LONDON, April 14, 1711.
Remember, sirrahs, that there are but nine days between the dates of my two former letters. I sent away my twentieth this moment, and now am writing on like a fish, as if nothing was done. But there was a cause for my hasting away the last, for fear it should not come time enough before a new quarter began. I told you where I dined to-day; but forgot to tell you what I believe, that Mr. Harley will be Lord Treasurer in a short time, and other great removes and promotions made. This is my thought, etc.
15. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary, and he is grown pretty well. I dined with him to-day, and drank some of that wine which the Duke of Tuscany used to send to Sir William Temple: he always sends some to the chief Ministers. I liked it mightily, but he does not; and he ordered his butler to send me a chest of it to-morrow. Would to God MD had it! The Queen is well again, and was at chapel to-day, etc.
16. I went with Ford into the City to-day, and dined with Stratford, and drank Tokay, and then we went to the auction; but I did not lay out above twelve shillings. My head is a little out of order to-night, though no formal fit. My Lord Keeper has sent to invite me to dinner to-morrow, and you'll dine better with the Dean; and God bless you. I forgot to tell you that yesterday was sent me a Narrative printed, with all the circumstances of Mr. Harley's stabbing. I had not time to do it myself; so I sent my hints to the author of the Atalantis, and she has cooked it into a sixpenny pamphlet, in her own style, only the first page is left as I was beginning it. But I was afraid of disobliging Mr. Harley or Mr. St. John in one critical point about it, and so would not do it myself. It is worth your reading, for the circumstances are all true. My chest of Florence was sent me this morning, and cost me seven and sixpence to two servants. I would give two guineas you had it, etc.
17. I was so out of order with my head this morning, that I was going to send my excuses to my Lord Keeper; but however I got up at eleven, and walked there after two, and stayed till eight. There was Sir Thomas Mansel, Prior, George Granville, and Mr. Caesar, and we were very merry. My head is still wrong, but I have had no formal fit, only I totter a little. I have left off snuff altogether. I have a noble roll of tobacco for grating, very good. Shall I send it to MD, if she likes that sort? My Lord Keeper and our this day's company are to dine on Saturday with George Granville, and to-morrow I dine with Lord Anglesea.
18. Did you ever see such a blundering goosecap as Presto? I saw the number 21 at top, and so I went on as if it were the day of the month, whereas this is but Wednesday the 18th. How shall I do to blot and alter them? I have made a shift to do it behind, but it is a great botch. I dined with Lord Anglesea to-day, but did not go to the House of Commons about the yarn; my head was not well enough. I know not what is the matter; it has never been thus before: two days together giddy from morning till night, but not with any violence or pain; and I totter a little, but can make shift to walk. I doubt I must fall to my pills again: I think of going into the country a little way. I tell you what you must do henceforward: you must enclose your letter in a fair half-sheet of paper, and direct the outside "To Erasmus Lewis, Esquire, at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall": for I never go to the Coffee-house, and they will grudge to take in my letters. I forgot to tell you that your mother was to see me this morning, and brought me a flask of sweet-water for a present, admirable for my head; but I shall not smell to it. She is going to Sheen, with Lady Giffard: she would fain send your papers over to you, or give them to me. Say what you would have done, and it shall be done; because I love Stella, and she is a good daughter, they say, and so is Dingley.
19. This morning General Webb was to give me a visit: he goes with a crutch and stick, yet was forced to come up two pair of stairs. I promised to dine with him, but afterwards sent my excuses, and dined privately in my friend Lewis's lodgings at Whitehall, with whom I had much business to talk of, relating to the public and myself. Little Harrison the Tatler goes to-morrow to the secretaryship I got him at the Hague, and Mr. St. John has made him a present of fifty guineas to bear his charges. An't I a good friend? Why are not you a young fellow, that I might prefer you? I had a letter from Bernage from Kinsale: he tells me his commission for captain-lieutenant was ready for him at his arrival: so there are two jackanapeses I have done with. My head is something better this evening, though not well.
20. I was this morning with Mr. Secretary, whose packets were just come in, and among them a letter from Lord Peterborow to me: he writes so well, I have no mind to answer him, and so kind, that I must answer him. The Emperor's death must, I think, cause great alterations in Europe, and, I believe, will hasten a peace. We reckon our King Charles will be chosen Emperor, and the Duke of Savoy set up for Spain; but I believe he will make nothing of it. Dr. Freind and I dined in the City at a printer's, and it has cost me two shillings in coach-hire, and a great deal more this week and month, which has been almost all rain, with now and then sunshine, and is the truest April that I have known these many years. The lime-trees in the Park are all out in leaves, though not large leaves yet. Wise people are going into the country; but many think the Parliament can hardly be up these six weeks. Mr. Harley was with the Queen on Tuesday. I believe certainly he will be Lord Treasurer: I have not seen him this week.
21. Morning. Lord Keeper, and I, and Prior, and Sir Thomas Mansel, have appointed to dine this day with George Granville. My head, I thank God, is better; but to be giddyish three or four days together mortified me. I take no snuff, and I will be very regular in eating little and the gentlest meats. How does poor Stella just now, with her deans and her Stoytes? Do they give you health for the money you lose at ombre, sirrah? What say you to that? Poor Dingley frets to see Stella lose that four and elevenpence, the other night. Let us rise. Morrow, sirrahs. I will rise, spite of your little teeth; good-morrow.--At night. O, faith, you are little dear saucyboxes. I was just going in the morning to tell you that I began to want a letter from MD, and in four minutes after Mr. Ford sends me one that he had picked up at St. James's Coffee-house; for I go to no coffee-house at all. And, faith, I was glad at heart to see it, and to see Stella so brisk. O Lord, what pretending? Well, but I will not answer it yet; I'll keep it for t'other side. Well, we dined to-day according to appointment: Lord Keeper went away at near eight, I at eight, and I believe the rest will be fairly fuddled; for young Harcourt, Lord Keeper's son, began to prattle before I came away. It will not do with Prior's lean carcass. I drink little, miss my glass often, put water in my wine, and go away before the rest, which I take to be a good receipt for sobriety. Let us put it into rhyme, and so make a proverb--
God be thanked, I am much better than I was, though something of a totterer. I ate but little to-day, and of the gentlest meat. I refused ham and pigeons, pease-soup, stewed beef, cold salmon, because they were too strong. I take no snuff at all, but some herb snuff prescribed by Dr. Radcliffe.
Drink little at a time; Put water with your wine; Miss your glass when you can; And go off the first man.
I believe I said that already. What care I? what cares Presto?
Go to your deans, You couple of queans.
22. Morning. I must rise and go to the Secretary's. Mr. Harley has been out of town this week to refresh himself before he comes into Parliament. Oh, but I must rise, so there is no more to be said; and so morrow, sirrahs both.-- Night. I dined to-day with the Secretary, who has engaged me for every Sunday; and I was an hour with him this morning deep in politics, where I told him the objections of the October Club, and he answered all except one, that no inquiries are made into past mismanagement. But indeed I believe they are not yet able to make any: the late Ministry were too cunning in their rogueries, and fenced themselves with an Act of general pardon. I believe Mr. Harley must be Lord Treasurer; yet he makes one difficulty which is hard to answer: he must be made a lord, and his estate is not large enough, and he is too generous to make it larger; and if the Ministry should change soon by any accident, he will be left in the suds. Another difficulty is, that if he be made a peer, they will want him prodigiously in the House of Commons, of which he is the great mover, and after him the Secretary, and hardly any else of weight. Two shillings more to-day for coach and chair. I shall be ruined.
23. So you expect an answer to your letter, do you so? Yes, yes, you shall have an answer, you shall, young women. I made a good pun on Saturday to my Lord Keeper. After dinner we had coarse Doiley napkins, fringed at each end, upon the table, to drink with: my Lord Keeper spread one of them between him and Mr. Prior; I told him I was glad to see there was such a fringeship [friendship] between Mr. Prior and his lordship. Prior swore it was the worst he ever heard: I said I thought so too; but at the same time I thought it was most like one of Stella's that ever I heard. I dined to-day with Lord Mountjoy, and this evening saw the Venetian Ambassador coming from his first public audience. His coach was the most monstrous, huge, fine, rich gilt thing that ever I saw. I loitered this evening, and came home late.
24. I was this morning to visit the Duchess of Ormond, who has long desired it, or threatened she would not let me visit her daughters. I sat an hour with her, and we were good company, when in came the Countess of Bellamont, with a pox. I went out, and we did not know one another; yet hearing me named, she asked, "What, is that Dr. Swift?" said she and I were very well acquainted, and fell a railing at me without mercy, as a lady told me that was there; yet I never was but once in the company of that drab of a Countess. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined with my neighbour Van. I design in two days, if possible, to go lodge at Chelsea for the air, and put myself under a necessity of walking to and from London every day. I writ this post to the Bishop of Clogher a long politic letter, to entertain him. I am to buy statues and harnese for them, with a vengeance. I have packed and sealed up MD's twelve letters against I go to Chelsea. I have put the last commissions of MD in my account-book; but if there be any former ones, I have forgot them. I have Dingley's pocket-book down, and Stella's green silk apron, and the pound of tea; pray send me word if you have any other, and down they shall go. I will not answer your letter yet, saucy boxes. You are with the Dean just now, Madam Stella, losing your money. Why do not you name what number you have received? You say you have received my letters, but do not tell the number.
25. I was this day dining in the City with very insignificant, low, and scurvy company. I had a letter from the Archbishop of Dublin, with a long denial of the report raised on him, which yet has been since assured to me from those who say they have it from the first hand; but I cannot believe them. I will show it to the Secretary to-morrow. I will not answer yours till I get to Chelsea.
26. Chelsea. I have sent two boxes of lumber to my friend Darteneuf's house, and my chest of Florence and other things to Mrs. Vanhomrigb, where I dined to-day. I was this morning with the Secretary, and showed him the Archbishop's letter, and convinced him of his Grace's innocence, and I will do the same to Mr. Harley. I got here in the stage-coach with Patrick and my portmanteau for sixpence, and pay six shillings a week for one silly room with confounded coarse sheets. We have had such a horrible deal of rain, that there is no walking to London, and I must go as I came until it mends; and besides the whelp has taken my lodging as far from London as this town could afford, at least half a mile farther than he need; but I must be content. The best is, I lodge just over against Dr. Atterbury's house, and yet perhaps I shall not like the place the better for that. Well, I will stay till to- morrow before I answer your letter; and you must suppose me always writing at Chelsea from henceforward, till I alter, and say London. This letter goes on Saturday, which will be just a fortnight; so go and cheat Goody Stoyte, etc.
27. Do you know that I fear my whole chest of Florence is turned sour, at least the two first flasks were so, and hardly drinkable. How plaguy unfortunate am I! and the Secretary's own is the best I ever tasted; and I must not tell him, but be as thankful as if it were the best in Christendom. I went to town in the sixpenny stage to-day; and hearing Mr. Harley was not at home, I went to see him, because I knew by the message of his lying porter that he was at home. He was very well, and just going out, but made me promise to dine with him; and betwixt that and indeed strolling about, I lost four pound seven shillings at play--with a--a--a--bookseller, and got but about half a dozen books. I will buy no more books now, that's certain. Well, I dined at Mr. Harley's, came away at six, shifted my gown, cassock, and periwig, and walked hither to Chelsea, as I always design to do when it is fair. I am heartily sorry to find my friend the Secretary stand a little ticklish with the rest of the Ministry; there have been one or two disobliging things that have happened, too long to tell: and t'other day in Parliament, upon a debate of about thirty-five millions that have not been duly accounted for, Mr. Secretary, in his warmth of speech, and zeal for his friend Mr. Brydges, on whom part of the blame was falling, said he did not know that either Mr. Brydges or the late Ministry were at all to blame in this matter; which was very desperately spoken, and giving up the whole cause: for the chief quarrel against the late Ministry was the ill management of the treasure, and was more than all the rest together. I had heard of this matter: but Mr. Foley beginning to discourse to-day at table, without naming Mr. St. John, I turned to Mr. Harley, and said if the late Ministry were not to blame in that article, he (Mr. Harley) ought to lose his head for putting the Queen upon changing them. He made it a jest; but by some words dropped, I easily saw that they take things ill of Mr. St. John; and by some hints given me from another hand that I deal with, I am afraid the Secretary will not stand long. This is the fate of Courts. I will, if I meet Mr. St. John alone on Sunday, tell him my opinion, and beg him to set himself right, else the consequences may be very bad; for I see not how they can well want him neither, and he would make a troublesome enemy. But enough of politics.
28. Morning. I forgot to tell you that Mr. Harley asked me yesterday how he came to disoblige the Archbishop of Dublin. Upon which (having not his letter about me) I told him what the Bishop had written to me on that subject, and desired I might read him the letter some other time. But after all, from what I have heard from other hands, I am afraid the Archbishop is a little guilty. Here is one Brent Spencer, a brother of Mr. Proby's, who affirms it, and says he has leave to do so from Charles Dering, who heard the words; and that Ingoldsby, abused the Archbishop, etc. Well, but now for your saucy letter: I have no room to answer it; O yes, enough on t'other side. Are you no sicker? Stella jeers Presto for not coming over by Christmas; but indeed Stella does not jeer, but reproach, poor poor Presto. And how can I come away and the First-Fruits not finished? I am of opinion the Duke of Ormond will do nothing in them before he goes, which will be in a fortnight, they say; and then they must fall to me to be done in his absence. No, indeed, I have nothing to print: you know they have printed the Miscellanies already. Are they on your side yet? If you have my snuff box, I will have your strong box. Hi, does Stella take snuff again? or is it only because it is a fine box? Not the Meddle, but the Medley, you fool. Yes, yes, a wretched thing, because it is against you Tories: now I think it very fine, and the Examiner a wretched thing.--Twist your mouth, sirrah. Guiscard, and what you will read in the Narrative, I ordered to be written, and nothing else. The Spectator is written by Steele, with Addison's help: it is often very pretty. Yesterday it was made of a noble hint I gave him long ago for his Tatlers, about an Indian supposed to write his Travels into England. I repent he ever had it. I intended to have written a book on that subject. I believe he has spent it all in one paper, and all the under-hints there are mine too; but I never see him or Addison. The Queen is well, but I fear will be no long liver; for I am told she has sometimes the gout in her bowels (I hate the word bowels). My ears have been, these three months past, much better than any time these two years; but now they begin to be a little out of order again. My head is better, though not right; but I trust to air and walking. You have got my letter, but what number? I suppose 18. Well, my shin has been well this month. No, Mrs. Westley came away without her husband's knowledge, while she was in the country: she has written to me for some tea. They lie; Mr. Harley's wound was very terrible: he had convulsions, and very narrowly escaped. The bruise was nine times worse than the wound: he is weak still. Well, Brooks married; I know all that. I am sorry for Mrs. Walls's eye: I hope 'tis better. O yes, you are great walkers: but I have heard them say, "Much talkers, little walkers": and I believe I may apply the old proverb to you--
Yes, Stella shall have a large printed Bible: I have put it down among my commissions for MD. I am glad to hear you have taken the fancy of intending to read the Bible. Pox take the box; is not it come yet? This is trusting to your young fellows, young women; 'tis your fault: I thought you had such power with Sterne that he would fly over Mount Atlas to serve you. You say you are not splenetic; but if you be, faith, you will break poor Presto's--I will not say the rest; but I vow to God, if I could decently come over now, I would, and leave all schemes of politics and ambition for ever. I have not the opportunities here of preserving my health by riding, etc., that I have in Ireland; and the want of health is a great cooler of making one's court. You guess right about my being bit with a direction from Walls, and the letter from MD: I believe I described it in one of my last. This goes to-night; and I must now rise and walk to town, and walk back in the evening. God Almighty bless and preserve poor MD. Farewell.
If you talked no more than you walked, Those that think you wits would be baulked.
O, faith, don't think, saucy noses, that I'll fill this third side: I can't stay a letter above a fortnight: it must go then; and you would rather see a short one like this, than want it a week longer.
My humble service to the Dean, and Mrs. Walls, and good, kind, hearty Mrs. Stoyte, and honest Catherine.
CHELSEA, April 28, 1711.
At night. I say at night, because I finished my twenty-first this morning here, and put it into the post-office my own self, like a good boy. I think I am a little before you now, young women: I am writing my twenty-second, and have received your thirteenth. I got to town between twelve and one, and put on my new gown and periwig, and dined with Lord Abercorn, where I had not been since the marriage of his son Lord Peasley, who has got ten thousand pounds with a wife. I am now a country gentleman. I walked home as I went, and am a little weary, and am got into bed: I hope in God the air and exercise will do me a little good. I have been inquiring about statues for Mrs. Ashe: I made Lady Abercorn go with me; and will send them word next post to Clogher. I hate to buy for her: I am sure she will maunder. I am going to study.
29. I had a charming walk to and from town to-day: I washed, shaved and all, and changed gown and periwig, by half an hour after nine, and went to the Secretary, who told me how he had differed with his friends in Parliament: I apprehended this division, and told him a great deal of it. I went to Court, and there several mentioned it to me as what they much disliked. I dined with the Secretary; and we proposed doing some business of importance in the afternoon, which he broke to me first, and said how he and Mr. Harley were convinced of the necessity of it; yet he suffered one of his under-secretaries to come upon us after dinner, who stayed till six, and so nothing was done: and what care I? he shall send to me the next time, and ask twice. To-morrow I go to the election at Westminster School, where lads are chosen for the University: they say it is a sight, and a great trial of wits. Our Expedition Fleet is but just sailed: I believe it will come to nothing. Mr. Secretary frets at their tediousness, but hopes great things from it, though he owns four or five princes are in the secret; and, for that reason, I fear it is no secret to France. There are eight regiments; and the Admiral is your Walker's brother the midwife.
30. Morn. I am here in a pretty pickle: it rains hard; and the cunning natives of Chelsea have outwitted me, and taken up all the three stage coaches. What shall I do? I must go to town: this is your fault. I cannot walk: I will borrow a coat. This is the blind side of my lodging out of town; I must expect such inconveniences as these. Faith, I'll walk in the rain. Morrow.--At night. I got a gentleman's chaise by chance, and so went to town for a shilling, and lie this night in town. I was at the election of lads at Westminster to-day, and a very silly thing it is; but they say there will be fine doings to-morrow. I dined with Dr. Freind, the second master of the school, with a dozen parsons and others: Prior would make me stay. Mr. Harley is to hear the election to-morrow; and we are all to dine with tickets, and hear fine speeches. 'Tis terrible rainy weather again: I lie at a friend's in the City.
May 1. I wish you a merry May Day, and a thousand more. I was baulked at Westminster; I came too late: I heard no speeches nor verses. They would not let me in to their dining-place for want of a ticket; and I would not send in for one, because Mr. Harley excused his coming, and Atterbury was not there; and I cared not for the rest: and so my friend Lewis and I dined with Kitt Musgrave, if you know such a man: and, the weather mending, I walked gravely home this evening; and so I design to walk and walk till I am well: I fancy myself a little better already. How does poor Stella? Dingley is well enough. Go, get you gone, naughty girl, you are well enough. O dear MD, contrive to have some share of the country this spring: go to Finglas, or Donnybrook, or Clogher, or Killala, or Lowth. Have you got your box yet? Yes, yes. Do not write to me again till this letter goes: I must make haste, that I may write two for one. Go to the Bath: I hope you are now at the Bath, if you had a mind to go; or go to Wexford: do something for your living. Have you given up my lodging, according to order? I have had just now a compliment from Dean Atterbury's lady, to command the garden and library, and whatever the house affords. I lodge just over against them; but the Dean is in town with his Convocation: so I have my Dean and Prolocutor as well as you, young women, though he has not so good wine, nor so much meat.
2. A fine day, but begins to grow a little warm; and that makes your little fat Presto sweat in the forehead. Pray, are not the fine buns sold here in our town; was it not Rrrrrrrrrare Chelsea buns? I bought one to-day in my walk; it cost me a penny; it was stale, and I did not like it, as the man said, etc. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and had a flask of my Florence, which lies in their cellar; and so I came home gravely, and saw nobody of consequence to-day. I am very easy here, nobody plaguing me in a morning; and Patrick saves many a score lies. I sent over to Mrs Atterbury to know whether I might wait on her; but she is gone a visiting: we have exchanged some compliments, but I have not seen her yet. We have no news in our town.
3. I did not go to town to-day, it was so terrible rainy; nor have I stirred out of my room till eight this evening, when I crossed the way to see Mrs. Atterbury, and thank her for her civilities. She would needs send me some veal, and small beer, and ale, to-day at dinner; and I have lived a scurvy, dull, splenetic day, for want of MD: I often thought how happy I could have been, had it rained eight thousand times more, if MD had been with a body. My Lord Rochester is dead this morning; they say at one o'clock; and I hear he died suddenly. To-morrow I shall know more. He is a great loss to us: I cannot think who will succeed him as Lord President. I have been writing a long letter to Lord Peterborow, and am dull.
4. I dined to-day at Lord Shelburne's, where Lady Kerry made me a present of four India handkerchiefs, which I have a mind to keep for little MD, only that I had rather, etc. I have been a mighty handkerchief-monger, and have bought abundance of snuff ones since I have left off taking snuff. And I am resolved, when I come over, MD shall be acquainted with Lady Kerry: we have struck up a mighty friendship; and she has much better sense than any other lady of your country. We are almost in love with one another: but she is most egregiously ugly; but perfectly well-bred, and governable as I please. I am resolved, when I come, to keep no company but MD: you know I kept my resolution last time; and, except Mr. Addison, conversed with none but you and your club of deans and Stoytes. 'Tis three weeks, young women, since I had a letter from you; and yet, methinks, I would not have another for five pounds till this is gone; and yet I send every day to the Coffee-house, and I would fain have a letter, and not have a letter: and I do not know what, nor I do not know how, and this goes on very slow; it is a week to-morrow since I began it. I am a poor country gentleman, and do not know how the world passes. Do you know that every syllable I write I hold my lips just for all the world as if I were talking in our own little language to MD? Faith, I am very silly; but I cannot help it for my life. I got home early to-night. My solicitors, that used to ply me every morning, knew not where to find me; and I am so happy not to hear "Patrick, Patrick," called a hundred times every morning. But I looked backward, and find I have said this before. What care I? Go to the Dean, and roast the oranges.
5. I dined to-day with my friend Lewis, and we were deep in politics how to save the present Ministry; for I am afraid of Mr. Secretary, as I believe I told you. I went in the evening to see Mr. Harley; and, upon my word, I was in perfect joy. Mr. Secretary was just going out of the door; but I made him come back, and there was the old Saturday Club, Lord Keeper, Lord Rivers, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Harley, and I; the first time since his stabbing. Mr. Secretary went away; but I stayed till nine, and made Mr. Harley show me his breast, and tell all the story; and I showed him the Archbishop of Dublin's letter, and defended him effectually. We were all in mighty good humour. Lord Keeper and I left them together, and I walked here after nine two miles, and I found a parson drunk fighting with a seaman, and Patrick and I were so wise to part them, but the seaman followed him to Chelsea, cursing at him, and the parson slipped into a house, and I know no more. It mortified me to see a man in my coat so overtaken. A pretty scene for one that just came from sitting with the Prime Ministers! I had no money in my pocket, and so could not be robbed. However, nothing but Mr. Harley shall make me take such a journey again. We don't yet know who will be President in Lord Rochester's room. I measured, and found that the penknife would have killed Mr. Harley if it had gone but half the breadth of my thumb-nail lower, so near was he to death. I was so curious as to ask him what were his thoughts while they were carrying him home in the chair. He said he concluded himself a dead man. He will not allow that Guiscard gave him the second stab; though my Lord Keeper, who is blind, and I that was not there, are positive in it. He wears a plaster still as broad as half a crown. Smoke how wide the lines are, but, faith, I don't do it on purpose: but I have changed my side in this new Chelsea bed, and I do not know how, methinks, but it is so unfit, and so awkward, never saw the like.
6. You must remember to enclose your letters in a fair paper, and direct the outside thus: "To Erasmus Lewis, Esq.; at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall." I said so before, but it may miscarry, you know, yet I think none of my letters did ever miscarry; faith, I think never one; among all the privateers and the storms. O, faith, my letters are too good to be lost. MD's letters may tarry, but never miscarry, as the old woman used to say. And indeed, how should they miscarry, when they never come before their time? It was a terrible rainy day; yet I made a shift to steal fair weather overhead enough to go and come in. I was early with the Secretary, and dined with him afterwards. In the morning I began to chide him, and tell him my fears of his proceedings. But Arthur Moore came up and relieved him. But I forgot, for you never heard of Arthur Moore. But when I get Mr. Harley alone, I will know the bottom. You will have Dr. Raymond over before this letter, and what care you?
7. I hope and believe my walks every day do me good. I was busy at home, and set out late this morning, and dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, at whose lodgings I always change my gown and periwig. I visited this afternoon, and among others, poor Biddy Floyd, who is very red, but I believe won't be much marked. As I was coming home, I met Sir George Beaumont in the Pall Mall, who would needs walk with me as far as Buckingham House. I was telling him of my head; he said he had been ill of the same disorder, and by all means forbid me bohea tea, which, he said, always gave it him; and that Dr. Radcliffe said it was very bad. Now I had observed the same thing, and have left it off this month, having found myself ill after it several times; and I mention it that Stella may consider it for her own poor little head: a pound lies ready packed up and directed for Mrs. Walls, to be sent by the first convenience. Mr. Secretary told me yesterday that Mr. Harley would this week be Lord Treasurer and a peer; so I expect it every day; yet perhaps it may not be till Parliament is up, which will be in a fortnight.
8. I was to-day with the Duke of Ormond, and recommended to him the care of poor Joe Beaumont, who promises me to do him all justice and favour, and give him encouragement; and desired I would give a memorial to Ned Southwell about it, which I will, and so tell Joe when you see him, though he knows it already by a letter I writ to Mr. Warburton. It was bloody hot walking to-day. I dined in the City, and went and came by water; and it rained so this evening again, that I thought I should hardly be able to get a dry hour to walk home in. I will send to-morrow to the Coffee-house for a letter from MD; but I would not have one methinks till this is gone, as it shall on Saturday. I visited the Duchess of Ormond this morning; she does not go over with the Duke. I spoke to her to get a lad touched for the evil, the son of a grocer in Capel Street, one Bell; the ladies have bought sugar and plums of him. Mrs. Mary used to go there often. This is Patrick's account; and the poor fellow has been here some months with his boy. But the Queen has not been able to touch, and it now grows so warm, I fear she will not at all. Go, go, go to the Dean's, and let him carry you to Donnybrook, and cut asparagus. Has Parvisol sent you any this year? I cannot sleep in the beginnings of the nights, the heat or something hinders me, and I am drowsy in the mornings.
9. Dr. Freind came this morning to visit Atterbury's lady and children as physician, and persuaded me to go with him to town in his chariot. He told me he had been an hour before with Sir Cholmley Dering, Charles Dering's nephew, and head of that family in Kent, for which he is Knight of the shire. He said he left him dying of a pistol-shot quite through the body, by one Mr. Thornhill. They fought at sword and pistol this morning in Tuttle Fields, their pistols so near that the muzzles touched. Thornhill discharged first; and Dering, having received the shot, discharged his pistol as he was falling, so it went into the air. The story of this quarrel is long. Thornhill had lost seven teeth by a kick in the mouth from Dering, who had first knocked him down; this was above a fortnight ago. Dering was next week to be married to a fine young lady. This makes a noise here, but you will not value it. Well, Mr. Harley, Lord Keeper, and one or two more, are to be made lords immediately; their patents are now passing, and I read the preamble to Mr. Harley's, full of his praises. Lewis and I dined with Ford: I found the wine; two flasks of my Florence, and two bottles of six that Dr. Raymond sent me of French wine; he sent it to me to drink with Sir Robert Raymond and Mr. Harley's brother, whom I had introduced him to; but they never could find time to come; and now I have left the town, and it is too late. Raymond will think it a cheat. What care I, sirrah?
10. Pshaw, pshaw. Patrick brought me four letters to-day: from Dilly at Bath; Joe; Parvisol; and what was the fourth, who can tell? Stand away, who'll guess? Who can it be? You old man with a stick, can you tell who the fourth is from? Iss, an please your honour, it is from one Madam MD, Number Fourteen. Well; but I can't send this away now, because it was here, and I was in town; but it shall go on Saturday, and this is Thursday night, and it will be time enough for Wexford. Take my method: I write here to Parvisol to lend Stella twenty pounds, and to take her note promissory to pay it in half a year, etc. You shall see, and if you want more, let me know afterwards; and be sure my money shall be always paid constantly too. Have you been good or ill housewives, pray?
11. Joe has written me to get him a collector's place, nothing less; he says all the world knows of my great intimacy with Mr. Harley, and that the smallest word to him will do. This is the constant cant of puppies who are at a distance, and strangers to Courts and Ministers. My answer is this, which pray send: that I am ready to serve Joe as far as I can; that I have spoken to the Duke of Ormond about his money, as I writ to Warburton; that for the particular he mentions, it is a work of time, which I cannot think of at present; but, if accidents and opportunities should happen hereafter, I would not be wanting; that I know best how far my credit goes; that he is at a distance, and cannot judge; that I would be glad to do him good, and if fortune throws an opportunity in my way I shall not be wanting. This is my answer, which you may send or read to him. Pray contrive that Parvisol may not run away with my two hundred pounds; but get Burton's note, and let the money be returned me by bill. Don't laugh, for I will be suspicious. Teach Parvisol to enclose, and direct the outside to Mr. Lewis. I will answer your letter in my next, only what I take notice of here excepted. I forgot to tell you that at the Court of Requests to-day I could not find a dinner I liked, and it grew late, and I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, etc.
12. Morning. I will finish this letter before I go to town, because I shall be busy, and have neither time nor place there. Farewell, etc. etc.
CHELSEA, May 12, 1711.
I sent you my twenty-second this afternoon in town. I dined with Mr. Harley and the old Club, Lord Rivers, Lord Keeper, and Mr. Secretary. They rallied me last week, and said I must have Mr. St. John's leave; so I writ to him yesterday, that foreseeing I should never dine again with Sir Simon Harcourt, Knight, and Robert Harley, Esq., I was resolved to do it to-day. The jest is, that before Saturday next we expect they will be lords; for Mr. Harley's patent is drawing, to be Earl of Oxford. Mr. Secretary and I came away at seven, and he brought me to our town's end in his coach; so I lost my walk. St. John read my letter to the company, which was all raillery, and passed purely.
13. It rained all last night and this morning as heavy as lead; but I just got fair weather to walk to town before church. The roads are all over in deep puddle. The hay of our town is almost fit to be mowed. I went to Court after church (as I always do on Sundays, and then dined with Mr. Secretary, who has engaged me for every Sunday; and poor MD dined at home upon a bit of veal and a pint of wine. Is it not plaguy insipid to tell you every day where I dine? yet now I have got into the way of it, I cannot forbear it neither. Indeed, Mr. Presto, you had better go answer MD's letter, N.14. I will answer it when I please, Mr. Doctor. What is that you say? The Court was very full this morning, expecting Mr. Harley would be declared Earl of Oxford and have the Treasurer's staff. Mr. Harley never comes to Court at all; somebody there asked me the reason. "Why," said I, "the Lord of Oxford knows." He always goes to the Queen by the back stairs. I was told for certain, you jackanapes, Lord Santry was dead, Captain Cammock assured me so; and now he's alive again, they say; but that shan't do: he shall be dead to me as long as he lives. Dick Tighe and I meet, and never stir our hats. I am resolved to mistake him for Witherington, the little nasty lawyer that came up to me so sternly at the Castle the day I left Ireland. I'll ask the gentleman I saw walking with him how long Witherington has been in town.
14. I went to town to-day by water. The hail quite discouraged me from walking, and there is no shade in the greatest part of the way. I took the first boat, and had a footman my companion; then I went again by water, and dined in the City with a printer, to whom I carried a pamphlet in manuscript, that Mr. Secretary gave me. The printer sent it to the Secretary for his approbation, and he desired me to look it over, which I did, and found it a very scurvy piece. The reason I tell you so, is because it was done by your parson Slap, Scrap, Flap (what d'ye call him), Trapp, your Chancellor's chaplain. 'Tis called A Character of the Present Set of Whigs, and is going to be printed, and no doubt the author will take care to produce it in Ireland. Dr. Freind was with me, and pulled out a twopenny pamphlet just published, called The State of Wit, giving a character of all the papers that have come out of late. The author seems to be a Whig, yet he speaks very highly of a paper called the Examiner, and says the supposed author of it is Dr. Swift. But above all things he praises the Tatlers and Spectators; and I believe Steele and Addison were privy to the printing of it. Thus is one treated by these impudent dogs. And that villain Curll has scraped up some trash, and calls it Dr. Swift's Miscellanies, with the name at large: and I can get no satisfaction of him. Nay, Mr. Harley told me he had read it, and only laughed at me before Lord Keeper and the rest. Since I came home, I have been sitting with the Prolocutor, Dean Atterbury, who is my neighbour over the way, but generally keeps in town with his Convocation. 'Tis late, etc.
15. My walk to town to-day was after ten, and prodigiously hot. I dined with Lord Shelburne, and have desired Mrs. Pratt, who lodges there, to carry over Mrs. Walls's tea; I hope she will do it, and they talk of going in a fortnight. My way is this: I leave my best gown and periwig at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, then walk up the Pall Mall, through the Park, out at Buckingham House, and so to Chelsea a little beyond the church: I set out about sunset, and get here in something less than an hour; it is two good miles, and just five thousand seven hundred and forty-eight steps; so there is four miles a day walking, without reckoning what I walk while I stay in town. When I pass the Mall in the evening, it is prodigious to see the number of ladies walking there; and I always cry shame at the ladies of Ireland, who never walk at all, as if their legs were of no use, but to be laid aside. I have been now almost three weeks here, and I thank God, am much better in my head, if it does but continue. I tell you what, if I was with you, when we went to Stoyte at Donnybrook, we would only take a coach to the hither end of Stephen's Green, and from thence go every step on foot, yes, faith, every step; it would do DD good as well as Presto. Everybody tells me I look better already; for, faith, I looked sadly, that is certain. My breakfast is milk porridge: I do not love it; faith, I hate it, but it is cheap and wholesome; and I hate to be obliged to either of those qualities for anything.
16. I wonder why Presto will be so tedious in answering MD's letters; because he would keep the best to the last, I suppose. Well, Presto must be humoured, it must be as he will have it, or there will be an old to do. Dead with heat; are not you very hot? My walks make my forehead sweat rarely; sometimes my morning journey is by water, as it was to-day with one Parson Richardson, who came to see me, on his going to Ireland; and with him I send Mrs. Walls's tea, and three books I got from the Lords of the Treasury for the College. I dined with Lord Shelburne to-day; Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt are going likewise for Ireland.--Lord! I forgot, I dined with Mr. Prior to-day, at his house, with Dean Atterbury and others; and came home pretty late, and I think I'm in a fuzz, and don't know what I say, never saw the like.
17. Sterne came here by water to see me this morning, and I went back with him to his boat. He tells me that Mrs. Edgworth married a fellow in her journey to Chester; so I believe she little thought of anybody's box but her own. I desired Sterne to give me directions where to get the box in Chester, which he says he will to-morrow; and I will write to Richardson to get it up there as he goes by, and whip it over. It is directed to Mrs. Curry: you must caution her of it, and desire her to send it you when it comes. Sterne says Jemmy Leigh loves London mightily; that makes him stay so long, I believe, and not Sterne's business, which Mr. Harley's accident has put much backward. We expect now every day that he will be Earl of Oxford and Lord Treasurer. His patent is passing; but, they say, Lord Keeper's not yet; at least his son, young Harcourt, told me so t'other day. I dined to-day privately with my friend Lewis at his lodgings at Whitehall. T'other day at Whitehall I met a lady of my acquaintance, whom I had not seen before since I came to England; we were mighty glad to see each other, and she has engaged me to visit her, as I design to do. It is one Mrs. Colledge: she has lodgings at Whitehall, having been seamstress to King William, worth three hundred a year. Her father was a fanatic joiner, hanged for treason in Shaftesbury's plot. This noble person and I were brought acquainted, some years ago, by Lady Berkeley. I love good creditable acquaintance: I love to be the worst of the company: I am not of those that say, "For want of company, welcome trumpery." I was this evening with Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt at Vauxhall, to hear the nightingales; but they are almost past singing.
18. I was hunting the Secretary to-day in vain about some business, and dined with Colonel Crowe, late Governor of Barbados, and your friend Sterne was the third: he is very kind to Sterne, and helps him in his business, which lies asleep till Mr. Harley is Lord Treasurer, because nothing of moment is now done in the Treasury, the change being expected every day. I sat with Dean Atterbury till one o'clock after I came home; so 'tis late, etc.
19. Do you know that about our town we are mowing already and making hay, and it smells so sweet as we walk through the flowery meads; but the hay-making nymphs are perfect drabs, nothing so clean and pretty as farther in the country. There is a mighty increase of dirty wenches in straw hats since I knew London. I stayed at home till five o'clock, and dined with Dean Atterbury; then went by water to Mr. Harley's, where the Saturday Club was met, with the addition of the Duke of Shrewsbury. I whispered Lord Rivers that I did not like to see a stranger among us; and the rogue told it aloud: but Mr. Secretary said the Duke writ to have leave; so I appeared satisfied, and so we laughed. Mr. Secretary told me the Duke of Buckingham had been talking to him much about me, and desired my acquaintance. I answered it could not be, for he had not made sufficient advances. Then the Duke of Shrewsbury said he thought that Duke was not used to make advances. I said I could not help that; for I always expected advances in proportion to men's quality, and more from a duke than any other man. The Duke replied that he did not mean anything of his quality; which was handsomely said enough; for he meant his pride: and I have invented a notion to believe that nobody is proud. At ten all the company went away; and from ten to twelve Mr. Harley and I sat together, where we talked through a great deal of matters I had a mind to settle with him; and then walked in a fine moonshine night to Chelsea, where I got by one. Lord Rivers conjured me not to walk so late; but I would, because I had no other way; but I had no money to lose.
20. By what the Lord Keeper told me last night, I find he will not be made a peer so soon; but Mr. Harley's patent for Earl of Oxford is now drawing, and will be done in three days. We made him own it, which he did scurvily, and then talked of it like the rest. Mr. Secretary had too much company with him to-day; so I came away soon after dinner. I give no man liberty to swear or talk b---dy, and I found some of them were in constraint, so I left them to themselves. I wish you a merry Whitsuntide, and pray tell me how you pass away your time; but, faith, you are going to Wexford, and I fear this letter is too late; it shall go on Thursday, and sooner it cannot, I have so much business to hinder me answering yours. Where must I direct in your absence? Do you quit your lodgings?
21. Going to town this morning, I met in the Pall Mall a clergyman of Ireland, whom I love very well and was glad to see, and with him a little jackanapes, of Ireland too, who married Nanny Swift, Uncle Adam's daughter, one Perry; perhaps you may have heard of him. His wife has sent him here, to get a place from Lowndes; because my uncle and Lowndes married two sisters, and Lowndes is a great man here in the Treasury; but by good luck I have no acquaintance with him: however, he expected I should be his friend to Lowndes, and one word of mine, etc., the old cant. But I will not go two yards to help him. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, where I keep my best gown and periwig, to put on when I come to town and be a spark.
22. I dined to-day in the City, and coming home this evening, I met Sir Thomas Mansel and Mr. Lewis in the Park. Lewis whispered me that Mr. Harley's patent for the Earl of Oxford was passed in Mr. Secretary St. John's office; so to-morrow or next day, I suppose, he will be declared Earl of Oxford, and have the staff. This man has grown by persecutions, turnings out, and stabbing. What waiting, and crowding, and bowing will be at his levee! yet, if human nature be capable of so much constancy, I should believe he will be the same man still, bating the necessary forms of grandeur he must keep up. 'Tis late, sirrahs, and I'll go sleep.
23. Morning. I sat up late last night, and waked late to-day; but will now answer your letter in bed before I go to town, and I will send it to-morrow; for perhaps you mayn't go so soon to Wexford.--No, you are not out in your number; the last was Number 14, and so I told you twice or thrice; will you never be satisfied? What shall we do for poor Stella? Go to Wexford, for God's sake: I wish you were to walk there by three miles a day, with a good lodging at every mile's end. Walking has done me so much good, that I cannot but prescribe it often to poor Stella. Parvisol has sent me a bill for fifty pounds, which I am sorry for, having not written to him for it, only mentioned it two months ago; but I hope he will be able to pay you what I have drawn upon him for: he never sent me any sum before, but one bill of twenty pounds half a year ago. You are welcome as my blood to every farthing I have in the world; and all that grieves me is, I am not richer, for MD's sake, as hope saved. I suppose you give up your lodgings when you go to Wexford; yet that will be inconvenient too: yet I wish again you were under a necessity of rambling the country until Michaelmas, faith. No, let them keep the shelves, with a pox; yet they are exacting people about those four weeks; or Mrs. Brent may have the shelves, if she please. I am obliged to your Dean for his kind offer of lending me money. Will that be enough to say? A hundred people would lend me money, or to any man who has not the reputation of a squanderer. O, faith, I should be glad to be in the same kingdom with MD, however, although you are at Wexford. But I am kept here by a most capricious fate, which I would break through, if I could do it with decency or honour.--To return without some mark of distinction would look extremely little; and I would likewise gladly be somewhat richer than I am. I will say no more, but beg you to be easy till Fortune take her course, and to believe that MD's felicity is the great end I aim at in all my pursuits. And so let us talk no more on this subject, which makes me melancholy, and that I would fain divert. Believe me, no man breathing at present has less share of happiness in life than I: I do not say I am unhappy at all, but that everything here is tasteless to me for want of being as I would be. And so, a short sigh, and no more of this. Well, come and let's see what's next, young women. Pox take Mrs. Edgworth and Sterne! I will take some methods about that box. What orders would you have me give about the picture? Can't you do with it as if it were your own? No, I hope Manley will keep his place; for I hear nothing of Sir Thomas Frankland's losing his. Send nothing under cover to Mr. Addison, but "To Erasmus Lewis, Esq.; at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall." Direct your outside so.--Poor dear Stella, don't write in the dark, nor in the light neither, but dictate to Dingley; she is a naughty, healthy girl, and may drudge for both. Are you good company together? and don't you quarrel too often? Pray love one another, and kiss one another just now, as Dingley is reading this; for you quarrelled this morning just after Mrs. Marget had poured water on Stella's head: I heard the little bird say so. Well, I have answered everything in your letter that required it, and yet the second side is not full. I'll come home at night, and say more; and to-morrow this goes for certain. Go, get you gone to your own chambers, and let Presto rise like a modest gentleman, and walk to town. I fancy I begin to sweat less in the forehead by constant walking than I used to do; but then I shall be so sunburnt, the ladies will not like me. Come, let me rise, sirrahs. Morrow.--At night. I dined with Ford to-day at his lodgings, and I found wine out of my own cellar, some of my own chest of the great Duke's wine: it begins to turn. They say wine with you in Ireland is half a crown a bottle. 'Tis as Stella says; nothing that once grows dear in Ireland ever grows cheap again, except corn, with a pox, to ruin the parson. I had a letter to-day from the Archbishop of Dublin, giving me further thanks about vindicating him to Mr. Harley and Mr. St. John, and telling me a long story about your Mayor's election, wherein I find he has had a finger, and given way to further talk about him; but we know nothing of it here yet. This walking to and fro, and dressing myself, takes up so much of my time that I cannot go among company so much as formerly; yet what must a body do? I thank God I yet continue much better since I left the town; I know not how long it may last. I am sure it has done me some good for the present. I do not totter as I did, but walk firm as a cock, only once or twice for a minute, I do not know how; but it went off, and I never followed it. Does Dingley read my hand as well as ever? do you, sirrah? Poor Stella must not read Presto's ugly small hand.
Preserve your eyes,
If you be wise.
Your friend Walls's tea will go in a day or two towards Chester by one Parson Richardson. My humble service to her, and to good Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine; and pray walk while you continue in Dublin. I expect your next but one will be from Wexford. God bless dearest MD.
24. Morning. Mr. Secretary has sent his groom hither, to invite me to dinner to-day, etc. God Almighty for ever bless and preserve you both, and give you health, etc. Amen. Farewell, etc.
Do not I often say the same thing two or three times in the same letter, sirrah?
Great wits, they say, have but short memories; that's good vile conversation.
CHELSEA, May 24, 1711.
Morning. Once in my life the number of my letters and of the day of the month is the same; that's lucky, boys; that's a sign that things will meet, and that we shall make a figure together. What, will you still have the impudence to say London, England, because I say Dublin, Ireland? Is there no difference between London and Dublin, saucyboxes? I have sealed up my letter, and am going to town. Morrow, sirrahs.--At night. I dined with the Secretary to- day; we sat down between five and six. Mr. Harley's patent passed this morning: he is now Earl of Oxford, Earl Mortimer, and Lord Harley of Wigmore Castle. My letter was sealed, or I would have told you this yesterday; but the public news may tell it you. The Queen, for all her favour, has kept a rod for him in her closet this week; I suppose he will take it from her, though, in a day or two. At eight o'clock this evening it rained prodigiously, as it did from five; however, I set out, and in half-way the rain lessened, and I got home, but tolerably wet; and this is the first wet walk I have had in a month's time that I am here but, however, I got to bed, after a short visit to Atterbury.
25. It rained this morning, and I went to town by water; and Ford and I dined with Mr. Lewis by appointment. I ordered Patrick to bring my gown and periwig to Mr. Lewis, because I designed to go to see Lord Oxford, and so I told the dog; but he never came, though I stayed an hour longer than I appointed; so I went in my old gown, and sat with him two hours, but could not talk over some business I had with him; so he has desired me to dine with him on Sunday, and I must disappoint the Secretary. My lord set me down at a coffee-house, where I waited for the Dean of Carlisle's chariot to bring me to Chelsea; for it has rained prodigiously all this afternoon. The Dean did not come himself, but sent me his chariot, which has cost me two shillings to the coachman; and so I am got home, and Lord knows what is become of Patrick. I think I must send him over to you; for he is an intolerable rascal. If I had come without a gown, he would have served me so, though my life and preferment should have lain upon it: and I am making a livery for him will cost me four pounds; but I will order the tailor to-morrow to stop till further orders. My Lord Oxford can't yet abide to be called "my lord"; and when I called him "my lord," he called me "Dr. Thomas Swift," which he always does when he has a mind to tease me. By a second hand, he proposed my being his chaplain, which I by a second hand excused; but we had no talk of it to-day: but I will be no man's chaplain alive. But I must go and be busy.
26. I never saw Patrick till this morning, and that only once, for I dressed myself without him; and when I went to town he was out of the way. I immediately sent for the tailor, and ordered him to stop his hand in Patrick's clothes till further orders. Oh, if it were in Ireland, I should have turned him off ten times ago; and it is no regard to him, but myself, that has made me keep him so long. Now I am afraid to give the rogue his clothes. What shall I do? I wish MD were here to entreat for him, just here at the bed's side. Lady Ashburnham has been engaging me this long time to dine with her, and I set to-day apart for it; and whatever was the mistake, she sent me word she was at dinner and undressed, but would be glad to see me in the afternoon: so I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and would not go to see her at all, in a huff. My fine Florence is turning sour with a vengeance, and I have not drunk half of it. As I was coming home to-night, Sir Thomas Mansel and Tom Harley met me in the Park, and made me walk with them till nine, like unreasonable whelps; so I got not here till ten: but it was a fine evening, and the foot-path clean enough already after this hard rain.
27. Going this morning to town, I saw two old lame fellows, walking to a brandy-shop, and when they got to the door, stood a long time complimenting who should go in first. Though this be no jest to tell, it was an admirable one to see. I dined to-day with my Lord Oxford and the ladies, the new Countess, and Lady Betty, who has been these three days a lady born. My lord left us at seven, and I had no time to speak to him about some affairs; but he promises in a day or two we shall dine alone; which is mighty likely, considering we expect every moment that the Queen will give him the staff, and then he will be so crowded he will be good for nothing: for aught I know he may have it to-night at Council.
28. I had a petition sent me t'other day from one Stephen Gernon, setting forth that he formerly lived with Harry Tenison, who gave him an employment of gauger, and that he was turned out after Harry's death, and came for England, and is now starving, or, as he expresses it, THAT THE STAFF OF LIFE HAS BEEN OF LATE A STRANGER TO HIS APPETITE. Today the poor fellow called, and I knew him very well, a young slender fellow with freckles in his face: you must remember him; he waited at table as a better sort of servant. I gave him a crown, and promised to do what I could to help him to a service, which I did for Harry Tenison's memory. It was bloody hot walking to-day, and I was so lazy I dined where my new gown was, at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and came back like a fool, and the Dean of Carlisle has sat with me till eleven. Lord Oxford has not the staff yet.
29. I was this morning in town by ten, though it was shaving-day, and went to the Secretary about some affairs, then visited the Duke and Duchess of Ormond; but the latter was dressing to go out, and I could not see her. My Lord Oxford had the staff given him this morning; so now I must call him Lord Oxford no more, but Lord Treasurer: I hope he will stick there: this is twice he has changed his name this week; and I heard to-day in the City (where I dined) that he will very soon have the Garter.--Pr'ythee, do not you observe how strangely I have changed my company and manner of living? I never go to a coffee-house; you hear no more of Addison, Steele, Henley, Lady Lucy, Mrs. Finch, Lord Somers, Lord Halifax, etc. I think I have altered for the better. Did I tell you the Archbishop of Dublin has writ me a long letter of a squabble in your town about choosing a Mayor, and that he apprehended some censure for the share he had in it? I have not heard anything of it here; but I shall not be always able to defend him. We hear your Bishop Hickman is dead; but nobody here will do anything for me in Ireland; so they may die as fast or slow as they please.--Well, you are constant to your deans, and your Stoyte, and your Walls. Walls will have her tea soon; Parson Richardson is either going or gone to Ireland, and has it with him. I hear Mr. Lewis has two letters for me: I could not call for them to-day, but will to-morrow; and perhaps one of them may be from our little MD, who knows, man? who can tell? Many a more unlikely thing has happened.--Pshaw, I write so plaguy little, I can hardly see it myself. WRITE BIGGER, SIRRAH Presto. No, but I won't. Oh, you are a saucy rogue, Mr. Presto, you are so impudent. Come, dear rogues, let Presto go to sleep; I have been with the Dean, and 'tis near twelve.
30. I am so hot and lazy after my morning's walk, that I loitered at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, where my best gown and periwig are, and out of mere listlessness dine there very often; so I did to-day; but I got little MD's letter, N.15 (you see, sirrahs, I remember to tell the number), from Mr. Lewis, and I read it in a closet they lend me at Mrs. Van's; and I find Stella is a saucy rogue and a great writer, and can write finely still when her hand is in, and her pen good. When I came here to-night, I had a mighty mind to go swim after I was cool, for my lodging is just by the river; and I went down with only my nightgown and slippers on at eleven, but came up again; however, one of these nights I will venture.
31. I was so hot this morning with my walk, that I resolve to do so no more during this violent burning weather. It is comical that now we happen to have such heat to ripen the fruit there has been the greatest blast that was ever known, and almost all the fruit is despaired of. I dined with Lord Shelburne: Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt are going to Ireland. I went this evening to Lord Treasurer, and sat about two hours with him in mixed company; he left us, and went to Court, and carried two staves with him, so I suppose we shall have a new Lord Steward or Comptroller to-morrow; I smoked that State secret out by that accident. I will not answer your letter yet, sirrahs; no I won't, madam.
June 1. I wish you a merry month of June. I dined again with the Vans and Sir Andrew Fountaine. I always give them a flask of my Florence, which now begins to spoil, but it is near an end. I went this afternoon to Mrs. Vedeau's, and brought away Madam Dingley's parchment and letter of attorney. Mrs. Vedeau tells me she has sent the bill a fortnight ago. I will give the parchment to Ben Tooke, and you shall send him a letter of attorney at your leisure, enclosed to Mr. Presto. Yes, I now think your mackerel is full as good as ours, which I did not think formerly. I was bit about two staves, for there is no new officer made to-day. This letter will find you still in Dublin, I suppose, or at Donnybrook, or losing your money at Walls' (how does she do?).
2. I missed this day by a blunder and dining in the City.
3. No boats on Sunday, never: so I was forced to walk, and so hot by the time I got to Ford's lodging that I was quite spent; I think the weather is mad. I could not go to church. I dined with the Secretary as usual, and old Colonel Graham that lived at Bagshot Heath, and they said it was Colonel Graham's house. Pshaw, I remember it very well, when I used to go for a walk to London from Moor Park. What, I warrant you do not remember the Golden Farmer neither, figgarkick soley?
4. When must we answer this letter, this N.15 of our little MD? Heat and laziness, and Sir Andrew Fountaine, made me dine to-day again at Mrs. Van's; and, in short, this weather is unsupportable: how is it with you? Lady Betty Butler and Lady Ashburnham sat with me two or three hours this evening in my closet at Mrs. Van's. They are very good girls; and if Lady Betty went to Ireland, you should let her be acquainted with you. How does Dingley do this hot weather? Stella, I think, never complains of it; she loves hot weather. There has not been a drop of rain since Friday se'ennight. Yes, you do love hot weather, naughty Stella, you do so; and Presto can't abide it. Be a good girl then, and I will love you; and love one another, and don't be quarrelling girls.
5. I dined in the City to-day, and went from hence early to town, and visited the Duke of Ormond and Mr. Secretary. They say my Lord Treasurer has a dead warrant in his pocket; they mean a list of those who are to be turned out of employment; and we every day now expect those changes. I passed by the Treasury to-day, and saw vast crowds waiting to give Lord Treasurer petitions as he passes by. He is now at the top of power and favour: he keeps no levees yet. I am cruel thirsty this hot weather.--I am just this minute going to swim. I take Patrick down with me, to hold my nightgown, shirt, and slippers, and borrow a napkin of my landlady for a cap. So farewell till I come up; but there is no danger, don't be frighted.--I have been swimming this half-hour and more; and when I was coming out I dived, to make my head and all through wet, like a cold bath; but, as I dived, the napkin fell off and is lost, and I have that to pay for. O, faith, the great stones were so sharp, I could hardly set my feet on them as I came out. It was pure and warm. I got to bed, and will now go sleep.
6. Morning. This letter shall go to-morrow; so I will answer yours when I come home to-night. I feel no hurt from last night's swimming. I lie with nothing but the sheet over me, and my feet quite bare. I must rise and go to town before the tide is against me. Morrow, sirrahs; dear sirrahs, morrow.-- At night. I never felt so hot a day as this since I was born. I dined with Lady Betty Germaine, and there was the young Earl of Berkeley and his fine lady. I never saw her before, nor think her near so handsome as she passes for.--After dinner, Mr. Bertue would not let me put ice in my wine, but said my Lord Dorchester got the bloody flux with it, and that it was the worst thing in the world. Thus are we plagued, thus are we plagued; yet I have done it five or six times this summer, and was but the drier and the hotter for it. Nothing makes me so excessively peevish as hot weather. Lady Berkeley after dinner clapped my hat on another lady's head, and she in roguery put it upon the rails. I minded them not; but in two minutes they called me to the window, and Lady Carteret showed me my hat out of her window five doors off, where I was forced to walk to it, and pay her and old Lady Weymouth a visit, with some more beldames. Then I went and drank coffee, and made one or two puns, with Lord Pembroke, and designed to go to Lord Treasurer; but it was too late, and beside I was half broiled, and broiled without butter; for I never sweat after dinner, if I drink any wine. Then I sat an hour with Lady Betty Butler at tea, and everything made me hotter and drier. Then I walked home, and was here by ten, so miserably hot, that I was in as perfect a passion as ever I was in my life at the greatest affront or provocation. Then I sat an hour, till I was quite dry and cool enough to go swim; which I did, but with so much vexation that I think I have given it over: for I was every moment disturbed by boats, rot them; and that puppy Patrick, standing ashore, would let them come within a yard or two, and then call sneakingly to them. The only comfort I proposed here in hot weather is gone; for there is no jesting with those boats after it is dark: I had none last night. I dived to dip my head, and held my cap on with both my hands, for fear of losing it. Pox take the boats! Amen. 'Tis near twelve, and so I'll answer your letter (it strikes twelve now) to-morrow morning.
7. Morning. Well, now let us answer MD's letter, N.15, 15, 15, 15. Now have I told you the number? 15, 15; there, impudence, to call names in the beginning of your letter, before you say, How do you do, Mr. Presto? There is your breeding! Where is your manners, sirrah, to a gentleman? Get you gone, you couple of jades.--No, I never sit up late now; but this abominable hot weather will force me to eat or drink something that will do me hurt. I do venture to eat a few strawberries.--Why then, do you know in Ireland that Mr. St. John talked so in Parliament? Your Whigs are plaguily bit; for he is entirely for their being all out.--And are you as vicious in snuff as ever? I believe, as you say, it does neither hurt nor good; but I have left it off, and when anybody offers me their box, I take about a tenth part of what I used to do, and then just smell to it, and privately fling the rest away. I keep to my tobacco still, as you say; but even much less of that than formerly, only mornings and evenings, and very seldom in the day.--As for Joe, I have recommended his case heartily to my Lord Lieutenant; and, by his direction, given a memorial of it to Mr. Southwell, to whom I have recommended it likewise. I can do no more, if he were my brother. His business will be to apply himself to Southwell. And you must desire Raymond, if Price of Galway comes to town, to desire him to wait on Mr. Southwell, as recommended by me for one of the Duke's chaplains, which was all I could do for him; and he must be presented to the Duke, and make his court, and ply about, and find out some vacancy, and solicit early for it. The bustle about your Mayor I had before, as I told you, from the Archbishop of Dublin. Was Raymond not come till May 18? So he says fine things of me? Certainly he lies. I am sure I used him indifferently enough; and we never once dined together, or walked, or were in any third place; only he came sometimes to my lodgings, and even there was oftener denied than admitted.--What an odd bill is that you sent of Raymond's! A bill upon one Murry in Chester, which depends entirely not only upon Raymond's honesty, but his discretion; and in money matters he is the last man I would depend on. Why should Sir Alexander Cairnes in London pay me a bill, drawn by God knows who, upon Murry in Chester? I was at Cairnes's, and they can do no such thing. I went among some friends, who are merchants, and I find the bill must be sent to Murry, accepted by him, and then returned back, and then Cairnes may accept or refuse it as he pleases. Accordingly I gave Sir Thomas Frankland the bill, who has sent it to Chester, and ordered the postmaster there to get it accepted, and then send it back, and in a day or two I shall have an answer; and therefore this letter must stay a day or two longer than I intended, and see what answer I get. Raymond should have written to Murry at the same time, to desire Sir Alexander Cairnes to have answered such a bill, if it come. But Cairnes's clerks (himself was not at home) said they had received no notice of it, and could do nothing; and advised me to send to Murry.--I have been six weeks to-day at Chelsea, and you know it but just now. And so Dean ------ thinks I write the Medley. Pox of his judgment! It is equal to his honesty. Then you han't seen the Miscellany yet? Why, 'tis a four-shilling book: has nobody carried it over?--No, I believe Manley will not lose his place; for his friend in England is so far from being out that he has taken a new patent since the Post Office Act; and his brother Jack Manley here takes his part firmly; and I have often spoken to Southwell in his behalf, and he seems very well inclined to him. But the Irish folks here in general are horribly violent against him. Besides, he must consider he could not send Stella wine if he were put out. And so he is very kind, and sends you a dozen bottles of wine AT A TIME, and you win eight shillings AT A TIME; and how much do you lose? No, no, never one syllable about that, I warrant you.--Why, this same Stella is so unmerciful a writer, she has hardly left any room for Dingley. If you have such summer there as here, sure the Wexford waters are good by this time. I forgot what weather we had May 6th; go look in my journal. We had terrible rain the 24th and 25th, and never a drop since. Yes, yes, I remember Berested's bridge; the coach sosses up and down as one goes that way, just as at Hockley-in-the-Hole. I never impute any illness or health I have to good or ill weather, but to want of exercise, or ill air, or something I have eaten, or hard study, or sitting up; and so I fence against those as well as I can: but who a deuce can help the weather? Will Seymour, the General, was excessively hot with the sun shining full upon him; so he turns to the sun, and says, "Harkee, friend, you had better go and ripen cucumbers than plague me at this rate," etc. Another time, fretting at the heat, a gentleman by said it was such weather as pleased God: Seymour said, "Perhaps it may; but I am sure it pleases nobody else." Why, Madam Dingley, the First-Fruits are done. Southwell told me they went to inquire about them, and Lord Treasurer said they were done, and had been done long ago. And I'll tell you a secret you must not mention, that the Duke of Ormond is ordered to take notice of them in his speech in your Parliament: and I desire you will take care to say on occasion that my Lord Treasurer Harley did it many months ago, before the Duke was Lord Lieutenant. And yet I cannot possibly come over yet: so get you gone to Wexford, and make Stella well. Yes, yes, I take care not to walk late; I never did but once, and there are five hundred people on the way as I walk. Tisdall is a puppy, and I will excuse him the half-hour he would talk with me. As for the Examiner, I have heard a whisper that after that of this day, which tells us what this Parliament has done, you will hardly find them so good. I prophesy they will be trash for the future; and methinks in this day's Examiner the author talks doubtfully, as if he would write no more. Observe whether the change be discovered in Dublin, only for your own curiosity, that's all. Make a mouth there. Mrs. Vedeau's business I have answered, and I hope the bill is not lost. Morrow. 'Tis stewing hot, but I must rise and go to town between fire and water. Morrow, sirrahs both, morrow.--At night. I dined to-day with Colonel Crowe, Governor of Jamaica, and your friend Sterne. I presented Sterne to my Lord Treasurer's brother, and gave him his case, and engaged him in his favour. At dinner there fell the swingingest long shower, and the most grateful to me, that ever I saw: it thundered fifty times at least, and the air is so cool that a body is able to live; and I walked home to-night with comfort, and without dirt. I went this evening to Lord Treasurer, and sat with him two hours, and we were in very good humour, and he abused me, and called me Dr. Thomas Swift fifty times: I have told you he does that when he has mind to make me mad. Sir Thomas Frankland gave me to-day a letter from Murry, accepting my bill; so all is well: only, by a letter from Parvisol, I find there are some perplexities.--Joe has likewise written to me, to thank me for what I have done for him; and desires I would write to the Bishop of Clogher, that Tom Ashe may not hinder his father from being portreve. I have written and sent to Joe several times, that I will not trouble myself at all about Trim. I wish them their liberty, but they do not deserve it: so tell Joe, and send to him. I am mighty happy with this rain: I was at the end of my patience, but now I live again. This cannot go till Saturday; and perhaps I may go out of town with Lord Shelburne and Lady Kerry to-morrow for two or three days. Lady Kerry has written to desire it; but tomorrow I shall know farther.--O this dear rain, I cannot forbear praising it: I never felt myself to be revived so in my life. It lasted from three till five, hard as a horn, and mixed with hail.
8. Morning. I am going to town, and will just finish this there, if I go into the country with Lady Kerry and Lord Shelburne: so morrow, till an hour or two hence.--In town. I met Cairnes, who, I suppose, will pay me the money; though he says I must send him the bill first, and I will get it done in absence. Farewell, etc. etc.
CHELSEA, June 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
I have been all this time at Wycombe, between Oxford and London, with Lord Shelburne, who has the squire's house at the town's end, and an estate there in a delicious country. Lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt were with us, and we passed our time well enough; and there I wholly disengaged myself from all public thoughts, and everything but MD, who had the impudence to send me a letter there; but I'll be revenged: I will answer it. This day, the 20th, I came from Wycombe with Lady Kerry after dinner, lighted at Hyde Park Corner, and walked: it was twenty-seven miles, and we came it in about five hours.
21. I went at noon to see Mr. Secretary at his office, and there was Lord Treasurer: so I killed two birds, etc., and we were glad to see one another, and so forth. And the Secretary and I dined at Sir William Wyndham's, who married Lady Catharine Seymour, your acquaintance, I suppose. There were ten of us at dinner. It seems, in my absence, they had erected a Club, and made me one; and we made some laws to-day, which I am to digest and add to, against next meeting. Our meetings are to be every Thursday. We are yet but twelve: Lord Keeper and Lord Treasurer were proposed; but I was against them, and so was Mr. Secretary, though their sons are of it, and so they are excluded; but we design to admit the Duke of Shrewsbury. The end of our Club is, to advance conversation and friendship, and to reward deserving persons with our interest and recommendation. We take in none but men of wit or men of interest; and if we go on as we begin, no other Club in this town will be worth talking of. The Solicitor-General, Sir Robert Raymond, is one of our Club; and I ordered him immediately to write to your Lord Chancellor in favour of Dr. Raymond: so tell Raymond, if you see him; but I believe this will find you at Wexford. This letter will come three weeks after the last, so there is a week lost; but that is owing to my being out of town; yet I think it is right, because it goes enclosed to Mr. Reading: and why should he know how often Presto writes to MD, pray?--I sat this evening with Lady Betty Butler and Lady Ashburnham, and then came home by eleven, and had a good cool walk; for we have had no extreme hot weather this fortnight, but a great deal of rain at times, and a body can live and breathe. I hope it will hold so. We had peaches to-day.
22. I went late to-day to town, and dined with my friend Lewis. I saw Will Congreve attending at the Treasury, by order, with his brethren, the Commissioners of the Wine Licences. I had often mentioned him with kindness to Lord Treasurer; and Congreve told me that, after they had answered to what they were sent for, my lord called him privately, and spoke to him with great kindness, promising his protection, etc. The poor man said he had been used so ill of late years that he was quite astonished at my lord's goodness, etc., and desired me to tell my lord so; which I did this evening, and recommended him heartily. My lord assured me he esteemed him very much, and would be always kind to him; that what he said was to make Congreve easy, because he knew people talked as if his lordship designed to turn everybody out, and particularly Congreve: which indeed was true, for the poor man told me he apprehended it. As I left my Lord Treasurer, I called on Congreve (knowing where he dined), and told him what had passed between my lord and me; so I have made a worthy man easy, and that is a good day's work. I am proposing to my lord to erect a society or academy for correcting and settling our language, that we may not perpetually be changing as we do. He enters mightily into it, so does the Dean of Carlisle; and I design to write a letter to Lord Treasurer with the proposals of it, and publish it; and so I told my lord, and he approves it. Yesterday's was a sad Examiner, and last week was very indifferent, though some little scraps of the old spirit, as if he had given some hints; but yesterday's is all trash. It is plain the hand is changed.
23. I have not been in London to-day: for Dr. Gastrell and I dined, by invitation, with the Dean of Carlisle, my neighbour; so I know not what they are doing in the world, a mere country gentleman. And are not you ashamed both to go into the country just when I did, and stay ten days, just as I did, saucy monkeys? But I never rode; I had no horses, and our coach was out of order, and we went and came in a hired one. Do you keep your lodgings when you go to Wexford? I suppose you do; for you will hardly stay above two months. I have been walking about our town to-night, and it is a very scurvy place for walking. I am thinking to leave it, and return to town, now the Irish folks are gone. Ford goes in three days. How does Dingley divert herself while Stella is riding? work, or read, or walk? Does Dingley ever read to you? Had you ever a book with you in the country? Is all that left off? Confess. Well, I'll go sleep; 'tis past eleven, and I go early to sleep: I write nothing at night but to MD.
24. Stratford and I, and Pastoral Philips (just come from Denmark) dined at Ford's to-day, who paid his way, and goes for Ireland on Tuesday. The Earl of Peterborow is returned from Vienna without one servant: he left them scattered in several towns of Germany. I had a letter from him, four days ago, from Hanover, where he desires I would immediately send him an answer to his house at Parson's Green, about five miles off. I wondered what he meant, till I heard he was come. He sent expresses, and got here before them. He is above fifty, and as active as one of five-and-twenty. I have not seen him yet, nor know when I shall, or where to find him.
25. Poor Duke of Shrewsbury has been very ill of a fever: we were all in a fright about him: I thank God, he is better. I dined to-day at Lord Ashburnham's, with his lady, for he was not at home: she is a very good girl, and always a great favourite of mine. Sterne tells me he has desired a friend to receive your box in Chester, and carry it over. I fear he will miscarry in his business, which was sent to the Treasury before he was recommended; for I was positive only to second his recommendations, and all his other friends failed him. However, on your account I will do what I can for him to-morrow with the secretary of the Treasury.
26. We had much company to-day at dinner at Lord Treasurer's. Prior never fails: he is a much better courtier than I; and we expect every day that he will be a Commissioner of the Customs, and that in a short time a great many more will be turned out. They blame Lord Treasurer for his slowness in turning people out; but I suppose he has his reasons. They still keep my neighbour Atterbury in suspense about the deanery of Christ Church, which has been above six months vacant, and he is heartily angry. I reckon you are now preparing for your Wexford expedition; and poor Dingley is full of carking and caring, scolding. How long will you stay? Shall I be in Dublin before you return? Don't fall and hurt yourselves, nor overturn the coach. Love one another, and be good girls; and drink Presto's health in water, Madam Stella; and in good ale, Madam Dingley.
27. The Secretary appointed me to dine with him to-day, and we were to do a world of business: he came at four, and brought Prior with him, and had forgot the appointment, and no business was done. I left him at eight, and went to change my gown at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's; and there was Sir Andrew Fountaine at ombre with Lady Ashburnham and Lady Frederic Schomberg, and Lady Mary Schomberg, and Lady Betty Butler, and others, talking; and it put me in mind of the Dean and Stoyte, and Walls, and Stella at play, and Dingley and I looking on. I stayed with them till ten, like a fool. Lady Ashburnham is something like Stella; so I helped her, and wished her good cards. It is late, etc.
28. Well, but I must answer this letter of our MD's. Saturday approaches, and I han't written down this side. O, faith, Presto has been a sort of a lazy fellow: but Presto will remove to town this day se'ennight; the Secretary has commanded me to do so; and I believe he and I shall go for some days to Windsor, where he will have leisure to mind some business we have together. To-day, our Society (it must not be called a Club) dined at Mr. Secretary's: we were but eight; the rest sent excuses, or were out of town. We sat till eight, and made some laws and settlements; and then I went to take leave of Lady Ashburnham, who goes out of town to-morrow, as a great many of my acquaintance are already, and left the town very thin. I shall make but short journeys this summer, and not be long out of London. The days are grown sensibly short already, all our fruit blasted. Your Duke of Ormond is still at Chester; and perhaps this letter will be with you as soon as he. Sterne's business is quite blown up: they stand to it to send him back to the Commissioners of the Revenue in Ireland for a reference, and all my credit could not alter it, though I almost fell out with the secretary of the Treasury, who is my Lord Treasurer's cousin-germain, and my very good friend. It seems every step he has hitherto taken hath been wrong; at least they say so, and that is the same thing. I am heartily sorry for it; and I really think they are in the wrong, and use him hardly; but I can do no more.
29. Steele has had the assurance to write to me that I would engage my Lord Treasurer to keep a friend of his in an employment: I believe I told you how he and Addison served me for my good offices in Steele's behalf; and I promised Lord Treasurer never to speak for either of them again. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined to-day at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's. Dilly Ashe has been in town this fortnight: I saw him twice; he was four days at Lord Pembroke's in the country, punning with him; his face is very well. I was this evening two or three hours at Lord Treasurer's, who called me Dr. Thomas Swift twenty times; that's his way of teasing. I left him at nine, and got home here by ten, like a gentleman; and to-morrow morning I'll answer your little letter, sirrahs.
30. Morning. I am terribly sleepy always in a morning; I believe it is my walk over-night that disposes me to sleep: faith, 'tis now striking eight, and I am but just awake. Patrick comes early, and wakes me five or six times; but I have excuses, though I am three parts asleep. I tell him I sat up late, or slept ill in the night, and often it is a lie. I have now got little MD's letter before me, N.16, no more, nor no less, no mistake. Dingley says, "This letter won't be above six lines"; and I was afraid it was true, though I saw it filled on both sides. The Bishop of Clogher writ me word you were in the country, and that he heard you were well: I am glad at heart MD rides, and rides, and rides. Our hot weather ended in May, and all this month has been moderate: it was then so hot I was not able to endure it; I was miserable every moment, and found myself disposed to be peevish and quarrelsome: I believe a very hot country would make me stark mad.--Yes, my head continues pretty tolerable, and I impute it all to walking. Does Stella eat fruit? I eat a little; but I always repent, and resolve against it. No, in very hot weather I always go to town by water; but I constantly walk back, for then the sun is down. And so Mrs. Proby goes with you to Wexford: she's admirable company; you'll grow plaguy wise with those you frequent. Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Proby! take care of infection. I believe my two hundred pounds will be paid, but that Sir Alexander Cairnes is a scrupulous puppy: I left the bill with Mr. Stratford, who is to have the money. Now, Madam Stella, what say you? you ride every day; I know that already, sirrah; and, if you rid every day for a twelvemonth, you would be still better and better. No, I hope Parvisol will not have the impudence to make you stay an hour for the money; if he does, I'll UN-PARVISOL him; pray let me know. O Lord, how hasty we are! Stella can't stay writing and writing; she must write and go a cock-horse, pray now. Well, but the horses are not come to the door; the fellow can't find the bridle; your stirrup is broken; where did you put the whips, Dingley? Marget, where have you laid Mrs. Johnson's ribbon to tie about her? reach me my mask: sup up this before you go. So, so, a gallop, a gallop: sit fast, sirrah, and don't ride hard upon the stones.--Well, now Stella is gone, tell me, Dingley, is she a good girl? and what news is that you are to tell me?-- No, I believe the box is not lost: Sterne says it is not.--No, faith, you must go to Wexford without seeing your Duke of Ormond, unless you stay on purpose; perhaps you may be so wise.--I tell you this is your sixteenth letter; will you never be satisfied? No, no, I will walk late no more; I ought less to venture it than other people, and so I was told: but I will return to lodge in town next Thursday. When you come from Wexford, I would have you send a letter of attorney to Mr. Benjamin Tooke, bookseller, in London, directed to me; and he shall manage your affair. I have your parchment safely locked up in London.--O, Madam Stella, welcome home; was it pleasant riding? did your horse stumble? how often did the man light to settle your stirrup? ride nine miles! faith, you have galloped indeed. Well, but where is the fine thing you promised me? I have been a good boy, ask Dingley else. I believe you did not meet the fine-thing-man: faith, you are a cheat. So you will see Raymond and his wife in town. Faith, that riding to Laracor gives me short sighs, as well as you. All the days I have passed here have been dirt to those. I have been gaining enemies by the scores, and friends by the couples; which is against the rules of wisdom, because they say one enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good. But I have had my revenge at least, if I get nothing else. And so let Fate govern.--Now I think your letter is answered; and mine will be shorter than ordinary, because it must go to-day. We have had a great deal of scattering rain for some days past, yet it hardly keeps down the dust.--We have plays acted in our town; and Patrick was at one of them, oh oh. He was damnably mauled one day when he was drunk; he was at cuffs with a brother-footman, who dragged him along the floor upon his face, which looked for a week after as if he had the leprosy; and I was glad enough to see it. I have been ten times sending him over to you; yet now he has new clothes, and a laced hat, which the hatter brought by his orders, and he offered to pay for the lace out of his wages.--I am to dine to-day with Dilly at Sir Andrew Fountaine's, who has bought a new house, and will be weary of it in half a year. I must rise and shave, and walk to town, unless I go with the Dean in his chariot at twelve, which is too late: and I have not seen that Lord Peterborow yet. The Duke of Shrewsbury is almost well again, and will be abroad in a day or two: what care you? There it is now: you do not care for my friends. Farewell, my dearest lives and delights; I love you better than ever, if possible, as hope saved, I do, and ever will. God Almighty bless you ever, and make us happy together! I pray for this twice every day; and I hope God will hear my poor hearty prayers.--Remember, if I am used ill and ungratefully, as I have formerly been, 'tis what I am prepared for, and shall not wonder at it. Yet I am now envied, and thought in high favour, and have every day numbers of considerable men teasing me to solicit for them. And the Ministry all use me perfectly well; and all that know them say they love me. Yet I can count upon nothing, nor will, but upon MD's love and kindness.--They think me useful; they pretended they were afraid of none but me, and that they resolved to have me; they have often confessed this: yet all makes little impression on me.--Pox of these speculations! they give me the spleen; and that is a disease I was not born to. Let me alone, sirrahs, and be satisfied: I am, as long as MD and Presto are well.
that is all we want; and so farewell, dearest MD; Stella, Dingley, Presto, all together, now and for ever all together. Farewell again and again.
Little wealth, And much health, And a life by stealth:
CHELSEA, June 30, 1711.
See what large paper I am forced to take, to write to MD; Patrick has brought me none clipped; but, faith, the next shall be smaller. I dined to-day, as I told you, with Dilly at Sir Andrew Fountaine's: there were we wretchedly punning, and writing together to Lord Pembroke. Dilly is just such a puppy as ever; and it is so uncouth, after so long an intermission. My twenty-fifth is gone this evening to the post. I think I will direct my next (which is this) to Mr. Curry's, and let them send it to Wexford; and then the next enclosed to Reading. Instruct me how I shall do. I long to hear from you from Wexford, and what sort of place it is. The town grows very empty and dull. This evening I have had a letter from Mr. Philips, the pastoral poet, to get him a certain employment from Lord Treasurer. I have now had almost all the Whig poets my solicitors; and I have been useful to Congreve, Steele, and Harrison: but I will do nothing for Philips; I find he is more a puppy than ever, so don't solicit for him. Besides, I will not trouble Lord Treasurer, unless upon some very extraordinary occasion.
July 1. Dilly lies conveniently for me when I come to town from Chelsea of a Sunday, and go to the Secretary's; so I called at his lodgings this morning, and sent for my gown, and dressed myself there. He had a letter from the Bishop, with an account that you were set out for Wexford the morning he writ, which was June 26, and he had the letter the 30th; that was very quick: the Bishop says you design to stay there two months or more. Dilly had also a letter from Tom Ashe, full of Irish news; that your Lady Lyndon is dead, and I know not what besides of Dr. Coghill losing his drab, etc. The Secretary was gone to Windsor, and I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. Lord Treasurer is at Windsor too; they will be going and coming all summer, while the Queen is there, and the town is empty, and I fear I shall be sometimes forced to stoop beneath my dignity, and send to the ale-house for a dinner. Well, sirrahs, had you a good journey to Wexford? did you drink ale by the way? were you never overturned? how many things did you forget? do you lie on straw in your new town where you are? Cudshoe, the next letter to Presto will be dated from Wexford. What fine company have you there? what new acquaintance have you got? You are to write constantly to Mrs. Walls and Mrs. Stoyte: and the Dean said, "Shall we never hear from you?" "Yes, Mr. Dean, we'll make bold to trouble you with a letter." Then at Wexford; when you meet a lady, "Did your waters pass well this morning, madam?" Will Dingley drink them too? Yes, I warrant; to get her a stomach. I suppose you are all gamesters at Wexford. Do not lose your money, sirrah, far from home. I believe I shall go to Windsor in a few days; at least, the Secretary tells me so. He has a small house there, with just room enough for him and me; and I would be satisfied to pass a few days there sometimes. Sirrahs, let me go to sleep, it is past twelve in our town.
2. Sterne came to me this morning, and tells me he has yet some hopes of compassing his business: he was with Tom Harley, the secretary of the Treasury, and made him doubt a little he was in the wrong; the poor man tells me it will almost undo him if he fails. I called this morning to see Will Congreve, who lives much by himself, is forced to read for amusement, and cannot do it without a magnifying-glass. I have set him very well with the Ministry, and I hope he is in no danger of losing his place. I dined in the City with Dr. Freind, not among my merchants, but with a scrub instrument of mischief of mine, whom I never mentioned to you, nor am like to do. You two little saucy Wexfordians, you are now drinking waters. You drink waters! you go fiddlestick. Pray God send them to do you good; if not, faith, next summer you shall come to the Bath.
3. Lord Peterborow desired to see me this morning at nine; I had not seen him before since he came home. I met Mrs. Manley there, who was soliciting him to get some pension or reward for her service in the cause, by writing her Atalantis, and prosecution, etc., upon it. I seconded her, and hope they will do something for the poor woman. My lord kept me two hours upon politics: he comes home very sanguine; he has certainly done great things at Savoy and Vienna, by his negotiations: he is violent against a peace, and finds true what I writ to him, that the Ministry seems for it. He reasons well; yet I am for a peace. I took leave of Lady Kerry, who goes to-morrow for Ireland; she picks up Lord Shelburne and Mrs. Pratt at Lord Shelburne's house. I was this evening with Lord Treasurer: Tom Harley was there, and whispered me that he began to doubt about Sterne's business; I told him he would find he was in the wrong. I sat two or three hours at Lord Treasurer's; he rallied me sufficiently upon my refusing to take him into our Club, and told a judge who was with us that my name was Thomas Swift. I had a mind to prevent Sir H. Belasyse going to Spain, who is a most covetous cur, and I fell a railing against avarice, and turned it so that he smoked me, and named Belasyse. I went on, and said it was a shame to send him; to which he agreed, but desired I would name some who understood business, and do not love money, for he could not find them. I said there was something in a Treasurer different from other men; that we ought not to make a man a Bishop who does not love divinity, or a General who does not love war; and I wondered why the Queen would make a man Lord Treasurer who does not love money. He was mightily pleased with what I said. He was talking of the First-Fruits of England, and I took occasion to tell him that I would not for a thousand pounds anybody but he had got them for Ireland, who got them for England too. He bid me consider what a thousand pounds was; I said I would have him to know I valued a thousand pounds as little as he valued a million.--Is it not silly to write all this? but it gives you an idea what our conversation is with mixed company. I have taken a lodging in Suffolk Street, and go to it on Thursday; and design to walk the Park and the town, to supply my walking here: yet I will walk here sometimes too, in a visit now and then to the Dean. When I was almost at home, Patrick told me he had two letters for me, and gave them to me in the dark, yet I could see one of them was from saucy MD. I went to visit the Dean for half an hour; and then came home, and first read the other letter, which was from the Bishop of Clogher, who tells me the Archbishop of Dublin mentioned in a full assembly of the clergy the Queen's granting the First-Fruits, said it was done by the Lord Treasurer, and talked much of my merit in it: but reading yours I find nothing of that: perhaps the Bishop lies, out of a desire to please me. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. Well, sirrahs, you are gone to Wexford; but I'll follow you.
4. Sterne came to me again this morning, to advise about reasons and memorials he is drawing up; and we went to town by water together; and having nothing to do, I stole into the City to an instrument of mine, and then went to see poor Patty Rolt, who has been in town these two months with a cousin of hers. Her life passes with boarding in some country town as cheap as she can, and, when she runs out, shifting to some cheaper place, or coming to town for a month. If I were rich, I would ease her, which a little thing would do. Some months ago I sent her a guinea, and it patched up twenty circumstances. She is now going to Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire. It has rained and hailed prodigiously to-day, with some thunder. This is the last night I lie at Chelsea; and I got home early, and sat two hours with the Dean, and ate victuals, having had a very scurvy dinner. I'll answer your letter when I come to live in town. You shall have a fine London answer: but first I will go sleep, and dream of MD.
London, July 5. This day I left Chelsea for good (that's a genteel phrase), and am got into Suffolk Street. I dined to-day at our Society, and we are adjourned for a month, because most of us go into the country: we dined at Lord Keeper's with young Harcourt, and Lord Keeper was forced to sneak off, and dine with Lord Treasurer, who had invited the Secretary and me to dine with him; but we scorned to leave our company, as George Granville did, whom we have threatened to expel: however, in the evening I went to Lord Treasurer, and, among other company, found a couple of judges with him; one of them, Judge Powell, an old fellow with grey hairs, was the merriest old gentleman I ever saw, spoke pleasant things, and laughed and chuckled till he cried again. I stayed till eleven, because I was not now to walk to Chelsea.
6. An ugly rainy day. I was to visit Mrs. Barton, then called at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, where Sir Andrew Fountaine and the rain kept me to dinner; and there did I loiter all the afternoon, like a fool, out of perfect laziness, and the weather not permitting me to walk: but I'll do so no more. Are your waters at Wexford good in this rain? I long to hear how you are established there, how and whom you visit, what is your lodging, what are your entertainments. You are got far southwards; but I think you must eat no fruit while you drink the waters. I ate some Kentish cherries t'other day, and I repent it already; I have felt my head a little disordered. We had not a hot day all June, or since, which I reckon a mighty happiness. Have you left a direction with Reading for Wexford? I will, as I said, direct this to Curry's, and the next to Reading; or suppose I send this at a venture straight to Wexford? It would vex me to have it miscarry. I had a letter to-night from Parvisol, that White has paid me most of my remaining money; and another from Joe, that they have had their election at Trim, but not a word of who is chosen portreeve. Poor Joe is full of complaints, says he has enemies, and fears he will never get his two hundred pounds; and I fear so too, although I have done what I could.--I'll answer your letter when I think fit, when saucy Presto thinks fit, sirrahs. I am not at leisure yet; when I have nothing to do, perhaps I may vouchsafe.--O Lord, the two Wexford ladies; I'll go dream of you both.
7. It was the dismallest rainy day I ever saw: I went to the Secretary in the morning, and he was gone to Windsor. Then it began raining, and I struck in to Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and dined, and stayed till night very dull and insipid. I hate this town in summer; I'll leave it for a while, if I can have time.
8. I have a fellow of your town, one Tisdall, lodges in the same house with me. Patrick told me Squire Tisdall and his lady lodged here. I pretended I never heard of him; but I knew his ugly face, and saw him at church in the next pew to me, and he often looked for a bow, but it would not do. I think he lives in Capel Street, and has an ugly fine wife in a fine coach. Dr. Freind and I dined in the City by invitation, and I drank punch, very good, but it makes me hot. People here are troubled with agues by this continuance of wet, cold weather; but I am glad to find the season so temperate. I was this evening to see Will Congreve, who is a very agreeable companion.
9. I was to-day in the City, and dined with Mr. Stratford, who tells me Sir Alexander Cairnes makes difficulties about paying my bill; so that I cannot give order yet to Parvisol to deliver up the bond to Dr. Raymond. To-morrow I shall have a positive answer: that Cairnes is a shuffling scoundrel; and several merchants have told me so: what can one expect from a Scot and a fanatic? I was at Bateman's the bookseller's, to see a fine old library he has bought; and my fingers itched, as yours would do at a china-shop; but I resisted, and found everything too dear, and I have fooled away too much money that way already. So go and drink your waters, saucy rogue, and make yourself well; and pray walk while you are there: I have a notion there is never a good walk in Ireland. Do you find all places without trees? Pray observe the inhabitants about Wexford; they are old English; see what they have particular in their manners, names, and language: magpies have been always there, and nowhere else in Ireland, till of late years. They say the cocks and dogs go to sleep at noon, and so do the people. Write your travels, and bring home good eyes and health.
10. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer: we did not sit down till four. I despatched three businesses with him, and forgot a fourth. I think I have got a friend an employment; and besides I made him consent to let me bring Congreve to dine with him. You must understand I have a mind to do a small thing, only turn out all the Queen's physicians; for in my conscience they will soon kill her among them. And I must talk over that matter with some people. My Lord Treasurer told me the Queen and he between them have lost the paper about the First-Fruits, but desires I will let the bishops know it shall be done with the first opportunity.
11. I dined to-day with neighbour Van, and walked pretty well in the Park this evening. Stella, hussy, don't you remember, sirrah, you used to reproach me about meddling in other folk's affairs? I have enough of it now: two people came to me to-night in the Park to engage to speak to Lord Treasurer in their behalf, and I believe they make up fifty who have asked me the same favour. I am hardened, and resolve to trouble him, or any other Minister, less than ever. And I observe those who have ten times more credit than I will not speak a word for anybody. I met yesterday the poor lad I told you of, who lived with Mr. Tenison, who has been ill of an ague ever since I saw him. He looked wretchedly, and was exceeding thankful for half a crown I gave him. He had a crown from me before.
12. I dined to-day with young Manley in the City, who is to get me out a box of books and a hamper of wine from Hamburg. I inquired of Mr. Stratford, who tells me that Cairnes has not yet paid my two hundred pounds, but shams and delays from day to day. Young Manley's wife is a very indifferent person of a young woman, goggle-eyed, and looks like a fool: yet he is a handsome fellow, and married her for love after long courtship, and she refused him until he got his last employment.--I believe I shall not be so good a boy for writing as I was during your stay at Wexford, unless I may send my letters every second time to Curry's; pray let me know. This, I think, shall go there: or why not to Wexford itself? That is right, and so it shall this next Tuesday, although it costs you tenpence. What care I?
13. This toad of a Secretary is come from Windsor, and I cannot find him; and he goes back on Sunday, and I can't see him to-morrow. I dined scurvily to- day with Mr. Lewis and a parson; and then went to see Lord Treasurer, and met him coming from his house in his coach: he smiled, and I shrugged, and we smoked each other; and so my visit is paid. I now confine myself to see him only twice a week: he has invited me to Windsor, and betwixt two stools, etc. I will go live at Windsor, if possible, that's pozzz. I have always the luck to pass my summer in London. I called this evening to see poor Sir Matthew Dudley, a Commissioner of the Customs; I know he is to be out for certain: he is in hopes of continuing: I would not tell him bad news, but advised him to prepare for the worst. Dilly was with me this morning, to invite me to dine at Kensington on Sunday with Lord Mountjoy, who goes soon for Ireland. Your late Chief-Justice Broderick is here, and they say violent as a tiger. How is party among you at Wexford? Are the majority of ladies for the late or present Ministry? Write me Wexford news, and love Presto, because he is a good boy.
14. Although it was shaving-day, I walked to Chelsea, and was there by nine this morning; and the Dean of Carlisle and I crossed the water to Battersea, and went in his chariot to Greenwich, where we dined at Dr. Gastrell's, and passed the afternoon at Lewisham, at the Dean of Canterbury's; and there I saw Moll Stanhope, who is grown monstrously tall, but not so handsome as formerly. It is the first little rambling journey I have had this summer about London, and they are the agreeablest pastimes one can have, in a friend's coach, and to good company. Bank Stock is fallen three or four per cent. by the whispers about the town of the Queen's being ill, who is however very well.
15. How many books have you carried with you to Wexford? What, not one single book? Oh, but your time will be so taken up; and you can borrow of the parson. I dined to-day with Sir Andrew Fountaine and Dilly at Kensington with Lord Mountjoy; and in the afternoon Stratford came there, and told me my two hundred pounds were paid at last; so that business is over, and I am at ease about it; and I wish all your money was in the Bank too. I will have my other hundred pounds there, that is in Hawkshaw's hands. Have you had the interest of it paid yet? I ordered Parvisol to do it. What makes Presto write so crooked? I will answer your letter to-morrow, and send it on Tuesday. Here's hot weather come again, yesterday and to-day: fine drinking waters now. We had a sad pert dull parson at Kensington to-day. I almost repent my coming to town; I want the walks I had.
16. I dined in the City to-day with a hedge acquaintance, and the day passed without any consequence. I will answer your letter to-morrow.
17. Morning. I have put your letter before me, and am going to answer it. Hold your tongue: stand by. Your weather and ours were not alike; we had not a bit of hot weather in June, yet you complain of it on the 19th day. What, you used to love hot weather then? I could never endure it: I detest and abominate it. I would not live in a hot country, to be king of it. What a splutter you keep about my bonds with Raymond, and all to affront Presto! Presto will be suspicious of everything but MD, in spite of your little nose. Soft and fair, Madam Stella, how you gallop away, in your spleen and your rage, about repenting my journey, and preferment here, and sixpence a dozen, and nasty England, and Laracor all my life. Hey-dazy, will you never have done? I had no offers of any living. Lord Keeper told me some months ago he would give me one when I pleased; but I told him I would not take any from him; and the Secretary told me t'other day he had refused a very good one for me, but it was in a place he did not like; and I know nothing of getting anything here, and, if they would give me leave, I would come over just now. Addison, I hear, has changed his mind about going over; but I have not seen him these four months.--Oh ay, that's true, Dingley; that's like herself: millions of businesses to do before she goes. Yes, my head has been pretty well, but threatening within these two or three days, which I impute to some fruit I ate; but I will eat no more: not a bit of any sort. I suppose you had a journey without dust, and that was happy. I long for a Wexford letter, but must not think of it yet: your last was finished but three weeks ago. It is d----d news you tell me of Mrs. F----; it makes me love England less a great deal. I know nothing of the trunk being left or taken; so 'tis odd enough, if the things in it were mine; and I think I was told that there are some things for me that my mother left particularly to me. I am really sorry for -----; that scoundrel ----- will have his estate after his mother's death. Let me know if Mrs. Walls has got her tea: I hope Richardson stayed in Dublin till it came. Mrs. Walls needed not have that blemish in her eye; for I am not in love with her at all. No, I do not like anything in the Examiner after the 45th, except the first part of the 46th; all the rest is trash; and if you like them, especially the 47th, your judgment is spoiled by ill company and want of reading, which I am more sorry for than you think: and I have spent fourteen years in improving you to little purpose. (Mr. Tooke is come here, and I must stop.)--At night. I dined with Lord Treasurer to-day, and he kept me till nine; so I cannot send this to-night, as I intended, nor write some other letters. Green, his surgeon, was there, and dressed his breast; that is, put on a plaster, which is still requisite: and I took an opportunity to speak to him of the Queen; but he cut me short with this saying, "Laissez faire a Don Antoine," which is a French proverb, expressing, "Leave that to me." I find he is against her taking much physic; and I doubt he cannot persuade her to take Dr. Radcliffe. However, she is very well now, and all the story of her illness, except the first day or two, was a lie. We had some business, that company hindered us from doing, though he is earnest for it, yet would not appoint me a certain day, but bids me come at all times till we can have leisure. This takes up a great deal of my time, and I can do nothing I would do for them. I was with the Secretary this morning, and we both think to go to Windsor for some days, to despatch an affair, if we can have leisure. Sterne met me just now in the street by his lodgings, and I went in for an hour to Jemmy Leigh, who loves London dearly: he asked after you with great respect and friendship.--To return to your letter. Your Bishop Mills hates me mortally: I wonder he should speak well of me, having abused me in all places where he went. So you pay your way. Cudsho: you had a fine supper, I warrant; two pullets, and a bottle of wine, and some currants.--It is just three weeks to-day since you set out to Wexford; you were three days going, and I do not expect a letter these ten days yet, or rather this fortnight. I got a grant of the Gazette for Ben Tooke this morning from Mr. Secretary: it will be worth to him a hundred pounds a year.
18. To-day I took leave of Mrs. Barton, who is going into the country; and I dined with Sir John Stanley, where I have not been this great while. There dined with us Lord Rochester, and his fine daughter, Lady Jane, just growing a top-toast. I have been endeavouring to save Sir Matthew Dudley, but fear I cannot. I walked the Mall six times to-night for exercise, and would have done more; but, as empty as the town is, a fool got hold of me, and so I came home, to tell you this shall go to-morrow, without fail, and follow you to Wexford, like a dog.
19. Dean Atterbury sent to me to dine with him at Chelsea. I refused his coach, and walked, and am come back by seven, because I would finish this letter, and some others I am writing. Patrick tells me the maid says one Mr. Walls, a clergyman, a tall man, was here to visit me. Is it your Irish Archdeacon? I shall be sorry for it; but I shall make shift to see him seldom enough, as I do Dilly. What can he do here? or is it somebody else? The Duke of Newcastle is dead by the fall he had from his horse. God send poor Stella her health, and keep MD happy! Farewell, and love Presto, who loves MD above all things ten million of times. God bless the dear Wexford girls. Farewell again, etc. etc.
LONDON, July 19, 1711.
I have just sent my 26th, and have nothing to say, because I have other letters to write (pshaw, I began too high); but I must lay the beginning like a nest-egg: to-morrow I will say more, and fetch up this line to be straight. This is enough at present for two dear saucy naughty girls.
20. Have I told you that Walls has been with me, and leaves the town in three days? He has brought no gown with him. Dilly carried him to a play. He has come upon a foolish errand, and goes back as he comes. I was this day with Lord Peterborow, who is going another ramble: I believe I told you so. I dined with Lord Treasurer, but cannot get him to do his own business with me; he has put me off till to-morrow.
21, 22. I dined yesterday with Lord Treasurer, who would needs take me along with him to Windsor, although I refused him several times, having no linen, etc. I had just time to desire Lord Forbes to call at my lodging and order my man to send my things to-day to Windsor by his servant. I lay last night at the Secretary's lodgings at Windsor, and borrowed one of his shirts to go to Court in. The Queen is very well. I dined with Mr. Masham; and not hearing anything of my things, I got Lord Winchelsea to bring me to town. Here I found that Patrick had broke open the closet to get my linen and nightgown, and sent them to Windsor, and there they are; and he, not thinking I would return so soon, is gone upon his rambles: so here I am left destitute, and forced to borrow a nightgown of my landlady, and have not a rag to put on to-morrow: faith, it gives me the spleen.
23. Morning. It is a terrible rainy day, and rained prodigiously on Saturday night. Patrick lay out last night, and is not yet returned: faith, poor Presto is a desolate creature; neither servant, nor linen, nor anything.-- Night. Lord Forbes's man has brought back my portmantua, and Patrick is come; so I am in Christian circumstances: I shall hardly commit such a frolic again. I just crept out to Mrs. Van's, and dined, and stayed there the afternoon: it has rained all this day. Windsor is a delicious place: I never saw it before, except for an hour about seventeen years ago. Walls has been here in my absence, I suppose, to take his leave; for he designed not to stay above five days in London. He says he and his wife will come here for some months next year; and, in short, he dares not stay now for fear of her.
24. I dined to-day with a hedge friend in the City; and Walls overtook me in the street, and told me he was just getting on horseback for Chester. He has as much curiosity as a cow: he lodged with his horse in Aldersgate Street: he has bought his wife a silk gown, and himself a hat. And what are you doing? what is poor MD doing now? how do you pass your time at Wexford? how do the waters agree with you? Let Presto know soon; for Presto longs to know, and must know. Is not Madam Proby curious company? I am afraid this rainy weather will spoil your waters. We have had a great deal of wet these three days. Tell me all the particulars of Wexford: the place, the company, the diversions, the victuals, the wants, the vexations. Poor Dingley never saw such a place in her life; sent all over the town for a little parsley to a boiled chicken, and it was not to be had; the butter is stark naught, except an old English woman's; and it is such a favour to get a pound from her now and then! I am glad you carried down your sheets with you, else you must have lain in sackcloth. O Lord!
25. I was this forenoon with Mr. Secretary at his office, and helped to hinder a man of his pardon, who is condemned for a rape. The Under Secretary was willing to save him, upon an old notion that a woman cannot be ravished; but I told the Secretary he could not pardon him without a favourable report from the judge; besides, he was a fiddler, and consequently a rogue, and deserved hanging for some thing else; and so he shall swing. What, I must stand up for the honour of the fair sex! 'Tis true the fellow had lain with her a hundred times before, but what care I for that! What, must a woman be ravished because she is a whore?--The Secretary and I go on Saturday to Windsor for a week. I dined with Lord Treasurer, and stayed with him till past ten. I was to-day at his levee, where I went against my custom, because I had a mind to do a good office for a gentleman: so I talked with him before my lord, that he might see me, and then found occasion to recommend him this afternoon. I was forced to excuse my coming to the levee, that I did it to see the sight; for he was going to chide me away: I had never been there but once, and that was long before he was Treasurer. The rooms were all full, and as many Whigs as Tories. He whispered me a jest or two, and bid me come to dinner. I left him but just now; and 'tis late.
26. Mr. Addison and I have at last met again. I dined with him and Steele to-day at young Jacob Tonson's. The two Jacobs think it is I who have made the Secretary take from them the printing of the Gazette, which they are going to lose, and Ben Tooke and another are to have it. Jacob came to me the other day, to make his court; but I told him it was too late, and that it was not my doing. I reckon they will lose it in a week or two. Mr. Addison and I talked as usual, and as if we had seen one another yesterday; and Steele and I were very easy, though I writ him lately a biting letter, in answer to one of his, where he desired me to recommend a friend of his to Lord Treasurer. Go, get you gone to your waters, sirrah. Do they give you a stomach? Do you eat heartily?--We have had much rain to-day and yesterday.
27. I dined to-day in the City, and saw poor Patty Rolt, and gave her a pistole to help her a little forward against she goes to board in the country. She has but eighteen pounds a year to live on, and is forced to seek out for cheap places. Sometimes they raise their price, and sometimes they starve her, and then she is forced to shift. Patrick the puppy put too much ink in my standish, and, carrying too many things together, I spilled it on my paper and floor. The town is dull, wet, and empty; Wexford is worth two of it; I hope so at least, and that poor little MD finds it so. I reckon upon going to Windsor to-morrow with Mr. Secretary, unless he changes his mind, or some other business prevents him. I shall stay there a week, I hope.
28. Morning. Mr. Secretary sent me word he will call at my lodgings by two this afternoon, to take me to Windsor; so I must dine nowhere; and I promised Lord Treasurer to dine with him to-day; but I suppose we shall dine at Windsor at five, for we make but three hours there. I am going abroad, but have left Patrick to put up my things, and to be sure to be at home half an hour before two.--Windsor, at night. We did not leave London till three, and dined here between six and seven; at nine I left the company, and went to see Lord Treasurer, who is just come. I chid him for coming so late; he chid me for not dining with him; said he stayed an hour for me. Then I went and sat with Mr. Lewis till just now, and it is past eleven. I lie in the same house with the Secretary, one of the Prebendary's houses. The Secretary is not come from his apartment in the Castle. Do you think that abominable dog Patrick was out after two to-day, and I in a fright every moment, for fear the chariot should come; and when he came in, he had not put up one rag of my things! I never was in a greater passion, and would certainly have cropped one of his ears, if I had not looked every moment for the Secretary, who sent his equipage to my lodging before, and came in a chair from Whitehall to me, and happened to stay half an hour later than he intended. One of Lord Treasurer's servants gave me a letter to-night: I found it was from ----, with an offer of fifty pounds, to be paid me in what manner I pleased; because, he said, he desired to be well with me. I was in a rage; but my friend Lewis cooled me, and said it is what the best men sometimes meet with; and I have been not seldom served in the like manner, although not so grossly. In these cases I never demur a moment, nor ever found the least inclination to take anything. Well, I will go try to sleep in my new bed, and to dream of poor Wexford MD, and Stella that drinks water, and Dingley that drinks ale.
29. I was at Court and church to-day, as I was this day se'ennight: I generally am acquainted with about thirty in the drawing-room, and I am so proud I make all the lords come up to me: one passes half an hour pleasant enough. We had a dunce to preach before the Queen to-day, which often happens. Windsor is a delicious situation, but the town is scoundrel. I have this morning got the Gazette for Ben Tooke and one Barber a printer; it will be about three hundred pounds a year between them. The other fellow was printer of the Examiner, which is now laid down. I dined with the Secretary: we were a dozen in all, three Scotch lords, and Lord Peterborow. The Duke of Hamilton would needs be witty, and hold up my train as I walked upstairs. It is an ill circumstance that on Sundays much company always meet at the great tables. Lord Treasurer told at Court what I said to Mr. Secretary on this occasion. The Secretary showed me his bill of fare, to encourage me to dine with him. "Poh," said I, "show me a bill of company, for I value not your dinner." See how this is all blotted, I can write no more here, but to tell you I love MD dearly, and God bless them.
30. In my conscience, I fear I shall have the gout. I sometimes feel pains about my feet and toes: I never drank till within these two years, and I did it to cure my head. I often sit evenings with some of these people, and drink in my turn; but I am now resolved to drink ten times less than before; but they advise me to let what I drink be all wine, and not to put water to it. Tooke and the printer stayed to-day to finish their affair, and treated me and two of the Under Secretaries upon their getting the Gazette. Then I went to see Lord Treasurer, and chid him for not taking notice of me at Windsor. He said he kept a place for me yesterday at dinner, and expected me there; but I was glad I did not go, because the Duke of Buckingham was there, and that would have made us acquainted; which I have no mind to. However, we appointed to sup at Mr. Masham's, and there stayed till past one o'clock; and that is late, sirrahs: and I have much business.
31. I have sent a noble haunch of venison this afternoon to Mrs. Vanhomrigh: I wish you had it, sirrahs. I dined gravely with my landlord the Secretary. The Queen was abroad to-day in order to hunt; but, finding it disposed to rain, she kept in her coach; she hunts in a chaise with one horse, which she drives herself, and drives furiously, like Jehu, and is a mighty hunter, like Nimrod. Dingley has heard of Nimrod, but not Stella, for it is in the Bible. I was to-day at Eton, which is but just cross the bridge, to see my Lord Kerry's son, who is at school there. Mr. Secretary has given me a warrant for a buck; I can't send it to MD. It is a sad thing, faith, considering how Presto loves MD, and how MD would love Presto's venison for Presto's sake. God bless the two dear Wexford girls!
Aug. 1. We had for dinner the fellow of that haunch of venison I sent to London; 'twas mighty fat and good, and eight people at dinner; that was bad. The Queen and I were going to take the air this afternoon, but not together; and were both hindered by a sudden rain. Her coaches and chaises all went back, and the guards too; and I scoured into the market-place for shelter. I intended to have walked up the finest avenue I ever saw, two miles long, with two rows of elms on each side. I walked in the evening a little upon the terrace, and came home at eight: Mr. Secretary came soon after, and we were engaging in deep discourse, and I was endeavouring to settle some points of the greatest consequence, and had wormed myself pretty well into him, when his Under Secretary came in (who lodges in the same house with us) and interrupted all my scheme. I have just left him: it is late, etc.
2. I have been now five days at Windsor, and Patrick has been drunk three times that I have seen, and oftener I believe. He has lately had clothes that have cost me five pounds, and the dog thinks he has the whip-hand of me: he begins to master me; so now I am resolved to part with him, and will use him without the least pity. The Secretary and I have been walking three or four hours to-day. The Duchess of Shrewsbury asked him, was not that Dr.--Dr.- -and she could not say my name in English, but said Dr. Presto, which is Italian for Swift. Whimsical enough, as Billy Swift says. I go to-morrow with the Secretary to his house at Bucklebury, twenty-five miles from hence, and return early on Sunday morning. I will leave this letter behind me locked up, and give you an account of my journey when I return. I had a letter yesterday from the Bishop of Clogher, who is coming up to his Parliament. Have you any correspondence with him to Wexford? Methinks, I now long for a letter from you, dated Wexford, July 24, etc. O Lord, that would be so pretending; and then, says you, Stella can't write much, because it is bad to write when one drinks the waters; and I think, says you, I find myself better already, but I cannot tell yet whether it be the journey or the waters. Presto is so silly to-night; yes he be; but Presto loves MD dearly, as hope saved.
3. Morning. I am to go this day at noon, as I told you, to Bucklebury: we dine at twelve, and expect to be there in four hours. I cannot bid you good- night now, because I shall be twenty-five miles from this paper to-night, and so my journal must have a break; so good-morrow, etc.
4, 5. I dined yesterday at Bucklebury, where we lay two nights, and set out this morning at eight, and were here at twelve; in four hours we went twenty- six miles. Mr. Secretary was a perfect country gentleman at Bucklebury: he smoked tobacco with one or two neighbours; he inquired after the wheat in such a field; he went to visit his hounds, and knew all their names; he and his lady saw me to my chamber just in the country fashion. His house is in the midst of near three thousand pounds a year he had by his lady, who is descended from Jack Newbury, of whom books and ballads are written; and there is an old picture of him in the house. She is a great favourite of mine. I lost church to-day; but I dressed and shaved, and went to Court, and would not dine with the Secretary, but engaged myself to a private dinner with Mr. Lewis, and one friend more. We go to London to-morrow; for Lord Dartmouth, the other Secretary, is come, and they are here their weeks by turns.
6. Lord Treasurer comes every Saturday to Windsor, and goes away on Monday or Tuesday. I was with him this morning at his levee, for one cannot see him otherwise here, he is so hurried: we had some talk; and I told him I would stay this week at Windsor by myself, where I can have more leisure to do some business that concerns them. Lord Treasurer and the Secretary thought to mortify me; for they told me they had been talking a great deal of me to-day to the Queen, and she said she had never heard of me. I told them that was their fault, and not hers, etc., and so we laughed. I dined with the Secretary, and let him go to London at five without me; and here am I alone in the Prebendary's house, which Mr. Secretary has taken; only Mr. Lewis is in my neighbourhood, and we shall be good company. The Vice-Chamberlain, and Mr. Masham, and the Green Cloth, have promised me dinners. I shall want but four till Mr. Secretary returns. We have a music-meeting in our town to- night. I went to the rehearsal of it, and there was Margarita, and her sister, and another drab, and a parcel of fiddlers: I was weary, and would not go to the meeting, which I am sorry for, because I heard it was a great assembly. Mr. Lewis came from it, and sat with me till just now; and 'tis late.
7. I can do no business, I fear, because Mr. Lewis, who has nothing or little to do here, sticks close to me. I dined today with the gentlemen ushers, among scurvy company; but the Queen was hunting the stag till four this afternoon, and she drove in her chaise above forty miles, and it was five before we went to dinner. Here are fine walks about this town. I sometimes walk up the avenue.
8. There was a Drawing-room to-day at Court; but so few company, that the Queen sent for us into her bed-chamber, where we made our bows, and stood about twenty of us round the room, while she looked at us round with her fan in her mouth, and once a minute said about three words to some that were nearest her, and then she was told dinner was ready, and went out. I dined at the Green Cloth, by Mr. Scarborow's invitation, who is in waiting. It is much the best table in England, and costs the Queen a thousand pounds a month while she is at Windsor or Hampton Court, and is the only mark of magnificence or hospitality I can see in the Queen's family: it is designed to entertain foreign Ministers, and people of quality, who come to see the Queen, and have no place to dine at.
9. Mr. Coke, the Vice-Chamberlain, made me a long visit this morning, and invited me to dinner; but the toast, his lady, was unfortunately engaged to Lady Sunderland. Lord Treasurer stole here last night, but did not lie at his lodgings in the Castle; and, after seeing the Queen, went back again. I just drank a dish of chocolate with him. I fancy I shall have reason to be angry with him very soon; but what care I? I believe I shall die with Ministries in my debt.--This night I received a certain letter from a place called Wexford, from two dear naughty girls of my acquaintance; but, faith, I will not answer it here, no in troth. I will send this to Mr. Reading, supposing it will find you returned; and I hope better for the waters.
10. Mr. Vice-Chamberlain lent me his horses to ride about and see the country this morning. Dr. Arbuthnot, the Queen's physician and favourite, went out with me to show me the places: we went a little after the Queen, and overtook Miss Forester, a maid of honour, on her palfrey, taking the air; we made her go along with us. We saw a place they have made for a famous horse-race to-morrow, where the Queen will come. We met the Queen coming back, and Miss Forester stood, like us, with her hat off while the Queen went by. The Doctor and I left the lady where we found her, but under other conductors; and we dined at a little place he has taken, about a mile off.--When I came back I found Mr. Scarborow had sent all about to invite me to the Green Cloth, and lessened his company on purpose to make me easy. It is very obliging, and will cost me thanks. Much company is come to town this evening, to see to- morrow's race. I was tired with riding a trotting mettlesome horse a dozen miles, having not been on horseback this twelvemonth. And Miss Forester did not make it easier; she is a silly true maid of honour, and I did not like her, although she be a toast, and was dressed like a man.
11. I will send this letter to-day. I expect the Secretary by noon. I will not go to the race unless I can get room in some coach. It is now morning. I must rise, and fold up and seal my letter. Farewell, and God preserve dearest MD.
I believe I shall leave this town on Monday.
WINDSOR, Aug. 11, 1711.
I sent away my twenty-seventh this morning in an express to London, and directed to Mr. Reading: this shall go to your lodgings, where I reckon you will be returned before it reaches you. I intended to go to the race to- day, but was hindered by a visit: I believe I told you so in my last. I dined to-day at the Green Cloth, where everybody had been at the race but myself, and we were twenty in all, and very noisy company; but I made the Vice-Chamberlain and two friends more sit at a side table, to be a little quiet. At six I went to see the Secretary, who is returned; but Lord Keeper sent to desire I would sup with him, where I stayed till just now: Lord Treasurer and Secretary were to come to us, but both failed. 'Tis late, etc.
12. I was this morning to visit Lord Keeper, who made me reproaches that I had never visited him at Windsor. He had a present sent him of delicious peaches, and he was champing and champing, but I durst not eat one; I wished Dingley had some of them, for poor Stella can no more eat fruit than Presto. Dilly Ashe is come to Windsor; and after church I carried him up to the drawing-room, and talked to the Keeper and Treasurer, on purpose to show them to him; and he saw the Queen and several great lords, and the Duchess of Montagu; he was mighty happy, and resolves to fill a letter to the Bishop. My friend Lewis and I dined soberly with Dr. Adams, the only neighbour prebendary. One of the prebendaries here is lately a peer, by the death of his father. He is now Lord Willoughby of Broke, and will sit in the House of Lords with his gown. I supped to-night at Masham's with Lord Treasurer, Mr. Secretary, and Prior. The Treasurer made us stay till twelve, before he came from the Queen, and 'tis now past two.
13. I reckoned upon going to London to-day; but by an accident the Cabinet Council did not sit last night, and sat to-day, so we go to-morrow at six in the morning. I missed the race to-day by coming out too late, when everybody's coach was gone, and ride I would not: I felt my last riding three days after. We had a dinner to-day at the Secretary's lodgings without him: Mr. Hare, his Under Secretary, Mr. Lewis, Brigadier Sutton, and I, dined together; and I made the Vice-Chamberlain take a snap with us, rather than stay till five for his lady, who was gone to the race. The reason why the Cabinet Council was not held last night was because Mr. Secretary St. John would not sit with your Duke of Somerset. So to-day the Duke was forced to go to the race while the Cabinet was held. We have music-meetings in our town, and I was at the rehearsal t'other day; but I did not value it, nor would go to the meeting. Did I tell you this before?
London, 14. We came to town this day in two hours and forty minutes: twenty miles are nothing here. I found a letter from the Archbishop of Dublin, sent me the Lord knows how. He says some of the bishops will hardly believe that Lord Treasurer got the Queen to remit the First-Fruits before the Duke of Ormond was declared Lord Lieutenant, and that the bishops have written a letter to Lord Treasurer to thank him. He has sent me the address of the Convocation, ascribing, in good part, that affair to the Duke, who had less share in it than MD; for if it had not been for MD, I should not have been so good a solicitor. I dined to-day in the City, about a little bit of mischief, with a printer.--I found Mrs. Vanhomrigh all in combustion, squabbling with her rogue of a landlord; she has left her house, and gone out of our neighbourhood a good way. Her eldest daughter is come of age, and going to Ireland to look after her fortune, and get it in her own hands.
15. I dined to-day with Mrs. Van, who goes to-night to her new lodgings. I went at six to see Lord Treasurer; but his company was gone, contrary to custom, and he was busy, and I was forced to stay some time before I could see him. We were together hardly an hour, and he went away, being in haste. He desired me to dine with him on Friday, because there would be a friend of his that I must see: my Lord Harley told me, when he was gone, that it was Mrs. Masham his father meant, who is come to town to lie-in, and whom I never saw, though her husband is one of our Society. God send her a good time! her death would be a terrible thing.--Do you know that I have ventured all my credit with these great Ministers, to clear some misunderstandings betwixt them; and if there be no breach, I ought to have the merit of it. 'Tis a plaguy ticklish piece of work, and a man hazards losing both sides. It is a pity the world does not know my virtue.--I thought the clergy in Convocation in Ireland would have given me thanks for being their solicitor; but I hear of no such thing. Pray talk occasionally on that subject, and let me know what you hear. Do you know the greatness of my spirit, that I value their thanks not a rush, but at my return shall freely let all people know that it was my Lord Treasurer's action, wherein the Duke of Ormond had no more share than a cat? And so they may go whistle, and I'll go sleep.
16. I was this day in the City, and dined at Pontack's with Stratford, and two other merchants. Pontack told us, although his wine was so good, he sold it cheaper than others; he took but seven shillings a flask. Are not these pretty rates? The books he sent for from Hamburg are come, but not yet got out of the custom-house. My library will be at least double when I come back. I shall go to Windsor again on Saturday, to meet our Society, who are to sup at Mr. Secretary's; but I believe I shall return on Monday, and then I will answer your letter, that lies here safe underneath;--I see it; lie still: I will answer you when the ducks have eaten up the dirt.
17. I dined to-day at Lord Treasurer's with Mrs. Masham, and she is extremely like one Mrs. Malolly, that was once my landlady in Trim. She was used with mighty kindness and respect, like a favourite. It signifies nothing going to this Lord Treasurer about business, although it be his own. He was in haste, and desires I will come again, and dine with him to-morrow. His famous lying porter is fallen sick, and they think he will die: I wish I had all my half- crowns again. I believe I have told you he is an old Scotch fanatic, and the damn'dest liar in his office alive. I have a mind to recommend Patrick to succeed him: I have trained him up pretty well. I reckon for certain you are now in town. The weather now begins to alter to rain.
Windsor, 18. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, and he would make me go with him to Windsor, although I was engaged to the Secretary, to whom I made my excuses: we had in the coach besides, his son and son-in-law, Lord Harley and Lord Dupplin, who are two of our Society, and seven of us met by appointment, and supped this night with the Secretary. It was past nine before we got here, but a fine moonshiny night. I shall go back, I believe, on Monday. 'Tis very late.
19. The Queen did not stir out to-day, she is in a little fit of the gout. I dined at Mr. Masham's; we had none but our Society members, six in all, and I supped with Lord Treasurer. The Queen has ordered twenty thousand pounds to go on with the building at Blenheim, which has been starved till now, since the change of the Ministry. I suppose it is to reward his last action of getting into the French lines. Lord Treasurer kept me till past twelve.
London, 20. It rained terribly every step of our journey to-day: I returned with the Secretary after a dinner of cold meat, and went to Mrs. Van's, where I sat the evening. I grow very idle, because I have a great deal of business. Tell me how you passed your time at Wexford; and are not you glad at heart you have got home safe to your lodgings at St. Mary's, pray? And so your friends come to visit you; and Mrs. Walls is much better of her eye; and the Dean is just as he used to be: and what does Walls say of London? 'tis a reasoning coxcomb. And Goody Stoyte, and Hannah what d'ye call her; no, her name an't Hannah, Catherine I mean; they were so glad to see the ladies again! and Mrs. Manley wanted a companion at ombre.
21. I writ to-day to the Archbishop of Dublin, and enclosed a long politic paper by itself. You know the bishops are all angry (smoke the wax-candle drop at the bottom of this paper) I have let the world know the First-Fruits were got by Lord Treasurer before the Duke of Ormond was Governor. I told Lord Treasurer all this, and he is very angry; but I pacified him again by telling him they were fools, and knew nothing of what passed here; but thought all was well enough if they complimented the Duke of Ormond. Lord Treasurer gave me t'other day a letter of thanks he received from the bishops of Ireland, signed by seventeen; and says he will write them an answer. The Dean of Carlisle sat with me to-day till three; and I went to dine with Lord Treasurer, who dined abroad, so did the Secretary, and I was left in the suds. 'Twas almost four, and I got to Sir Matthew Dudley, who had half dined. Thornhill, who killed Sir Cholmley Dering, was murdered by two men, on Turnham Green, last Monday night: as they stabbed him, they bid him remember Sir Cholmley Dering. They had quarrelled at Hampton Court, and followed and stabbed him on horseback. We have only a Grub Street paper of it, but I believe it is true. I went myself through Turnham Green the same night, which was yesterday.
22. We have had terrible rains these two or three days. I intended to dine at Lord Treasurer's, but went to see Lady Abercorn, who is come to town, and my lord; and I dined with them, and visited Lord Treasurer this evening. His porter is mending. I sat with my lord about three hours, and am come home early to be busy. Passing by White's Chocolate-house, my brother Masham called me, and told me his wife was brought to bed of a boy, and both very well. (Our Society, you must know, are all brothers.) Dr. Garth told us that Mr. Henley is dead of an apoplexy. His brother-in-law, Earl Poulett, is gone down to the Grange, to take care of his funeral. The Earl of Danby, the Duke of Leeds's eldest grandson, a very hopeful young man of about twenty, is dead at Utrecht of the smallpox.--I long to know whether you begin to have any good effect by your waters.--Methinks this letter goes on slowly; 'twill be a fortnight next Saturday since it was begun, and one side not filled. O fie for shame, Presto! Faith, I'm so tosticated to and from Windsor, that I know not what to say; but, faith, I'll go to Windsor again on Saturday, if they ask me, not else. So lose your money again, now you are come home; do, sirrah.
Take your magnifying-glass, Madam Dingley.
You shan't read this, sirrah Stella; don't read it for your life, for fear of your dearest eyes.
There's enough for this side; these Ministers hinder me. Pretty, dear, little, naughty, saucy MD.
Silly, impudent, loggerhead Presto.
23. Dilly and I dined to-day with Lord Abercorn, and had a fine fat haunch of venison, that smelt rarely on one side: and after dinner Dilly won half a crown of me at backgammon at his lodgings, to his great content. It is a scurvy empty town this melancholy season of the year; but I think our weather begins to mend. The roads are as deep as in winter. The grapes are sad things; but the peaches are pretty good, and there are some figs. I sometimes venture to eat one, but always repent it. You say nothing of the box sent half a year ago. I wish you would pay me for Mrs. Walls's tea. Your mother is in the country, I suppose. Pray send me the account of MD, Madam Dingley, as it stands since November, that is to say, for this year (excluding the twenty pounds lent Stella for Wexford), for I cannot look in your letters. I think I ordered that Hawkshaw's interest should be paid to you. When you think proper, I will let Parvisol know you have paid that twenty pounds, or part of it; and so go play with the Dean, and I will answer your letter to- morrow. Good-night, sirrahs, and love Presto, and be good girls.
24. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, who chid me for not dining with him yesterday, for it seems I did not understand his invitation; and their Club of the Ministry dined together, and expected me. Lord Radnor and I were walking the Mall this evening; and Mr. Secretary met us, and took a turn or two, and then stole away, and we both believed it was to pick up some wench; and to-morrow he will be at the Cabinet with the Queen: so goes the world! Prior has been out of town these two months, nobody knows where, and is lately returned. People confidently affirm he has been in France, and I half believe it. It is said he was sent by the Ministry, and for some overtures towards a peace. The Secretary pretends he knows nothing of it. I believe your Parliament will be dissolved. I have been talking about the quarrel between your Lords and Commons with Lord Treasurer, and did, at the request of some people, desire that the Queen's answer to the Commons' address might express a dislike of some principles, etc.; but was answered dubiously.--And so now to your letter, fair ladies. I know drinking is bad; I mean writing is bad in drinking the waters; and was angry to see so much in Stella's hand. But why Dingley drinks them, I cannot imagine; but truly she'll drink waters as well as Stella: why not? I hope you now find the benefit of them since you are returned; pray let me know particularly. I am glad you are forced upon exercise, which, I believe, is as good as the waters for the heart of them. 'Tis now past the middle of August; so by your reckoning you are in Dublin. It would vex me to the dogs that letters should miscarry between Dublin and Wexford, after 'scaping the salt seas. I will write no more to that nasty town in haste again, I warrant you. I have been four Sundays together at Windsor, of which a fortnight together; but I believe I shall not go to- morrow, for I will not, unless the Secretary asks me. I know all your news about the Mayor: it makes no noise here at all, but the quarrel of your Parliament does; it is so very extraordinary, and the language of the Commons so very pretty. The Examiner has been down this month, and was very silly the five or six last papers; but there is a pamphlet come out, in answer to a letter to the seven Lords who examined Gregg. The Answer is by the real author of the Examiner, as I believe; for it is very well written. We had Trapp's poem on the Duke of Ormond printed here, and the printer sold just eleven of them. 'Tis a dull piece, not half so good as Stella's; and she is very modest to compare herself with such a poetaster. I am heartily sorry for poor Mrs. Parnell's death; she seemed to be an excellent good-natured young woman, and I believe the poor lad is much afflicted; they appeared to live perfectly well together. Dilly is not tired at all with England, but intends to continue here a good while: he is mighty easy to be at distance from his two sisters-in-law. He finds some sort of scrub acquaintance; goes now and then in disguise to a play; smokes his pipe; reads now and then a little trash, and what else the Lord knows. I see him now and then; for he calls here, and the town being thin, I am less pestered with company than usual. I have got rid of many of my solicitors, by doing nothing for them: I have not above eight or nine left, and I'll be as kind to them. Did I tell you of a knight who desired me to speak to Lord Treasurer to give him two thousand pounds, or five hundred pounds a year, until he could get something better? I honestly delivered my message to the Treasurer, adding, the knight was a puppy, whom I would not give a groat to save from the gallows. Cole Reading's father-in-law has been two or three times at me, to recommend his lights to the Ministry, assuring me that a word of mine would, etc. Did not that dog use to speak ill of me, and profess to hate me? He knows not where I lodge, for I told him I lived in the country; and I have ordered Patrick to deny me constantly to him.--Did the Bishop of London die in Wexford? poor gentleman! Did he drink the waters? were you at his burial? was it a great funeral? so far from his friends! But he was very old: we shall all follow. And yet it was a pity, if God pleased. He was a good man; not very learned: I believe he died but poor. Did he leave any charity legacies? who held up his pall? was there a great sight of clergy? do they design a tomb for him?-- Are you sure it was the Bishop of London? because there is an elderly gentleman here that we give the same title to: or did you fancy all this in your water, as others do strange things in their wine? They say these waters trouble the head, and make people imagine what never came to pass. Do you make no more of killing a Bishop? are these your Whiggish tricks?--Yes, yes, I see you are in a fret. O, faith, says you, saucy Presto, I'll break your head; what, can't one report what one hears, without being made a jest and a laughing-stock? Are these your English tricks, with a murrain? And Sacheverell will be the next Bishop? He would be glad of an addition of two hundred pounds a year to what he has, and that is more than they will give him, for aught I see. He hates the new Ministry mortally, and they hate him, and pretend to despise him too. They will not allow him to have been the occasion of the late change; at least some of them will not: but my Lord Keeper owned it to me the other day. No, Mr. Addison does not go to Ireland this year: he pretended he would; but he is gone to Bath with Pastoral Philips, for his eyes.--So now I have run over your letter; and I think this shall go to-morrow, which will be just a fortnight from the last, and bring things to the old form again, after your rambles to Wexford, and mine to Windsor. Are there not many literal faults in my letters? I never read them over, and I fancy there are. What do you do then? do you guess my meaning, or are you acquainted with my manner of mistaking? I lost my handkerchief in the Mall to-night with Lord Radnor; but I made him walk with me to find it, and find it I did not. Tisdall (that lodges with me) and I have had no conversation, nor do we pull off our hats in the streets. There is a cousin of his (I suppose,) a young parson, that lodges in the house too; a handsome, genteel fellow. Dick Tighe and his wife lodged over against us; and he has been seen, out of our upper windows, beating her two or three times: they are both gone to Ireland, but not together; and he solemnly vows never to live with her. Neighbours do not stick to say that she has a tongue: in short, I am told she is the most urging, provoking devil that ever was born; and he a hot, whiffling puppy, very apt to resent. I'll keep this bottom till to- morrow: I'm sleepy.
25. I was with the Secretary this morning, who was in a mighty hurry, and went to Windsor in a chariot with Lord Keeper; so I was not invited, and am forced to stay at home, but not at all against my will; for I could have gone, and would not. I dined in the City with one of my printers, for whom I got the Gazette, and am come home early; and have nothing to say to you more, but finish this letter, and not send it by the bellman. Days grow short, and the weather grows bad, and the town is splenetic, and things are so oddly contrived that I cannot be absent; otherwise I would go for a few days to Oxford, as I promised.--They say it is certain that Prior has been in France, nobody doubts it: I had not time to ask the Secretary, he was in such haste. Well, I will take my leave of dearest MD for a while; for I must begin my next letter to-night: consider that, young women; and pray be merry, and good girls, and love Presto. There is now but one business the Ministry want me for, and when that is done, I will take my leave of them. I never got a penny from them, nor expect it. In my opinion, some things stand very ticklish; I dare say nothing at this distance. Farewell, dear sirrahs, dearest lives: there is peace and quiet with MD, and nowhere else. They have not leisure here to think of small things, which may ruin them; and I have been forward enough. Farewell again, dearest rogues; I am never happy but when I write or think of MD. I have enough of Courts and Ministries, and wish I were at Laracor; and if I could with honour come away this moment, I would. Bernage came to see me to-day; he is just landed from Portugal, and come to raise recruits; he looks very well, and seems pleased with his station and manner of life. He never saw London nor England before; he is ravished with Kent, which was his first prospect when he landed. Farewell again, etc. etc.
LONDON, Aug. 25, 1711.
I have got a pretty small gilt sheet of paper, to write to MD. I have this moment sent my 28th by Patrick, who tells me he has put it in the post-office; 'tis directed to your lodgings: if it wants more particular direction, you must set me right. It is now a solar month and two days since the date of your last, N.18; and I reckon you are now quiet at home, and thinking to begin your 19th, which will be full of your quarrel between the two Houses, all which I know already. Where shall I dine to-morrow? can you tell? Mrs. Vanhomrigh boards now, and cannot invite one; and there I used to dine when I was at a loss: and all my friends are gone out of town, and your town is now at the fullest, with your Parliament and Convocation. But let me alone, sirrahs; for Presto is going to be very busy; not Presto, but the other I.
26. People have so left the town that I am at a loss for a dinner. It is a long time since I have been at London upon a Sunday; and the Ministers are all at Windsor. It cost me eighteenpence in coach-hire before I could find a place to dine in. I went to Frankland's, and he was abroad, and the drab his wife looked out at window, and bowed to me without inviting me up: so I dined with Mr. Coote, my Lord Mountrath's brother; my lord is with you in Ireland. This morning at five my Lord Jersey died of the gout in his stomach, or apoplexy, or both: he was abroad yesterday, and his death was sudden. He was Chamberlain to King William, and a great favourite, turned out by the Queen as a Tory, and stood now fair to be Privy Seal; and by his death will, I suppose, make that matter easier, which has been a very stubborn business at Court, as I have been informed. I never remember so many people of quality to have died in so short a time.
27. I went to-day into the City, to thank Stratford for my books, and dine with him, and settle my affairs of my money in the Bank, and receive a bill for Mrs. Wesley for some things I am to buy for her; and the d---- a one of all these could I do. The merchants were all out of town, and I was forced to go to a little hedge place for my dinner. May my enemies live here in summer! and yet I am so unlucky that I cannot possibly be out of the way at this juncture. People leave the town so late in summer, and return so late in winter, that they have almost inverted the seasons. It is autumn this good while in St. James's Park; the limes have been losing their leaves, and those remaining on the trees are all parched: I hate this season, where everything grows worse and worse. The only good thing of it is the fruit, and that I dare not eat. Had you any fruit at Wexford? A few cherries, and durst not eat them. I do not hear we have yet got a new Privy Seal. The Whigs whisper that our new Ministry differ among themselves, and they begin to talk out Mr. Secretary: they have some reasons for their whispers, although I thought it was a greater secret. I do not much like the posture of things; I always apprehended that any falling out would ruin them, and so I have told them several times. The Whigs are mighty full of hopes at present; and whatever is the matter, all kind of stocks fall. I have not yet talked with the Secretary about Prior's journey. I should be apt to think it may foretell a peace, and that is all we have to preserve us. The Secretary is not come from Windsor, but I expect him to-morrow. Burn all politics!
28. We begin to have fine weather, and I walked to-day to Chelsea, and dined with the Dean of Carlisle, who is laid up with the gout. It is now fixed that he is to be Dean of Christ Church in Oxford. I was advising him to use his interest to prevent any misunderstanding between our Ministers; but he is too wise to meddle, though he fears the thing and the consequences as much as I. He will get into his own warm, quiet deanery, and leave them to themselves; and he is in the right.--When I came home to-night, I found a letter from Mr. Lewis, who is now at Windsor; and in it, forsooth, another which looked like Presto's hand; and what should it be but a 19th from MD? O, faith, I 'scaped narrowly, for I sent my 28th but on Saturday; and what should I have done if I had two letters to answer at once? I did not expect another from Wexford, that is certain. Well, I must be contented; but you are dear saucy girls, for all that, to write so soon again, faith; an't you?
29. I dined to-day with Lord Abercorn, and took my leave of them: they set out to-morrow for Chester, and, I believe, will now fix in Ireland. They have made a pretty good journey of it: his eldest son is married to a lady with ten thousand pounds; and his second son has, t'other day, got a prize in the lottery of four thousand pounds, beside two small ones of two hundred pounds each: nay, the family was so fortunate, that my lord bestowing one ticket, which is a hundred pounds, to one of his servants, who had been his page, the young fellow got a prize, which has made it another hundred. I went in the evening to Lord Treasurer, who desires I will dine with him to-morrow, when he will show me the answer he designs to return to the letter of thanks from your bishops in Ireland. The Archbishop of Dublin desired me to get myself mentioned in the answer which my lord would send; but I sent him word I would not open my lips to my lord upon it. He says it would convince the bishops of what I have affirmed, that the First-Fruits were granted before the Duke of Ormond was declared Governor; and I writ to him that I would not give a farthing to convince them. My Lord Treasurer began a health to my Lord Privy Seal: Prior punned, and said it was so privy, he knew not who it was; but I fancy they have fixed it all, and we shall know to-morrow. But what care you who is Privy Seal, saucy sluttikins?
30. When I went out this morning, I was surprised with the news that the Bishop of Bristol is made Lord Privy Seal. You know his name is Robinson, and that he was many years Envoy in Sweden. All the friends of the present Ministry are extremely glad, and the clergy above the rest. The Whigs will fret to death to see a civil employment given to a clergyman. It was a very handsome thing in my Lord Treasurer, and will bind the Church to him for ever. I dined with him to-day, but he had not written his letter;[see above, 29th Aug.] but told me he would not offer to send it without showing it to me: he thought that would not be just, since I was so deeply concerned in the affair. We had much company: Lord Rivers, Mar, and Kinnoull, Mr. Secretary, George Granville, and Masham: the last has invited me to the christening of his son to-morrow se'ennight; and on Saturday I go to Windsor with Mr. Secretary.
31. Dilly and I walked to-day to Kensington to Lady Mountjoy, who invited us to dinner. He returned soon, to go to a play, it being the last that will be acted for some time: he dresses himself like a beau, and no doubt makes a fine figure. I went to visit some people at Kensington: Ophy Butler's wife there lies very ill of an ague, which is a very common disease here, and little known in Ireland. I am apt to think we shall soon have a peace, by the little words I hear thrown out by the Ministry. I have just thought of a project to bite the town. I have told you that it is now known that Mr. Prior has been lately in France. I will make a printer of my own sit by me one day, and I will dictate to him a formal relation of Prior's journey, with several particulars, all pure invention; and I doubt not but it will take.
Sept. 1. Morning. I go to-day to Windsor with Mr. Secretary; and Lord Treasurer has promised to bring me back. The weather has been fine for some time, and I believe we shall have a great deal of dust.--At night. Windsor. The Secretary and I dined to-day at Parson's Green, at my Lord Peterborow's house, who has left it and his gardens to the Secretary during his absence. It is the finest garden I have ever seen about this town; and abundance of hot walls for grapes, where they are in great plenty, and ripening fast. I durst not eat any fruit but one fig; but I brought a basket full to my friend Lewis here at Windsor. Does Stella never eat any? what, no apricots at Donnybrook! nothing but claret and ombre! I envy people maunching and maunching peaches and grapes, and I not daring to eat a bit. My head is pretty well, only a sudden turn any time makes me giddy for a moment, and sometimes it feels very stuffed; but if it grows no worse, I can bear it very well. I take all opportunities of walking; and we have a delicious park here just joining to the Castle, and an avenue in the great park very wide and two miles long, set with a double row of elms on each side. Were you ever at Windsor? I was once, a great while ago; but had quite forgotten it.
2. The Queen has the gout, and did not come to chapel, nor stir out from her chamber, but received the sacrament there, as she always does the first Sunday in the month. Yet we had a great Court; and, among others, I saw your Ingoldsby, who, seeing me talk very familiarly with the Keeper, Treasurer, etc., came up and saluted me, and began a very impertinent discourse about the siege of Bouchain. I told him I could not answer his questions, but I would bring him one that should; so I went and fetched Sutton (who brought over the express about a month ago), and delivered him to the General, and bid him answer his questions; and so I left them together. Sutton after some time comes back in a rage, finds me with Lord Rivers and Masham, and there complains of the trick I had played him, and swore he had been plagued to death with Ingoldsby's talk. But he told me Ingoldsby asked him what I meant by bringing him; so, I suppose, he smoked me a little. So we laughed, etc. My Lord Willoughby, who is one of the chaplains, and Prebendary of Windsor, read prayers last night to the family; and the Bishop of Bristol, who is Dean of Windsor, officiated last night at the Cathedral. This they do to be popular; and it pleases mightily. I dined with Mr. Masham, because he lets me have a select company: for the Court here have got by the end a good thing I said to the Secretary some weeks ago. He showed me his bill of fare, to tempt me to dine with him. "Poh," said I, "I value not your bill of fare; give me your bill of company." Lord Treasurer was mightily pleased, and told it everybody as a notable thing. I reckon upon returning to-morrow: they say the Bishop will then have the Privy Seal delivered him at a great Council.
3. Windsor still. The Council was held so late to-day that I do not go back to town till to-morrow. The Bishop was sworn Privy Councillor, and had the Privy Seal given him: and now the patents are passed for those who were this long time to be made lords or earls. Lord Raby, who is Earl of Strafford, is on Thursday to marry a namesake of Stella's; the daughter of Sir H. Johnson in the City; he has three-score thousand pounds with her, ready money; besides the rest at the father's death. I have got my friend Stratford to be one of the directors of the South Sea Company, who were named to-day. My Lord Treasurer did it for me a month ago; and one of those whom I got to be printer of the Gazette I am recommending to be printer to the same company. He treated Mr. Lewis and me to-day at dinner. I supped last night and this with Lord Treasurer, Keeper, etc., and took occasion to mention the printer. I said it was the same printer whom my Lord Treasurer has appointed to print for the South Sea Company. He denied, and I insisted on it; and I got the laugh on my side.
London, 4. I came as far as Brentford in Lord Rivers's chariot, who had business with Lord Treasurer; then I went into Lord Treasurer's. We stopped at Kensington, where Lord Treasurer went to see Mrs. Masham, who is now what they call in the straw. We got to town by three, and I lighted at Lord Treasurer's, who commanded me not to stir: but I was not well; and when he went up, I begged the young lord to excuse me, and so went into the City by water, where I could be easier, and dined with the printer, and dictated to him some part of Prior's Journey to France. I walked from the City, for I take all occasions of exercise. Our journey was horridly dusty.
5. When I went out to-day, I found it had rained mightily in the night, and the streets were as dirty as winter: it is very refreshing after ten days dry.--I went into the City, and dined with Stratford, thanked him for his books, gave him joy of his being director, of which he had the first notice by a letter from me. I ate sturgeon, and it lies on my stomach. I almost finished Prior's Journey at the printer's; and came home pretty late, with Patrick at my heels.
7. Morning. But what shall we do about this letter of MD's, N.19? Not a word answered yet, and so much paper spent! I cannot do anything in it, sweethearts, till night.--At night. O Lord, O Lord! the greatest disgrace that ever was has happened to Presto. What do you think? but, when I was going out this forenoon a letter came from MD, N.20, dated Dublin. O dear, O dear! O sad, O sad!--Now I have two letters together to answer: here they are, lying together. But I will only answer the first; for I came in late. I dined with my friend Lewis at his lodgings, and walked at six to Kensington to Mrs. Masham's son's christening. It was very private; nobody there but my Lord Treasurer, his son and son-in-law, that is to say, Lord Harley and Lord Dupplin, and Lord Rivers and I. The Dean of Rochester christened the child, but soon went away. Lord Treasurer and Lord Rivers were godfathers; and Mrs. Hill, Mrs. Masham's sister, godmother. The child roared like a bull, and I gave Mrs. Masham joy of it; and she charged me to take care of my nephew, because, Mr. Masham being a brother of our Society, his son, you know, is consequently a nephew. Mrs. Masham sat up dressed in bed, but not, as they do in Ireland, with all smooth about her, as if she was cut off in the middle; for you might see the counterpane (what d'ye call it?) rise about her hips and body. There is another name of the counterpane; and you will laugh now, sirrahs. George Granville came in at supper, and we stayed till eleven; and Lord Treasurer set me down at my lodging in Suffolk Street. Did I ever tell you that Lord Treasurer hears ill with the left ear, just as I do? He always turns the right, and his servants whisper him at that only. I dare not tell him that I am so too, for fear he should think I counterfeited, to make my court.
6. You must read this before the other; for I mistook, and forgot to write yesterday's journal, it was so insignificant. I dined with Dr. Cockburn, and sat the evening with Lord Treasurer till ten o'clock. On Thursdays he has always a large select company, and expects me. So good-night for last night, etc.
8. Morning. I go to Windsor with Lord Treasurer to-day, and will leave this behind me, to be sent to the post. And now let us hear what says the first letter, N.19. You are still at Wexford, as you say, Madam Dingley. I think no letter from me ever yet miscarried. And so Inish-Corthy, and the river Slainy; fine words those in a lady's mouth. Your hand like Dingley's, you scambling, scattering sluttikin! YES, MIGHTY LIKE INDEED, IS NOT IT? Pisshh, do not talk of writing or reading till your eyes are well, and long well; only I would have Dingley read sometimes to you, that you may not lose the desire of it. God be thanked, that the ugly numbing is gone! Pray use exercise when you go to town. What game is that ombra which Dr. Elwood and you play at? is it the Spanish game ombre? Your card-purse? you a card- purse! you a fiddlestick. You have luck indeed; and luck in a bag. What a devil! is that eight-shilling tea-kettle copper, or tin japanned? It is like your Irish politeness, raffling for tea-kettles. What a splutter you keep, to convince me that Walls has no taste! My head continues pretty well. Why do you write, dear sirrah Stella, when you find your eyes so weak that you cannot see? what comfort is there in reading what you write, when one knows that? So Dingley cannot write, because of the clutter of new company come to Wexford! I suppose the noise of their hundred horses disturbs you; or do you lie in one gallery, as in an hospital? What! you are afraid of losing in Dublin the acquaintance you have got in Wexford, and chiefly the Bishop of Raphoe, an old, doting, perverse coxcomb? Twenty at a time at breakfast. That is like five pounds at a time, when it was never but once. I doubt, Madam Dingley, you are apt to lie in your travels, though not so bad as Stella; she tells thumpers, as I shall prove in my next, if I find this receives encouragement.- -So Dr. Elwood says there are a world of pretty things in my works. A pox on his praises! an enemy here would say more. The Duke of Buckingham would say as much, though he and I are terribly fallen out; and the great men are perpetually inflaming me against him: they bring me all he says of me, and, I believe, make it worse out of roguery.--No, 'tis not your pen is bewitched, Madam Stella, but your old SCRAWLING, SPLAY-FOOT POT-HOOKS, S, S, ay that's it: there the s, s, s, there, there, that's exact. Farewell, etc.
Our fine weather is gone; and I doubt we shall have a rainy journey to-day. Faith, 'tis shaving-day, and I have much to do. When Stella says her pen was bewitched, it was only because there was a hair in it. You know, the fellow they call God-help-it had the same thoughts of his wife, and for the same reason. I think this is very well observed, and I unfolded the letter to tell you it.
Cut off those two notes above; and see the nine pounds indorsed, and receive the other; and send me word how my accounts stand, that they may be adjusted by Nov. 1. Pray be very particular; but the twenty pounds I lend you is not to be included: so make no blunder. I won't wrong you, nor you shan't wrong me; that is the short. O Lord, how stout Presto is of late! But he loves MD more than his life a thousand times, for all his stoutness; tell them that; and that I'll swear it, as hope saved, ten millions of times, etc. etc.
I open my letter once more, to tell Stella that if she does not use exercise after her waters, it will lose all the effects of them: I should not live if I did not take all opportunities of walking. Pray, pray, do this, to oblige poor Presto.
WINDSOR, Sept. 8, 1711.
I made the coachman stop, and put in my twenty-ninth at the post-office at two o'clock to-day, as I was going to Lord Treasurer, with whom I dined, and came here by a quarter-past eight; but the moon shone, and so we were not in much danger of overturning; which, however, he values not a straw, and only laughs when I chide at him for it. There was nobody but he and I, and we supped together, with Mr. Masham, and Dr. Arbuthnot, the Queen's favourite physician, a Scotchman. I could not keep myself awake after supper, but did all I was able to disguise it, and thought I came off clear; but, at parting, he told me I had got my nap already. It is now one o'clock; but he loves sitting up late.
9. The Queen is still in the gout, but recovering: she saw company in her bed-chamber after church; but the crowd was so great, I could not see her. I dined with my brother Sir William Wyndham, and some others of our Society, to avoid the great tables on Sunday at Windsor, which I hate. The usual company supped to-night at Lord Treasurer's, which was Lord Keeper, Mr. Secretary, George Granville, Masham, Arbuthnot, and I. But showers have hindered me from walking to-day, and that I do not love.--Noble fruit, and I dare not eat a bit. I ate one fig to-day, and sometimes a few mulberries, because it is said they are wholesome, and you know a good name does much. I shall return to town to-morrow, though I thought to have stayed a week, to be at leisure for something I am doing. But I have put it off till next; for I shall come here again on Saturday, when our Society are to meet at supper at Mr. Secretary's. My life is very regular here: on Sunday morning I constantly visit Lord Keeper, and sup at Lord Treasurer's with the same set of company. I was not sleepy to-night; I resolved I would not; yet it is past midnight at this present writing.
London, 10. Lord Treasurer and Masham and I left Windsor at three this afternoon: we dropped Masham at Kensington with his lady, and got home by six. It was seven before we sat down to dinner, and I stayed till past eleven. Patrick came home with the Secretary: I am more plagued with Patrick and my portmantua than with myself. I forgot to tell you that when I went to Windsor on Saturday I overtook Lady Giffard and Mrs. Fenton in a chariot, going, I suppose, to Sheen. I was then in a chariot too, of Lord Treasurer's brother, who had business with the Treasurer; and my lord came after, and overtook me at Turnham Green, four miles from London; and then the brother went back, and I went in the coach with Lord Treasurer: so it happened that those people saw me, and not with Lord Treasurer. Mrs. F. was to see me about a week ago; and desired I would get her son into the Charter-house.
11. This morning the printer sent me an account of Prior's Journey; it makes a twopenny pamphlet. I suppose you will see it, for I dare engage it will run; 'tis a formal, grave lie, from the beginning to the end. I writ all but about the last page; that I dictated, and the printer writ. Mr. Secretary sent to me to dine where he did; it was at Prior's: when I came in, Prior showed me the pamphlet, seemed to be angry, and said, "Here is our English liberty!" I read some of it, and said I liked it mightily, and envied the rogue the thought; for, had it come into my head, I should have certainly done it myself. We stayed at Prior's till past ten; and then the Secretary received a packet with the news of Bouchain being taken, for which the guns will go off to-morrow. Prior owned his having been in France, for it was past denying: it seems he was discovered by a rascal at Dover, who had positive orders to let him pass. I believe we shall have a peace.
12. It is terrible rainy weather, and has cost me three shillings in coaches and chairs to-day, yet I was dirty into the bargain. I was three hours this morning with the Secretary about some business of moment, and then went into the City to dine. The printer tells me he sold yesterday a thousand of Prior's Journey, and had printed five hundred more. It will do rarely, I believe, and is a pure bite. And what is MD doing all this while? got again to their cards, their Walls, their deans, their Stoytes, and their claret? Pray present my service to Mr. Stoyte and Catherine. Tell Goody Stoyte she owes me a world of dinners, and I will shortly come over and demand them.--Did I tell you of the Archbishop of Dublin's last letter? He had been saying, in several of his former, that he would shortly write to me something about myself; and it looked as if he intended something for me: at last out it comes, and consists of two parts. First, he advises me to strike in for some preferment now I have friends; and secondly, he advises me, since I have parts, and learning, and a happy pen, to think of some new subject in divinity not handled by others, which I should manage better than anybody. A rare spark this, with a pox! but I shall answer him as rarely. Methinks he should have invited me over, and given me some hopes or promises. But hang him! and so good-night, etc.
13. It rained most furiously all this morning till about twelve, and sometimes thundered; I trembled for my shillings, but it cleared up, and I made a shift to get a walk in the Park, and then went with the Secretary to dine with Lord Treasurer. Upon Thursdays there is always a select company: we had the Duke of Shrewsbury, Lord Rivers, the two Secretaries, Mr. Granville, and Mr. Prior. Half of them went to Council at six; but Rivers, Granville, Prior, and I, stayed till eight. Prior was often affecting to be angry at the account of his journey to Paris; and indeed the two last pages, which the printer got somebody to add, are so romantic, they spoil all the rest. Dilly Ashe pretended to me that he was only going to Oxford and Cambridge for a fortnight, and then would come back. I could not see him as I appointed t'other day; but some of his friends tell me he took leave of them as going to Ireland; and so they say at his lodging. I believe the rogue was ashamed to tell me so, because I advised him to stay the winter, and he said he would. I find he had got into a good set of scrub acquaintance, and I thought passed his time very merrily; but I suppose he languished after Balderig, and the claret of Dublin; and, after all, I think he is in the right; for he can eat, drink, and converse better there than here. Bernage was with me this morning: he calls now and then; he is in terrible fear of a peace. He said he never had his health so well as in Portugal. He is a favourite of his Colonel.
14. I was mortified enough to-day, not knowing where in the world to dine, the town is so empty. I met H. Coote, and thought he would invite me, but he did not: Sir John Stanley did not come into my head; so I took up with Mrs. Van, and dined with her and her damned landlady, who, I believe, by her eyebrows, is a bawd. This evening I met Addison and Pastoral Philips in the Park, and supped with them at Addison's lodgings: we were very good company, and I yet know no man half so agreeable to me as he is. I sat with them till twelve, so you may think it is late, young women; however, I would have some little conversation with MD before your Presto goes to bed, because it makes me sleep, and dream, and so forth. Faith, this letter goes on slowly enough, sirrahs; but I cannot write much at a time till you are quite settled after your journey, you know, and have gone all your visits, and lost your money at ombre. You never play at chess now, Stella. That puts me in mind of Dick Tighe; I fancy I told you he used to beat his wife here; and she deserved it; and he resolves to part with her; and they went to Ireland in different coaches. O Lord, I said all this before, I am sure. Go to bed, sirrahs.
Windsor, 15. I made the Secretary stop at Brentford, because we set out at two this afternoon, and fasting would not agree with me. I only designed to eat a bit of bread-and-butter; but he would light, and we ate roast beef like dragons. And he made me treat him and two more gentlemen; faith, it cost me a guinea. I do not like such jesting, yet I was mightily pleased with it too. To-night our Society met at the Secretary's: there were nine of us; and we have chosen a new member, the Earl of Jersey, whose father died lately. 'Tis past one, and I have stolen away.
16. I design to stay here this week by myself, about some business that lies on my hands, and will take up a great deal of time. Dr. Adams, one of the canons, invited me to-day to dinner. The tables are so full here on Sunday that it is hard to dine with a few, and Dr. Adams knows I love to do so; which is very obliging. The Queen saw company in her bed-chamber; she looks very well, but she sat down. I supped with Lord Treasurer as usual, and stayed till past one as usual, and with our usual company, except Lord Keeper, who did not come this time to Windsor. I hate these suppers mortally, but I seldom eat anything.
17. Lord Treasurer and Mr. Secretary stay here till tomorrow; some business keeps them, and I am sorry for it, for they hinder me a day. Mr. Lewis and I were going to dine soberly with a little Court friend at one. But Lord Harley and Lord Dupplin kept me by force, and said we should dine at Lord Treasurer's, who intended to go at four to London. I stayed like a fool, and went with the two young lords to Lord Treasurer, who very fairly turned us all three out of doors. They both were invited to the Duke of Somerset, but he was gone to a horse-race, and would not come till five; so we were forced to go to a tavern, and sent for wine from Lord Treasurer's, who at last, we were told, did not go to town till the morrow, and at Lord Treasurer's we supped again; and I desired him to let me add four shillings to the bill I gave him. We sat up till two, yet I must write to little MD.
18. They are all gone early this morning, and I am alone to seek my fortune; but Dr. Arbuthnot engages me for my dinners; and he yesterday gave me my choice of place, person, and victuals for to-day. So I chose to dine with Mrs. Hill, who is one of the dressers, and Mrs. Masham's sister, no company but us three, and to have a shoulder of mutton, a small one; which was exactly, only there was too much victuals besides; and the Doctor's wife was of the company. And to-morrow Mrs. Hill and I are to dine with the Doctor. I have seen a fellow often about Court whom I thought I knew. I asked who he was, and they told me it was the gentleman porter; then I called him to mind; he was Killy's acquaintance (I won't say yours); I think his name is Lovet, or Lovel, or something like it. I believe he does not know me, and in my present posture I shall not be fond of renewing old acquaintance; I believe I used to see him with the Bradleys; and, by the way, I have not seen Mrs. Bradley since I came to England. I left your letter in London, like a fool; and cannot answer it till I go back, which will not be until Monday next; so this will be above a fortnight from my last; but I will fetch it up in my next; so go and walk to the Dean's for your health this fine weather.
19. The Queen designs to have cards and dancing here next week, which makes us think she will stay here longer than we believed. Mrs. Masham is not well after her lying-in: I doubt she got some cold; she is lame in one of her legs with a rheumatic pain. Dr. Arbuthnot and Mrs. Hill go tomorrow to Kensington to see her, and return the same night. Mrs. Hill and I dined with the Doctor to-day. I rode out this morning with the Doctor to see Cranburn, a house of Lord Ranelagh's, and the Duchess of Marlborough's lodge, and the Park; the finest places they are, for nature and plantations, that ever I saw; and the finest riding upon artificial roads, made on purpose for the Queen. Arbuthnot made me draw up a sham subscription for a book, called A History of the Maids of Honour since Harry the Eighth, showing they make the best wives, with a list of all the maids of honour since, etc.; to pay a crown in hand, and the other crown upon delivery of the book; and all in common forms of those things. We got a gentleman to write it fair, because my hand is known; and we sent it to the maids of honour, when they came to supper. If they bite at it, it will be a very good Court jest; and the Queen will certainly have it: we did not tell Mrs. Hill.
20. To-day I was invited to the Green Cloth by Colonel Godfrey, who married the Duke of Marlborough's sister, mother to the Duke of Berwick by King James: I must tell you those things that happened before you were born. But I made my excuses, and young Harcourt (Lord Keeper's son) and I dined with my next neighbour, Dr Adams. Mrs. Masham is better, and will be here in three or four days. She had need; for the Duchess of Somerset is thought to gain ground daily.--We have not sent you over all your bills; and I think we have altered your money-bill. The Duke of Ormond is censured here, by those in power, for very wrong management in the affair of the mayoralty. He is governed by fools, and has usually much more sense than his advisers, but never proceeds by it. I must know how your health continues after Wexford. Walk and use exercise, sirrahs both; and get somebody to play at shuttlecock with you, Madam Stella, and walk to the Dean's and Donnybrook.
21. Colonel Godfrey sent to me again to-day; so I dined at the Green Cloth, and we had but eleven at dinner, which is a small number there, the Court being always thin of company till Saturday night.--This new ink and pen make a strange figure; I MUST WRITE LARGER, YES I MUST, OR STELLA WILL NOT BE ABLE TO READ THIS. S. S. S., there is your S's for you, Stella. The maids of honour are bit, and have all contributed their crowns, and are teasing others to subscribe for the book. I will tell Lord Keeper and Lord Treasurer to- morrow; and I believe the Queen will have it. After a little walk this evening, I squandered away the rest of it in sitting at Lewis's lodging, while he and Dr. Arbuthnot played at picquet. I have that foolish pleasure, which I believe nobody has beside me, except old Lady Berkeley. But I fretted when I came away: I will loiter so no more, for I have a plaguy deal of business upon my hands, and very little time to do it. The pamphleteers begin to be very busy against the Ministry: I have begged Mr. Secretary to make examples of one or two of them, and he assures me he will. They are very bold and abusive.
22. This being the day the Ministry come to Windsor, I ate a bit or two at Mr. Lewis's lodgings, because I must sup with Lord Treasurer; and at half an hour after one, I led Mr. Lewis a walk up the avenue, which is two miles long. We walked in all about five miles; but I was so tired with his slow walking, that I left him here, and walked two miles towards London, hoping to meet Lord Treasurer, and return with him; but it grew darkish, and I was forced to walk back, so I walked nine miles in all; and Lord Treasurer did not come till after eight; which is very wrong, for there was no moon, and I often tell him how ill he does to expose himself so; but he only makes a jest of it. I supped with him, and stayed till now, when it is half an hour after two. He is as merry and careless and disengaged as a young heir at one-and-twenty. 'Tis late indeed.
23. The Secretary did not come last night, but at three this afternoon. I have not seen him yet, but I verily think they are contriving a peace as fast as they can, without which it will be impossible to subsist. The Queen was at church to-day, but was carried in a chair. I and Mr. Lewis dined privately with Mr. Lowman, Clerk of the Kitchen. I was to see Lord Keeper this morning, and told him the jest of the maids of honour; and Lord Treasurer had it last night. That rogue Arbuthnot puts it all upon me. The Court was very full to-day. I expected Lord Treasurer would have invited me to supper; but he only bowed to me; and we had no discourse in the drawing-room. It is now seven at night, and I am at home; and I hope Lord Treasurer will not send for me to supper: if he does not, I will reproach him; and he will pretend to chide me for not coming.--So farewell till I go to bed, for I am going to be busy.--It is now past ten, and I went down to ask the servants about Mr. Secretary: they tell me the Queen is yet at Council, and that she went to supper, and came out to the Council afterwards. It is certain they are managing a peace. I will go to bed, and there is an end.--It is now eleven, and a messenger is come from Lord Treasurer to sup with them; but I have excused myself, and am glad I am in bed; for else I should sit up till two, and drink till I was hot. Now I'll go sleep.
London, 24. I came to town by six with Lord Treasurer, and have stayed till ten. That of the Queen's going out to sup, and coming in again, is a lie, as the Secretary told me this morning; but I find the Ministry are very busy with Mr. Prior, and I believe he will go again to France. I am told so much, that we shall certainly have a peace very soon. I had charming weather all last week at Windsor; but we have had a little rain to-day, and yesterday was windy. Prior's Journey sells still; they have sold two thousand, although the town is empty. I found a letter from Mrs. Fenton here, desiring me, in Lady Giffard's name, to come and pass a week at Sheen, while she is at Moor Park. I will answer it with a vengeance: and now you talk of answering, there is MD's N.20 is yet to be answered: I had put it up so safe, I could hardly find it; but here it is, faith, and I am afraid I cannot send this till Thursday; for I must see the Secretary to-morrow morning, and be in some other place in the evening.
25. Stella writes like an emperor, and gives such an account of her journey, never saw the like. Let me see; stand away, let us compute; you stayed four days at Inish-Corthy, two nights at Mrs. Proby's mother's, and yet was but six days in journey; for your words are, "We left Wexford this day se'ennight, and came here last night." I have heard them say that "travellers may lie by authority." Make up this, if you can. How far is it from Wexford to Dublin? how many miles did you travel in a day? Let me see--thirty pounds in two months is nine score pounds a year; a matter of nothing in Stella's purse! I dreamed Billy Swift was alive, and that I told him you writ me word he was dead, and that you had been at his funeral; and I admired at your impudence, and was in mighty haste to run and let you know what lying rogues you were. Poor lad! he is dead of his mother's former folly and fondness; and yet now I believe, as you say, that her grief will soon wear off.--O yes, Madam Dingley, mightily tired of the company, no doubt of it, at Wexford! And your description of it is excellent; clean sheets, but bare walls; I suppose then you lay upon the walls.--Mrs. Walls has got her tea; but who pays me the money? Come, I shall never get it; so I make a present of it, to stop some gaps, etc. Where's the thanks of the house? So, that's well; why, it cost four-and-thirty shillings English--you must adjust that with Mrs. Walls; I think that is so many pence more with you.--No, Leigh and Sterne, I suppose, were not at the water-side: I fear Sterne's business will not be done; I have not seen him this good while. I hate him, for the management of that box; and I was the greatest fool in nature for trusting to such a young jackanapes; I will speak to him once more about it, when I see him. Mr. Addison and I met once more since, and I supped with him; I believe I told you so somewhere in this letter. The Archbishop chose an admirable messenger in Walls, to send to me; yet I think him fitter for a messenger than anything.--The D---- she has! I did not observe her looks. Will she rot out of modesty with Lady Giffard? I pity poor Jenny--but her husband is a dunce, and with respect to him she loses little by her deafness. I believe, Madam Stella, in your accounts you mistook one liquor for another, and it was an hundred and forty quarts of wine, and thirty-two of water.--This is all written in the morning before I go to the Secretary, as I am now doing. I have answered your letter a little shorter than ordinary; but I have a mind it should go to-day, and I will give you my journal at night in my next; for I'm so afraid of another letter before this goes: I will never have two together again unanswered.--What care I for Dr. Tisdall and Dr. Raymond, or how many children they have! I wish they had a hundred apiece.--Lord Treasurer promises me to answer the bishops' letter to-morrow, and show it me; and I believe it will confirm all I said, and mortify those that threw the merit on the Duke of Ormond; for I have made him jealous of it; and t'other day, talking of the matter, he said, "I am your witness, you got it for them before the Duke was Lord Lieutenant." My humble service to Mrs. Walls, Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine. Farewell, etc.
What do you do when you see any literal mistakes in my letters? how do you set them right? for I never read them over to correct them. Farewell, again.
Pray send this note to Mrs. Brent, to get the money when Parvisol comes to town, or she can send to him.
Notes to Letters 21-30:
1 In 1670 Temple thanked the Grand Duke of Tuscany for "an entire vintage of the finest wines of Italy" (Temple's Works, 1814, ii. 155-56).
2 Mrs. Manley (see Letter 17, note 22).
3 Charles Caesar, M.P. for Hertford, was appointed Treasurer of the Navy in June 1711, in the room of Robert Walpole.
4 Joseph I. His successor was his brother Charles, the King of Spain recognised by England.
5 Simon Harcourt, M.P. for Wallingford. He married Elizabeth, sister of Sir John Evelyn, Bart., and died in 1720, aged thirty-five, before his father. He was secretary to the society of "Brothers," wrote verses, and was a friend of the poets. His son Simon was created Earl Harcourt in 1749, and was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
6 Doiley, a seventeenth-century linen-draper,--probably "Thomas Doyley, at the Nun, in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden,"--invented stuffs which "might at once be cheap and genteel" (Spectator, No. 283).
7 A special envoy. The Resident from Venice in 1710 was Signor Bianchi.
8 See Letter 17, note 5.
9 Nanfan Coote, second Earl of Bellamont, who died in 1708, married, in 1705, Lucia Anna, daughter of Henry de Nassau, Lord of Auverquerque, and sister of Henry, first Earl of Grantham. She died in 1744.
10 "Farnese" (Deane Swift).
11 See Letter 20, note 3.
12 Swift's changes of residence during the period covered by the Journal were numerous. On Sept. 20, 1710, he moved from Pall Mall to Bury Street, "where I suppose I shall continue while in London." But on Dec. 28 he went to new lodgings in St. Albans Street, Haymarket. On April 26, 1711, he moved to Chelsea, and from there to Suffolk Street, to be near the Vanhomrighs. He next moved to St. Martins Street, Leicester Fields; and a month later to Panton Street, Haymarket. In 1712 he lodged for a time at Kensington Gravel Pits.
13 At raffling for books.
14 James Brydges, Paymaster-General, and afterwards Duke of Chandos (see Letter 3, note 31).
15 Thomas Foley, M.P. for Worcestershire, was created Baron Foley in December 1711, and died in 1733.
16 See 25th April, 1711 and Letter 20, note 3.
17 See Letter 19, note 3.
18 Charles Dering, second son of Sir Edward Dering, Bart., M.P. for Kent, was Auditor of the Exchequer in Ireland, and M.P. for Carlingford.
19 See Letter 11, note 44.
20 See Letter 17, note 4.
21 A Whig paper, for the most part by Mainwaring and Oldmixon, in opposition to the Examiner. It appeared weekly from October 1710 to August 1711.
22 See Letter 17, note 22.
23 See Spectator, No. 50, by Addison.
24 In all probability a mistake for "Wesley" (see Letter 1, note 12).
1 Lord Paisley (see Letter 17, note 7).
2 See Letter 11, note 5.
3 Sir Hovenden Walker. The "man midwife" was Sir Chamberlen Walker, his younger brother. The "secret expedition" against Quebec conveyed upwards of 5000 soldiers, under the command of General John Hill (see Letter 10, note 2), but owing to the want of due preparations and the severe weather encountered, the fleet was compelled to return to England without accomplishing anything.
4 Robert Freind, elder brother of John Freind, M.D. (see Letter 9, note 1), became headmaster of Westminster School in 1711, and held the appointment until 1733. He was Rector of Witney, and afterwards Canon of Windsor, Prebendary of Westminster, and Canon of Christ Church. He died in 1751, aged eighty-four.
5 Christopher Musgrave was Clerk of the Ordnance.
6 Atterbury's wife, Katherine Osborn, has been described as "the inspiration of his youth and the solace of his riper years."
7 The original Chelsea Bun House, in Jew's Row, was pulled down in 1839. Sir R. Philips, writing in 1817, said, "Those buns have afforded a competency, and even wealth, to four generations of the same family; and it is singular that their delicate flavour, lightness, and richness have never been successfully imitated."
8 See Letter 8, note 22. King wrote to Swift (May 15, 1711), "The death of the Earl of Rochester is a great blow to all good men, and even his enemies cannot but do justice to his character. What influence it will have on public affairs God only knows."
9 See Letter 11, note 11.
10 See Letter 17, note 6.
11 See Letter 18, note 4.
12 See Letter 20, note 13.
13 Swift's curate at Laracor.
14 Queen Anne was the last sovereign who exercised the supposed royal gift of healing by touch. Dr. Johnson was touched by her, but without effect.
15 Richard Thornhill was tried at the Old Bailey on May 18, 1711, for the murder of Sir Cholmley Dering, M.P. for Kent, and found guilty of manslaughter only; but he was shortly afterwards assassinated (see Journal for Aug. 21, 1711; Spectator, No. 84). The quarrel began on April 27, when they fell to blows, and Thornhill being knocked down, had some teeth struck out by Sir C. Dering stamping on him. The spectators then interfered, and Dering expressed himself as ready to beg pardon; but Thornhill not thinking this was sufficient satisfaction, gave Dering the lie, and on May 9 sent him a challenge.
16 Tothill Fields, Westminster, was a favourite place for duels in the seventeenth century.
17 See Letter 13, note 17.
18 Benjamin Burton, a Dublin banker, and brother-in-law of Swift's friend Stratford (see Letter 3, note 22). Swift says he hated this "rogue."
1 The day on which the Club met. See letter from Swift to St. John, May 11, 1711.
2 Henry Barry, fourth Lord Barry of Santry (1680-1734), was an Irish Privy Councillor, and Governor of Derry. In 1702 he married Bridget, daughter of Sir Thomas Domville, Bart., and in an undated letter (about 1735) to Lady Santry Swift spoke of his esteem for her, "although I had hardly the least acquaintance with your lord, nor was at all desirous to cultivate it, because I did not at all approve of his conduct." Lord Santry's only son and heir, who was born in 1710, was condemned to death for the murder of a footman in 1739, when the barony became extinct by forfeiture. See B. W. Adams's History of Santry.
3 Probably Captain Cammock, of the Speedwell, of 28 guns and 125 men (Luttrell, vi. 331), who met on July 13, 1708, off Scotland, two French privateers, one of 16, the other of 18 guns, and fought them several hours. The first privateer got off, much shattered; the other was brought into Carrickfergus.
4 See Letter 7, note 21.
5 See Letter 13, note 10.
6 This valuable pamphlet is signed "J.G.," and is believed to be by John Gay.
7 Edmund Curll's collection of Swift's Miscellanies, published in 1711, was an expansion of a pamphlet of 1710, "A Meditation upon a Broomstick, and somewhat beside, of the same Author's."
8 "In this passage DD signifies both Dingley and Stella" (Deane Swift).
9 Sir Henry Craik's reading. The old editions have, "It would do: DD goes as well as Presto," which is obviously corrupt.
10 Cf. Journal, June 17, 1712.
11 Cf. "old doings" (see Letter 9, note 19.)
12 See Letter 17, note 11.
13 Rymer's Foedera, in three volumes, which Swift obtained for Trinity College, Dublin.
14 See Letter 6, note 43 and 9th Feb. 1710-11.
15 Stephen Colledge, "the Protestant joiner," was hanged in 1681. He had published attacks on the Roman Catholics, and had advocated resistance to Charles II.
16 See Letter 3, note 39.
17 Mitford Crowe was appointed Governor of Barbados in 1706, and before his departure for that island went to Spain, "to settle the accounts of our army there, of which he is paymaster" (Luttrell, vi. 104). In 1710 charges of bribery brought against him by merchants were inquired into by the Privy Council, but he seems to have cleared himself, for in June 1711 Swift speaks of him as Governor of Jamaica. He died in 1719.
18 See Letter 8, note 21.
19 Swift's uncle Adam "lived and died in Ireland," and left no son. Another daughter of his became Mrs. Whiteway.
20 William Lowndes, M.P., secretary to the Treasury, whom Walpole called "as able and honest a servant as ever the Crown had."
21 The Lord Treasurer's staff: since the dismissal of Godolphin, the Treasurership had been held in commission.
22 "As I hope to be saved."
23 Stella's maid.
24 See letter from King to Swift, May 15, 1711. Alderman Constantine, a High Churchman, indignant at being passed over by a junior in the contest for the mayoralty, brought the matter before the Council Board, and produced an old by-law by which aldermen, according to their ancientry, were required to keep their mayoralty. King took the side of the city, but the majority was for the by-law, and disapproved of the election; whereupon the citizens repealed the by-law and re-elected the same alderman as before.
1 The Lord Treasurer's staff.
2 Swift's "little parson cousin," the resident chaplain at Moor Park. He pretended to have had some part in The Tale of a Tub, and Swift always professed great contempt for him. Thomas Swift was son of an Oxford uncle of Swift's, of the same name, and was at school and college with Swift. He became Rector of Puttenham, Surrey, and died in 1752, aged eighty-seven.
3 The Duke of Ormond's daughter, Lady Mary Butler (see Letter 7, notes 2 and 3.)
4 Thomas Harley, the Lord Treasurer's cousin, was secretary to the Treasury.
5 Lord Oxford's daughter Elizabeth married, in 1712, the Marquis of Caermarthen.
6 Henry Tenison, M.P. for County Louth, was one of the Commissioners of the Revenue in Ireland from 1704 until his death in 1709 (Luttrell, v. 381, vi. 523). Probably he was related to Dr. Tenison, Bishop of Meath, who died in 1705.
7 Anne Finch (died 1720), daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, and wife of Heneage Finch, who became fourth Earl of Winchelsea in 1712. Lady Winchelsea published a volume of poems in 1713, and was a friend of Pope and Rowe. Wordsworth recognised the advance in the growth of attention to "external nature" shown in her writings.
8 See Letter 23, note 24 and Letter 30, note 13.
9 This was a mistake. Charles Hickman, D.D., Bishop of Derry, died in November 1713.
10 "These words in italics are written in a large round hand" (Deane Swift). [Italics replaced by capitals for the transcription of this etext.]
11 "This entry is interlined in the original" (Deane Swift).
12 Colonel James Graham (1649-1730) held various offices under James II., and was granted a lease of a lodge in Bagshot Park. Like his brother, Viscount Preston, he was suspected of treasonable practices in 1691, and he was arrested in 1692 and 1696. Under Queen Anne and George I., Colonel Graham was M.P. for Appleby and Westmorland.
13 Mr. Leslie Stephen has pointed out that this is the name of an inn (now the Jolly Farmer) near Frimley, on the hill between Bagshot and Farnborough. This inn is still called the Golden Farmer on the Ordnance map.
14 "Soley" is probably a misreading for "sollah," a form often used by Swift for "sirrah," and "figgarkick" may be "pilgarlick" (a poor creature) in Swift's "little language" (cf. 20th Oct. 1711).
15 See Letter 14, note 14.
16 Probably a misprint for "Bertie." This Mr. Bertie may have been the Hon. James Bertie, second son of the first Earl of Abingdon, and M.P. for Middlesex.
17 Evelyn Pierrepont, fifth Earl of Kingston, was made Marquis of Dorchester in 1706. He became Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull in 1715, and died in 1726. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was his daughter.
18 See Letter 12, note 22.
19 Sir Thomas Thynne, first Viscount Weymouth, who died in 1714, aged seventy- four, married Frances, daughter of Heneage Finch, second Earl of Winchelsea.
20 See Letter 7, note 31.
21 Swift is referring to St. John's defence of Brydges (see Letter 21, note 14.)
22 "He does not mean smoking, which he never practised, but snuffing up cut- and-dry tobacco, which sometimes was just coloured with Spanish snuff; and this he used all his life, but would not own that he took snuff" (Deane Swift).
23 Beaumont (see Letter 1, note 2).
24 Sir Alexander Cairnes, M.P. for Monaghan, a banker, was created a baronet in 1706, and died in 1732.
25 See Letter 6, note 44 and Letter 17, note 4.
26 Isaac Manley (see Letter 3, note 3.)
27 Sir Thomas Frankland.
28 See Letter 5, note 8.
29 Hockley-in-the-Hole, Clerkenwell, a place of public diversion, was famous for its bear and bull baitings.
30 Sir William Seymour, second son of Sir Edward Seymour, Bart., of Berry Pomeroy, retired from the army in 1717, and died in 1728 (Dalton's Army Lists). He was wounded at Landen and Vigo, and saw much service between his appointment as a Captain of Fusiliers in 1686 and his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1707.
31 No. 45.
32 "And now I conceive the main design I had in writing these papers is fully executed. A great majority of the nation is at length thoroughly convinced that the Queen proceeded with the highest wisdom, in changing her Ministry and Parliament" (Examiner, No. 45).
33 Edward Harley (see Letter 13, note 17).
34 See Letter 24, note 2.
35 Tom Ashe was an elder brother of the Bishop of Clogher. He had an estate of more than 1000 pounds a year in County Meath, and Nichols describes him as of droll appearance, thick and short in person: "a facetious, pleasant companion, but the most eternal unwearied punster that ever lived."
36 "Even Joseph Beaumont, the son, was at this time an old man, whose grey locks were venerable; yet his father lived until about 1719" (Deane Swift).
1 Sir William Wyndham, Bart. (1687-174O), was M.P. for Somerset. He was a close partisan of Bolingbroke's, and in 1713 introduced the Schism Bill, which drove Oxford from office. Wyndham became Chancellor of the Exchequer, and was afterwards a leading opponent of Walpole. His wife, Lady Catherine Seymour (died 1713), was the second daughter of Charles, Duke of Somerset (see Letter 28, note 8).
2 Swift was afterwards President of this Club, which is better known as "the Society."
3 Perhaps Daniel Reading, M.P. for Newcastle, Co. Dublin.
4 Afterwards Congreve formed a friendship with the Whigs; or, as Swift put it, "Took proper principles to thrive, And so might every dunce alive."
6 This pamphlet, published in February 1712, was called "A Proposal for Correcting, Improving, and Ascertaining the English Tongue, in a Letter to the. . . Lord High Treasurer."
7 No. 47
8 Francis Gastrell, Canon of Christ Church, was made Bishop of Chester in 1713. His valuable Notitia Cestriensis was published in 1845-50.
9 Near Fulham.
10 See Letter 12, note 21.
11 The daughters of Meinhardt Schomberg, Duke of Leinster, in Ireland, and third Duke of Schomberg. Lady Mary married Count Dagenfeldt, and Lady Frederica married, first, the Earl of Holderness, and, secondly, Earl Fitz Walter.
12 Thomas Harley.
13 See Letter 19, note 3.
1 The widow of Sir John Lyndon, who was appointed a justice of the Court of King's Bench in Ireland in 1682, and died in 1699.
2 "Marmaduke Coghill, LL.D., was judge of the Prerogative Court in Ireland. About this time he courted a lady, and was soon to have been married to her; but unfortunately a cause was brought to trial before him, wherein a man was sued for beating his wife. When the matter was agitated, the Doctor gave his opinion, 'That although a man had no right to beat his wife unmercifully, yet that, with such a little cane or switch as he then held in his hand, a husband was at liberty, and was invested with a power, to give his wife moderate correction'; which opinion determined the lady against having the Doctor. He died an old man and a bachelor" (Deane Swift). See also Lascelles, Liber Muner. Hibern., part ii. p. 80.
3 This was a common exclamation of the time, but the spelling varies in different writers. It seems to be a corruption of "God so," or "God ho," but there may have been a confusion with "cat-so," derived from the Italian "cazzo."
4 See Letter 9, note 28. Mrs. Manley was now editing the Examiner.
5 Sir Henry Belasyse was sent to Spain as Commissioner to inquire into the state of the English forces in that country. The son of Sir Richard Belasyse, Knight of Ludworth, Durham, Sir Henry finished a chequered career in 1717, when he was buried in Westminster Abbey (Dalton's Army Lists, ii. 228). In his earlier years he served under the United Provinces, and after the accession of William was made a Brigadier-General in the English army, and in 1694, Lieutenant-General. In 1702 he was second in command of the expedition to Cadiz, but he was dismissed the service in consequence of the looting of Port St. Mary. Subsequently he was elected M.P. for Durham, and in 1713 was appointed Governor of Berwick.
7 See Letter 3, note 20.
8 Sir John Powell, a Judge of the Queen's Bench, died in 1713, aged sixty- eight. He was a kindly as well as able judge.
9 See June 7th, 1711.
10 This Tisdall has been described as a Dublin merchant; but in all probability he was Richard Tisdall, Registrar of the Irish Court of Chancery, and M.P. for Dundalk (1707-1713) and County Louth (1713-1727). He married Marian, daughter of Richard Boyle, M.P., and died in 1742. Richard Tisdall was a relative of Stella's suitor, the Rev. William Tisdall, and years afterwards Swift took an interest in his son Philip, who became a Secretary of State and Leader of the Irish House of Commons.
11 "In Ireland there are not public paths from place to place, as in England" (Deane Swift).
12 See Letter 24, note 6.
13 Probably a son of John Manley, M.P. (see Letter 5, note 8).
14 See Letter 11, note 45.
15 Dr. George Stanhope, who was Vicar of Lewisham as well as of Deptford. He was a popular preacher and a translator of Thomas a Kempis and other religious writers.
16 See Letter 3, note 17.
17 A favourite word with Swift, when he wished to indicate anything obscure or humble.
18 See Letter 17, note 11.
19 See June 7th, 1711 and notes.
20 See Letter 17, note 23.
21 Thomas Mills (1671-174O) was made Bishop of Waterford and Lismore in 17O8. A man of learning and a liberal contributor to the cost of church restorations, he is charged by Archbishop King with giving all the valuable livings in his gift to his non-resident relatives.
22 Tooke was appointed printer of the London Gazette in 1711 (see Letter 3, note 8).
23 See Letter 5, note 10
24 Lady Jane Hyde, the elder daughter of Henry Hyde, Earl of Rochester (see Letter 5, note 11), married William Capel, third Earl of Essex. Her daughter Charlotte's husband, the son of the Earl of Jersey, was created Earl of Clarendon in 1776. Lady Jane's younger sister, Catherine, who became the famous Duchess of Queensberry, Gay's patroness, is represented by Prior, in The Female Phaeton, as jealous, when a young girl, of her sister, "Lady Jenny," who went to balls, and "brought home hearts by dozens."
25 See Letter 3, note 2.
26 John Holles, Duke of Newcastle, had held the Privy Seal from 17O5, and was regarded by the Ministers as a possible plenipotentiary in the event of their negotiations for a peace being successful. He married Lady Margaret Cavendish, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Cavendish, second Duke of Newcastle, and was one of the richest nobles in England. His death, on July 15, 1711, was the result of a fall while stag-hunting. The Duke's only daughter married, in 1713, Edward, Lord Harley, the Earl of Oxford's son.
1 Alexander Forbes, fourth Lord Forbes, who was afterwards attainted for his share in the Rebellion of 1745.
2 Obscure (cf. Letter 7, note 30).
3 Jacob Tonson the elder, who died in 1736, outlived his nephew, Jacob Tonson the younger, by a few months. The elder Tonson, the secretary of the Kit-Cat Club, published many of Dryden's works, and the firm continued to be the chief publishers of the time during the greater part of the eighteenth century.
4 John Barber.
5 By his will Swift left to Deane Swift his "large silver standish, consisting of a large silver plate, an ink-pot, and a sand-box."
6 I.e., we are only three hours in getting there.
7 Cf. Letter 15, note 9.
8 The Examiner was revived in December 1711, under Oldisworth's editorship, and was continued by him until 1714.
9 James Douglas, fourth Duke of Hamilton, was created Duke of Brandon in the English peerage in September 1711, and was killed by Lord Mohun in a duel in 1712. Swift calls him "a worthy good-natured person, very generous, but of a middle understanding." He married, in 1698, as his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Digby, Lord Gerard, a lady to whom Swift often refers in the Journal. She outlived the Duke thirty-two years.
10 See August 27th, 1711.
11 William Fitzmaurice (see Letter 11, note 19).
12 The Duke of Shrewsbury (see Letter 3, note 32) married an Italian lady, Adelhida, daughter of the Marquis of Paliotti, of Bologna, descended maternally from Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Queen Elizabeth's favourite. Lady Cowper (Diary, pp. 8, 9) says that the Duchess "had a wonderful art of entertaining and diverting people, though she would sometimes exceed the bounds of decency; . . . but then, with all her prate and noise, she was the most cunning, designing woman alive, obliging to people in prosperity, and a great party-woman." As regards the name "Presto," see Letter 2, note 11.
13 Probably a cousin.
14 Presumptuous: claiming much.
15 See Letter 13, note 15. John Winchcombe, a weaver of Newbury, marched with a hundred of his workmen, at his own expenses, against the Scots in 1513.
16 Thomas Coke, M.P., of Derbyshire, was appointed a Teller of the Exchequer in 1704, and Vice-Chamberlain to the Queen in 1706. In 1706 he married--as his second wife--Mrs. Hale, one of the maids of honour (Luttrell, v. 411, 423; vi. 113, 462; Lady Cowper's Diary, 15, 16), a lady whose "piercing" beauty it was, apparently, that Steele described under the name of Chloe, in No. 4 of the Tatler. Jervas painted her as a country girl, "with a liveliness that shows she is conscious, but not affected, of her perfections." Coke was the Sir Plume of Pope's Rape of the Lock.
17 The committee of management of the Royal household.
18 Francesca Margherita de l'Epine, the famous singer, and principal rival of Mrs. Tofts, came to England in 1692, and constantly sang in opera until her retirement in 1718, when she married Dr. Pepusch. She died in 1746. Her sister, Maria Gallia, also a singer, did not attain the same popularity.
19 Charles Scarborow and Sir William Foster were the Clerks of the Board of Green Cloth.
20 See Letter 27, note 16 on Thomas Coke.
21 The Earl of Sunderland's second wife, Lady Anne Churchill, who died in 1716, aged twenty-eight. She was the favourite daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, and was called "the little Whig." Verses were written in honour of her beauty and talent by Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, Dr. Watts and others, and her portrait was painted by Lely and Kneller.
22 Mary, daughter of Sir William Forester, of Dothill, Shropshire. In 1700, at the age of thirteen, she had been secretly married to her cousin, George Downing, a lad of fifteen. Three years later, Downing, on his return from abroad, refused to acknowledge his wife, and in 1715 both parties petitioned the House of Lords for leave to bring in a Bill declaring the marriage to be void; but leave was refused (Lords' Journals, xx. 41, 45). Downing had become Sir George Downing, Bart., in 1711, and had been elected M.P. for Dunwich; he died without issue in 1749, and was the founder of Downing College, Cambridge.
23 In a discussion upon what would be the result if beards became the fashion, Budgell (Spectator, No. 331) says, "Besides, we are not certain that the ladies would not come into the mode, when they take the air on horseback. They already appear in hats and feathers, coats and periwigs."
1 Horse-racing was much encouraged by Charles II., who, as Strutt tells us, appointed races to be made in Datchet Mead, when he was residing at Windsor. By Queen Anne's time horse-racing was becoming a regular institution: see Spectator, No. 173.
2 John Montagu, second Duke of Montagu, married Lady Mary Churchill, youngest daughter of the Duke of Marlborough.
3 Of Clogher.
4 John Adams, Prebendary of Canterbury and Canon of Windsor. He was made Provost of King's College, Cambridge, in 1712, and died in 1720.
5 The Hon. and Rev. George Verney, Canon of Windsor (died 1728), became fourth Lord Willoughby de Broke on the death of his father (Sir Richard Verney, the third Baron), in July 1711. Lord Willoughby became Dean of Windsor in 1713.
6 Thomas Hare, Under Secretary of State in Bolingbroke's office.
7 Richard Sutton was the second son of Robert Sutton, the nephew of the Robert Sutton who was created Viscount Lexington by Charles I. Sutton served under William III. and Marlborough in Flanders, and was made a Brigadier-General in 1710, in which year also he was elected M.P. for Newark. In 1711 he was appointed Governor of Hull, and he died, a Lieutenant-General, in 1737 (Dalton's Army Lists, iii. 153)
8 Charles Seymour, sixth Duke of Somerset (1662-1748), known as "the proud Duke of Somerset." Through the influence which his wife--afterwards Mistress of the Robes (see Letter 17, note 10)--had obtained over the Queen, he bore no small part in bringing about the changes of 1710. His intrigues during this period were, however, mainly actuated by jealousy of Marlborough, and he had really no sympathies with the Tories. His intrigues with the Whigs caused the utmost alarm to St. John and to Swift.
9 The third and last reference to Vanessa in the Journal.
10 "Pray God preserve her life, which is of great importance" (Swift to Archbishop King, Aug. 15, 1711). St. John was at this moment very anxious to conciliate Mrs. Masham, as he felt that she was the only person capable of counteracting the intrigues of the Duchess of Somerset with the Queen.
11 Pontack, of Abchurch Lane, son of Arnaud de Pontac, President of the Parliament of Bordeaux, was proprietor of the most fashionable eating-house in London. There the Royal Society met annually at dinner until 1746. Several writers speak of the dinners at a guinea a head and upwards served at Pontack's, and Swift comments on the price of the wine.
12 "His name was Read" (Scott).
13 Up to the end of 1709 the warrants for the payment of the works at Blenheim had been regularly issued by Godolphin and paid at the Treasury; over 200,000 pounds was expended in this manner. But after the dismissal of the Whigs the Queen drew tight the purse-strings. The 20,000 pounds mentioned by Swift was paid in 1711, but on June 1, 1712, Anne gave positive orders that nothing further should be allowed for Blenheim, though 12,000 pounds remained due to the contractors.
14 The piercing of the lines before Bouchain, which Villars had declared to be the non plus ultra of the Allies, one of the most striking proofs of Marlborough's military genius.
15 See Letter 22, note 15.
16 A fashionable gaming-house in St. James's Street.
17 See Letter 6, note 15. The Grange, near Alresford, Hampshire, was Henley's seat. His wife (see Letter 12, note 24) was the daughter of Peregrine Bertie, son of Montagu Bertie, second Earl of Lindsey; and Earl Poulett (see Letter 20, note 7) married Bridget, an elder daughter of Bertie's.
18 William Henry Hyde, Earl of Danby, grandson of the first Duke of Leeds (see Letter 8, note 22), and eldest son of Peregrine Osborne, Baron Osborne and Viscount Dunblane, who succeeded to the dukedom in 1712. Owing to this young man's death (at the age of twenty-one), his brother, Peregrine Hyde, Marquis of Caermarthen, who married Harley's daughter Elizabeth, afterwards became third Duke of Leeds.
19 See Letter 8, note 2.
20 See Letter 3, note 7.
21 William Gregg was a clerk in Harley's office when the latter was Secretary of State under the Whig Administration. In 1707-8 he was in treasonable correspondence with M. de Chamillart, the French Secretary of State. When he was detected he was tried for high treason, and hanged on April 28. The Lords who examined Gregg did their utmost to establish Harley's complicity, which Gregg, however, with his dying breath solemnly denied.
22 By Swift himself. The title was, Some Remarks upon a Pamphlet entitled, A Letter to the Seven Lords of the Committee appointed to examine Gregg.
23 See Letter 13, note 10. There is no copy in the British Museum.
24 Thomas Parnell, the poet, married, in 1706, Anne, daughter of Thomas Minchin, of Tipperary. In 1711 Parnell was thirty-two years of age, and was Archdeacon of Clogher and Vicar of Clontibret. Swift took much trouble to obtain for Parnell the friendship of Bolingbroke and other persons of note, and Parnell became a member of the Scriblerus Club. In 1716 he was made Vicar of Finglas, and after his death in 1718 Pope prepared an edition of his poems. The fits of depression to which Parnell was liable became more marked after his wife's death, and he seems to have to some extent given way to drink. His sincerity and charm of manner made him welcome with men of both parties.
25 Dr. Henry Compton had been Bishop of London since 1675. He was dangerously ill early in 1711, but he lived until 1713, when he was eighty-one.
26 See Letter 26, note 10.
27 See Letter 7, note 21.
28 L'Estrange speaks of "a whiffling fop" and Swift says, "Every whiffler in a laced coat, who frequents the chocolate-house, shall talk of the Constitution."
29 Prior's first visit to France with a view to the secret negotiations with that country which the Ministers were now bent on carrying through, had been made in July, when he and Gaultier reached Calais in a fishing-boat and proceeded to Fontainbleau under assumed names. He returned to England in August, but was recognised at Dover, whence the news spread all over London, to the great annoyance of the Ministers. The officer who recognised Prior was John Macky, reputed author of those Characters upon which Swift wrote comments. Formerly a secret service agent under William III., Macky had been given the direction of the Ostend mail packets by Marlborough, to whom he communicated the news of Prior's journey. Bolingbroke threatened to hang Macky, and he was thrown into prison; but the accession of George I. again brought him favour and employment.
30 See Letter 12, note 7.
1 See Letter 3, note 4.
2 See Letter 6, note 4.
3 Edward Villiers (1656-1711), created Viscount Villiers in 1691, was made Earl of Jersey in 1697. Under William III. he was Lord Chamberlain and Secretary of State, but he was dismissed from office in 1704. When he died he had been nominated as a plenipotentiary at the Congress of Utrecht, and was about to receive the appointment of Lord Privy Seal. Lord Jersey married, in 1681, when she was eighteen, Barbara, daughter of William Chiffinch, closet- keeper to Charles II.; she died in 1735.
4 Lord Paisley was the Earl of Abercorn's eldest surviving son (see Letter 17, note 7).
5 The Hon. John Hamilton, the Earl's second surviving son, died in 1714.
6 Dr. John Robinson (1650-1723) had gone out as chaplain to the Embassy at the Court of Sweden in 1682, and had returned in 1708 with the double reputation of being a thorough Churchman and a sound diplomatist. He was soon made Dean of Windsor, and afterwards Bishop of Bristol. He was now introduced to the Council Board, and it was made known to those in the confidence of Ministers that he would be one of the English plenipotentiaries at the coming Peace Congress. In 1713 Dr. Robinson was made Bishop of London.
7 John Erskine, Earl of Mar (1675-1732), who was attainted for his part in the Rebellion of 1715. His first wife, Lady Margaret Hay, was a daughter of Lord Kinnoull.
8 Thomas Hay, sixth Earl of Kinnoull (died 1719), a Commissioner for the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland, and one of the Scotch representative peers in the first Parliament of Great Britain. His son and heir, Viscount Dupplin, afterwards Baron Hay (see Letter 5, note 34), who married Harley's daughter Abigail, is often mentioned in the Journal.
9 See Letter 3, note 5.
10 The title of the pamphlet was, "A New Journey to Paris, together with some Secret Transactions between the French King and an English Gentleman. By the Sieur du Baudrier. Translated from the French."
11 See Letter 11, note 44.
12 See Letter 28, note 6.
13 The Earl of Strafford (see Letter 18, note 3) married, on Sept. 6, 1711, Anne, only daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Johnson, of Bradenham, Buckinghamshire, a wealthy shipbuilder. Many of Lady Strafford's letters to her husband are given in the Wentworth Papers, 1883.
14 Samuel Pratt, who was also Clerk of the Closet.
15 Alice Hill, woman of the bed-chamber to the Queen, died in 1762.
16 Enniscorthy, the name of a town in the county of Wexford.
18 "These words in italics are written in strange, misshapen letters, inclining to the right hand, in imitation of Stella's writing" (Deane Swift). [Italics replaced by capitals for the transcription of this etext.]
19 Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.
20 John Pooley, appointed Bishop of Raphoe in 1702.
21 "These words in italics are miserably scrawled, in imitation of Stella's hand (Deane Swift). [Italics replaced by capitals for the transcription of this etext.]
22 See Letter 8, note 2.
1 See Letter 25, note 1.
2 See Letter 9, note 22.
3 See Letter 29, note 10.
4 Cf. the entry on the 11th (note 3 above).
5 See Letter 6, note 4.
6 William, Lord Villiers, second Earl of Jersey (died 1721), a strong Jacobite, had been M.P. for Kent before his father's death. He married, in 1704, Judith, only daughter of a City merchant, Frederick Herne, son of Sir Nathaniel Herne, Alderman; she died in 1735. Lord Jersey, one of "the prettiest young peers in England," was a companion of Bolingbroke, and stories in the Wentworth Papers (pp. 149, 230, 395, 445), show that he had a bad reputation.
7 See Letter 28, note 4.
8 The name of Arbuthnot's wife is not known: she died in 1730.
9 James Lovet, one of the "Yeomen Porters" at Court.
10 Richard Jones, Earl of Ranelagh, who died without male issue in January 1712. Writing to Archbishop King on Jan. 8, Swift said, "Lord Ranelagh died on Sunday morning; he was very poor and needy, and could hardly support himself for want of a pension which used to be paid him."
11 Arabella Churchill, maid of honour to the Duchess of York, and mistress of James II., afterwards married Colonel Charles Godfrey, Clerk Comptroller of the Green Cloth and Master of the Jewel Office. Her second son by James II. was created Duke of Albemarle.
12 See Letter 28, note 4.
13 The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of Dublin, elected in August 1711, "not being approved of by the Government, the City was obliged to proceed to another election, which occasioned a great ferment among the vulgar sort" (Boyer, Political State, 1711, p. 500). After two other persons had been elected and disapproved of, Alderman Gore was elected Lord Mayor, and approved (ib. pp. 612-17).
14 "These words in italics are written enormously large" (Deane Swift). [Italics replaced by capitals for the transcription of this etext.]
15 See Letter 3, note 39.
16 Henry Lowman, First Clerk of the Kitchen.
17 "The Doctor was always a bad reckoner, either of money or anything else; and this is one of his rapid computations. For, as Stella was seven days in journey, although Dr. Swift says only six, she might well have spent four days at Inish-Corthy, and two nights at Mrs. Proby's mother's, the distance from Wexford to Dublin being but two easy days' journey" (Deane Swift).
18 Mrs. Fenton.