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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. 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 in it, and General Sankey: 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. I have no news to-day: I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, to desire them to buy me a scarf; and Lady Abercorn is to buy me another, to see who does best: mine is all in rags. I saw the Duke of Richmond 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, 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 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; 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 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 and Mrs. Pratt 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 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, 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 has had a little paring: his mother 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. 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, and I, in one coach; Lady Kerry's son and his governor, and two gentlemen, in another; maids, and misses and little master (Lord Shelburne's 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, etc.; then to Bedlam; then dined at the chop- house behind the Exchange; then to Gresham College (but the keeper was not at home); and concluded the night at the Puppet-show, whence we came home safe at eight, and I left them. The ladies were all in mobs (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 at them every night, and drank a pint of brandy at mornings.--Oh then, you kept Presto's little birthday: 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 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. 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? Very well. Why, would they have me stand here and preach to them? No, the Tatler of the Shilling 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, 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. 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, 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, 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; 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.--Pox on your convocations, and your Lamberts; 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 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, 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 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.
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, and that Ingoldsby reprieved that part of it of standing before the statue. I hope it was never executed. We have got your Broderick out; Doyne is to succeed him, and Cox 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; 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. 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, but came too late: then I visited Mrs. Barton, 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; 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, 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?
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.
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!
21. I met that beast Ferris, Lord Berkeley's 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! 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, 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 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 and daughter; at five my Lord Keeper 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; 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.
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 comes up to me, and the man went off: as I went out I saw him again, and recollected him, it was Vedeau 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 told me the bad news from Spain, 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 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.
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.
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.--
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,
No, it is you are sorry, not I.
"Once I guessed right, And I got credit by't; Thrice I guessed wrong, And I kept my credit on."
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. 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; the latter sends me a melancholy account of Lady Shelburne's 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,
it is but bad rhyme, etc.
Letters from MD's Must not be answered in ten days:
28. To-day I had a message from Sir Thomas Hanmer, to dine with him; the famous Dr. Smalridge was of the company, and we sat till six; and I came home to my new lodgings in St. Albans Street, 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 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.
(These proverbs have always old words in them; lins is leave off.)
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.
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.
But, if on New Year you write nones, MD then will bang your bones.
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.
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 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.
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:
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 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----. 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. 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 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.
"I hate all wind, Before and behind, From cheeks with eyes, Or from blind.----"
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 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, 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, 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 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. 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, 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. "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. 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, 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? 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.
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. 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 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 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 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, 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? 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. 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 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 sets out to-morrow for Ireland: I never saw him. He carries over one Trapp 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 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 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. 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 came to visit Mrs. St. John, 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; 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 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, 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, 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; 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 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. 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--
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.
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.
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; 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. I am undone! It was made by a Leicester lad, who married Mr. Worrall's daughter, where my mother lodged; so I thought it would be cheap, and especially since he lives in the city. Well, London lickpenny: 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 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, 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.
LONDON, Jan. 16, 171O-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; did you never hear of Dryden Leach, he that prints the Postman? He acted Oroonoko; he's in love with Miss Cross.--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: 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, 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, 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: 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, 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:
20. And so I went to-day with my new wig, o hoao, to visit Lady Worsley, 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.
"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."
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:
I dined to-day with Dr. Cockburn, but will not do so again in haste, he has generally such a parcel of Scots with him.
"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."
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, 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 and I dined to-day with Mr. Stratford 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.
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 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.
And now I'm in bed, To break your head.
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 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. 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 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, 3O. 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.
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. 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 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, 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 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, 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, 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 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. 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, 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.--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, 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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.
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 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.
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, which will cost me two shillings in coach-hire. Don't you call them two thirteens?--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 lodgings; the other two were one Morris an archdeacon, 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 and Colonel Hill (Mrs. Masham's 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.
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 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 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 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 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, and found Lady Betty but just recovered of a miscarriage. I am writing an inscription for Lord Berkeley's tomb; you know the young rake his son, the new Earl, is married to the Duke of Richmond's daughter, 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, 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, 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, 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. 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, 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, 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, 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, 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. Faith, this summer we'll take a coach for sixpence to the Green Well, the two walks, and thence all the way to Stoyte's. 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. 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.
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!
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, 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 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, 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. 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 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, 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 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. 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 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, 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, 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. Yes, I understand your cypher, and Stella guesses right, as she always does. He gave me al bsadnuk lboinlpl dfaonr ufainf btoy dpionufnad, 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; 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; 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; 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 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 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 cards, where I dined, when young Arundel 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, 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 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: 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: 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, 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" like Presto? O poor Presto!
Mr. Harley is better to-night, that makes me so pert, you saucy Gog and Magog.
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: 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: 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, 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 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; for about ten days ago I was to see Lord Carteret; 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 that I should lose walking this delicious day. Have you seen the Spectator 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.
O Lord, how I blot! it is time to leave off, etc.
When Presto begins to prate, Give him a rap upon the pate.
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 up my leg on the seat; and as I came home, I went to see poor Charles Barnard's 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, 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 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 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., 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, 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. '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.
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 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' down upon the folks as they come from church; and there comes Mrs. Proby, and that is my Lady Southwell, and there is Lady Betty Rochfort. 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, 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; t'other I opened, it was from Staunton; 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. 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; 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, 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 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. 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. Sir Thomas Mansel, one of the Lords of the Treasury, setting me down at my door to-day, saw Patrick, and swore he was a Teague-lander. 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: 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 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 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. '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 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; 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; 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. 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, I don't keep such company; an old dying fool whom I never was with in my life. So I am no godfather; all the better. Pray, Stella, explain those two words of yours to me, what you mean by VILLIAN and DAINGER; 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.--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. 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 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.
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, 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. I came home, and that dog Patrick was not within; so I fretted, and fretted, and what good did that do me?
I cannot find rhyme to Walls and Stoyte.--Yes, yes,
And so get you gone to your deans, You couple of queans.
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.
You expect Mrs. Walls, Be dressed when she calls, To carry you to Stoyte, Or else HONI SOIT.
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. 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; 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, 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 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 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) 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. 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. 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, 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) 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. But I had like to be drawn into a difficulty; for in two minutes out comes Mr. Finch, Lord Guernsey's son, to let me know that my Lord Compton, 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, 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.
Notes to Letters 11-20:
1 L'Estrange speaks of "insipid twittle twattles." Johnson calls this "a vile word."
2 A cousin of Swift's; probably a son of William Swift.
3 Nicholas Sankey (died 1722) succeeded Lord Lovelace as Colonel of a Regiment of Foot in Ireland in 1689. He became Brigadier-General in 1704, Major- General 1707, and Lieutenant-General 1710. He served in Spain, and was taken prisoner at the battle of the Caya in 1709.
4 See Letter 10, note 30.
5 The Earl of Abercorn (see Letter 10, note 33) married, in 1686, Elizabeth, only child of Sir Robert Reading, Bart., of Dublin, by Jane, Dowager Countess of Mountrath. Lady Abercorn survived her husband twenty years, dying in 1754, aged eighty-six.
6 Charles Lennox, first Duke of Richmond and Gordon (1672-1723), was the illegitimate son of Charles II. by Madame de Querouaille.
7 Sir Robert Raymond, afterwards Lord Raymond (1673-1733), M.P. for Bishop's Castle, Shropshire, was appointed Solicitor-General in May 1710, and was knighted in October. He was removed from office on the accession of George I., but was made Attorney-General in 1720, and in 1724 became a judge of the King's Bench. In the following year he was made Lord Chief-Justice, and was distinguished both for his learning and his impartiality.
9 Richard Savage, fourth Earl Rivers, the father of Richard Savage, the poet. Under the Whigs Lord Rivers was Envoy to Hanover; and after his conversion by Harley, he was Constable of the Tower under the Tories. He died in 1712.
10 Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland from 1695 until his death in 1717.
11 Lord Shelburne's clever sister, Anne, only daughter of Sir William Petty, and wife of Thomas Fitzmaurice, Lord of Kerry, afterwards created first Earl of Kerry.
12 Mrs. Pratt, an Irish friend of Lady Kerry, lodged at Lord Shelburne's during her visit to London. The reference to Clements (see Letter 9, note 20), Pratt's relative, in the Journal for April 14, 1711, makes it clear that Mrs. Pratt was the wife of the Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, to whom Swift often alludes (see Letter 3, note 10).
13 Lieutenant-General Thomas Meredith, Major-General Maccartney, and Brigadier Philip Honeywood. They alleged that their offence only amounted to drinking a health to the Duke of Marlborough, and confusion to his enemies. But the Government said that an example must be made, because various officers had dropped dangerous expressions about standing by their General, Marlborough, who was believed to be aiming at being made Captain General for life. For Maccartney see the Journal for Nov. 15, 1712, seq. Meredith, who was appointed Adjutant-General of the Forces in 1701, was made a Lieutenant- General in 1708. He saw much service under William III., and Marlborough, and was elected M.P. for Midhurst in 1709. He died in 1719 (Dalton's Army Lists, III. 181). Honeywood entered the army in 1694; was at Namur; and was made a Brigadier-General before 1711. After the accession of George I. he became Colonel of a Regiment of Dragoons, and commanded a division at Dettingen. At his death in 1752 he was acting as Governor of Portsmouth, with the rank of General (Dalton, iv. 30).
14 Or "malkin"; a counterfeit, or scarecrow.
15 William Cadogan, Lieutenant-General and afterwards Earl Cadogan (1675- 1726), a great friend of Marlborough, was Envoy to the United Provinces and Spanish Flanders. Cadogan retained the post of Lieutenant to the Tower until 1715.
16 Earl Cadogan's father, Henry Cadogan, barrister, married Bridget, daughter of Sir Hardresse Waller, and sister of Elizabeth, Baroness Shelburne in her own right.
17 See Letter 5, note 30.
18 Cadogan married Margaretta, daughter of William Munter, Counsellor of the Court of Holland.
19 Presumably the eldest son, William, who succeeded his father as second Earl of Kerry in 1741, and died in 1747. He was at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, and was afterwards a Colonel in the Coldstream Guards.
20 Henry Petty, third Lord Shelburne, who became Earl of Shelburne in 1719. His son predeceased him, without issue, and on Lord Shelburne's death, in 1751, his honours became extinct. His daughter Anne also died without issue.
21 The menagerie, which had been one of the sights of London, was removed from the Tower in 1834. In his account of the Tory Fox Hunter in No. 47 of the Freeholder, Addison says, "Our first visit was to the lions."
22 Bethlehem Hospital, for lunatics, in Moorfields, was a popular "sight" in the eighteenth century. Cf. the Tatler, No. 30: "On Tuesday last I took three lads, who are under my guardianship, a rambling, in a hackney coach, to show them the town: as the lions, the tombs, Bedlam."
23 The Royal Society met at Gresham College from 1660 to 1710. The professors of the College lectured on divinity, civil law, astronomy, music, geometry, rhetoric, and physic.
24 The most important of the puppet-shows was Powell's, in the Little Piazza, Covent Garden, which is frequently mentioned in the Tatler.
25 The precise nature this negligent costume is not known, but it is always decried by popular writers of the time.
26 Retched. Bacon has "Patients must not keck at them at the first."
27 Swift was born on November 30.
28 Mrs. De la Riviere Manley, daughter of Sir Roger Manley, and cousin of John Manley, M.P., and Isaac Manley (see Letter 3, note 3), wrote poems and plays, but is best known for her "Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality, of both sexes. From the New Atalantis, 1709," a book abounding in scandalous references to her contemporaries. She was arrested in October, but was discharged in Feb. 1710. In May 1710 she brought out a continuation of the New Atalantis, called "Memoirs of Europe towards the Close of the Eighth Century." In June 1711 she became editress of the Tory Examiner, and wrote political pamphlets with Swift's assistance. Afterwards she lived with Alderman Barber, the printer, at whose office she died in 1724. In her will she mentioned her "much honoured friend, the Dean of St. Patrick, Dr. Swift."
29 "He seems to have written these words in a whim; for the sake of what follows" (Deane Swift).
30 See Letter 8, note 33.
31 No. 249 (see Letter 10, note 18).
32 See Letter 5, note 34.
33 In a letter to the Rev. Dr. Tisdall, of Dec. 16, 1703, Swift said: "I'll teach you a way to outwit Mrs. Johnson: it is a new-fashioned way of being witty, and they call it a bite. You must ask a bantering question, or tell some damned lie in a serious manner, and then she will answer or speak as if you were in earnest; and then cry you, 'Madam, there's a bite!' I would not have you undervalue this, for it is the constant amusement in Court, and everywhere else among the great people." See, too, the Tatler, No. 12, and Spectator, Nos. 47, 504: "In a word, a Biter is one who thinks you a fool, because you do not think him a knave."
34 See Letter 9, note 4.
35 "As I hope to be saved;" a favourite phrase in the Journal.
36 See Letter 7, note 12.
37 This statement receives some confirmation from a pamphlet published in September 1710, called "A Condoling Letter to the Tatler: On Account of the Misfortunes of Isaac Bickerstaf Esq., a Prisoner in the ---- on Suspicion of Debt."
38 Dr. Lambert, chaplain to Lord Wharton, was censured in Convocation for being the author of a libellous letter.
39 Probably the same person as Dr. Griffith, spoken of in the Journal for March 3, 1713,--when he was ill,--as having been "very tender of" Stella.
40 See Letter 9, note 22.
41 Vexed, offended. Elsewhere Swift wrote, "I am apt to grate the ears of more than I could wish."
42 Ambrose Philips, whose Pastorals had been published in the same volume of Tonson's Miscellany as Pope's. Two years later Swift wrote, "I should certainly have provided for him had he not run party mad." In 1712 his play, The Distrest Mother, received flattering notice in the Spectator, and in 1713, to Pope's annoyance, Philips' Pastorals were praised in the Guardian. His pretty poems to children led Henry Carey to nickname him "Namby Pamby."
43 An equestrian statue of William III., in College Green, Dublin. It was common, in the days of party, for students of the University of Dublin to play tricks with this statue.
44 Lieutenant-General Richard Ingoldsby (died 1712) was Commander of the Forces in Ireland, and one of the Lords Justices in the absence of the Lord Lieutenant.
45 This seems to have been a mistake; cf. Journal for July 13, 1711, Alan Brodrick, afterwards Viscount Midleton, a Whig politician and lawyer, was made Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench in Ireland in 1709, but was removed from office in June 1711, when Sir Richard Cox succeeded him. On the accession of George I. he was appointed Lord Chancellor for Ireland. Afterwards he declined to accept the dedication to him of Swift's Drapiers Letters, and supported the prosecution of the author. He died in 1728.
46 Robert Doyne was appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland in 1695, and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in 1703. This appointment was revoked on the accession of George I.
47 See Letter 9, note 12.
48 Of the University of Dublin.
49 See Letter 2, note 18 and Letter 3, note 4. Sir Thomas Frankland's eldest son, Thomas, who afterwards succeeded to the baronetcy, acquired a fortune with his first wife, Dinah, daughter of Francis Topham, of Agelthorpe, Yorkshire. He died in 1747.
50 See Letter 8, note 21.
51 see Letter 4, note 15.
52 Mary, daughter of Sir John Williams, Bart., and widow of Charles Petty, second Lord Shelburne, who died in 1696. She had married, as her second husband, Major-General Conyngham, and, as her third husband, Colonel Dallway.
53 Dr. John Vesey became Bishop of Limerick in 1672, and Archbishop of Tuam in 1678. He died in 1716.
54 See Letter 3, note 39.
56 Toby Caulfeild, third son of the fifth Lord Charlemont. In 1689 he was Colonel to the Earl of Drogheda's Regiment of Foot, and about 1705 he succeeded to the command of Lord Skerrin's Regiment of Foot. After serving in Spain his regiment was reduced, having lost most of its men (Luttrell, vi. 158).
57 John Campbell, second Duke of Argyle (1680-1743), was installed a Knight of the Garter in December 1710, after he had successfully opposed a vote of thanks to Marlborough, with whom he had quarrelled. It was of this nobleman that Pope wrote-- "Argyle, the State's whole thunder born to wield, And shake alike the senate and the field." In a note to Macky's Memoirs, Swift describes the Duke as an "ambitious, covetous, cunning Scot, who had no principle but his own interests and greatness."
58 Harley's second wife, Sarah, daughter of Simon Middleton, of Edmonton, and sister of Sir Hugh Middleton, Bart. She died, without issue, in 1737.
59 Elizabeth Harley, then unmarried, the daughter of Harley's first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Foley, of Whitley Court, Worcestershire. She subsequently married the Marquis of Caermarthen, afterwards Duke of Leeds.
60 Harcourt (see Letter 3, note 24).
61 William Stawel, the third baron, who succeeded to the title in 1692, was half-brother to the second Baron Stawel. The brother here referred to was Edward, who succeeded to the title as fourth baron in 1742.
1 Charles Finch, third Earl of Winchelsea, son of Lord Maidstone, and grandson of Heneage, second Earl of Winchelsea. On his death in 1712 Swift spoke of him as "a worthy honest gentleman, and particular friend of mine."
2 Vedeau was a shopkeeper, who abandoned his trade for the army (Journal, March 28, April 4, 1711). Swift calls him "a lieutenant, who is now broke, and upon half pay" (Journal, Nov. 18, 1712)
3 Sir Edmund Bacon, Bart. (died 1721), of Herringflat, Suffolk, succeeded his father in the baronetcy in 1686.
4 The reverse at Brihuega.
5 See Letter 8, note 12.
6 John Barber, a printer, became Lord Mayor of London in 1732, and died in 1741. Mrs. Manley was his mistress, and died at his printing office. Swift speaks of Barber as his "very good and old friend."
7 Bernage was an officer serving under Colonel Fielding. In August 1710 a difficulty arose through Arbuthnot trying to get his brother George made Captain over Bernage's head; but ultimately Arbuthnot waived the business, because he would not wrong a friend of Swift's.
8 See Letter 1, note 52.
9 George Smalridge (1663-1719), the High Church divine and popular preacher, was made Dean of Carlisle in 1711, and Bishop of Bristol in 1714. Steele spoke of him in the Tatler (Nos. 73, 114) as "abounding in that sort of virtue and knowledge which makes religion beautiful."
10 St. Albans Street, Pall Mall, was removed in 1815 to make way for Waterloo Place. It was named after Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans.
11 Ben Portlack, the Duke of Ormond's secretary.
12 Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford (1684-1750), only son of Charles Seymour, Duke of Somerset. Lord Hertford succeeded to the dukedom in 1748. From 1708 to 1722 he was M.P. for Northumberland, and from 1708 to 1713 he took an active part in the war in Flanders.
13 See Letter 4.
14 A Short Character of the Earl of Wharton (see Letter 10. note 29).
15 See Letter 9.
16 Henry Herbert, the last Baron Herbert of Cherbury, succeeded to the peerage in 1709, and soon afterwards married a sister of the Earl of Portsmouth. A ruined man, he committed suicide in 1738.
17 Nos. 257, 260.
18 See Letter 6, note 12.
19 "AFTER is interlined" (Deane Swift).
20 With this account may be compared what Pope says, as recorded in Spence's Anecdotes, p. 223: "Lord Peterborough could dictate letters to nine amanuenses together, as I was assured by a gentleman who saw him do it when Ambassador at Turin. He walked round the room, and told each of them in his turn what he was to write. One perhaps was a letter to the emperor, another to an old friend, a third to a mistress, a fourth to a statesman, and so on: yet he carried so many and so different connections in his head, all at the same time."
21 Francis Atterbury, Dean of Carlisle, had taken an active part in the defence of Dr. Sacheverell. After a long period of suspense he received the appointment of Dean of Christ Church, and in 1713 he was made Bishop of Rochester and Dean of Westminster. Atterbury was on intimate terms with Swift, Pope, and other writers on the Tory side, and Addison--at whose funeral the Bishop officiated--described him as "one of the greatest geniuses of his age."
22 John Carteret, second Baron Carteret, afterwards to be well known as a statesman, succeeded to the peerage in 1695, and became Earl Granville and Viscount Carteret on the death of his brother in 1744. He died in 1763. In October 1710, when twenty years of age, he had married Frances, only daughter of Sir Robert Worsley, Bart., of Appuldurcombe, Isle of Wight.
23 Dillon Ashe, D.D., Vicar of Finglas, and brother of the Bishop of Clogher. In 1704 he was made Archdeacon of Clogher, and in 1706 Chancellor of Armagh. He seems to have been too fond of drink.
24 Henley (see Letter 6, note 15) married Mary, daughter of Peregrine Bertie, the second son of Montagu, Earl of Lindsey, and with her obtained a fortune of 30,000 pounds. After Henley's death his widow married her relative, Henry Bertie, third son of James, Earl of Abingdon.
25 Hebrews v. 6.
1 Probably Mrs. Manley and John Barber (see Letter 11, note 28 and Letter 12, note 6).
2 Sir Andrew Fountaine's (see Letter 5, note 28) father, Andrew Fountaine, M.P., married Sarah, daughter of Sir Thomas Chicheley, Master of the Ordnance. Sir Andrew's sister, Elizabeth, married Colonel Edward Clent. The "scoundrel brother," Brig, died in 1746, aged sixty-four (Blomefield's Norfolk, vi. 233- 36).
3 Dame Overdo, the justice's wife in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair.
4 See Letter 3, note 5.
5 Atterbury, who had recently been elected Prolocutor to the Lower House of Convocation.
6 Dr. Sterne, Dean of St. Patrick's, was not married.
7 January 6 was Twelfth-night.
8 Garraway's Coffee-house, in Change Alley, was founded by Thomas Garway, the first coffee-man who sold and retailed tea. A room upstairs was used for sales of wine "by the candle."
9 Sir Constantine Phipps, who had taken an active part in Sacheverell's defence. Phipps' interference in elections in the Tory interest made him very unpopular in Dublin, and he was recalled on the death of Queen Anne.
10 Joseph Trapp, one of the seven poets alluded to in the distich:-- "Alma novem genuit celebres Rhedycina poetas, Bubb, Stubb, Grubb, Crabb, Trapp, Young, Carey, Tickell, Evans." Trapp wrote a tragedy in 1704, and in 1708 was chosen the first Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In 1710 he published pamphlets on behalf of Sacheverell, and in 1712 Swift secured for him the post of chaplain to Bolingbroke. During his latter years he held several good livings. Elsewhere Swift calls him a "coxcomb."
11 See Letter 7, note 21.
12 The extreme Tories, who afterwards formed the October Club.
13 Crowd. A Jacobean writer speaks of "the lurry of lawyers," and "a lurry and rabble of poor friars."
14 See Letter 5, note 10.
15 St. John's first wife was Frances, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry Winchcombe, Bart., of Berkshire, and in her right St. John enjoyed the estates of Bucklebury, which on her death in 1718 passed to her sister. In April 1711 Swift said that "poor Mrs. St. John" was growing a great favourite of his; she was going to Bath owing to ill-health, and begged him to take care of her husband. She "said she had none to trust but me, and the poor creature's tears came fresh in her eyes." Though the marriage was, naturally enough, unhappy, she did not leave St. John's house until 1713, and she returned to him when he fell from power. There are letters from her to Swift as late as 1716, not only doing her best to defend his honour, but speaking of him with tenderness.
16 "Battoon" means (1) a truncheon; (2) a staff of office. Luttrell, in 1704, speaks of "a battoon set with diamonds sent him from the French king."
17 Edward Harley, second son of Sir Edward Harley, was M.P. for Leominster and Recorder of the same town. In 1702 he was appointed Auditor of the Imposts, a post which he held until his death in 1735. His wife, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Foley, was a sister of Robert Harley's wife, and his eldest son eventually became third Earl of Oxford. Harley published several books on biblical subjects.
18 See Letter 6, note 12. The last number of Steele's Tatler appeared on Jan. 2, 1711; Harrison's paper reached to fifty-two numbers.
19 Dryden Leach (see Letter 7, note 22).
20 Cf. Letter 7, October 28th.
21 Published by John Baker and John Morphew. See Aitken's Life of Steele, i. 299-301.
22 In No. 224 of the Tatler, Addison, speaking of polemical advertisements, says: "The inventors of Strops for Razors have written against one another this way for several years, and that with great bitterness." See also Spectator, Nos. 428, 509, and the Postman for March 23, 1703: "The so much famed strops for setting razors, etc., are only to be had at Jacob's Coffee- house. . . . Beware of counterfeits, for such are abroad."
23 Sir John Holland (see Letter 3, note 28).
24 Addison speaks of a fine flaxen long wig costing thirty guineas (Guardian, No. 97), and Duumvir's fair wig, which Phillis threw into the fire, cost forty guineas (Tatler, No. 54)
25 Swift's mother, Abigail Erick, was of a Leicestershire family, and after her husband's death she spent much of her time with her friends near her old home. Mr. Worrall, vicar of St. Patrick's, with whom Swift was on terms of intimacy in 1728-29, was evidently a relative of the Worralls where Mrs. Swift had lodged, and we may reasonably suppose that he owed the living to Swift's interest in the family.
26 The title of a humorous poem by Lydgate. A "lickpenny" is a greedy or grasping person.
27 Small wooden blocks used for lighting fires. See Swift ("Description of the Morning"), "The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep, Till drowned in shriller notes of chimney-sweep;" and Gay (Trivia, ii. 35), "When small-coal murmurs in the hoarser throat, From smutty dangers guard thy threatened coat."
28 The Tory Ministers.
1 See Letter 7, note 22.
2 Thomas Southerne's play of Oroonoko, based on Mrs. Aphra Behn's novel of the same name, was first acted in 1696.
3 "Mrs." Cross created the part of Mrs. Clerimont in Steele's Tender Husband in 1705.
4 See Letter 12, note 7.
5 George Granville, afterwards Lord Lansdowne, was M.P. for Cornwall, and Secretary at War. In December 1711 he was raised to the peerage, and in 1712 was appointed Comptroller of the Household. He died in 1735, when the title became extinct. Granville wrote plays and poems, and was a patron of both Dryden and Pope. Pope called him "Granville the polite." His Works in Verse and Prose appeared in 1732.
6 Samuel Masham, son of Sir Francis Masham, Bart., had been a page to the Queen while Princess of Denmark, and an equerry and gentleman of the bed- chamber to Prince George. He married Abigail Hill (see Letter 16, note 7), daughter of Francis Hill, a Turkey merchant, and sister of General John Hill, and through that lady's influence with the Queen he was raised to the peerage as Baron Masham, in January 1712. Under George I. he was Remembrancer of the Exchequer. He died in 1758.
7 A roughly printed pamphlet, The Honourable Descent, Life, and True Character of the . . . Earl of Wharton, appeared early in 1711, in reply to Swift's Short Character; but that can hardly be the pamphlet referred to here, because it is directed against libellers and backbiters, and cannot be described as "pretty civil."
8 "In that word (the seven last words of the sentence huddled into one) there were some puzzling characters" (Deane Swift).
9 Sir Robert Worsley, Bart., married, in 1690, Frances, only daughter of the first Viscount Weymouth. Their daughter Frances married Lord Carteret (see Letter 12, note 22) in 1710. In a letter to Colonel Hunter in March 1709 Swift spoke of Lady (then Mrs.) Worsley as one of the principal beauties in town. See, too, Swift's letter to her of April 19, 1730: "My Lady Carteret has been the best queen we have known in Ireland these many years; yet is she mortally hated by all the young girls, because (and it is your fault) she is handsomer than all of them together."
10 See Letter 3, note 1.
11 See Letter 5, note 17.
12 William Stratford, son of Nicholas Stratford, Bishop of Chester, was Archdeacon of Richmond and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, until his death in 1729.
13 See Letter 3, note 22.
14 James, third Earl of Berkeley (168O-1736), whom Swift calls a "young rake" (see Letter 16, note 15). The young Countess of Berkeley was only sixteen on her marriage. In 1714 she was appointed a lady of the bed-chamber to Caroline, Princess of Wales, and she died of smallpox in 1717, aged twenty- two. The Earl was an Admiral, and saw much service between 1701 and 1710; under George I. he was First Lord of the Admiralty.
15 Edward Wettenhall was Bishop of Kilmore from 1699 to 1713.
16 In the Dedication to The Tale of a Tub Swift had addressed Somers in very different terms: "There is no virtue, either in public or private life, which some circumstances of your own have not often produced upon the stage of the world."
17 Their lodgings, opposite to St. Mary's Church in Stafford Street, Dublin.
1 The Stamp Act was not passed until June 1712: see the Journal for Aug. 7, 1712.
2 Both in St. James's Park. The Canal was formed by Charles II. from several small ponds, and Rosamond's Pond was a sheet of water in the south-west corner of the Park, "long consecrated," as Warburton said, "to disastrous love and elegiac poetry." It is often mentioned as a place of assignation in Restoration plays. Evelyn (Diary, Dec. 1, 1662) describes the "scheets" used on the Canal.
3 Mrs. Beaumont.
4 The first direct mention of Hester Vanhomrigh. She is referred to only in two other places in the Journal (Feb. 14, 1710-11, and Aug, 14, 1711).
5 See Letter 3, note 17.
6 No. 27, by Swift himself.
7 No. 7 of Harrison's series.
8 The printers of the original Tatler.
9 Harley had forwarded to Swift a banknote for fifty pounds (see Journal, March 7, 1710-11).
10 At Moor Park.
11 Scott says that Swift here alludes to some unidentified pamphlet of which he was the real or supposed author.
12 See Letter 11, note 13.
13 The Examiner.
14 See Letter 6, note 43.
16 Mrs. De Caudres, "over against St. Mary's Church, near Capel Street," where Stella now lodged.
17 "A crease in the sheet" (Deane Swift).
18 "In the original it was, good mallows, little sollahs. But in these words, and many others, he writes constantly ll for rr" (Deane Swift).
19 See Letter 4, note 19.
20 "Those letters which are in italics in the original are of a monstrous size, which occasioned his calling himself a loggerhead" (Deane Swift). [Italics replaced by capitals for the transcription of this etext.]
21 I.e., to ask whether.
2 "A shilling passes for thirteenpence in Ireland" (Deane Swift).
3 Robert Cope, a gentleman of learning with whom Swift corresponded.
4 Archdeacon Morris is not mentioned in Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae.
5 See Letter 14, note 6.
6 See Letter 10, note 2.
7 Abigail Hill, afterwards Lady Masham, had been introduced into the Queens service as bed-chamber woman by the Duchess of Marlborough. Her High Church and Tory views recommended her to Queen Anne, and in 17O7 she was privately married to Mr. Samuel Masham, a gentleman in the service of Prince George (see Letter 14, note 6). The Duchess of Marlborough discovered that Mrs. Masham's cousin, Harley, was using her influence to further his own interests with the Queen; and in spite of her violence the Duchess found herself gradually supplanted. From 1710 Mrs. Masham's only rival in the royal favour was the Duchess of Somerset. Afterwards she quarrelled with Harley and joined the Bolingbroke faction.
8 See Letter 4, note 16.
9 No. 14 of Harrison's series.
10 See Letter 15, note 4.
11 Richard Duke, a minor poet and friend of Dryden's, entered the Church about 1685. In July 1710 he was presented by the Bishop of Winchester to the living of Witney, Oxfordshire, which was worth 700 pounds a year.
12 Sir Jonathan Trelawney, one of the seven bishops committed to the Tower in 1688, was translated to Winchester in 17O7, when he appointed Duke to be his chaplain.
13 See Letter 4, note 3.
14 See Letter 3, note 39.
15 See Letter 14, note 14.
16 See Letter 7, note 28.
17 Cf. Feb. 22, 1711.
18 Esther Johnson lodged opposite St. Mary's in Dublin.
19 This famous Tory club began with the meeting together of a few extreme Tories at the Bell in Westminster. The password to the Club--"October"--was one easy of remembrance to a country gentleman who loved his ale.
20 "Duke" Disney, "not an old man, but an old rake," died in 1731. Gay calls him "facetious Disney," and Swift says that all the members of the Club "love him mightily." Lady M. W. Montagu speaks of his "Broad plump face, pert eyes, and ruddy skin, Which showed the stupid joke which lurked within." Disney was a French Huguenot refugee, and his real name was Desaulnais. He commanded an Irish regiment, and took part in General Hill's expedition to Canada in 1711 (Kingsford's Canada, ii. 465). By his will (Wentworth papers, 109) he "left nothing to his poor relations, but very handsome to his bottle companions."
21 There were several Colonel Fieldings in the first half of the eighteenth century, and it is not clear which is the one referred to by Swift. Possibly he was the Edmund Fielding--grandson of the first Earl of Denbigh--who died a Lieutenant-General in 1741, at the age of sixty-three, but is best known as the father of Henry Fielding, the novelist.
22 Cf. Feb. 17, 1711.
23 See Letter 3, note 37.
24 "It is a measured mile round the outer wall; and far beyond any the finest square in London" (Deane Swift).
25 "The common fare for a set-down in Dublin" (ib.).
26 "Mrs. Stoyte lived at Donnybrook, the road to which from Stephen's Green ran into the country about a mile from the south-east corner" (ib.).
27 "Those words in italics are written in a very large hand, and so is the word large" (ib.). [Italics replaced by capitals for the transcription of this etext.]
28 Deane Swift alters "lele" to "there," but in a note states how he here altered Swift's "cypher way of writing." No doubt "lele" and other favourite words occurred frequently in the MS., as they do in the later letters.
1 Sir Thomas Mansel, Bart., Comptroller of the Household to Queen Anne, and a Lord of the Treasury, was raised to the peerage in December 1711 as Baron Mansel of Margam. He died in 1723.
2 Lady Betty Butler and Lady Betty Germaine (see Letter 3, note 40 and Letter 4, note 3).
3 James Eckershall, "second clerk of the Queen's Privy Kitchen." Chamberlayne (Magnae Britanniae Notitia, 171O, p. 536) says that his wages were 11 pounds, 8 shillings and a penny-ha'penny, and board-wages 138 pounds, 11 shillings and tenpence-ha'penny, making 150 pounds in all. Afterwards Eckershall was gentleman usher to Queen Anne; he died at Drayton in 1753, aged seventy-four. Pope was in correspondence with him in 172O on the subject of contemplated speculations in South Sea and other stocks.
4 In October 1710 (see Letter 6, note 44) Swift wrote as if he knew about the preparation of these Miscellanies. The volume was published by Morphew instead of Tooke, and it is frequently referred to in the Journal.
5 In 1685 the Duke of Ormond (see Letter 2, note 10) married, as his second wife, Lady Mary Somerset, eldest surviving daughter of Henry, first Duke of Beaufort.
6 Arthur Moore, M.P., was a Commissioner of Trade and Plantations from 1710 until his death in 1730. Gay calls him "grave," and Pope ("Prologue to the Satires," 23) says that Moore blamed him for the way in which his "giddy son," James Moore Smythe, neglected the law.
7 James, Lord Paisley, who succeeded his father (see Letter 10, note 33) as seventh Earl of Abercorn in 1734, married, in 1711, Anne, eldest daughter of Colonel John Plumer, of Blakesware, Herts.
8 Harley's ill-health was partly due to his drinking habits.
9 Crowd or confusion.
10 The first wife of Charles Seymour, sixth Duke of Somerset, was Lady Elizabeth Percy, only daughter of Joscelyn, eleventh Earl of Northumberland, and heiress of the house of Percy. She married the Duke, her third husband, at the age of eighteen.
11 John Richardson, D.D., rector of Armagh, Cavan, and afterwards chaplain to the Duke of Ormond. In 1711 he published a Proposal for the Conversion of the Popish Natives of Ireland to the Established Religion, and in 1712 a Short History of the Attempts to Convert the Popish Natives of Ireland. In 17O9 the Lower House of Convocation in Ireland had passed resolutions for printing the Bible and liturgy in Irish, providing Irish preachers, etc. In 1711 Thomas Parnell, the poet, headed a deputation to the Queen on the subject, when an address was presented; but nothing came of the proposals, owing to fears that the English interest in Ireland might be injured. In 1731 Richardson was given the small deanery of Kilmacluagh.
12 See Feb. 27, 1711.
14 "Bank bill for fifty pound," taking the alternate letters (see Letter 15, note 9).
15 See Letter 5, note 17.
16 See Nos. 27 and 29, by Swift himself.
17 "Print cannot do justice to whims of this kind, as they depend wholly upon the awkward shape of the letters" (Deane Swift).
18 See Letter 8, note 2.
19 "Here is just one specimen given of his way of writing to Stella in these journals. The reader, I hope, will excuse my omitting it in all other places where it occurs. The meaning of this pretty language is: 'And you must cry There, and Here, and Here again. Must you imitate Presto, pray? Yes, and so you shall. And so there's for your letter. Good-morrow'" (Deane Swift). What Swift really wrote was probably as follows: "Oo must cly Lele and Lele and Lele aden. Must oo mimitate Pdfr, pay? Iss, and so oo sall. And so lele's fol oo rettle. Dood-mallow."
20 Lady Catherine Morice (died 1716) was the eldest daughter of Thomas Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and wife of Sir Nicholas Morice, Bart., M.P. for Newport.
21 Perhaps Henry Arundell, who succeeded his father as fifth Baron Arundell of Wardour in 1712, and died in 1726.
22 Antoine, Abbe de Bourlie and Marquis de Guiscard, was a cadet of a distinguished family of the south of France. He joined the Church, but having been driven from France in consequence of his licentious excesses, he came to England, after many adventures in Europe, with a recommendation from the Duke of Savoy. Godolphin gave him the command of a regiment of refugees, and employed him in projects for effecting a landing in France. These schemes proving abortive, Guiscard's regiment was disbanded, and he was discharged with a pension of 500 pounds a year. Soon after the Tories came to power Guiscard came to the conclusion that there was no hope of employment for him, and little chance of receiving his pension; and he began a treacherous correspondence with the French. When this was detected he was brought before the Privy Council, and finding that everything was known, and wishing a better death than hanging, he stabbed Harley in the breast. Mrs. Manley, under Swift's directions, wrote a Narrative of Guiscard's Examination, and the incident greatly added to the security of Harley's position, and to the strength of the Government.
23 Harley's surgeon, Mr. Green.
24 See Letter 9, note 20.
25 Mrs. Walls' baby (see Feb 5, 1711).
26 The phrase had its origin in the sharp practices in the horse and cattle markets. Writing to Arbuthnot in 1727, Swift said that Gay "had made a pretty good bargain (that is a Smithfield) for a little place in the Custom House."
1 See Swift's paper in the Examiner, No. 32, and Mrs. Manley's pamphlet, already mentioned.
2 Presumably Mrs. Johnson's palsy-water (see Letter 5, note 17).
3 Thomas Wentworth, Baron Raby (1672-1739), was created Viscount Wentworth and Earl of Strafford in June 1711. Lord Raby was Envoy and Ambassador at Berlin for some years, and was appointed Ambassador at the Hague in March 1711. In November he was nominated as joint Plenipotentiary with the Bishop of Bristol to negotiate the terms of peace. He objected to Prior as a colleague; Swift says he was "as proud as hell." In 1715 it was proposed to impeach Strafford, but the proceedings were dropped. In his later years he was, according to Lord Hervey, a loquacious and illiterate, but constant, speaker in the House of Lords.
4 A beauty, to whom Swift addressed verses in 17O8. During the frost of January 17O9 Swift wrote: "Mrs. Floyd looked out with both her eyes, and we had one day's thaw; but she drew in her head, and it now freezes as hard as ever." She was a great friend of Lady Betty Germaine's.
5 Swift never had the smallpox.
6 See Letter 12, note 22.
8 The first number of the Spectator appeared on March 1, 1711.
9 In one of his poems Swift speaks of Stella "sossing in an easy-chair."
10 See Letter 4, note 20.
11 "It is reasonable to suppose that Swift's acquaintance with Arbuthnot commenced just about this time; for in the original letter Swift misspells his name, and writes it Arthbuthnet, in a clear large hand, that MD might not mistake any of the letters" (Deane Swift). Dr. John Arbuthnot had been made Physician in Ordinary to the Queen; he was one of Swift's dearest friends.
12 Clobery Bromley, M.P. for Coventry, son of William Bromley, M.P. (see Letter 10, note 1), died on March 2O, 1711, and Boyer (Political State, i. 255) says that the House, "out of respect to the father, and to give him time, both to perform the funeral rites and to indulge his just affliction," adjourned until the 26th.
13 See Letter 5, note 4.
14 See Letter 17, note 11.
15 Sir John Perceval, Bart. (died 1748), was created Baron Perceval 1715, Viscount Perceval 1722, and Earl of Egmont 1733, all in the Irish peerage. He married, in 1710, Catherine, eldest daughter of Sir Philip Parker A'Morley, Bart., of Erwarton, Suffolk; and his son (born Feb. 27, 1710-11) was made Baron Perceval and Holland, in the English peerage, in 1762.
16 This report was false. The Old Pretender did not marry until 1718, when he was united to the Princess Clementina Maria, daughter of Prince James Sobieski.
1 John Hartstonge, D.D. (died 1717), was Bishop of Ossory from 1693 to 1714, when he was translated to Derry.
2 See Letter 15, note 16.
3 Thomas Proby was Chirurgeon-General in Ireland from 1699 until his death in 1761. In his Short Character of Thomas, Earl of Wharton, Swift speaks of him as "a person universally esteemed," who had been badly treated by Lord Wharton. In 1724 Proby's son, a captain in the army, was accused of popery, and Swift wrote to Lord Carteret that the charge was generally believed to be false: "The father is the most universally beloved of any man I ever knew in his station. . . . You cannot do any personal thing more acceptable to the people of Ireland than in inclining towards lenity to Mr. Proby and his family." Proby was probably a near relative of Sir Thomas Proby, Bart., M.P., of Elton, Hunts, at whose death in 1689 the baronetcy expired. Mrs. Proby seems to have been a Miss Spencer.
4 Meliora, daughter of Thomas Coningsby, Baron of Clanbrassil and Earl of Coningsby, and wife of Sir Thomas Southwell, afterwards Baron Southwell, one of the Commissioners of Revenue in Ireland, and a member of the Irish Privy Council. Lady Southwell died in 1736.
5 Lady Betty Rochfort was the daughter of Henry Moore, third Earl of Drogheda. Her husband, George Rochfort, M.P. for Westmeath, was son of Robert Rochfort, an Irish judge, and brother of Robert Rochford, M.P., to whose wife Swift addressed his Advice to a very Young Lady on her Marriage. Lady Betty's son Robert was created Earl of Belvedere in 1757.
6 See Letter 17, note 23. Mr. Bussiere, of Suffolk Street, had been called in directly after the outrage, but Radcliffe would not consult him.
7 The letter from Dr. King dated March 17, 1711, commenting on Guiscard's attack upon Harley.
8 See Feb. 10, 1710-11.
9 The word "trangram" or "tangram" ordinarily means a toy or gimcrack, or trumpery article. Cf. Wycherley (Plain Dealer, iii. 1), "But go, thou trangram, and carry back those trangrams which thou hast stolen or purloined." Apparently "trangum" here means a tally.
10 See Letter 12, note 2.
11 Swift means Godolphin, the late Lord Treasurer.
12 Sir John Holland (see Letter 3, note 28).
13 "It caused a violent daub on the paper, which still continues much discoloured in the original" (Deane Swift).
14 "He forgot here to say, 'At night.' See what goes before" (Deane Swift).
15 See Letter 17, note 1.
16 Irishman. "Teague" was a term of contempt for an Irishman.
17 To "Mr. Harley, wounded by Guiscard." In this piece Prior said, "Britain with tears shall bathe thy glorious wound," a wound which could not have been inflicted by any but a stranger to our land.
18 Sir Thomas Mansel married Martha, daughter and heiress of Francis Millington, a London merchant.
19 Slatterning, consuming carelessly.
20 "The candle grease mentioned before, which soaked through, deformed this part of the paper on the second page" (Deane Swift).
22 William Rollinson, formerly a wine merchant, settled afterwards in Oxfordshire, where he died at a great age. He was a friend of Pope, Bolingbroke, and Gay.
23 In relation to the banknote (see Letter 17, note 14).
24 "Swift was, at this time, their great support and champion" (Deane Swift).
25 See Letter 14, note 15.
26 See Letter 17, note 25.
27 "Stella, with all her wit and good sense, spelled very ill; and Dr. Swift insisted greatly upon women spelling well" (Deane Swift).
28 "The slope of the letters in the words THIS WAY, THIS WAY, is to the left hand, but the slope of the words THAT WAY, THAT WAY, is to the right hand" (Deane Swift).
29 See Letter 17, note 24.
30 See Letter 5, note 11 and Letter 10, note 28.
1 By the Act 9 Anne, cap. 23, the number of hackney coaches was increased to 800, and it was provided that they were to go a mile and a half for one shilling, two miles for one shilling and sixpence, and so on.
2 See Letter 11, note 39.
3 In a letter to Swift, of March 17, 1711, King said that it might have been thought that Guiscard's attack would have convinced the world that Harley was not in the French interest; but it did not have that effect with all, for some whispered the case of Fenius Rufus and Scevinus in the 15th book of Tacitus: "Accensis indicibus ad prodendum Fenium Rufum, quem eundem conscium et inquisitorem non tolerabant." Next month Swift told King that it was reported that the Archbishop had applied this passage in a speech made to his clergy, and explained at some length the steps he had taken to prevent the story being published in the Postboy. King thanked Swift for this action, explaining that he had been arguing on Harley's behalf when someone instanced the story of Rufus.
4 A Tory paper, published thrice weekly by Abel Roper.
5 Sir Charles Duncombe, banker, died on April 9, 1711. The first wife of the Duke of Argyle (see Letter 11, note 57) was Duncombe's niece, Mary Browne, daughter of Ursula Duncombe and Thomas Browne, of St. Margaret's, Westminster. Duncombe was elected Lord Mayor in 1700, and was the richest commoner in England.
6 The Rev. Dillon Ashe (see Letter 12, note 23).
7 John, fourth Baron Poulett, was created Earl Poulett in 17O6, after serving as one of the Commissioners for the Treaty of Union with Scotland. From August 1710 to May 1711 he was First Lord of the Treasury, and from June 1711 to August 1714 he was Lord Steward of the Household.
8 Lost or stupid person.
9 Sir William Read, a quack who advertised largely in the Tatler and other papers. He was satirised in No. 547 of the Spectator. In 17O5 he was knighted for his services in curing many seamen and soldiers of blindness gratis, and he was appointed Oculist in Ordinary to the Queen. Read died in 1715, but his business was continued by his widow.
10 General John Webb was not on good terms with Marlborough. He was a Tory, and had gained distinction in the war at Wynendale (1708), though the Duke's secretary gave the credit, in the despatch, to Cadogan. There is a well-known account of Webb in Thackeray's Esmond. He was severely wounded at Malplaquet in 1709, and in 1710 was given the governorship of the Isle of Wight. He died in 1724.
11 Henry Campion, M.P. for Penryn, is mentioned in the Political State for February 1712 as one of the leading men of the October Club. Campion seems to have been Member, not for Penryn, but for Bossiney.
12 See Letter 3, note 32.
13 Sir George Beaumont, Bart., M.P. for Leicester, and an acquaintance of Swift's mother, was made a Commissioner of the Privy Seal in 1712, and one of the Lords of the Admiralty in 1714. He died in 1737.
14 Heneage Finch, afterwards second Earl of Aylesford, was the son of Heneage Finch, the chief counsel for the seven bishops, who was created Baron Guernsey in 1703, and Earl of Aylesford in 1714.
15 James, Lord Compton, afterwards fifth Earl of Northampton, was the eldest son of George, the fourth Earl. He was summoned to the House of Lords in December 1711, and died in 1754.
16 See Letter 11, note 12.
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