed its design, the knife of a
Frenchman might yet do it. My lord thinks it stands for Felton, the name
of him that stabbed the first Duke of Buckingham. Sir Andrew Fountaine
and I dined with the Vans to-day, and my cold made me loiter all the
evening. Stay, young women, don't you begin to owe me a letter? just a
month to-day since I had your N.22. I'll stay a week longer, and then,
I'll expect like agog; till then you may play at ombre, and so forth, as
you please. The Whigs are still crying down our peace, but we will have
it, I hope, in spite of them: the Emperor comes now with his two eggs
a penny, and promises wonders to continue the war; but it is too late;
only I hope the fear of it will serve to spur on the French to be easy
and sincere: Night, sirrahs; I'll go early to bed.

17. Morning. This goes to-night; I will put it myself in the
post-office. I had just now a long letter from the Archbishop of Dublin,
giving me an account of the ending your session, how it ended in a
storm; which storm, by the time it arrives here, will be only half
nature. I can't help it, I won't hide. I often advised the dissolution
of that Parliament, although I did not think the scoundrels had so much
courage; but they have it only in the wrong, like a bully that will
fight for a whore, and run away in an army. I believe, by several things
the Archbishop says, he is not very well either with the Government or
clergy.--See how luckily my paper ends with a fortnight.--God Almighty
bless and preserve dearest little MD.--I suppose your Lord Lieutenant
is now setting out for England. I wonder the Bishop of Clogher does not
write to me, or let me know of his statues, and how he likes them: I
will write to him again, as soon as I have leisure. Farewell, dearest
MD, and love Presto, who loves MD infinitely above all earthly things,
and who will.--My service to Mrs. Stoyte and Catherine. I'm sitting in
my bed, but will rise to seal this. Morrow, dear rogues: Farewell again,
dearest MD, etc.



LETTER 35.

LONDON, NOV. 17, 1711.

I put my last this evening in the post-office. I dined with Dr.
Cockburn. This being Queen Elizabeth's birthday, we have the D---- and
all to do among us. I just heard of the stir as my letter was sealed
this morning, and was so cross I would not open it to tell you. I have
been visiting Lady Oglethorpe(1) and Lady Worsley;(2) the latter is
lately come to town for the winter, and with child, and what care
you? This is Queen Elizabeth's birthday, usually kept in this town
by apprentices, etc.; but the Whigs designed a mighty procession by
midnight, and had laid out a thousand pounds to dress up the Pope,
Devil, cardinals, Sacheverell, etc., and carry them with torches about,
and burn them. They did it by contribution. Garth gave five guineas; Dr.
Garth I mean, if ever you heard of him. But they were seized last night,
by order from the Secretary: you will have an account of it, for they
bawl it about the streets already.(3) They had some very foolish and
mischievous designs; and it was thought they would have put the rabble
upon assaulting my Lord Treasurer's house and the Secretary's, and other
violences. The militia was raised to prevent it, and now, I suppose,
all will be quiet. The figures are now at the Secretary's office at
Whitehall. I design to see them if I can.

18. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary, who just came from Hampton
Court. He was telling me more particulars about this business of burning
the Pope. It cost a great deal of money, and had it gone on, would have
cost three times as much; but the town is full of it, and half a dozen
Grub Street papers already. The Secretary and I dined at Brigadier
Britton's, but I left them at six, upon an appointment with some sober
company of men and ladies, to drink punch at Sir Andrew Fountaine's. We
were not very merry; and I don't love rack punch, I love it better with
brandy; are you of my opinion? Why then, twelvepenny weather; sirrahs,
why don't you play at shuttlecock? I have thought of it a hundred times;
faith, Presto will come over after Christmas, and will play with Stella
before the cold weather is gone. Do you read the Spectators? I never do;
they never come in my way; I go to no coffee-houses. They say abundance
of them are very pretty; they are going to be printed in small volumes;
I'll bring them over with me. I shall be out of my hurry in a week,
and if Leigh be not gone over, I will send you by him what I am now
finishing. I don't know where Leigh is; I have not seen him this good
while, though he promised to call: I shall send to him. The Queen comes
to town on Thursday for good and all.

19. I was this morning at Lord Dartmouth's office, and sent out for him
from the Committee of Council, about some business. I was asking him
more concerning this bustle about the figures in wax-work of the Pope,
and Devil, etc. He was not at leisure, or he would have seen them. I
hear the owners are so impudent, that they design to replevin them by
law. I am assured that the figure of the Devil is made as like Lord
Treasurer as they could. Why, I dined with a friend in St. James's
Street. Lord Treasurer, I am told, was abroad to-day; I will know
to-morrow how he does after it. The Duke of Marlborough is come, and was
yesterday at Hampton Court with the Queen; no, it was t'other day; no,
it was yesterday; for to-day I remember Mr. Secretary was going to see
him, when I was there, not at the Duke of Marlborough's, but at the
Secretary's; the Duke is not so fond of me. What care I? I won seven
shillings to-night at picquet: I play twice a year or so.

20. I have been so teased with Whiggish discourse by Mrs. Barton and
Lady Betty Germaine, never saw the like. They turn all this affair of
the Pope-burning into ridicule; and, indeed, they have made too great a
clutter about it, if they had no real reason to apprehend some tumults.
I dined with Lady Betty. I hear Prior's commission is passed to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for the peace; my Lord
Privy Seal, who you know is Bishop of Bristol, is the other; and Lord
Strafford, already Ambassador at The Hague, the third: I am forced to
tell you, ignorant sluts, who is who. I was punning scurvily with Sir
Andrew Fountaine and Lord Pembroke this evening: do you ever pun now?
Sometimes with the Dean, or Tom Leigh.(4) Prior puns very well. Odso, I
must go see His Excellency, 'tis a noble advancement: but they could
do no less, after sending him to France. Lord Strafford is as proud
as Hell, and how he will bear one of Prior's mean birth on an equal
character with him, I know not. And so I go to my business, and bid you
good-night.

21. I was this morning busy with my printer: I gave him the fifth
sheet,(5) and then I went and dined with him in the City, to correct
something, and alter, etc., and I walked home in the dusk, and the rain
overtook me: and I found a letter here from Mr. Lewis; well, and so I
opened it; and he says the peace is past danger, etc. Well, and so there
was another letter enclosed in his: well, and so I looked on the outside
of this t'other letter. Well, and so who do you think this t'other
letter was from? Well, and so I'll tell you; it was from little MD,
N.23, 23, 23, 23. I tell you it is no more, I have told you so before:
but I just looked again to satisfy you. Hie, Stella, you write like an
emperor, a great deal together; a very good hand, and but four false
spellings in all. Shall I send them to you? I am glad you did not take
my correction ill. Well, but I won't answer your letter now, sirrah
saucyboxes, no, no; not yet; just a month and three days from the last,
which is just five weeks: you see it comes just when I begin to grumble.

22. Morning. Tooke has just brought me Dingley's money. I will give
you a note for it at the end of this letter. There was half a crown for
entering the letter of attorney; but I swore to stop that. I'll spend
your money bravely here. Morrow, dear sirrahs.--At night. I dined to-day
with Sir Thomas Hanmer; his wife, the Duchess of Grafton,(6) dined with
us: she wears a great high head-dress, such as was in fashion fifteen
years ago, and looks like a mad woman in it; yet she has great remains
of beauty. I was this evening to see Lord Harley, and thought to have
sat with Lord Treasurer, but he was taken up with the Dutch Envoy and
such folks; and I would not stay. One particular in life here, different
from what I have in Dublin, is, that whenever I come home I expect
to find some letter for me, and seldom miss; and never any worth a
farthing, but often to vex me. The Queen does not come to town till
Saturday. Prior is not yet declared; but these Ministers being at
Hampton Court, I know nothing; and if I write news from common hands, it
is always lies. You will think it affectation; but nothing has vexed
me more for some months past, than people I never saw pretending to be
acquainted with me, and yet speak ill of me too; at least some of them.
An old crooked Scotch countess, whom I never heard of in my life, told
the Duchess of Hamilton(7) t'other day that I often visited her. People
of worth never do that; so that a man only gets the scandal of having
scurvy acquaintance. Three ladies were railing against me some time
ago, and said they were very well acquainted with me; two of which I had
never heard of, and the third I had only seen twice where I happened to
visit. A man who has once seen me in a coffee-house will ask me how I
do, when he sees me talking at Court with a Minister of State; who is
sure to ask me how I came acquainted with that scoundrel. But come,
sirrahs, this is all stuff to you, so I'll say no more on this side the
paper, but turn over.

23. My printer invited Mr. Lewis and me to dine at a tavern to-day,
which I have not done five times since I came to England; I never will
call it Britain, pray don't call it Britain. My week is not out, and one
side of this paper is out, and I have a letter to answer of MD's into
the bargain: must I write on the third side? faith, that will give you
an ill habit. I saw Leigh last night: he gives a terrible account of
Sterne; he reckons he is seduced by some wench; he is over head and ears
in debt, and has pawned several things. Leigh says he goes on Monday
next for Ireland, but believes Sterne will not go with him; Sterne has
kept him these three months. Leigh has got the apron and things,
and promises to call for the box at Chester; but I despair of it.
Good-night, sirrahs; I have been late abroad.

24. I have finished my pamphlet(8) to-day, which has cost me so much
time and trouble: it will be published in three or four days, when the
Parliament begins sitting. I suppose the Queen is come to town, but
know nothing, having been in the City finishing and correcting with the
printer. When I came home, I found letters on my table as usual, and one
from your mother, to tell me that you desire your writings and a picture
should be sent to me, to be sent over to you. I have just answered her
letter, and promised to take care of them if they be sent to me. She is
at Farnham: it is too late to send them by Leigh; besides, I will
wait your orders, Madam Stella. I am going to finish a letter to Lord
Treasurer about reforming our language;(9) but first I must put an end
to a ballad; and go you to your cards, sirrahs, this is card season.

25. I was early with the Secretary to-day, but he was gone to his
devotions, and to receive the sacrament: several rakes did the same; it
was not for piety, but employments; according to Act of Parliament. I
dined with Lady Mary Dudley;(10) and passed my time since insipidly,
only I was at Court at noon, and saw fifty acquaintance I had not met
this long time: that is the advantage of a Court, and I fancy I am
better known than any man that goes there. Sir John Walter's(11) quarrel
with me has entertained the town ever since; and yet we never had a
word, only he railed at me behind my back. The Parliament is again to
be prorogued for eight or nine days, for the Whigs are too strong in the
House of Lords: other reasons are pretended, but that is the truth. The
prorogation is not yet known, but will be to-morrow.

26. Mr. Lewis and I dined with a friend of his, and unexpectedly there
dined with us an Irish knight, one Sir John St. Leger,(12) who follows
the law here, but at a great distance: he was so pert, I was forced to
take him down more than once. I saw to-day the Pope, and Devil, and the
other figures of cardinals, etc., fifteen in all, which have made such a
noise. I have put an under-strapper upon writing a twopenny pamphlet(13)
to give an account of the whole design. My large pamphlet(14) will
be published to-morrow; copies are sent to the great men this night.
Domville(15) is come home from his travels; I am vexed at it: I have not
seen him yet; I design to present him to all the great men.

27. Domville came to me this morning, and we dined at Pontack's, and
were all day together, till six this evening: he is perfectly as fine
a gentleman as I know; he set me down at Lord Treasurer's, with whom I
stayed about an hour, till Monsieur Buys, the Dutch Envoy, came to him
about business. My Lord Treasurer is pretty well, but stiff in the hips
with the remains of the rheumatism. I am to bring Domville to my Lord
Harley in a day or two. It was the dirtiest rainy day that ever I saw.
The pamphlet is published; Lord Treasurer had it by him on the table,
and was asking me about the mottoes in the title-page; he gave me one of
them himself.(16) I must send you the pamphlet, if I can.

28. Mrs. Van sent to me to dine with her to-day, because some ladies of
my acquaintance were to be there; and there I dined. I was this morning
to return Domville his visit, and went to visit Mrs. Masham, who was
not within. I am turned out of my lodging by my landlady: it seems her
husband and her son are coming home; but I have taken another lodging
hard by, in Leicester Fields. I presented Mr. Domville to Mr. Lewis and
Mr. Prior this morning. Prior and I are called the two Sosias,(17) in a
Whig newspaper. Sosias, can you read it? The pamphlet begins to make a
noise: I was asked by several whether I had seen it, and they advised
me to read it, for it was something very extraordinary. I shall be
suspected; and it will have several paltry answers. It must take its
fate, as Savage(18) said of his sermon that he preached at Farnham on
Sir William Temple's death. Domville saw Savage in Italy, and says he is
a coxcomb, and half mad: he goes in red, and with yellow waistcoats,
and was at ceremony kneeling to the Pope on a Palm Sunday, which is much
more than kissing his toe; and I believe it will ruin him here when 'tis
told. I'll answer your letter in my new lodgings: I have hardly room; I
must borrow from the other side.

29. New lodgings. My printer came this morning to tell me he must
immediately print a second edition,(19) and Lord Treasurer made one
or two small additions: they must work day and night to have it out on
Saturday; they sold a thousand in two days. Our Society met to-day;
nine of us were present: we dined at our brother Bathurst's.(20) We made
several regulations, and have chosen three new members, Lord Orrery,(21)
Jack Hill, who is Mrs. Masham's brother, he that lately miscarried in
the expedition to Quebec, and one Colonel Disney.(22)--We have taken
a room in a house near St. James's to meet in. I left them early about
correcting the pamphlet, etc., and am now got home, etc.

30. This morning I carried Domville to see my Lord Harley, and I did
some business with Lord Treasurer, and have been all this afternoon with
the printer, adding something to the second edition. I dined with the
printer: the pamphlet makes a world of noise, and will do a great deal
of good; it tells abundance of most important facts which were not
at all known. I'll answer your letter to-morrow morning; or suppose I
answer it just now, though it is pretty late. Come then.--You say you
are busy with Parliaments, etc.; that's more than ever I will be when
I come back; but you will have none these two years. Lord Santry, etc.,
yes, I have had enough on't.(23) I am glad Dilly is mended; does not he
thank me for showing him the Court and the great people's faces? He had
his glass out at the Queen and the rest. 'Tis right what Dilly says:
I depend upon nothing from my friends, but to go back as I came. Never
fear Laracor, 'twill mend with a peace, or surely they'll give me the
Dublin parish. Stella is in the right: the Bishop of Ossory(24) is the
silliest, best-natured wretch breathing, of as little consequence as
an egg-shell. Well, the spelling I have mentioned before; only the next
time say AT LEAST, and not AT LEST. Pox on your Newbury!(25) what can I
do for him? I'll give his case (I am glad it is not a woman's) to what
members I know; that's all I can do. Lord Treasurer's lameness goes off
daily. Pray God preserve poor good Mrs. Stoyte; she would be a great
loss to us all: pray give her my service, and tell her she has my
heartiest prayers. I pity poor Mrs. Manley; but I think the child is
happy to die, considering how little provision it would have had.--Poh,
every pamphlet abuses me, and for things that I never writ. Joe(26)
should have written me thanks for his two hundred pounds: I reckon he
got it by my means; and I must thank the Duke of Ormond, who I dare
swear will say he did it on my account. Are they golden pippins, those
seven apples? We have had much rain every day as well as you. 7 pounds,
17 shillings, 8 pence, old blunderer, not 18 shillings: I have reckoned
it eighteen times. Hawkshaw's eight pounds is not reckoned and if it
be secure, it may lie where it is, unless they desire to pay it: so
Parvisol may let it drop till further orders; for I have put Mrs.
Wesley's money into the Bank, and will pay her with Hawkshaw's.--I mean
that Hawkshaw's money goes for an addition to MD, you know; but be good
housewives. Bernage never comes now to see me; he has no more to ask;
but I hear he has been ill.--A pox on Mrs. South's(27) affair; I can do
nothing in it, but by way of assisting anybody else that solicits it,
by dropping a favourable word, if it comes in my way. Tell Walls I do
no more for anybody with my Lord Treasurer, especially a thing of this
kind. Tell him I have spent all my discretion, and have no more to
use.--And so I have answered your letter fully and plainly.--And so I
have got to the third side of my paper, which is more than belongs to
you, young women.

     It goes to-morrow,
     To nobody's sorrow.

You are silly, not I; I'm a poet, if I had but, etc.--Who's silly now?
rogues and lasses, tinderboxes and buzzards. O Lord, I am in a high
vein of silliness; methought I was speaking to dearest little MD face
to face. There; so, lads, enough for to-night; to cards with the
blackguards. Goodnight, my delight, etc.

Dec. 1. Pish, sirrahs, put a date always at the bottom of your letter,
as well as the top, that I may know when you send it; your last is
of November 3, yet I had others at the same time, written a fortnight
after. Whenever you would have any money, send me word three weeks
before, and in that time you will certainly have an answer, with a bill
on Parvisol: pray do this; for my head is full, and it will ease my
memory. Why, I think I quoted to you some of ----'s letter, so you may
imagine how witty the rest was; for it was all of a bunch, as Goodman
Peesley(28) says. Pray let us have no more bussiness, but busyness:
the deuce take me if I know how to spell it; your wrong spelling, Madam
Stella, has put me out: it does not look right; let me see, bussiness,
busyness, business, bisyness, bisness, bysness; faith, I know not which
is right, I think the second; I believe I never writ the word in my life
before; yes, sure I must, though; business, busyness, bisyness.--I have
perplexed myself, and can't do it. Prithee ask Walls. Business, I fancy
that's right. Yes it is; I looked in my own pamphlet, and found it twice
in ten lines, to convince you that I never writ it before. Oh, now I see
it as plain as can be; so yours is only an _s_ too much. The Parliament
will certainly meet on Friday next: the Whigs will have a great majority
in the House of Lords, no care is taken to prevent it; there is too
much neglect; they are warned of it, and that signifies nothing: it
was feared there would be some peevish address from the Lords against a
peace. 'Tis said about the town that several of the Allies begin now to
be content that a peace should be treated. This is all the news I have.
The Queen is pretty well: and so now I bid poor dearest MD farewell till
to-night; then I will talk with them again.

The fifteen images that I saw were not worth forty pounds, so I
stretched a little when I said a thousand. The Grub Street account of
that tumult is published. The Devil is not like Lord Treasurer: they
were all in your odd antic masks, bought in common shops.(29) I fear
Prior will not be one of the plenipotentiaries.

I was looking over this letter, and find I make many mistakes of
leaving out words; so 'tis impossible to find my meaning, unless you be
conjurers. I will take more care for the future, and read over every day
just what I have written that day, which will take up no time to speak
of.



LETTER 36.

LONDON, Dec. 1, 1711.

My last was put in this evening. I intended to dine with Mr. Masham
to-day, and called at White's chocolate house to see if he was there.
Lord Wharton saw me at the door, and I saw him, but took no notice,
and was going away, but he came through the crowd, called after me, and
asked me how I did, etc. This was pretty; and I believe he wished every
word he spoke was a halter to hang me. Masham did not dine at home, so I
ate with a friend in the neighbourhood. The printer has not sent me the
second edition; I know not the reason, for it certainly came out to-day;
perhaps they are glutted with it already. I found a letter from Lord
Harley on my table, to tell me that his father desires I would make two
small alterations. I am going to be busy, etc.

2. Morning. See the blunder; I was making it the 37th day of the month,
from the number above. Well, but I am staying here for old Frowde, who
appointed to call this morning: I am ready dressed to go to church: I
suppose he dare not stir out but on Sundays.(1) The printer called early
this morning, told me the second edition went off yesterday in five
hours, and he must have a third ready to-morrow, for they might have
sold half another: his men are all at work with it, though it be
Sunday. This old fool will not come, and I shall miss church. Morrow,
sirrahs.--At night. I was at Court to-day: the Queen is well, and walked
through part of the rooms. I dined with the Secretary, and despatched
some business. He tells me the Dutch Envoy designs to complain of that
pamphlet. The noise it makes is extraordinary. It is fit it should
answer the pains I have been at about it. I suppose it will be printed
in Ireland. Some lay it to Prior, others to Mr. Secretary St. John, but
I am always the first they lay everything to. I'll go sleep, etc.

3. I have ordered Patrick not to let any odd fellow come up to me; and
a fellow would needs speak with me from Sir George Pretyman.(2) I had
never heard of him, and would not see the messenger: but at last it
proved that this Sir George has sold his estate, and is a beggar.
Smithers, the Farnham carrier, brought me this morning a letter from
your mother, with three papers enclosed of Lady Giffard's writing; one
owning some exchequer business of 100 pounds to be Stella's;(3) another
for 100 pounds that she has of yours, which I made over to you for
Mariston; and a third for 300 pounds; the last is on stamped paper. I
think they had better lie in England in some good hand till Lady Giffard
dies; and I will think of some such hand before I come over. I was
asking Smithers about all the people of Farnham. Mrs. White(4) has left
off dressing, is troubled with lameness and swelled legs, and seldom
stirs out; but her old hang-dog husband as hearty as ever. I was this
morning with Lord Treasurer, about something he would have altered
in the pamphlet;(5) but it can't be till the fourth edition, which I
believe will be soon; for I dined with the printer, and he tells me they
have sold off half the third. Mrs. Perceval(6) and her daughter have
been in town these three weeks, which I never heard till to-day; and
Mrs. Wesley(7) is come to town too, to consult Dr. Radcliffe. The Whigs
are resolved to bring that pamphlet into the House of Lords to have it
condemned, so I hear. But the printer will stand to it, and not own the
author; he must say he had it from the penny-post. Some people talk as
if the House of Lords would do some peevish thing, for the Whigs are now
a great majority in it; our Ministers are too negligent of such things:
I have never slipped giving them warning; some of them are sensible of
it; but Lord Treasurer stands too much upon his own legs. I fancy his
good fortune will bear him out in everything; but in reason I should
think this Ministry to stand very unsteady; if they can carry a peace,
they may hold; I believe not else.

4. Mr. Secretary sent to me to-day to dine with him alone; but we had
two more with us, which hindered me doing some business. I was this
morning with young Harcourt, secretary to our Society, to take a room
for our weekly meetings; and the fellow asked us five guineas a week
only to have leave to dine once a week; was not that pretty? so we broke
off with him, and are to dine next Thursday at Harcourt's (he is Lord
Keeper's son). They have sold off above half the third edition,
and answers are coming out: the Dutch Envoy refused dining with Dr.
Davenant,(8) because he was suspected to write it: I have made some
alterations in every edition, and it has cost me more trouble, for the
time, since the printing, than before. 'Tis sent over to Ireland, and I
suppose you will have it reprinted.

5. They are now printing the fourth edition, which is reckoned very
extraordinary, considering 'tis a dear twelvepenny book, and not bought
up in numbers by the party to give away, as the Whigs do, but purely
upon its own strength. I have got an under spur-leather to write an
Examiner again,(9) and the Secretary and I will now and then send hints;
but we would have it a little upon the Grub Street, to be a match for
their writers. I dined with Lord Treasurer to-day at five: he dined
by himself after his family, and drinks no claret yet, for fear of his
rheumatism, of which he is almost well. He was very pleasant, as he is
always: yet I fancied he was a little touched with the present posture
of affairs. The Elector of Hanover's Minister here has given in a
violent memorial against the peace, and caused it to be printed. The
Whig lords are doing their utmost for a majority against Friday, and
design, if they can, to address the Queen against the peace. Lord
Nottingham,(10) a famous Tory and speech-maker, is gone over to the Whig
side: they toast him daily, and Lord Wharton says, It is Dismal (so they
call him from his looks) will save England at last. Lord Treasurer was
hinting as if he wished a ballad was made on him, and I will get up
one against to-morrow.(11) He gave me a scurrilous printed paper of bad
verses on himself, under the name of the English Catiline, and made me
read them to the company. It was his birthday, which he would not tell
us, but Lord Harley whispered it to me.

6. I was this morning making the ballad, two degrees above Grub Street:
at noon I paid a visit to Mrs. Masham, and then went to dine with our
Society. Poor Lord Keeper dined below stairs, I suppose, on a bit of
mutton. We chose two members: we were eleven met, the greatest meeting
we ever had: I am next week to introduce Lord Orrery. The printer came
before we parted, and brought the ballad, which made them laugh very
heartily a dozen times. He is going to print the pamphlet(12) in small,
a fifth edition, to be taken off by friends, and sent into the country.
A sixpenny answer is come out, good for nothing, but guessing me, among
others, for the author. To-morrow is the fatal day for the Parliament
meeting, and we are full of hopes and fears. We reckon we have a
majority of ten on our side in the House of Lords; yet I observed Mrs.
Masham a little uneasy: she assures me the Queen is stout. The Duke of
Marlborough has not seen the Queen for some days past; Mrs. Masham is
glad of it, because she says he tells a hundred lies to his friends of
what she says to him: he is one day humble, and the next day on the high
ropes. The Duke of Ormond, they say, will be in town to-night by twelve.

7. This being the day the Parliament was to meet, and the great question
to be determined, I went with Dr. Freind to dine in the City, on purpose
to be out of the way, and we sent our printer to see what was our
fate; but he gave us a most melancholy account of things. The Earl of
Nottingham began, and spoke against a peace, and desired that in their
address they might put in a clause to advise the Queen not to make a
peace without Spain; which was debated, and carried by the Whigs by
about six voices: and this has happened entirely by my Lord Treasurer's
neglect, who did not take timely care to make up all his strength,
although every one of us gave him caution enough. Nottingham has
certainly been bribed. The question is yet only carried in the Committee
of the whole House, and we hope when it is reported to the House
to-morrow, we shall have a majority, by some Scotch lords coming to
town. However, it is a mighty blow and loss of reputation to Lord
Treasurer, and may end in his ruin. I hear the thing only as the printer
brought it, who was at the debate; but how the Ministry take it, or what
their hopes and fears are, I cannot tell until I see them. I shall be
early with the Secretary to-morrow, and then I will tell you more, and
shall write a full account to the Bishop of Clogher to-morrow, and to
the Archbishop of Dublin, if I have time. I am horribly down at present.
I long to know how Lord Treasurer bears this, and what remedy he has.
The Duke of Ormond came this day to town, and was there.

8. I was early this morning with the Secretary, and talked over this
matter. He hoped that when it was reported this day in the House of
Lords, they would disagree with their Committee, and so the matter would
go off, only with a little loss of reputation to the Lord Treasurer. I
dined with Mr. Cockburn, and after, a Scotch member came in, and told
us that the clause was carried against the Court in the House of Lords
almost two to one. I went immediately to Mrs. Masham, and meeting Dr.
Arbuthnot (the Queen's favourite physician), we went together. She was
just come from waiting at the Queen's dinner, and going to her own.
She had heard nothing of the thing being gone against us. It seems Lord
Treasurer had been so negligent that he was with the Queen while the
question was put in the House: I immediately told Mrs. Masham that
either she and Lord Treasurer had joined with the Queen to betray us, or
that they two were betrayed by the Queen: she protested solemnly it
was not the former, and I believed her; but she gave me some lights to
suspect the Queen is changed. For yesterday, when the Queen was
going from the House, where she sat to hear the debate, the Duke
of Shrewsbury, Lord Chamberlain, asked her whether he or the Great
Chamberlain Lindsey(13) ought to lead her out; she answered short,
"Neither of you," and gave her hand to the Duke of Somerset, who was
louder than any in the House for the clause against peace. She gave me
one or two more instances of this sort, which convince me that the Queen
is false, or at least very much wavering. Mr. Masham begged us to stay,
because Lord Treasurer would call, and we were resolved to fall on him
about his negligence in securing a majority. He came, and appeared in
good humour as usual, but I thought his countenance was much cast down.
I rallied him, and desired him to give me his staff, which he did: I
told him, if he would secure it me a week, I would set all right: he
asked how; I said I would immediately turn Lord Marlborough, his
two daughters,(14) the Duke and Duchess of Somerset, and Lord
Cholmondeley,(15) out of all their employments; and I believe he had
not a friend but was of my opinion. Arbuthnot asked how he came not to
secure a majority. He could answer nothing but that he could not
help it, if people would lie and forswear. A poor answer for a great
Minister. There fell from him a Scripture expression, that "the hearts
of kings are unsearchable."(16) I told him it was what I feared, and was
from him the worst news he could tell me. I begged him to know what he
had to trust to: he stuck a little; but at last bid me not fear, for all
would be well yet. We would fain have had him eat a bit where he was,
but he would go home, it was past six: he made me go home with him.
There we found his brother and Mr. Secretary. He made his son take
a list of all in the House of Commons who had places, and yet voted
against the Court, in such a manner as if they should lose their places:
I doubt he is not able to compass it. Lord Keeper came in an hour,
and they were going upon business. So I left him, and returned to Mrs.
Masham; but she had company with her, and I would not stay.--This is
a long journal, and of a day that may produce great alterations, and
hazard the ruin of England. The Whigs are all in triumph; they foretold
how all this would be, but we thought it boasting. Nay, they said the
Parliament should be dissolved before Christmas, and perhaps it may:
this is all your d----d Duchess of Somerset's doings. I warned them
of it nine months ago, and a hundred times since: the Secretary always
dreaded it. I told Lord Treasurer I should have the advantage of him;
for he would lose his head, and I should only be hanged, and so carry my
body entire to the grave.

9. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary: we are both of opinion that
the Queen is false. I told him what I heard, and he confirmed it by
other circumstances. I then went to my friend Lewis, who had sent to see
me. He talks of nothing but retiring to his estate in Wales. He gave me
reasons to believe the whole matter is settled between the Queen and the
Whigs; he hears that Lord Somers is to be Treasurer, and believes that,
sooner than turn out the Duchess of Somerset, she will dissolve the
Parliament, and get a Whiggish one, which may be done by managing
elections. Things are now in the crisis, and a day or two will
determine. I have desired him to engage Lord Treasurer that as soon as
he finds the change is resolved on, he will send me abroad as Queen's
Secretary somewhere or other, where I may remain till the new Ministers
recall me; and then I will be sick for five or six months, till the
storm has spent itself. I hope he will grant me this; for I should
hardly trust myself to the mercy of my enemies while their anger is
fresh. I dined to-day with the Secretary, who affects mirth, and seems
to hope all will yet be well. I took him aside after dinner, told him
how I had served them, and had asked no reward, but thought I might
ask security; and then desired the same thing of him, to send me abroad
before a change. He embraced me, and swore he would take the same care
of me as himself, etc., but bid me have courage, for that in two days my
Lord Treasurer's wisdom would appear greater than ever; that he suffered
all that had happened on purpose, and had taken measures to turn it to
advantage. I said, "God send it"; but I do not believe a syllable; and,
as far as I can judge, the game is lost. I shall know more soon, and my
letters will at least be a good history to show you the steps of this
change.

10. I was this morning with Lewis, who thinks they will let the
Parliament sit till they have given the money, and then dissolve them in
spring, and break the Ministry. He spoke to Lord Treasurer about what
I desired him. My lord desired him with great earnestness to assure me
that all would be well, and that I should fear nothing. I dined in the
City with a friend. This day the Commons went to the Queen with their
address, and all the Lords who were for the peace went with them, to
show their zeal. I have now some further conviction that the Queen is
false, and it begins to be known.

11. I went between two and three to see Mrs. Masham; while I was there
she went to her bed-chamber to try a petticoat. Lord Treasurer came in
to see her, and seeing me in the outer room, fell a rallying me: says
he, "You had better keep company with me, than with such a fellow as
Lewis, who has not the soul of a chicken, nor the heart of a mite." Then
he went in to Mrs. Masham, and as he came back desired her leave to let
me go home with him to dinner. He asked whether I was not afraid to be
seen with him. I said I never valued my Lord Treasurer in my life, and
therefore should have always the same esteem for Mr. Harley and Lord
Oxford. He seemed to talk confidently, as if he reckoned that all this
would turn to advantage. I could not forbear hinting that he was not
sure of the Queen, and that those scoundrel, starving lords would never
have dared to vote against the Court, if Somerset had not assured them
that it would please the Queen. He said that was true, and Somerset did
so. I stayed till six; then De Buys, the Dutch Envoy, came to him, and
I left him. Prior was with us a while after dinner. I see him and all of
them cast down, though they make the best of it.

12. Ford is come to town; I saw him last night: he is in no fear, but
sanguine, although I have told him the state of things. This change so
resembles the last, that I wonder they do not observe it. The Secretary
sent for me yesterday to dine with him, but I was abroad; I hope he had
something to say to me. This is morning, and I write in bed. I am going
to the Duke of Ormond, whom I have not yet seen. Morrow, sirrahs.--At
night. I was to see the Duke of Ormond this morning: he asked me two
or three questions after his civil way, and they related to Ireland: at
last I told him that, from the time I had seen him, I never once thought
of Irish affairs. He whispered me that he hoped I had done some good
things here: I said, if everybody else had done half as much, we should
not be as we are: then we went aside, and talked over affairs. I told
him how all things stood, and advised him what was to be done. I
then went and sat an hour with the Duchess; then as long with Lady
Oglethorpe,(17) who is so cunning a devil that I believe she could yet
find a remedy, if they would take her advice. I dined with a friend at
Court.

13. I was this morning with the Secretary: he will needs pretend to talk
as if things would be well: "Will you believe it," said he, "if you see
these people turned out?" I said, yes, if I saw the Duke and Duchess of
Somerset out: he swore if they were not, he would give up his place. Our
Society dined to-day at Sir William Wyndham's; we were thirteen present.
Lord Orrery and two other members were introduced: I left them at seven.
I forgot to tell you that the printer told me yesterday that Morphew,
the publisher, was sent for by that Lord Chief-Justice, who was a
manager against Sacheverell; he showed him two or three papers and
pamphlets; among the rest mine of the Conduct of the Allies, threatened
him, asked who was the author, and has bound him over to appear next
term. He would not have the impudence to do this, if he did not foresee
what was coming at Court.

14. Lord Shelburne was with me this morning, to be informed of the state
of affairs, and desired I would answer all his objections against a
peace, which was soon done, for he would not give me room to put in a
word. He is a man of good sense enough; but argues so violently, that he
will some day or other put himself into a consumption. He desires that
he may not be denied when he comes to see me, which I promised, but will
not perform. Leigh and Sterne set out for Ireland on Monday se'nnight: I
suppose they will be with you long before this.--I was to-night drinking
very good wine in scurvy company, at least some of them; I was drawn in,
but will be more cautious for the future; 'tis late, etc.

15. Morning. They say the Occasional Bill(19) is brought to-day into the
House of Lords; but I know not. I will now put an end to my letter, and
give it into the post-house myself. This will be a memorable letter, and
I shall sigh to see it some years hence. Here are the first steps toward
the ruin of an excellent Ministry; for I look upon them as certainly
ruined; and God knows what may be the consequences.--I now bid my
dearest MD farewell; for company is coming, and I must be at Lord
Dartmouth's office by noon. Farewell, dearest MD; I wish you a merry
Christmas; I believe you will have this about that time. Love Presto,
who loves MD above all things a thousand times. Farewell again, dearest
MD, etc.



LETTER 37.

LONDON, Dec. 15, 1711.

I put in my letter this evening myself. I was to-day inquiring at the
Secretary's office of Mr. Lewis how things went: I there met Prior,
who told me he gave all for gone, etc., and was of opinion the whole
Ministry would give up their places next week: Lewis thinks they
will not till spring, when the session is over; both of them entirely
despair. I went to see Mrs. Masham, who invited me to dinner; but I was
engaged to Lewis. At four I went to Masham's. He came and whispered me
that he had it from a very good hand that all would be well, and I found
them both very cheerful. The company was going to the opera, but desired
I would come and sup with them. I did so at ten, and Lord Treasurer was
there, and sat with us till past twelve, and was more cheerful than I
have seen him these ten days. Mrs. Masham told me he was mightily cast
down some days ago, and he could not indeed hide it from me. Arbuthnot
is in good hopes that the Queen has not betrayed us, but only has been
frightened, and flattered, etc. But I cannot yet be of his opinion,
whether my reasons are better, or that my fears are greater. I do
resolve, if they give up, or are turned out soon, to retire for some
months, and I have pitched upon the place already: but I will take
methods for hearing from MD, and writing to them. But I would be out of
the way upon the first of the ferment; for they lay all things on me,
even some I have never read.

16. I took courage to-day, and went to Court with a very cheerful
countenance. It was mightily crowded; both parties coming to observe
each other's faces. I have avoided Lord Halifax's bow till he forced
it on me; but we did not talk together. I could not make less than
fourscore bows, of which about twenty might be to Whigs. The Duke of
Somerset is gone to Petworth, and, I hear, the Duchess too, of which I
shall be very glad. Prince Eugene,(1) who was expected here some days
ago, we are now told, will not come at all. The Whigs designed to have
met him with forty thousand horse. Lord Treasurer told me some days ago
of his discourse with the Emperor's Resident, that puppy Hoffman, about
Prince Eugene's coming; by which I found my lord would hinder it, if he
could; and we shall be all glad if he does not come, and think it a good
point gained. Sir Andrew Fountaine, Ford, and I dined to-day with Mrs.
Van, by invitation.

17. I have mistaken the day of the month, and been forced to mend it
thrice. I dined to-day with Mr. Masham and his lady, by invitation. Lord
Treasurer was to be there, but came not. It was to entertain Buys, the
Dutch Envoy, who speaks English well enough: he was plaguily politic,
telling a thousand lies, of which none passed upon any of us. We are
still in the condition of suspense, and I think have little hopes. The
Duchess of Somerset is not gone to Petworth; only the Duke, and that is
a poor sacrifice. I believe the Queen certainly designs to change the
Ministry, but perhaps may put it off till the session is over: and I
think they had better give up now, if she will not deal openly; and
then they need not answer for the consequences of a peace, when it is in
other hands, and may yet be broken. They say my Lord Privy Seal sets out
for Holland this week: so the peace goes on.

18. It has rained hard from morning till night, and cost me three
shillings in coach-hire. We have had abundance of wet weather. I dined
in the City, and was with the printer, who has now a fifth edition of
the Conduct, etc.: it is in small, and sold for sixpence; they have
printed as many as three editions, because they are to be sent in
numbers into the country by great men, etc., who subscribe for hundreds.
It has been sent a fortnight ago to Ireland: I suppose you will print it
there. The Tory Lords and Commons in Parliament argue all from it; and
all agree that never anything of that kind was of so great consequence,
or made so many converts. By the time I have sent this letter, I expect
to hear from little MD: it will be a month, two days hence, since I had
your last, and I will allow ten days for accidents. I cannot get rid
of the leavings of a cold I got a month ago, or else it is a new one.
I have been writing letters all this evening till I am weary, and I am
sending out another little thing, which I hope to finish this week, and
design to send to the printer in an unknown hand. There was printed
a Grub Street speech of Lord Nottingham;(2) and he was such an owl to
complain of it in the House of Lords, who have taken up the printer for
it. I heard at Court that Walpole(3) (a great Whig member) said that I
and my whimsical Club writ it at one of our meetings, and that I should
pay for it. He will find he lies: and I shall let him know by a third
hand my thoughts of him. He is to be Secretary of State, if the Ministry
changes; but he has lately had a bribe proved against him in Parliament,
while he was Secretary at War. He is one of the Whigs' chief speakers.

19. Sad dismal weather. I went to the Secretary's office, and Lewis made
me dine with him. I intended to have dined with Lord Treasurer. I
have not seen the Secretary this week. Things do not mend at all. Lord
Dartmouth despairs, and is for giving up; Lewis is of the same mind; but
Lord Treasurer only says, "Poh, poh, all will be well." I am come
home early to finish something I am doing; but I find I want heart and
humour, and would read any idle book that came in my way. I have just
sent away a penny paper to make a little mischief. Patrick is gone to
the burial of an Irish footman, who was Dr. King's(4) servant; he died
of a consumption, a fit death for a poor starving wit's footman. The
Irish servants always club to bury a countryman.

20. I was with the Secretary this morning, and, for aught I can see,
we shall have a languishing death: I can know nothing, nor themselves
neither. I dined, you know, with our Society, and that odious Secretary
would make me President next week; so I must entertain them this day
se'nnight at the Thatched House Tavern,(5) where we dined to-day: it
will cost me five or six pounds; yet the Secretary says he will give me
wine. I found a letter when I came home from the Bishop of Clogher.

21. This is the first time I ever got a new cold before the old one was
going: it came yesterday, and appeared in all due forms, eyes and nose
running, etc., and is now very bad; and I cannot tell how I got it. Sir
Andrew Fountaine and I were invited to dine with Mrs. Van. I was this
morning with the Duke of Ormond; and neither he nor I can think of
anything to comfort us in present affairs. We must certainly fall, if
the Duchess of Somerset be not turned out; and nobody believes the Queen
will ever part with her. The Duke and I were settling when Mr. Secretary
and I should dine with him, and he fixes upon Tuesday; and when I came
away I remembered it was Christmas Day. I was to see Lady ----, who is
just up after lying-in; and the ugliest sight I have seen, pale, dead,
old and yellow, for want of her paint. She has turned my stomach. But
she will soon be painted, and a beauty again.

22. I find myself disordered with a pain all round the small of my back,
which I imputed to champagne I had drunk; but find it to have been only
my new cold. It was a fine frosty day, and I resolved to walk into the
City. I called at Lord Treasurer's at eleven, and stayed some time with
him.--He showed me a letter from a great Presbyterian parson(6) to
him, complaining how their friends had betrayed them by passing this
Conformity Bill; and he showed me the answer he had written, which his
friends would not let him send; but was a very good one. He is very
cheerful; but gives one no hopes, nor has any to give. I went into the
City, and there I dined.

23. Morning. As I was dressing to go to church, a friend that was to see
me advised me not to stir out; so I shall keep at home to-day, and only
eat some broth, if I can get it. It is a terrible cold frost, and snow
fell yesterday, which still remains: look there, you may see it from the
penthouses. The Lords made yesterday two or three votes about peace, and
Hanover, of a very angry kind to vex the Ministry, and they will meet
sooner by a fortnight than the Commons; and they say, are preparing some
knocking addresses. Morrow, sirrahs. I'll sit at home, and when I go
to bed I will tell you how I am.--I have sat at home all day, and eaten
only a mess of broth and a roll. I have written a Prophecy,(7) which I
design to print; I did it to-day, and some other verses.

24. I went into the City to-day in a coach, and dined there. My cold is
going. It is now bitter hard frost, and has been so these three or four
days. My Prophecy is printed, and will be published after Christmas
Day; I like it mightily: I don't know how it will pass. You will never
understand it at your distance, without help. I believe everybody will
guess it to be mine, because it is somewhat in the same manner with that
of "Merlin"(8) in the Miscellanies. My Lord Privy Seal set out this day
for Holland: he'll have a cold journey. I gave Patrick half a crown for
his Christmas box, on condition he would be good, and he came home drunk
at midnight. I have taken a memorandum of it, because I never design to
give him a groat more. 'Tis cruel cold.

25. I wish MD a merry Christmas, and many a one; but mine is melancholy:
I durst not go to church to-day, finding myself a little out of order,
and it snowing prodigiously, and freezing. At noon I went to Mrs. Van,
who had this week engaged me to dine there to-day: and there I received
the news that poor Mrs. Long(9) died at Lynn in Norfolk on Saturday
last, at four in the morning: she was sick but four hours. We suppose it
was the asthma, which she was subject to as well as the dropsy, as she
sent me word in her last letter, written about five weeks ago; but then
said she was recovered. I never was more afflicted at any death. The
poor creature had retired to Lynn two years ago, to live cheap, and
pay her debts. In her last letter she told me she hoped to be easy by
Christmas; and she kept her word, although she meant it otherwise.
She had all sorts of amiable qualities, and no ill ones, but the
indiscretion of too much neglecting her own affairs. She had two
thousand pounds left her by an old grandmother,(10) with which she
intended to pay her debts, and live on an annuity she had of one hundred
pounds a year, and Newburg House, which would be about sixty pounds
more. That odious grandmother living so long, forced her to retire; for
the two thousand pounds was settled on her after the old woman's death,
yet her brute of a brother, Sir James Long,(11) would not advance it for
her; else she might have paid her debts, and continued here, and lived
still: I believe melancholy helped her on to her grave. I have ordered a
paragraph to be put in the Postboy,(12) giving an account of her death,
and making honourable mention of her; which is all I can do to serve her
memory: but one reason was spite; for her brother would fain have her
death a secret, to save the charge of bringing her up here to bury her,
or going into mourning. Pardon all this, for the sake of a poor creature
I had so much friendship for.

26. I went to Mr. Secretary this morning, and he would have me dine with
him. I called at noon at Mrs. Masham's, who desired me not to let the
Prophecy be published, for fear of angering the Queen about the Duchess
of Somerset; so I writ to the printer to stop them. They have been
printed and given about, but not sold. I saw Lord Treasurer there, who
had been two hours with the Queen; and Mrs. Masham is in hopes things
will do well again. I went at night again, and supped at Mr. Masham's,
and Lord Treasurer sat with us till one o'clock. So 'tis late, etc.

27. I entertained our Society at the Thatched House Tavern to-day at
dinner; but brother Bathurst sent for wine, the house affording none.
The printer had not received my letter, and so he brought up dozens
apiece of the Prophecy; but I ordered him to part with no more. 'Tis an
admirable good one, and people are mad for it. The frost still continues
violently cold. Mrs. Masham invited me to come to-night and play at
cards; but our Society did not part till nine. But I supped with Mrs.
Hill, her sister, and there was Mrs. Masham and Lord Treasurer, and we
stayed till twelve. He is endeavouring to get a majority against next
Wednesday, when the House of Lords is to meet, and the Whigs intend to
make some violent addresses against a peace, if not prevented. God knows
what will become of us.--It is still prodigiously cold; but so I told
you already. We have eggs on the spit, I wish they may not be addled.
When I came home tonight I found, forsooth, a letter from MD, N.24, 24,
24, 24; there, do you know the numbers now? and at the same time one
from Joe,(13) full of thanks: let him know I have received it, and am
glad of his success, but won't put him to the charge of a letter. I had
a letter some time ago from Mr. Warburton,(14) and I beg one of you
will copy out what I shall tell you, and send it by some opportunity
to Warburton. 'Tis as follows: The Doctor has received Mr. Warburton's
letter, and desires he will let the Doctor know where(15) that accident
he mentions is like soon to happen, and he will do what he can in
it.--And pray, madam, let them know that I do this to save myself the
trouble, and them the expense of a letter. And I think that this is
enough for one that comes home at twelve from a Lord Treasurer and Mrs.
Masham. Oh, I could tell you ten thousand things of our mad politics,
upon what small circumstances great affairs have turned. But I will go
rest my busy head.

28. I was this morning with brother Bathurst to see the Duke of Ormond.
We have given his Grace some hopes to be one of our Society. The
Secretary and I and Bathurst are to dine with him on Sunday next. The
Duke is not in much hopes, but has been very busy in endeavouring to
bring over some lords against next Wednesday. The Duchess caught me as I
was going out; she is sadly in fear about things, and blames me for not
mending them by my credit with Lord Treasurer; and I blame her. She met
me in the street at noon, and engaged me to dine with her, which I did;
and we talked an hour after dinner in her closet. If we miscarry on
Wednesday, I believe it will be by some strange sort of neglect. They
talk of making eight new lords by calling up some peers' eldest sons;
but they delay strangely. I saw Judge Coote(16) to-day at the Duke of
Ormond's: he desires to come and see me, to justify his principles.

29. Morning. This goes to-day. I will not answer yours, your 24th, till
next, which shall begin to-night, as usual. Lord Shelburne has sent to
invite me to dinner, but I am engaged with Lewis at Ned Southwell's.
Lord Northampton and Lord Aylesbury's sons(17) are both made peers; but
we shall want more. I write this post to your Dean. I owe the Archbishop
a letter this long time. All people that come from Ireland complain of
him, and scold me for protecting him. Pray, Madam Dingley, let me know
what Presto has received for this year, or whether anything is due
to him for last: I cannot look over your former letters now. As for
Dingley's own account of her exchequer money, I will give it on t'other
side. Farewell, my own dearest MD, and love Presto; and God ever bless
dearest MD, etc. etc. I wish you many happy Christmases and new years.

I have owned to the Dean a letter I just had from you, but that I had
not one this great while before.


DINGLEY'S ACCOUNT

  Received of Mr. Tooke..                                 6 17 6
  Deducted for entering the letter of attorney.            0 2 6
  For the three half-crowns it used to cost you, I don't
  know why nor wherefore..                                 0 7 6
  For exchange to Ireland..                               0 10 0
  Forcoach-hire..                                          0 2 6
                                                        --------
                                    In all, just         8  0  0

So there's your money, and we are both even: for I'll pay you no more
than that eight pounds Irish, and pray be satisfied.

Churchwarden's accounts, boys.

Saturday night. I have broke open my letter, and tore it into the
bargain, to let you know that we are all safe: the Queen has made no
less than twelve lords,(18) to have a majority; nine new ones, the
other three peers' sons; and has turned out the Duke of Somerset. She is
awaked at last, and so is Lord Treasurer: I want nothing now but to
see the Duchess out. But we shall do without her. We are all extremely
happy. Give me joy, sirrahs. This is written in a coffee-house. Three of
the new lords are of our Society.



LETTER 38.

LONDON, Dec. 29, 1711.

I put my letter in this evening, after coming from dinner at Ned
Southwell's, where I drank very good Irish wine, and we are in great joy
at this happy turn of affairs. The Queen has been at last persuaded to
her own interest and security, and I freely think she must have made
both herself and kingdom very unhappy, if she had done otherwise. It is
still a mighty secret that Masham is to be one of the new lords; they
say he does not yet know it himself; but the Queen is to surprise him
with it. Mr. Secretary will be a lord at the end of the session; but
they want him still in Parliament. After all, it is a strange unhappy
necessity of making so many peers together; but the Queen has drawn it
upon herself, by her confounded trimming and moderation. Three, as I
told you, are of our Society.

30. I writ the Dean and you a lie yesterday; for the Duke of Somerset is
not yet turned out. I was to-day at Court, and resolved to be very civil
to the Whigs; but saw few there. When I was in the bed-chamber talking
to Lord Rochester, he went up to Lady Burlington,(1) who asked him who
I was; and Lady Sunderland and she whispered about me: I desired Lord
Rochester to tell Lady Sunderland I doubted she was not as much in love
with me as I was with her; but he would not deliver my message. The
Duchess of Shrewsbury came running up to me, and clapped her fan up to
hide us from the company, and we gave one another joy of this change;
but sighed when we reflected on the Somerset family not being out. The
Secretary and I, and brother Bathurst, and Lord Windsor, dined with the
Duke of Ormond. Bathurst and Windsor(2) are to be two of the new lords.
I desired my Lord Radnor's brother,(3) at Court to-day, to let my lord
know I would call on him at six, which I did, and was arguing with
him three hours to bring him over to us, and I spoke so closely that I
believe he will be tractable; but he is a scoundrel, and though I said
I only talked for my love to him, I told a lie; for I did not care if
he were hanged: but everyone gained over is of consequence. The Duke of
Marlborough was at Court today, and nobody hardly took notice of him.
Masham's being a lord begins to take wind: nothing at Court can be kept
a secret. Wednesday will be a great day: you shall know more.

31. Our frost is broken since yesterday, and it is very slabbery;(4)
yet I walked to the City and dined, and ordered some things with the
printer. I have settled Dr. King in the Gazette; it will be worth two
hundred pounds a year to him. Our new lords' patents are passed: I don't
like the expedient, if we could have found any other. I see I have said
this before. I hear the Duke of Marlborough is turned out of all his
employments: I shall know to-morrow when I am to carry Dr. King to dine
with the Secretary.--These are strong remedies; pray God the patient is
able to bear them. The last Ministry people are utterly desperate.

Jan. 1. Now I wish my dearest little MD many happy new years; yes, both
Dingley and Stella, ay and Presto too, many happy new years. I dined
with the Secretary, and it is true that the Duke of Marlborough
is turned out of all. The Duke of Ormond has got his regiment of
foot-guards, I know not who has the rest. If the Ministry be not sure of
a peace, I shall wonder at this step, and do not approve it at best. The
Queen and Lord Treasurer mortally hate the Duke of Marlborough, and to
that he owes his fall, more than to his other faults: unless he has
been tampering too far with his party, of which I have not heard any
particulars; however it be, the world abroad will blame us. I confess
my belief that he has not one good quality in the world beside that of
a general, and even that I have heard denied by several great soldiers.
But we have had constant success in arms while he commanded. Opinion is
a mighty matter in war, and I doubt the French think it impossible to
conquer an army that he leads, and our soldiers think the same; and how
far even this step may encourage the French to play tricks with us,
no man knows. I do not love to see personal resentment mix with public
affairs.

2. This being the day the Lords meet, and the new peers to be
introduced, I went to Westminster to see the sight; but the crowd was
too great in the house. So I only went into the robing-room, to give my
four brothers joy, and Sir Thomas Mansel,(5) and Lord Windsor; the other
six I am not acquainted with. It was apprehended the Whigs would have
raised some difficulties, but nothing happened. I went to see Lady
Masham at noon, and wish her joy of her new honour, and a happy new
year. I found her very well pleased; for peerage will be some sort of
protection to her upon any turn of affairs. She engaged me to come at
night, and sup with her and Lord Treasurer: I went at nine, and she was
not at home, so I would not stay.--No, no, I won't answer your letter
yet, young women. I dined with a friend in the neighbourhood. I see
nothing here like Christmas, except brawn or mince-pies in places where
I dine, and giving away my half-crowns like farthings to great men's
porters and butlers. Yesterday I paid seven good guineas to the fellow
at the tavern where I treated the Society. I have a great mind to send
you the bill. I think I told you some articles. I have not heard whether
anything was done in the House of Lords after introducing the new ones.
Ford has been sitting with me till peeast tweeleve a clock.

3. This was our Society day: Lord Dupplin was President; we choose every
week; the last President treats and chooses his successor. I believe our
dinner cost fifteen pounds beside wine. The Secretary grew brisk, and
would not let me go, nor Lord Lansdowne,(6) who would fain have gone
home to his lady, being newly married to Lady Mary Thynne. It was near
one when we parted, so you must think I cannot write much to-night. The
adjourning of the House of Lords yesterday, as the Queen desired, was
just carried by the twelve new lords, and one more. Lord Radnor was not
there: I hope I have cured him. Did I tell you that I have brought Dr.
King in to be Gazetteer? It will be worth above two hundred pounds a
year to him: I believe I told you so before, but I am forgetful. Go, get
you gone to ombre, and claret, and toasted oranges. I'll go sleep.

4. I cannot get rid of the leavings of my cold. I was in the City
to-day, and dined with my printer, and gave him a ballad made by several
hands, I know not whom. I believe Lord Treasurer had a finger in it; I
added three stanzas; I suppose Dr. Arbuthnot had the greatest share. I
had been overseeing some other little prints, and a pamphlet made by one
of my under-strappers. Somerset is not out yet. I doubt not but you will
have the Prophecy in Ireland, although it is not published here, only
printed copies given to friends. Tell me, do you understand it? No,
faith, not without help. Tell me what you stick at, and I'll explain.
We turned out a member of our Society yesterday for gross neglect and
non-attendance. I writ to him by order to give him notice of it. It is
Tom Harley,(7) secretary to the Treasurer, and cousin-german to Lord
Treasurer. He is going to Hanover from the Queen. I am to give the Duke
of Ormond notice of his election as soon as I can see him.

5. I went this morning with a parishioner of mine, one Nuttal, who came
over here for a legacy of one hundred pounds, and a roguish lawyer had
refused to pay him, and would not believe he was the man. I writ to the
lawyer a sharp letter, that I had taken Nuttal into my protection, and
was resolved to stand by him, and the next news was, that the lawyer
desired I would meet him, and attest he was the man, which I did, and
his money was paid upon the spot. I then visited Lord Treasurer, who is
now right again, and all well, only that the Somerset family is not out
yet. I hate that; I don't like it, as the man said, by, etc. Then I went
and visited poor Will Congreve, who had a French fellow tampering with
one of his eyes; he is almost blind of both. I dined with some merchants
in the City, but could not see Stratford, with whom I had business.
Presto, leave off your impertinence, and answer our letter, saith MD.
Yes, yes, one of these days, when I have nothing else to do. O, faith,
this letter is a week written, and not one side done yet. These ugly
spots are not tobacco, but this is the last gilt sheet I have of large
paper, therefore hold your tongue. Nuttal was surprised when they gave
him bits of paper instead of money, but I made Ben Tooke put him in his
geers:(8) he could not reckon ten pounds, but was puzzled with the Irish
way. Ben Tooke and my printer have desired me to make them stationers
to the Ordnance, of which Lord Rivers is Master, instead of the Duke of
Marlborough. It will be a hundred pounds a year apiece to them, if I can
get it. I will try to-morrow.

6. I went this morning to Earl Rivers, gave him joy of his new
employment, and desired him to prefer my printer and bookseller to be
stationers to his office. He immediately granted it me; but, like an old
courtier, told me it was wholly on my account, but that he heard I had
intended to engage Mr. Secretary to speak to him, and desired I would
engage him to do so, but that, however, he did it only for my sake. This
is a Court trick, to oblige as many as you can at once. I read prayers
to poor Mrs. Wesley, who is very much out of order, instead of going
to church; and then I went to Court, which I found very full, in
expectation of seeing Prince Eugene, who landed last night, and lies at
Leicester House; he was not to see the Queen till six this evening. I
hope and believe he comes too late to do the Whigs any good. I refused
dining with the Secretary, and was like to lose my dinner, which was at
a private acquaintance's. I went at six to see the Prince at Court, but
he was gone in to the Queen; and when he came out, Mr. Secretary, who
introduced him, walked so near him that he quite screened me from him
with his great periwig. I'll tell you a good passage: as Prince Eugene
was going with Mr. Secretary to Court, he told the Secretary that
Hoffman, the Emperor's Resident, said to His Highness that it was not
proper to go to Court without a long wig, and his was a tied-up one:
"Now," says the Prince, "I knew not what to do, for I never had a long
periwig in my life; and I have sent to all my valets and footmen, to see
whether any of them have one, that I might borrow it, but none of them
has any."--Was not this spoken very greatly with some sort of contempt?
But the Secretary said it was a thing of no consequence, and only
observed by gentlemen ushers. I supped with Lord Masham, where Lord
Treasurer and Mr. Secretary supped with us: the first left us at twelve,
but the rest did not part till two, yet I have written all this, because
it is fresh: and now I'll go sleep if I can; that is, I believe I shall,
because I have drank a little.

7. I was this morning to give the Duke of Ormond notice of the honour
done him to make him one of our Society, and to invite him on Thursday
next to the Thatched House: he has accepted it with the gratitude and
humility such a preferment deserves, but cannot come till the next
meeting, because Prince Eugene is to dine with him that day, which I
allowed for: a good excuse, and will report accordingly. I dined with
Lord Masham, and sat there till eight this evening, and came home,
because I was not very well, but a little griped; but now I am well
again, I will not go, at least but very seldom, to Lord Masham's
suppers. Lord Treasurer is generally there, and that tempts me, but late
sitting up does not agree with me: there's the short and the long, and I
won't do it; so take your answer, dear little young women; and I have no
more to say to you to-night, because of the Archbishop, for I am going
to write a long letter to him, but not so politely as formerly: I won't
trust him.

8. Well, then, come, let us see this letter; if I must answer it, I
must. What's here now? yes, faith, I lamented my birthday(9) two days
after, and that's all: and you rhyme, Madam Stella; were those verses
made upon my birthday? faith, when I read them, I had them running in my
head all the day, and said them over a thousand times; they drank your
health in all their glasses, and wished, etc. I could not get them
out of my head. What? no, I believe it was not; what do I say upon the
eighth of December? Compare, and see whether I say so. I am glad of
Mrs. Stoyte's recovery, heartily glad; your Dolly Manley's and Bishop of
Cloyne's(10) child I have no concern about: I am sorry in a civil way,
that's all. Yes, yes, Sir George St. George dead.(11)--Go, cry, Madam
Dingley; I have written to the Dean. Raymond will be rich, for he has
the building itch. I wish all he has got may put him out of debt. Poh, I
have fires like lightning; they cost me twelvepence a week, beside small
coal. I have got four new caps, madam, very fine and convenient, with
striped cambric, instead of muslin; so Patrick need not mend them, but
take the old ones. Stella snatched Dingley's word out of her pen; Presto
a cold? Why, all the world here is dead with them: I never had anything
like it in my life; 'tis not gone in five weeks. I hope Leigh is with
you before this, and has brought your box. How do you like the ivory
rasp? Stella is angry; but I'll have a finer thing for her. Is not
the apron as good? I'm sure I shall never be paid it; so all's well
again.--What? the quarrel with Sir John Walter?(12) Why, we had not one
word of quarrel; only he railed at me when I was gone: and Lord Keeper
and Treasurer teased me for a week. It was nuts to them; a serious
thing with a vengeance.--The Whigs may sell their estates then, or
hang themselves, as they are disposed; for a peace there will be.
Lord Treasurer told me that Connolly(13) was going to Hanover. Your
Provost(14) is a coxcomb. Stella is a good girl for not being angry
when I tell her of spelling; I see none wrong in this. God Almighty be
praised that your disorder lessens; it increases my hopes mightily that
they will go off. And have you been plagued with the fear of the plague?
never mind those reports; I have heard them five hundred times. Replevi?
Replevin, simpleton, 'tis Dingley I mean; but it is a hard word, and
so I'll excuse it. I stated Dingley's accounts in my last. I forgot
Catherine's sevenpenny dinner. I hope it was the beef-steaks; I'll call
and eat them in spring; but Goody Stoyte must give me coffee, or green
tea, for I drink no bohea. Well, ay, the pamphlet; but there are some
additions to the fourth edition; the fifth edition was of four thousand,
in a smaller print, sold for sixpence. Yes, I had the twenty-pound bill
from Parvisol: and what then? Pray now eat the Laracor apples; I beg you
not to keep them, but tell me what they are. You have had Tooke's bill
in my last. And so there now, your whole letter is answered. I tell you
what I do; I lay your letter before me, and take it in order, and answer
what is necessary; and so and so. Well, when I expected we were all
undone, I designed to retire for six months, and then steal over
to Laracor; and I had in my mouth a thousand times two lines of
Shakespeare, where Cardinal Wolsey says,

     "A weak old man, battered with storms of state,
      Is come to lay his weary bones among you."(15)

I beg your pardon; I have cheated you all this margin, I did not
perceive it; and I went on wider and wider like Stella; awkward sluts;
SHE WRITES SO SO, THERE:(16) that's as like as two eggs a penny.--"A
weak old man," now I am saying it, and shall till to-morrow.--The
Duke of Marlborough says there is nothing he now desires so much as to
contrive some way how to soften Dr. Swift. He is mistaken; for those
things that have been hardest against him were not written by me. Mr.
Secretary told me this from a friend of the Duke's; and I'm sure now he
is down, I shall not trample on him; although I love him not, I dislike
his being out.--Bernage was to see me this morning, and gave some very
indifferent excuses for not calling here so long. I care not twopence.
Prince Eugene did not dine with the Duke of Marlborough on Sunday, but
was last night at Lady Betty Germaine's assemblee, and a vast number of
ladies to see him. Mr. Lewis and I dined with a private friend. I was
this morning to see the Duke of Ormond, who appointed me to meet him
at the Cockpit at one, but never came. I sat too some time with the
Duchess. We don't like things very well yet. I am come home early, and
going to be busy. I'll go write.

9. I could not go sleep last night till past two, and was waked before
three by a noise of people endeavouring to break open my window. For a
while I would not stir, thinking it might be my imagination; but hearing
the noise continued, I rose and went to the window, and then it ceased.
I went to bed again, and heard it repeated more violently; then I rose
and called up the house, and got a candle: the rogues had lifted up
the sash a yard; there are great sheds before my windows, although
my lodgings be a storey high; and if they get upon the sheds they are
almost even with my window. We observed their track, and panes of glass
fresh broken. The watchmen told us to-day they saw them, but could not
catch them. They attacked others in the neighbourhood about the same
time, and actually robbed a house in Suffolk Street, which is the
next street but one to us. It is said they are seamen discharged from
service. I went up to call my man, and found his bed empty; it seems he
often lies abroad. I challenged him this morning as one of the robbers.
He is a sad dog; and the minute I come to Ireland I will discard him. I
have this day got double iron bars to every window in my dining-room and
bed-chamber; and I hide my purse in my thread stocking between the bed's
head and the wainscot. Lewis and I dined with an old Scotch friend, who
brought the Duke of Douglas(17) and three or four more Scots upon us.

10. This was our Society day, you know; but the Duke of Ormond could
not be with us, because he dined with Prince Eugene. It cost me a guinea
contribution to a poet, who had made a copy of verses upon monkeys,
applying the story to the Duke of Marlborough; the rest gave two
guineas, except the two physicians,(18) who followed my example. I don't
like this custom: the next time I will give nothing. I sat this evening
at Lord Masham's with Lord Treasurer: I don't like his countenance; nor
I don't like the posture of things well.

     We cannot be stout,
     Till Somerset's out:

as the old saying is.

11. Mr. Lewis and I dined with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who eats
the most elegantly of any man I know in town. I walked lustily in the
Park by moonshine till eight, to shake off my dinner and wine; and then
went to sup at Mr. Domville's with Ford, and stayed till twelve. It is
told me to-day as a great secret that the Duke of Somerset will be out
soon, that the thing is fixed; but what shall we do with the Duchess?
They say the Duke will make her leave the Queen out of spite, if he be
out. It has stuck upon that fear a good while already. Well, but Lewis
gave me a letter from MD, N.25. O Lord, I did not expect one this
fortnight, faith. You are mighty good, that's certain: but I won't
answer it, because this goes to-morrow, only what you say of the
printer being taken up; I value it not; all's safe there; nor do I fear
anything, unless the Ministry be changed: I hope that danger is over.
However, I shall be in Ireland before such a change; which could not
be, I think, till the end of the session, if the Whigs' designs had
gone on.--Have not you an apron by Leigh, Madam Stella? have you all I
mentioned in a former letter?

12. Morning. This goes to-day as usual. I think of going into the City;
but of that at night. 'Tis fine moderate weather these two or three days
last. Farewell, etc. etc.



LETTER 39.

LONDON, Jan. 12,1711-12.

When I sealed up my letter this morning, I looked upon myself to be
not worth a groat in the world. Last night, after Mr. Ford and I left
Domville, Ford desired me to go with him for a minute upon earnest
business, and then told me that both he and I were ruined; for he had
trusted Stratford with five hundred pounds for tickets for the lottery,
and he had been with Stratford, who confessed he had lost fifteen
thousand pounds by Sir Stephen Evans,(1) who broke last week; that he
concluded Stratford must break too; that he could not get his tickets,
but Stratford made him several excuses, which seemed very blind ones,
etc. And Stratford had near four hundred pounds of mine, to buy me
five hundred pounds in the South Sea Company. I came home reflecting
a little; nothing concerned me but MD. I called all my philosophy and
religion up; and, I thank God, it did not keep me awake beyond my usual
time above a quarter of an hour. This morning I sent for Tooke, whom I
had employed to buy the stock of Stratford, and settle things with him.
He told me I was secure; for Stratford had transferred it to me in form
in the South Sea House, and he had accepted it for me, and all was done
on stamped parchment. However, he would be further informed; and at
night sent me a note to confirm me. However, I am not yet secure; and,
besides, am in pain for Ford, whom I first brought acquainted with
Stratford. I dined in the City.

13. Domville and I dined with Ford to-day by appointment: the Lord
Mansel told me at Court to-day that I was engaged to him; but Stratford
had promised Ford to meet him and me to-night at Ford's lodgings. He
did so; said he had hopes to save himself in his affair with Evans.
Ford asked him for his tickets: he said he would send them tomorrow; but
looking in his pocket-book, said he believed he had some of them about
him, and gave him as many as came to two hundred pounds, which rejoiced
us much; besides, he talked so frankly, that we might think there is no
danger. I asked him, Was there any more to be settled between us in my
affair? He said, No; and answered my questions just as Tooke had got
them from others; so I hope I am safe. This has been a scurvy affair. I
believe Stella would have half laughed at me, to see a suspicious fellow
like me overreached. I saw Prince Eugene to-day at Court: I don't think
him an ugly-faced fellow, but well enough, and a good shape.

14. The Parliament was to sit to-day, and met; but were adjourned by
the Queen's directions till Thursday. She designs to make some important
speech then. She pretended illness; but I believe they were not ready,
and they expect some opposition: and the Scotch lords are angry,(2) and
must be pacified. I was this morning to invite the Duke of Ormond to our
Society on Thursday, where he is then to be introduced. He has appointed
me at twelve to-morrow about some business: I would fain have his help
to impeach a certain lord; but I doubt we shall make nothing of it. I
intended to have dined with Lord Treasurer, but I was told he would be
busy: so I dined with Mrs. Van; and at night I sat with Lord Masham till
one. Lord Treasurer was there, and chid me for not dining with him: he
was in very good humour. I brought home two flasks of burgundy in my
chair: I wish MD had them. You see it is very late; so I'll go to bed,
and bid MD good night.

15. This morning I presented my printer and bookseller to Lord Rivers,
to be stationers to the Ordnance; stationers, that's the word; I did not
write it plain at first. I believe it will be worth three hundred pounds
a year between them. This is the third employment I have got for them.
Rivers told them the Doctor commanded him, and he durst not refuse it. I
would have dined with Lord Treasurer to-day again, but Lord Mansel would
not let me, and forced me home with him. I was very deep with the Duke
of Ormond to-day at the Cockpit, where we met to be private; but I doubt
I cannot do the mischief I intended. My friend Penn came there, Will
Penn the Quaker, at the head of his brethren, to thank the Duke for
his kindness to their people in Ireland. To see a dozen scoundrels with
their hats on, and the Duke complimenting with his off, was a good sight
enough. I sat this evening with Sir William Robinson,(3) who has mighty
often invited me to a bottle of wine: and it is past twelve.

16. This being fast-day, Dr. Freind and I went into the City to dine
late, like good fasters. My printer and bookseller want me to hook in
another employment for them in the Tower, because it was enjoyed before
by a stationer, although it be to serve the Ordnance with oil, tallow,
etc., and is worth four hundred pounds per annum more: I will try what
I can do. They are resolved to ask several other employments of the
same nature to other offices; and I will then grease fat sows, and see
whether it be possible to satisfy them. Why am not I a stationer? The
Parliament sits to-morrow, and Walpole, late Secretary at War, is to be
swinged for bribery, and the Queen is to communicate something of great
importance to the two Houses, at least they say so. But I must think of
answering your letter in a day or two.

17. I went this morning to the Duke of Ormond about some business, and
he told me he could not dine with us today, being to dine with Prince
Eugene. Those of our Society of the House of Commons could not be with
us, the House sitting late on Walpole. I left them at nine, and they
were not come. We kept some dinner for them. I hope Walpole will be sent
to the Tower, and expelled the House; but this afternoon the members I
spoke with in the Court of Requests talked dubiously of it. It will be
a leading card to maul the Duke of Marlborough for the same crime, or at
least to censure him. The Queen's message was only to give them notice
of the peace she is treating, and to desire they will make some law to
prevent libels against the Government; so farewell to Grub Street.

18. I heard to-day that the commoners of our Society did not leave the
Parliament till eleven at night, then went to those I left, and stayed
till three in the morning. Walpole is expelled, and sent to the Tower.
I was this morning again with Lord Rivers, and have made him give the
other employment to my printer and bookseller; 'tis worth a great deal.
I dined with my friend Lewis privately, to talk over affairs. We want to
have this Duke of Somerset out, and he apprehends it will not be, but I
hope better. They are going now at last to change the Commissioners of
the Customs; my friend Sir Matthew Dudley will be out, and three more,
and Prior will be in. I have made Ford copy out a small pamphlet, and
sent it to the press, that I might not be known for author; 'tis
A Letter to the October Club,(4) if ever you heard of such a
thing.--Methinks this letter goes on but slowly for almost a week: I
want some little conversation with MD, and to know what they are doing
just now. I am sick of politics. I have not dined with Lord Treasurer
these three weeks: he chides me, but I don't care: I don't.

19. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer: this is his day of choice
company, where they sometimes admit me, but pretend to grumble. And
to-day they met on some extraordinary business; the Keeper, Steward,
both Secretaries, Lord Rivers, and Lord Anglesea: I left them at seven,
and came away, and have been writing to the Bishop of Clogher. I forgot
to know where to direct to him since Sir George St. George's death,(5)
but I have directed to the same house: you must tell me better, for
the letter is sent by the bellman. Don't write to me again till this is
gone, I charge you, for I won't answer two letters together. The Duke of
Somerset is out, and was with his yellow liveries at Parliament to-day.
You know he had the same with the Queen, when he was Master of the
Horse: we hope the Duchess will follow, or that he will take her away
in spite. Lord Treasurer, I hope, has now saved his head. Has the Dean
received my letter? ask him at cards to-night.

20. There was a world of people to-day at Court to see Prince Eugene,
but all bit, for he did not come. I saw the Duchess of Somerset talking
with the Duke of Buckingham; she looked a little down, but was extremely
courteous. The Queen has the gout, but is not in much pain. Must I fill
this line too?(6) well then, so let it be. The Duke of Beaufort(7) has
a mighty mind to come into our Society; shall we let him? I spoke to the
Duke of Ormond about it, and he doubts a little whether to let him in or
no. They say the Duke of Somerset is advised by his friends to let his
wife stay with the Queen; I am sorry for it. I dined with the Secretary
to-day, with mixed company; I don't love it. Our Society does not
meet till Friday, because Thursday will be a busy day in the House of
Commons, for then the Duke of Marlborough's bribery is to be examined
into about the pension paid him by those that furnished bread to the
army.

21. I have been five times with the Duke of Ormond about a perfect
trifle, and he forgets it: I used him like a dog this morning for it. I
was asked to-day by several in the Court of Requests whether it was
true that the author of the Examiner was taken up in an action of twenty
thousand pounds by the Duke of Marlborough?(8) I dined in the City,
where my printer showed me a pamphlet, called Advice to the October
Club, which he said was sent him by an unknown hand: I commended it
mightily; he never suspected me; 'tis a twopenny pamphlet. I came home
and got timely to bed; but about eleven one of the Secretary's servants
came to me to let me know that Lord Treasurer would immediately speak
to me at Lord Masham's upon earnest business, and that, if I was abed, I
should rise and come. I did so: Lord Treasurer was above with the Queen;
and when he came down he laughed, and said it was not he that sent for
me: the business was of no great importance, only to give me a paper,
which might have been done to-morrow. I stayed with them till past one,
and then got to bed again. Pize(9) take their frolics. I thought to have
answered your letter.

22. Dr. Gastrell was to see me this morning: he is an eminent divine,
one of the canons of Christ Church, and one I love very well: he said
he was glad to find I was not with James Broad. I asked what he meant.
"Why," says he, "have you not seen the Grub Street paper, that says Dr.
Swift was taken up as author of the Examiner, on an action of twenty
thousand pounds, and was now at James Broad's?" who, I suppose, is some
bailiff. I knew of this; but at the Court of Requests twenty people
told me they heard I had been taken up. Lord Lansdowne observed to the
Secretary and me that the Whigs spread three lies yesterday; that about
me; and another, that Maccartney, who was turned out last summer,(10)
is again restored to his places in the army; and the third, that Jack
Hill's commission for Lieutenant of the Tower is stopped, and that
Cadogan is to continue. Lansdowne thinks they have some design by these
reports; I cannot guess it. Did I tell you that Sacheverell has desired
mightily to come and see me? but I have put it off: he has heard that I
have spoken to the Secretary in behalf of a brother whom he maintains,
and who desires an employment.(11) T'other day at the Court of Requests
Dr. Yalden(12) saluted me by name: Sacheverell, who was just by, came
up to me, and made me many acknowledgment and compliments. Last night
I desired Lord Treasurer to do something for that brother of
Sacheverell's: he said he never knew he had a brother, but thanked me
for telling him, and immediately put his name in his table-book.(13)
I will let Sacheverell know this, that he may take his measures
accordingly, but he shall be none of my acquaintance. I dined to-day
privately with the Secretary, left him at six, paid a visit or two, and
came home.

23. I dined again to-day with the Secretary, but could not despatch some
business I had with him, he has so much besides upon his hands at this
juncture, and preparing against the great business to-morrow, which we
are top full of. The Minister's design is that the Duke of Marlborough
shall be censured as gently as possible, provided his friends will not
make head to defend him, but if they do, it may end in some severer
votes. A gentleman, who was just now with him, tells me he is much cast
down, and fallen away; but he is positive, if he has but ten friends in
the House, that they shall defend him to the utmost, and endeavour to
prevent the least censure upon him, which I think cannot be, since the
bribery is manifest. Sir Solomon Medina(14) paid him six thousand pounds
a year to have the employment of providing bread for the army, and
the Duke owns it in his letter to the Commissioners of Accounts. I was
to-night at Lord Masham's: Lord Dupplin took out my new little pamphlet,
and the Secretary read a great deal of it to Lord Treasurer: they all
commended it to the skies, and so did I, and they began a health to the
author. But I doubt Lord Treasurer suspected; for he said, "This is
Mr. Davenant's style," which is his cant when he suspects me.(15) But
I carried the matter very well. Lord Treasurer put the pamphlet in his
pocket to read at home. I'll answer your letter to-morrow.

24. The Secretary made me promise to dine with him today, after the
Parliament was up: I said I would come; but I dined at my usual time,
knowing the House would sit late on this great affair. I dined at a
tavern with Mr. Domville and another gentleman; I have not done so
before these many months. At ten this evening I went to the Secretary,
but he was not come home: I sat with his lady till twelve, then came
away; and he just came as I was gone, and he sent to my lodgings, but
I would not go back; and so I know not how things have passed, but hope
all is well; and I will tell you to-morrow day. It is late, etc.

25. The Secretary sent to me this morning to know whether we should
dine together. I went to him, and there I learned that the question
went against the Duke of Marlborough, by a majority of a hundred; so the
Ministry is mighty well satisfied, and the Duke will now be able to
do no hurt. The Secretary and I, and Lord Masham, etc., dined with
Lieutenant-General Withers,(16) who is just going to look after the army
in Flanders: the Secretary and I left them a little after seven, and
I am come home, and will now answer your letter, because this goes
to-morrow: let me see--The box at Chester; oh, burn that box, and
hang that Sterne; I have desired one to inquire for it who went toward
Ireland last Monday, but I am in utter despair of it. No, I was not
splenetic; you see what plunges the Court has been at to set all right
again. And that Duchess is not out yet, and may one day cause more
mischief. Somerset shows all about a letter from the Queen, desiring
him to let his wife continue with her. Is not that rare! I find Dingley
smelled a rat; because the Whigs are UPISH; but if ever I hear that word
again, I'll UPPISH you. I am glad you got your rasp safe and sound; does
Stella like her apron? Your critics about guarantees of succession are
puppies; that's an answer to the objection. The answerers here made the
same objection, but it is wholly wrong. I am of your opinion that Lord
Marlborough is used too hardly: I have often scratched out passages
from papers and pamphlets sent me, before they were printed, because I
thought them too severe. But he is certainly a vile man, and has no sort
of merit beside the military. The Examiners are good for little: I would
fain have hindered the severity of the two or three last, but could
not. I will either bring your papers over, or leave them with Tooke, for
whose honesty I will engage. And I think it is best not to venture them
with me at sea. Stella is a prophet, by foretelling so very positively
that all would be well. Duke of Ormond speak against peace? No,
simpleton, he is one of the staunchest we have for the Ministry. Neither
trouble yourself about the printer: he appeared the first day of the
term, and is to appear when summoned again; but nothing else will come
of it. Lord Chief-Justice(17) is cooled since this new settlement. No;
I will not split my journals in half; I will write but once a fortnight:
but you may do as you will; which is, read only half at once, and
t'other half next week. So now your letter is answered. (P--- on these
blots.) What must I say more? I will set out in March, if there be a fit
of fine weather; unless the Ministry desire me to stay till the end of
the session, which may be a month longer; but I believe they will not:
for I suppose the peace will be made, and they will have no further
service for me. I must make my canal fine this summer, as fine as I can.
I am afraid I shall see great neglects among my quicksets. I hope the
cherry-trees on the river walk are fine things now. But no more of this.

26. I forgot to finish this letter this morning, and am come home so
late I must give it to the bellman; but I would have it go to-night,
lest you should think there is anything in the story of my being
arrested in an action of twenty thousand pounds by Lord Marlborough,
which I hear is in Dyer's Letter,(18) and, consequently, I suppose, gone
to Ireland. Farewell, dearest MD, etc. etc.



LETTER 40.

LONDON, Jan. 26, 1711-12.

I have no gilt paper left of this size, so you must be content with
plain. Our Society dined together today, for it was put off, as I told
you, upon Lord Marlborough's business on Thursday. The Duke of Ormond
dined with us to-day, the first time: we were thirteen at table; and
Lord Lansdowne came in after dinner, so that we wanted but three. The
Secretary proposed the Duke of Beaufort, who desires to be one of our
Society; but I stopped it, because the Duke of Ormond doubts a little
about it; and he was gone before it was proposed. I left them at seven,
and sat this evening with poor Mrs. Wesley, who has been mightily ill
to-day with a fainting fit; she has often convulsions, too: she takes
a mixture with asafoetida, which I have now in my nose, and everything
smells of it. I never smelt it before; 'tis abominable. We have eight
packets, they say, due from Ireland.

27. I could not see Prince Eugene at Court to-day, the crowd was so
great. The Whigs contrive to have a crowd always about him, and employ
the rabble to give the word, when he sets out from any place. When the
Duchess of Hamilton came from the Queen after church, she whispered me
that she was going to pay me a visit. I went to Lady Oglethorpe's, the
place appointed; for ladies always visit me in third places; and she
kept me till near four: she talks too much, is a plaguy detractor, and
I believe I shall not much like her. I was engaged to dine with Lord
Masham: they stayed as long as they could, yet had almost dined, and
were going in anger to pull down the brass peg for my hat, but Lady
Masham saved it. At eight I went again to Lord Masham's; Lord Treasurer
is generally there at night: we sat up till almost two. Lord Treasurer
has engaged me to contrive some way to keep the Archbishop of York(1)
from being seduced by Lord Nottingham. I will do what I can in it
to-morrow. 'Tis very late, so I must go sleep.

28. Poor Mrs. Manley, the author, is very ill of a dropsy and sore leg:
the printer tells me he is afraid she cannot live long. I am heartily
sorry for her: she has very generous principles for one of her sort,
and a great deal of good sense and invention: she is about forty, very
homely, and very fat. Mrs. Van made me dine with her to-day. I was
this morning with the Duke of Ormond and the Prolocutor about what Lord
Treasurer spoke to me yesterday; I know not what will be the issue.
There is but a slender majority in the House of Lords, and we want more.
We are sadly mortified at the news of the French taking the town in
Brazil from the Portuguese. The sixth edition of three thousand of
the Conduct of the Allies is sold, and the printer talks of a seventh:
eleven thousand of them have been sold, which is a most prodigious run.
The little twopenny Letter of Advice to the October Club does not sell:
I know not the reason, for it is finely written, I assure you; and, like
a true author, I grow fond of it, because it does not sell: you know
that it is usual to writers to condemn the judgment of the world: if I
had hinted it to be mine, everybody would have bought it, but it is a
great secret.

29. I borrowed one or two idle books of Contes des Fees,(2) and have
been reading them these two days, although I have much business upon
my hands. I loitered till one at home; then went to Mr. Lewis at his
office; and the Vice-Chamberlain told me that Lady Rialton(3) had
yesterday resigned her employment of lady of the bed-chamber, and that
Lady Jane Hyde,(4) Lord Rochester's daughter, a mighty pretty girl, is
to succeed. He said, too, that Lady Sunderland would resign in a day or
two. I dined with Lewis, and then went to see Mrs. Wesley, who is better
to-day. But you must know that Mr. Lewis gave me two letters, one from
the Bishop of Cloyne, with an enclosed from Lord Inchiquin(5) to Lord
Treasurer, which he desires I would deliver and recommend. I am told
that lord was much in with Lord Wharton, and I remember he was to have
been one of the Lords Justices by his recommendation; yet the Bishop
recommends him as a great friend to the Church, etc. I'll do what I
think proper. T'other letter was from little saucy MD, N.26. O Lord,
never saw the like, under a cover, too, and by way of journal; we shall
never have done. Sirrahs, how durst you write so soon, sirrahs? I won't
answer it yet.

30. I was this morning with the Secretary, who was sick, and out of
humour: he would needs drink champagne some days ago, on purpose to
spite me, because I advised him against it, and now he pays for it.
Stella used to do such tricks formerly; he put me in mind of her. Lady
Sunderland has resigned her place too. It is Lady Catherine Hyde(6) that
succeeds Lady Rialton, and not Lady Jane. Lady Catherine is the late
Earl of Rochester's daughter. I dined with the Secretary, then visited
his lady; and sat this evening with Lady Masham: the Secretary came
to us; but Lord Treasurer did not; he dined with the Master of the
Rolls,(7) and stayed late with him. Our Society does not meet till
to-morrow se'nnight, because we think the Parliament will be very busy
to-morrow upon the state of the war, and the Secretary, who is to treat
as President, must be in the House. I fancy my talking of persons and
things here must be very tedious to you, because you know nothing of
them, and I talk as if you did. You know Kevin's Street, and Werburgh
Street, and (what do you call the street where Mrs. Walls lives?) and
Ingoldsby,(8) and Higgins,(9) and Lord Santry;(10) but what care you for
Lady Catherine Hyde? Why do you say nothing of your health, sirrah? I
hope it is well.

31. Trimnel, Bishop of Norwich,(11) who was with this Lord Sunderland
at Moor Park in their travels, preached yesterday before the House
of Lords; and to-day the question was put to thank him, and print his
sermon; but passed against him; for it was a terrible Whig sermon. The
Bill to repeal the Act for naturalising Protestant foreigners passed the
House of Lords to-day by a majority of twenty, though the Scotch lords
went out, and would vote neither way, in discontent about the Duke of
Hamilton's patent, if you know anything of it. A poem is come out to-day
inscribed to me, by way of a flirt;(12) for it is a Whiggish poem, and
good for nothing. They plagued me with it in the Court of Requests. I
dined with Lord Treasurer at five alone, only with one Dutchman. Prior
is now a Commissioner of the Customs. I told you so before, I suppose.
When I came home to-night, I found a letter from Dr. Sacheverell,
thanking me for recommending his brother to Lord Treasurer and Mr.
Secretary for a place. Lord Treasurer sent to him about it: so good a
solicitor was I, although I once hardly thought I should be a solicitor
for Sacheverell.

Feb. 1. Has not your Dean of St. Patrick received my letter? you say
nothing of it, although I writ above a month ago. My printer has got the
gout, and I was forced to go to him to-day, and there I dined. It was a
most delicious day: why don't you observe whether the same days be fine
with you? To-night, at six, Dr. Atterbury, and Prior, and I, and Dr.
Freind, met at Dr. Robert Freind's(13) house at Westminster, who is
master of the school: there we sat till one, and were good enough
company. I here take leave to tell politic Dingley that the passage
in the Conduct of the Allies is so far from being blamable that the
Secretary designs to insist upon it in the House of Commons, when the
Treaty of Barrier(14) is debated there, as it now shortly will, for they
have ordered it to be laid before them. The pamphlet of Advice to the
October Club begins now to sell; but I believe its fame will hardly
reach Ireland: 'tis finely written, I assure you. I long to answer your
letter, but won't yet; you know, 'tis late, etc.

2. This ends Christmas,(15) and what care I? I have neither seen, nor
felt, nor heard any Christmas this year. I passed a lazy dull day. I was
this morning with Lord Treasurer, to get some papers from him, which
he will remember as much as a cat, although it be his own business. It
threatened rain, but did not much; and Prior and I walked an hour in the
Park, which quite put me out of my measures. I dined with a friend hard
by; and in the evening sat with Lord Masham till twelve. Lord Treasurer
did not come; this is an idle dining-day usually with him. We want to
hear from Holland how our peace goes on; for we are afraid of those
scoundrels the Dutch, lest they should play us tricks. Lord Mar,(16) a
Scotch earl, was with us at Lord Masham's: I was arguing with him about
the stubbornness and folly of his countrymen; they are so angry about
the affair of the Duke of Hamilton, whom the Queen has made a duke of
England, and the House of Lords will not admit him. He swears he would
vote for us, but dare not, because all Scotland would detest him if he
did: he should never be chosen again, nor be able to live there.

3. I was at Court to-day to look for a dinner, but did not like any that
were offered me; and I dined with Lord Mountjoy. The Queen has the gout
in her knee, and was not at chapel. I hear we have a Dutch mail, but I
know not what news, although I was with the Secretary this morning. He
showed me a letter from the Hanover Envoy, Mr. Bothmar, complaining that
the Barrier Treaty is laid before the House of Commons; and desiring
that no infringement may be made in the guarantee of the succession; but
the Secretary has written him a peppering answer. I fancy you understand
all this, and are able states-girls, since you have read the Conduct
of the Allies. We are all preparing against the Birthday; I think it
is Wednesday next. If the Queen's gout increases, it will spoil sport.
Prince Eugene has two fine suits made against it; and the Queen is
to give him a sword worth four thousand pounds, the diamonds set
transparent.

4. I was this morning soliciting at the House of Commons' door for Mr.
Vesey, a son of the Archbishop of Tuam,(17) who has petitioned for a
Bill to relieve him in some difficulty about his estate: I secured him
above fifty members. I dined with Lady Masham. We have no packet from
Holland, as I was told yesterday: and this wind will hinder many people
from appearing at the Birthday, who expected clothes from Holland. I
appointed to meet a gentleman at the Secretary's to-night, and they both
failed. The House of Commons have this day made many severe votes about
our being abused by our Allies. Those who spoke drew all their arguments
from my book, and their votes confirm all I writ; the Court had a
majority of a hundred and fifty: all agree that it was my book that
spirited them to these resolutions; I long to see them in print. My head
has not been as well as I could wish it for some days past, but I have
not had any giddy fit, and I hope it will go over.

5. The Secretary turned me out of his room this morning, and showed me
fifty guineas rolled up, which he was going to give some French spy. I
dined with four Irishmen at a tavern to-day: I thought I had resolved
against it before, but I broke it. I played at cards this evening at
Lady Masham's, but I only played for her while she was waiting; and I
won her a pool, and supped there. Lord Treasurer was with us, but went
away before twelve. The ladies and lords have all their clothes ready
against to-morrow: I saw several mighty fine, and I hope there will be
a great appearance, in spite of that spiteful French fashion of the
Whiggish ladies not to come, which they have all resolved to a woman;
and I hope it will more spirit the Queen against them for ever.

6. I went to dine at Lord Masham's at three, and met all the company
just coming out of Court; a mighty crowd: they stayed long for their
coaches: I had an opportunity of seeing several lords and ladies of my
acquaintance in their fineries. Lady Ashburnham(18) looked the best in
my eyes. They say the Court was never fuller nor finer. Lord Treasurer,
his lady, and two daughters and Mrs. Hill, dined with Lord and Lady
Masham; the five ladies were monstrous fine. The Queen gave Prince
Eugene the diamond sword to-day; but nobody was by when she gave it
except my Lord Chamberlain. There was an entertainment of opera songs
at night, and the Queen was at all the entertainment, and is very well
after it. I saw Lady Wharton,(19) as ugly as the devil, coming out
in the crowd all in an undress; she has been with the Marlborough
daughters(20) and Lady Bridgewater(21) in St. James's, looking out of
the window all undressed to see the sight. I do not hear that one Whig
lady was there, except those of the bed-chamber. Nothing has made so
great a noise as one Kelson's chariot, that cost nine hundred and thirty
pounds, the finest was ever seen. The rabble huzzaed him as much as they
did Prince Eugene. This is Birthday chat.

7. Our Society met to-day: the Duke of Ormond was not with us; we
have lessened our dinners, which were grown so extravagant that Lord
Treasurer and everybody else cried shame. I left them at seven, visited
for an hour, and then came home, like a good boy. The Queen is much
better after yesterday's exercise: her friends wish she would use a
little more. I opposed Lord Jersey's(22) election into our Society, and
he is refused: I likewise opposed the Duke of Beaufort; but I believe
he will be chosen in spite of me: I don't much care; I shall not be
with them above two months; for I resolve to set out for Ireland the
beginning of April next (before I treat them again), and see my willows.

8. I dined to-day in the City. This morning a scoundrel dog, one of the
Queen's music, a German, whom I had never seen, got access to me in my
chamber by Patrick's folly, and gravely desired me to get an employment
in the Customs for a friend of his, who would be very grateful; and
likewise to forward a project of his own, for raising ten thousand
pounds a year upon operas: I used him civiller than he deserved; but it
vexed me to the pluck.(23) He was told I had a mighty interest with Lord
Treasurer, and one word of mine, etc. Well; I got home early on purpose
to answer MD's letter, N.26; for this goes to-morrow.--Well; I never saw
such a letter in all my life; so saucy, so journalish, so sanguine, so
pretending, so everything. I satisfied all your fears in my last: all is
gone well, as you say; yet you are an impudent slut to be so positive;
you will swagger so upon your sagacity that we shall never have done.
Pray don't mislay your reply; I would certainly print it, if I had it
here: how long is it? I suppose half a sheet: was the answer written in
Ireland? Yes, yes, you shall have a letter when you come from Ballygall.
I need not tell you again who's out and who's in: we can never get out
the Duchess of Somerset.--So, they say Presto writ the Conduct, etc. Do
they like it? I don't care whether they do or no; but the resolutions
printed t'other day in the Votes are almost quotations from it, and
would never have passed if that book had not been written. I will not
meddle with the Spectator, let him fair-sex it to the world's end.
My disorder is over, but blood was not from the p-les.--Well, Madam
Dingley, the frost; why, we had a great frost, but I forget how long
ago; it lasted above a week or ten days: I believe about six weeks ago;
but it did not break so soon with us, I think, as December 29; yet I
think it was about that time, on second thoughts. MD can have no letter
from Presto, says you; and yet four days before you own you had my
thirty-seventh, unreasonable sluts! The Bishop of Gloucester is not
dead,(24) and I am as likely to succeed the Duke of Marlborough as him
if he were; there's enough for that now. It is not unlikely that the
Duke of Shrewsbury will be your Governor; at least I believe the Duke of
Ormond will not return.--Well, Stella again: why, really three editions
of the Conduct, etc., is very much for Ireland; it is a sign you have
some honest among you. Well; I will do Mr. Manley(25) all the service
I can; but he will ruin himself. What business had he to engage at all
about the City? Can't he wish his cause well, and be quiet, when he
finds that stirring will do it no good, and himself a great deal of
hurt? I cannot imagine who should open my letter: it must be done at
your side.--If I hear of any thoughts of turning out Mr. Manley, I will
endeavour to prevent it. I have already had all the gentlemen of Ireland
here upon my back often, for defending him. So now I have answered your
saucy letter. My humble service to Goody Stoyte and Catherine; I will
come soon for my dinner.

9. Morning. My cold goes off at last; but I think I have got a small new
one. I have no news since last. They say we hear by the way of Calais,
that peace is very near concluding. I hope it may be true. I'll go and
seal up my letter, and give it myself to-night into the post-office; and
so I bid my dearest MD farewell till to-night. I heartily wish myself
with them, as hope saved. My willows, and quicksets, and trees, will be
finely improved, I hope, this year. It has been fine hard frosty weather
yesterday and to-day. Farewell, etc. etc. etc.



LETTER 41.(1)

LONDON, Feb. 9, 1711-12.

When my letter is gone, and I have none of yours to answer, my
conscience is so clear, and my shoulder so light, and I go on with such
courage to prate upon nothing to deerichar MD, oo would wonder. I dined
with Sir Matthew Dudley, who is newly turned out of Commission of
the Customs. He affects a good heart, and talks in the extremity of
Whiggery, which was always his principle, though he was gentle a little,
while he kept in employment. We can yet get no packets from Holland. I
have not been with any of the Ministry these two or three days. I keep
out of their way on purpose, for a certain reason, for some time, though
I must dine with the Secretary to-morrow, the choosing of the company
being left to me. I have engaged Lord Anglesea(2) and Lord Carteret,(3)
and have promised to get three more; but I have a mind that none else
should be admitted: however, if I like anybody at Court to-morrow, I may
perhaps invite them. I have got another cold, but not very bad. Nite. ..
MD.

10. I saw Prince Eugene at Court to-day very plain; he's plaguy yellow,
and tolerably ugly besides. The Court was very full, and people had
their Birthday clothes. I dined with the Secretary to-day. I was to
invite five, but I only invited two, Lord Anglesea and Lord Carteret.
Pshaw, I told you this but yesterday. We have no packets from Holland
yet. Here are a parcel of drunken Whiggish lords, like your Lord
Santry,(4) who come into chocolate-houses and rail aloud at the Tories,
and have challenges sent them, and the next morning come and beg pardon.
General Ross(5) was like to swinge the Marquis of Winchester(6) for
this trick t'other day; and we have nothing else now to talk of till
the Parliament has had another bout with the state of the war, as they
intended in a few days. They have ordered the Barrier Treaty to be laid
before them; and it was talked some time ago, as if there was a design
to impeach Lord Townshend, who made it. I have no more politics now.
Nite dee MD.

11. I dined with Lord Anglesea to-day, who had seven Irishmen to be my
companions, of which two only were coxcombs; one I did not know, and
t'other was young Blith,(7) who is a puppy of figure here, with a fine
chariot. He asked me one day at Court, when I had been just talking
with some lords who stood near me, "Doctor, when shall we see you in
the county of Meath?" I whispered him to take care what he said, for
the people would think he was some barbarian. He never would speak to
me since, till we met to-day. I went to Lady Masham's to-night, and sat
with Lord Treasurer and the Secretary there till past two o'clock; and
when I came home, found some letters from Ireland, which I read, but
can say nothing of them till to-morrow, 'tis so very late; but I(8) must
always be...,(9) late or early. Nite deelest sollahs.(10)

12. One letter was from the Bishop of Clogher last night, and t'other
from Walls, about Mrs. South's(11) salary, and his own pension of 18
pounds for his tithe of the park. I will do nothing in either; the first
I cannot serve in, and the other is a trifle; only you may tell him I
had his letter, and will speak to Ned Southwell about what he desires
me. You say nothing of your Dean's receiving my letter. I find
Clements,(12) whom I recommended to Lord Anglesea last year, at
Walls's desire, or rather the Bishop of Clogher's, is mightily in Lord
Anglesea's favour. You may tell the Bishop and Walls so; I said to Lord
Anglesea that I was (glad) I had the good luck to recommend him, etc. I
dined in the City with my printer, to consult with him about some papers
Lord Treasurer gave me last night, as he always does, too late; however,
I will do something with them. My third cold is a little better; I never
had anything like it before, three colds successively; I hope I shall
have the fourth.(13) Those messengers come from Holland to-day, and they
brought over the six packets that were due. I know not the particulars
yet, for when I was with the Secretary at noon they were just opening;
but one thing I find, that the Dutch are playing us tricks, and
tampering with the French; they are dogs; I shall know more tomollow...
MD.(14)

13. I dined to-day privately with my friend Lewis, at his lodgings, to
consult about some observations on the Barrier Treaty. Our news from
Holland is not good. The French raise difficulties, and make such offers
to the Allies as cannot be accepted. And the Dutch are uneasy that we
are likely to get anything for ourselves; and the Whigs are glad at all
this. I came home early, and have been very busy three or four hours. I
had a letter from Dr. Pratt(15) to-day by a private hand, recommending
the bearer to me, for something that I shall not trouble myself about.
Wesley(16) writ to recommend the same fellow to me. His expression is
that, hearing I am acquainted with my Lord Treasurer, he desires I would
do so and so: a matter of nothing. What puppies are mankind! I hope
I shall be wiser when I have once done with Courts. I think you han't
troubled me much with your recommendations. I would do you all the
saavis(17) I could.

Pray have you got your aplon,(18) maram Ppt? I paid for it but
yesterday; that puts me in mind of it. I writ an inventory of what
things I sent by Leigh in one of my letters; did you compare it with
what you got? I hear nothing of your cards now; do you never play? Yes,
at Ballygall. Go to bed. Nite, deelest MD.(19)

14. Our Society dined to-day at Mr. Secretary's house. I went there at
four; but hearing the House of Commons would sit late upon the Barrier
Treaty, I went for an hour to Kensington, to see Lord Masham's children.
My young nephew,(20) his son of six months old, has got a swelling in
his neck; I fear it is the evil. We did not go to dinner till eight at
night, and I left them at ten. The Commons have been very severe on the
Barrier Treaty, as you will find by their votes. A Whig member took out
the Conduct of the Allies, and read that passage about the succession
with great resentment; but none seconded him. The Church party carried
every vote by a great majority. The A.B.(21) Dublin is so railed at by
all who come from Ireland that I can defend him no longer. Lord Anglesea
assured me that the story of applying Piso out of Tacitus(22) to Lord
Treasurer's being wounded is true. I believe the Duke of Beaufort will
be admitted to our Society next meeting. To-day I published the Fable
of Midas,(23) a poem, printed in a loose half-sheet of paper. I know not
how it will sell; but it passed wonderfully at our Society to-night; and
Mr. Secretary read it before me the other night to Lord Treasurer, at
Lord Masham's, where they equally approved of it. Tell me how it passes
with you. I think this paper is larger than ordinary; for here is six
days' journal, and no nearer the bottom. I fear these journals are very
dull. Nite my deelest lives.

15. Mr. Lewis and I dined by invitation with a Scotch acquaintance,
after I had been very busy in my chamber till two afternoon. My third
cold is now very troublesome on my breast, especially in the morning.
This is a great revolution in my health; colds never used to return so
soon with me, or last so long. 'Tis very surprising this news to-day of
the Dauphin and Dauphiness both dying within six days. They say the old
King is almost heart-broke. He has had prodigious mortifications in his
family. The Dauphin has left two little sons, of four and two years old;
the eldest is sick. There is a foolish story got about the town that
Lord Strafford, one of our Plenipotentiaries, is in the interests of
France; and it has been a good while said that Lord Privy Seal(24) and
he do not agree very well. They are both long practised in business, but
neither of them of much parts. Strafford has some life and spirit, but
is infinitely proud, and wholly illiterate. Nite, MD.

16. I dined to-day in the City with my printer, to finish something I
am doing about the Barrier Treaty;(25) but it is not quite done. I went
this evening to Lord Masham's, where Lord Treasurer sat with us till
past twelve. The Lords have voted an Address to the Queen, to tell
her they are not satisfied with the King of France's offers. The Whigs
brought it in of a sudden; and the Court could not prevent it, and
therefore did not oppose it. The House of Lords is too strong in Whigs,
notwithstanding the new creations; for they are very diligent, and the
Tories as lazy: the side that is down has always most industry. The
Whigs intended to have made a vote that would reflect on Lord Treasurer;
but their project was not ripe. I hit my face such a rap by calling the
coach to stop to-night, that it is plaguy sore, the bone beneath the
eye. Nite dee logues.

17. The Court was mighty full to-day, and has been these many Sundays;
but the Queen was not at chapel. She has got a little fit of the gout
in her foot. The good of going to Court is that one sees all one's
acquaintance, whom otherwise I should hardly meet twice a year. Prince
Eugene dines with the Secretary to-day, with about seven or eight
General Officers, or foreign Ministers. They will be all drunk, I am
sure. I never was in company with this Prince: I have proposed to some
lords that we should have a sober meal with him; but I can't compass
it. It is come over in the Dutch news prints that I was arrested on an
action of twenty thousand pounds by the Duke of Marlborough. I did not
like my Court invitation to-day; so Sir Andrew Fountaine and I went and
dined with Mrs. Van. I came home at six, and have been very busy till
this minute, and it is past twelve. So I got into bed to write to MD...
MD.(26) We reckon the Dauphin's death will put forward the peace a good
deal. Pray is Dr. Griffith(27) reconciled to me yet? Have I done enough
to soften him?... (28) Nite deelest logues.

18. Lewis had Guiscard's picture: he bought it, and offered it to Lord
Treasurer, who promised to send for it, but never did; so I made Lewis
give it me, and I have it in my room; and now Lord Treasurer says he
will take it from me: is that fair? He designs to have it at length in
the clothes he was when he did the action, and a penknife in his hand;
and Kneller is to copy it from this that I have. I intended to dine with
Lord Treasurer to-day, but he has put me off till to-morrow; so I dined
with Lord Dupplin. You know Lord Dupplin very well; he is a brother
of the Society. Well, but I have received a letter from the Bishop of
Cloyne, to solicit an affair for him with Lord Treasurer, and with the
Parliament, which I will do as soon as fly. I am not near so keen about
other people's affairs as... (29) Ppt used to reproach me about; it was
a judgment on me. Harkee, idle dearees both, meetinks I begin to want
a rettle flom(30) MD: faith, and so I do. I doubt you have been in pain
about the report of my being arrested. The pamphleteers have let me
alone this month, which is a great wonder: only the third part of the
Answer to the Conduct, which is lately come out. (Did I tell you of it
already?) The House of Commons goes on in mauling the late Ministry and
their proceedings. Nite deelest MD.(31)

19. I dined with Lord Treasurer to-day, and sat with him till ten, in
spite of my teeth, though my printer waited for me to correct a sheet.
I told him of four lines I writ extempore with my pencil, on a bit
of paper in his house, while he lay wounded. Some of the servants, I
suppose, made waste-paper of them, and he never had heard of them. Shall
I tell them you? They were inscribed to Mr. Harley's physician. Thus

     On Britain Europe's safety lies;(32)
     Britain is lost, if Harley dies.
     Harley depends upon your skill:
     Think what you save, or what you kill.

Are not they well enough to be done off-hand; for that is the meaning
of the word extempore, which you did not know, did you? I proposed that
some company should dine with him on the 8th of March, which was the day
he was wounded, but he says he designs that the Lords of the Cabinet,
who then sat with him, should dine that day with him:(33) however, he
has invited me too. I am not got rid of my cold; it plagues me in the
morning chiefly. Nite, MD,

20. After waiting to catch the Secretary coming out from Sir Thomas
Hanmer, for two hours, in vain, about some business, I went into the
City to my printer, to correct some sheets of the Barrier Treaty and
Remarks, which must be finished to-morrow: I have been horrible busy for
some days past, with this and some other things; and I wanted some very
necessary papers, which the Secretary was to give me, and the pamphlet
must now be published without them. But they are all busy too.
Sir Thomas Hanmer is Chairman of the Committee for drawing up a
Representation of the state of the nation(34) to the Queen, where all
the wrong steps of the Allies and late Ministry about the war will be
mentioned. The Secretary, I suppose, was helping him about it to-day; I
believe it will be a pepperer. Nite, deel MD.

21. I have been six hours to-day morning writing nineteen pages of a
letter to Lord Treasurer, about forming a Society or Academy to correct
and fix the English language.(35) (Is English a speech or a language?)
It will not be above five or six more. I will send it to him to-morrow,
and will print it, if he desires me. I dined, you know, with our Society
to-day: Thursday is our day. We had a new member admitted; it was the
Duke of Beaufort. We had thirteen met: brother Ormond was not there, but
sent his excuse that Prince Eugene dined with him. I left them at seven,
being engaged to go to Sir Thomas Hanmer, who desired I would see him at
that hour. His business was that I would hoenlbp ihainm itavoi dsroanws
ubpl tohne sroegporaensiepnotlastoigobn,(36) which I consented to do;
but know not whether I shall succeed, because it is a little out of my
way. However, I have taken my share. Nite, MD.

22. I finished the rest of my letter to Lord Treasurer today, and sent
it to him about one o'clock; and then dined privately with my friend Mr.
Lewis, to talk over some affairs of moment. I had gotten the thirteenth
volume of Rymer's Collection of the Records of the Tower for the
University of Dublin.(37) I have two volumes now. I will write to the
Provost, to know how I shall send them to him; no, I won't, for I will
bring them myself among my own books. I was with Hanmer this morning,
and there were the Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer(38) very
busy with him, laying their heads together about the representation. I
went to Lord Masham's to-night, and Lady Masham made me read to her a
pretty twopenny pamphlet, called The St. Albans Ghost.(39) I thought I
had writ it myself; so did they; but I did not. Lord Treasurer came down
to us from the Queen, and we stayed till two o'clock. That is the best
night-place I have. The usual(40) company are Lord and Lady Masham, Lord
Treasurer, Dr. Arbuthnot, and I; sometimes the Secretary, and sometimes
Mrs. Hill of the bed-chamber, Lady Masham's sister. I assure oo, it im
vely rate now; but zis goes to-morrow: and I must have time to converse
with own richar MD. Nite, deelest sollahs.(41)

23. I have no news to tell you this last day, nor do I know where I
shall dine. I hear the Secretary is a little out of order; perhaps I may
dine there, perhaps not. I sent Hanmer what he wanted from me, I know
not how he will approve of it. I was to do more of the same sort; I am
going out, and must carry zis in my pottick to give it at some general
post-house. I will talk further with oo at night. I suppose in my next
I shall answer a letter from MD that will be sent me. On Tuesday it will
be four weeks since I had your last, N.26. This day se'nnight I expect
one, for that will be something more than a full month. Farewell, MD...
deelest... MD MD MD... ME ME ME... logues... lele.(42)



LETTER 42.(1)

LONDON, Feb. 23, 1711-12.

After having disposed my last letter in the post-office, I am now to
begin this with telling MD that I dined with the Secretary to-day,
who is much out of order with a cold, and feverish; yet he went to the
Cabinet Council tonight at six, against my will. The Secretary is much
the greatest commoner in England, and turns the whole Parliament, who
can do nothing without him; and if he lives and has his health, will,
I believe, be one day at the head of affairs. I have told him sometimes
that, if I were a dozen years younger, I would cultivate his favour,
and trust my fortune with his. But what care oo for all this? I am sorry
when I came first acquainted with this Ministry that I did not send you
their names and characters, and then you would have relished what(2)
I would have writ, especially if I had let you into the particulars of
affairs: but enough of this. Nite, deelest logues.

24. I went early this morning to the Secretary, who is not yet well.
Sir Thomas Hanmer and the Chancellor of the Exchequer came while I was
there, and he would not let me stir; so I did not go to church, but was
busy with them till noon, about the affair I told you in my last. The
other two went away; and I dined with the Secretary, and found my head
very much out of order, but no absolute fit; and I have not been well
all this day. It has shook me a little. I sometimes sit up very late
at Lord Masham's, and have writ much for several days past: but I will
amend both; for I have now very little business, and hope I shall have
no more, and I am resolved to be a great rider this summer in Ireland.
I was to see Mrs. Wesley this evening, who has been somewhat better for
this month past, and talks of returning to the Bath in a few weeks. Our
peace goes on but slowly; the Dutch are playing tricks, and we do not
push it strongly as we ought. The fault of our Court is delay, of which
the Queen has a great deal; and Lord Treasurer is not without his share.
But pay richar MD ret us know a little of your life and tonvelsasens.(3)
Do you play at ombre, or visit the Dean, and Goody Walls and Stoytes and
Manleys, as usual? I must have a letter from oo, to fill the other side
of this sheet. Let me know what you do. Is my aunt alive yet?

Oh, pray, now I think of it, be so kind to step to my aunt, and take
notice of my great-grandfather's picture; you know he has a ring on his
finger, with a seal of an anchor and dolphin about it; but I think
there is besides, at the bottom of the picture, the same coat of arms
quartered with another, which I suppose was my great-grandmother's.
If this be so, it is a stronger argument than the seal. And pray see
whether you think that coat of arms was drawn at the same time with
the picture, or whether it be of a later hand; and ask my aunt what
she knows about it. But perhaps there is no such coat of arms on the
picture, and I only dreamed it. My reason is, because I would ask some
herald here, whether I should choose that coat, or one in Guillim's
large folio of heraldry,(4) where my uncle Godwin is named with another
coat of arms of three stags. This is sad stuff to rite; so nite, MD.

25. I was this morning again with the Secretary, and we were two hours
busy; and then went together to the Park, Hyde Park, I mean; and he
walked to cure his cold, and we were looking at two Arabian horses sent
some time ago to Lord Treasurer.(5) The Duke of Marlborough's coach
overtook us, with his Grace and Lord Godolphin in it; but they did not
see us, to our great satisfaction; for neither of us desired that either
of those two lords should see us together. There was half a dozen ladies
riding like cavaliers to take the air. My head is better to-day. I dined
with the Secretary; but we did no business after dinner, and at six I
walked into the fields; the days are grown pure and long; then I went to
visit Perceval(6) and his family, whom I had seen but twice since they
came to town. They too are going to the Bath next month. Countess Doll
of Meath(7) is such an owl that, wherever I visit, people are asking
me whether I know such an Irish lady, and her figure and her foppery? I
came home early, and have been amusing myself with looking into one of
Rymer's volumes of the Records of the Tower, and am mighty easy to think
I have no urgent business upon my hands. My third cold is not yet off; I
sometimes cough, and am not right with it in the morning. Did I tell you
that I believe it is Lady Masham's hot room that gives it me? I never
knew such a stove; and in my conscience I believe both my lord and she,
my Lord Treasurer, Mr. Secretary, and myself have all suffered by it. We
have all had colds together, but I walk home on foot. Nite dee logues.

26. I was again busy with the Secretary.(8) We read over some papers,
and did a good deal of business; and I dined with him, and we were to
do more business after dinner; but after dinner is after dinner--an old
saying and a true, "much drinking, little thinking." We had company with
us, and nothing could be done, and I am to go there again to-morrow.
I have now nothing to do; and the Parliament, by the Queen's
recommendation, is to take some method for preventing libels, etc.,
which will include pamphlets, I suppose. I don't know what method they
will take, but it comes on in a day or two. To-day in the morning I
visited upwards: first I saw the Duke of Ormond below stairs, and gave
him joy of his being declared General in Flanders; then I went up one
pair of stairs, and sat with the Duchess; then I went up another pair of
stairs, and paid a visit to Lady Betty; and desired her woman to go
up to the garret, that I might pass half an hour with her, but she was
young and handsome, and would not. The Duke is our President this week,
and I have bespoke a small dinner on purpose, for good example. Nite mi
deelest logues.

27. I was again with the Secretary this morning; but we only read over
some papers with Sir Thomas Hanmer; then I called at Lord Treasurer's;
it was his levee-day, but I went up to his bed-chamber, and said what
I had to say. I came down and peeped in at the chamber, where a hundred
fools were waiting, and two streets were full of coaches. I dined in the
City with my printer,(9) and came back at six to Lord Treasurer, who had
invited me to dinner, but I refused him. I sat there an hour or two, and
then went to Lord Masham's. They were all abroad: so truly I came, and
read whatever stuff was next me. I can sit and be idle now, which I have
not been above a year past. However, I will stay out the session, to see
if they have any further commands for me, and that, I suppose, will end
in April. But I may go somewhat before, for I hope all will be ended
by then, and we shall have either a certain peace, or certain war. The
Ministry is contriving new funds for money by lotteries, and we go on as
if the war were to continue, but I believe it will not. 'Tis pretty late
now, ung oomens; so I bid oo nite, own dee dallars.

28. I have been packing up some books in a great box I have bought, and
must buy another for clothes and luggage. This is a beginning towards
a removal. I have sent to Holland for a dozen shirts, and design to buy
another new gown and hat. I will come over like a zinkerman,(10) and
lay out nothing in clothes in Ireland this good while. I have writ
this night to the Provost. Our Society met to-day as usual, and we were
fourteen, beside the Earl of Arran,(11) whom his brother, the Duke of
Ormond, brought among us against all order. We were mightily shocked;
but, after some whispers, it ended in choosing Lord Arran one of our
Society, which I opposed to his face, but it was carried by all the rest
against me.

29. This is leap year, and this is leap day. Prince George was born on
this day. People are mistaken; and some here think it is St. David's
Day; but they do not understand the virtue of leap year. I have nothing
to do now, boys, and have been reading all this day like Gumdragon; and
yet I was dictating some trifles this morning to a printer. I dined with
a friend hard by, and the weather was so discouraging I could not walk.
I came home early, and have read two hundred pages of Arran. Alexander
the Great is just dead: I do not think he was poisoned; betwixt you and
me, all those are but idle stories: it is certain that neither Ptolemy
nor Aristobulus thought so, and they were both with him when he(12)
died. It is a pity we have not their histories. The Bill for limiting
Members of Parliament to have but so many places passed the House of
Commons, and will pass the House of Lords, in spite of the Ministry,
which you know is a great lessening of the Queen's power. Four of the
new lords voted against the Court in this point. It is certainly a good
Bill in the reign of an ill prince, but I think things are not settled
enough for it at present. And the Court may want a majority upon a
pinch. Nite deelest logues. Rove Pdfr.

March 1. I went into the City to inquire after poor Stratford,(13) who
has put himself a prisoner into the Queen's Bench, for which his friends
blame him much, because his creditors designed to be very easy with him.
He grasped at too many things together, and that was his ruin. There
is one circumstance relative to Lieutenant-General Meredith(14) that
is very melancholy: Meredith was turned out of all his employments
last year, and had about 10,000 pounds left to live on. Stratford, upon
friendship, desired he might have the management of it for Meredith, to
put it into the stocks and funds for the best advantage, and now he
has lost it all. You have heard me often talk of Stratford; we were
class-fellows at school and university. I dined with some merchants,
his friends, to-day, and they said they expected his breaking this good
while. I gave him notice of a treaty of peace, while it was a secret, of
which he might have made good use, but that helped to ruin him; for he
gave money, reckoning there would be actually a peace by this time, and
consequently stocks rise high. Ford narrowly 'scaped losing 500 pounds
by him, and so did I too. Nite, my two deelest rives MD.

2. Morning. I was wakened at three this morning, my man and the people
of the house telling me of a great fire in the Haymarket. I slept again,
and two hours after my man came in again, and told me it was my poor
brother Sir William Wyndham's(15) house burnt, and that two maids,
leaping out of an upper room to avoid the fire, both fell on their
heads, one of them upon the iron spikes before the door, and both lay
dead in the streets. It is supposed to have been some carelessness of
one or both those maids. The Duke of Ormond was there helping to put
out the fire. Brother Wyndham gave 6,000 pounds but a few months ago
for that house, as he told me, and it was very richly furnished. I shall
know more particulars at night. He married Lady Catherine Seymour,
the Duke of Somerset's daughter; you know her, I believe.--At night.
Wyndham's young child escaped very narrowly; Lady Catherine escaped
barefoot; they all went to Northumberland House. Mr. Brydges's(16)
house, at next door, is damaged much, and was like to be burnt. Wyndham
has lost above 10,000 pounds by this accident; his lady above a thousand
pounds worth of clothes. It was a terrible accident. He was not at Court
to-day. I dined with Lord Masham. The Queen was not at church. Nite, MD.

3. Pray tell Walls that I spoke to the Duke of Ormond and Mr. Southwell
about his friend's affair, who, I find, needed not me for a solicitor,
for they both told me the thing would be done. I likewise mentioned
his own affair to Mr. Southwell, and I hope that will be done too, for
Southwell seems to think it reasonable, and I will mind him of it again.
Tell him this nakedly. You need not know the particulars. They are
secrets: one of them is about Mrs. South having a pension; the other
about his salary from the Government for the tithes of the park that lie
in his parish, to be put upon the establishment, but oo must not know
zees sings, zey are secrets; and we must keep them flom nauty dallars.
I dined in the City with my printer, with whom I had some small affair;
but I have no large work on my hands now. I was with Lord Treasurer this
morning, and hat(17) care oo for zat? Oo dined with the Dean to-day.
Monday is parson's holiday, and oo lost oo money at cards and dice; ze
Givars(18) device. So I'll go to bed. Nite, my two deelest logues.

4. I sat to-day with poor Mrs. Wesley, who made me dine with her. She
is much better than she was. I heartily pray for her health, out of
the entire love I bear to her worthy husband. This day has passed very
insignificantly. But it is a great comfort to me now that I can come
home and read, and have nothing upon my hands to write. I was at Lord
Masham's to-night, and stayed there till one. Lord Treasurer was there;
but I thought, I thought he looked melancholy, just as he did at the
beginning of the session, and he was not so merry as usual. In short,
the majority in the House of Lords is a very weak one: and he has much
ado to keep it up; and he is not able to make those removes he would,
and oblige his friends; and I doubt too(19) he does not take care enough
about it, or rather cannot do all himself, and will not employ others:
which is his great fault, as I have often told you. 'Tis late. Nite, MD.

5. I wish you a merry Lent. I hate Lent; I hate different diets, and
furmity and butter, and herb porridge; and sour devout faces of people
who only put on religion for seven weeks. I was at the Secretary's
office this morning; and there a gentleman brought me two letters, dated
last October; one from the Bishop of Clogher, t'other from Walls. The
gentleman is called Colonel Newburgh.(20) I think you mentioned him to
me some time ago; he has business in the House of Lords. I will do
him what service I can. The Representation of the House of Commons is
printed:(21) I have not seen it yet; it is plaguy severe, they say. I
dined with Dr. Arbuthnot, and had a true Lenten dinner, not in point of
victuals, but spleen; for his wife and a child or two were sick in the
house, and that was full as mortifying as fish. We have had fine mighty
cold frosty weather for some days past. I hope you take the advantage
of it, and walk now and then. You never answer that part of my letters
where I desire you to walk. I must keep my breath to cool my Lenten
porridge. Tell Jemmy Leigh that his boy that robbed him now appears
about the town: Patrick has seen him once or twice. I knew nothing of
his being robbed till Patrick told me he had seen the boy. I wish it
had been Sterne that had been robbed, to be revenged for the box that he
lost,(22) and be p-xed to him. Nite, MD.

6. I hear Mr. Prior has suffered by Stratford's breaking. I was
yesterday to see Prior, who is not well, and I thought he looked
melancholy. He can ill afford to lose money. I walked before dinner
in the Mall a good while with Lord Arran and Lord Dupplin, two of my
brothers, and then we went to dinner, where the Duke of Beaufort was our
President. We were but eleven to-day. We are now in all nine lords and
ten commoners. The Duke of Beaufort had the confidence to propose his
brother-in-law, the Earl of Danby,(23) to be a member; but I opposed
it so warmly that it was waived. Danby is not above twenty, and we will
have no more boys, and we want but two to make up our number. I stayed
till eight, and then we all went away soberly. The Duke of Ormond's
treat last week cost 20 pounds, though it was only four dishes and four,
without a dessert; and I bespoke it in order to be cheap. Yet I could
not prevail to change the house. Lord Treasurer is in a rage with us for
being so extravagant: and the wine was not reckoned neither; for that
is always brought by him that is President. Lord Orrery(24) is to be
President next week; and I will see whether it cannot be cheaper; or
else we will leave the house...(25) Lord Masham made me go home with him
to-night to eat boiled oysters. Take oysters, wash them clean; that is,
wash their shells clean; then put your oysters into an earthen pot,
with their hollow sides down, then put this pot into a great kettle
with water, and so let them boil. Your oysters are boiled in their own
liquor, and not mixed water. Lord Treasurer was not with us; he was very
ill to-day with a swimming in the head, and is gone home to be cupped,
and sent to desire Lady Masham to excuse him to the Queen. Nite, dee MD.

7. I was to-day at the House of Lords about a friend's Bill. Then I
crossed the water at Westminster Stairs to Southwark, went through St.
George's Fields to the Mint, which is the dominion of the King's(26)
Bench Prison, where Stratford lodges in a blind alley, and writ to me to
come to him; but he was gone to the 'Change. I thought he had
something to say to me about his own affairs. I found him at his usual
coffee-house, and went to his own lodgings, and dined with him and
his wife, and other company. His business was only to desire I would
intercede with the Ministry about his brother-in-law, Ben Burton,(27)
of Dublin, the banker, who is likely to come into trouble, as we hear,
about spreading false Whiggish news. I hate Burton, and told Stratford
so; and I will advise the Duke of Ormond to make use of it, to keep
the rogue in awe. Mrs. Stratford tells me her husband's creditors have
consented to give him liberty to get up his debts abroad; and she hopes
he will pay them all. He was cheerfuller than I have seen him this great
while. I have walked much today.--Night, deelest logues.

8. This day twelvemonth Mr. Harley was stabbed; but he is ill, and takes
physic to-day, I hear ('tis now morning), and cannot have the Cabinet
Council with him, as he intended, nor me to say grace. I am going to see
him. Pray read the Representation; 'tis the finest that ever was writ.
Some of it is Pdfr's style, but not very much. This is the day of the
Queen's accession to the Crown; so it is a great day. I am going to
Court, and will dine with Lord Masham; but I must go this moment to see
the Secretary about some businesses; so I will seal up this, and put
it in the post my own self. Farewell, deelest hearts and souls, MD.
Farewell MD MD MD FW FW FW ME ME Lele Lele Lele Sollahs lele.



LETTER 43.(1)

LONDON, March 8, 1711-12.

I carried my forty-second letter in my pocket till evening, and then put
it in the general post.--I went in the morning to see Lord Treasurer,
who had taken physic, and was drinking his broth. I had been with
the Secretary before, to recommend a friend, one Dr. Freind,(2) to
be Physician-General; and the Secretary promised to mention it to the
Queen. I can serve everybody but myself. Then I went to Court, and
carried Lord Keeper and the Secretary to dine with Lord Masham, when we
drank the Queen and Lord Treasurer with every health, because this was
the day of his stabbing.--Then I went and played pools at picquet with
Lady Masham and Mrs. Hill; won ten shillings, gave a crown to the
box, and came home. I met at my lodgings a letter from Joe, with a bit
annexed from Ppt. What Joe asks is entirely out of my way, and I take it
for a foolish whim in him. Besides, I know not who is to give a patent:
if the Duke of Ormond, I would speak to him; and if it come in my head
I will mention it to Ned Southwell. They have no patents that I know
of for such things here, but good security is all; and to think that I
would speak to Lord Treasurer for any such matter at random is a jest.
Did I tell you of a race of rakes, called the Mohocks,(3) that play the
devil about this town every night, slit people's noses, and beat them,
etc.? Nite, sollahs, and rove Pdfr. Nite, MD.

9. I was at Court to-day, and nobody invited me to dinner, except one or
two, whom I did not care to dine with; so I dined with Mrs. Van. Young
Davenant(4) was telling us at Court how he was set upon by the Mohocks,
and how they ran his chair through with a sword. It is not safe being in
the streets at night for them. The Bishop of Salisbury's son(5) is said
to be of the gang. They are all Whigs; and a great lady sent to me, to
speak to her father and to Lord Treasurer, to have a care of them,
and to be careful likewise of myself; for she heard they had malicious
intentions against the Ministers and their friends. I know not whether
there be anything in this, though others are of the same opinion. The
weather still continues very fine and frosty. I walked in the Park this
evening, and came home early to avoid the Mohocks. Lord Treasurer is
better. Nite, my own two deelest MD.

10. I went this morning again to the Lord Treasurer, who is quite
recovered; and I stayed till he went out. I dined with a friend in the
City, about a little business of printing; but not my own. You must buy
a small twopenny pamphlet, called Law is a Bottomless Pit.(6) 'Tis very
prettily written, and there will be a Second Part. The Commons are very
slow in bringing in their Bill to limit the press, and the pamphleteers
make good use of their time; for there come out three or four every day.
Well, but is not it time, methinks, to have a letter from MD? 'Tis
now six weeks since I had your Number 26. I can assure oo I expect
one before this goes; and I'll make shorter day's journals than usual,
'cause I hope to fill up a good deal of t'other side with my answer.
Our fine weather lasts yet, but grows a little windy. We shall have rain
soon, I dispose. Go to cards, sollahs, and I to seep. Nite, MD.

11. Lord Treasurer has lent the long letter I writ him(7) to Prior, and
I can't get Prior to return it. I want to have it printed, and to make
up this Academy for the improvement of our language. Faith, we never
shall improve it so much as FW has done; sall we? No, faith, ourrichar
gangridge.(8) I dined privately with my friend Lewis, and then went to
see Ned Southwell, and talk with him about Walls's business, and Mrs.
South's. The latter will be done; but his own not. Southwell tells
me that it must be laid before Lord Treasurer, and the nature of it
explained, and a great deal of clutter, which is not worth the while;
and maybe Lord Treasurer won't do it (at) last; and it is, as Walls
says himself, not above forty shillings a year difference. You must tell
Walls this, unless he would have the business a secret from you: in
that case only say I did all I could with Ned Southwell, and it can't be
done; for it must be laid before Lord Treasurer, etc., who will not do
it; and besides, it is not worth troubling his lordship. So nite, my two
deelest nuntyes nine MD.(9)

12. Here is the D---- and all to do with these Mohocks. Grub Street
papers about them fly like lightning, and a list printed of near eighty
put into several prisons, and all a lie; and I begin almost to think
there is no truth, or very little, in the whole story. He that abused
Davenant was a drunken gentleman; none of that gang. My man tells me
that one of the lodgers heard in a coffee-house, publicly, that one
design of the Mohocks was upon me, if they could catch me; and though I
believe nothing of it, I forbear walking late, and they have put me to
the charge of some shillings already. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer
and two gentlemen of the Highlands of Scotland, yet very polite men.
I sat there till nine, and then went to Lord Masham's, where Lord
Treasurer followed me, and we sat till twelve; and I came home in a
chair for fear of the Mohocks, and I have given him warning of it
too. Little Harrison,(10) whom I sent to Holland, is now actually made
Queen's Secretary at The Hague. It will be in the Gazette to-morrow.
'Tis worth twelve hundred pounds a year. Here is a young fellow has writ
some Sea Eclogues, poems of Mermen, resembling pastorals of shepherds,
and they are very pretty, and the thought is new. Mermen are
he-mermaids; Tritons, natives of the sea. Do you understand me? I think
to recommend him to our Society to-morrow. His name is Diaper.(11) P--
on him, I must do something for him, and get him out of the way. I hate
to have any new wits rise, but when they do rise I would encourage them;
but they tread on our heels and thrust us off the stage. Nite deelest
MD.

13. You would laugh to see our printer constantly attending our Society
after dinner, and bringing us whatever new thing he has printed, which
he seldom fails to do. Yet he had nothing to-day. Lord Lansdowne, one of
our Society, was offended at a passage in this day's Examiner, which he
thinks reflects on him, as I believe it does, though in a mighty civil
way. 'Tis only that his underlings cheat; but that he is a very fine
gentleman every way, etc.(12) Lord Orrery was President to-day; but
both our dukes were absent. Brother Wyndham recommended Diaper to the
Society. I believe we shall make a contribution among ourselves, which I
don't like. Lord Treasurer has yet done nothing for us, but we shall try
him soon. The company parted early, but Freind, and Prior, and I, sat a
while longer and reformed the State, and found fault with the Ministry.
Prior hates his Commission of the Customs, because it spoils his wit. He
says he dreams of nothing but cockets,(13) and dockets, and drawbacks,
and other jargon words of the custom-house. Our good weather went away
yesterday, and the nights are now dark, and I came home before ten.
Night nown... deelest sollahs.

14. I have been plagued this morning with solicitors, and with nobody
more than my brother, Dr. Freind, who must needs have to get old Dr.
Lawrence,(14) the Physician-General, turned out and himself in. He has
argued with me so long upon the reasonableness of it, that I am fully
convinced it is very unreasonable; and so I would tell the Secretary, if
I had not already made him speak to the Queen. Besides, I know not but
my friend Dr. Arbuthnot would be content to have it himself, and I love
him ten times better than Freind. What's all this to you? but I must
talk of things as they happen in the day, whether you know anything
of them or no. I dined in the City, and, coming back, one Parson
Richardson(15) of Ireland overtook me. He was here last summer upon
a project of converting the Irish and printing Bibles, etc., in
that language, and is now returned to pursue it on. He tells me Dr.
Coghill(16) came last night (to) town. I will send to see how he does
to-morrow. He gave me a letter from Walls about his old business. Nite,
deelest MD.

15. I had intended to be early with the Secretary this morning, when my
man admitted upstairs one Mr. Newcomb,(17) an officer, who brought me a
letter from the Bishop of Clogher, with four lines added by Mrs. Ashe,
all about that Newcomb. I think, indeed, his case is hard, but God
knows whether I shall be able to do him any service. People will
not understand: I am a very good second, but I care not to begin a
recommendation, unless it be for an intimate friend. However, I will do
what I can. I missed the Secretary, and then walked to Chelsea to dine
with the Dean of Christ Church,(18) who was engaged to Lord Orrery with
some other Christ Church men. He made me go with him whether I would or
not, for they have this long time admitted me a Christ Church man.
Lord Orrery, generally every winter, gives his old acquaintance of that
college a dinner. There were nine clergymen at table, and four laymen.
The Dean and I soon left them, and after a visit or two, I went to Lord
Masham's, and Lord Treasurer, Arbuthnot and I sat till twelve. And now I
am come home and got to bed. I came afoot, but had my man with me. Lord
Treasurer advised me not to go in a chair, because the Mohocks insult
chairs more than they do those on foot. They think there is some
mischievous design in those villains. Several of them, Lord Treasurer
told me, are actually taken up. I heard at dinner that one of them was
killed last night. We shall know more in a little time. I don't like
them, as the men said.(19) Nite MD.

16. This morning, at the Secretary's, I met General Ross,(20) and
recommended Newcomb's case to him, who promises to join with me
in working up the Duke of Ormond to do something for him. Lord
Winchelsea(21) told me to-day at Court that two of the Mohocks caught
a maid of old Lady Winchelsea's,(22) at the door of their house in the
Park, where she was with a candle, and had just lighted out somebody.
They cut all her face, and beat her without any provocation. I hear my
friend Lewis has got a Mohock in one of the messenger's hands. The Queen
was at church to-day, but was carried in an open chair. She has got an
ugly cough, Arbuthnot, her physician, says. I dined with Crowe,(23) late
Governor of Barbados; an acquaintance of Sterne's.(24) After dinner I
asked him whether he had heard of Sterne. "Here he is," said he, "at the
door in a coach:" and in came Sterne. He has been here this week. He is
buying a captainship in his cousin Sterne's(25) regiment. He told me he
left Jemmy Leigh playing at cards with you. He is to give 800 guineas
for his commission. I suppose you know all this better than I. How shall
I have room to answer oo rettle(26) hen I get it, I have gone so far
already? Nite, deelest logues MD.

17. Dr. Sacheverell came this morning to give me thanks for getting his
brother an employment. It was but six or seven weeks since I spoke to
Lord Treasurer for him. Sacheverell brought Trapp(27) along with him. We
dined together at my printer's, and I sat with them till seven. I little
thought, and I believe so did he, that ever I should be his solicitor
to the present Ministry, when I left Ireland. This is the seventh I have
now provided for since I came, and can do nothing for myself. I don't
care; I shall have Ministries and other people obliged to me. Trapp is a
coxcomb, and the t'other is not very deep; and their judgment in things
of wit or sense is miraculous. The Second Part of Law is a Bottomless
Pit(28) is just now printed, and better, I think, than the first. Night,
my two deel saucy dallars.

18. There is a proclamation out against the Mohocks. One of those that
are taken is a baronet. I dined with poor Mrs. Wesley, who is returning
to the Bath. Mrs. Perceval's(29) young daughter has got the smallpox,
but will do well. I walked this evening in the Park, and met Prior, who
made me go home with him, where I stayed till past twelve, and could not
get a coach, and was alone, and was afraid enough of the Mohocks. I
will do so no more, though I got home safe. Prior and I were talking
discontentedly of some managements, that no more people are turned out,
which get Lord Treasurer many enemies: but whether the fault be in him,
or the Queen, I know not; I doubt, in both. Ung omens, it is now seven
weeks since I received your last; but I expect one next Irish packet, to
fill the rest of this paper; but if it don't come, I'll do without it:
so I wish oo good luck at ombre with the Dean. Nite, nuntyes nine.(30)

19. Newcomb came to me this morning, and I went to the Duke of Ormond
to speak for him; but the Duke was just going out to take the oaths for
General. The Duke of Shrewsbury is to be Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. I
walked with Domville and Ford to Kensington, where we dined, and it
cost me above a crown. I don't like it, as the man said.(31) It was
very windy walking. I saw there Lord Masham's children. The youngest, my
nephew, I fear, has got the king's evil; the other two are daughters of
three and four years old. 'Twas very windy walking. The gardens there
are mighty fine. I passed the evening at Lord Masham's with Lord
Treasurer and Arbuthnot, as usual, and we stayed till past one; but I
had my man to come with me, and at home I found three letters; one from
one Fetherston, a parson, with a postscript of Tisdall's to recommend
him: and Fetherston, whom I never saw, has been so kind to give me
a letter of attorney to recover a debt for him. Another from Lord
Abercorn, to get him the dukedom of Chatelherault(32) from the King
of France; in which I will do what I can, for his pretensions are very
just. The third, I warrant you, from our MD. 'Tis a great stir this, of
getting a dukedom from the King of France: but it is only to speak to
the Secretary, and get the Duke of Ormond to engage in it, and mention
the case to Lord Treasurer, etc., and this I shall do. Nite deelest
richar MD.

20. I was with the Duke of Ormond this morning, about Lord Abercorn, Dr.
Freind, and Newcomb. Some will do, and some will not do; that's wise,
marams.(33) The Duke of Shrewsbury is certainly to be your Governor.
I will go in a day or two, and give the Duchess joy, and recommend the
Archbishop of Dublin to her. I writ to the Archbishop, some months ago,
that it would be so, and told him I would speak a good word for him to
the Duchess; and he says he has a great respect for her, etc. I made our
Society change their house, and we met to-day at the Star and Garter
in the Pall Mall. Lord Arran was President. The other dog was so
extravagant in his bills, that for four dishes and four, first and
second course, without wine or dessert, he charged twenty-one pounds,
six shillings, and eightpence, to the Duke of Ormond. We design, when
all have been Presidents this turn, to turn it into a reckoning of so
much a head; but we shall break up when the session ends. Nite deelest
MD.

21. Morning. Now I will answer MD's rettle, N.27; you that are adding
to your number and grumbling, had made it 26, and then altered(34) it
to 27. I believe it is above a month since your last; yes, it is above
seven weeks since I had your last: but I ought to consider that this
was twelve days right,(35) so that makes it pretty even. O, the sirry
zade,(36) with her excuses of a fortnight at Ballygall, seeing their
friends, and landlord running away. O Rold, hot a cruttle(37) and a
bustle!--No--if you will have it--I am not Dean of Wells,(38) nor know
anything of being so; nor is there anything in the story; and that's
enough. It was not Roper(39) sent that news: Roper is my humble
slave.--Yes, I heard of your resolves, and that Burton was embroiled.
Stratford spoke to me in his behalf; but I said I hated the rascal. Poor
Catherine gone to Wales? But she will come back again, I hope. I would
see her in my journey, if she were near the road; and bring her over.
Joe(40) is a fool; that sort of business is not at all in my way, pray
put him off it. People laugh when I mention it. Bed ee paadon, Maram;
I'm drad oo rike ee aplon:(41) no harm, I hope. And so... DD wonders
she has not a letter at the day; oo'll have it soon.... The D---- he is!
married to that vengeance! Men are not to be believed. I don't think her
a fool. Who would have her? Dilly will be governed like an ass; and she
will govern like a lion. Is not that true, Ppt? Why, Sterne told me he
left you at ombre with Leigh; and yet you never saw him. I know nothing
of his wife being here: it may cost her a c---(42) (I don't care
to write that word plain). He is a little in doubt about buying his
commission. Yes, I will bring oo over all the little papers I can think
on. I thought I sent you, by Leigh, all that were good at that time. The
author of the Sea Eclogues sent books to the Society yesterday, and we
gave him guineas apiece; and, maybe, will do further from him (for him,
I mean). So the Bishop of Clogher, and lady, were your guests for a
night or two. Why, Ppt, you are grown a great gamester and company
keeper. I did say to myself, when I read those names, just what you
guess; and you clear up the matter wonderfully. You may converse with
those two nymphs if you please, but the ----- take me if ever I do. Iss,
fais, it is delightful to hear that Ppt is every way Ppt now, in health,
and looks, and all. Pray God keep her so, many, many, many years. I
doubt the session will not be over till the end of April; however, I
shall not wait for it, if the Ministry will let me go sooner. I wish I
were just now in my garden at Laracor. I would set out for Dublin early
on Monday, and bring you an account of my young trees, which you are
better acquainted with than the Ministry, and so am I. Oh, now you have
got Number 41, have you so? Why, perhaps, I forgot, and kept it to next
post in my pocket: I have done such tricks. My cold is better, but not
gone. I want air and riding. Hold ee tongue, oo Ppt, about colds at
Moor Park! the case is quite different. I will do what you desire me for
Tisdall, when I next see Lord Anglesea. Pray give him my service. The
weather is warm these three or four days, and rainy. I am to dine to-day
with Lewis and Darteneuf at Somers's,(43) the Clerk of the Kitchen at
Court. Darteneuf loves good bits and good sups. Good mollows richar
sollohs.--At night. I dined, as I said; and it cost me a shilling for a
chair. It has rained all day, and is very warm. Lady Masham's young son,
my nephew, is very ill; and she is out of mind(44) with grief. I pity
her mightily. I am got home early, and going to write to the Bishop of
Clogher, but have no politics to send him. Nite my own two deelest saucy
d(ear) ones.

22. I am going into the City this morning with a friend about some
business; so I will immediately seal up this, and keep it in my pottick
till evening, and zen put it in the post. The weather continues warm and
gloomy. I have heard no news since I went to bed, so can say no more.
Pray send... that I may have time to write to...(45) about it. I have
here underneath given order for forty shillings to Mrs. Brent, which you
will send to Parvisol. Farewell, deelest deel MD, and rove Pdfr dearly
dearly. Farewell, MD, MD, FW, FW, FW, ME, ME, ME, Lele lele lele lele
lele lele, and lele aden.



LETTER 44.(1)

LONDON, March 22, 1711-12.

Ugly, nasty weather. I was in the City to-day with Mrs. Wesley and Mrs.
Perceval, to get money from a banker for Mrs. Wesley, who goes to Bath
on Thursday. I left them there, and dined with a friend, and went to see
Lord Treasurer; but he had people with him I did not know: so I went to
Lady Masham's, and lost a crown with her at picquet, and then sat with
Lord Masham and Lord Treasurer, etc., there till past one; but I had
my man with me, to come home. I gave in my forty-third, and one for the
Bishop of Clogher, to the post-office, as I came from the City; and
so oo know 'tis late now, and I have nothing to say for this day. Our
Mohocks are all vanished; however, I shall take care of my person. Nite
my own two deelest nuntyes MD.

23. I was this morning, before church, with the Secretary, about Lord
Abercorn's business, and some others. My soliciting season is come, and
will last as long as the session. I went late to Court, and the company
was almost gone. The Court serves me for a coffee-house; once a week I
meet acquaintance there, that I should not otherwise see in a quarter.
There is a flying report that the French have offered a cessation of
arms, and to give us Dunkirk, and the Dutch Namur, for security,
till the peace is made. The Duke of Ormond, they say, goes in a week.
Abundance of his equipage is already gone. His(2) friends are afraid
the expense of this employment will ruin him, since he must lose the
government of Ireland. I dined privately with a friend, and refused all
dinners offered me at Court; which, however, were but two, and I did not
like either. Did I tell you of a scoundrel about the Court that sells
employments to ignorant people, and cheats them of their money? He
lately made a bargain for the Vice-Chamberlain's place, for seven
thousand pounds, and had received some guineas earnest; but the whole
thing was discovered t'other day, and examination taken of it by Lord
Dartmouth, and I hope he will be swinged. The Vice-Chamberlain told me
several particulars of it last night at Lord Masham's. Can DD play at
ombre yet, enough to hold the cards while Ppt steps into the next room?
Nite deelest sollahs.(3)

24. This morning I recommended Newcomb again to the Duke of Ormond, and
left Dick Stewart(4) to do it further. Then I went to visit the Duchess
of Hamilton, who was not awake. So I went to the Duchess of Shrewsbury,
and sat an hour at her toilet. I talked to her about the Duke's being
Lord Lieutenant. She said she knew nothing of it; but I rallied her
out of that, and she resolves not to stay behind the Duke. I intend to
recommend the Bishop of Clogher to her for an acquaintance. He will
like her very well: she is, indeed, a most agreeable woman, and a great
favourite of mine. I know not whether the ladies in Ireland will like
her. I was at the Court of Requests, to get some lords to be at a
committee to-morrow, about a friend's Bill: and then the Duke of
Beaufort gave me a poem, finely bound in folio, printed at Stamford, and
writ by a country squire. Lord Exeter(5) desired the Duke to give it the
Queen, because the author is his friend; but the Duke desired I would
let him know whether it was good for anything. I brought it home, and
will return it to-morrow, as the dullest thing I ever read; and advise
the Duke not to present it. I dined with Domville at his lodgings, by
invitation; for he goes in a few days for Ireland. Nite dee MD.

25. There is a mighty feast at a Tory sheriff's to-day in the City:
twelve hundred dishes of meat.--Above five lords, and several hundred
gentlemen, will be there, and give four or five guineas apiece,
according to custom. Dr. Coghill and I dined, by invitation, at Mrs.
Van's. It has rained or mizzled all day, as my pockets feel. There are
two new answers come out to the Conduct of the Allies. The last year's
Examiners, printed together in a small volume, go off but slowly. The
printer over-printed himself by at least a thousand; so soon out of
fashion are party papers, however so well writ. The Medleys are coming
out in the same volume, and perhaps may sell better. Our news about a
cessation of arms begins to flag, and I have not these three days seen
anybody in business to ask them about it. We had a terrible fire last
night in Drury Lane, or thereabouts, and three or four people destroyed.
One of the maids of honour has the smallpox; but the best is, she can
lose no beauty; and we have one new handsome maid of honour. Nite MD.

26. I forgot to tell you that on Sunday last, about seven at night,
it lightened above fifty times as I walked the Mall, which I think is
extraordinary at this time of the year, and the weather was very
hot. Had you anything of this in Dublin? I intended to dine with Lord
Treasurer to-day; but Lord Mansel and Mr. Lewis made me dine with them
at Kit Musgrave's.(6) I sat the evening with Mrs. Wesley, who goes
to-morrow morning to the Bath. She is much better than she was. The news
of the French desiring a cessation of arms, etc., was but town talk. We
shall know in a few days, as I am told, whether there will be a peace
or not. The Duke of Ormond will go in a week for Flanders, they say.
Our Mohocks go on still, and cut people's faces every night; fais, they
shan't cut mine, I like it better as it is. The dogs will cost me at
least a crown a week in chairs. I believe the souls of your houghers of
cattle have got into them, and now they don't distinguish between a cow
and a Christian. I forgot to wish you yesterday a happy New Year. You
know the twenty-fifth of March is the first day of the year, and now you
must leave off cards, and put out your fire. I'll put out mine the first
of April, cold or not cold. I believe I shall lose credit with you by
not coming over at the beginning of April; but I hoped the session
would be ended, and I must stay till then; yet I would fain be at the
beginning of my willows growing. Perceval tells me that the quicksets
upon the flat in the garden do not grow so well as those famous ones
on the ditch. They want digging about them. The cherry-trees, by the
river-side, my heart is set upon. Nite MD.

27. Society day. You know that, I suppose. Dr. Arthburnett(7) was
President. His dinner was dressed in the Queen's kitchen, and was mighty
fine. We ate it at Ozinda's Chocolate-house,(8) just by St. James's.
We were never merrier, nor better company, and did not part till after
eleven. I did not summon Lord Lansdowne: he and I are fallen out. There
was something in an Examiner a fortnight ago that he thought reflected
on the abuses in his office (he is Secretary at War), and he writ to the
Secretary that he heard I had inserted that paragraph. This I resented
highly, that he should complain of me before he spoke to me. I sent him
a peppering letter, and would not summon him by a note, as I did the
rest; nor ever will have anything to say to him, till he begs my pardon.
I met Lord Treasurer to-day at Lady Masham's. He would fain have carried
me home to dinner, but I begged his pardon. What! upon a Society day!
No, no. 'Tis rate, sollahs. I an't dlunk. Nite MD.

28. I was with my friend Lewis to-day, getting materials for a little
mischief; and I dined with Lord Treasurer, and three or four fellows
I never saw before. I left them at seven, and came home, and have been
writing to the Archbishop of Dublin, and cousin Deane,(9) in answer to
one of his of four months old, that I spied by chance, routing among
my papers. I have a pain these two days exactly upon the top of my left
shoulder. I fear it is something rheumatic; it winches(10) now and then.
Shall I put flannel to it? Domville is going to Ireland; he came here
this morning to take leave of me, but I shall dine with him to-morrow.
Does the Bishop of Clogher talk of coming for England this summer? I
think Lord Molesworth told me so about two months ago. The weather
is bad again; rainy and very cold this evening. Do you know what the
longitude is? A projector(11) has been applying himself to me, to
recommend him to the Ministry, because he pretends to have found out the
longitude. I believe he has no more found it out than he has found out
mine...(12) However, I will gravely hear what he says, and discover him
a knave or fool. Nite MD.

29. I am plagued with these pains in my shoulder; I believe it is
rheumatic; I will do something for it to-night. Mr. Lewis and I dined
with Mr. Domville, to take our leave of him. I drank three or four
glasses of champagne by perfect teasing, though it is bad for my pain;
but if it continue, I will not drink any wine without water till I am
well. The weather is abominably cold and wet. I am got into bed, and
have put some old flannel, for want of new, to my shoulder, and rubbed
it with Hungary water.(13) It is plaguy hard. I never would drink any
wine, if it were not for my head, and drinking has given me this pain. I
will try abstemiousness for a while. How does MD do now; how does DD and
Ppt? You must know I hate pain, as the old woman said. But I'll try to
go seep. My flesh sucks up Hungary water rarely. My man is an awkward
rascal, and makes me peevish. Do you know that t'other day he was forced
to beg my pardon, that he could not shave my head, his hand shook so? He
is drunk every day, and I design to turn him off soon as ever I get to
Ireland. I'll write no more now, but go to sleep, and see whether sleep
and flannel will cure my shoulder. Nite deelest MD.

30. I was not able to go to church or Court to-day for my shoulder.
The pain has left my shoulder, and crept to my neck and collar-bone. It
makes me think of poo Ppt's bladebone. Urge, urge, urge; dogs gnawing. I
went in a chair at two, and dined with Mrs. Van, where I could be easy,
and came back at seven. My Hungary water is gone; and to-night I use
spirits of wine, which my landlady tells me is very good. It has rained
terribly all day long, and is extremely cold. I am very uneasy, and such
cruel twinges every moment! Nite deelest MD.

31. April 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. All these days I have been extremely
ill, though I twice crawled out a week ago; but am now recovering,
though very weak. The violence of my pain abated the night before last:
I will just tell you how I was, and then send away this letter, which
ought to have gone Saturday last. The pain increased with mighty
violence in my left shoulder and collar-bone, and that side my neck. On
Thursday morning appeared great red spots in all those places where my
pain was, and the violence of the pain was confined to my neck behind, a
little on the left side; which was so violent that I had not a minute's
ease, nor hardly a minute's sleep in three days and nights. The spots
increased every day, and bred little pimples, which are now grown white,
and full of corruption, though small. The red still continues too, and
most prodigious hot and inflamed. The disease is the shingles. I eat
nothing but water-gruel; am very weak; but out of all violent pain. The
doctors say it would have ended in some violent disease if it had not
come out thus. I shall now recover fast. I have been in no danger
of life, but miserable torture. I must not write too much. So adieu,
deelest MD MD MD FW FW, ME ME ME, Lele. I can say lele yet, oo see.
Fais, I don't conceal a bit, as hope saved.(14)

I(15) must purge and clyster after this; and my next letter will not
be in the old order of journal, till I have done with physic. An't oo
surprised to see a letter want half a side?



LETTER 45.(1)

LONDON, April 24, 1712.

I had your twenty-eighth two or three days ago. I can hardly answer it
now. Since my last I have been extremely ill. 'Tis this day just a month
since I felt a small pain on the tip of my left shoulder, which grew
worse, and spread for six days; then broke all out by my collar and left
side of my neck in monstrous red spots inflamed, and these grew to small
pimples. For four days I had no rest, nor nights, for a pain in my neck;
then I grew a little better; afterward, where my pains were, a cruel
itching seized me, beyond whatever I could imagine, and kept me awake
several nights. I rubbed it vehemently, but did not scratch it: then it
grew into three or four great sores like blisters, and run; at last I
advised the doctor to use it like a blister, so I did with melilot(2)
plasters, which still run: and am now in pain enough, but am daily
mending. I kept my chamber a fortnight, then went out a day or two, but
then confined myself again. Two days ago I went to a neighbour to dine,
but yesterday again kept at home. To-day I will venture abroad a little,
and hope to be well in a week or ten days. I never suffered so much in
my life. I have taken my breeches in above two inches, so I am leaner,
which answers one question in your letter. The weather is mighty fine.
I write in the morning, because I am better then. I will go and try
to walk a little. I will give DD's certificate to Tooke to-morrow.
Farewell, MD MD MD, ME ME, FW FW ME ME.



LETTER 46.(1)

LONDON, May 10, 1712.

I have not yet ease or humour enough to go on in my journal method,
though I have left my chamber these ten days. My pain continues still
in my shoulder and collar: I keep flannel on it, and rub it with brandy,
and take a nasty diet drink. I still itch terribly, and have some few
pimples; I am weak, and sweat; and then the flannel makes me mad with
itching; but I think my pain lessens. A journal, while I was sick,
would have been a noble thing, made up of pain and physic, visits, and
messages; the two last were almost as troublesome as the two first. One
good circumstance is that I am grown much leaner. I believe I told you
that I have taken in my breeches two inches. I had your N.29 last night.
In answer to your good opinion of my disease, the doctors said they
never saw anything so odd of the kind; they were not properly shingles,
but herpes miliaris, and twenty other hard names. I can never be sick
like other people, but always something out of the common way; and as
for your notion of its coming without pain, it neither came, nor
stayed, nor went without pain, and the most pain I ever bore in my life.
Medemeris(2) is retired in the country, with the beast her husband, long
ago. I thank the Bishop of Clogher for his proxy; I will write to him
soon. Here is Dilly's wife in town; but I have not seen her yet. No,
sinkerton:(3) 'tis not a sign of health, but a sign that, if it had not
come out, some terrible fit of sickness would have followed. I was at
our Society last Thursday, to receive a new member, the Chancellor of
the Exchequer;(4) but I drink nothing above wine and water. We shall
have a peace, I hope, soon, or at least entirely broke; but I believe
the first. My Letter to Lord Treasurer, about the English tongue,(5) is
now printing; and I suffer my name to be put at the end of it, which
I never did before in my life. The Appendix to the Third Part of John
Bull(6) was published yesterday; it is equal to the rest. I hope you
read John Bull. It was a Scotch gentleman,(7) a friend of mine, that
writ it; but they put it upon me. The Parliament will hardly be up
till June. We were like to be undone some days ago with a tack; but we
carried it bravely, and the Whigs came in to help us. Poor Lady Masham,
I am afraid, will lose her only son, about a twelvemonth old, with the
king's evil. I never would let Mrs. Fenton see me during my illness,
though she often came; but she has been once here since I recovered.
Bernage has been twice to see me of late. His regiment will be broke,
and he only upon half-pay; so perhaps he thinks he will want me again.
I am told here the Bishop of Clogher and family are coming over, but he
says nothing of it himself. I have been returning the visits of those
that sent howdees(8) in my sickness; particularly the Duchess of
Hamilton, who came and sat with me two hours. I make bargains with all
people that I dine with, to let me scrub my back against a chair; and
the Duchess of Ormond(9) was forced to bear it the other day. Many of
my friends are gone to Kensington, where the Queen has been removed for
some time. This is a long letter for a kick(10) body. I will begin the
next in the journal way, though my journals will be sorry ones. My left
hand is very weak, and trembles; but my right side has not been touched.

     This is a pitiful letter
     For want of a better;
     But plagued with a tetter,
     My fancy does fetter.

Ah! my poor willows and quicksets! Well, but you must read John Bull.
Do you understand it all? Did I tell you that young Parson Gery(11) is
going to be married, and asked my advice when it was too late to break
off? He tells me Elwick has purchased forty pounds a year in land
adjoining to his living. Ppt does not say one word of her own little
health. I am angry almost; but I won't, 'cause see im a dood dallar in
odle sings;(12) iss, and so im DD too. God bless MD, and FW, and ME, ay
and Pdfr too. Farewell, MD, MD, MD, FW, FW, FW. ME, ME Lele. I can say
lele it, ung oomens, iss I tan, well as oo.



LETTER 47.(1)

LONDON, May 31, 1712.

I cannot yet arrive to my journal letters, my pains continuing still,
though with less violence; but I don't love to write journals while I am
in pain; and above all, not journals to MD. But, however, I am so much
mended, that I intend my next shall be in the old way; and yet I shall,
perhaps, break my resolution when I feel pain. I believe I have lost
credit with you, in relation to my coming over; but I protest it is
impossible for one who has anything to do with this Ministry to be
certain when he fixes any time. There is a business which, till it take
some turn or other, I cannot leave this place in prudence or honour. And
I never wished so much as now that I had stayed in Ireland; but the
die is cast, and is now a spinning, and till it settles, I cannot tell
whether it be an ace or a sise.(2) I am confident by what you know
yourselves, that you will justify me in all this. The moment I am used
ill, I will leave them; but know not how to do it while things are in
suspense. The session will soon be over (I believe in a fortnight), and
the peace, we hope, will be made in a short time; and there will be
no further occasion for me; nor have I anything to trust to but Court
gratitude, so that I expect to see my willows(3) a month after the
Parliament is up: but I will take MD in my way, and not go to Laracor
like an unmannerly spraenekich ferrow.(4) Have you seen my Letter to
Lord Treasurer? There are two answers come out to it already;(5) though
it is no politics, but a harmless proposal about the improvement of
the English Tongue. I believe if I writ an essay upon a straw some
fool would answer it. About ten days hence I expect a letter from MD;
N.30.--You are now writing it, near the end, as I guess.--I have not
received DD's money; but I will give you a note for it on Parvisol, and
bed oo paadon(6) I have not done it before. I am just now thinking to go
lodge at Kensington for the air. Lady Masham has teased me to do it, but
business has hindered me; but now Lord Treasurer has removed thither.
Fifteen of our Society dined together under a canopy in an arbour
at Parson's Green(7) last Thursday: I never saw anything so fine and
romantic. We got a great victory last Wednesday in the House of Lords
by a majority, I think, of twenty-eight; and the Whigs had desired their
friends to bespeak places to see Lord Treasurer carried to the Tower.(8)
I met your Higgins(9) here yesterday: he roars at the insolence of
the Whigs in Ireland, talks much of his own sufferings and expenses in
asserting the cause of the Church; and I find he would fain plead merit
enough to desire that his fortune should be mended. I believe he designs
to make as much noise as he can in order to preferment. Pray let the
Provost, when he sees you, give you ten English shillings, and I will
give as much here to the man who delivered me Rymer's books:(10) he
knows the meaning. Tell him I will not trust him, but that you can order
it to be paid me here; and I will trust you till I see you. Have I told
you that the rogue Patrick has left me these two months, to my great
satisfaction? I have got another, who seems to be much better, if he
continues it. I am printing a threepenny pamphlet,(11) and shall print
another in a fortnight, and then I have done, unless some new occasion
starts. Is my curate Warburton married to Mrs. Melthrop in my parish? so
I hear. Or is it a lie? Has Raymond got to his new house? Do you see
Joe now and then? What luck have you at ombre? How stands it with the
Dean?...(12) My service to Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine, if she be come
from Wales. I have not yet seen Dilly Ashe's wife. I called once, but
she was not at home: I think she is under the doctor's hand....(13) I
believe the news of the Duke of Ormond producing letters in the council
of war, with orders not to fight, will surprise you in Ireland. Lord
Treasurer said in the House of Lords that in a few days the treaty of
peace should be laid before them; and our Court thought it wrong to
hazard a battle, and sacrifice many lives in such a juncture. If the
peace holds, all will do well, otherwise I know not how we shall weather
it. And it was reckoned as a wrong step in politics for Lord Treasurer
to open himself so much. The Secretary would not go so far to satisfy
the Whigs in the House of Commons; but there all went swimmingly. I'll
say no more to oo to-nite, sellohs, because I must send away the letter,
not by the bell,(14) but early: and besides, I have not much more to say
at zis plesent liting.(15) Does MD never read at all now, pee?(16) But
oo walk plodigiousry, I suppose; oo make nothing of walking to, to,
to, ay, to Donnybrook. I walk too as much as I can, because sweating is
good; but I'll walk more if I go to Kensington. I suppose I shall have
no apples this year neither, for I dined t'other day with Lord Rivers,
who is sick at his country-house, and he showed me all his cherries
blasted. Nite deelest sollahs; farewell deelest rives; rove poo poo
Pdfr. Farewell deelest richar MD, MD, MD, FW, FW, FW, FW, FW, ME, ME,
Lele, ME, Lele, Lele, richar MD.



LETTER 48.(1)

KENSINGTON, June 17, 1712.

I have been so tosticated about since my last, that I could not go on in
my journal manner, though my shoulder is a great deal better; however, I
feel constant pain in it, but I think it diminishes, and I have cut off
some slices from my flannel. I have lodged here near a fortnight, partly
for the air and exercise, partly to be near the Court, where dinners
are to be found. I generally get a lift in a coach to town, and in the
evening I walk back. On Saturday I dined with the Duchess of Ormond at
her lodge near Sheen, and thought to get a boat back as usual. I walked
by the bank to Cue (Kew), but no boat, then to Mortlake, but no boat,
and it was nine o'clock. At last a little sculler called, full of nasty
people. I made him set me down at Hammersmith, so walked two miles
to this place, and got here by eleven. Last night I had another such
difficulty. I was in the City till past ten at night; it rained hard,
but no coach to be had. It gave over a little, and I walked all the way
here, and got home by twelve. I love these shabby difficulties when they
are over; but I hate them, because they arise from not having a thousand
pound a year. I had your N.30 about three days ago, which I will now
answer. And first, I did not relapse, but found(2) I came out before I
ought; and so, and so, as I have told you in some of my last. The first
coming abroad made people think I was quite recovered, and I had no more
messages afterwards. Well, but John Bull is not writ by the person you
imagine, as hope!(3) It is too good for another to own. Had it been Grub
Street, I would have let people think as they please; and I think that's
right: is not it now? so flap ee hand, and make wry mouth oo-self, sauci
doxi. Now comes DD. Why sollah, I did write in a fortnight my 47th;
and if it did not come in due time, can I help wind and weather? am I a
Laplander? am I a witch? can I work miracles? can I make easterly winds?
Now I am against Dr. Smith. I drink little water with my wine, yet I
believe he is right. Yet Dr. Cockburn told me a little wine would not
hurt me; but it is so hot and dry, and water is so dangerous. The worst
thing here is my evenings at Lord Masham's, where Lord Treasurer comes,
and we sit till after twelve. But it is convenient I should be among
them for a while as much as possible. I need not tell oo why. But I hope
that will be at an end in a month or two, one way or other, and I am
resolved it shall. But I can't go to Tunbridge, or anywhere else out of
the way, in this juncture. So Ppt designs for Templeoag (what a name
is that!). Whereabouts is that place? I hope not very far from Dublin.
Higgins is here, roaring that all is wrong in Ireland, and would have
me get him an audience of Lord Treasurer to tell him so; but I will have
nothing to do in it, no, not I, faith. We have had no thunder till last
night, and till then we were dead for want of rain; but there fell a
great deal: no field looked green. I reckon the Queen will go to Windsor
in three or four weeks: and if the Secretary takes a house there, I
shall be sometimes with him. But how affectedly Ppt talks of my being
here all the summer; which I do not intend: nor to stay one minute
longer in England than becomes the circumstances I am in. I wish you
would go soon into the country, and take a good deal of it; and where
better than Trim? Joe will be your humble servant, Parvisol your slave,
and Raymond at your command, for he piques himself on good manners. I
have seen Dilly's wife--and I have seen once or twice old Bradley(4)
here. He is very well, very old, and very wise: I believe I must go see
his wife, when I have leisure. I should be glad to see Goody Stoyte and
her husband; pray give them my humble service, and to Catherine, and to
Mrs. Walls--I am not the least bit in love with Mrs. Walls--I suppose
the cares of the husband increase with the fruitfulness of the wife. I
am grad at halt(5) to hear of Ppt's good health: pray let her finish it
by drinking waters. I hope DD had her bill, and has her money. Remember
to write a due time before ME money is wanted, and be good galls,
dood dallars, I mean, and no crying dallars. I heard somebody coming
upstairs, and forgot I was in the country; and I was afraid of a
visitor: that is one advantage of being here, that I am not teased with
solicitors. Molt, the chemist, is my acquaintance. My service to Dr.
Smith. I sent the question to him about Sir Walter Raleigh's cordial,
and the answer he returned is in these words: "It is directly after Mr.
Boyle's receipt." That commission is performed; if he wants any of it,
Molt shall use him fairly. I suppose Smith is one of your physicians.
So, now your letter is fully and impartially answered; not as rascals
answer me: I believe, if I writ an essay upon a straw, I should have a
shoal of answerers: but no matter for that; you see I can answer without
making any reflections, as becomes men of learning. Well, but now for
the peace: why, we expect it daily; but the French have the staff
in their own hands, and we trust to their honesty. I wish it were
otherwise. Things are now in the way of being soon in the extremes of
well or ill. I hope and believe the first. Lord Wharton is gone out of
town in a rage, and curses himself and friends for ruining themselves
in defending Lord Marlborough and Godolphin, and taking Nottingham into
their favour. He swears he will meddle no more during this reign; a
pretty speech at sixty-six, and the Queen is near twenty years younger,
and now in very good health; for you must know her health is fixed by
a certain reason, that she has done with braces (I must use the
expression), and nothing ill is happened to her since; so she has a new
lease of her life. Read the Letter to a Whig Lord.(6) Do you ever read?
Why don't you say so? I mean does DD read to Ppt? Do you walk? I think
Ppt should walk to(7) DD; as DD reads to Ppt, for Ppt oo must know is a
good walker; but not so good as Pdfr. I intend to dine to-day with Mr.
Lewis, but it threatens rain; and I shall be too late to get a lift; and
I must write to the Bishop of Clogher. 'Tis now ten in the morning; and
this is all writ at a heat. Farewell deelest... deelest MD, MD, MD, MD,
MD, FW, FW, FW, ME, ME, ME, Lele, ME, Lele, ME, Lele, ME, Lele, Lele,
Lele, ME.



LETTER 49.(1)

KENSINGTON, July 1, 1712.

I never was in a worse station for writing letters than this, especially
for writing to MD, since I left off my journals. For I go to town early;
and when I come home at night, I generally go to Lord Masham, where Lord
Treasurer comes, and we stay till past twelve. But I am now resolved
to write journals again, though my shoulder is not yet well; for I have
still a few itching pimples, and a little pain now and then. It is now
high cherry-time with us; take notice, is it so soon with you? And we
have early apricots, and gooseberries are ripe. On Sunday Archdeacon
Parnell came here to see me. It seems he has been ill for grief of his
wife's death,(2) and has been two months at the Bath. He has a mind
to go to Dunkirk with Jack Hill,(3) and I persuade him to it, and have
spoke to Hill to receive him; but I doubt he won't have spirit to go. I
have made Ford(4) Gazetteer, and got two hundred pounds a year settled
on the employment by the Secretary of State, beside the perquisites.
It is the prettiest employment in England of its bigness; yet the puppy
does not seem satisfied with it. I think people keep some follies to
themselves, till they have occasion to produce them. He thinks it not
genteel enough, and makes twenty difficulties. 'Tis impossible to make
any man easy. His salary is paid him every week, if he pleases, without
taxes or abatements. He has little to do for it. He has a pretty office,
with coals, candles, papers, etc.; can frank what letters he will; and
his perquisites, if he takes care, may be worth one hundred pounds more.
I hear the Bishop of Clogher is landing, or landed, in England; and I
hope to see him in a few days. I was to see Mrs. Bradley(5) on Sunday
night. Her youngest son is married to somebody worth nothing, and her
daughter was forced to leave Lady Giffard, because she was striking up
an intrigue with a footman, who played well upon the flute. This is the
mother's account of it. Yesterday the old Bishop of Worcester,(6) who
pretends to be a prophet, went to the Queen, by appointment, to prove
to Her Majesty, out of Daniel and the Revelations, that four years hence
there would be a war of religion; that the King of France would be
a Protestant, and fight on their side; that the Popedom would be
destroyed, etc.; and declared that he would be content to give up his
bishopric if it were not true. Lord Treasurer, who told it me, was by,
and some others; and I am told Lord Treasurer confounded him sadly in
his own learning, which made the old fool very quarrelsome. He is near
ninety years old. Old Bradley is fat and lusty, and has lost his palsy.
Have you seen Toland's Invitation to Dismal?(7) How do you like it? But
it is an imitation of Horace, and perhaps you don't understand Horace.
Here has been a great sweep of employments, and we expect still more
removals. The Court seems resolved to make thorough work. Mr. Hill
intended to set out to-morrow for Dunkirk, of which he is appointed
Governor; but he tells me to-day that he cannot go till Thursday or
Friday. I wish it were over. Mr. Secretary tells me he is (in) no fear
at all that France will play tricks with us. If we have Dunkirk once,
all is safe. We rail now all against the Dutch, who, indeed, have acted
like knaves, fools, and madmen. Mr. Secretary is soon to be made a
viscount. He desired I would draw the preamble of his patent; but
I excused myself from a work that might lose me a great deal of
reputation, and get me very little. We would fain have the Court make
him an earl, but it would not be; and therefore he will not take the
title of Bullenbrook,(8) which is lately extinct in the elder branch of
his family. I have advised him to be called Lord Pomfret; but he thinks
that title is already in some other family;(9) and, besides, he objects
that it is in Yorkshire, where he has no estate; but there is nothing in
that, and I love Pomfret. Don't you love Pomfret? Why? 'Tis in all our
histories; they are full of Pomfret Castle. But what's all this to you?
You don't care for this. Is Goody Stoyte come to London? I have not
heard of her yet. The Dean of St. Patrick's never had the manners to
answer my letter. I was t'other day to see Sterne(10) and his wife.
She is not half so handsome as when I saw her with you at Dublin. They
design to pass the summer at a house near Lord Somers's, about a dozen
miles off. You never told me how my "Letter to Lord Treasurer" passes in
Ireland. I suppose you are drinking at this time Temple-something's(11)
waters. Steele was arrested the other day for making a lottery directly
against an Act of Parliament. He is now under prosecution; but they
think it will be dropped out of pity.(12) I believe he will very soon
lose his employment, for he has been mighty impertinent of late in his
Spectators; and I will never offer a word in his behalf. Raymond writes
me word that the Bishop of Meath(13) was going to summon me, in order
to suspension, for absence, if the Provost had not prevented him. I am
prettily rewarded for getting them their First-Fruits, with a p--. We
have had very little hot weather during the whole month of June; and for
a week past we have had a great deal of rain, though not every day. I am
just now told that the Governor of Dunkirk has not orders yet to deliver
up the town to Jack Hill and his forces, but expects them daily. This
must put off Hill's journey a while, and I don't like these stoppings in
such an affair. Go, get oo gone, and drink oo waters, if this rain has
not spoiled them, sauci doxi. I have no more to say to oo at plesent;
but rove Pdfr, and MD, and ME. And Podefr will rove Pdfr, and MD and
ME. I wish you had taken any account when I sent money to Mrs. Brent.
I believe I han't done it a great while. And pray send me notice when
ME... to have it when it is due.(14) Farewell, dearest MD FW FW FW ME ME
ME.



LETTER 50.(1)

KENSINGTON, July 17, 1712.

I am weary of living in this place, and glad to leave it soon. The Queen
goes on Tuesday to Windsor, and I shall follow in three or four days
after. I can do nothing here, going early to London, and coming late
from it, and supping at Lady Masham's. I dined to-day with the Duke of
Argyle at Cue (Kew), and would not go to the Court to-night, because of
writing to MD. The Bishop of Clogher has been here this fortnight: I see
him as often as I can. Poor Master Ashe has a sad redness in his face;
it is St. Anthony's fire; his face all swelled, and will break in his
cheek, but no danger. Since Dunkirk has been in our hands, Grub Street
has been very fruitful. Pdfr has writ five or six Grub Street papers
this last week. Have you seen Toland's Invitation to Dismal, or Hue and
Cry after Dismal, or Ballad on Dunkirk, or Argument that Dunkirk is not
in our Hands? Poh! you have seen nothing. I am dead here with the hot
weather; yet I walk every night home, and believe it does me good:
but my shoulder is not yet right; itchings, and scratchings, and small
achings. Did I tell you I had made Ford Gazetteer, with two hundred
pounds a year salary, beside perquisites? I had a letter lately from
Parvisol, who says my canal looks very finely; I long to see it; but
no apples; all blasted again. He tells me there will be a triennial
visitation in August. I must send Raymond another proxy. So now I will
answer oo rettle N.33,(2) dated June 17. Ppt writes as well as ever, for
all her waters. I wish I had never come here, as often and as heartily
as Ppt. What had I to do here? I have heard of the Bishop's making me
uneasy, but I did not think it was because I never writ to him. A little
would make me write to him, but I don't know what to say. I find I am
obliged to the Provost for keeping the Bishop(3) from being impertinent.
Yes, Maram DD, but oo would not be content with letters flom Pdfr of six
lines, or twelve either, fais. I hope Ppt will have done with the waters
soon, and find benefit by them. I believe, if they were as far off
as Wexford, they would do as much good; for I take the journey to
contribute as much as anything. I can assure you the Bishop of Clogher's
being here does not in the least affect my staying or going. I never
talked to Higgins but once in my life in the street, and I believe he
and I shall hardly meet but by chance. What care I whether my Letter to
Lord Treasurer be commended there or no? Why does not somebody among
you answer it, as three or four have done here? (I am now sitting with
nothing but my nightgown, for heat.) Ppt shall have a great Bible. I
have put it down in my memlandums(4) just now. And DD shall be repaid
her t'other book; but patience, all in good time: you are so hasty,
a dog would, etc. So Ppt has neither won nor lost. Why, mun, I play
sometimes too at picket, that is picquet, I mean; but very seldom.--Out
late? why, 'tis only at Lady Masham's, and that is in our town; but I
never come late here from London, except once in rain, when I could
not get a coach. We have had very little thunder here; none these
two months. Why, pray, madam philosopher, how did the rain hinder the
thunder from doing any harm? I suppose it ssquenched it. So here comes
Ppt aden(5) with her little watery postscript. O Rold, dlunken srut!(6)
drink Pdfr's health ten times in a morning! you are a whetter, fais;
I sup MD's fifteen times evly molning in milk porridge. Lele's fol oo
now--and lele's fol oo rettle, and evly kind of sing(7)--and now I
must say something else. You hear Secretary St. John is made Viscount
Bullinbrook.(8) I can hardly persuade him to take that title, because
the eldest branch of his family had it in an earldom, and it was last
year extinct. If he did not take it, I advised him to be Lord Pomfret,
which I think is a noble title. You hear of it often in the Chronicles,
Pomfret Castle: but we believed it was among the titles of some other
lord. Jack Hill sent his sister a pattern of a head-dress from Dunkirk;
it was like our fashion twenty years ago, only not quite so high, and
looked very ugly. I have made Trapp(9) chaplain to Lord Bullinbroke, and
he is mighty happy and thankful for it. Mr. Addison returned me my
visit this morning. He lives in our town. I shall be mighty retired, and
mighty busy for a while at Windsor. Pray why don't MD go to Trim, and
see Laracor, and give me an account of the garden, and the river, and
the holly and the cherry-trees on the river-walk?

19. I could not send this letter last post, being called away before I
could fold or finish it. I dined yesterday with Lord Treasurer; sat with
him till ten at night; yet could not find a minute for some business I
had with him. He brought me to Kensington, and Lord Bulingbrook would
not let me go away till two; and I am now in bed, very lazy and sleepy
at nine. I must shave head and face, and meet Lord Bullinbrook at
eleven, and dine again with Lord Treasurer. To-day there will be another
Grub,(10) A Letter from the Pretender to a Whig Lord. Grub Street has
but ten days to live; then an Act of Parliament takes place that ruins
it, by taxing every half-sheet at a halfpenny. We have news just come,
but not the particulars, that the Earl of Albemarle,(11) at the head of
eight thousand Dutch, is beaten, lost the greatest part of his men, and
himself a prisoner. This perhaps may cool their courage, and make them
think of a peace. The Duke of Ormond has got abundance of credit by his
good conduct of affairs in Flanders. We had a good deal of rain last
night, very refreshing. 'Tis late, and I must rise. Don't play at ombre
in your waters, sollah. Farewell, deelest MD, MD MD MD FW FW ME ME ME
Lele Lele Lele.



LETTER 51.(1)

LONDON, Aug. 7, 1712.

I had your N.32 at Windsor: I just read it, and immediately sealed it up
again, and shall read it no more this twelvemonth at least. The reason
of my resentment at it is, because you talk as glibly of a thing as if
it were done, which, for aught I know, is farther from being done than
ever, since I hear not a word of it, though the town is full of it, and
the Court always giving me joy and vexation. You might be sure I would
have let you know as soon as it was done; but I believe you fancied I
would affect not to tell it you, but let you learn it from newspapers
and reports. I remember only there was something in your letter about
ME's money, and that shall be taken care of on the other side. I left
Windsor on Monday last, upon Lord Bolingbroke's being gone to France,
and somebody's being here that I ought often to consult with in an
affair I am upon: but that person talks of returning to Windsor again,
and I believe I shall follow him. I am now in a hedge-lodging very busy,
as I am every day till noon: so that this letter is like to be short,
and you are not to blame me these two months; for I protest, if I study
ever so hard, I cannot in that time compass what I am upon. We have
a fever both here and at Windsor, which hardly anybody misses; but it
lasts not above three or four days, and kills nobody.(2) The Queen has
forty servants down of it at once. I dined yesterday with Treasurer, but
could do no business, though he sent for me, I thought, on purpose;
but he desires I will dine with him again to-day. Windsor is a most
delightful place, and at this time abounds in dinners. My lodgings there
look upon Eton and the Thames. I wish I was owner of them; they belong
to a prebend. God knows what was in your letter; and if it be not
answered, whose fault is it, sauci dallars?--Do you know that Grub
Street is dead and gone last week? No more ghosts or murders now for
love or money. I plied it pretty close the last fortnight, and published
at least seven penny papers of my own, besides some of other people's:
but now every single half-sheet pays a halfpenny to the Queen.(3) The
Observator is fallen; the Medleys are jumbled together with the Flying
Post; the Examiner is deadly sick; the Spectator keeps up, and doubles
its price; I know not how long it will hold. Have you seen the red
stamp the papers are marked with? Methinks it is worth a halfpenny,
the stamping it. Lord Bolingbroke and Prior set out for France last
Saturday. My lord's business is to hasten the peace before the Dutch
are too much mauled, and hinder France from carrying the jest of beating
them too far. Have you seen the Fourth Part of John Bull?(4) It is equal
to the rest, and extremely good. The Bishop of Clogher's son has been
ill of St. Anthony's fire, but is now quite well. I was afraid his face
would be spoiled, but it is not. Dilly is just as he used to be, and
puns as plentifully and as bad. The two brothers see one another; but I
think not the two sisters. Raymond writ to me that he intended to invite
you to Trim. Are you, have you, will you be there? Won't oo see pool
Laratol?(5) Parvisol says I shall have no fruit. Blasts have taken away
all. Pray observe the cherry-trees on the river-walk; but oo are too
lazy to take such a journey. If you have not your letters in due time
for two months hence, impute it to my being tosticated between this and
Windsor. And pray send me again the state of ME's money; for I will not
look into your letter for it. Poor Lord Winchelsea(6) is dead, to my
great grief. He was a worthy honest gentleman, and particular friend of
mine: and, what is yet worse, my old acquaintance, Mrs. Finch,(7) is
now Countess of Winchelsea, the title being fallen to her husband, but
without much estate. I have been poring my eyes all this morning, and it
is now past two afternoon, so I shall take a little walk in the Park.
Do you play at ombre still? Or is that off by Mr. Stoyte's absence, and
Mrs. Manley's grief? Somebody was telling me of a strange sister that
Mrs. Manley has got in Ireland, who disappointed you all about her being
handsome. My service to Mrs. Walls. Farewell, deelest MD MD MD, FW FW
FW, ME ME ME ME ME. Lele, logues both; rove poo Pdfr.



LETTER 52.(1)

WINDSOR, Sept. 15, 1712.

I never was so long without writing to MD as now, since I left them, nor
ever will again while I am able to write. I have expected from one week
to another that something would be done in my own affairs; but nothing
at all is, nor I don't know when anything will, or whether ever at all,
so slow are people at doing favours. I have been much out of order of
late with the old giddiness in my head. I took a vomit for it two days
ago, and will take another about a day or two hence. I have eat mighty
little fruit; yet I impute my disorder to that little, and shall
henceforth wholly forbear it. I am engaged in a long work, and have
done all I can of it, and wait for some papers from the Ministry for
materials for the rest; and they delay me, as if it were a favour I
asked of them; so that I have been idle here this good while, and it
happened in a right time, when I was too much out of order to study. One
is kept constantly out of humour by a thousand unaccountable things
in public proceedings; and when I reason with some friends, we cannot
conceive how affairs can last as they are. God only knows, but it is a
very melancholy subject for those who have any near concern in it. I am
again endeavouring, as I was last year, to keep people(2) from breaking
to pieces upon a hundred misunderstandings. One cannot withhold them
from drawing different ways, while the enemy is watching to destroy
both. See how my style is altered, by living and thinking and talking
among these people, instead of my canal and river-walk and willows. I
lose all my money here among the ladies;(3) so that I never play when I
can help it, being sure to lose. I have lost five pounds the five weeks
I have been here. I hope Ppt is luckier at picquet with the Dean and
Mrs. Walls. The Dean never answered my letter, though. I have clearly
forgot whether I sent a bill for ME in any of my last letters. I think I
did; pray let me know, and always give me timely notice. I wait here but
to see what they will do for me; and whenever preferments are given from
me, as hope saved, I will come over.

18. I have taken a vomit to-day, and hope I shall be better. I have been
very giddy since I writ what is before, yet not as I used to be: more
frequent, but not so violent. Yesterday we were alarmed with the Queen's
being ill: she had an aguish and feverish fit; and you never saw such
countenances as we all had, such dismal melancholy. Her physicians from
town were sent for, but towards night she grew better; to-day she missed
her fit, and was up: we are not now in any fear; it will be at worst but
an ague, and we hope even that will not return. Lord Treasurer would not
come here from London, because it would make a noise if he came before
his usual time, which is Saturday, and he goes away on Mondays. The
Whigs have lost a great support in the Earl of Godolphin.(4) It is a
good jest to hear the Ministers talk of him now with humanity and pity,
because he is dead, and can do them no more hurt. Lady Orkney,(5) the
late King's mistress (who lives at a fine place, five miles from hence,
called Cliffden(6)), and I, are grown mighty acquaintance. She is the
wisest woman I ever saw; and Lord Treasurer made great use of her advice
in the late change of affairs. I heard Lord Marlborough is growing ill
of his diabetes; which, if it be true, may soon carry him off; and then
the Ministry will be something more at ease. MD has been a long time
without writing to Pdfr, though they have not the same cause: it is
seven weeks since your last came to my hands, which was N.32, that you
may not be mistaken. I hope Ppt has not wanted her health. You were then
drinking waters. The doctor tells me I must go into a course of steel,
though I have not the spleen; for that they can never give me, though I
have as much provocation to it as any man alive. Bernage's(7) regiment
is broke; but he is upon half-pay. I have not seen him this long time;
but I suppose he is overrun with melancholy. My Lord Shrewsbury is
certainly designed to be Governor of Ireland; and I believe the Duchess
will please the people there mightily. The Irish Whig leaders promise
great things to themselves from his government; but care shall be taken,
if possible, to prevent them. Mrs. Fenton(8) has writ to me that she has
been forced to leave Lady Giffard, and come to town, for a rheumatism:
that lady does not love to be troubled with sick people. Mrs. Fenton
writes to me as one dying, and desires I would think of her son: I have
not answered her letter. She is retired(9) to Mrs. Povey's. Is my aunt
alive yet? and do you ever see her? I suppose she has forgot the loss of
her son. Is Raymond's new house quite finished? and does he squander as
he used to do? Has he yet spent all his wife's fortune? I hear there are
five or six people putting strongly in for my livings; God help them!
But if ever the Court should give me anything, I would recommend Raymond
to the Duke of Ormond; not for any particular friendship to him, but
because it would be proper for the minister of Trim to have Laracor. You
may keep the gold-studded snuff-box now; for my brother Hill, Governor
of Dunkirk, has sent me the finest that ever you saw.(10) It is allowed
at Court that none in England comes near it, though it did not cost
above twenty pounds. And the Duchess of Hamilton has made me pockets for
(it) like a woman's, with a belt and buckle (for, you know, I wear
no waistcoat in summer), and there are several divisions, and one on
purpose for my box, oh ho!--We have had most delightful weather this
whole week; but illness and vomiting have hindered me from sharing in a
great part of it. Lady Masham made the Queen send to Kensington for some
of her preserved ginger for me, which I take in the morning, and hope
it will do me good. Mrs. Brent(11) sent me a letter by a young fellow,
a printer, desiring I would recommend him here, which you may tell her
I have done: but I cannot promise what will come of it, for it is
necessary they should be made free here(12) before they can be employed.
I remember I put the boy prentice to Brent. I hope Parvisol has set my
tithes well this year: he has writ nothing to me about it; pray talk to
him of it when you see him, and let him give me an account how things
are. I suppose the corn is now off the ground. I hope he has sold that
great ugly horse. Why don't you sell to him? He keeps me at charges
for horses that I never ride: yours is lame, and will never be good for
anything. The Queen will stay here about a month longer, I suppose; but
Lady Masham will go in ten days to lie in at Kensington. Poor creature,
she fell down in the court here t'other day. She would needs walk across
it upon some displeasure with her chairmen, and was likely to be spoiled
so near her time; but we hope all is over for a black eye and a sore
side: though I shall not be at ease till she is brought to bed. I find I
can fill up a letter, some way or other, without a journal. If I had
not a spirit naturally cheerful, I should be very much discontented at
a thousand things. Pray God preserve MD's health, and Pdfr's, and that
I may live far from the envy and discontent that attends those who are
thought to have more favour at Courts than they really possess. Love
Pdfr, who loves MD above all things. Farewell, deelest, ten thousand
times deelest, MD MD MD, FW FW, ME ME ME ME. Lele, Lele, Lele, Lele.



LETTER 53.(1)

LONDON, Oct. 9, 1712.

I have left Windsor these ten days, and am deep in pills with
asafoetida, and a steel bitter drink; and I find my head much better
than it was. I was very much discouraged; for I used to be ill for three
or four days together, ready to totter as I walked. I take eight pills a
day, and have taken, I believe, a hundred and fifty already. The Queen,
Lord Treasurer, Lady Masham, and I, were all ill together, but are now
all better; only Lady Masham expects every day to lie in at Kensington.
There was never such a lump of lies spread about the town together as
now. I doubt not but you will have them in Dublin before this comes to
you, and all without the least grounds of truth. I have been mightily
put backward in something I am writing by my illness, but hope to fetch
it up, so as to be ready when the Parliament meets. Lord Treasurer has
had an ugly fit of the rheumatism, but is now near quite well. I was
playing at one-and-thirty with him and his family t'other night. He
gave us all twelvepence apiece to begin with: it put me in mind of Sir
William Temple.(2) I asked both him and Lady Masham seriously whether
the Queen were at all inclined to a dropsy, and they positively assured
me she was not: so did her physician Arbuthnot, who always attends her.
Yet these devils have spread that she has holes in her legs, and runs
at her navel, and I know not what. Arbuthnot has sent me from Windsor a
pretty Discourse upon Lying, and I have ordered the printer to come for
it. It is a proposal for publishing a curious piece, called The Art of
Political Lying, in two volumes, etc. And then there is an abstract of
the first volume, just like those pamphlets which they call The Works of
the Learned.(3) Pray get it when it comes out. The Queen has a little of
the gout in one of her hands. I believe she will stay a month still at
Windsor. Lord Treasurer showed me the kindest letter from her in the
world, by which I picked out one secret, that there will be soon
made some Knights of the Garter. You know another is fallen by Lord
Godolphin's death: he will be buried in a day or two at Westminster
Abbey. I saw Tom Leigh(4) in town once. The Bishop of Clogher has taken
his lodging for the winter; they are all well. I hear there are in town
abundance of people from Ireland; half a dozen bishops at least. The
poor old Bishop of London,(5) at past fourscore, fell down backward
going upstairs, and I think broke or cracked his skull; yet is now
recovering. The town is as empty as at midsummer; and if I had not
occasion for physic, I would be at Windsor still. Did I tell you of Lord
Rivers's will? He has left legacies to about twenty paltry old whores by
name, and not a farthing to any friend, dependent, or relation: he has
left from his only child, Lady Barrymore,(6) her mother's estate, and
given the whole to his heir-male, a popish priest, a second cousin, who
is now Earl Rivers, and whom he used in his life like a footman. After
him it goes to his chief wench and bastard. Lord Treasurer and Lord
Chamberlain are executors of this hopeful will. I loved the man, and
detest his memory. We hear nothing of peace yet: I believe verily the
Dutch are so wilful, because they are told the Queen cannot live. I had
poor MD's letter, N.3,(7) at Windsor: but I could not answer it
then; poor Pdfr was vely kick(8) then: and, besides, it was a very
inconvenient place to send letters from. Oo thought to come home
the same day, and stayed a month: that was a sign the place was
agreeable.(9) I should love such a sort of jaunt. Is that lad
Swanton(10) a little more fixed than he used to be? I think you like
the girl very well. She has left off her grave airs, I suppose. I am now
told Lord Godolphin was buried last night.--O poo Ppt! lay down oo head
aden, fais I...; I always reckon if oo are ill I shall hear it, and
therefore hen oo are silent I reckon all is well.(11) I believe I
'scaped the new fever(12) for the same reason that Ppt did, because I am
not well; but why should DD 'scape it, pray? She is melthigal, oo know,
and ought to have the fever; but I hope it is now too late, and she
won't have it at all. Some physicians here talk very melancholy, and
think it foreruns the plague, which is actually at Hamburg. I hoped Ppt
would have done with her illness; but I think we both have that faculty
never to part with a disorder for ever; we are very constant. I have had
my giddiness twenty-three years by fits. Will Mrs. Raymond never have
done lying-in? He intends to leave beggars enough; for I daresay he has
squandered away the best part of his fortune already, and is not out of
debt. I had a letter from him lately.

Oct. 11. Lord Treasurer sent for me yesterday and the day before to sit
with him, because he is not yet quite well enough to go abroad; and I
could not finish my letter. How the deuce come I to be so exact in ME
money? Just seventeen shillings and eightpence more than due; I believe
you cheat me. If Hawkshaw does not pay the interest I will have the
principal; pray speak to Parvisol and have his advice what I should do
about it. Service to Mrs. Stoyte and Catherine and Mrs. Walls. Ppt
makes a petition with many apologies. John Danvers, you know, is Lady
Giffard's friend. The rest I never heard of. I tell you what, as things
are at present, I cannot possibly speak to Lord Treasurer for anybody.
I need tell you no more. Something or nothing will be done in my own
affairs: if the former, I will be a solicitor for your sister;(13) if
the latter, I have done with Courts for ever. Opportunities will often
fall in my way, if I am used well, and I will then make it my business.
It is my delight to do good offices for people who want and deserve, and
a tenfold delight to do it to a relation of Ppt, whose affairs she has
so at heart.(14) I have taken down his name and his case (not HER case),
and whenever a proper time comes, I will do all I can; zat's enough to
say when I can do no more; and I beg oo pardon a sousand times,(15) that
I cannot do better. I hope the Dean of St. P(atrick's) is well of his
fever: he has never writ to me: I am glad of it; pray don't desire him
to write. I have dated your bill late, because it must not commence, ung
oomens, till the first of November(16) next. O, fais, I must be ise;(17)
iss, fais, must I; else ME will cheat Pdfr. Are you good housewives and
readers? Are you walkers? I know you are gamesters. Are you drinkers?
Are you-- O Rold, I must go no further, for fear of abusing fine
radies.(18) Parvisol has never sent me one word how he set this year's
tithes. Pray ask whether tithes set well or ill this year. The Bishop
of Killaloe(19) tells me wool bears a good rate in Ireland: but how is
corn? I dined yesterday with Lady Orkney, and we sat alone from two
till eleven at night.--You have heard of her, I suppose. I have twenty
letters upon my hands, and am so lazy and so busy, I cannot answer them,
and they grow upon me for several months. Have I any apples at Laracor?
It is strange every year should blast them, when I took so much care
for shelter. Lord Bolingbroke has been idle at his country-house this
fortnight, which puts me backward in a business I have. I am got into an
ordinary room two pair of stairs, and see nobody, if I can help it;
yet some puppies have found me out, and my man is not such an artist as
Patrick at denying me. Patrick has been soliciting to come to me again,
but in vain. The printer has been here with some of the new whims
printed, and has taken up my time. I am just going out, and can only bid
oo farewell. Farewell, deelest ickle MD, MD MD MD FW FW FW FW ME ME ME
ME. Lele deel ME. Lele lele lele sollahs bose.(20)



LETTER 54.(1)

LONDON, Oct. 28, 1712.

I have been in physic this month, and have been better these three
weeks. I stop my physic, by the doctor's orders, till he sends me
further directions. DD grows politician, and longs to hear the peace
is proclaimed. I hope we shall have it soon, for the Dutch are fully
humbled; and Prior is just come over from France for a few days; I
suppose upon some important affair. I saw him last night, but had no
private talk with him. Stocks rise upon his coming. As for my stay in
England, it cannot be long now, so tell my friends. The Parliament will
not meet till after Christmas, and by that time the work I am doing will
be over, and then nothing shall keep me. I am very much discontented at
Parvisol, about neglecting to sell my horses, etc.

Lady Masham is not yet brought to bed; but we expect it daily. I dined
with her to-day. Lord Bolingbroke returned about two months ago, and
Prior about a week; and goes back (Prior I mean) in a few days. Who told
you of my snuff-box and pocket? Did I? I had a letter to-day from Dr.
Coghill,(2) desiring me to get Raphoe for Dean Sterne, and the deanery
for myself. I shall indeed, I have such obligations to Sterne. But
however, if I am asked who will make a good bishop, I shall name him
before anybody. Then comes another letter, desiring I would recommend a
Provost,(3) supposing that Pratt (who has been here about a week) will
certainly be promoted; but I believe he will not. I presented Pratt to
Lord Treasurer, and truly young Molyneux(4) would have had me present
him too; but I directly answered him I would not, unless he had business
with him. He is the son of one Mr. Molyneux of Ireland. His father wrote
a book;(5) I suppose you know it. Here is the Duke of Marlborough going
out of England (Lord knows why), which causes many speculations. Some
say he is conscious of guilt, and dare not stand it. Others think he has
a mind to fling an odium on the Government, as who should say that one
who has done such great services to his country cannot live quietly in
it, by reason of the malice of his enemies. I have helped to patch up
these people(6) together once more. God knows how long it may last.
I was to-day at a trial between Lord Lansdowne and Lord Carteret, two
friends of mine. It was in the Queen's Bench, for about six thousand a
year (or nine, I think). I sat under Lord Chief-Justice Parker, and his
pen falling down I reached it up. He made me a low bow; and I was going
to whisper him that I HAD DONE GOOD FOR EVIL; FOR HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN
MINE FROM ME.(7) I told it Lord Treasurer and Bolingbroke. Parker would
not have known me, if several lords on the bench, and in the court,
bowing, had not turned everybody's eyes, and set them a whispering. I
owe the dog a spite, and will pay him in two months at furthest, if
I can. So much for that. But you must have chat, and I must say every
sorry thing that comes into my head. They say the Queen will stay a
month longer at Windsor. These devils of Grub Street rogues, that write
the Flying Post and Medley in one paper,(8) will not be quiet. They are
always mauling Lord Treasurer, Lord Bolingbroke, and me. We have the dog
under prosecution, but Bolingbroke is not active enough; but I hope
to swinge him. He is a Scotch rogue, one Ridpath.(9) They get out upon
bail, and write on. We take them again, and get fresh bail; so it goes
round. They say some learned Dutchman has wrote a book, proving by
civil law that we do them wrong by this peace; but I shall show by plain
reason that we have suffered the wrong, and not they. I toil like a
horse, and have hundreds of letters still to read and squeeze a line out
of each, or at least the seeds of a line. Strafford goes back to Holland
in a day or two, and I hope our peace is very near. I have about thirty
pages more to write (that is, to be extracted), which will be sixty in
print. It is the most troublesome part of all, and I cannot keep myself
private, though I stole into a room up two pair of stairs, when I came
from Windsor; but my present man has not yet learned his lesson of
denying me discreetly.

30. The Duchess of Ormond found me out to-day, and made me dine with
her. Lady Masham is still expecting. She has had a cruel cold. I could
not finish my letter last post for the soul of me. Lord Bolingbroke has
had my papers these six weeks, and done nothing to them. Is Tisdall
yet in the world? I propose writing controversies, to get a name with
posterity. The Duke of Ormond will not be over these three or four
days. I desire to make him join with me in settling all right among our
people. I have ordered the Duchess to let me have an hour with the Duke
at his first coming, to give him a true state of persons and things.
I believe the Duke of Shrewsbury will hardly be declared your Governor
yet; at least, I think so now; but resolutions alter very often. The
Duke of Hamilton gave me a pound of snuff to-day, admirable good. I wish
DD had it, and Ppt too, if she likes it. It cost me a quarter of an hour
of his politics, which I was forced to hear. Lady Orkney(10) is making
me a writing-table of her own contrivance, and a bed nightgown. She is
perfectly kind, like a mother. I think the devil was in it the other
day, that I should talk to her of an ugly squinting cousin of hers, and
the poor lady herself, you know, squints like a dragon. The other day
we had a long discourse with her about love; and she told us a saying
of her sister Fitz-Hardinge,(11) which I thought excellent, that in men,
desire begets love, and in women, love begets desire. We have abundance
of our old criers(12) still hereabouts. I hear every morning your women
with the old satin and taffeta, etc., the fellow with old coats, suits
or cloaks. Our weather is abominable of late. We have not two tolerable
days in twenty. I have lost money again at ombre, with Lord Orkney
and others; yet, after all, this year I have lost but three-and-twenty
shillings; so that, considering card money, I am no loser.

Our Society hath not yet renewed their meetings. I hope we shall
continue to do some good this winter; and Lord Treasurer promises the
Academy for reforming our language shall soon go forward. I must now
go hunt those dry letter for materials. You will see something very
notable, I hope. So much for that. God Almighty bless you.



LETTER 55.(1)

LONDON, Nov. 15, 1712.

Before this comes to your hands, you will have heard of the most
terrible accident that hath almost ever happened. This morning, at
eight, my man brought me word that the Duke of Hamilton had fought
with Lord Mohun,(2) and killed him, and was brought home wounded.(3) I
immediately sent him to the Duke's house, in St. James's Square; but the
porter could hardly answer for tears, and a great rabble was about the
house. In short, they fought at seven this morning. The dog Mohun
was killed on the spot; and while(4) the Duke was over him, Mohun,
shortening his sword, stabbed him in at the shoulder to the heart. The
Duke was helped toward the cake-house by the Ring in Hyde Park (where
they fought), and died on the grass, before he could reach the house;
and was brought home in his coach by eight, while the poor Duchess(5)
was asleep. Maccartney,(6) and one Hamilton,(7) were the seconds, who
fought likewise, and are both fled. I am told that a footman of Lord
Mohun's stabbed the Duke of Hamilton; and some say Maccartney did so
too. Mohun gave the affront, and yet sent the challenge. I am infinitely
concerned for the poor Duke, who was a frank, honest, good-natured man.
I loved him very well, and I think he loved me better. He had(8) the
greatest mind in the world to have me go with him to France, but durst
not tell it me; and those he did, said I could not be spared, which
was true. They have removed the poor Duchess to a lodging in the
neighbourhood, where I have been with her two hours, and am just come
away. I never saw so melancholy a scene; for indeed all reasons for
real grief belong to her; nor is it possible for anybody to be a greater
loser in all regards. She has moved my very soul. The lodging was
inconvenient, and they would have removed her to another; but I would
not suffer it, because it had no room backward, and she must have been
tortured with the noise of the Grub Street screamers mention(ing) her
husband's murder to her ears.

I believe you have heard the story of my escape, in opening the bandbox
sent to Lord Treasurer.(9) The prints have told a thousand lies of it;
but at last we gave them a true account of it at length, printed in the
evening;(10) only I would not suffer them to name me, having been so
often named before, and teased to death with questions. I wonder how I
came to have so much presence of mind, which is usually not my talent;
but so it pleased God, and I saved myself and him; for there was a
bullet apiece. A gentleman told me that if I had been killed, the Whigs
would have called it a judgment, because the barrels were of inkhorns,
with which I had done them so much mischief. There was a pure Grub
Street of it, full of lies and inconsistencies.(11) I do not like these
things at all, and I wish myself more and more among my willows.(12)
There is a devilish spirit among people, and the Ministry must exert
themselves, or sink. Nite dee sollahs, I'll go seep.(13)

16. I thought to have finished this yesterday; but was too much
disturbed. I sent a letter early this morning to Lady Masham, to beg
her to write some comforting words to the poor Duchess. I dined to-(day)
with Lady Masham at Kensington, where she is expecting these two months
to lie in. She has promised me to get the Queen to write to the Duchess
kindly on this occasion; and to-morrow I will beg Lord Treasurer to
visit and comfort her. I have been with her two hours again, and find
her worse: her violences not so frequent, but her melancholy more formal
and settled. She has abundance of wit and spirit; about thirty-three
years old; handsome and airy, and seldom spared anybody that gave her
the least provocation; by which she had many enemies and few friends.
Lady Orkney, her sister-in-law, is come to town on this occasion, and
has been to see her, and behaved herself with great humanity. They
have been always very ill together, and the poor Duchess could not have
patience when people told her I went often to Lady Orkney's. But I am
resolved to make them friends; for the Duchess is now no more the object
of envy, and must learn humility from the severest master, Affliction.
I design to make the Ministry put out a proclamation (if it can be found
proper) against that villain Maccartney. What shall we do with these
murderers? I cannot end this letter to-night, and there is no occasion;
for I cannot send it till Tuesday, and the crowner's inquest on the
Duke's body is to be to-morrow, and I shall know more. But what care oo
for all this? Iss, poo MD im sorry for poo Pdfr's(14) friends; and this
is a very surprising event. 'Tis late, and I'll go to bed. This looks
like journals. Nite.

17. I was to-day at noon with the Duchess of Hamilton again, after I had
been with Lady Orkney, and charged her to be kind to her sister in her
affliction. The Duchess told me Lady Orkney had been with her, and that
she did not treat her as gently as she ought. They hate one another, but
I will try to patch it up. I have been drawing up a paragraph for the
Postboy, to be out to-morrow, and as malicious as possible, and
very proper for Abel Roper,(15) the printer of it. I dined at Lord
Treasurer's at six in the evening, which is his usual hour of returning
from Windsor: he promises to visit the Duchess to-morrow, and says he
has a message to her from the Queen. Thank God. I have stayed till past
one with him. So nite deelest MD.(16)

18. The Committee of Council is to sit this afternoon upon the affair
of the Duke of Hamilton's murder, and I hope a proclamation will be out
against Maccartney. I was just now ('tis now noon) with the Duchess, to
let her know Lord Treasurer will see her. She is mightily out of order.
The jury have not yet brought in their verdict upon the crowner's
inquest. We suspect Maccartney stabbed the Duke while he was fighting.
The Queen and Lord Treasurer are in great concern at this event. I dine
to-day again with Lord Treasurer; but must send this to the post-office
before, because else I shall not have time; he usually keeping me so
late. Ben Tooke bid me write to DD to send her certificate, for it is
high time it should be sent, he says. Pray make Parvisol write to me,
and send me a general account of my affairs; and let him know I shall
be over in spring, and that by all means he sells the horses. Prior has
kissed the Queen's hand, and will return to France in a few days, and
Lord Strafford to Holland; and now the King of Spain has renounced his
pretensions to France, the peace must follow very soon unavoidably. You
must no more call Philip, Duke of Anjou, for we now acknowledge him
King of Spain. Dr. Pratt tells me you are all mad in Ireland with your
playhouse frolics and prologues, and I know not what. The Bishop of
Clogher and family are well: they have heard from you, or you from them,
lately, I have forgot which: I dined there t'other day, but the Bishop
came not till after dinner; and our meat and drink was very so so.
Mr. Vedeau(17) was with me yesterday, and inquired after you. He was a
lieutenant, and is now broke, and upon half-pay. He asked me nothing
for himself; but wanted an employment for a friend, who would give a
handsome pair of gloves. One Hales sent me up a letter t'other day,
which said you lodged in his house, and therefore desired I would get
him a civil employment. I would not be within, and have directed my
man to give him an answer, that I never open letters brought me by
the writers, etc. I was complaining to a lady that I wanted to mend an
employment from forty to sixty pounds a year, in the Salt Office, and
thought it hard I could not do it. She told me one Mr. Griffin(18)
should do it. And afterward I met Griffin at her lodgings; and he was,
as I found, one I had been acquainted with. I named Filby(19) to him,
and his abode somewhere near Nantwich. He said frankly he had formerly
examined the man, and found he understood very little of his business;
but if he heard he mended, he would do what I desired. I will let it
rest a while, and then resume it; and if Ppt writes to Filby, she may
advise him to diligence, etc. I told Griffin positively I would have it
done, if the man mended. This is an account of poo Ppt's commission to
her most humble servant Pdfr. I have a world of writing to finish, and
little time; these toads of Ministers are so slow in their helps. This
makes me sometimes steal a week from the exactness I used to write to
MD. Farewell, dee logues, deelest MD MD MD,... FW FW FW ME ME ME Lele.

Smoke the folding of my letters of late.(20)



LETTER 56.(1)

LONDON, Dec. 12, 1712.

Here is now a stlange ting; a rettle flom MD unanswered: never was
before. I am slower, and MD is faster: but the last was owing to DD's
certificate. Why could it not be sent before, pay now? Is it so hard for
DD to prove she is alive? I protest solemnly I am not able to write to
MD for other business, but I will resume my journal method next time. I
find it is easier, though it contains nothing but where I dine, and the
occurrences of the day. I will write now but once in three weeks
till this business is off my hands, which must be in six, I think, at
farthest. O Ppt, I remember your reprimanding me for meddling in other
people's affairs: I have enough of it now, with a wanion.(2) Two women
have been here six times apiece; I never saw them yet. The first I have
despatched with a letter; the other I must see, and tell her I can
do nothing for her: she is wife of one Connor,(3) an old college
acquaintance, and comes on a foolish errand, for some old pretensions,
that will succeed when I am Lord Treasurer. I am got (up) two pair of
stairs, in a private lodging, and have ordered all my friends not to
discover where I am; yet every morning two or three sots are plaguing
me, and my present servant has not yet his lesson perfect of denying me.
I have written a hundred and thirty pages in folio, to be printed,
and must write thirty more, which will make a large book of four
shillings.(4) I wish I knew an opportunity of sending you some snuff.
I will watch who goes to Ireland, and do it if possible. I had a
letter from Parvisol, and find he has set my livings very low. Colonel
Hamilton, who was second to the Duke of Hamilton, is tried to-day.
I suppose he is come off, but have not heard.(5) I dined with Lord
Treasurer, but left him by nine, and visited some people. Lady Betty,(6)
his(7) daughter, will be married on Monday next (as I suppose) to the
Marquis of Caermarthen. I did not know your country place had been
Portraine, till you told me so in your last. Has Swanton taken it of
Wallis? That Wallis was a grave, wise coxcomb. God be thanked that Ppt
im better of her disoddles.(8) Pray God keep her so. The pamphlet of
Political Lying is written by Dr. Arbuthnot, the author of John Bull;
'tis very pretty, but not so obvious to be understood. Higgins,(9) first
chaplain to the Duke of Hamilton? Why, the Duke of Hamilton never dreamt
of a chaplain, nor I believe ever heard of Higgins. You are glorious
newsmongers in Ireland--Dean Francis,(10) Sir R. Levinge,(11) stuff
stuff: and Pratt, more stuff. We have lost our fine frost here; and Abel
Roper tells as you have had floods in Dublin; ho, brave(12) you! Oh
ho! Swanton seized Portraine, now I understand oo. Ay, ay, now I see
Portraune at the top of your letter. I never minded it before. Now
to your second, N.36. So, you read one of the Grub Streets about the
bandbox.(13) The Whig papers have abused me about the bandbox. God help
me, what could I do? I fairly ventured my life. There is a particular
account of it in the Postboy, and Evening Post of that day. Lord
Treasurer has had the seal sent him that sealed the box, and directions
where to find the other pistol in a tree in St. James's Park, which Lord
Bolingbroke's messenger found accordingly; but who sent the present
is not yet known. The Duke of Hamilton avoided the quarrel as much as
possible, according to the foppish rules of honour in practice. What
signified your writing angry to Filby? I hope you said nothing of
hearing anything from me. Heigh! do oo write by sandlelight! nauti,
nauti, nauti dallar, a hundred times, fol doing so. O, fais, DD, I'll
take care of myself! The Queen is in town, and Lady Masham's month of
lying-in is within two days of being out. I was at the christening on
Monday. I could not get the child named Robin, after Lord Treasurer; it
is Samuel, after the father. My brother Ormond sent me some chocolate
to-day. I wish you had share of it: but they say 'tis good for me, and I
design to drink some in a morning. Our Society meets next Thursday, now
the Queen is in town; and Lord Treasurer assures me that the Society for
reforming the language shall soon be established. I have given away ten
shillings to-day to servants; 'tan't be help if one should cry one's
eyes out.(14) Hot a stir is here about your company and visits! Charming
company, no doubt; now I keep no company at all, nor have I any desire
to keep any. I never go to a coffee-house nor a tavern, nor have touched
a card since I left Windsor. I make few visits, nor go to levees; my
only debauching is sitting late where I dine, if I like the company.
I have almost dropped the Duchesses of Shrewsbury and Hamilton, and
several others. Lord Treasurer, the Duke of Ormond, and Lady Orkney are
all that I see very often. Oh yes, and Lady Masham and Lord Bolingbroke,
and one or two private friends. I make no figure but at Court, where I
affect to turn from a lord to the meanest of my acquaintance, and I love
to go there on Sundays to see the world. But, to say the truth, I am
growing weary of it. I dislike a million of things in the course of
public affairs; and if I were to stay here much longer, I am sure
I should ruin myself with endeavouring to mend them. I am every day
invited into schemes of doing this, but I cannot find any that will
probably succeed. It is impossible to save people against their own
will; and I have been too much engaged in patchwork already. Do you
understand all this stuff? No. Well zen, you are now returned to ombre
and the Dean, and Christmas; I wish oo a very merry one; and pray don't
lose oo money, nor play upon Watt Welch's game. Nite, sollahs, 'tis rate
I'll go to seep; I don't seep well, and therefore never dare to drink
coffee or tea after dinner: but I am very seepy in a molning. This is
the effect of time and years. Nite deelest MD.

18. Morn. I am so very seepy in the morning that my man wakens me
above ten times; and now I can tell oo no news of this day. (Here is a
restless dog, crying cabbages and savoys, plagues me every morning about
this time; he is now at it. I wish his largest cabbage were sticking
in his throat.) I lodge over against the house in Little Rider Street,
where DD lodged. Don't oo lememble, maram? To-night I must see the Abbe
Gaultier,(15) to get some particulars for my History. It was he who was
first employed by France in the overtures of peace, and I have not had
time this month to see him; he is but a puppy too. Lady Orkney has just
sent to invite me to dinner; she has not given me the bed-nightgown;(16)
besides, I am come very much off from writing in bed, though I am doing
it this minute; but I stay till my fire is burnt up. My grate is very
large; two bushels of coals in a week: but I save it in lodgings. Lord
Abercorn is come to London, and will plague me, and I can do him no
service. The Duke of Shrewsbury goes in a day or two for France, perhaps
to-day. We shall have a peace very soon; the Dutch are almost entirely
agreed, and if they stop we shall make it without them; that has been
long resolved. One Squire Jones,(17) a scoundrel in my parish, has writ
to me to desire I would engage Joe Beaumont to give him his interest for
Parliament-man for Trim: pray tell Joe this; and if he designed to vote
for him already, then he may tell Jones that I received his letter, and
that I writ to Joe to do it. If Joe be engaged for any other, then he
may do what he will: and Parvisol may say he spoke to Joe, but Joe's
engaged, etc. I received three pair of fine thread stockings from Joe
lately. Pray thank him when you see him, and that I say they are very
fine and good. (I never looked at them yet, but that's no matter.) This
is a fine day. I am ruined with coaches and chairs this twelvepenny
weather. I must see my brother Ormond at eleven, and then the Duchess of
Hamilton, with whom I doubt I am in disgrace, not having seen her these
ten days. I send this to-day, and must finish it now; and perhaps
some people may come and hinder me; for it im ten o'clock (but not
shaving-day), and I must be abroad at eleven. Abbe Gaultier sends me
word I can't see him to-night; pots cake him! I don't value anything but
one letter he has of Petecum's,(18) showing the roguery of the Dutch.
Did not the Conduct of the Allies make you great politicians? Fais, I
believe you are not quite so ignorant as I thought you. I am glad to
hear oo walked so much in the country. Does DD ever read to you, ung
ooman? O, fais! I shall find strange doings hen I tum ole!(19) Here is
somebody coming that I must see that wants a little place; the son of
cousin Rooke's eldest daughter, that died many years ago. He's here.
Farewell, deelest MD MD MD ME ME ME FW FW FW, Lele.



LETTER 57.(1)

LONDON, Dec. 18, 1712.

Our Society was to meet to-day; but Lord Harley, who was President
this week, could not attend, being gone to Wimbledon with his new
brother-in-law, the young Marquis of Caermarthen, who married Lady Betty
Harley on Monday last; and Lord Treasurer is at Wimbledon too. However,
half a dozen of us met, and I propose our meetings should be once a
fortnight; for, between you and me, we do no good. It cost me nineteen
shillings to-day for my Club at dinner; I don't like it, fais. We have
terrible snowy slobbery weather. Lord Abercorn is come to town, and will
see me, whether I will or no. You know he has a pretence to a dukedom
in France, which the Duke of Hamilton was soliciting for; but Abercorn
resolves to spoil their title, if they will not allow him a fourth part;
and I have advised the Duchess to compound with him, and have made the
Ministry of my opinion. Night, dee sollahs, MD, MD.

19. Ay mally zis is sumsing rike,(2) for Pdfr to write journals again!
'Tis as natural as mother's milk, now I am got into it. Lord Treasurer
is returned from Wimbledon ('tis not above eight miles off), and sent
for me to dine with him at five; but I had the grace to be abroad,
and dined with some others, with honest Ben Tooke, by invitation. The
Duchess of Ormond promised me her picture, and coming home tonight,
I found hers and the Duke's both in my chamber. Was not that a pretty
civil surprise? Yes, and they are in fine gilded frames, too. I am
writing a letter to thank her, which I will send to-morrow morning.
I'll tell her she is such a prude that she will not let so much as her
picture be alone in a room with a man, unless the Duke's be with it;
and so forth.(3) We are full of snow, and dabbling. Lady Masham has come
abroad these three days, and seen the Queen. I dined with her t'other
day at her sister Hill's. I hope she will remove in a few days to her
new lodgings at St. James's from Kensington. Nite, dee logues MD.

20. I lodge (up) two pair of stairs, have but one room, and deny myself
to everybody almost, yet I cannot be quiet; and all my mornings are lost
with people, who will not take answers below stairs; such as Dilly, and
the Bishop, and Provost, etc. Lady Orkney invited me to dinner to-day,
which hindered me from dining with Lord Treasurer. This is his day that
his chief friends in the Ministry dine with him. However, I went there
about six, and sat with them till past nine, when they all went off; but
he kept me back, and told me the circumstances of Lady Betty's match.
The young fellow has 60,000 pounds ready money, three great houses
furnished, 7,000 pounds a year at present, and about five more after his
father and mother die. I think Lady Betty's portion is not above 8,000
pounds. I remember either Tisdall writ to me in somebody's letter,
or you did it for him, that I should mention him on occasion to Lord
Anglesea, with whom, he said, he had some little acquaintance. Lord
Anglesea was with me to-night at Lord Treasurer's; and then I asked him
about Tisdall, and described him. He said he never saw him, but that he
had sent him his book.(4) See what it is to be a puppy. Pray tell Mr.
Walls that Lord Anglesea thanked me for recommending Clements(5) to him;
that he says he is 20,000 pounds the better for knowing Clements. But
pray don't let Clements go and write a letter of thanks, and tell
my lord that he hears so and so, etc. Why, 'tis but like an Irish
understanding to do so. Sad weather; two shillings in coaches to-day,
and yet I am dirty. I am now going to read over something and correct
it. So, nite.

21. Puppies have got a new way of plaguing me. I find letters directed
for me at Lord Treasurer's, sometimes with enclosed ones to him, and
sometimes with projects, and some times with libels. I usually keep them
three or four days without opening. I was at Court to-day, as I always
am on Sundays, instead of a coffee-house, to see my acquaintance.
This day se'nnight, after I had been talking at Court with Sir William
Wyndham, the Spanish Ambassador(6) came to him and said he heard that
was Dr. Swift, and desired him to tell me that his master, and the
King of France, and the Queen, were more obliged to me than any man in
Europe; so we bowed, and shook hands, etc. I took it very well of him. I
dined with Lord Treasurer, and must again to-morrow, though I had rather
not (as DD says); but now the Queen is in town, he does not keep me so
late. I have not had time to see Fanny Manley since she came, but intend
it one of these days. Her uncle, Jack Manley,(7) I hear, cannot live
a month, which will be a great loss to her father in Ireland, for I
believe he is one of his chief supports. Our peace now will soon
be determined; for Lord Bolingbroke tells me this morning that four
provinces of Holland(8) have complied with the Queen, and we expect the
rest will do so immediately. Nite MD.

22. Lord Keeper promised me yesterday the first convenient living to
poor Mr. Gery,(9) who is married, and wants some addition to what he
has. He is a very worthy creature. I had a letter some weeks ago from
Elwick,(10) who married Betty Gery. It seems the poor woman died some
time last summer. Elwick grows rich, and purchases lands. I dined with
Lord Treasurer to-day, who has engaged me to come again to-morrow. I
gave Lord Bolingbroke a poem of Parnell's.(11) I made Parnell insert
some compliments in it to his lordship. He is extremely pleased with
it, and read some parts of it to-day to Lord Treasurer, who liked it
as much. And indeed he outdoes all our poets here a bar's length. Lord
Bolingbroke has ordered me to bring him to dinner on Christmas Day, and
I made Lord Treasurer promise to see him; and it may one day do Parnell
a kindness. You know Parnell. I believe I have told you of that poem.
Nite, deel MD.

23. This morning I presented one Diaper,(12) a poet, to Lord
Bolingbroke, with a new poem, which is a very good one; and I am to give
him a sum of money from my lord; and I have contrived to make a parson
of him, for he is half one already, being in deacon's orders, and serves
a small cure in the country; but has a sword at his a--- here in town.
'Tis a poor little short wretch, but will do best in a gown, and we
will make Lord Keeper give him a living. Lord Bolingbroke writ to
Lord Treasurer to excuse me to-day; so I dined with the former, and
Monteleon, the Spanish Ambassador, who made me many compliments. I
stayed till nine, and now it is past ten, and my man has locked me up,
and I have just called to mind that I shall be in disgrace with
Tom Leigh.(13) That coxcomb had got into acquaintance with one
Eckershall,(14) Clerk of the Kitchen to the Queen, who was civil to him
at Windsor on my account; for I had done some service to Eckershall.
Leigh teases me to pass an evening at his lodgings with Eckershall. I
put it off several times, but was forced at last to promise I would come
to-night; and it never was in my head till I was locked up, and I have
called and called, but my man is gone to bed; so I will write an excuse
to-morrow. I detest that Tom Leigh, and am as formal to him as I can
when I happen to meet him in the Park. The rogue frets me, if he knew
it. He asked me why I did not wait on the Bishop of Dromore.(15) I
answered I had not the honour to be acquainted with him, and would not
presume, etc. He takes me seriously, and says the Bishop is no proud
man, etc. He tells me of a judge in Ireland that has done ill things.
I ask why he is not out? Says he, "I think the bishops, and you, and I,
and the rest of the clergy, should meet and consult about it." I beg his
pardon, and say, "I cannot be serviceable that way." He answers, "Yes,
everybody may help something."--Don't you see how curiously he contrives
to vex me; for the dog knows that with half a word I could do more than
all of them together. But he only does it from the pride and envy of
his own heart, and not out of a humorous design of teasing. He is one
of those that would rather a service should not be done, than done by a
private man, and of his own country. You take all this, don't you? Nite
dee sollahs, I'll go seep a dozey.

24. I dined to-day with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in order to
look over some of my papers; but nothing was done. I have been also
mediating between the Hamilton family and Lord Abercorn, to have them
compound with him; and I believe they will do it. Lord Selkirk,(16) the
late Duke's brother, is to be in town, in order to go to France, to
make the demands; and the Ministry are of opinion they will get some
satisfaction, and they empowered me to advise the Hamilton side to agree
with Abercorn, who asks a fourth part, and will go to France and spoil
all if they won't yield it. Nite sollahs.

25. All melly Titmasses--melly Titmasses--I said it first--I wish it a
souzand (times) zoth with halt(17) and soul.(18) I carried Parnell to
dine at Lord Bolingbroke's, and he behaved himself very well; and Lord
Bolingbroke is mightily pleased with him. I was at St. James's Chapel by
eight this morning; and church and sacrament were done by ten. The Queen
has the gout in her hand, and did not come to church today; and I stayed
so long in my chamber that I missed going to Court. Did I tell you that
the Queen designs to have a Drawing-room and company every day? Nite dee
logues.

26. I was to wish the Duke of Ormond a happy Christmas, and give half
a crown to his porter. It will cost me a dozen half-crowns among such
fellows. I dined with Lord Treasurer, who chid me for being absent
three days. Mighty kind, with a p--; less of civility, and more of his
interest! We hear Maccartney is gone over to Ireland. Was it not comical
for a gentleman to be set upon by highwaymen, and to tell them he was
Maccartney? Upon which they brought him to a justice of peace, in hopes
of the reward,(19) and the rogues were sent to gaol. Was it not great
presence of mind? But maybe you heard this already; for there was a
Grub Street of it. Lord Bolingbroke told me I must walk away to-day when
dinner was done, because Lord Treasurer, and he, and another, were
to enter upon business; but I said it was as fit I should know their
business as anybody, for I was to justify (it).(20) So the rest went,
and I stayed, and it was so important, I was like to sleep over it. I
left them at nine, and it is now twelve. Nite, MD.

27. I dined to-day with General Hill, Governor of Dunkirk. Lady Masham
and Mrs. Hill, his two sisters, were of the company, and there have I
been sitting this evening till eleven, looking over others at play;
for I have left off loving play myself; and I think Ppt is now a great
gamester. I have a great cold on me, not quite at its height. I have
them seldom, and therefore ought to be patient. I met Mr. Addison and
Pastoral Philips on the Mall to-day, and took a turn with them; but they
both looked terrible dry and cold. A curse of party! And do you know I
have taken more pains to recommend the Whig wits to the favour and mercy
of the Ministers than any other people. Steele I have kept in his
place. Congreve I have got to be used kindly, and secured. Rowe I have
recommended, and got a promise of a place. Philips I could certainly
have provided for, if he had not run party mad, and made me withdraw my
recommendation; and I set Addison so right at first that he might have
been employed, and have partly secured him the place he has; yet I am
worse used by that faction than any man. Well, go to cards, sollah Ppt,
and dress the wine and olange, sollah MD, and I'll go seep. 'Tis rate.
Nite MD.

28. My cold is so bad that I could not go to church today, nor to Court;
but I was engaged to Lord Orkney's with the Duke of Ormond, at dinner;
and ventured, because I could cough and spit there as I pleased. The
Duke and Lord Arran left us, and I have been sitting ever since with
Lord and Lady Orkney till past eleven: and my cold is worse, and makes
me giddy. I hope it is only my cold. Oh, says Ppt, everybody is giddy
with a cold; I hope it is no more; but I'll go to bed, for the fellow
has bawled "Past twelve." Night, deels.

29. I got out early to-day, and escaped all my duns. I went to see Lord
Bolingbroke about some business, and truly he was gone out too. I dined
in the City upon the broiled leg of a goose and a bit of brawn, with
my printer. Did I tell you that I forbear printing what I have in hand,
till the Court decides something about me? I will contract no more
enemies, at least I will not embitter worse those I have already, till
I have got under shelter; and the Ministers know my resolution, so that
you may be disappointed in seeing this thing as soon as you expected.
I hear Lord Treasurer is out of order. My cold is very bad. Every(body)
has one. Nite two dee logues.

30. I suppose this will be full by Saturday; zen(21) it sall go. Duke
of Ormond, Lord Arran, and I, dined privately to-day at an old servant's
house of his. The Council made us part at six. One Mrs. Ramsay dined
with us; an old lady of about fifty-five, that we are all very fond of.
I called this evening at Lord Treasurer's, and sat with him two hours.
He has been cupped for a cold, and has been very ill. He cannot dine
with Parnell and me at Lord Bolingbroke's to-morrow, but says he will
see Parnell some other time. I hoise(22) up Parnell partly to spite the
envious Irish folks here, particularly Tom Leigh. I saw the Bishop
of Clogher's family to-day; Miss is mighty ill of a cold, coughs
incessantly.(23) Nite MD.

31. To-day Parnell and I dined with Lord Bolingbroke, to correct
Parnell's poem. I made him show all the places he disliked; and when
Parnell has corrected it fully he shall print it. I went this evening to
sit with Lord Treasurer. He is better, and will be out in a day or two.
I sat with him while the young folks went to supper; and then went down,
and there were the young folks merry together, having turned Lady Oxford
up to my lord, and I stayed with them till twelve. There was the young
couple, Lord and Lady Caermarthen, and Lord and Lady Dupplin, and Lord
Harley and I; and the old folks were together above. It looked like what
I have formerly done so often; stealing together from the old folks,
though indeed it was not from poor Lord Treasurer, who is as young a
fellow as any of us: but Lady Oxford is a silly mere old woman.(24) My
cold is still so bad that I have not the least smelling. I am just got
home, and 'tis past twelve; and I'll go to bed, and settle my head,
heavy as lead. Nite MD.

Jan. 1, 1712-13. A sousand melly new eels(25) to deelest richar MD. Pray
God Almighty bless you, and send you ever happy! I forgot to tell you
that yesterday Lord Abercorn was here, teasing me about his French
duchy, and suspecting my partiality to the Hamilton family in such a
whimsical manner that Dr. Pratt, who was by, thought he was mad. He was
no sooner gone but Lord Orkney sent to know whether he might come and
sit with me half an hour upon some business. I returned answer that I
would wait on him; which I did. We discoursed a while, and he left me
with Lady Orkney; and in came the Earl of Selkirk, whom I had never seen
before. He is another brother of the Duke of Hamilton, and is going to
France, by a power from his mother, the old Duchess,(26) to negotiate
their pretensions to the duchy of Chatelherault. He teased me for two
hours in spite of my teeth, and held my hand when I offered to stir;
would have had me engage the Ministry to favour him against Lord
Abercorn, and to convince them that Lord Abercorn had no pretensions;
and desired I would also convince Lord Abercorn himself so; and
concluded he was sorry I was a greater friend to Abercorn than Hamilton.
I had no patience, and used him with some plainness. Am not I purely
handled between a couple of puppies? Ay, says Ppt, you must be meddling
in other folks' affairs. I appeal to the Bishop of Clogher whether
Abercorn did not complain that I would not let him see me last year,
and that he swore he would take no denial from my servant when he came
again. The Ministers gave me leave to tell the Hamilton family it was
their opinion that they ought to agree with Abercorn. Lord Anglesea
was then by, and told Abercorn; upon which he gravely tells me I was
commissioned by the Ministers, and ought to perform my commission,
etc.--But I'll have done with them. I have warned Lord Treasurer and
Lord Bolingbroke to beware of Selkirk's teasing; --x on him! Yet
Abercorn vexes me more. The whelp owes to me all the kind receptions he
has had from the Ministry. I dined to-day at Lord Treasurer's with the
young folks, and sat with Lord Treasurer till nine, and then was forced
to Lady Masham's, and sat there till twelve, talking of affairs, till I
am out of humour, as everyone must that knows them inwardly. A thousand
things wrong, most of them easy to mend; yet our schemes availing at
best but little, and sometimes nothing at all. One evil, which I twice
patched up with the hazard of all the credit I had, is now spread more
than ever.(27) But burn politics, and send me from Courts and Ministers!
Nite deelest richar MD.

2. I sauntered about this morning, and went with Dr. Pratt to a picture
auction, where I had like to be drawn in to buy a picture that I was
fond of, but, it seems, was good for nothing. Pratt was there to buy
some pictures for the Bishop of Clogher, who resolves to lay out ten
pounds to furnish his house with curious pieces. We dined with the
Bishop, I being by chance disengaged. And this evening I sat with
the Bishop of Ossory,(28) who is laid up with the gout. The French
Ambassador, Duke d'Aumont,(29) came to town to-night; and the rabble
conducted him home with shouts. I cannot smell yet, though my cold
begins to break. It continues cruel hard frosty weather. Go and be
melly,... sollahs.(30)

3. Lord Dupplin and I went with Lord and Lady Orkney this morning at
ten to Wimbledon, six miles off, to see Lord and Lady Caermarthen. It is
much the finest place about this town. Did oo never see it? I was once
there before, about five years ago. You know Lady Caermarthen is Lord
Treasurer's daughter, married about three weeks ago. I hope the young
fellow will be a good husband.--I must send this away now. I came back
just by nightfall, cruel cold weather; I have no smell yet, but my cold
something better. Nite (?) sollahs; I'll take my reeve. I forget how
MD's accounts are. Pray let me know always timely before MD wants; and
pray give the bill on t'other side to Mrs. Brent as usual. I believe I
have not paid her this great while. Go, play cards, and... rove Pdfr.
Nite richar MD... roves Pdfr. FW lele.. . MD MD MD MD MD FW FW FW FW MD
MD Lele...(31)

The six odd shillings, tell Mrs. Brent, are for her new year's gift.



I(32) am just now told that poor dear Lady Ashburnham,(33) the Duke
of Ormond's daughter, died yesterday at her country house. The poor
creature was with child. She was my greatest favourite, and I am in
excessive concern for her loss. I hardly knew a more valuable person on
all accounts. You must have heard me talk of her. I am afraid to see the
Duke and Duchess. She was naturally very healthy; I am afraid she has
been thrown away for want of care. Pray condole with me. 'Tis extremely
moving. Her lord's a puppy; and I shall never think it worth my while
to be troubled with him, now he has lost all that was valuable in his
possession; yet I think he used her pretty well. I hate life when I
think it exposed to such accidents; and to see so many thousand wretches
burdening the earth, while such as her die, makes me think God did never
intend life for a blessing. Farewell.



LETTER 58.(1)

LONDON, Jan. 4, 1712-13.

I ended my last with the melancholy news of poor Lady Ashburnham's
death. The Bishop of Clogher and Dr. Pratt made me dine with them to-day
at Lord Mountjoy's, pursuant to an engagement, which I had forgot. Lady
Mountjoy told me that Maccartney was got safe out of our clutches, for
she had spoke with one who had a letter from him from Holland. Others
say the same thing. 'Tis hard such a dog should escape.--As I left Lord
Mountjoy's I saw the Duke d'Aumont, the French Ambassador, going from
Lord Bolingbroke's, where he dined, to have a private audience of the
Queen. I followed, and went up to Court, where there was a great
crowd. I was talking with the Duke of Argyle by the fireside in the
bed-chamber, when the Ambassador came out from the Queen. Argyle
presented me to him, and Lord Bolingbroke and we talked together a
while. He is a fine gentleman, something like the Duke of Ormond, and
just such an expensive man. After church to-day I showed the Bishop of
Clogher, at Court, who was who. Nite my two dee logues, and...(2)

5. Our frost is broke, but it is bloody cold. Lord Treasurer is
recovered, and went out this evening to the Queen. I dined with Lady
Oxford, and then sat with Lord Treasurer while he went out. He gave me
a letter from an unknown hand, relating to Dr. Brown,(3) Bishop of Cork,
recommending him to a better bishopric, as a person who opposed Lord
Wharton, and was made a bishop on that account, celebrating him for
a great politician, etc.: in short, all directly contrary to his
character, which I made bold to explain. What dogs there are in the
world! I was to see the poor Duke and Duchess of Ormond this morning.
The Duke was in his public room, with Mr. Southwell(4) and two more
gentlemen. When Southwell and I were alone with him, he talked something
of Lord Ashburnham, that he was afraid the Whigs would get him again.
He bore up as well as he could, but something falling accidentally in
discourse, the tears were just falling out of his eyes, and I looked
off to give him an opportunity (which he took) of wiping them with his
handkerchief. I never saw anything so moving, nor such a mixture of
greatness of mind, and tenderness, and discretion. Nite MD.

6. Lord Bolingbroke and Parnell and I dined, by invitation, with my
friend Darteneuf,(5) whom you have heard me talk of. Lord Bolingbroke
likes Parnell mightily; and it is pleasant to see that one who hardly
passed for anything in Ireland makes his way here with a little friendly
forwarding. It is scurvy rainy weather, and I have hardly been abroad
to-day, nor know anything that passes.--Lord Treasurer is quite
recovered, and I hope will be careful to keep himself well. The Duchess
of Marlborough is leaving England to go to her Duke, and makes presents
of rings to several friends, they say worth two hundred pounds apiece. I
am sure she ought to give me one, though the Duke pretended to think me
his greatest enemy, and got people to tell me so, and very mildly to let
me know how gladly he would have me softened toward him. I bid a lady of
his acquaintance and mine let him know that I had hindered many a bitter
thing against him; not for his own sake, but because I thought it looked
base; and I desired everything should be left him, except power. Nite
MD.

7. I dined with Lord and Lady Masham to-day, and this evening played at
ombre with Mrs. Vanhom, merely for amusement. The Ministers have got my
papers, and will neither read them nor give them to me; and I can hardly
do anything. Very warm slabby weather, but I made a shift to get a walk;
yet I lost half of it, by shaking off Lord Rochester,(6) who is a
good, civil, simple man. The Bishop of Ossory will not be Bishop of
Hereford,(7) to the great grief of himself and his wife. And hat is MD
doing now, I wonder? Playing at cards with the Dean and Mrs. Walls? I
think it is not certain yet that Maccartney is escaped. I am plagued
with bad authors, verse and prose, who send me their books and poems,
the vilest trash I ever saw; but I have given their names to my man,
never to let them see me. I have got new ink, and 'tis very white; and
I don't see that it turns black at all. I'll go to seep; 'tis past
twelve.--Nite, MD.

8. Oo must understand that I am in my geers, and have got a
chocolate-pot, a present from Mrs. Ashe of Clogher, and some chocolate
from my brother Ormond, and I treat folks sometimes. I dined with
Lord Treasurer at five o'clock to-day, and was by while he and Lord
Bolingbroke were at business; for it is fit I should know all that
passes now, because, etc. The Duke of Ormond employed me to speak to
Lord Treasurer to-day about an affair, and I did so; and the Duke had
spoke himself two hours before, which vexed me, and I will chide the
Duke about it. I'll tell you a good thing; there is not one of the
Ministry but what will employ me as gravely to speak for them to Lord
Treasurer as if I were their brother or his; and I do it as gravely:
though I know they do it only because they will not make themselves
uneasy, or had rather I should be denied than they. I believe our peace
will not be finished these two months; for I think we must have a
return from Spain by a messenger, who will not go till Sunday next.
Lord Treasurer has invited me to dine with him again to-morrow. Your
Commissioner, Keatley,(8) is to be there. Nite dee richar MD.(9)

9. Dr. Pratt drank chocolate with me this morning, and then we walked. I
was yesterday with him to see Lady Betty Butler, grieving for her sister
Ashburnham. The jade was in bed in form, and she did so cant, she made
me sick. I meet Tom Leigh every day in the Park, to preserve his
health. He is as ruddy as a rose, and tells me his Bishop of Dromore(10)
recovers very much. That Bishop has been very near dying. This day's
Examiner talks of the play of "What is it like?"(11) and you will think
it to be mine, and be bit; for I have no hand in these papers at all. I
dined with Lord Treasurer, and shall again to-morrow, which is his day
when all the Ministers dine with him. He calls it whipping-day. It is
always on Saturday, and we do indeed usually rally him about his faults
on that day. I was of the original Club, when only poor Lord Rivers,
Lord Keeper, and Lord Bolingbroke came; but now Ormond, Anglesea, Lord
Steward,(12) Dartmouth, and other rabble intrude, and I scold at it; but
now they pretend as good a title as I; and, indeed, many Saturdays I am
not there. The company being too many, I don't love it. Nite MD.

10. At seven this evening, as we sat after dinner at Lord Treasurer's,
a servant said Lord Peterborow was at the door. Lord Treasurer and
Lord Bolingbroke went out to meet him, and brought him in. He was just
returned from abroad, where he has been above a year. Soon as he saw me,
he left the Duke of Ormond and other lords, and ran and kissed me before
he spoke to them; but chid me terribly for not writing to him, which I
never did this last time he was abroad, not knowing where he was; and he
changed places so often, it was impossible a letter should overtake him.
He left England with a bruise, by his coach overturning, that made him
spit blood, and was so ill, we expected every post to hear of his death;
but he outrode it or outdrank it, or something, and is come home lustier
than ever. He is at least sixty, and has more spirits than any young
fellow I know in England. He has got the old Oxford regiment of horse,
and I believe will have a Garter. I love the hang-dog dearly. Nite dee
MD.

11. The Court was crammed to-day to see(13) the French Ambassador; but
he did not come. Did I never tell you that I go to Court on Sundays as
to a coffee-house, to see acquaintance, whom I should otherwise not
see twice a year? The Provost(14) and I dined with Ned Southwell,
by appointment, in order to settle your kingdom, if my scheme can
be followed; but I doubt our Ministry will be too tedious. You must
certainly have a new Parliament; but they would have that a secret yet.
Our Parliament here will be prorogued for three weeks. Those puppies the
Dutch will not yet come in, though they pretend to submit to the Queen
in everything; but they would fain try first how our session begins,
in hopes to embroil us in the House of Lords: and if my advice had been
taken, the session should have begun, and we would have trusted the
Parliament to approve the steps already made toward the peace, and had
an Address perhaps from them to conclude without the Dutch, if they
would not agree.--Others are of my mind, but it is not reckoned so safe,
it seems; yet I doubt whether the peace will be ready so soon as three
weeks, but that is a secret. Nite MD.

12. Pratt and I walked into the City to one Bateman's,(15) a famous
bookseller, for old books. There I laid out four pounds like a fool,
and we dined at a hedge ale-house, for two shillings and twopence,
like emperors. Let me see, I bought Plutarch, two volumes, for thirty
shillings, etc. Well, I'll tell you no more; oo don't understand
Greek.(16) We have no news, and I have nothing more to say to-day, and
I can't finish my work. These Ministers will not find time to do what I
would have them. So nite, nown dee dallars.

13. I was to have dined to-day with Lord Keeper, but would not, because
that brute Sir John Walter(17) was to be one of the company. You may
remember he railed at me last summer was twelvemonth at Windsor, and has
never begged my pardon, though he promised to do it; and Lord Mansel,
who was one of the company, would certainly have set us together by
the ears, out of pure roguish mischief. So I dined with Lord Treasurer,
where there was none but Lord Bolingbroke. I stayed till eight, and then
went to Lady Orkney's, who has been sick, and sat with her till twelve,
from whence you may consider it is late, sollahs. The Parliament was
prorogued to-day, as I told you, for three weeks. Our weather is very
bad and slobbery, and I shall spoil my new hat (I have bought a new
hat), or empty my pockets. Does Hawkshaw pay the interest he owes? Lord
Abercorn plagues me to death. I have now not above six people to provide
for, and about as many to do good offices to; and thrice as many that I
will do nothing for; nor can I if I would. Nite dee MD.

14. To-day I took the circle of morning visits. I went to the Duchess of
Ormond, and there was she, and Lady Betty, and Lord Ashburnham together:
this was the first time the mother and daughter saw each other since
Lady Ashburnham's death. They were both in tears, and I chid them for
being together, and made Lady Betty go to her own chamber; then sat a
while with the Duchess, and went after Lady Betty, and all was well.
There is something of farce in all these mournings, let them be ever
so serious. People will pretend to grieve more than they really do,
and that takes off from their true grief. I then went to the Duchess of
Hamilton, who never grieved, but raged, and stormed, and railed.(18) She
is pretty quiet now, but has a diabolical temper. Lord Keeper and his
son, and their two ladies, and I, dined to-day with Mr. Caesar,(19)
Treasurer of the Navy, at his house in the City, where he keeps his
office. We happened to talk of Brutus, and I said something in his
praise, when it struck me immediately that I had made a blunder in doing
so; and, therefore, I recollected myself, and said, "Mr. Caesar, I beg
your pardon." So we laughed, etc. Nite, my own deelest richar logues,
MD.

15. I forgot to tell you that last night I had a present sent me (I
found it, when I came home, in my chamber) of the finest wild fowl I
ever saw, with the vilest letter, and from the vilest poet in the world,
who sent it me as a bribe to get him an employment. I knew not where
the scoundrel lived, so I could not send them back, and therefore I gave
them away as freely as I got them, and have ordered my man never to let
up the poet when he comes. The rogue should have kept the wings at least
for his muse. One of his fowls was a large capon pheasant, as fat as
a pullet. I ate share of it to-day with a friend. We have now a
Drawing-room every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at one o'clock. The
Queen does not come out; but all her Ministers, foreigners, and persons
of quality are at it. I was there to-day; and as Lord Treasurer came
towards me, I avoided him, and he hunted me thrice about the room. I
affect never to take notice of him at church or Court. He knows it, for
I have told him so; and to-night, at Lord Masham's, he gave an account
of it to the company; but my reasons are, that people seeing me speak to
him causes a great deal of teasing. I tell you what comes into my head,
that I never knew whether MD were Whigs or Tories, and I value our
conversation the more that it never turned on that subject. I have
a fancy that Ppt is a Tory, and a violent one. I don't know why; but
methinks she looks like one, and DD a sort of a Trimmer. Am I right? I
gave the Examiner a hint about this prorogation, and to praise the
Queen for her tenderness to the Dutch in giving them still more time to
submit.(20) It fitted the occasions at present. Nite MD.

16. I was busy to-day at the Secretary's office, and stayed till past
three. The Duke of Ormond and I were to dine at Lord Orkney's. The Duke
was at the Committee, so I thought all was safe. When I went there, they
had almost dined; for the Duke had sent to excuse himself, which I never
knew. I came home at seven, and began a little whim, which just came
into my head; and will make a threepenny pamphlet.(21) It shall be
finished and out in a week; and if it succeeds, you shall know what it
is; otherwise, not. I cannot send this to-morrow, and will put it off
till next Saturday, because I have much business. So my journals shall
be short, and Ppt must have patience. So nite, dee sollahs.

17. This rogue Parnell has not yet corrected his poem, and I would
fain have it out. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, and his Saturday
company, nine of us in all. They went away at seven, and Lord Treasurer
and I sat talking an hour after. After dinner he was talking to the
lords about the speech the Queen must make when the Parliament meets. He
asked me how I would make it. I was going to be serious, because it
was seriously put; but I turned it to a jest. And because they had been
speaking of the Duchess of Marlborough going to Flanders after the Duke,
I said the speech should begin thus: "My Lords and Gentlemen, In order
to my own quiet, and that of my subjects, I have thought fit to send
the Duchess of Marlborough abroad after the Duke." This took well,
and turned off the discourse. I must tell you I do not at all like the
present situation of affairs, and remember I tell you so. Things must be
on another foot, or we are all undone. I hate this driving always to an
inch. Nite MD.

18. We had a mighty full Court to-day. Dilly was with me at the French
church, and edified mightily. The Duke of Ormond and I dined at Lord
Orkney's; but I left them at seven, and came home to my whim. I have
made a great progress. My large Treatise(22) stands stock still. Some
think it too dangerous to publish, and would have me print only what
relates to the peace. I cannot tell what I shall do.--The Bishop of
Dromore is dying. They thought yesterday he could not live two hours;
yet he is still alive, but is utterly past all hopes. Go to cards,
sollahs, and nite.

19. I was this morning to see the Duke and Duchess of Ormond. The
Duke d'Aumont came in while I was with the Duke of Ormond, and we
complimented each other like dragons. A poor fellow called at the door
where I lodge, with a parcel of oranges for a present for me. I bid my
man know what his name was, and whence he came. He sent word his name
was Bun, and that I knew him very well. I bid my man tell him I was
busy, and he could not speak to me; and not to let him leave his
oranges. I know no more of it, but I am sure I never heard the name, and
I shall take no such presents from strangers. Perhaps he might be only
some beggar, who wanted a little money. Perhaps it might be something
worse. Let them keep their poison for their rats. I don't love it.(23)
That blot is a blunder. Nite dee MD....

20. A Committee of our Society dined to-day with the Chancellor of
the Exchequer. Our Society does not meet now as usual, for which I
am blamed: but till Lord Treasurer will agree to give us money and
employments to bestow, I am averse to it; and he gives us nothing but
promises. The Bishop of Dromore is still alive, and that is all. We
expect every day he will die, and then Tom Leigh must go back, which is
one good thing to the town. I believe Pratt will drive at one of these
bishoprics. Our English bishopric(24) is not yet disposed of. I believe
the peace will not be ready by the session. Nite MD.

21. I was to-day with my printer, to give him a little pamphlet I have
written, but not politics. It will be out by Monday. If it succeeds, I
will tell you of it; otherwise, not. We had a prodigious thaw to-day,
as bad as rain; yet I walked like a good boy all the way. The Bishop of
Dromore still draws breath, but cannot live two days longer. My large
book lies flat. Some people think a great part of it ought not to be now
printed. I believe I told you so before. This letter shall not go till
Saturday, which makes up the three weeks exactly; and I allow MD six
weeks, which are now almost out; so oo must know I expect a rettle vely
soon, and that MD is vely werr;(25) and so nite, dee MD.

22. This is one of our Court days, and I was there. I told you there
is a Drawing-room, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The Hamiltons and
Abercorns have done teasing me. The latter, I hear, is actually going to
France. Lord Treasurer quarrelled with me at Court for being four days
without dining with him; so I dined there to-day, and he has at last
fallen in with my project (as he calls it) of coining halfpence and
farthings, with devices, like medals, in honour of the Queen, every year
changing the device. I wish it may be done. Nite MD.

23. The Duke of Ormond and I appointed to dine with Ned Southwell
to-day, to talk of settling your affairs of Parliament in Ireland, but
there was a mixture of company, and the Duke of Ormond was in haste, and
nothing was done. If your Parliament meets this summer, it must be a new
one; but I find some are of opinion there should be none at all these
two years. I will trouble myself no more about it. My design was to
serve the Duke of Ormond. Dr. Pratt and I sat this evening with the
Bishop of Clogher, and played at ombre for threepences. That, I suppose,
is but low with you. I found, at coming home, a letter from MD, N.37. I
shall not answer it zis bout, but will the next. I am sorry for poo poo
Ppt. Pray walk hen oo can. I have got a terrible new cold before my old
one was quite gone, and don't know how. Pay. ... (26) I shall have DD's
money soon from the Exchequer. The Bishop of Dromore is dead now at
last. Nite, dee MD.

24. I was at Court to-day, and it was comical to see Lord Abercorn
bowing to me, but not speaking, and Lord Selkirk the same.(27) I dined
with Lord Treasurer and his Saturday Club, and sat with him two hours
after the rest were gone, and spoke freer to him of affairs than I am
afraid others do, who might do more good. All his friends repine, and
shrug their shoulders; but will not deal with him so freely as they
ought. It is an odd business; the Parliament just going to sit, and no
employments given. They say they will give them in a few days. There
is a new bishop made of Hereford;(28) so Ossory(29) is disappointed. I
hinted so to his friends two months ago, to make him leave off deluding
himself, and being indiscreet, as he was. I have just time to send this,
without giving to the bellman. Nite deelest richar MD.... dee MD MD MD
FW FW FW ME ME ME Lele Lele Lele.

My second cold is better now. Lele lele lele lele.



LETTER 59.(1)

LONDON, Jan. 25, 1712-1713.

We had such a terrible storm to-day, that, going to Lord Bolingbroke's,
I saw a hundred tiles fallen down; and one swinger fell about forty
yards before me, that would have killed a horse: so, after church and
Court, I walked through the Park, and took a chair to Lord Treasurer's.
Next door to his house, a tin chimneytop had fallen down, with a hundred
bricks. It is grown calm this evening. I wonder had you such a wind
to-day? I hate it as much as any hog does. Lord Treasurer has engaged
me to dine again with him to-morrow. He has those tricks sometimes of
inviting me from day to day, which I am forced to break through. My
little pamphlet(2) is out: 'tis not politics. If it takes, I say again
you shall hear of it. Nite dee logues.

26. This morning I felt a little touch of giddiness, which has
disordered and weakened me with its ugly remains all this day. Pity
Pdfr. After dinner at Lord Treasurer's, the French Ambassador, Duke
d'Aumont, sent Lord Treasurer word that his house was burnt down to the
ground. It took fire in the upper rooms, while he was at dinner with
Monteleon, the Spanish Ambassador, and other persons; and soon after
Lord Bolingbroke came to us with the same story. We are full of
speculations upon it, but I believe it was the carelessness of his
French rascally servants. 'Tis odd that this very day Lord Somers,
Wharton, Sunderland, Halifax, and the whole club of Whig lords, dined at
Pontack's(3) in the City, as I received private notice. They have some
damned design. I tell you another odd thing; I was observing it to Lord
Treasurer, that he was stabbed on the day King William died; and the
day I saved his life, by opening the bandbox,(4) was King William's
birthday. My friend Mr. Lewis has had a lie spread on him by the mistake
of a man, who went to another of his name, to give him thanks for
passing his Privy Seal to come from France.(5) That other Lewis spread
about that the man brought him thanks from Lord Perth and Lord Melfort
(two lords with the Pretender), for his great services, etc. The Lords
will examine that t'other Lewis to-morrow in council; and I believe
you will hear of it in the prints, for I will make Abel Roper give
a relation of it. Pray tell me if it be necessary to write a little
plainer; for I looked over a bit of my last letter, and could hardly
read it. I'll mend my hand, if oo please: but you are more used to it
nor I, as Mr. Raymond says. Nite MD.

27. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer: this makes four days together;
and he has invited me again to-morrow, but I absolutely refused him.
I was this evening at a christening with him of Lord Dupplin's(6)
daughter. He went away at ten; but they kept me and some others till
past twelve; so you may be sure 'tis late, as they say. We have now
stronger suspicions that the Duke d'Aumont's house was set on fire by
malice. I was to-day to see Lord Keeper, who has quite lost his voice
with a cold. There Dr. Radcliffe told me that it was the Ambassador's
confectioner set the house on fire by boiling sugar, and going down and
letting it boil over. Yet others still think differently; so I know not
what to judge. Nite my own deelest MD, rove Pdfr.

28. I was to-day at Court, where the Spanish Ambassador talked to me as
if he did not suspect any design in burning d'Aumont's house: but Abbe
Gaultier, Secretary for France here, said quite otherwise; and that
d'Aumont had a letter the very same day to let him know his house should
be burnt, and they tell several other circumstances too tedious to
write. One is, that a fellow mending the tiles just when the fire broke
out, saw a pot with wildfire(7) in the room. I dined with Lord Orkney.
Neither Lord Abercorn nor Selkirk will now speak with me. I have
disobliged both sides. Nite dear MD.

29. Our Society met to-day, fourteen of us, and at a tavern. We now
resolve to meet but once a fortnight, and have a Committee every other
week of six or seven, to consult about doing some good. I proposed
another message to Lord Treasurer by three principal members, to give a
hundred guineas to a certain person, and they are to urge it as well as
they can. We also raised sixty guineas upon our own Society; but I made
them do it by sessors,(8) and I was one of them, and we fitted our tax
to the several estates. The Duke of Ormond pays ten guineas, and I the
third part of a guinea; at that rate, they may tax as often as they
please. Well, but I must answer oor rettle, ung oomens: not yet; 'tis
rate now, and I can't tind it. Nite deelest MD.

30. I have drank Spa waters this two or three days; but they do not
pass, and make me very giddy. I an't well; faith, I'll take them no
more. I sauntered after church with the Provost to-day to see a library
to be sold, and dined at five with Lord Orkney. We still think there was
malice in burning d'Aumont's house. I hear little Harrison(9) is come
over; it was he I sent to Utrecht. He is now Queen's Secretary to the
Embassy, and has brought with him the Barrier Treaty, as it is now
corrected by us, and yielded to by the Dutch, which was the greatest
difficulty to retard the peace. I hope he will bring over the peace a
month hence, for we will send him back as soon as possible. I long
to see the little brat, my own creature. His pay is in all a thousand
pounds a year, and they have never paid him a groat, though I have
teased their hearts out. He must be three or four hundred pounds in debt
at least, the brat! Let me go to bed, sollahs.--Nite dee richar MD.

31. Harrison was with me this morning: we talked three hours, and then
I carried him to Court. When we went down to the door of my lodging, I
found a coach waited for him. I chid him for it; but he whispered me it
was impossible to do otherwise; and in the coach he told me he had not
one farthing in his pocket to pay it; and therefore took the coach for
the whole day, and intended to borrow money somewhere or other. So
there was the Queen's Minister entrusted in affairs of the greatest
importance, without a shilling in his pocket to pay a coach! I paid
him while he was with me seven guineas, in part of a dozen of shirts he
bought me in Holland. I presented him to the Duke of Ormond, and several
lords at Court; and I contrived it so that Lord Treasurer came to me and
asked (I had Parnell by me) whether that was Dr. Parnell, and came up
and spoke to him with great kindness, and invited him to his house.
I value myself upon making the Ministry desire to be acquainted with
Parnell, and not Parnell with the Ministry. His poem is almost fully
corrected, and shall soon be out. Here's enough for to-day: only to tell
you that I was in the City with my printer to alter an Examiner about my
friend Lewis's story,(10) which will be told with remarks. Nite MD.

Feb. 1. I could do nothing till to-day about the Examiner, but the
printer came this morning, and I dictated to him what was fit to be
said, and then Mr. Lewis came, and corrected it as he would have it;
so I was neither at church nor Court. The Duke of Ormond and I dined at
Lord Orkney's. I left them at seven, and sat with Sir Andrew Fountaine,
who has a very bad sore leg, for which he designs to go to France. Fais,
here's a week gone, and one side of this letter not finished. Oh, but I
write now but once in three weeks; iss, fais, this shall go sooner. The
Parliament is to sit on the third, but will adjourn for three or four
days; for the Queen is laid up with the gout, and both Speakers out of
order, though one of them, the Lord Keeper, is almost well. I spoke
to the Duke of Ormond a good deal about Ireland. We do not altogether
agree, nor am I judge enough of Irish affairs; but I will speak to Lord
Treasurer to-morrow, that we three may settle them some way or other.
Nite sollahs both, rove Pdfr.

2. I had a letter some days ago from Moll Gery;(11) her name is now
Wigmore, and her husband has turned parson. She desires nothing but that
I would get Lord Keeper to give him a living; but I will send her no
answer, though she desires it much. She still makes mantuas at Farnham.
It rained all this day, and Dilly came to me, and was coaching it into
the City; so I went with him for a shaking, because it would not cost
me a farthing. There I met my friend Stratford,(12) the merchant, who
is going abroad to gather up his debts, and be clear in the world.
He begged that I would dine with some merchant friends of ours there,
because it was the last time I should see him: so I did, and thought to
have seen Lord Treasurer in the evening, but he happened to go out
at five; so I visited some friends, and came home. And now I have
the greatest part of your letter to answer; and yet I will not do it
to-night, say what oo please. The Parliament meets to-morrow, but will
be prorogued for a fortnight; which disappointment will, I believe, vex
abundance of them, though they are not Whigs; for they are forced to be
in town at expense for nothing: but we want an answer from Spain, before
we are sure of everything being right for the peace; and God knows
whether we can have that answer this month. It is a most ticklish
juncture of affairs; we are always driving to an inch: I am weary of it.
Nite MD.

3. The Parliament met, and was prorogued, as I said, and I found
some cloudy faces, and heard some grumbling. We have got over all
our difficulties with France, I think. They have now settled all the
articles of commerce between us and them, wherein they were very much
disposed to play the rogue if we had not held them to (it); and this
business we wait from Spain is to prevent some other rogueries of the
French, who are finding an evasion to trade to the Spanish West Indies;
but I hope we shall prevent it. I dined with Lord Treasurer, and he was
in good humour enough. I gave him that part of my book in manuscript to
read where his character was, and drawn pretty freely. He was reading
and correcting it with his pencil, when the Bishop of St. David's(13)
(now removing to Hereford) came in and interrupted us. I left him at
eight, and sat till twelve with the Provost and Bishop of Clogher at the
Provost's. Nite MD.

4. I was to-day at Court, but kept out of Lord Treasurer's way, because
I was engaged to the Duke of Ormond, where I dined, and, I think, ate
and drank too much. I sat this evening with Lady Masham, and then with
Lord Masham and Lord Treasurer at Lord Masham's. It was last year, you
may remember, my constant evening place. I saw Lady Jersey(14) with Lady
Masham, who has been laying out for my acquaintance, and has forced a
promise for me to drink chocolate with her in a day or two, which I know
not whether I shall perform (I have just mended my pen, you see), for I
do not much like her character; but she is very malicious, and therefore
I think I must keep fair with her. I cannot send this letter till
Saturday next, I find; so I will answer oors now. I see no different
days of the month; yet it is dated January 3: so it was long a coming.
I did not write to Dr. Coghill that I would have nothing in Ireland, but
that I was soliciting nothing anywhere, and that is true. I have named
Dr. Sterne to Lord Treasurer, Lord Bolingbroke, and the Duke of Ormond,
for a bishopric, and I did it heartily. I know not what will come of
it; but I tell you as a great secret that I have made the Duke of Ormond
promise me to recommend nobody till he tells me, and this for some
reasons too long to mention. My head is still in no good order. I am
heartily sorry for poo Ppt, I'm sure. Her head is good for...(15) I'll
answer more to-mollow. Nite, dearest MD; nite dee sollahs, MD.(16)

5. I must go on with oo letter. I dined to-day with Sir Andrew Fountaine
and the Provost, and I played at ombre with him all the afternoon. I
won, yet Sir Andrew is an admirable player. Lord Pembroke(17) came in,
and I gave him three or four scurvy Dilly puns, that begin with an IF.
Well, but oor letter, well, ret me see.--No; I believe I shall write no
more this good while, nor publish what I have done. Nauty (?) Ppt, oo
are vely tempegant. I did not suspect oo would tell Filby.(18) Oo are
so... (19) Turns and visitations--what are these? I'll preach and visit
as much for Mr. Walls. Pray God mend poopt's(20) health; mine is but
very indifferent. I have left off Spa water; it makes my leg swell. Nite
deelest MD.

6. This is the Queen's Birthday, and I never saw it celebrated with so
much luxury and fine clothes. I went to Court to see them, and I dined
with Lord Keeper, where the ladies were fine to admiration. I passed the
evening at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and came home pretty early, to answer oo
rettle again. Pray God keep the Queen. She was very ill about ten days
ago, and had the gout in her stomach. When I came from Lord Keeper's, I
called at Lord Treasurer's, because I heard he was very fine, and
that was a new thing; and it was true, for his coat and waistcoat were
embroidered. I have seen the Provost often since, and never spoke to him
to speak to the Temples about Daniel Carr, nor will; I don't care to do
it. I have writ lately to Parvisol. Oo did well to let him make up his
accounts. All things grow dear in Ireland, but corn to the parsons; for
my livings are fallen much this year by Parvisol's account. Nite dee
logues, MD.

 7.(8)  I was at Court to-day, but saw no Birthday clothes; the great folks
never wear them above once or twice. I dined with Lord Orkney, and sat
the evening with Sir Andrew Fountaine, whose leg is in a very dubious
condition. Pray let me know when DD's money is near due: always let me
know it beforehand. This, I believe, will hardly go till Saturday; for
I tell you what, being not very well, I dare not study much: so I let
company come in a morning, and the afternoon pass in dining and sitting
somewhere. Lord Treasurer is angry if I don't dine with him every second
day, and I cannot part with him till late: he kept me last night till
near twelve. Our weather is constant rain above these two months, which
hinders walking, so that our spring is not like yours. I have not seen
Fanny Manley(21) yet; I cannot find time. I am in rebellion with all my
acquaintance, but I will mend with my health and the weather. Clogher
make a figure! Clogher make a ----. Colds! why, we have been all dying
with colds; but now they are a little over, and my second is almost
off. I can do nothing for Swanton indeed. It is a thing impossible, and
wholly out of my way. If he buys, he must buy. So now I have answered oo
rettle; and there's an end of that now; and I'll say no more, but bid oo
nite, dee MD.

8.(9) It was terrible rainy to-day from morning till night. I intended
to have dined with Lord Treasurer, but went to see Sir Andrew Fountaine,
and he kept me to dinner, which saved coach-hire; and I stayed with him
all the afternoon, and lost thirteen shillings and sixpence at ombre.
There was management! and Lord Treasurer will chide; but I'll dine
with him to-morrow. The Bishop of Clogher's daughter has been ill some
days,(22) and it proves the smallpox. She is very full; but it comes
out well, and they apprehend no danger. Lady Orkney has given me her
picture; a very fine original of Sir Godfrey Kneller's; it is now a
mending. He has favoured her squint admirably; and you know I love a
cast in the eye. I was to see Lady Worsley(23) to-day, who is just come
to town; she is full of rheumatic pains. All my acquaintance grow old
and sickly. She lodges in the very house in King Street, between St.
James's Street and St. James's Square, where DD's brother bought the
sweetbread, when I lodged there, and MD came to see me. Short sighs.(24)
Nite MD.

9.(10) I thought to have dined with Lord Treasurer to-day, but he dined
abroad at Tom Harley's; so I dined at Lord Masham's, and was winning all
I had lost playing with Lady Masham at crown picquet, when we went to
pools, and I lost it again. Lord Treasurer came in to us, and chid me
for not following him to Tom Harley's. Miss Ashe is still the same, and
they think her not in danger; my man calls there daily after I am gone
out, and tells me at night. I was this morning to see Lady Jersey, and
we have made twenty parties about dining together, and I shall hardly
keep one of them. She is reduced after all her greatness to seven
servants, and a small house, and no coach.(25) I like her tolerably as
yet. Nite MD.

10.(11) I made visits this morning to the Duke and Duchess of Ormond,
and Lady Betty, and the Duchess of Hamilton. (When I was writing this
near twelve o'clock, the Duchess of Hamilton sent to have me dine with
her to-morrow. I am forced to give my answer through the door, for my
man has got the key, and is gone to bed; but I cannot obey her, for our
Society meets to-morrow.) I stole away from Lord Treasurer by eight, and
intended to have passed the evening with Sir Thomas Clarges(26) and his
lady; but met them in another place, and have there sat till now. My
head has not been ill to-day. I was at Court, and made Lord Mansel walk
with me in the Park before we went to dinner.--Yesterday and to-day have
been fair, but yet it rained all last night. I saw Sterne staring at
Court to-day. He has been often to see me, he says: but my man has
not yet let him up. He is in deep mourning; I hope it is not for his
wife.(27) I did not ask him. Nite MD.

12.(28) I have reckoned days wrong all this while; for this is the
twelfth. I do not know when I lost it. I dined to-day with our Society,
the greatest dinner I have ever seen. It was at Jack Hill's, the
Governor of Dunkirk. I gave an account of sixty guineas I had collected,
and am to give them away to two authors to-morrow; and Lord Treasurer
has promised us a hundred pounds to reward some others. I found a letter
on my table last night to tell me that poor little Harrison, the Queen's
Secretary, that came lately from Utrecht with the Barrier Treaty, was
ill, and desired to see me at night; but it was late, and I could not
go till to-day. I have often mentioned him in my letters, you may
remember.... I went in the morning, and found him mighty ill, and got
thirty guineas for him from Lord Bolingbroke, and an order for a hundred
pounds from the Treasury to be paid him to-morrow; and I have got him
removed to Knightsbridge for air. He has a fever and inflammation on his
lungs; but I hope will do well. Nite.

13. I was to see a poor poet, one Mr. Diaper,(29) in a nasty garret,
very sick. I gave him twenty guineas from Lord Bolingbroke, and disposed
the other sixty to two other authors, and desired a friend to receive
the hundred pounds for poor Harrison, and will carry it to him to-morrow
morning. I sent to see how he did, and he is extremely ill; and I
very much afflicted for him, for he is my own creature, and in a very
honourable post, and very worthy of it. I dined in the City. I am in
much concern for this poor lad. His mother and sister attend him, and he
wants nothing. Nite poo dee MD.

14. I took Parnell this morning, and we walked to see poor Harrison.
I had the hundred pounds in my pocket. I told Parnell I was afraid to
knock at the door; my mind misgave me. I knocked, and his man in tears
told me his master was dead an hour before. Think what grief this is to
me! I went to his mother, and have been ordering things for his funeral
with as little cost as possible, to-morrow at ten at night. Lord
Treasurer was much concerned when I told him. I could not dine with Lord
Treasurer, nor anywhere else; but got a bit of meat toward evening. No
loss ever grieved me so much: poor creature! Pray God Almighty bless
poor MD. Adieu.

I send this away to-night, and am sorry it must go while I am in so much
grief.



LETTER 60.(1)

LONDON, Feb. 15 (1712-13).

I dined to-day with Mr. Rowe(2) and a projector, who has been teasing
me with twenty schemes to get grants; and I don't like one of them; and,
besides, I was out of humour for the loss of poor Harrison. At ten
this night I was at his funeral, which I ordered to be as private as
possible. We had but one coach with four of us; and when it was carrying
us home after the funeral, the braces broke; and we were forced to sit
in it, and have it held up, till my man went for chairs,(3) at eleven at
night in terrible rain. I am come home very melancholy, and will go to
bed. Nite... MD.(4)

16. I dined to-day with Lord Dupplin and some company to divert me; but
left them early, and have been reading a foolish book for amusement. I
shall never have courage again to care for making anybody's fortune. The
Parliament meets to-morrow, and will be prorogued another fortnight,
at which several of both parties were angry; but it cannot be helped,
though everything about the peace is past all danger. I never saw such
a continuance of rainy weather. We have not had two fair days together
these ten weeks. I have not dined with Lord Treasurer these four days,
nor can I till Saturday; for I have several engagements till then,
and he will chide me to some purpose. I am perplexed with this hundred
pounds of poor Harrison's, what to do with it. I cannot pay his
relations till they administer, for he is much in debt;(5) but I will
have the staff in my own hands, and venture nothing. Nite poo dee MD.

17. Lady Jersey and I dined by appointment to-day with Lord Bolingbroke.
He is sending his brother(6) to succeed Mr.(7) Harrison. It is the
prettiest post in Europe for a young gentleman. I lose my money at ombre
sadly; I make a thousand blunders. I play but(8) threepenny ombre; but
it is what you call running ombre. Lady Clarges,(9) and a drab I hate,
won a dozen shillings of me last night. The Parliament was prorogued
to-day; and people grumble; and the good of it is the peace cannot be
finished by the time they meet, there are so many fiddling things to do.
Is Ppt an ombre lady yet? You know all the tricks of it now, I suppose.
I reckon you have all your cards from France, for ours pay sixpence a
pack taxes, which goes deep to the box. I have given away all my Spa
water, and take some nasty steel drops, and my head has been better this
week past. I send every day to see how Miss Ashe does: she is very full,
they say, but in no danger. I fear she will lose some of her beauty.
The son lies out of the house. I wish he had them too, while he is so
young.--Nite MD.

18. The Earl of Abingdon(10) has been teasing me these three months to
dine with him; and this day was appointed about a week ago, and I named
my company; Lord Stawel,(11) Colonel Disney,(12) and Dr. Arbuthnot; but
the two last slipped out their necks, and left Stawell and me to dine
there. We did not dine till seven, because it is Ash Wednesday. We had
nothing but fish, which Lord Stawell could not eat, and got a broiled
leg of a turkey. Our wine was poison; yet the puppy has twelve thousand
pound a year. His carps were raw, and his candles tallow. He(13) shall
not catch me in haste again, and everybody has laughed at me for dining
with him. I was to-day to let Harrison's mother know I could not
pay till she administers; which she will do. I believe she is an old
bawd,(14) and her daughter a ------. There were more Whigs to-day at
Court than Tories. I believe they think the peace must be made, and so
come to please the Queen. She is still lame with the gout. Nite MD.

19. I was at Court to-day, to speak to Lord Bolingbroke to look over
Parnell's poem since it is corrected; and Parnell and I dined with him,
and he has shown him three or four more places to alter a little. Lady
Bolingbroke came down to us while we were at dinner, and Parnell stared
at her as if she were a goddess. I thought she was like Parnell's wife,
and he thought so too. Parnell is much pleased with Lord Bolingbroke's
favour to him, and I hope it may one day turn to his advantage. His poem
will be printed in a few days. Our weather continues as fresh raining as
if it had not rained at all. I sat to-night at Lady Masham's, where
Lord Treasurer came and scolded me for not dining with him. I told him
I could not till Saturday. I have stayed there till past twelve. So nite
dee sollahs, nite.

20. Lady Jersey, Lady Catherine Hyde,(15) the Spanish Ambassador, the
Duke d'Atree,(16) another Spaniard, and I, dined to-day by appointment
with Lord Bolingbroke; but they fell a drinking so many Spanish healths
in champagne that I stole away to the ladies, and drank tea till eight;
and then went and lost my money at ombre with Sir Andrew Fountaine, who
has a very bad leg. Miss Ashe is past all danger; and her eye, which was
lately bad (I suppose one effect of her distemper), is now better. I do
not let the Bishop see me, nor shall this good while. Good luck! when I
came home, I warrant, I found a letter from MD, No.38; and oo write
so small nowadays, I hope oo poor eyes are better. Well, this shall go
to-morrow se'nnight, with a bill for MD. I will speak to Mr. Griffin(17)
to-morrow about Ppt's brother Filby, and desire, whether he deserves
or no, that his employment may be mended; that is to say, if I can see
Griffin; otherwise not; and I'll answer oo rettle hen I Pdfr think fit.
Nite MD.

21. Methinks I writ a little saucy last night. I mean the last... (18) I
saw Griffin at Court. He says he knows nothing of a salt-work at Recton;
but that he will give Filby a better employment, and desires Filby will
write to him. If I knew how to write to Filby, I would; but pray do you.
Bid him make no mention of you; but only let Mr. Griffin know that
he has the honour to be recommended by Dr. S----, etc.; that he will
endeavour to deserve, etc.; and if you dictated a whole letter for him,
it would be better; I hope he can write and spell well. I'll inquire for
a direction to Griffin before I finish this. I dined with Lord Treasurer
and seven lords to-day. You know Saturday is his great day, but I sat
with them alone till eight, and then came home, and have been writing a
letter to Mrs. Davis, at York. She took care to have a letter delivered
for me at Lord Treasurer's; for I would not own one she sent by post.
She reproaches me for not writing to her these four years; and I have
honestly told her it was my way never to write to those whom I am never
likely to see, unless I can serve them, which I cannot her, etc. Davis
the schoolmaster's widow. Nite MD.

22. I dined to-day at Lord Orkney's, with the Duke of Ormond and Sir
Thomas Hanmer.(19) Have you ever heard of the latter? He married the
Duchess of Grafton in his youth (she dined with us too). He is the
most considerable man in the House of Commons. He went last spring to
Flanders, with the Duke of Ormond; from thence to France, and was going
to Italy; but the Ministry sent for him, and he has been come over about
ten days. He is much out of humour with things: he thinks the peace is
kept off too long, and is full of fears and doubts. It is thought he is
designed for Secretary of State, instead of Lord Dartmouth. We have been
acquainted these two years; and I intend, in a day or two, to have an
hour's talk with him on affairs. I saw the Bishop of Clogher at Court;
Miss is recovering. I know not how much she will be marked. The Queen
is slowly mending of her gout, and intends to be brought in a chair to
Parliament when it meets, which will be March 3; for I suppose they
will prorogue no more; yet the peace will not be signed then, and we
apprehend the Tories themselves will many of them be discontented. Nite
dee MD.

23. It was ill weather to-day, and I dined with Sir Andrew Fountaine,
and in the evening played at ombre with him and the Provost, and won
twenty-five shillings; so I have recovered myself pretty well. Dilly has
been dunning me to see Fanny Manley; but I have not yet been able to
do it. Miss Ashe is now quite out of danger; and hope will not be much
marked. I cannot tell how to direct to Griffin; and think he lives in
Bury Street, near St. James's Street, hard by me; but I suppose your
brother may direct to him to the Salt Office, and, as I remember, he
knows his Christian name, because he sent it me in the list of the
Commissioners. Nite dee MD.

24. I walked this morning to Chelsea, to see Dr. Atterbury, Dean
of Christ Church. I had business with him about entering Mr.
Fitzmaurice,(20) my Lord Kerry's son, into his College; and Lady
Kerry(21) is a great favourite of mine. Lord Harley, Lord Dupplin, young
Bromley(22) the Speaker's son, and I, dined with Dr. Stratford(23) and
some other clergymen; but I left them at seven to go to Lady Jersey,
to see Monteleon the Spanish Ambassador play at ombre. Lady Jersey was
abroad, and I chid the servants, and made a rattle; but since I came
home she sent me a message that I was mistaken, and that the meeting is
to be to-morrow. I have a worse memory than when I left you, and every
day forget appointments; but here my memory was by chance too good. But
I'll go to-morrow; for Lady Catherine Hyde and Lady Bolingbroke are to
be there by appointment, and I listed(24) up my periwig, and all, to
make a figure. Well, who can help it? Not I, vow to...!(25) Nite MD.

25. Lord Treasurer met me last night at Lord Masham's, and thanked me
for my company in a jeer, because I had not dined with him in three
days. He chides me if I stay away but two days together. What will this
come to? Nothing. My grandmother used to say, "More of your lining, and
less of your dining." However, I dined with him, and could hardly
leave him at eight, to go to Lady Jersey's, where five or six foreign
Ministers were, and as many ladies. Monteleon played like the English,
and cried "gacco," and knocked his knuckles for trump, and played at
small games like Ppt. Lady Jersey whispered me to stay and sup with the
ladies when the fellows were gone; but they played till eleven, and I
would not stay. I think this letter must go on Saturday; that's certain;
and it is not half full yet. Lady Catherine Hyde had a mighty mind I
should be acquainted with Lady Dalkeith,(26) her sister, the Duke of
Monmouth's eldest son's widow, who was of the company to-night; but I
did not like her; she paints too much. Nite MD.

26. This day our Society met at the Duke of Ormond's, but I had business
that called me another way; so I sent my excuses, and dined privately
with a friend. Besides, Sir Thomas Hanmer whispered me last night at
Lady Jersey's that I must attend Lord Treasurer and Duke of Ormond at
supper at his house to-night; which I did at eleven, and stayed till
one, so oo may be sure 'tis late enough. There was the Duchess of
Grafton, and the Duke her son; nine of us in all. The Duke of Ormond
chid me for not being at the Society to-day, and said sixteen were
there. I said I never knew sixteen people good company in my life; no,
fais, nor eight either. We have no news in this town at all. I wonder
why I don't write you news. I know less of what passes than anybody,
because I go to(27) no coffee-house, nor see any but Ministers, and such
people; and Ministers never talk politics in conversation. The Whigs are
forming great schemes against the meeting of Parliament, which will be
next Tuesday, I still think, without fail; and we hope to hear by then
that the peace is ready to sign. The Queen's gout mends daily. Nite MD.

27. I passed a very insipid day, and dined privately with a friend in
the neighbourhood. Did I tell you that I have a very fine picture of
Lady Orkney,(28) an original, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, three-quarters
length? I have it now at home, with a fine frame. Lord Bolingbroke
and Lady Masham have promised to sit for me; but I despair of Lord
Treasurer; only I hope he will give me a copy, and then I shall have all
the pictures of those I really love here; just half a dozen; only I'll
make Lord Keeper give me his print in a frame. This letter must go
to-morrow, because of sending ME a bill; else it should not till next
week, I assure oo. I have little to do now with my pen; for my grand
business stops till they are more pressing, and till something or other
happens; and I believe I shall return with disgust to finish it, it is
so very laborious. Sir Thomas Hanmer has my papers now. And hat is MD
doing now? Oh, at ombre with the Dean always on Friday night, with Mrs.
Walls. Pray don't play at small games. I stood by, t'other night, while
the Duke d'Atree(29) lost six times with manilio, basto, and three small
trumps; and Lady Jersey won above twenty pounds. Nite dee richar(30) MD.

28. I was at Court to-day, when the Abbe Gaultier whispered me that a
courier was just come with an account that the French King had consented
to all the Queen's demands, and his consent was carried to Utrecht,
and the peace will be signed in a few days. I suppose the general peace
cannot be so soon ready; but that is no matter. The news presently ran
about the Court. I saw the Queen carried out in her chair, to take the
air in the garden. I met Griffin at Court, and he told me that orders
were sent to examine Filby; and, if he be fit, to make him (I think he
called it) an assistant; I don't know what, Supervisor, I think; but it
is some employment a good deal better than his own. The Parliament will
have another short prorogation, though it is not known yet. I dined with
Lord Treasurer and his Saturday company, and left him at eight to put
this in the post-office time enough. And now I must bid oo farewell,
deelest richar Ppt. God bless oo ever, and rove Pdfr. Farewell MD MD MD
FW FW FW FW ME ME ME Lele Lele.



LETTER 61.(1)

LONDON, March 1, 1712-13.

'Tis out of my head whether I answered all your letter in my last
yesterday or no. I think I was in haste, and could not: but now I see I
answered a good deal of it; no, only about your brother, and ME's bill.
I dined with Lady Orkney, and we talked politics till eleven at night;
and, as usual, found everything wrong, and put ourselves out of humour.
Yes, I have Lady Giffard's picture sent me by your mother. It is boxed
up at a place where my other things are. I have goods in two or three
places; and when I leave a lodging, I box up the books I get (for I
always get some), and come naked into a new lodging; and so on. Talk not
to me of deaneries; I know less of that than ever by much. Nite MD.

2. I went to-day into the City to see Pat Rolt,(2) who lodges with a
City cousin, a daughter of coz Cleve; (you are much the wiser). I had
never been at her house before. My he-coz Thompson the butcher is dead,
or dying. I dined with my printer, and walked home, and went to sit with
Lady Clarges. I found four of them at whist; Lady Godolphin(3) was one.
I sat by her, and talked of her cards, etc., but she would not give
me one look, nor say a word to me. She refused some time ago to be
acquainted with me. You know she is Lord Marlborough's eldest daughter.
She is a fool for her pains, and I'll pull her down. What can I do for
Dr. Smith's daughter's husband? I have no personal credit with any
of the Commissioners. I'll speak to Keatley;(4) but I believe it will
signify nothing. In the Customs people must rise by degrees, and he
must at first take what is very low, if he be qualified for that. Ppt
mistakes me; I am not angry at your recommending anyone to me, provided
you will take my answer. Some things are in my way, and then I serve
those I can. But people will not distinguish, but take things ill, when
I have no power; but Ppt is wiser. And employments in general are very
hard to be got. Nite MD.

3. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, who chid me for my absence, which
was only from Saturday last. The Parliament was again prorogued for a
week, and I suppose the peace will be ready by then, and the Queen
will be able to be brought to the House, and make her speech. I saw Dr.
Griffith(5) two or three months ago, at a Latin play at Westminster;
but did not speak to him. I hope he will not die; I should be sorry for
Ppt's sake; he is very tender of her. I have long lost all my colds,
and the weather mends a little. I take some steel drops, and my head
is pretty well. I walk when I can, but am grown very idle; and, not
finishing my thing, I gamble(6) abroad and play at ombre. I shall be
more careful in my physic than Mrs. Price: 'tis not a farthing matter
her death, I think; and so I say no more to-night, but will read a dull
book, and go sleep. Nite dee MD.

4. Mr. Ford has been this half-year inviting me to dine at his lodgings:
so I did to-day, and brought the Provost and Dr. Parnell with me, and my
friend Lewis was there. Parnell went away, and the other three played at
ombre, and I looked on; which I love, and would not play. Tisdall is a
pretty fellow, as you say; and when I come back to Ireland with nothing,
he will condole with me with abundance of secret pleasure. I believe
I told you what he wrote to me, that I have saved England, and he
Ireland;(7) but I can bear that. I have learned to hear and see, and say
nothing. I was to see the Duchess of Hamilton to-day, and met Blith(8)
of Ireland just going out of her house into his coach. I asked her how
she came to receive young fellows. It seems he had a ball in the Duke
of Hamilton's house when the Duke died; and the Duchess got an
advertisement put in the Postboy,(9) reflecting on the ball, because
the Marlborough daughters(10) were there; and Blith came to beg the
Duchess's pardon, and clear himself. He's a sad dog. Nite poo dee
deelest MD.

5. Lady Masham has miscarried; but is well almost again. I have many
visits to-day. I met Blith at the Duke of Ormond's; and he begged me to
carry him to the Duchess of Hamilton, to beg her pardon again. I did
on purpose to see how the blunderbuss behaved himself; but I begged the
Duchess to use him mercifully, for she is the devil of a teaser. The
good of it is, she ought to beg his pardon, for he meant no harm; yet
she would not allow him to put in an advertisement to clear himself from
hers, though hers was all a lie. He appealed to me, and I gravely gave
it against him. I was at Court to-day, and the foreign Ministers have
got a trick of employing me to speak for them to Lord Treasurer and Lord
Bolingbroke; which I do when the case is reasonable. The College(11)
need not fear; I will not be their Governor. I dined with Sir Thomas
Hanmer and his Duchess.(12) The Duke of Ormond was there, but we parted
soon, and I went to visit Lord Pembroke for the first time; but it was
to see some curious books. Lord Cholmondeley(13) came in; but I would
not talk to him, though he made many advances. I hate the scoundrel for
all he is your Griffith's friend.--Yes, yes, I am abused enough, if that
be all. Nite sollahs.

6. I was to-day at an auction of pictures with Pratt,(14) and laid
out two pound five shillings for a picture of Titian, and if it were
a Titian it would be worth twice as many pounds. If I am cheated, I'll
part with it to Lord Masham: if it be a bargain, I'll keep it to myself.
That's my conscience. But I made Pratt buy several pictures for Lord
Masham. Pratt is a great virtuoso that way. I dined with Lord Treasurer,
but made him go to Court at eight. I always tease him to be gone. I
thought to have made Parnell dine with him, but he was ill; his head
is out of order like mine, but more constant, poor boy!--I was at Lord
Treasurer's levee with the Provost, to ask a book for the College.--I
never go to his levee, unless to present somebody. For all oor rallying,
saucy(15) Ppt, as hope saved, I expected they would have decided about
me long ago; and as hope saved, as soon as ever things are given away
and I not provided for, I will be gone with the very first opportunity,
and put up bag and baggage. But people are slower than can be thought.
Nite MD.

7. Yes, I hope Leigh will soon be gone, a p-- on him! I met him once,
and he talked gravely to me of not seeing the Irish bishops here, and
the Irish gentlemen; but I believe my answers fretted him enough. I
would not dine with Lord Treasurer to-day, though it was Saturday (for
he has engaged me for to-morrow), but went and dined with Lord Masham,
and played at ombre, sixpenny running ombre, for three hours. There were
three voles(16) against me, and I was once a great loser, but came off
for three shillings and sixpence. One may easily lose five guineas at
it. Lady Orkney is gone out of town to-day, and I could not see her for
laziness, but writ to her. She has left me some physic. Fais, I never
knew MD's politics before, and I think it pretty extraordinary, and a
great compliment to you, and I believe never three people conversed so
much with so little politics. I avoid all conversation with the other
party; it is not to be borne, and I am sorry for it. O yes, things (are)
very dear. DD must come in at last with DD's two eggs a penny. There the
proverb was well applied. Parvisol has sent me a bill of fifty pounds,
as I ordered him, which, I hope, will serve me, and bring me over. Pray
God MD does not be delayed for it; but I have had very little from him
this long time. I was not at Court to-day; a wonder! Nite sollahs...
Pdfr.

8. Oo must know, I give chocolate almost every day to two or three
people that I suffer to come to see me in a morning. My man begins to
lie pretty well. 'Tis nothing for people to be denied ten times. My man
knows all I will see, and denies me to everybody else. This is the
day of the Queen's coming to the Crown, and the day Lord Treasurer was
stabbed by Guiscard. I was at Court, where everybody had their Birthday
clothes on, and I dined with Lord Treasurer, who was very fine. He
showed me some of the Queen's speech, which I corrected in several
places, and penned the vote of address of thanks for the speech; but
I was of opinion the House should not sit on Tuesday next, unless they
hear the peace is signed; that is, provided they are sure it will be
signed the week after, and so have one scolding for all. Nite MD.

9. Lord Treasurer would have had me dine with him to-day; he desired
me last night, but I refused, because he would not keep the day of his
stabbing with all the Cabinet, as he intended: so I dined with my
friend Lewis; and the Provost and Parnell, and Ford, was with us. I
lost sixteen shillings at ombre; I don't like it, as etc. At night Lewis
brought us word that the Parliament does not sit to-morrow. I hope
they are sure of the peace by next week, and then they are right in
my opinion: otherwise I think they have done wrong, and might have sat
three weeks ago. People will grumble; but Lord Treasurer cares not a
rush. Lord Keeper is suddenly taken ill of a quinsy, and some lords are
commissioned, I think Lord Trevor,(17) to prorogue the Parliament in his
stead. You never saw a town so full of ferment and expectation. Mr. Pope
has published a fine poem, called Windsor Forest.(18) Read it. Nite.

10. I was early this morning to see Lord Bolingbroke. I find he was of
opinion the Parliament should sit; and says they are not sure the peace
will be signed next week. The prorogation is to this day se'nnight. I
went to look on a library I am going to buy, if we can agree. I have
offered a hundred and twenty pounds, and will give ten more. Lord
Bolingbroke will lend me the money. I was two hours poring on the books.
I will sell some of them, and keep the rest; but I doubt they won't take
the money. I dined in the City, and sat an hour in the evening with Lord
Treasurer, who was in very good humour; but reproached me for not dining
with him yesterday and to-day. What will all this come to? Lord Keeper
had a pretty good night, and is better. I was in pain for him. How do oo
do sollahs?... Nite MD.(19)

11. I was this morning to visit the Duke and Duchess of Ormond, and
the Duchess of Hamilton, and went with the Provost to an auction of
pictures, and laid out fourteen shillings. I am in for it, if I had
money; but I doubt I shall be undone; for Sir Andrew Fountaine invited
the Provost and me to dine with him, and play at ombre, when I fairly
lost fourteen shillings. Fais, it won't do; and I shall be out of
conceit with play this good while. I am come home; and it is late, and
my puppy let out my fire, and I am gone to bed and writing there, and
it is past twelve a good while. Went out four matadores and a trump in
black, and was bested. Vely bad, fais! Nite my deelest logues MD.

12. I was at another auction of pictures to-day, and a great auction it
was. I made Lord Masham lay out forty pounds. There were pictures sold
of twice as much value apiece. Our Society met to-day at the Duke of
Beaufort's: a prodigious fine dinner, which I hate; but we did some
business. Our printer was to attend us, as usual; and the Chancellor of
the Exchequer sent the author of the Examiner(20) twenty guineas. He is
an ingenious fellow, but the most confounded vain coxcomb in the world,
so that I dare not let him see me, nor am acquainted with him. I had
much discourse with the Duke of Ormond this morning, and am driving
some points to secure us all in case of accidents, etc.(21) I left the
Society at seven. I can't drink now at all with any pleasure. I love
white Portugal wine better than claret, champagne, or burgundy. I have a
sad vulgar appetite. I remember Ppt used to maunder, when I came from a
great dinner, and DD had but a bit of mutton. I cannot endure above one
dish; nor ever could since I was a boy, and loved stuffing. It was a
fine day, which is a rarity with us, I assure (you). Never fair two days
together. Nite dee MD.

13. I had a rabble of Irish parsons this morning drinking my chocolate.
I cannot remember appointments. I was to have supped last night with the
Swedish Envoy at his house, and some other company, but forgot it; and
he rallied me to-day at Lord Bolingbroke's, who excused me, saying, the
Envoy ought not to be angry, because I serve Lord Treasurer and him the
same way. For that reason, I very seldom promise to go anywhere. I dined
with Lord Treasurer, who chid me for being absent so long, as he always
does if I miss a day. I sat three hours this evening with Lady Jersey;
but the first two hours she was at ombre with some company. I left Lord
Treasurer at eight: I fancied he was a little thoughtful, for he was
playing with an orange by fits, which, I told him, among common men
looked like the spleen. This letter shall not go to-morrow; no haste,
ung oomens; nothing that presses. I promised but once in three weeks,
and I am better than my word. I wish the peace may be ready, I mean that
we have notice it is signed, before Tuesday; otherwise the grumbling
will much increase. Nite logues.

14. It was a lovely day this, and I took the advantage of walking a good
deal in the Park, before I went to Court. Colonel Disney, one of our
Society, is ill of a fever, and, we fear, in great danger. We all love
him mightily, and he would be a great loss. I doubt I shall not buy the
library; for a roguey bookseller has offered sixty pounds more than I
designed to give; so you see I meant to have a good bargain. I dined
with Lord Treasurer and his Saturday company; but there were but seven
at table. Lord Peterborrow is ill, and spits blood, with a bruise he got
before he left England; but, I believe, an Italian lady he has
brought over is the cause that his illness returns. You know old Lady
Bellasis(22) is dead at last? She has left Lord Berkeley of Stratton(23)
one of her executors, and it will be of great advantage to him; they say
above ten thousand pounds. I stayed with Lord Treasurer upon business,
after the company was gone; but I dare not tell you upon what. My
letters would be good memoirs, if I durst venture to say a thousand
things that pass; but I hear so much of letters opening at your
post-office that I am fearful, etc., and so good-nite, sollahs, rove
Pdfr, MD.

15. Lord Treasurer engaged me to dine with him again to-day, and I
had ready what he wanted; but he would not see it, but put me off till
to-morrow. The Queen goes to chapel now. She is carried in an open
chair, and will be well enough to go to Parliament on Tuesday, if
the Houses meet, which is not yet certain; neither, indeed, can the
Ministers themselves tell; for it depends on winds and weather, and
circumstances of negotiation. However, we go on as if it was certainly
to meet; and I am to be at Lord Treasurer's to-morrow, upon that
supposition, to settle some things relating that way. Ppt(24) may
understand me. The doctors tell me that if poor Colonel Disney does not
get some sleep to-night, he must die. What care you? Ah! but I do
care. He is one of our Society; a fellow of abundance of humour; an old
battered rake, but very honest, not an old man, but an old rake. It was
he that said of Jenny Kingdom,(25) the maid of honour, who is a little
old, that, since she could not get a husband, the Queen should give her
a brevet to act as a married woman. You don't understand this. They give
brevets to majors and captains to act as colonels in the army. Brevets
are commissions. Ask soldiers, dull sollahs. Nite MD.

16. I was at Lord Treasurer's before he came; and, as he entered, he
told me the Parliament was prorogued till Thursday se'nnight. They have
had some expresses, by which they count that the peace may be signed
by that time; at least, that France, Holland, and we, will sign some
articles, by which we shall engage to sign the peace when it is ready:
but Spain has no Minister there; for Monteleon, who is to be their
Ambassador at Utrecht, is not yet gone from hence; and till he is there,
the Spaniards can sign no peace: and (of) one thing take notice, that
a general peace can hardly be finished these two months, so as to be
proclaimed here; for, after signing, it must be ratified; that is,
confirmed by the several princes at their Courts, which to Spain will
cost a month; for we must have notice that it is ratified in all Courts
before we can proclaim it. So be not in too much haste. Nite MD.

17. The Irish folks were disappointed that the Parliament did not meet
to-day, because it was St. Patrick's Day; and the Mall was so full of
crosses that I thought all the world was Irish. Miss Ashe is almost
quite well, and I see the Bishop, but shall not yet go to his house. I
dined again with Lord Treasurer; but the Parliament being prorogued, I
must keep what I have till next week: for I believe he will not see it
till just the evening before the session. He has engaged me to dine with
him again to-morrow, though I did all I could to put it off; but I don't
care to disoblige him. Nite dee sollahs 'tis late. Nite MD.

18. I have now dined six days successively with Lord Treasurer; but
to-night I stole away while he was talking with somebody else, and so am
at liberty to-morrow. There was a flying report of a general cessation
of arms: everybody had it at Court; but, I believe, there is nothing in
it. I asked a certain French Minister how things went. And he whispered
me in French, "Your Plenipotentiaries and ours play the fool." None
of us, indeed, approve of the conduct of either at this time; but Lord
Treasurer was in full good-humour for all that. He had invited a good
many of his relations; and, of a dozen at table, they were all of the
Harley family but myself. Disney is recovering, though you don't care
a straw. Dilly murders us with his IF puns. You know them.... (26) Nite
MD.

19. The Bishop of Clogher has made an IF pun that he is mighty proud of,
and designs to send it over to his brother Tom. But Sir Andrew Fountaine
has wrote to Tom Ashe last post, and told him the pun, and desired him
to send it over to the Bishop as his own; and, if it succeeds, 'twill
be a pure bite. The Bishop will tell it us as a wonder that he and his
brother should jump so exactly. I'll tell you the pun:--If there was a
hackney coach at Mr. Pooley's(27) door, what town in Egypt would it be?
Why, it would be Hecatompolis; Hack at Tom Pooley's. "Sillly," says Ppt.
I dined with a private friend to-day; for our Society, I told you, meet
but once a fortnight. I have not seen Fanny Manley yet; I can't help it.
Lady Orkney is come to town: why, she was at her country house; hat(28)
care you? Nite darling (?) dee MD.

20. Dilly read me a letter to-day from Ppt. She seems to have scratched
her head when she writ it. 'Tis a sad thing to write to people without
tact. There you say, you hear I was going to Bath. No such thing; I am
pretty well, I thank God. The town is now sending me to Savoy.(29) Forty
people have given me joy of it, yet there is not the least truth that I
know in it. I was at an auction of pictures, but bought none. I was so
glad of my liberty, that I would dine nowhere; but, the weather being
fine, I sauntered into the City, and ate a bit about five, and then
supped at Mr. Burke's(30) your Accountant-General, who had been engaging
me this month. The Bishop of Clogher was to have been there, but was
hindered by Lord Paget's(31) funeral. The Provost and I sat till one
o'clock; and, if that be not late, I don't know what is late. Parnell's
poem will be published on Monday, and to-morrow I design he shall
present it to Lord Treasurer and Lord Bolingbroke at Court. The poor lad
is almost always out of order with his head. Burke's wife is his sister.
She has a little of the pert Irish way. Nite MD.

21. Morning. I will now finish my letter; for company will come, and
a stir, and a clutter; and I'll keep the letter in my pottick,(32)
and give it into the post myself. I must go to Court, and you know on
Saturdays I dine with Lord Treasurer, of course. Farewell, deelest MD MD
MD, FW FW FW, MD ME ME ME Lele sollahs.(33)



LETTER 62.(1)

LONDON, March 21, 1712-13.

I gave your letter in this night. I dined with Lord Treasurer to-day,
and find he has been at a meeting at Lord Halifax's house, with four
principal Whigs; but he is resolved to begin a speech against them when
the Parliament sits; and I have begged that the Ministers may have a
meeting on purpose to settle that matter, and let us be the attackers;
and I believe it will come to something, for the Whigs intend to attack
the Ministers: and if, instead of that, the Ministers attack the Whigs,
it will be better: and farther, I believe we shall attack them on those
very points they intend to attack us. The Parliament will be again
prorogued for a fortnight, because of Passion Week. I forgot to tell you
that Mr. Griffin has given Ppt's brother(2) a new employment, about ten
pounds a year better than his former; but more remote, and consequently
cheaper. I wish I could have done better, and hope oo will take what can
be done in good part, and that oo brother will not dislike it.--Nite own
dear... MD.

22. I dined to-day with Lord Steward.(3) There Frank Annesley(4) (a
Parliament-man) told me he had heard that I had wrote to my friends in
Ireland to keep firm to the Whig interest; for that Lord Treasurer would
certainly declare for it after the peace. Annesley said twenty people
had told him this. You must know this is what they endeavour to report
of Lord Treasurer, that he designs to declare for the Whigs; and a
Scotch fellow has wrote the same to Scotland; and his meeting with
those lords gives occasion to such reports. Let me henceforth call
Lord Treasurer Eltee, because possibly my letters may be opened. Pray
remember Eltee. You know the reason; L.T. and Eltee pronounced the same
way. Stay, 'tis five weeks since I had a letter from MD. I allow you
six. You see why I cannot come over the beginning of April; whoever has
to do with this Ministry can fix no time: but as(5) hope saved, it is
not Pdfr's fault. Pay don't blame poo Pdfr. Nite deelest logues MD.(6)

23. I dined to-day at Sir Thomas Hanmer's, by an old appointment: there
was the Duke of Ormond, and Lord and Lady Orkney. I left them at six.
Everybody is as sour as vinegar. I endeavour to keep a firm friendship
between the Duke of Ormond and Eltee. (Oo know who Eltee is, or have oo
fordot already?) I have great designs, if I can compass them; but delay
is rooted in Eltee's heart; yet the fault is not altogether there, that
things are no better. Here is the cursedest libel in verse come out that
ever was seen, called The Ambassadress;(7) it is very dull, too; it has
been printed three or four different ways, and is handed about, but not
sold. It abuses the Queen horribly. The Examiner has cleared me to-day
of being author of his paper, and done it with great civilities to
me.(8) I hope it will stop people's mouths; if not, they must go on and
be hanged, I care not. 'Tis terribly rainy weather, I'll go sleep. Nite
deelest MD.

24. It rained all this day, and ruined me in coach-hire. I went to
Colonel Disney, who is past danger. Then I visited Lord Keeper, who was
at dinner; but I would not dine with him, but drove to Lord Treasurer
(Eltee I mean), paid the coachman, and went in; but he dined abroad: so
I was forced to call the coachman again, and went to Lord Bolingbroke's.
He dined abroad too; and at Lord Dupplin's I alighted, and by good
luck got a dinner there, and then went to the Latin play at Westminster
School, acted by the boys; and Lord Treasurer (Eltee I mean again)
honoured them with his presence. Lady Masham's eldest son, about two
years old, is ill, and I am afraid will not live: she is full of grief,
and I pity and am angry with her. Four shillings to-day in coach-hire;
fais, it won't do. Our peace will certainly be ready by Thursday
fortnight; but our Plenipotentiaries were to blame that it was not done
already. They thought their powers were not full enough to sign the
peace, unless every Prince was ready, which cannot yet be; for Spain has
no Minister yet at Utrecht; but now ours have new orders. Nite MD.

25. Weather worse than ever; terrible rain all day, but I was resolved
I would spend no more money. I went to an auction of pictures with Dr.
Pratt, and there met the Duke of Beaufort, who promised to come with me
to Court, but did not. So a coach I got, and went to Court, and did some
little business there, but was forced to go home; for oo must understand
I take a little physic over-night, which works me next day. Lady Orkney
is my physician. It is hiera picra,(9) two spoonfuls, devilish stuff!
I thought to have dined with Eltee, but would not, merely to save a
shilling; but I dined privately with a friend, and played at ombre, and
won six shillings. Here are several people of quality lately dead of
the smallpox. I have not yet seen Miss Ashe, but hear she is well. The
Bishop of Clogher has bought abundance of pictures, and Dr. Pratt has
got him very good pennyworths.(10) I can get no walks, the weather is so
bad. Is it so with oo, sollahs?... (11)

26. Though it was shaving-day, head and beard, yet I was out early to
see Lord Bolingbroke, and talk over affairs with him; and then I went to
the Duke of Ormond's, and so to Court, where the Ministers did not come,
because the Parliament was prorogued till this day fortnight. We had
terrible rain and hail to-day. Our Society met this day, but I left them
before seven, and went to Sir A(ndrew) F(ountaine), and played at ombre
with him and Sir Thomas Clarges, till ten, and then went to Sir Thomas
Hanmer. His wife, the Duchess of Grafton, left us after a little while,
and I stayed with him about an hour, upon some affairs, etc. Lord
Bolingbroke left us at the Society before I went; for there is an
express from Utrecht, but I know not yet what it contains; only I know
the Ministers expect the peace will be signed in a week, which is a week
before the session. Nite, MD.

27. Parnell's poem is mightily esteemed; but poetry sells ill. I am
plagued with that... (12) poor Harrison's mother; you would laugh to see
how cautious I am of paying her the 100 pounds I received for her son
from the Treasury. I have asked every creature I know whether I may do
it safely, yet durst not venture, till my Lord Keeper assured me there
was no danger. I have not paid her, but will in a day or two: though I
have a great mind to stay till Ppt sends me her opinion, because Ppt
is a great lawyer. I dined to-day with a mixture of people at a
Scotchman's, who made the invitation to Mr. Lewis and me, and has some
design upon us, which we know very well. I went afterwards to see a
famous moving picture,(13) and I never saw anything so pretty. You see a
sea ten miles wide, a town on t'other end, and ships sailing in the sea,
and discharging their cannon. You see a great sky, with moon and stars,
etc. I'm a fool. Nite, dee MD.

28. I had a mighty levee to-day. I deny myself to everybody, except
about half a dozen, and they were all here, and Mr. Addison was one, and
I had chocolate twice, which I don't like. Our rainy weather continues.
Coach-hire goes deep. I dined with Eltee and his Saturday company, as
usual, and could not get away till nine. Lord Peterborow was making long
harangues, and Eltee kept me in spite. Then I went to see the Bishop of
Ossory, who had engaged me in the morning; he is going to Ireland. The
Bishop of Killaloe(14) and Tom Leigh was with us. The latter had wholly
changed his style, by seeing how the bishops behaved themselves, and he
seemed to think me one of more importance than I really am. I put the
ill conduct of the bishops about the First-Fruits, with relation to
Eltee and me, strongly upon Killaloe, and showed how it had hindered me
from getting a better thing for them, called the Crown rents, which the
Queen had promised. He had nothing to say, but was humble, and desired
my interest in that and some other things. This letter is half done in a
week: I believe oo will have it next. Nite MD.

29. I have been employed in endeavouring to save one of your junior
Fellows,(15) who came over here for a dispensation from taking orders,
and, in soliciting it, has run out his time, and now his fellowship is
void, if the College pleases, unless the Queen suspends the execution,
and gives him time to take orders. I spoke to all the Ministers
yesterday about it; but they say the Queen is angry, and thought it
was a trick to deceive her; and she is positive, and so the man must be
ruined, for I cannot help him. I never saw him in my life; but the
case was so hard, I could not forbear interposing. Your Government
recommended him to the Duke of Ormond, and he thought they would
grant it; and by the time it was refused, the fellowship by rigour
is forfeited. I dined with Dr. Arbuthnot (one of my brothers) at his
lodgings in Chelsea, and was there at chapel; and the altar put me
in mind of Tisdall's outlandish would(16) at your hospital for the
soldiers. I was not at Court to-day, and I hear the Queen was not at
church. Perhaps the gout has seized her again. Terrible rain all day.
Have oo such weather? Nite MD.

30. Morning. I was naming some time ago, to a certain person, another
certain person, that was very deserving, and poor and sickly; and
t'other, that first certain person, gave me a hundred pounds to give the
other, which I have not yet done. The person who is to have it never
saw the giver, nor expects one farthing, nor has the least knowledge or
imagination of it; so I believe it will be a very agreeable surprise;
for I think it is a handsome present enough. At night I dined in the
City, at Pontack's,(17) with Lord Dupplin, and some others. We were
treated by one Colonel Cleland,(18) who has a mind to be Governor of
Barbados, and is laying these long traps for me and others, to engage
our interests for him. He is a true Scotchman. I paid the hundred pounds
this evening, and it was an agreeable surprise to the receiver. We
reckon the peace is now signed, and that we shall have it in three days.
I believe it is pretty sure. Nite MD.

31. I thought to-day on Ppt when she told me she suppose(d) I was
acquainted with the steward, when I was giving myself airs of being at
some lord's house. Sir Andrew Fountaine invited the Bishop of Clogher
and me, and some others, to dine where he did; and he carried us to the
Duke of Kent's,(19) who was gone out of town; but the steward treated
us nobly, and showed us the fine pictures, etc. I have not yet seen Miss
Ashe. I wait till she has been abroad, and taken the air. This evening
Lady Masham, Dr. Arbuthnot, and I, were contriving a lie for to-morrow,
that Mr. Noble,(20) who was hanged last Saturday, was recovered by
his friends, and then seized again by the sheriff, and is now in a
messenger's hands at the Black Swan in Holborn. We are all to send to
our friends, to know whether they have heard anything of it, and so we
hope it will spread. However, we shall do our endeavours; nothing shall
be wanting on our parts, and leave the rest to fortune. Nite MD.

April 1. We had no success in our story, though I sent my man to several
houses, to inquire among the footmen, without letting him into the
secret; but I doubt my colleagues did not contribute as they ought.
Parnell and I dined with Darteneuf(21) to-day. You have heard of
Darteneuf: I have told you of Darteneuf. After dinner we all went to
Lord Bolingbroke's, who had desired me to dine with him; but I would
not, because I heard it was to look over a dull poem of one parson
Trapp(22) upon the peace. The Swedish Envoy told me to-day at Court that
he was in great apprehensions about his master;(23) and indeed we are
afraid that prince has(24) died among those Turkish dogs. I prevailed on
Lord Bolingbroke to invite Mr. Addison to dine with him on Good Friday.
I suppose we shall be mighty mannerly. Addison is to have a play of his
acted on Friday in Easter Week: 'tis a tragedy, called Cato; I saw it
unfinished some years ago.(25) Did I tell you that Steele has begun a
new daily paper, called the Guardian?(26) they say good for nothing. I
have not seen it. Nite dee MD.

2. I was this morning with Lord Bolingbroke, and he tells me a Spanish
courier is just come, with the news that the King of Spain has agreed to
everything that the Queen desires; and the Duke d'Ossuna has left Paris
in order to his journey to Utrecht. I was prevailed on to come home with
Trapp, and read his poem and correct it; but it was good for nothing.
While I was thus employed, Sir Thomas Hanmer came up to my chamber, and
balked me of a journey he and I intended this week to Lord Orkney's at
Cliffden;(27) but he is not well, and his physician will not let him
undertake such a journey. I intended to dine with Lord Treasurer; but
going to see Colonel Disney, who lives with General Withers,(28) I liked
the General's little dinner so well, that I stayed and took share of
it, and did not go to Lord Treasurer till six, where I found Dr.
Sacheverell, who told us that the bookseller had given him 100 pounds
for his sermon,(29) preached last Sunday, and intended to print 30,000:
I believe he will be confoundedly bit, and will hardly sell above half.
I have fires still, though April has begun, against my old maxim; but
the weather is wet and cold. I never saw such a long run of ill weather
in my life. Nite dee logues MD.

3. I was at the Queen's chapel to-day, but she was not there. Mr. St.
John, Lord Bolingbroke's brother, came this day at noon with an express
from Utrecht, that the peace is signed by all the Ministers there, but
those of the Emperor, who will likewise sign in a few days; so that now
the great work is in effect done, and I believe it will appear a most
excellent peace for Europe, particularly for England. Addison and I, and
some others, dined with Lord Bolingbroke, and sat with him till twelve.
We were very civil, but yet when we grew warm, we talked in a friendly
manner of party. Addison raised his objections, and Lord Bolingbroke
answered them with great complaisance. Addison began Lord Somers's
health, which went about; but I bid him not name Lord Wharton's, for I
would not pledge it; and I told Lord Bolingbroke frankly that Addison
loved Lord Wharton as little as I did: so we laughed, etc. Well, but
you are glad of the peace, you Ppt the Trimmer, are not you? As for DD
I don't doubt her. Why, now, if I did not think Ppt had been a violent
Tory, and DD the greater Whig of the two! 'Tis late. Nite MD.

4. This Passion Week, people are so demure, especially this last day,
that I told Dilly, who called here, that I would dine with him, and so I
did, faith; and had a small shoulder of mutton of my own bespeaking. It
rained all day. I came home at seven, and have never stirred out, but
have been reading Sacheverell's long dull sermon, which he sent me. It
is the first sermon since his suspension is expired; but not a word in
it upon the occasion, except two or three remote hints. The Bishop of
Clogher has been sadly bit by Tom Ashe, who sent him a pun, which the
Bishop had made, and designed to send to him, but delayed it; and Lord
Pembroke and I made Sir Andrew Fountaine write it to Tom. I believe
I told you of it in my last; it succeeded right, and the Bishop was
wondering to Lord Pembroke how he and his brother could hit on the same
thing. I'll go to bed soon, for I must be at church by eight to-morrow,
Easter Day. Nite dee MD.

5. Warburton(30) wrote to me two letters about a living of one Foulkes,
who is lately dead in the county of Meath. My answer is, that before I
received the first letter, General Gorges(31) had recommended a friend
of his to the Duke of Ormond, which was the first time I heard of its
vacancy, and it was the Provost told me of it. I believe verily that
Foulkes was not dead when Gorges recommended the other: for Warburton's
last letter said that Foulkes was dead the day before the date.--This
has prevented me from serving Warburton, as I would have done, if I had
received early notice enough. Pray say or write this to Warburton, to
justify me to him. I was at church at eight this morning, and dressed
and shaved after I came back, but was too late at Court; and Lord
Abingdon(32) was like to have snapped me for dinner, and I believe will
fall out with me for refusing him; but I hate dining with them, and I
dined with a private friend, and took two or three good walks; for it
was a very fine day, the first we have had a great while. Remember, was
Easter Day a fine day with you? I have sat with Lady Worsley till now.
Nite dee MD.

6. I was this morning at ten at the rehearsal of Mr. Addison's play,
called Cato, which is to be acted on Friday. There were not above half a
score of us to see it. We stood on the stage, and it was foolish enough
to see the actors prompted every moment, and the poet directing them;
and the drab that acts Cato's daughter,(33) out in the midst of a
passionate part, and then calling out, "What's next?" The Bishop of
Clogher was there too; but he stood privately in a gallery. I went to
dine with Lord Treasurer, but he was gone to Wimbledon, his daughter
Caermarthen's(34) country seat, seven miles off. So I went back,
and dined privately with Mr. Addison, whom I had left to go to Lord
Treasurer. I keep fires yet; I am very extravagant. I sat this evening
with Sir A. Fountaine, and we amused ourselves with making IFS for
Dilly. It is rainy weather again; nevle saw ze rike.(35) This letter
shall go to-morrow; remember, ung oomens, it is seven weeks since oor
last, and I allow oo but five weeks; but oo have been galloping into
the country to Swanton's.(36) O pray tell Swanton I had his letter, but
cannot contrive how to serve him. If a Governor were to go over, I would
recommend him as far as lay in my power, but I can do no more: and you
know all employments in Ireland, at least almost all, are engaged
in reversions. If I were on the spot, and had credit with a Lord
Lieutenant, I would very heartily recommend him; but employments here
are no more in my power than the monarchy itself. Nite, dee MD.

7. Morning. I have had a visitor here, that has taken up my time. I have
not been abroad, oo may be sure; so I can say nothing to-day, but that
I rove MD bettle zan ever, if possibbere. I will put this in the
post-office; so I say no more. I write by this post to the Dean, but it
is not above two lines; and one enclosed to you, but that enclosed to
you is not above three lines; and then one enclosed to the Dean, which
he must not have but upon condition of burning it immediately after
reading, and that before your eyes; for there are some things in it I
would not have liable to accident. You shall only know in general that
it is an account of what I have done to serve him in his pretensions on
these vacancies, etc. But he must not know that you know so much.(37)
Does this perplex you? Hat care I? But rove Pdfr, saucy Pdfr. Farewell,
deelest MD MD MD FW FW FW,... ME, MD Lele.



LETTER 63.(1)

LONDON, April 7, 1713.

I fancy I marked my last, which I sent this day, wrong; only 61, and it
ought to be 62. I dined with Lord Treasurer, and though the business I
had with him is something against Thursday, when the Parliament is to
meet, and this is Tuesday, yet he put it off till to-morrow. I dare not
tell you what it is, lest this letter should miscarry or be opened; but
I never saw his fellow for delays. The Parliament will now certainly
sit, and everybody's expectations are ready to burst. At a Council
to-night the Lord Chief-Justice Parker, a Whig, spoke against the peace;
so did Lord Chomley,(2) another Whig, who is Treasurer of the Household.
My Lord Keeper(3) was this night made Lord Chancellor. We hope there
will soon be some removes. Nite, dee sollahs; Late. Rove Pdfr.(4)

8. Lord Chomley (the right name is Cholmondeley) is this day removed
from his employment, for his last night's speech; and Sir Richard
Temple,(5) Lieutenant-General, the greatest Whig in the army, is turned
out; and Lieutenant-General Palmes(6) will be obliged to sell his
regiment. This is the first-fruits of a friendship I have established
between two great men. I dined with Lord Treasurer, and did the business
I had for him to his satisfaction. I won't tell MD what it was.... (7)
for zat. The Parliament sits to-morrow for certain. Here is a letter
printed in Maccartney's name, vindicating himself from the murder of the
Duke of Hamilton. I must give some hints to have it answered; 'tis full
of lies, and will give an opportunity of exposing that party. To morrow
will be a very important day. All the world will be at Westminster. Lord
Treasurer is as easy as a lamb. They are mustering up the proxies of the
absent lords; but they are not in any fear of wanting a majority, which
death and accidents have increased this year. Nite MD.

9. I was this morning with Lord Treasurer, to present to him a young
son(8) of the late Earl of Jersey, at the desire of the widow. There I
saw the mace and great coach ready for Lord Treasurer, who was going to
Parliament. Our Society met to-day; but I expected the Houses would
sit longer than I cared to fast; so I dined with a friend, and never
inquired how matters went till eight this evening, when I went to Lord
Orkney's, where I found Sir Thomas Hanmer. The Queen delivered her
speech very well, but a little weaker in her voice. The crowd was vast.
The order for the Address(9) was moved, and opposed by Lord Nottingham,
Halifax, and Cowper. Lord Treasurer spoke with great spirit and
resolution; Lord Peterborow flirted(10) against the Duke of Marlborough
(who is in Germany, you know), but it was in answer to one of Halifax's
impertinences. The order for an Address passed by a majority of
thirty-three, and the Houses rose before six. This is the account I
heard at Lord Orkney's. The Bishop of Chester,(11) a high Tory, was
against the Court. The Duchess of Marlborough sent for him some months
ago, to justify herself to him in relation to the Queen, and showed
him letters, and told him stories, which the weak man believed, and was
perverted. Nite MD.

10. I dined with a cousin in the City, and poor Pat Rolt was there.
I have got her rogue of a husband leave to come to England from
Port-Mahon. The Whigs are much down; but I reckon they have some
scheme in agitation. This Parliament-time hinders our Court meetings
on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I had a great deal of business
to-night, which gave me a temptation to be idle, and I lost a dozen
shillings at ombre, with Dr. Pratt and another. I have been to see
t'other day the Bishop of Clogher and lady, but did not see Miss. It
rains every day, and yet we are all over dust. Lady Masham's eldest boy
is very ill: I doubt he will not live, and she stays at Kensington to
nurse him, which vexes us all. She is so excessively fond, it makes me
mad. She should never leave the Queen, but leave everything, to stick to
what is so much the interest of the public, as well as her own. This I
tell her; but talk to the winds. Nite MD.

11. I dined at Lord Treasurer's, with his Saturday company. We had ten
at table, all lords but myself and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Argyle went off at six, and was in very indifferent humour as usual.
Duke of Ormond and Lord Bolingbroke were absent. I stayed till near ten.
Lord Treasurer showed us a small picture, enamelled work, and set in
gold, worth about twenty pounds; a picture, I mean, of the Queen,
which she gave to the Duchess of Marlborough, set in diamonds. When the
Duchess was leaving England, she took off all the diamonds, and gave
the picture to one Mrs. Higgins (an old intriguing woman, whom everybody
knows), bidding her make the best of it she could. Lord Treasurer sent
to Mrs. Higgins for this picture, and gave her a hundred pounds for it.
Was ever such an ungrateful beast as that Duchess? or did you ever hear
such a story? I suppose the Whigs will not believe it. Pray, try them.
Takes off the diamonds, and gives away the picture to an insignificant
woman, as a thing of no consequence: and gives it to her to sell, like a
piece of old-fashioned plate. Is she not a detestable slut? Nite deelest
MD.

12. I went to Court to-day, on purpose to present Mr. Berkeley,(12) one
of your Fellows of Dublin College, to Lord Berkeley of Stratton. That
Mr. Berkeley is a very ingenious man, and great philosopher, and I have
mentioned him to all the Ministers, and given them some of his writings;
and I will favour him as much as I can. This I think I am bound to,
in honour and conscience, to use all my little credit toward helping
forward men of worth in the world. The Queen was at chapel to-day,
and looks well. I dined at Lord Orkney's with the Duke of Ormond,
Lord Arran, and Sir Thomas Hanmer. Mr. St. John, Secretary at Utrecht,
expects every moment to return there with the ratification of the peace.
Did I tell you in my last of Addison's play called Cato, and that I was
at the rehearsal of it? Nite MD.

13. This morning my friend, Mr. Lewis, came to me, and showed me an
order for a warrant for the three vacant deaneries; but none of them
to me. This was what I always foresaw, and received the notice of it
better, I believe, than he expected. I bid Mr. Lewis tell Lord Treasurer
that I took nothing ill of him but his not giving me timely notice, as
he promised to do, if he found the Queen would do nothing for me. At
noon, Lord Treasurer hearing I was in Mr. Lewis's office, came to me,
and said many things too long to repeat. I told him I had nothing to
do but go to Ireland immediately; for I could not, with any reputation,
stay longer here, unless I had something honourable immediately given to
me. We dined together at the Duke of Ormond's. He there told me he had
stopped the warrants for the deans, that what was done for me might be
at the same time, and he hoped to compass it to-night; but I believe
him not. I told the Duke of Ormond my intentions. He is content Sterne
should be a bishop, and I have St. Patrick's; but I believe nothing will
come of it, for stay I will not; and so I believe for all oo... (13) oo
may see me in Dublin before April ends. I am less out of humour than you
would imagine: and if it were not that impertinent people will condole
with me, as they used to give me joy, I would value it less. But I will
avoid company, and muster up my baggage, and send them next Monday
by the carrier to Chester, and come and see my willows, against the
expectation of all the world.--Hat care I? Nite deelest logues, MD.

14. I dined in the City to-day, and ordered a lodging to be got ready
for me against I came to pack up my things; for I will leave this end of
the town as soon as ever the warrants for the deaneries are out,
which are yet stopped. Lord Treasurer told Mr. Lewis that it should be
determined to-night: and so he will for(14) a hundred nights. So he said
yesterday, but I value it not. My daily journals shall be but short
till I get into the City, and then I will send away this, and follow it
myself; and design to walk it all the way to Chester, my man and I, by
ten miles a day. It will do my health a great deal of good. I shall do
it in fourteen days. Nite dee MD.

15. Lord Bolingbroke made me dine with him to-day; he(15) was as good
company as ever; and told me the Queen would determine something for me
to-night. The dispute is, Windsor or St. Patrick's. I told him I would
not stay for their disputes, and he thought I was in the right. Lord
Masham told me that Lady Masham is angry I have not been to see her
since this business, and desires I will come to-morrow. Nite deelest MD.

16. I was this noon at Lady Masham's, who was just come from Kensington,
where her eldest son is sick. She said much to me of what she had talked
to