Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Ch. 5: Letters 41-50

LETTER 41.[1]

LONDON, Feb. 9, 1711-12.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



LETTER 42.[1]

LONDON, Feb. 23, 1711-12.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



LETTER 43.[1]

LONDON, March 8, 1711-12.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



LETTER 44.[1]

LONDON, March 22, 1711-12.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



LETTER 45.[1]

LONDON, April 24, 1712.


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



LETTER 46.[1]

LONDON, May 10, 1712.


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

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

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



LETTER 47.[1]

LONDON, May 31, 1712.


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



LETTER 48.[1]

KENSINGTON, June 17, 1712.


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



LETTER 49.[1]

KENSINGTON, July 1, 1712.


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



LETTER 50.[1]

KENSINGTON, July 17, 1712.


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

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



Notes to Letters 41-50:


Letter 41.

1 This letter, the first of the series published by Hawkesworth, of which we have the originals (see Preface), was addressed "To Mrs. Johnson at her Lodgings over against St. Mary's Church, near Capell Street, Dublin, Ireland"; and was endorsed by her "Recd. Mar. 1st."

2 See Letter 10, note 28.

3 See Letter 12, note 22.

4 See Letter 23, note 2.

5 Charles Ross, son of the eleventh Baron Ross, was Colonel of the Royal Irish Dragoons from 1695 to 1705. He was a Lieutenant-General under the Duke of Ormond in Flanders, and died in 1732 (Dalton, ii. 212, iii. 34).

6 Charles Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, succeeded his father (see Letter 31, note 2) as third Duke of Bolton in 1722. He married, as his second wife, Lavinia Fenton, the actress who took the part of Polly Peacham in Gay's Beggars Opera in 1728, and he died in 1754.

7 John Blith, or Bligh, son of the Right Hon. Thomas Bligh, M.P. of Rathmore, Co. Meath (see Letter 4, note 22). In August 1713 he married Lady Theodosia Hyde, daughter of Edward, third Earl of Clarendon. Lord Berkeley of Stratton wrote, "Lady Theodosia Hyde. . . is married to an Irish Mr. Blythe, of a good estate, who will soon have enough of her, if I can give any guess" (Wentworth Papers, 353). In 1715 Bligh was made Baron Clifton, of Rathmore, and Earl of Darnley in 1725. He died in 1728.

8 Obliterated.

9 Word obliterated; probably "found." Forster reads "oors, dee MD."

10 Words obliterated.

11 See Letter 31, note 1 and Letter 10, note 31.

12 See Letter 20, Apr. 13-14, 1711 and Letter 9, note 20.

13 Words obliterated. Forster reads "fourth. Euge, euge, euge."

14 Words obliterated; one illegible.

15 See Letter 2, note 14.

16 See Letter 1, note 12.

17 Service.

18 "Aplon"--if this is the right word--means, of course, apron--the apron referred to on Letter 39, Jan. 25, 1711-12.

19 Words obliterated.

20 As the son of a "brother" of the Club.

21 The Archbishop, Dr. King.

22 See Tacitus, Annals, book ii. Cn. Calpurnius Piso, who was said to have poisoned Germanicus, was found with his throat cut.

23 This satire on Marlborough concludes--

"And Midas now neglected stands,
With asses' ears and dirty hands."

24 Dr. Robinson, Bishop of Bristol.

25 Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty.

26 Several words are obliterated. Forster reads "MD MD, for we must always write to MD MD MD, awake or asleep;" but the passage is illegible.

27 See Letter 11, note 39 and Letter 61, note 5.

28 A long erasure. Forster reads "Go to bed. Help pdfr. Rove pdfr. MD MD. Nite darling rogues."

29 Word obliterated. Forster reads "saucy."

30 Letter from.

31 Words partially obliterated.

32 Swift wrote by mistake, "On Europe Britain's safety lies"; the slip was pointed out by Hawkesworth. All the verse is written in the MSS. as prose.

33 "Them" (MS.).

34 See Wyons Queen Anne, ii. 366-7.

35 A Proposal for Correcting, Improving, and Ascertaining the English Tongue, in a Letter to the Most Honourable Robert, Earl of Oxford, 1712.

36 "Help him to draw up the representation" (omitting every other letter).

37 See Letter 23, note 13.

38 Robert Benson.

39 The Story of the St. Albans Ghost, 1712.

40 "Usually" (MS.).

41 These words are partially obliterated.

42 This sentence is obliterated. Forster reads, "Farewell, mine deelest rife deelest char Ppt, MD MD MD Ppt, FW, Lele MD, ME ME ME ME aden FW MD Lazy ones Lele Lele all a Lele."

Letter 42.

1 Endorsed by Stella "Recd. Mar. 19."

2 "Would" (MS.).

3 Conversation.

4 John Guillim's Display of Heraldrie appeared first in 1610. The edition to which Swift refers was probably that of 1679, which is wrongly described as the "fifth edition," instead of the seventh.

5 "One of the horses here mentioned may have been the celebrated Godolphin Arabian from whom descends all the blue blood of the racecourse, and who was the grandfather of Eclipse" (Larwood's Story of the London Parks, 99).

6 See Letter 36, note 6.

7 Dorothea, daughter of James Stopford, of New Hall, County Meath, and sister of Lady Newtown-Butler, was the second wife of Edward, fourth Earl of Meath, who died without issue in 1707. She afterwards married General Richard Gorges (see Journal, April 5, 1713), of Kilbrue, County Meath, and Swift wrote an epitaph on them--"Doll and Dickey."

8 Here follow some obliterated words.

9 Barber (see Letter 12, note 6).

10 "The editors supposed Zinkerman (which they printed in capitals) to mean some outlandish or foreign distinction; but it is the little language for 'gentleman'" (Forster).

11 The Hon. Charles Butler, second son of Thomas, Earl of Ossory, eldest son of James, Duke of Ormond, was elevated to the peerage of Ireland in 1693 as Earl of Arran, and was also created a peer of England, as Baron Butler. He held various offices under William III. and Queen Anne, and died without issue in 1759.

12 "They" (MS.).

13 See Letter 31, Jan. 12, 1711-12 and Letter 3, note 22.

14 See Letter 11, note 13.

15 Sir William Wyndham, Bart., of Orchard Wyndham, married Lady Catherine Seymour, daughter of the sixth Duke of Somerset (see Letter 25, note 1). Their eldest son, Charles, succeeded his uncle, the Duke of Somerset, as Earl of Egremont; and the second son, Percy, was afterwards created Earl of Thomond. The Wyndhams' house was in Albemarle Street; the loss was over 20,000 pounds; but they were "much more concerned for their servants than for all the other losses" (Wentworth Papers, 274). The Duke of Ormond "worked as hard as any of the ordinary men, and gave many guineas about to encourage the men to work hard." The Queen gave the Wyndhams temporary lodgings in "St. James's house."

16 See Letter 3, note 31.

17 What.

18 Devil's.

19 "To" (MS.).

20 See Letter 35, note 25.

21 See Letter 41, note 34.

22 See Letter 12, Jan. 1, 1710-11.

23 Peregrine Hyde Osborne, Earl of Danby, afterwards Marquis of Caermarthen and third Duke of Leeds (see Letter 56, note 6). His sister Mary was married to the Duke of Beaufort (see Letter 39, note 7).

24 See Letter 9, note 17.

25 Several undecipherable words. Forster reads, "Pidy Pdfr, deelest Sollahs."

26 "K" (MS.). It should, of course, be "Queen's."

27 See Letter 22, note 18.

Letter 43.

1 Addressed "To Mrs. Johnson, at her lodgings over against St. Mary's Church, near Capel Street, Dublin, Ireland." Endorsed "Mar. 30."

2 See Letter 9, note 1.

3 The Mohocks succeeded the Scowrers of William III.'s reign. Gay (Trivia, iii. 325) says

"Who has not heard the Scowrers' midnight fame?
Who has not trembled at the Mohocks' name?"

Lady Wentworth (Wentworth Papers, 277) says: "They put an old woman into a hogshead, and rolled her down a hill; they cut off some noses, others' hands, and several barbarous tricks, without any provocation. They are said to be young gentlemen; they never take any money from any." See also the Spectator, Nos. 324, 332, and 347 (where Budgell alludes to "the late panic fear"), and Defoe's Review for March 15, 1712. Swift was in considerable alarm about the Mohocks throughout March, and said that they were all Whigs. The reports that numbers of persons, including men of figure, had joined together to commit assaults in the streets, made many fear to leave their houses at night. A proclamation was issued for the suppressing of riots and the discovery of those guilty of the late outrages; but it seems probable that the disorders were not more frequent than might be expected from time to time in a great city.

4 Henry Davenant, son of Charles Davenant (see Letter 8, note 14), was Resident at Frankfort. Macky described him as "very giddy-headed, with some wit," to which Swift added, "He is not worth mentioning."

5 Thomas Burnet, youngest son of Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, was at this time a young man about town of no good reputation. Afterwards he turned his attention to the law, and was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1741. He was knighted in 1745, and died in 1753.

6 By Arbuthnot, written to recommend the peace proposals of the Government. The full title was, Law is a Bottomless Pit. Exemplified in the case of the Lord Strutt, John Bull, Nicholas Frog, and Lewis Baboon; who spent all they had in a Law Suit.

7 See Letter 25, note 6 and Letter 41, note 35.

8 Our little language.

9 Forster reads, "two deelest nauty nown MD."

10 See Letter 6, note 12.

11 William Diaper, son of Joseph Diaper of Bridgewater, was sent to Balliol College, Oxford, in 1699, at the age of fourteen. He entered the Church, and was curate at Brent, Somerset; but he died in 1717, aged twenty-nine.

12 The Examiner (vol. ii. No. 15) complained of general bribery and oppression on the part of officials and underlings in the public service, especially in matters connected with the army; but the writer said that the head (Lord Lansdowne) was just and liberal in his nature, and easy in his fortune, and a man of honour and virtue.

13 Sealed documents given to show that a merchant's goods are entered.

14 Thomas Lawrence, First Physician to Queen Anne, and Physician-General to the Army, died in 1714 (Gentleman's Magazine, 1815, ii. 17). His daughter Elizabeth was second wife to Lord Mohun.

15 See Letter 17, note 11.

16 See Letter 26, note 2.

17 No officer named Newcomb appears in Dalton's Army Lists; but the allusion to General Ross, further on in Letter 43, adds to the probability that Swift was referring to one of the sons of Sir Thomas Newcomen, Bart., who was killed at the siege of Enniskillen. Beverley Newcomen (Dalton, iii. 52, iv. 60), who was probably Swift's acquaintance, was described in a petition of 1706 as a Lieutenant who had served at Killiecrankie, and had been in Major-General Ross's regiment ever since 1695.

18 Atterbury.

19 Evidently a familiar quotation at the time. Forster reads, incorrectly, "But the more I lite MD."

20 See Letter 41, note 5.

21 See Letter 12, note 1.

22 In 1681, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John Ayres, of the City of London, then aged about twenty, became the fourth and last wife of Heneage Finch, Earl of Winchelsea, who died in 1689. She lived until 1745.

23 See Letter 23, note 17.

24 Enoch Sterne (see Letter 4, note 17).

25 Lieut.-Col. Robert Sterne was in Col. Frederick Hamilton's Regiment in 1695.

26 Letter.

27 See Letter 13, note 10.

28 The title was, John Bull in his Senses: being the Second Part of Law is a Bottomless Pit.

29 See Letter 36, note 6.

30 Cf. note 9 above. Forster reads "nautyas," when the words would mean "as naughty as nine," apparently.

31 See note 19 above.

32 In 1549, James, second Earl of Arran, was made Duke of Chatelherault by Henry II. of France. His eldest son died without issue; the second, John, became first Marquis of Hamilton, and was great-grandfather of Lady Anne Hamilton (Duchess of Hamilton), mother of the Duke of Swift's Journal. The Earl of Abercorn, on the other hand, was descended from Claud, third son of the Earl of Arran, but in the male line; and his claim was therefore the stronger, according to the French law of inheritance.

33 Madams.

34 This word is doubtful. Forster reads "cobbled."

35 A mistake, apparently, for "writing." The letter was begun on March 8.

36 Silly jade.

37 O Lord, what a clutter.

38 On the death of Dr. William Graham, Dean of Wells, it was reported that Swift was to be his successor. Dr. Brailsford, however, received the appointment.

39 Abel Roper (1665-1726), a Tory journalist, published, thrice weekly, the Postboy, to which Swift sometimes sent paragraphs. Boyer (Political State, 1711, p. 678) said that Roper was only the tool of a party; "there are men of figure and distinction behind the curtain, who furnish him with such scandalous reflections as they think proper to cast upon their antagonists."

40 Joe Beaumont.

41 Beg your pardon, Madams, I'm glad you like your apron (see Letter 41, note 18).

42 This word was smudged by Swift.

43 I cannot find Somers in contemporary lists of officials. Cf. Letter 30, note 16 and Letter 17, note 3.

44 Obliterated and doubtful.

45 Words obliterated and illegible. Forster reads, conjecturally, "Pray send Pdfr the ME account that I may have time to write to Parvisol."

Letter 44.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Apr. 14."

2 "Is" (MS.).

3 The words after "yet" are partially obliterated.

4 See Letter 7, note 35.

5 John Cecil, sixth Earl of Exeter (died 1721).

6 See Letter 22, note 5.

7 Arbuthnot.

8 A resort of the Tories.

9 Deane Swift, a son of Swift's uncle Godwin, was a merchant in Lisbon.

10 Winces. Lyly says, "Rubbe there no more, least I winch."

11 Probably William Whiston, who was deprived of the Lucasian professorship at Cambridge in 1710 for his heterodox views. Parliament having offered a reward for the discovery of means of finding the longitude, Whiston made several attempts (1714 and 1721).

12 Word obliterated.

13 Distilled water prepared with rosemary flowers. In Fielding's Joseph Andrews, a lady gives up to a highway robber, in her fright, a silver bottle which, the ruffian said, contained some of the best brandy he had ever tasted; this she "afterwards assured the company was a mistake of her maid, for that she had ordered her to fill the bottle with Hungary water."

14 As I hope to be saved.

15 Added on the fourth page, as the letter was folded.

Letter 45.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Johnson," etc. Endorsed "May 1st."

2 A kind of clover, used for soothing purposes.

Letter 46.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "May 15."

2 Madam Ayris.

3 Simpleton.

4 Robert Benson (see Letter 6, note 36).

5 See Letter 41, note 35 and Letter 43, note 7.

6 The title was, An Appendix to John Bull still in his Senses: or, Law is a Bottomless Pit.

7 Arbuthnot.

8 Enquiries by servants.

9 See Letter 17, note 5.

10 Sick.

11 Afterwards Rector of Letcombe, Berks. It was to his house that Swift repaired a few weeks before the Queen's death. On June 8, 1714, he wrote, "I am at a clergyman's house, whom I love very well, but he is such a melancholy, thoughtful man, partly from nature, and partly by a solitary life, that I shall soon catch the spleen from him. His wife has been this month twenty miles off at her father's, and will not return these ten days, and perhaps the house will be worse when she comes." Swift spells the name "Geree"; later on in the Journal he mentions two of Mr. Gery's sisters, Betty (Mrs. Elwick) and Moll (Mrs. Wigmore); probably he made the acquaintance of the family when he was living with the Temples at Moor Park (see Letter 59, note 11).

12 Because she is a good girl in other things.

Letter 47.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "June 5."

2 Sice, the number six at dice.

3 At Laracor Swift had "a canal and river-walk and willows."

4 Splenetic fellow.

5 One of them was by Oldmixon: Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to the Earl of Oxford.

6 Beg your pardon.

7 See Letter 25, note 9.

8 On May 28, Lord Halifax moved an Address to the Queen that the instructions given to the Duke of Ormond might be laid before the House, and that further orders might be issued to him to act offensively, in concert with the Allies. Wharton and Nottingham supported the motion, but it was negatived by 68 votes against 40. A similar motion in the House of Commons was defeated by 203 against 73.

9 See Letter 34, note 10.

10 See Letter 23, note 13.

11 "Some Reasons to prove that no Person is obliged by his Principles, as a Whig, to oppose Her Majesty: in a Letter to a Whig Lord."

12 Several words obliterated.

13 Several words obliterated.

14 The bellman.

15 This present writing.

16 Please.

Letter 48.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Rebecca Dingley," etc. Endorsed "June 23d."

2 Mr. Ryland reads "second."

3 As I hope to be saved.

4 See Letter 30, Sept. 18, 1711.

5 Glad at heart.

6 The threepenny pamphlet mentioned in Letter 47, note 11.

7 I.e., for.

Letter 49.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley." Endorsed "July 8."

2 See Letter 28, note 24.

3 See Letter 10, note 2.

4 See Letter 3, note 11.

5 See Letter 48, note 4.

6 Dr. William Lloyd--one of the Seven Bishops of 1688--was eighty-four years of age at this time; he died five years later. He was a strong antipapist, and a great student of the Apocalypse, besides being a hard-working bishop. A curious letter from him to Lord Oxford about a coming war of religion is given in the Welbeck Papers (Hist. MSS. Comm.) v. 128.

7 "Toland's Invitation to Dismal to dine with the Calf's Head Club." The Earl of Nottingham (Dismal) had deserted the Tories, and Swift's imitation of Horace (Epist. I. v.) is an invitation from Toland to dine with "his trusty friends" in celebration of the execution of Charles I. The Calf's Head Club was in the habit of toasting "confusion to the race of kings."

8 Bolingbroke.

9 George Fitzroy, Duke of Northumberland (died 1716), a natural son of Charles II., was also Viscount Falmouth and Baron of Pontefract. See Notes and Queries, viii. i. 135.

10 Enoch Sterne.

11 Templeoag (see Letter 48, Jun. 17, 1712).

12 Swift probably was only repeating an inaccurate rumour, for there is no evidence that Steele was arrested. His gambling scheme was withdrawn directly an information was laid under the new Act of Parliament against gambling (Aitken's Life of Steele, i. 347).

13 Dr. William Moreton (1641-1715), Swift's diocesan, was translated from the see of Kildare to that of Meath in 1705.

14 Words obliterated. Forster reads conjecturally, "when ME wants me to send. She ought to have it," etc.

Letter 50.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "July 23."

2 "N.33" seems a mistake. Letter No. 32 was received after Swift had left Kensington and gone to Windsor; see Letter 51, Aug. 7, 1712 and Letter 52, Sept. 18, 1712 (Ryland).

3 Dr. Moreton (see Letter 49, note 13).

4 Memoranda.

5 Again.

6 O Lord, drunken slut.

7 There's for you now, and there's for your letter, and every kind of thing.

8 Bolingbroke.

9 See Letter 13, note 10.

10 Grub Street pamphlet. The title was, A Supposed Letter from the Pretender to another Whig Lord.

11 Arnold Joost Van Keppel, created Earl of Albemarle in 1697. He died in 1718. The action referred to was at Denain, where the Dutch were defeated by Villars.


Jonathan Swift

Sorry, no summary available yet.