The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Journal to Stella – Letter 3


London, Sept. 9, 1710.

AFTER seeing the duke of Ormond, dining with Dr. Cockburn, passing some part of the afternoon with sir Matthew Dudley and Will Frankland, the rest at St. James's coffeehouse, I came home and writ to the archbishop of Dublin and MD, and am going to bed. I forgot to tell you, that I begged Will Frankland to stand Manley's[1] friend with his father in this shaking season for places. He told me his father was in danger to be out; that several were now soliciting for Manley's place; that he was accused of opening letters; that sir Thomas Frankland would sacrifice every thing to save himself; and in that I fear Manley is undone, &c.

10. To day I dined with lord Mountjoy at Kensington; saw my mistress, Ophy Butler's wife, who is grown a little charmless. I sat till ten in the evening with Addison and Steele: Steele will certainly lose his Gazetteer's place, all the world detesting his engaging in parties[2]. At ten I went to the coffeehouse, hoping to find lord Radnor, whom I had not seen. He was there; for an hour and a half we talked treason heartily against the whigs, their baseness and ingratitude. And I am come home rolling resentments in my mind, and framing schemes of revenge: full of which (having written down some hints) I go to bed. I am afraid MD dined at home, because it is Sunday; and there was the little halfpint of wine: for God's sake be good girls, and all will be well. Ben Tooke[3] was with me this morning.

11. Seven morning. I am rising to go to Jervas to finish my picture, and it is shaving day, so good morrow MD; but do not keep me now, for I cannot stay; and pray dine with the dean, but do not lose your money. I long to hear from you, &c. Ten at night. I sat four hours this morning to Jervas, who has given my picture quite another turn, and now approves it entirely: but we must have the approbation of the town. If I were rich enough, I would get a copy of it and bring it over. Mr. Addison and I dined together at his lodgings, and I sat with him part of this evening; and I am now come home to write an hour. Patrick observes that the rabble here are much more inquisitive in politicks, than in Ireland. Every day we expect changes, and the parliament to be dissolved. Lord Wharton expects every day to be out: he is working like a horse for elections; and in short, I never saw so great a ferment among all sorts of people. I had a miserable letter from Joe last Saturday, telling me Mr. Pratt[4] refuses payment of his money. I have told it Mr. Addison, and will to lord Wharton; but I fear with no success. However, I will do all I can.

12. To day I presented Mr. Ford to the duke of Ormond; and paid my first visit to lord president[5], with whom I had much discourse; but put him always off when he began of lord Wharton in relation to me, till he urged it: then I said, he knew I never expected any thing from lord Wharton, and that lord Wharton knew that I understood it so. He said that he had written twice to lord Wharton about me, who both times said nothing at all to that part of his letter. I am advised not to meddle in the affair of the first-fruits, till this hurry is a little over, which still depends, and we are all in the dark. Lord president told me he expects every day to be out, and has done so these two months. I protest upon my life, I am heartily weary of this town, and wish I had never stirred.

13. I went this morning to the city to see Mr. Stratford the Hamburgh merchant, my old schoolfellow; but calling at Bull's on Ludgate hill, he forced me to his house at Hampstead to dinner among a great deal of ill company; among the rest Mr. Hoadly[6], the whig clergyman, so famous for acting the contrary part to Sacheverell: but to morrow I design again to see Stratford. I was glad, however, to be at Hampstead, where I saw lady Lucy and Moll Stanhope. I hear very unfortunate news of Mrs. Long; she and her comrade[7] have broke up house, and she is broke for good and all, and is gone to the country: I should be extremely sorry if this be true.

14. To day I saw Patty Rolt, who heard I was in town; and I dined with Stratford at a merchant's in the city, where I drank the first Tokay wine I ever saw; and it is admirable, yet not to a degree I expected. Stratford is worth a plumb, and is now lending the government forty thousand pounds; yet we were educated together at the same school and university. We hear the chancellor is to be suddenly out, and sir Simon Harcourt to succeed him: I am come early home, not caring for the coffeehouse.

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

16. Morning. Sir John Holland, comptroller of the household[8], has sent to desire my acquaintance; I have a mind to refuse him because he is a whig, and will, I suppose, be out among the rest; but he is a man of worth and learning. Tell me, do you like this journal way of writing? Is it not tedious and dull?

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

17. To day I dined six miles out of town, with Will Pate the learned woollendraper[9]; Mr. Stratford went with me: six miles here is nothing: we left Pate after sunset, and were here before it was dark. This letter shall go on Thursday, whether I hear from MD or no. My health continues pretty well; pray God Stella may give me a good account of hers: and I hope you are now at Trim, or soon designing it. I was disappointed to night: the fellow gave me a letter, and I hoped to see little MD.'s hand; and it was only to invite me to a venison pasty to day: so I lost my pasty into the bargain. Pox on these declining courtiers! Here is Mr. Brydges the paymaster general desiring my acquaintance; but I hear the queen sent lord Shrewsbury to assure him he may keep his place; and he promises me great assistance in the affair of the first-fruits. Well, I must turn over this leaf to night, though the side would hold another line; but pray consider this is a whole sheet: it holds a plaguy deal, and you must be content to be weary; but I will do so no more. Sir Simon Harcourt is made attorney general, and not lord keeper.

18. To day I dined with Mr. Stratford at Mr. Addison's retirement near Chelsea; then came to town; got home early, and began a letter to the Tatler[10] about the corruptions of style and writing, &c. and having not heard from you, am resolved this letter shall go to night. Lord Wharton was sent for to town in mighty haste, by the duke of Devonshire: they have some project in hand; but it will not do, for every hour we expect a thorough revolution, and that the parliament will be dissolved. When you see Joe tell him lord Wharton is too busy to mind any of his affairs; but I will get what good offices I can from Mr. Addison, and will write to day to Mr. Pratt; and bid Joe not to be discouraged, for I am confident he will get the money under any government; but he must have patience.

19. I have been scribbling this morning, and I believe shall hardly fill this side to day, but send it as it is; and it is good enough for naughty girls that will not write to a body, and to a good boy like Presto. I thought to have sent this to night, but was kept by company, and could not; and, to say the truth, I had a little mind to expect one post more for a letter from MD. Yesterday at noon died the earl of Anglesea[11], the great support of the tories; so that employment of vice treasurer of Ireland is again vacant. We were to have been great friends, and I could hardly have a loss that could grieve me more. The bishop of Durham[12] died the same day. The duke of Ormond's daughter was to visit me to day at a third place by way of advance, and I am to return it to morrow. I have had a letter from lady Berkeley, begging me for charity to come to Berkeley castle, for company to my lord, who has been ill of a dropsy; but I cannot go, and must send my excuse to morrow. I am told, that in a few hours there will be more removals.

20. To day I returned my visits to the duke's daughters[13]; the insolent drabs came up to my very mouth to salute me; then I heard the report confirmed of removals; my lord president Somers; the duke of Devonshire, lord steward; and Mr. Boyle secretary of state, are all turned out to day. I never remember such bold steps taken by a court: I am almost shocked at it, though I did not care if they were all hanged. We are astonished why the parliament is not yet dissolved, and why they keep a matter of that importance to the last. We shall have a strange winter here between the struggles of a cunning provoked discarded party, and the triumphs of one in power; of both which I shall be an indifferent spectator, and return very peaceably to Ireland, when I have done my part in the affair I am intrusted with, whether it succeeds or not. To morrow I change my lodgings in Pall Mall for one in Bury street, where I suppose I shall continue while I stay in London. If any thing happens to morrow I will add it. Robin's coffeehouse. We have great news just now from Spain; Madrid taken and Pampeluna. I am here ever interrupted.

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

  1. Manley was post mastergeneral of Ireland.
  2. See Tatler, No. 193.
  3. The doctor's bookseller.
  4. Vicetreasurer of Ireland.
  5. Lord Somers.
  6. Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, afterward bishop of Winchester.
  7. Supposed to be Mrs. Barton.
  8. He succeeded sir Thomas Felton, March 25, 1709-10.
  9. See his epitaphs in vol. XVIII.
  10. See this Tatler (No. 230) in the Fifth volume of this collection.
  11. John, earl of Anglesea, succeeded his brother James September 19, 1701. He was joint vice treasurer of Ireland.
  12. It was not the bishop of Durham, but of St. David's, Dr. George Bull, who died that day. He had been archdeacon of Llandaff; and was raised to the prelacy, April 29, 1705.
  13. See the Journal hereafter, October 20, 1710.