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Ch 6: Letters 51-60

LETTER 51.[1]

LONDON, Aug. 7, 1712.


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



LETTER 52.[1]

WINDSOR, Sept. 15, 1712.


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

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



LETTER 53.[1]

LONDON, Oct. 9, 1712.


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

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



LETTER 54.[1]

LONDON, Oct. 28, 1712.


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

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

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

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



LETTER 55.[1]

LONDON, Nov. 15, 1712.


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

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

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

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

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

Smoke the folding of my letters of late.[20]



LETTER 56.[1]

LONDON, Dec. 12, 1712.


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

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



LETTER 57.[1]

LONDON, Dec. 18, 1712.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



LETTER 58.[1]

LONDON, Jan. 4, 1712-13.


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

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

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

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

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

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

10. At seven this evening, as we sat after dinner at Lord Treasurer's, a servant said Lord Peterborow was at the door. Lord Treasurer and Lord Bolingbroke went out to meet him, and brought him in. He was just returned from abroad, where he has been above a year. Soon as he saw me, he left the Duke of Ormond and other lords, and ran and kissed me before he spoke to them; but chid me terribly for not writing to him, which I never did this last time he was abroad, not knowing where he was; and he changed places so often, it was impossible a letter should overtake him. He left England with a bruise, by his coach overturning, that made him spit blood, and was so ill, we expected every post to hear of his death; but he outrode it or outdrank it, or something, and is come home lustier than ever. He is at least sixty, and has more spirits than any young fellow I know in England. He has got the old Oxford regiment of horse, and I believe will have a Garter. I love the hang- dog dearly. Nite dee MD.

11. The Court was crammed to-day to see[13] the French Ambassador; but he did not come. Did I never tell you that I go to Court on Sundays as to a coffee- house, to see acquaintance, whom I should otherwise not see twice a year? The Provost[14] and I dined with Ned Southwell, by appointment, in order to settle your kingdom, if my scheme can be followed; but I doubt our Ministry will be too tedious. You must certainly have a new Parliament; but they would have that a secret yet. Our Parliament here will be prorogued for three weeks. Those puppies the Dutch will not yet come in, though they pretend to submit to the Queen in everything; but they would fain try first how our session begins, in hopes to embroil us in the House of Lords: and if my advice had been taken, the session should have begun, and we would have trusted the Parliament to approve the steps already made toward the peace, and had an Address perhaps from them to conclude without the Dutch, if they would not agree.--Others are of my mind, but it is not reckoned so safe, it seems; yet I doubt whether the peace will be ready so soon as three weeks, but that is a secret. Nite MD.

12. Pratt and I walked into the City to one Bateman's,[15] a famous bookseller, for old books. There I laid out four pounds like a fool, and we dined at a hedge ale-house, for two shillings and twopence, like emperors. Let me see, I bought Plutarch, two volumes, for thirty shillings, etc. Well, I'll tell you no more; oo don't understand Greek.[16] We have no news, and I have nothing more to say to-day, and I can't finish my work. These Ministers will not find time to do what I would have them. So nite, nown dee dallars.

13. I was to have dined to-day with Lord Keeper, but would not, because that brute Sir John Walter[17] was to be one of the company. You may remember he railed at me last summer was twelvemonth at Windsor, and has never begged my pardon, though he promised to do it; and Lord Mansel, who was one of the company, would certainly have set us together by the ears, out of pure roguish mischief. So I dined with Lord Treasurer, where there was none but Lord Bolingbroke. I stayed till eight, and then went to Lady Orkney's, who has been sick, and sat with her till twelve, from whence you may consider it is late, sollahs. The Parliament was prorogued to-day, as I told you, for three weeks. Our weather is very bad and slobbery, and I shall spoil my new hat (I have bought a new hat), or empty my pockets. Does Hawkshaw pay the interest he owes? Lord Abercorn plagues me to death. I have now not above six people to provide for, and about as many to do good offices to; and thrice as many that I will do nothing for; nor can I if I would. Nite dee MD.

14. To-day I took the circle of morning visits. I went to the Duchess of Ormond, and there was she, and Lady Betty, and Lord Ashburnham together: this was the first time the mother and daughter saw each other since Lady Ashburnham's death. They were both in tears, and I chid them for being together, and made Lady Betty go to her own chamber; then sat a while with the Duchess, and went after Lady Betty, and all was well. There is something of farce in all these mournings, let them be ever so serious. People will pretend to grieve more than they really do, and that takes off from their true grief. I then went to the Duchess of Hamilton, who never grieved, but raged, and stormed, and railed.[18] She is pretty quiet now, but has a diabolical temper. Lord Keeper and his son, and their two ladies, and I, dined to-day with Mr. Caesar,[19] Treasurer of the Navy, at his house in the City, where he keeps his office. We happened to talk of Brutus, and I said something in his praise, when it struck me immediately that I had made a blunder in doing so; and, therefore, I recollected myself, and said, "Mr. Caesar, I beg your pardon." So we laughed, etc. Nite, my own deelest richar logues, MD.

15. I forgot to tell you that last night I had a present sent me (I found it, when I came home, in my chamber) of the finest wild fowl I ever saw, with the vilest letter, and from the vilest poet in the world, who sent it me as a bribe to get him an employment. I knew not where the scoundrel lived, so I could not send them back, and therefore I gave them away as freely as I got them, and have ordered my man never to let up the poet when he comes. The rogue should have kept the wings at least for his muse. One of his fowls was a large capon pheasant, as fat as a pullet. I ate share of it to-day with a friend. We have now a Drawing-room every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at one o'clock. The Queen does not come out; but all her Ministers, foreigners, and persons of quality are at it. I was there to-day; and as Lord Treasurer came towards me, I avoided him, and he hunted me thrice about the room. I affect never to take notice of him at church or Court. He knows it, for I have told him so; and to-night, at Lord Masham's, he gave an account of it to the company; but my reasons are, that people seeing me speak to him causes a great deal of teasing. I tell you what comes into my head, that I never knew whether MD were Whigs or Tories, and I value our conversation the more that it never turned on that subject. I have a fancy that Ppt is a Tory, and a violent one. I don't know why; but methinks she looks like one, and DD a sort of a Trimmer. Am I right? I gave the Examiner a hint about this prorogation, and to praise the Queen for her tenderness to the Dutch in giving them still more time to submit.[20] It fitted the occasions at present. Nite MD.

16. I was busy to-day at the Secretary's office, and stayed till past three. The Duke of Ormond and I were to dine at Lord Orkney's. The Duke was at the Committee, so I thought all was safe. When I went there, they had almost dined; for the Duke had sent to excuse himself, which I never knew. I came home at seven, and began a little whim, which just came into my head; and will make a threepenny pamphlet.[21] It shall be finished and out in a week; and if it succeeds, you shall know what it is; otherwise, not. I cannot send this to-morrow, and will put it off till next Saturday, because I have much business. So my journals shall be short, and Ppt must have patience. So nite, dee sollahs.

17. This rogue Parnell has not yet corrected his poem, and I would fain have it out. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer, and his Saturday company, nine of us in all. They went away at seven, and Lord Treasurer and I sat talking an hour after. After dinner he was talking to the lords about the speech the Queen must make when the Parliament meets. He asked me how I would make it. I was going to be serious, because it was seriously put; but I turned it to a jest. And because they had been speaking of the Duchess of Marlborough going to Flanders after the Duke, I said the speech should begin thus: "My Lords and Gentlemen, In order to my own quiet, and that of my subjects, I have thought fit to send the Duchess of Marlborough abroad after the Duke." This took well, and turned off the discourse. I must tell you I do not at all like the present situation of affairs, and remember I tell you so. Things must be on another foot, or we are all undone. I hate this driving always to an inch. Nite MD.

18. We had a mighty full Court to-day. Dilly was with me at the French church, and edified mightily. The Duke of Ormond and I dined at Lord Orkney's; but I left them at seven, and came home to my whim. I have made a great progress. My large Treatise[22] stands stock still. Some think it too dangerous to publish, and would have me print only what relates to the peace. I cannot tell what I shall do.--The Bishop of Dromore is dying. They thought yesterday he could not live two hours; yet he is still alive, but is utterly past all hopes. Go to cards, sollahs, and nite.

19. I was this morning to see the Duke and Duchess of Ormond. The Duke d'Aumont came in while I was with the Duke of Ormond, and we complimented each other like dragons. A poor fellow called at the door where I lodge, with a parcel of oranges for a present for me. I bid my man know what his name was, and whence he came. He sent word his name was Bun, and that I knew him very well. I bid my man tell him I was busy, and he could not speak to me; and not to let him leave his oranges. I know no more of it, but I am sure I never heard the name, and I shall take no such presents from strangers. Perhaps he might be only some beggar, who wanted a little money. Perhaps it might be something worse. Let them keep their poison for their rats. I don't love it.[23] That blot is a blunder. Nite dee MD. . . .

20. A Committee of our Society dined to-day with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Our Society does not meet now as usual, for which I am blamed: but till Lord Treasurer will agree to give us money and employments to bestow, I am averse to it; and he gives us nothing but promises. The Bishop of Dromore is still alive, and that is all. We expect every day he will die, and then Tom Leigh must go back, which is one good thing to the town. I believe Pratt will drive at one of these bishoprics. Our English bishopric[24] is not yet disposed of. I believe the peace will not be ready by the session. Nite MD.

21. I was to-day with my printer, to give him a little pamphlet I have written, but not politics. It will be out by Monday. If it succeeds, I will tell you of it; otherwise, not. We had a prodigious thaw to-day, as bad as rain; yet I walked like a good boy all the way. The Bishop of Dromore still draws breath, but cannot live two days longer. My large book lies flat. Some people think a great part of it ought not to be now printed. I believe I told you so before. This letter shall not go till Saturday, which makes up the three weeks exactly; and I allow MD six weeks, which are now almost out; so oo must know I expect a rettle vely soon, and that MD is vely werr;[25] and so nite, dee MD.

22. This is one of our Court days, and I was there. I told you there is a Drawing-room, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The Hamiltons and Abercorns have done teasing me. The latter, I hear, is actually going to France. Lord Treasurer quarrelled with me at Court for being four days without dining with him; so I dined there to-day, and he has at last fallen in with my project (as he calls it) of coining halfpence and farthings, with devices, like medals, in honour of the Queen, every year changing the device. I wish it may be done. Nite MD.

23. The Duke of Ormond and I appointed to dine with Ned Southwell to-day, to talk of settling your affairs of Parliament in Ireland, but there was a mixture of company, and the Duke of Ormond was in haste, and nothing was done. If your Parliament meets this summer, it must be a new one; but I find some are of opinion there should be none at all these two years. I will trouble myself no more about it. My design was to serve the Duke of Ormond. Dr. Pratt and I sat this evening with the Bishop of Clogher, and played at ombre for threepences. That, I suppose, is but low with you. I found, at coming home, a letter from MD, N.37. I shall not answer it zis bout, but will the next. I am sorry for poo poo Ppt. Pray walk hen oo can. I have got a terrible new cold before my old one was quite gone, and don't know how. Pay. . . . [26] I shall have DD's money soon from the Exchequer. The Bishop of Dromore is dead now at last. Nite, dee MD.

24. I was at Court to-day, and it was comical to see Lord Abercorn bowing to me, but not speaking, and Lord Selkirk the same.[27] I dined with Lord Treasurer and his Saturday Club, and sat with him two hours after the rest were gone, and spoke freer to him of affairs than I am afraid others do, who might do more good. All his friends repine, and shrug their shoulders; but will not deal with him so freely as they ought. It is an odd business; the Parliament just going to sit, and no employments given. They say they will give them in a few days. There is a new bishop made of Hereford;[28] so Ossory[29] is disappointed. I hinted so to his friends two months ago, to make him leave off deluding himself, and being indiscreet, as he was. I have just time to send this, without giving to the bellman. Nite deelest richar MD. . . . dee MD MD MD FW FW FW ME ME ME Lele Lele Lele.

My second cold is better now. Lele lele lele lele.



LETTER 59.[1]

LONDON, Jan. 25, 1712-1713.


We had such a terrible storm to-day, that, going to Lord Bolingbroke's, I saw a hundred tiles fallen down; and one swinger fell about forty yards before me, that would have killed a horse: so, after church and Court, I walked through the Park, and took a chair to Lord Treasurer's. Next door to his house, a tin chimneytop had fallen down, with a hundred bricks. It is grown calm this evening. I wonder had you such a wind to-day? I hate it as much as any hog does. Lord Treasurer has engaged me to dine again with him to-morrow. He has those tricks sometimes of inviting me from day to day, which I am forced to break through. My little pamphlet[2] is out: 'tis not politics. If it takes, I say again you shall hear of it. Nite dee logues.

26. This morning I felt a little touch of giddiness, which has disordered and weakened me with its ugly remains all this day. Pity Pdfr. After dinner at Lord Treasurer's, the French Ambassador, Duke d'Aumont, sent Lord Treasurer word that his house was burnt down to the ground. It took fire in the upper rooms, while he was at dinner with Monteleon, the Spanish Ambassador, and other persons; and soon after Lord Bolingbroke came to us with the same story. We are full of speculations upon it, but I believe it was the carelessness of his French rascally servants. 'Tis odd that this very day Lord Somers, Wharton, Sunderland, Halifax, and the whole club of Whig lords, dined at Pontack's[3] in the City, as I received private notice. They have some damned design. I tell you another odd thing; I was observing it to Lord Treasurer, that he was stabbed on the day King William died; and the day I saved his life, by opening the bandbox,[4] was King William's birthday. My friend Mr. Lewis has had a lie spread on him by the mistake of a man, who went to another of his name, to give him thanks for passing his Privy Seal to come from France.[5] That other Lewis spread about that the man brought him thanks from Lord Perth and Lord Melfort (two lords with the Pretender), for his great services, etc. The Lords will examine that t'other Lewis to-morrow in council; and I believe you will hear of it in the prints, for I will make Abel Roper give a relation of it. Pray tell me if it be necessary to write a little plainer; for I looked over a bit of my last letter, and could hardly read it. I'll mend my hand, if oo please: but you are more used to it nor I, as Mr. Raymond says. Nite MD.

27. I dined to-day with Lord Treasurer: this makes four days together; and he has invited me again to-morrow, but I absolutely refused him. I was this evening at a christening with him of Lord Dupplin's[6] daughter. He went away at ten; but they kept me and some others till past twelve; so you may be sure 'tis late, as they say. We have now stronger suspicions that the Duke d'Aumont's house was set on fire by malice. I was to-day to see Lord Keeper, who has quite lost his voice with a cold. There Dr. Radcliffe told me that it was the Ambassador's confectioner set the house on fire by boiling sugar, and going down and letting it boil over. Yet others still think differently; so I know not what to judge. Nite my own deelest MD, rove Pdfr.

28. I was to-day at Court, where the Spanish Ambassador talked to me as if he did not suspect any design in burning d'Aumont's house: but Abbe Gaultier, Secretary for France here, said quite otherwise; and that d'Aumont had a letter the very same day to let him know his house should be burnt, and they tell several other circumstances too tedious to write. One is, that a fellow mending the tiles just when the fire broke out, saw a pot with wildfire[7] in the room. I dined with Lord Orkney. Neither Lord Abercorn nor Selkirk will now speak with me. I have disobliged both sides. Nite dear MD.

29. Our Society met to-day, fourteen of us, and at a tavern. We now resolve to meet but once a fortnight, and have a Committee every other week of six or seven, to consult about doing some good. I proposed another message to Lord Treasurer by three principal members, to give a hundred guineas to a certain person, and they are to urge it as well as they can. We also raised sixty guineas upon our own Society; but I made them do it by sessors,[8] and I was one of them, and we fitted our tax to the several estates. The Duke of Ormond pays ten guineas, and I the third part of a guinea; at that rate, they may tax as often as they please. Well, but I must answer oor rettle, ung oomens: not yet; 'tis rate now, and I can't tind it. Nite deelest MD.

30. I have drank Spa waters this two or three days; but they do not pass, and make me very giddy. I an't well; faith, I'll take them no more. I sauntered after church with the Provost to-day to see a library to be sold, and dined at five with Lord Orkney. We still think there was malice in burning d'Aumont's house. I hear little Harrison[9] is come over; it was he I sent to Utrecht. He is now Queen's Secretary to the Embassy, and has brought with him the Barrier Treaty, as it is now corrected by us, and yielded to by the Dutch, which was the greatest difficulty to retard the peace. I hope he will bring over the peace a month hence, for we will send him back as soon as possible. I long to see the little brat, my own creature. His pay is in all a thousand pounds a year, and they have never paid him a groat, though I have teased their hearts out. He must be three or four hundred pounds in debt at least, the brat! Let me go to bed, sollahs.--Nite dee richar MD.

31. Harrison was with me this morning: we talked three hours, and then I carried him to Court. When we went down to the door of my lodging, I found a coach waited for him. I chid him for it; but he whispered me it was impossible to do otherwise; and in the coach he told me he had not one farthing in his pocket to pay it; and therefore took the coach for the whole day, and intended to borrow money somewhere or other. So there was the Queen's Minister entrusted in affairs of the greatest importance, without a shilling in his pocket to pay a coach! I paid him while he was with me seven guineas, in part of a dozen of shirts he bought me in Holland. I presented him to the Duke of Ormond, and several lords at Court; and I contrived it so that Lord Treasurer came to me and asked (I had Parnell by me) whether that was Dr. Parnell, and came up and spoke to him with great kindness, and invited him to his house. I value myself upon making the Ministry desire to be acquainted with Parnell, and not Parnell with the Ministry. His poem is almost fully corrected, and shall soon be out. Here's enough for to-day: only to tell you that I was in the City with my printer to alter an Examiner about my friend Lewis's story,[10] which will be told with remarks. Nite MD.

Feb. 1. I could do nothing till to-day about the Examiner, but the printer came this morning, and I dictated to him what was fit to be said, and then Mr. Lewis came, and corrected it as he would have it; so I was neither at church nor Court. The Duke of Ormond and I dined at Lord Orkney's. I left them at seven, and sat with Sir Andrew Fountaine, who has a very bad sore leg, for which he designs to go to France. Fais, here's a week gone, and one side of this letter not finished. Oh, but I write now but once in three weeks; iss, fais, this shall go sooner. The Parliament is to sit on the third, but will adjourn for three or four days; for the Queen is laid up with the gout, and both Speakers out of order, though one of them, the Lord Keeper, is almost well. I spoke to the Duke of Ormond a good deal about Ireland. We do not altogether agree, nor am I judge enough of Irish affairs; but I will speak to Lord Treasurer to-morrow, that we three may settle them some way or other. Nite sollahs both, rove Pdfr.

2. I had a letter some days ago from Moll Gery;[11] her name is now Wigmore, and her husband has turned parson. She desires nothing but that I would get Lord Keeper to give him a living; but I will send her no answer, though she desires it much. She still makes mantuas at Farnham. It rained all this day, and Dilly came to me, and was coaching it into the City; so I went with him for a shaking, because it would not cost me a farthing. There I met my friend Stratford,[12] the merchant, who is going abroad to gather up his debts, and be clear in the world. He begged that I would dine with some merchant friends of ours there, because it was the last time I should see him: so I did, and thought to have seen Lord Treasurer in the evening, but he happened to go out at five; so I visited some friends, and came home. And now I have the greatest part of your letter to answer; and yet I will not do it to-night, say what oo please. The Parliament meets to-morrow, but will be prorogued for a fortnight; which disappointment will, I believe, vex abundance of them, though they are not Whigs; for they are forced to be in town at expense for nothing: but we want an answer from Spain, before we are sure of everything being right for the peace; and God knows whether we can have that answer this month. It is a most ticklish juncture of affairs; we are always driving to an inch: I am weary of it. Nite MD.

3. The Parliament met, and was prorogued, as I said, and I found some cloudy faces, and heard some grumbling. We have got over all our difficulties with France, I think. They have now settled all the articles of commerce between us and them, wherein they were very much disposed to play the rogue if we had not held them to [it]; and this business we wait from Spain is to prevent some other rogueries of the French, who are finding an evasion to trade to the Spanish West Indies; but I hope we shall prevent it. I dined with Lord Treasurer, and he was in good humour enough. I gave him that part of my book in manuscript to read where his character was, and drawn pretty freely. He was reading and correcting it with his pencil, when the Bishop of St. David's[13] (now removing to Hereford) came in and interrupted us. I left him at eight, and sat till twelve with the Provost and Bishop of Clogher at the Provost's. Nite MD.

4. I was to-day at Court, but kept out of Lord Treasurer's way, because I was engaged to the Duke of Ormond, where I dined, and, I think, ate and drank too much. I sat this evening with Lady Masham, and then with Lord Masham and Lord Treasurer at Lord Masham's. It was last year, you may remember, my constant evening place. I saw Lady Jersey[14] with Lady Masham, who has been laying out for my acquaintance, and has forced a promise for me to drink chocolate with her in a day or two, which I know not whether I shall perform (I have just mended my pen, you see), for I do not much like her character; but she is very malicious, and therefore I think I must keep fair with her. I cannot send this letter till Saturday next, I find; so I will answer oors now. I see no different days of the month; yet it is dated January 3: so it was long a coming. I did not write to Dr. Coghill that I would have nothing in Ireland, but that I was soliciting nothing anywhere, and that is true. I have named Dr. Sterne to Lord Treasurer, Lord Bolingbroke, and the Duke of Ormond, for a bishopric, and I did it heartily. I know not what will come of it; but I tell you as a great secret that I have made the Duke of Ormond promise me to recommend nobody till he tells me, and this for some reasons too long to mention. My head is still in no good order. I am heartily sorry for poo Ppt, I'm sure. Her head is good for. . .[15] I'll answer more to-mollow. Nite, dearest MD; nite dee sollahs, MD.[16]

5. I must go on with oo letter. I dined to-day with Sir Andrew Fountaine and the Provost, and I played at ombre with him all the afternoon. I won, yet Sir Andrew is an admirable player. Lord Pembroke[17] came in, and I gave him three or four scurvy Dilly puns, that begin with an IF. Well, but oor letter, well, ret me see.--No; I believe I shall write no more this good while, nor publish what I have done. Nauty (?) Ppt, oo are vely tempegant. I did not suspect oo would tell Filby.[18] Oo are so. . . [19] Turns and visitations-- what are these? I'll preach and visit as much for Mr. Walls. Pray God mend poopt's[20] health; mine is but very indifferent. I have left off Spa water; it makes my leg swell. Nite deelest MD.

6. This is the Queen's Birthday, and I never saw it celebrated with so much luxury and fine clothes. I went to Court to see them, and I dined with Lord Keeper, where the ladies were fine to admiration. I passed the evening at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and came home pretty early, to answer oo rettle again. Pray God keep the Queen. She was very ill about ten days ago, and had the gout in her stomach. When I came from Lord Keeper's, I called at Lord Treasurer's, because I heard he was very fine, and that was a new thing; and it was true, for his coat and waistcoat were embroidered. I have seen the Provost often since, and never spoke to him to speak to the Temples about Daniel Carr, nor will; I don't care to do it. I have writ lately to Parvisol. Oo did well to let him make up his accounts. All things grow dear in Ireland, but corn to the parsons; for my livings are fallen much this year by Parvisol's account. Nite dee logues, MD.

7.(8) I was at Court to-day, but saw no Birthday clothes; the great folks never wear them above once or twice. I dined with Lord Orkney, and sat the evening with Sir Andrew Fountaine, whose leg is in a very dubious condition. Pray let me know when DD's money is near due: always let me know it beforehand. This, I believe, will hardly go till Saturday; for I tell you what, being not very well, I dare not study much: so I let company come in a morning, and the afternoon pass in dining and sitting somewhere. Lord Treasurer is angry if I don't dine with him every second day, and I cannot part with him till late: he kept me last night till near twelve. Our weather is constant rain above these two months, which hinders walking, so that our spring is not like yours. I have not seen Fanny Manley[21] yet; I cannot find time. I am in rebellion with all my acquaintance, but I will mend with my health and the weather. Clogher make a figure! Clogher make a ----. Colds! why, we have been all dying with colds; but now they are a little over, and my second is almost off. I can do nothing for Swanton indeed. It is a thing impossible, and wholly out of my way. If he buys, he must buy. So now I have answered oo rettle; and there's an end of that now; and I'll say no more, but bid oo nite, dee MD.

8.(9) It was terrible rainy to-day from morning till night. I intended to have dined with Lord Treasurer, but went to see Sir Andrew Fountaine, and he kept me to dinner, which saved coach-hire; and I stayed with him all the afternoon, and lost thirteen shillings and sixpence at ombre. There was management! and Lord Treasurer will chide; but I'll dine with him to-morrow. The Bishop of Clogher's daughter has been ill some days,[22] and it proves the smallpox. She is very full; but it comes out well, and they apprehend no danger. Lady Orkney has given me her picture; a very fine original of Sir Godfrey Kneller's; it is now a mending. He has favoured her squint admirably; and you know I love a cast in the eye. I was to see Lady Worsley[23] to-day, who is just come to town; she is full of rheumatic pains. All my acquaintance grow old and sickly. She lodges in the very house in King Street, between St. James's Street and St. James's Square, where DD's brother bought the sweetbread, when I lodged there, and MD came to see me. Short sighs.[24] Nite MD.

9.(10) I thought to have dined with Lord Treasurer to-day, but he dined abroad at Tom Harley's; so I dined at Lord Masham's, and was winning all I had lost playing with Lady Masham at crown picquet, when we went to pools, and I lost it again. Lord Treasurer came in to us, and chid me for not following him to Tom Harley's. Miss Ashe is still the same, and they think her not in danger; my man calls there daily after I am gone out, and tells me at night. I was this morning to see Lady Jersey, and we have made twenty parties about dining together, and I shall hardly keep one of them. She is reduced after all her greatness to seven servants, and a small house, and no coach.[25] I like her tolerably as yet. Nite MD.

10.(11) I made visits this morning to the Duke and Duchess of Ormond, and Lady Betty, and the Duchess of Hamilton. (When I was writing this near twelve o'clock, the Duchess of Hamilton sent to have me dine with her to-morrow. I am forced to give my answer through the door, for my man has got the key, and is gone to bed; but I cannot obey her, for our Society meets to-morrow.) I stole away from Lord Treasurer by eight, and intended to have passed the evening with Sir Thomas Clarges[26] and his lady; but met them in another place, and have there sat till now. My head has not been ill to-day. I was at Court, and made Lord Mansel walk with me in the Park before we went to dinner.--Yesterday and to-day have been fair, but yet it rained all last night. I saw Sterne staring at Court to-day. He has been often to see me, he says: but my man has not yet let him up. He is in deep mourning; I hope it is not for his wife.[27] I did not ask him. Nite MD.

12.[28] I have reckoned days wrong all this while; for this is the twelfth. I do not know when I lost it. I dined to-day with our Society, the greatest dinner I have ever seen. It was at Jack Hill's, the Governor of Dunkirk. I gave an account of sixty guineas I had collected, and am to give them away to two authors to-morrow; and Lord Treasurer has promised us a hundred pounds to reward some others. I found a letter on my table last night to tell me that poor little Harrison, the Queen's Secretary, that came lately from Utrecht with the Barrier Treaty, was ill, and desired to see me at night; but it was late, and I could not go till to-day. I have often mentioned him in my letters, you may remember. . . . I went in the morning, and found him mighty ill, and got thirty guineas for him from Lord Bolingbroke, and an order for a hundred pounds from the Treasury to be paid him to-morrow; and I have got him removed to Knightsbridge for air. He has a fever and inflammation on his lungs; but I hope will do well. Nite.

13. I was to see a poor poet, one Mr. Diaper,[29] in a nasty garret, very sick. I gave him twenty guineas from Lord Bolingbroke, and disposed the other sixty to two other authors, and desired a friend to receive the hundred pounds for poor Harrison, and will carry it to him to-morrow morning. I sent to see how he did, and he is extremely ill; and I very much afflicted for him, for he is my own creature, and in a very honourable post, and very worthy of it. I dined in the City. I am in much concern for this poor lad. His mother and sister attend him, and he wants nothing. Nite poo dee MD.

14. I took Parnell this morning, and we walked to see poor Harrison. I had the hundred pounds in my pocket. I told Parnell I was afraid to knock at the door; my mind misgave me. I knocked, and his man in tears told me his master was dead an hour before. Think what grief this is to me! I went to his mother, and have been ordering things for his funeral with as little cost as possible, to-morrow at ten at night. Lord Treasurer was much concerned when I told him. I could not dine with Lord Treasurer, nor anywhere else; but got a bit of meat toward evening. No loss ever grieved me so much: poor creature! Pray God Almighty bless poor MD. Adieu.

I send this away to-night, and am sorry it must go while I am in so much grief.



LETTER 60.[1]

LONDON, Feb. 15 [1712-13].


I dined to-day with Mr. Rowe[2] and a projector, who has been teasing me with twenty schemes to get grants; and I don't like one of them; and, besides, I was out of humour for the loss of poor Harrison. At ten this night I was at his funeral, which I ordered to be as private as possible. We had but one coach with four of us; and when it was carrying us home after the funeral, the braces broke; and we were forced to sit in it, and have it held up, till my man went for chairs,[3] at eleven at night in terrible rain. I am come home very melancholy, and will go to bed. Nite. . . MD.[4]

16. I dined to-day with Lord Dupplin and some company to divert me; but left them early, and have been reading a foolish book for amusement. I shall never have courage again to care for making anybody's fortune. The Parliament meets to-morrow, and will be prorogued another fortnight, at which several of both parties were angry; but it cannot be helped, though everything about the peace is past all danger. I never saw such a continuance of rainy weather. We have not had two fair days together these ten weeks. I have not dined with Lord Treasurer these four days, nor can I till Saturday; for I have several engagements till then, and he will chide me to some purpose. I am perplexed with this hundred pounds of poor Harrison's, what to do with it. I cannot pay his relations till they administer, for he is much in debt;[5] but I will have the staff in my own hands, and venture nothing. Nite poo dee MD.

17. Lady Jersey and I dined by appointment to-day with Lord Bolingbroke. He is sending his brother[6] to succeed Mr.[7] Harrison. It is the prettiest post in Europe for a young gentleman. I lose my money at ombre sadly; I make a thousand blunders. I play but[8] threepenny ombre; but it is what you call running ombre. Lady Clarges,[9] and a drab I hate, won a dozen shillings of me last night. The Parliament was prorogued to-day; and people grumble; and the good of it is the peace cannot be finished by the time they meet, there are so many fiddling things to do. Is Ppt an ombre lady yet? You know all the tricks of it now, I suppose. I reckon you have all your cards from France, for ours pay sixpence a pack taxes, which goes deep to the box. I have given away all my Spa water, and take some nasty steel drops, and my head has been better this week past. I send every day to see how Miss Ashe does: she is very full, they say, but in no danger. I fear she will lose some of her beauty. The son lies out of the house. I wish he had them too, while he is so young.--Nite MD.

18. The Earl of Abingdon[10] has been teasing me these three months to dine with him; and this day was appointed about a week ago, and I named my company; Lord Stawel,[11] Colonel Disney,[12] and Dr. Arbuthnot; but the two last slipped out their necks, and left Stawell and me to dine there. We did not dine till seven, because it is Ash Wednesday. We had nothing but fish, which Lord Stawell could not eat, and got a broiled leg of a turkey. Our wine was poison; yet the puppy has twelve thousand pound a year. His carps were raw, and his candles tallow. He[13] shall not catch me in haste again, and everybody has laughed at me for dining with him. I was to-day to let Harrison's mother know I could not pay till she administers; which she will do. I believe she is an old bawd,[14] and her daughter a -----. There were more Whigs to-day at Court than Tories. I believe they think the peace must be made, and so come to please the Queen. She is still lame with the gout. Nite MD.

19. I was at Court to-day, to speak to Lord Bolingbroke to look over Parnell's poem since it is corrected; and Parnell and I dined with him, and he has shown him three or four more places to alter a little. Lady Bolingbroke came down to us while we were at dinner, and Parnell stared at her as if she were a goddess. I thought she was like Parnell's wife, and he thought so too. Parnell is much pleased with Lord Bolingbroke's favour to him, and I hope it may one day turn to his advantage. His poem will be printed in a few days. Our weather continues as fresh raining as if it had not rained at all. I sat to-night at Lady Masham's, where Lord Treasurer came and scolded me for not dining with him. I told him I could not till Saturday. I have stayed there till past twelve. So nite dee sollahs, nite.

20. Lady Jersey, Lady Catherine Hyde,[15] the Spanish Ambassador, the Duke d'Atree,[16] another Spaniard, and I, dined to-day by appointment with Lord Bolingbroke; but they fell a drinking so many Spanish healths in champagne that I stole away to the ladies, and drank tea till eight; and then went and lost my money at ombre with Sir Andrew Fountaine, who has a very bad leg. Miss Ashe is past all danger; and her eye, which was lately bad (I suppose one effect of her distemper), is now better. I do not let the Bishop see me, nor shall this good while. Good luck! when I came home, I warrant, I found a letter from MD, No.38; and oo write so small nowadays, I hope oo poor eyes are better. Well, this shall go to-morrow se'nnight, with a bill for MD. I will speak to Mr. Griffin[17] to-morrow about Ppt's brother Filby, and desire, whether he deserves or no, that his employment may be mended; that is to say, if I can see Griffin; otherwise not; and I'll answer oo rettle hen I Pdfr think fit. Nite MD.

21. Methinks I writ a little saucy last night. I mean the last. . . [18] I saw Griffin at Court. He says he knows nothing of a salt-work at Recton; but that he will give Filby a better employment, and desires Filby will write to him. If I knew how to write to Filby, I would; but pray do you. Bid him make no mention of you; but only let Mr. Griffin know that he has the honour to be recommended by Dr. S----, etc.; that he will endeavour to deserve, etc.; and if you dictated a whole letter for him, it would be better; I hope he can write and spell well. I'll inquire for a direction to Griffin before I finish this. I dined with Lord Treasurer and seven lords to-day. You know Saturday is his great day, but I sat with them alone till eight, and then came home, and have been writing a letter to Mrs. Davis, at York. She took care to have a letter delivered for me at Lord Treasurer's; for I would not own one she sent by post. She reproaches me for not writing to her these four years; and I have honestly told her it was my way never to write to those whom I am never likely to see, unless I can serve them, which I cannot her, etc. Davis the schoolmaster's widow. Nite MD.

22. I dined to-day at Lord Orkney's, with the Duke of Ormond and Sir Thomas Hanmer.[19] Have you ever heard of the latter? He married the Duchess of Grafton in his youth (she dined with us too). He is the most considerable man in the House of Commons. He went last spring to Flanders, with the Duke of Ormond; from thence to France, and was going to Italy; but the Ministry sent for him, and he has been come over about ten days. He is much out of humour with things: he thinks the peace is kept off too long, and is full of fears and doubts. It is thought he is designed for Secretary of State, instead of Lord Dartmouth. We have been acquainted these two years; and I intend, in a day or two, to have an hour's talk with him on affairs. I saw the Bishop of Clogher at Court; Miss is recovering. I know not how much she will be marked. The Queen is slowly mending of her gout, and intends to be brought in a chair to Parliament when it meets, which will be March 3; for I suppose they will prorogue no more; yet the peace will not be signed then, and we apprehend the Tories themselves will many of them be discontented. Nite dee MD.

23. It was ill weather to-day, and I dined with Sir Andrew Fountaine, and in the evening played at ombre with him and the Provost, and won twenty-five shillings; so I have recovered myself pretty well. Dilly has been dunning me to see Fanny Manley; but I have not yet been able to do it. Miss Ashe is now quite out of danger; and hope will not be much marked. I cannot tell how to direct to Griffin; and think he lives in Bury Street, near St. James's Street, hard by me; but I suppose your brother may direct to him to the Salt Office, and, as I remember, he knows his Christian name, because he sent it me in the list of the Commissioners. Nite dee MD.

24. I walked this morning to Chelsea, to see Dr. Atterbury, Dean of Christ Church. I had business with him about entering Mr. Fitzmaurice,[20] my Lord Kerry's son, into his College; and Lady Kerry[21] is a great favourite of mine. Lord Harley, Lord Dupplin, young Bromley[22] the Speaker's son, and I, dined with Dr. Stratford[23] and some other clergymen; but I left them at seven to go to Lady Jersey, to see Monteleon the Spanish Ambassador play at ombre. Lady Jersey was abroad, and I chid the servants, and made a rattle; but since I came home she sent me a message that I was mistaken, and that the meeting is to be to-morrow. I have a worse memory than when I left you, and every day forget appointments; but here my memory was by chance too good. But I'll go to-morrow; for Lady Catherine Hyde and Lady Bolingbroke are to be there by appointment, and I listed[24] up my periwig, and all, to make a figure. Well, who can help it? Not I, vow to. . . ![25] Nite MD.

25. Lord Treasurer met me last night at Lord Masham's, and thanked me for my company in a jeer, because I had not dined with him in three days. He chides me if I stay away but two days together. What will this come to? Nothing. My grandmother used to say, "More of your lining, and less of your dining." However, I dined with him, and could hardly leave him at eight, to go to Lady Jersey's, where five or six foreign Ministers were, and as many ladies. Monteleon played like the English, and cried "gacco," and knocked his knuckles for trump, and played at small games like Ppt. Lady Jersey whispered me to stay and sup with the ladies when the fellows were gone; but they played till eleven, and I would not stay. I think this letter must go on Saturday; that's certain; and it is not half full yet. Lady Catherine Hyde had a mighty mind I should be acquainted with Lady Dalkeith,[26] her sister, the Duke of Monmouth's eldest son's widow, who was of the company to-night; but I did not like her; she paints too much. Nite MD.

26. This day our Society met at the Duke of Ormond's, but I had business that called me another way; so I sent my excuses, and dined privately with a friend. Besides, Sir Thomas Hanmer whispered me last night at Lady Jersey's that I must attend Lord Treasurer and Duke of Ormond at supper at his house to-night; which I did at eleven, and stayed till one, so oo may be sure 'tis late enough. There was the Duchess of Grafton, and the Duke her son; nine of us in all. The Duke of Ormond chid me for not being at the Society to-day, and said sixteen were there. I said I never knew sixteen people good company in my life; no, fais, nor eight either. We have no news in this town at all. I wonder why I don't write you news. I know less of what passes than anybody, because I go to[27] no coffee-house, nor see any but Ministers, and such people; and Ministers never talk politics in conversation. The Whigs are forming great schemes against the meeting of Parliament, which will be next Tuesday, I still think, without fail; and we hope to hear by then that the peace is ready to sign. The Queen's gout mends daily. Nite MD.

27. I passed a very insipid day, and dined privately with a friend in the neighbourhood. Did I tell you that I have a very fine picture of Lady Orkney,[28] an original, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, three-quarters length? I have it now at home, with a fine frame. Lord Bolingbroke and Lady Masham have promised to sit for me; but I despair of Lord Treasurer; only I hope he will give me a copy, and then I shall have all the pictures of those I really love here; just half a dozen; only I'll make Lord Keeper give me his print in a frame. This letter must go to-morrow, because of sending ME a bill; else it should not till next week, I assure oo. I have little to do now with my pen; for my grand business stops till they are more pressing, and till something or other happens; and I believe I shall return with disgust to finish it, it is so very laborious. Sir Thomas Hanmer has my papers now. And hat is MD doing now? Oh, at ombre with the Dean always on Friday night, with Mrs. Walls. Pray don't play at small games. I stood by, t'other night, while the Duke d'Atree[29] lost six times with manilio, basto, and three small trumps; and Lady Jersey won above twenty pounds. Nite dee richar[30] MD.

28. I was at Court to-day, when the Abbe Gaultier whispered me that a courier was just come with an account that the French King had consented to all the Queen's demands, and his consent was carried to Utrecht, and the peace will be signed in a few days. I suppose the general peace cannot be so soon ready; but that is no matter. The news presently ran about the Court. I saw the Queen carried out in her chair, to take the air in the garden. I met Griffin at Court, and he told me that orders were sent to examine Filby; and, if he be fit, to make him (I think he called it) an assistant; I don't know what, Supervisor, I think; but it is some employment a good deal better than his own. The Parliament will have another short prorogation, though it is not known yet. I dined with Lord Treasurer and his Saturday company, and left him at eight to put this in the post-office time enough. And now I must bid oo farewell, deelest richar Ppt. God bless oo ever, and rove Pdfr. Farewell MD MD MD FW FW FW FW ME ME ME Lele Lele.



Notes to Letters 51-60


Letter 51.

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

2 Perhaps this was influenza.

3 By the Stamp Act passed on June 10, 1712--which was repealed in 1859--a duty of one halfpenny was levied on all pamphlets and newspapers contained in half a sheet or less, and a duty of one penny on those of more than half but not exceeding a whole sheet. Swift opposed the idea in January 1711 (see Letter 15, note 1), and Defoe argued against the Bill in the Review for April 26, 1712, and following numbers. Addison, in the Spectator, No. 445, spoke of the mortality among authors resulting from the Stamp Act as "the fall of the leaf."

4 The title is, "Lewis Baboon turned honest, and John Bull politician. Being the Fourth Part of Law is a Bottomless Pit." This pamphlet--really the fifth of the series--appeared on July 31, 1712.

5 Poor Laracor.

6 See Letter 12, note 1.

7 On the death of the third Earl in 1712, the title of Earl of Winchelsea passed to his uncle, Heneage Finch, who had married Anne, daughter of Sir William Kingsmill (see Letter 24, note 7).

Letter 52.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Oct. 1st. At Portraune" [Portraine].

2 Oxford and Bolingbroke.

3 Including Hester Vanhomrigh.

4 He died on Sept. 15, 1712.

5 Elizabeth Villiers, eldest daughter of Sir Edward Villiers, Knight Marischal of England, and sister of the first Earl of Jersey. In 1695 she married Lord George Hamilton (son of Lord William Douglas, afterwards Duke of Hamilton), who was raised to the peerage of Scotland in 1696 as Earl of Orkney. William III. gave her an Irish estate worth 26,000 pounds a year. Swift's opinion of her wisdom is confirmed by Lord Lansdowne, who speaks, in his Progress of Poetry, of

"Villiers, for wisdom and deep judgment famed, Of a high race, victorious beauty brings To grace our Courts, and captivate our Kings."

The "beauty" seems a poetic licence; Swift says the lady squinted "like a dragon."

6 Cliefden.

7 See Letter 12, note 7.

8 Swift's sister (see Letter 9, note 22).

9 Forster reads "returned."

10 See Swift's letter to General Hill of Aug. 12, 1712

11 Swift's housekeeper at Laracor.

12 I.e., be made freemen of the City.

Letter 53.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Octr. 18. At Portraune."

2 "Sometimes, when better company was not to be had, he [Swift] was honoured by being invited to play at cards with his patron; and on such occasions Sir William was so generous as to give his antagonist a little silver to begin with" (Macaulay, History of England, chap. xix.).

3 The History of the Works of the Learned, a quarto periodical, was published from 1699 to 1711.

4 See Letter 35, note 4.

5 See Letter 28, note 25.

6 Lady Elizabeth Savage, daughter of Richard, fourth Earl Rivers (see Letter 11, note 9), was the second wife of James Barry, fourth Earl of Barrymore. Of Earl Rivers' illegitimate children, one, Bessy, married (1) Frederick Nassau, third Earl of Rochford, and (2) a clergyman named Carter; while another, Richard Savage, was the poet. Earl Rivers' successor, John Savage, the fifth Earl, was a Roman Catholic priest, the grandson of John, first Earl Rivers. On his death in 1728 the title became extinct.

7 No. 32.

8 Very sick.

9 From "but I" to "agreeable" is partially obliterated.

10 Mrs. Swanton was the eldest daughter of Willoughby Swift, and therefore Swift's second cousin. In her will Esther Johnson left to Swift "a bond of thirty pounds, due to me by Dr. Russell, in trust for the use of Mrs. Honoria Swanton."

11 This sentence is partially obliterated.

12 See Letter 51, note 2.

13 See Letter 5, note 16.

14 The latter half of this sentence is partially obliterated.

15 Partly obliterated.

16 See Letter 8, note 2.

17 Wise.

18 Partly obliterated.

19 See Letter 6, note 45.

20 This sentence is almost obliterated.

Letter 54.

1 The MS. of this letter has not been preserved.

2 See Letter 26, note 2.

3 Swift's friend, Dr. Pratt (see Letter 2, note 14), was then Provost of Trinity College, Dublin.

4 Samuel Molyneux, then aged twenty-three, was the son of William Molyneux (1656-1698), M.P. for Dublin University, a writer on philosophical and scientific subjects, and the friend of Locke. Samuel Molyneux took his M.A. degree in Dublin in 1710, and in 1712 visited England. He was befriended by the Duke of Marlborough at Antwerp, and in 1714 was sent by the Duke on a mission to the Court of Hanover. He held office under George I., but devoted most of his attention to astronomical research, until his death in 1728.

5 Probably "The Case of Ireland's being bound by Acts of Parliament in England stated" (1698).

6 Oxford and Bolingbroke.

7 See Letter 36, note 18.

8 See Letter 51, Aug. 7, 1712.

9 George Ridpath (died 1726), a Whig journalist, of whom Pope (Dunciad, i. 208) wrote--

"To Dulness Ridpath is as dear as Mist."

He edited the Flying Post for some years, and also wrote for the Medley in 1712. In September William Hurt and Ridpath were arrested for libellous and seditious articles, but were released on bail. On October 23 they appeared before the Court of Queen's Bench, and were continued on their recognizances. In February 1713 Ridpath was tried and, in spite of an able defence by leading Whig lawyers, was convicted. Sentence was postponed, and when Ridpath failed to appear, as ordered, in April, his recognizances were escheated, and a reward offered for his discovery; but he had fled to Scotland, and from thence to Holland.

10 See Letter 52, note 5.

11 Lady Orkney's sister, Barbara Villiers, who married John Berkeley, fourth Viscount Fitz-Hardinge, had been governess to the Duke of Gloucester, Queen Anne's son. She died in 1708, in her fifty-second year; and on her husband's death four years later the peerage became extinct.

12 For the street criers, see the Spectator, No. 251.

Letter 55.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley." Endorsed "Nov. 26, just come from Portraine"; and "The band-box plot--D: Hamilton's murther."

2 Charles Mohun, fifth Baron Mohun, had been twice arraigned of murder, but acquitted; and during his short but turbulent life he had taken part in many duels. Even Burnet could say nothing in his favour.

3 This duel between the Duke of Hamilton (see Letter 27, note 9) and Lord Mohun, who had married nieces of Lord Macclesfield, had its origin in a protracted dispute about some property. The challenge came from Lord Mohun, and the combatants fought like "enraged lions." Tory writers suggested that the duel was a Whig conspiracy to get rid of the Duke of Hamilton (Examiner, Nov. 20, 1712). The whole subject is discussed from the Whig point of view in Boyer's Political State for 1712, pp. 297-326.

4 "Will" (MS.).

5 See Letter 27, note 9.

6 George Maccartney (see Letter 11, note 13 and Letter 39, Jan. 22, 1711-12 ) fought at Almanza, Malplaquet, and Douay. After the duel, Maccartney escaped to Holland, but on the accession of George I. he returned to England, and was tried for murder (June 1716), when Colonel Hamilton gave evidence against him. Hamilton's evidence was discredited, and he found it necessary to sell his commission and leave the country. Maccartney was found guilty as an accessory, and "burnt" in the hand. Within a month he was given an appointment in the army; and promoted to be Lieutenant-General. He died in 1730.

7 Colonel John Hamilton, of the Scots Guards. He surrendered himself, and was tried at the Old Bailey on Dec. 12, 1712, when he was found guilty of manslaughter, on two indictments; and on the following day he was "burnt" in the hand. Hamilton died in October 1716, soon after Maccartney's trial, from a sudden vomiting of blood.

8 "That" (MS.).

9 The story (as told in the Tory Postboy of Nov. 11 to 13) was that on Nov. 4 a bandbox was sent to the Earl of Oxford by post. When he began to open it he saw a pistol, whereupon a gentleman present [Swift] asked for the box, and opening it, by the window, found powder, nails, etc., so arranged that, if opened in the ordinary way, the whole would have been fired, and two barrels discharged different ways. No doubt a box so packed was received, but whether anything serious was intended, or whether it was a hoax, cannot be said with any certainty. The Earl of Oxford is said to have met allusions to the subject with a smile, and Swift seems to have been annoyed at the reports which were put into circulation.

10 "We have received a more particular account relating to the box sent to the Lord Treasurer, as mentioned in our last, which is as follows," etc. (Evening News, Nov. 11 to 13, 1712).

11 Either "A Letter to the People, to be left for them at the Booksellers, with a word or two of the Bandbox Plot" (by T. Burnet), 1712, or "An Account of the Duel. . ., with Previous Reflections on Sham Plots" (by A. Boyer), 1712. Swift's connection with the Bandbox Plot was ridiculed in the Flying Post for Nov. 20 to 22.

12 Cf. Letter 16, Feb. 20, 1710-11.

13 This sentence is partially obliterated.

14 Part of this sentence has been obliterated.

15 See Letter 43, note 39. I have not been able to find a copy of the paper containing Swift's paragraph.

16 This sentence is partially obliterated.

17 See Letter 12, note 2.

18 Apparently Humphrey Griffith, who was one of the Commissioners of Salt; but Swift gives the name as "Griffin" throughout.

19 See Letter 53, note 13 and Letter 5, note 16.

20 For these shorter letters Swift folded the folio sheet before writing.

Letter 56.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Decr. 18."

2 Vengeance.

3 Charles Connor, scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, who took his B.A. degree in the same year as Swift (1686), and his M.A. degree in 1691.

4 The History of the Peace of Utrecht.

5 See Letter 55, note 7.

6 Lord Oxford's daughter Elizabeth married, on Dec. 16, 1712, Peregrine Hyde, Marquis of Caermarthen, afterwards third Duke of Leeds (see Letter 42, note 23 and Letter 24, note 5). She died on Nov. 20, 1713, a few days after the birth of a son. Swift called her "a friend I extremely loved."

7 "Is" (MS.).

8 Disorders.

9 See Letter 34, note 10.

10 John Francis, Rector of St. Mary's, Dublin, was made Dean of Leighlin in 1705.

11 See Letter 9, note 7.

12 Possibly "have."

13 See Letter 55, notes 9, 10, 11.

14 This clause is omitted by Mr. Ryland.

15 See Letter 31, note 6.

16 See Letter 54, Oct. 30, 1712.

17 Thomas Jones, Esq., was M.P. for Trim in the Parliament of 1713-4.

18 A Dutch agent employed in the negotiations with Lewis XIV.

19 When I come home.

Letter 57.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Jan. 13."

2 "Ay, marry, this is something like." The earlier editions give, "How agreeable it is in a morning." The words in the MS. are partially obliterated.

3 In this letter (Dec. 20, 1712) Swift paid many compliments to the Duchess of Ormond (see Letter 17, note 5): "All the accomplishments of your mind and person are so deeply printed in the heart, and represent you so lively to my imagination, that I should take it for a high affront if you believed it in the power of colours to refresh my memory."

4 Tisdall's Conduct of the Dissenters in Ireland (see Letter 61, note 7).

5 See Letter 9, note 20 and Letter 20, Apr. 13, 1711.

6 Monteleon.

7 See Letter 5, note 8 and Letter 3, note 3.

8 Utrecht, North and South Holland, and West Frieseland.

9 See Letter 46, note 11.

10 See Letter 46, note 11.

11 "On Queen Anne's Peace."

12 See Letter 43, note 11. The poem was "Dryades, or the Nymph's Prophecy."

13 See Letter 35, note 4.

14 See Letter 17, note 3.

15 Dr. Tobias Pullen (1648-1713) was made Bishop of Dromore in 1695.

16 Lord Charles Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, died unmarried in 1739. When his father, William, first Earl of Selkirk, married Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, the Duchess obtained for her husband, in 1660, the title of Duke of Hamilton, for life. James II. conferred the Earldom of Selkirk on his Grace's second and younger sons, primogenitively; and the second son having died without issue, the third, Charles, became Earl. The fifth son, George, was created Earl of Orkney (see Letter 52, note 5). The difference between Lord Selkirk and the Earl of Abercorn (see Letter 10, note 33) to which Swift alludes was in connection with the claim to the Dukedom of Chatelherault (see Letter 43, note 32).

17 Heart.

18 This sentence is almost illegible.

19 A reward of 500 pounds was offered by the Crown for Maccartney's apprehension, and 200 pounds by the Duchess of Hamilton.

20 In the proposed History of the Peace of Utrecht.

21 Mr. Ryland's reading. Forster has "Iss." These words are obliterated.

22 Hoist. Cf."Hoised up the mainsail" (Acts xxvii. 40).

23 It was afterwards found that Miss Ashe was suffering from smallpox.

24 We are told in the Wentworth Papers, p. 268, that the Duchess of Shrewsbury remarked to Lady Oxford, "Madam, I and my Lord are so weary of talking politics; what are you and your Lord?" whereupon Lady Oxford sighed and said she knew no Lord but the Lord Jehovah. The Duchess rejoined, "Oh, dear! Madam, who is that? I believe 'tis one of the new titles, for I never heard of him before."

25 A thousand merry new years. The words are much obliterated.

26 Lady Anne Hamilton, daughter of James, first Duke of Hamilton, became Duchess on the death of her uncle William, the second Duke, at the battle of Worcester.

27 The quarrel between Oxford and Bolingbroke.

28 See Letter 19, note 1.

29 Burnet (History, iv. 382) says that the Duc d'Aumont was "a goodnatured and generous man, of profuse expense, throwing handfuls of money often out of his coach as he went about the streets. He was not thought a man of business, and seemed to employ himself chiefly in maintaining the dignity of his character and making himself acceptable to the nation."

30 Partially obliterated.

31 For the most part illegible. Forster reads, "Go, play cards, and be melly, deelest logues, and rove Pdfr. Nite richar MD, FW oo roves Pdfr. FW lele lele ME ME MD MD MD MD MD MD. MD FW FW FW ME ME FW FW FW FW FW ME ME ME."

32 On the third page of the paper.

33 See Letter 7, note 3.

Letter 58.

1 To "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Feb. 4."

2 This sentence is scribbled over. Forster reads the last word as "lastalls," i.e. rascals, but it seems rather to be "ledles."

3 Dr. Peter Brown was appointed Bishop of Cork in 1709.

4 See Letter 5, note 22.

5 See Letter 5, note 3.

6 See Letter 5, note 11.

7 Dr. H. Humphreys, Bishop of Hereford, died on Nov. 20, 1712. His successor was Dr. Philip Bisse (1667-1721), Bishop of St. David's (see Letter 3, note 36).

8 Thomas Keightley, a Commissioner of the Great Seal in Ireland.

9 Nearly obliterated. Mr. Ryland reads, "deelest MD."

10 See Letter 57, note 14.

11 In the Examiner for Jan. 5 to 9, 1712[-13], there is an account of the game of Similitudes. One person thinks of a subject, and the others, not knowing what it is, name similitudes, and when the subject is proclaimed, must make good the comparisons. On the occasion described, the subject chosen was Faction. The prize was given to a Dutchman, who argued that Faction was like butter, because too much fire spoiled its consistency.

12 Earl Poulett (see Letter 20, note 7).

13 "Say" (MS.).

14 Dr. Pratt.

15 See Letter 13, Jan. 6, 1710-11.

16 This sentence is partially obliterated.

17 See Letter 31, note 10 and, in the same letter, Oct. 5, 1711.

18 Cf. the account of Beatrix's feelings on the death of the Duke in "Esmond", book iii. chaps. 6 and 7.

19 See Letter 21, note 3.

20 "Her Majesty is all goodness and tenderness to her people and her Allies. She has now prorogued the best Parliament that ever assembled in her reign and respited her own glory, and the wishes, prayers, and wants of her people, only to give some of her Allies an opportunity to think of the returns they owe her, and try if there be such a thing as gratitude, justice, or humanity in Europe. The conduct of Her Majesty is without parallel. Never was so great a condescension made to the unreasonable clamours of an insolent faction now dwindled to the most contemptible circumstances."--Examiner, Jan. 12-16, 1712[-13].

21 Mr. Collins's "Discourse of Freethinking, put into plain English by way of Abstract, for the use of the Poor," an ironical pamphlet on Arthur Collins's Discourse of Freethinking, 1713.

22 The History of the Peace of Utrecht.

23 A line here has been erased. Forster imagined that he read, "Nite dear MD, drowsy drowsy dear."

24 Hereford.

25 Very well.

26 Sentence obliterated. Forster professes to read, "Pay can oo walk oftener- -oftener still?"

27 See Letter 57, note 15.

28 Dr. Bisse, translated from St. David's.

29 See Letter 58, note 7 and Letter 19, note 1.

Letter 59.

1 To "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Febr. 26."

2 See Letter 58, note 21.

3 See Letter 28, note 11.

4 See Letter 55, note 9.

5 A result of confusion between Erasmus Lewis and Henry Lewis, a Hamburg merchant. See Swift's paper in the Examiner of Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, reprinted in his Works under the title, "A Complete Refutation of the Falsehoods alleged against Erasmus Lewis, Esq."

6 Lord Dupplin (see Letter 5, note 34) had been created Baron Hay in December 1711.

7 A composition of inflammable materials.

8 Assessors.

9 See Letter 6, note 12.

10 See Letter 59, note 5.

11 See Letter 46, note 11.

12 See Letter 3, notes 21 and 22, Letter 39, Jan. 12, 1711-12 and Letter 42, Mar. 1, 1711-12.

13 Dr. Bisse.

14 See Letter 33, note 10.

15 Forster reads, "something."

16 Hardly legible.

17 See Letter 7, note 31.

18 Stella's brother-in-law (See Letter 53, note 13, Letter 5, note 16 and Letter 55, Nov. 18, 1712).

19 Forster guesses, "Oo are so 'recise; not to oor health."

20 For "poo Ppt's." Mr. Ryland reads, "people's."

21 See Letter 57, 21 Dec. 1712.

22 See Letter 57, note 23.

23 See Letter 14, note 9.

24 Obliterated; Forster's reading.

25 Writing in October 1713, Lord Berkeley of Stratton told Lord Strafford of "a fine prank of the widow Lady Jersey" (see Letter 29, note 3). "It is well known her lord died much in debt, and she, after taking upon her the administration, sold everything and made what money she could, and is run away into France without paying a farthing of the debts, with only one servant and unknown to all her friends, and hath taken her youngest son, as 'tis supposed to make herself a merit in breeding him a papist. My Lord Bolingbroke sent after her, but too late, and they say the Queen hath writ a letter with her own hand to the King of France to send back the boy" (Wentworth Papers, p. 357). See also Letter 63, note 8. I am not sure whether in the present passage Swift is referring to the widow or the younger Lady Jersey (see Letter 33, note 10).

26 Sir Thomas Clarges, Bart. (died 1759), M.P. for Lostwithiel, married Barbara, youngest daughter of John Berkeley, fourth Viscount Fitz-Hardinge, and of Barbara Villiers (see Letter 54, note 11), daughter of Sir Edward Villiers.

27 See Letter 43, Mar. 21, 1711-12 and Letter 49, Jul. 1, 1712.

28 Altered from "11" in the MS. It is not certain where the error in the dates began; but the entry of the 6th must be correctly dated, because the Feb. 6 was the Queen's Birthday.

29 See Letter 43, note 11 and Letter 57, note 12.

Letter 60.

1 Addressed to "Mrs. Dingley," etc. Endorsed "Mar. 7."

2 See Letter 5, note 23.

3 Sedan chairs were then comparatively novel (see Gay's Trivia).

4 Some words obliterated. Forster reads, "Nite MD, My own deelest MD."

5 Peter Wentworth wrote to Lord Strafford, on Feb. 17, 1713, "Poor Mr. Harrison is very much lamented; he died last Saturday. Dr. Swift told me that he had told him. . . he owed about 300 pounds, and the Queen owed him 500 pounds, and that if you or some of your people could send an account of his debts, that I might give it to him, he would undertake to solicit Lord Treasurer and get this 500 pounds, and give the remainder to his mother and sister" (Wentworth Papers, 320).

6 George St. John (eldest son of Sir Harry St. John by his second marriage) was Secretary to the English Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht. He died at Venice in 1716 (Lady Cowper's Diary, 65).

7 Forster wrongly reads, "poor."

8 "Putt" (MS.).

9 See Letter 59, note 26.

10 Montagu Bertie, second Earl of Abingdon (died 1743), was a strong Tory.

11 See Letter 11, note 61. These friends were together again on an expedition to Bath in 1715, when Jervas wrote to Pope (Aug. 12, 1715) that Arbuthnot, Disney, and he were to meet at Hyde Park Corner, proceed to Mr. Hill's at Egham, meet Pope next day, and then go to Lord Stawell's to lodge the night. Lord Stawell's seat, Aldermaston, was seventeen miles from Binfield.

12 See Letter 16, note 20.

13 "I" (MS.).

14 Obliterated. Forster reads, "devil," and Mr. Ryland, "bitch."

15 See Letter 40, note 6.

16 Victor Marie, duc d'Estrees, Marshal of France (died 1727).

17 See Letter 55, note 18.

18 Several words are obliterated. Forster reads, "the last word, God 'give me"; but "'give me" is certainly wrong.

19 See Letter 9, note 13. Sir Thomas Hanmer married, in 1698, at the age of twenty-two, Isabella, Dowager Duchess of Grafton, daughter of Henry, Earl of Arlington, and Countess of Arlington in her own right. Hanmer was not made Secretary of State, but he succeeded Bromley as Speaker of the House of Commons.

20 William Fitzmaurice (see Letter 11, note 19 and Letter 27, note 11) entered Christ Church, Oxford, matriculating on March 10, 1712-13, at the age of eighteen.

21 See Letter 11, note 11.

22 William Bromley, second son of Bromley the Speaker (see Letter 10, note 1), was a boy of fourteen at this time. In 1727 he was elected M.P. for Warwick, and he died in 1737, shortly after being elected Member for Oxford University.

23 See Letter 14, note 12.

24 Sometimes "list" means to border or edge; at others, to sew together, so as to make a variegated display, or to form a border. Probably it here means the curling of the bottom of the wig.

25 The last eight words have been much obliterated, and the reading is doubtful.

26 Lady Henrietta Hyde, second daughter of Laurence Hyde, first Earl of Rochester (see Letter 8, note 22), married James Scott, Earl of Dalkeith, son of the Duke of Monmouth. Lord Dalkeith died in 1705, leaving a son, who succeeded his grandmother (Monmouth's widow) as second Duke of Buccleuch. Lady Catherine Hyde (see Letter 40, note 6) was a younger sister of Lady Dalkeith.

27 Swift first wrote "I frequent."

28 See Letter 52, note 5.

29 D'Estrees.

30 Little (almost illegible).


Jonathan Swift

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