The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Journal to Stella – Part 1
Chester, Sept. 2, 1710.
JOE will give you an account of me till I got into the boat, after which the rogues made a new bargain, and forced me to give them two crowns, and talked as if we should not be able to overtake any ship; but in half an hour we got to the yacht; for the ships lay by to wait for my lord lieutenant's steward. We made our voyage in fifteen hours just. Last night I came to this town, and shall leave it, I believe, on Monday: the first man I met in Chester was Dr. Raymond. He and Mrs. Raymond were here about levying a fine, in order to have power to sell their estate. I got a fall off my horse, riding here from Parkgate, but no hurt; the horse understanding falls very well, and lying quietly till I got up. My duty to the bishop of Clogher. I saw him returning from Dunlary; but he saw not me. I take it ill he was not at convocation, and that I have not his name to my powers. I beg you will hold your resolution of going to Trim, and riding there as much as you can. Let the bishop of Clogher remind the bishop of Killala to send me a letter, with one enclosed to the bishop of Litchfield. Let all who write to me, enclose to Richard Steele, esq., at his office at the Cockpit near Whitehall. My lord Mountjoy is now in the humour that we should begin our journey this afternoon, so that I have stolen here again to finish this letter, which must be short or long accordingly. I write this post to Mrs. Wesley, and will tell her, that I have taken care she may have her bill of one hundred and fifteen pounds whenever she pleases to send for it; and in that case I desire you will send it her enclosed and sealed. God Almighty bless you; and, for God's sake, be merry and get your health. I am perfectly resolved to return as soon as I have done my commission, whether it succeeds or not. I never went to England with so little desire in my life. If Mrs. Curry makes any difficulty about the lodgings, I will quit them. The post is just come from London, and just going out, so I have only time to pray to God to bless you, &c.
London, Sept, 9, Saturday 1710.
I GOT here last Thursday, after five days travelling, weary the first, almost dead the second, tolerable the third, and well enough the rest; and am now glad of the fatigue, which has served for exercise; and I am at present well enough. The whigs were ravished to see me, and would lay hold on me as a twig while they are drowning, and the great men making me their clumsy apologies, &c. But my lord treasurer received me with a great deal of coldness, which has enraged me so, I am almost vowing revenge. I have not yet gone half my circle; but I find all my acquaintance just as I left them. I hear my lady Giffard is much at court, and lady Wharton was ridiculing it the other day; so I have lost a friend there. I have not yet seen her, nor intend it; but I will contrive to see Stella's mother some other way. I writ to the bishop of Clogher from Chester; and I now write to the archbishop of Dublin. Every thing is turning upside down; every whig in great office will, to a man, be infallibly put out; and we shall have such a winter as has not been seen in England. Every body asks me, how I came to be so long in Ireland, as naturally as if here were my being; but no soul offers to make it so: and I protest I shall return to Dublin, and the canal at Laracor, with more satisfaction than I ever did in my life. The Tatler expects every day to be turned out of his employment; and the duke of Ormond, they say, will be lieutenant of Ireland. I hope you are now peaceably in Presto's lodgings: but I resolve to turn you out by Christmas: in which time I shall either do my business, or find it not to be done. Pray be at Trim by the time this letter comes to you, and ride little Johnson, who must needs be now in good case. I have begun this letter unusually on the postnight, and have already written to the archbishop; and cannot lengthen this. Henceforth I will write something every day to MD, and make it a sort of journal: and when it is full, I will send it whether MD writes or not: and so that will be pretty: and I shall always be in conversation with MD, and MD with Presto. Pray make Parvisol pay you the ten pounds immediately; so I ordered him. They tell me I am grown fatter, and look better; and, on Monday, Jervas is to retouch my picture. I thought I saw Jack Temple and his wife pass by me to day in their coach; but I took no notice of them. I am glad I have wholly shaken off that family. Tell the provost I have obeyed his commands to the duke of Ormond; or let it alone, if you please. I saw Jemmy Leigh just now at the coffeehouse, who asked after you with great kindness: he talks of going in a fortnight to Ireland. My service to the dean, and Mrs. Walls and her archdeacon. Will Frankland's wife is near bringing to bed, and I have promised to christen the child. I fancy you had my Chester letter the Tuesday after I writ. I presented Dr. Raymond to lord Wharton at Chester. Pray let me know when Joe gets his money. It is near ten, and I hate to send by the bellman. MD shall have a longer letter in a week, but I send this only to tell I am safe in London; and so farewell, &c.
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 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. 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 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 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, 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, 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 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, 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; 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 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, 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 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; 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.
London, Sept. 21, 1710.
HERE must I begin another letter, on a whole sheet for fear saucy little MD should be angry, and think much that the paper is too little. I had your letter this night, as I told you just and no more in my last; for this must be taken up in answering yours, saucebox. I believe I told you where I dined to day; and to morrow I go out of town for two days to dine with the same company on Sunday; Molesworth the Florence envoy, Stratford, and some others. I heard to day that a gentlewoman from lady Giffard's house had been at the coffeehouse to inquire for me. It was Stella's mother, I suppose. I shall send her a penny post letter to morrow, and contrive to see her without hazarding seeing lady Giffard, which I will not do until she begs my pardon.
22. I dined to day at Hampstead with lady Lucy, &c. and when I got home found a letter from Joe, with one enclosed to lord Wharton, which I will send to his excellency, and second it as well as I can; but to talk of getting the queen's orders, is a jest. Things are in such a combustion here, that I am advised not to meddle yet in the affair I am upon, which concerns the clergy of a whole kingdom; and does he think any body will trouble the queen about Joe? We shall, I hope, get a recommendation from the lord lieutenant to the trustees for the linen business, and I hope that will do; and so I will write to him in a few days, and he must have patience. This is an answer to part of your letter as well as his. I lied, it is to morrow I go to the country, and I will not answer a bit more of your letter yet.
23. Here is such a stir and bustle with this little MD of ours; I must be writing every night; I cannot go to bed without a word to them; I cannot put out my candle till I have bid them good night; O Lord, O Lord! Well, I dined the first time, to day, with Will Frankland and his fortune: she is not very handsome. Did I not say I would go out of town to day; I hate lying abroad and clutter; I go to morrow in Frankland's chariot, and come back at night. Lady Berkeley has invited me to Berkeley castle, and lady Betty Germain to Drayton in Northamptonshire, and I will go to neither. Let me alone, I must finish my pamphlet. I have sent a long letter to Bickerstaff: let the bishop of Clogher smoke it if he can. Well, I will write to the bishop of Killala; but you might have told him how sudden and unexpected my journey was though. Deuce take lady S——; and if I know D——y, he is a rawboned faced fellow, not handsome, nor visibly so young as you say: she sacrifices two thousand pounds a year, and keeps only six hundred. Well, you have had all my land journey in my second letter, and so much for that. So, you have got into Presto's lodgings; very fine, truly! We have had a fortnight of the most glorious weather on earth, and still continues: I hope you have made the best of it. Ballygall will be a pure good place for air, if Mrs. Ashe makes good her promise. Stella writes like an emperor: I am afraid it hurts your eyes; take care of that pray, pray Mrs. Stella. Cannot you do what you will with your own horse? Pray do not let that puppy Parvisol sell him. Patrick is drunk about three times a week, and I bear it, and he has got the better of me; but one of these days I will positively turn him off to the wide world, when none of you are by to intercede for him. — Stuff — how can I get her husband into the Charter house? — get a —— into the Charter house. — Write constantly! Why sirrah, do not I write every day, and sometimes twice a day to MD? Now I have answered all your letter, and the rest must be as it can be; send me my bill. Tell Mrs. Brent what I say of the Charter house. I think this enough for one night; and so farewell till this time to morrow.
25. I was so lazy to day that I dined at next door, and have sat at home since six, writing to the bishop of Clogher, dean Sterne, and Mr. Manley: the last, because I am in fear for him about his place, and have sent him my opinion, what I and his other friends here think he ought to do. I hope he will take it well. My advice was, to keep as much in favour as possible with sir Thomas Frankland, his master here.
26. Smoke how I widen the margin by lying in bed when I write. My bed lies on the wrong side for me, so that I am forced often to write when I am up. Manley you must know has had people putting in for his place already; and has been complained of for opening letters. Remember that last Sunday, September 24, 1710, was as hot as Midsummer. This was written in the morning; it is now night, and Presto in bed. Here's a clutter, I have gotten MD's second letter, and I must answer it here. I gave the bill to Tooke, and so — Well, I dined to day with sir John Holland the comptroller, and sat with him till eight; then came home and sent my letters, and writ part of a lampoon, which goes on very slow, and now I am writing to saucy MD; no wonder, indeed, good boys must write to naughty girls. I have not seen your mother yet; my pennypost letter, I suppose, miscarried: I will write another. Mr. S—— came to see me; and said M—— was going to the country next morning with her husband (who I find is a surly brute) so I could only desire my service to her.
27. To day all our company dined at Will Frankland's, with Steele and Addison too. This is the first rainy day since I came to town; I cannot afford to answer your letter yet. Morgan, the puppy, writ me a long letter to desire I would recommend him for pursebearer or secretary to the next lord chancellor that would come with the next governor. I will not answer him; but beg you will say these words to his father Raymond, or any body that will tell him: that Dr. Swift has received his letter, and would be very ready to serve him, but cannot do it in what he desires, because he has no sort of interest in the persons to be applied to. These words you may write, and let Joe, or Mr. Warburton, give them to him: a pox on him! However, it is by these sort of ways that fools get preferment. I must not end yet, because I cannot say good night without losing a line, and then MD would scold; but now, good night.
28. I have the finest piece of Brazil tobacco for Dingley that ever was born. You talk of Leigh; why he will not be in Dublin these two months: he, goes to the country, then returns to London, to see how the world goes here in parliament. Good night, sirrahs; no, no, not night; I writ this in the morning, and looking carelessly I thought it had been of last night. I dined to day with Mrs. Barton alone at her lodgings, where she told me for certain that lady S—— was with child when she was last in England, and pretended a tympany, and saw every body; then disappeared for three weeks, her tympany was gone, and she looked like a ghost, &c. No wonder she married when she was so ill at containing. Conolly is out, and Mr. Roberts in his place, who loses a better here, but was formerly a commissioner in Ireland. That employment cost Conolly three thousand pounds to lord Wharton; so he has made one ill bargain in his life.
29. I wish MD a merry Michaelmas. I dined with Mr. Addison, and Jervas the painter, at Addison's country place; and then came home, and writ more to my lampoon. I made a Tatler since I came: guess which it is, and whether the bishop of Clogher smokes it. I saw Mr. Sterne to day: he will do as you order, and I will give him chocolate for Stella's health. He goes not these three weeks. I wish I could send it some other way. So now to your letter, brave boys. I do not like your way of saving shillings: nothing vexes me but that it does not make Stella a coward in a coach. I do not think any lady's advice about my ears signifies two pence: however I will, in compliance to you, ask Dr. Cockburn. Radcliffe I know not, and Bernard I never see. Walls will certainly be stingier for seven years, upon pretence of his robbery. So Stella puns again; why, it is well enough; but I will not second it, though I could make a dozen: I never thought of a pun since I left Ireland. — Bishop of Clogher's bill? why, he paid it me; do you think I was such a fool to go without it? as for the four shillings, I will give you a bill on Parvisol for it on the other side this paper; and pray tear off the two letters I shall write to him and Joe, or let Dingley transcribe and send them; though that to Parvisol, I believe, he must have my hand for. No, no, I will eat no grapes; I ate about six the other day at sir John Holland's; but would not give sixpence for a thousand, they are so bad this year. Yes, faith, I hope in God Presto and MD will be together this time twelvemonth: what then? last year I suppose I was at Laracor; but next I hope to eat my Michaelmas goose at my little goose's lodgings. I drink no aile (I suppose you mean ale) but yet good wine every day, of five and six shillings a bottle. O Lord, how much Stella writes: pray do not carry that too far, young women, but be temperate to hold out. To morrow I go to Mr. Harley. Why; small hopes from the duke of Ormond: he loves me very well, I believe, and would in my turn, give me something to make me easy; and I have good interest among his best friends. But I do not think of any thing farther than the business I am upon: you see I writ to Manley before I had your letter, and I fear he will be out. Yes, Mrs. Owl, Blighe's corpse came to Chester when I was there, and I told you so in my letter, or forgot it. I lodge in Bury street, where I removed a week ago. I have the first floor, a dining room, and bedchamber at eight shillings a week; plaguy deep, but I spend nothing for eating, never go to a tavern, and very seldom in a coach; yet after all it will be expensive. Why do you trouble yourself, mistress Stell, about my instrument? I have the same the archbishop gave me; and it is as good now the bishops are away. The dean friendly! The dean be pox't: a great piece of friendship indeed, what you heard him tell the bishop of Clogher; I wonder he had the face to talk so: but he lent me money, and that is enough. Faith I would not send this these four days, only for writing to Joe and Parsivol. Tell the dean that when the bishops send me any packets, they must not write to me at Mr. Steele's; but direct for Mr. Steele, at his office at the Cockpit; and let the enclosed be directed for me; that mistake cost me eighteen pence the other day.
30. I dined with Stratford to day, but am not to see Mr. Harley till Wednesday: it is late, and I send this before there is occasion for the bell; because I would have Joe have his letter, and Parvisol too: which you must so contrive as not to cost them double postage. I can say no more, but that I am, &c.
London, Sept. 30, 1710.
HAVE not I brought myself into a fine premunire to begin writing letters in whole sheets, and now I dare not leave it off. I cannot tell whether you like these journal letters: I believe they would be dull to me to read them over; but, perhaps, little MD is pleased to know how Presto passes his time in her absence. I always begin my last the same day I ended the former. I told you where I dined to day at a tavern with Stratford: Lewis, who is a great favourite of Harley's, was to have been with us; but he was hurried to Hampton court, and sent his excuse, and that next Wednesday he would introduce me to Harley. It is good to see what a lamentable confession the whigs all make me of my ill usage: but I mind them not. I am already represented to Harley as a discontented person, that was used ill for not being whig enough; and I hope for good usage from him. The tories dryly tell me, I may make my fortune, if I please; but I do not understand them, or rather, I do understand them.
Oct. 1. To day I dined at Molesworth's, the Florence envoy; and sat this evening with my friend Darteneuf, whom you have heard me talk of; the greatest punner of this town next myself. Have you smoked the Tatler that I writ? it is much liked here, and I think it a pure one. To morrow I go with Delaval the Portugal envoy, to dine with lord Halifax near Hampton court. Your Manley's brother, a Parliament man here, has gotten an employment; and I am informed uses much interest to preserve his brother: and, to day, I spoke to the elder Frankland to engage his father, (postmaster here) and I hope he will be safe, although he is cruelly hated by all the tories of Ireland. I have almost finished my lampoon, and will print it for revenge on a certain great person. It has cost me but three shillings in meat and drink since I came here, as thin as the town is. I laugh to see myself so disengaged in these revolutions. Well, I must leave off and go write to sir John Stanley, to desire him to engage lady Hyde, as my mistress to engage lord Hyde, in favour of Mr. Pratt.
2. Lord Halifax was at Hampton court at his lodgings, and I dined with him there with Methuen and Delaval, and the late attorney general. I went to the drawing room before dinner, (for the queen was at Hampton court) and expected to see nobody: but I met acquaintance enough. I walked in the gardens, saw the cartons of Raphael, and other things, and with great difficulty got from lord Halifax, who would have kept me to morrow to show me his house and park, and improvements. We left Hampton court at sun set, and got here in a chariot and two horses time enough by star light. That's something charms me mightily about London: that you go dine a dozen miles off in October, stay all day, and return so quickly: you cannot do any thing like this in Dublin. I writ a second penny post letter to your mother, and hear nothing of her. Did I tell you that earl Berkeley died last Sunday was sennight, at Berkley castle, of a dropsy? lord Halifax began a health to me to day: it was the resurrection of the whigs, which I refused unless he would add their reformation too: and I told him he was the only whig in England I loved, or had any good opinion of.
3. This morning Stella's sister came to me with a letter from her mother, who is at Sheen; but will soon be in town, and will call to see me: she gave me a bottle of palsy water, a small one, and desired I would send it you by the first convenience, as I will; and she promises a quart bottle of the same: your sister looked very well, and seems a good modest sort of girl. I went then to Mr. Lewis, first secretary to lord Dartmouth, and favourite to Mr. Harley, who is to introduce me to morrow morning. Lewis had with him one Mr. Dyet, a justice of peace, worth twenty thousand pounds, a commissioner of the stampoffice, and married to a sister of sir Philip Meadows, envoy to the emperor. I tell you this, because it is odds but this Mr. Dyet will be hanged; for he is discovered to have counterfeited stamp paper, in which he was a commissioner: and, with his accomplices, has cheated the queen of a hundred thousand pounds. You will hear of it before this come to you, but may be not so particularly; and it is a very odd accident in such a man. Smoke Presto writing news to MD. I dined to day with lord Mountjoy at Kensington, and walked from thence this evening to town like an emperor. Remember that yesterday, October 2, was a cruel hard frost, with ice; and six days ago I was dying with heat. As thin as the town is, I have more dinners than ever, and am asked this month by some people, without being able to come for preengagements. Well, but I should write plainer, when I consider Stella cannot read, and Dingley is not so skilful at my ugly hand. I had, to night, a letter from Mr. Pratt, who tells me, Joe will have his money when there are trustees appointed by the lord lieutenant for receiving and disposing the linen fund; and whenever those trustees are appointed, I will solicit whoever is lord lieutenant, and am in no fear of succeeding. So pray tell or write him word, and bid him not be cast down; for Ned Southwell and Mr. Addison both think Pratt in the right. Do not lose your money at Manley's to night sirrahs.
4. After I had put out my candle last night, my landlady came into my room, wuth a servant of lord Halifax, to desire I would go dine with him at his house near Hampton court; but I sent him word I had business of great importance that hindered me, &c. And, to day, I was brought privately to Mr. Harley, who received me with the greatest respect and kindness imaginable: he has appointed me an hour on Saturday at four, afternoon, when I will open my business to him; which expression I would not use if I were a woman. I know you smoked it; but I did not till I writ it. I dined to day at Mr. Delaval's, the envoy of Portugal, with Nic. Rowe the poet, and other friends; and I gave my lampoon to be printed. I have more mischief in my heart; and I think it shall go round with them all, as this hits, and I can find hints. I am certain I answered your 2d letter, and yet I do not find it here. I suppose it was in my 4th; and why N. 2d, 3d; is it not enbugh to say, as I do, 1, 2, 3? &c. I am going to work at another Tatler: I will be far enough but I say the same thing over two or three times, just as I do when I am talking to little MD; but what care I? they can read it as easily as I can write it: I think I have brought these lines pretty straight again. I fear it will be long before I finish two sides at this rate. Pray, dear MD, when I occasionally give you a little commission mixed with my letters, do not forget it, as that to Morgan and Joe, &c. for I write just as I can remember, otherwise I would put them all together. I was to visit Mr. Sterne to day, and gave him your commission about handkerchiefs; that of chocolate I will do myself, and send it him when he goes, and you will pay me when the givers bread, &c. To night I will read a pamphlet, to amuse myself. God preserve your dear healths.
5. This morning Delaval came to see me, and we went to Kneller's, who was not in town. In the way we met the electors for parliamentmen: and the rabble came about our coach, crying a Colt, a Stanhope, &c. We were afraid of a dead cat, or our glasses broken, and so were always of their side. I dined again at Delaval's; and in the evening, at the coffeehouse, heard sir Andrew Fountaine was come to town. This has been but an insipid sort of day, and I have nothing to remark upon it worth three pence: I hope MD had a better, with the dean, the bishop, or Mrs. Walls. Why, the reason you lost four and eight pence last night but one at Manley's, was because you played bad games; I took notice of six that you had ten to one against you: Would any but a mad lady go out twice upon manilio, basto, and two small diamonds? Then in that game of spades, you blundered when you had ten ace; I never the like of you: and now you are in a huff because I tell you this. Well, here is two and eight pence halfpenny toward your loss.
6. Sir Andrew Fountaine came this morning, and caught me writing in bed. I went into the city with him; and we dined at the chophouse with Will Pate, the learned woollendraper: then we sauntered at chinashops and booksellers; went to the tavern, drank two pints of white wine, and never parted till ten: and now I am come home, and must copy out some papers I intend for Mr. Harley, whom I am to see, as I told you, to morrow afternoon: so that this night I shall say little to MD, but that I heartily wish myself with them, and will come as soon as I either fail, or compass my business. We now hear daily of elections; and, in a list I saw yesterday of about twenty, there are seven or eight more tories than in the last parliament; so that I believe they need not fear a majority, with the help of those who will vote as the court pleases. But I have been told, that Mr. Harley himself would not let the tories be too numerous, for fear they should be insolent, and kick against him; and for that reason they have kept several whigs in employments, who expected to be turned out every day; as sir John Holland the comptroller, and many others. And so get you gone to your cards, and your claret and orange, at the dean's, and I will go write.
7. I wonder when this letter will be finished: it must go by Tuesday, that is certain; and if I have one from MD before, I will not answer it, that is as certain too! It is now morning, and I did not finish my papers for Mr. Harley last night; for you must understand Presto was sleepy, and made blunders and blots. Very pretty that I must be writing to young women in a morning fresh and fasting, faith. Well, good morrow to you; and so I go to business, and lay aside this paper till night, sirrahs. — At night. Jack How told Harley, that if there were a lower place in Hell than another, it was reserved for his porter, who tells lies so gravely, and with so civil a manner. This porter I have had to deal with, going this evening at four to visit Mr. Harley, by his own appointment. But the fellow told me no lie, though I suspected every word he said. He told me his master was just gone to dinner, with much company, and desired I would come an hour hence, which I did, expecting to hear Mr. Harley was gone out; but they had just done dinner. Mr. Harley came out to me, brought me in, and presented me to his son-in-law, lord Doblane (or some such name) and his own son, and among others, Will Penn the quaker: we sat two hours drinking as good wine as you do; and two hours more he and I alone; where he heard me tell my business: entered into it with all kindness; asked for my powers, and read them; and read likewise a memorial I had drawn up, and put it in his pocket to show the queen; told me the measures he would take; and, in short, said every thing I could wish: told me he must bring Mr. St. John (secretary of state) and me acquainted; and spoke so many things of personal kindness and esteem for me, that I am inclined half to believe what some friends have told me, That he would do every thing to bring me over. He has desired to dine with me (what a comical mistake was that) I mean he has desired me to dine with him on Tuesday; and after four hours being with him, set me down at St. James's coffeehouse, in a hackney coach. All this is odd and comical, if you consider him and me. He knew my christian name very well. I could not forbear saying thus much upon this matter, although you will think it tedious. But I will tell you; you must know, it is fatal to me to be a scoundrel and a prince the same day: for being to see him at four, I could not engage myself to dine at any friend's; so I went to Tooke, to give him a ballad and dine with him; but he was not at home: so I was forced to go to a blind chophouse, and dine for ten pence upon gill ale, bad broth, and three chops of mutton; and then go reeking from thence to the first minister of state. And now I am going in charity to send Steele a Tatler, who is very low of late. I think I am civiller than I used to be; and have not used the expression of (you in Ireland) and (we in England) as I did when I was here before, to your great indignation. — They may talk of the you know what; but, gad, if it had not been for that, I should never have been able to get the access I have had; and if that helps me to succeed, then that same thing will be serviceable to the church. But how far we must depend upon new friends, I have learnt by long practice, though I think among great ministers, they are just as good as old ones. And so I think this important day has made a great hole in this side of the paper; and the fiddle faddles of to morrow and Monday will make up the rest; and, besides, I shall see Harley on Tuesday before this letter goes.
8. I must tell you a great piece of refinement of Harley. He charged me to come to him often; I told him I was loth to trouble him in so much business as he had, and desired I might have leave to come at his levee; which he immediately refused, and said, That was not a place for friends to come to. It is now but morning, and I have got a foolish trick, I must say something to MD when I wake, and wish them a good morrow; for this is not a shaving day, Sunday, so I have time enough: but get you gone, you rogues, I must go write; yes, it will vex me to the blood if any of these long letters should miscarry: if they do, I will shrink to half sheets again; but then what will you do to make up the journal? there will be ten days of Presto's life lost; and that will be a sad thing, faith and troth. — At night. I was at a loss to day for a dinner, unless I would have gone a great way, so I dined with some friends that board hereabout, as a spunger; and this evening sir Andrew Fountaine would needs have me go to the tavern, where, for two bottles of wine, Portugal and Florence, among three of us, we had sixteen shillings to pay; but if ever he catches me so again, I will spend as many pounds; and therefore I have put it among my extraordinaries: but we had a neck of mutton dressed à la Maintenon, that the dog could not eat: and it is now twelve o'clock, and I must go sleep. I hope this letter will go before I have MD's third. Do you believe me? and yet, faith, I long for MD's third too: and yet I would have it to say, that I write five for two. I am not fond at all of St. James's coffeehouse, as I used to be. I hope it will mend in winter; but now they are all out of town at elections, or not come from their country houses. Yesterday I was going with Dr. Garth to dine with Charles Main, near the Tower, who has an employment there: he is of Ireland: the bishop of Clogher knows him well: an honest, goodnatured fellow, a thorough hearty laugher, mightily beloved by the men of wit: his mistress is never above a cook maid. And so, good night, &c.
9. I dined to day at sir John Stanley's; my lady Stanley is one of my favourites: I have as many here as the bishop of Killala has in Ireland. I am thinking what scurvy company I shall be to MD when I come back: they know every thing of me already: I will tell you no more, or I shall have nothing to say, no story to tell, nor any kind of thing. I was very uneasy last night with ugly, nasty, filthy wine, that turned sour on my stomach. I must go to the tavern: O, but I told you that before. To morrow I dine at Harley's, and will finish this letter at my return; but I can write no more now, because of the archbishop: faith it is true; for I am going now to write to him an account of what I have done in the business with Harley: and, faith, young women, I will tell you what you must count upon, that I never will write one word on the third side in these long letters.
10. Poor MD's letter was lying so huddled up among papers I could nor find it: I mean poor Presto's letter. Well, I dined with Mr. Harley to day, and hope some things will be done; but I must say no more: and this letter must be sent to the posthouse, and not by the belman. I am to dine again there on Sunday next; I hope to some good issue. And so now, soon as ever I can in bed, I must begin my 6th to MD, as gravely as if I had not written a word this month: fine doings, faith. Methinks I do not write as I should, because I am not in bed; see the ugly wide lines. God Almighty ever bless you, &c.
Faith, this is a whole treatise; I will go reckon the lines on the other sides. I have reckoned them.
London, Oct. 10, 1710.
SO as I told you just now in the letter I sent half an hour ago, I dined with Mr. Harley to day, who presented me to the attorney general sir Simon Harcourt, with much compliment on all sides, &c. Harley told me he had shown my memorial to the queen, and seconded it very heartily; and he desires me to dine with him again on Sunday, when he promises to settle it with her majesty, before she names a governor; and I protest I am in hopes it will be done, all but the forms, by that time; for he loves the church: this is a popular thing, and he would not have a governor share in it; and, besides, I am told by all hands, he has a mind to gain me over. But in the letter I writ last post (yesterday) to the archbishop I did not tell him a syllable of what Mr. Harley said to me last night, because he charged me to keep it secret; so I would not tell it to you, but that before this goes, I hope the secret will be over. I am now writing my poetical description of a shower in London, and will send it to the Tatler. This is the last sheet of a whole quire I have written since I came to town. Pray, now it comes into my head, will you, when you go to Mrs. Wall, contrive to know whether Mrs. Wesley be in town, and still at her brother's, and how she is in health, and whether she stays in town. I writ to her from Chester, to know what I should do with her note; and I believe the poor woman is afraid to write to me: so I must go to my business, &c.
11. To day at last I dined with lord Montrath, and carried lord Mountjoy and sir Andrew Fountain with me; and was looking over them at ombre till eleven this evening like a fool: they played running ombre half crowns; and sir Andrew Fountain won eight guineas of Mr. Coote: so I am come home late, and will say but little to MD this night. I have gotten half a bushel of coals, and Patrick, the extravagant whelp, had a fire ready for me; but I picked off the coals before I went to bed. It is a sign London is now an empty place, when it will not furnish me with matter for above five or six lines in a day. Did you smoke in my last how I told you the very day and the place you were playing ombre? But I interlined and altered a little, after I had received a letter from Mr. Manley, that said you were at it in his house, while he was writing to me; but without his help I guessed within one day. Your town is certainly much more sociable than ours. I have not seen your mother yet, &c.
12. I dined to day with Dr. Garth and Mr. Addison, at the Devil tavern by Temple Bar, and Garth treated; and it is well I dine ever day, else I should be longer making out my letters: for we are yet in a very dull state, only inquiring every day after new elections, where the tories carry it among the new members six to one. Mr. Addison's election has passed easy and undisputed; and I believe, if he had a mind to be chosen king, he would hardly be refused. An odd accident has happened at Colchester: one captain Lavallin coming from Flanders or Spain, found his wife with child by a clerk of Doctor's Commons, whose trade, you know, it is to prevent fornication: and this clerk was the very same fellow that made the discovery of Dyet's counterfeiting the stamp paper. Lavallin has been this fortnight hunting after the clerk to kill him; but the fellow was constantly employed at the Treasury about the discovery he made: the wife had made a shift to patch up the business, alleging that the clerk had told her her husband was dead, and other excuses; but the other day somebody told Lavallin his wife had intrigues before he married her: upon which he goes down in a rage, shoots his wife through the head, then falls on his sword; and, to make the matter sure, at the same time discharges a pistol through his own head, and died on the spot, his wife surviving him about two hours; but in what circumstances of mind and body is terrible to imagine. I have finished my poem on the Shower, all but the beginning, and am going on with my Tatler. They have fixed about fifty things on me since I came: I have printed but three. One advantage I get by writing to you daily, or rather you get, is, that I remember not to write the same things twice; and yet I fear I have done it often already: but I will mind and confine myself to the accidents of the day; and so get you gone to ombre, and be good girls, and save your money, and be rich against Presto comes, and write to me now and then: I am thinking it would be a pretty thing to hear something from saucy MD; but do not hurt your eyes Stella, I charge you.
13. O Lord, here is but a trifle of my letter written yet; what shall Presto do for prittle prattle to entertain MD? The talk now grows fresher of the duke of Ormond for Ireland, though Mr. Addison says he hears it will be in commission, and lord Galway one. These letters of mine are a sort of journal, where matters open by degrees; and, as I tell true or false, you will find by the event whether my intelligence be good; but I do not care two pence whether it be or no. — At night. To day I was all about St. Paul's, and up at the top like a fool, with sir Andrew Fountain and two more; and spent seven shillings for my dinner like a puppy: this is the second time he has served me so; but I will never do it again, though all mankind should persuade me, unconsidering puppies! There is a young fellow here in town we are all fond of, and about a year or two come from the university, one Harrison, a little pretty fellow, with a great deal of wit, good sense, and good nature; has written some mighty pretty things; that in your 6th Miscellanea, about the Sprig of an Orange, is his: he has nothing to live on but being governor to one of the duke of Queensberry's sons for forty pounds a year. The fine fellows are always inviting him to the tavern, and make him pay his club. Henley is a great crony of his: they are often at the tavern at six or seven shillings reckoning, and always make the poor lad pay his full share. A colonel and a lord were at him and me the same way to night: I absolutely refused, and made Harrison lag behind, and persuaded him not to go to them. I tell you this, because I find all rich fellows have that humour of using all people without any consideration of their fortunes; but I will see them rot before they shall serve me so. Lord Halifax is always teazing me to go down to his country house, which will cost me a guinea to his servants, and twelve shillings coachhire; and he shall be hanged first. Is not this a plaguy silly story? But I am vexed at the heart; for I love the young fellow, and am resolved to stir up people to do something for him: he is a whig, and I will put him upon some of my cast whigs; for I have done with them, and they have, I hope, done with this kingdom for our time. They were sure of the four members for London above all places, and they have lost three in the four. Sir Richard Onslow, we hear, has lost for Surry: and they are overthrown in most places. Lookee, gentlewomen, if I write long letters, I must write you news and stuff, unless I send you my verses; and some I dare not; and those on the Shower in London I have sent to the Tatler, and you may see them in Ireland. I fancy you will smoke me in the Tatler I am going to write; for I believe I have told you the hint. I had a letter sent me to night from sir Matthew Dudley, and found it on my table when I came in. Because it is extraordinary I will transcribe it from beginning to end. It is as follows ["Is the devil in you? Oct. 13, 1710."] I would have answered every particular passage in it, only I wanted time. Here is enough for to night, such as it is, &c.
14. Is that tobacco at the top of the paper, or what? I do not remember I slobbered. Lord, I dreamed of Stella, &c. so confusedly last night, and that we saw dean Bolton and Sterne go into a shop; and she bid me call them to her, and they proved to be two parsons I knew not; and I walked without till she was shifting, and such stuff, mixed with much melancholy and uneasiness, and things not as they should be, and I know not how; and it is now an ugly gloomy morning. — At night, Mr. Addison and I dined with Ned Southwell, and walked in the Park; and at the coffeehouse I found a letter from the bishop of Clogher, and a packet from MD. I opened the bishop's letter; but put up MD's, and visited a lady just come to town, and am now got into bed, and going to open your little letter: and God send I may find MD well, and happy, and merry, and that they love Presto as they do fires. O, I will not open it yet! yes I will! no I will not; I am going; I cannot stay till I turn over: what shall I do? my fingers itch; and I now have it in my left hand; and now I will open it this very moment. — I have just got it, and am cracking the seal, and cannot imagine what is in it; I fear only some letter from a bishop, and it comes too late: I shall employ nobody's credit but my own. Well, I see though — Pshaw, it is from sir Andrew Fountain: what, another! I fancy that is from Mrs. Barton; she told me she would write to me; but she writes a better hand than this: I wish you would inquire; it must be at Dawson's office at the castle. I fear this is from Patty Rolt, by the scrawl. Well, I will read MD's letter. Ah, no; it is from poor lady Berkeley, to invite me to Berkeley castle this winter; and now it grieves my heart: she says she hopes my lord is in a fair way of recovery; poor lady. Well, now I go to MD's letter: faith it is all right; I hoped it was wrong. Your letter, N 3, that I have now received, is dated Sept. 26, and Manley's letter, that I had five days ago, was dated Oct. 3, that is a fortnight difference: I doubt it has lain in Steele's office, and he forgot. Well, there is an end of that: he is turned out of his place; and you must desire those who send me packets, to enclose them in a paper directed to Mr. Addison, at St. James's coffeehouse: not common letters, but packets: the bishop of Clogher may mention it to the archbishop when he sees him. As for your letter, it makes me mad: flidikins, I have been the best boy in Christendom, and you come with your two eggs a penny. — Well; but stay, I will look over my book; adad, I think there was a chasm between my N 2 and N 3. Faith, I will not promise to write to you every week; but I will write every night, and when it is full I will send it; that will be once in ten days, and that will be often enough: and if you begin to take up the way of writing to Presto, only because it is Tuesday, a Monday bedad, it will grow a task; but write when you have a mind. — No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no — Agad, agad, agad, agad, agad, agad; no, poor Stellakins. Slids, I would the horse were in your — chamber. Have I not ordered Parvisol to obey your directions about him? and have not I said in my former letters, that you may pickle him, and boil him, if you will? what do you trouble me about your horses for? have I any thing to do with them? — Revolutions a hindrance to me in my business; revolutions — to me in my business? if it were not for the revolutions, I could do nothing at all; and now I have all hopes possible, though one is certain of nothing; but to morrow I am to have an answer, and am promised an effectual one. I suppose I have said enough in this and a former letter how I stand with new people; ten times better than ever I did with the old; forty times more caressed. I am to dine to morrow at Mr. Harley's; and if he continues as he has begun, no man has been ever better treated by another. What you say about Stella's mother, I have spoken enough to it already. I believe she is not in town; for I have not yet seen her. My lampoon is cried up to the skies; but nobody suspects me for it, except sir Andrew Fountain: at least they say nothing of it to me. Did not I tell you of a great man who received me very coldly? that is he; but say nothing; it was only a little revenge: I will remember to bring it over. The bishop of Clogher has smoked my Tatler, about shortening of words, &c. But, God so! &c.
15. I will write plainer if I can remember it; for Stella must not spoil her eyes, and Dingley cannot read my hand very well; and I am afraid my letters are too long: then you must suppose one to be two, and read them at twice. I dined to day with Mr. Harley: Mr. Prior dined with us. He has left my memorial with the queen, who has consented to give the first-fruits and twentieth parts, and will, we hope, declare it to morrow in the cabinet. But I beg you to tell it to no person alive; for so I am ordered, till in publick: and I hope to get something of greater value. After dinner came in lord Peterborow: we renewed our acquaintance, and he grew mightily fond of me. They began to talk of a paper of verses called Sid Hamet. Mr. Harley repeated part, and then pulled them out, and gave them to a gentleman at the table to read, though they had all read them often: lord Peterborow would let nobody read them but himself: so he did; and Mr. Harley bobbed me at every line to take notice of the beauties. Prior rallied lord Peterborow for author of them; and lord Peterborow said, he knew them to be his; and Prior then turned it upon me, and I on him. I am not guessed at all in town to be the author; yet so it is: but that is a secret only to you. Ten to one whether you see them in Ireland; yet here they run prodigiously. Harley presented me to lord president of Scotland, and Mr. Benson, lord of the treasury. Prior and I came away at nine, and sat at the Smyrna till eleven, receiving acquaintance.
16. This morning early I went in a chair, and Patrick before it, to Mr. Harley, to give him another copy of my memorial, as he desired; but he was full of business, going to the queen, and I could not see him; but he desired I would send up the paper, and excused himself upon his hurry. I was a little balked, but they tell me it is nothing. I shall judge by next visit. I tipt his porter with a halfcrown; and so I am well there for a time at least. I dined at Stratford's in the city, and had burgundy and tokay: came back afoot like a scoundrel; then went to Mr. Addison and supped with lord Mountjoy, which made me sick all night. I forgot that I bought six pounds of chocolate for Stella, and a little wooden box: and I have a great piece of Brazil tobacco for Dingley, and a bottle of palsy water for Stella: all which, with the two handkerchiefs that Mr. Sterne has bought, and you must pay him for, will be put in the box directed to Mrs. Curry's, and sent by Dr. Hawkshaw, whom I have not seen; but Sterne has undertaken it. The chocolate is a present, madam, for Stella. Do not read this, you little rogue, with your little eyes; but give it to Dingley, pray now; and I will write as plain as the skies: and let Dingley write Stella's part, and Stella dictate to her, when she apprehends her eyes, &c.
17. This letter should have gone this post, if I had not been taken up with business, and two nights being late out so it must stay till Thursday. I dined to day with your Mr. Sterne, by invitation, and drank Irish wine; but, before we parted, there came in the prince of puppies, colonel Edgworth; so I went away. This day came out the Tatler made up wholly of my Shower, and a preface to it. They say it is the best thing I ever writ, and I think so too. I suppose the bishop of Clogher will show it you. Pray tell me how you like it. Tooke is going on with my miscellany. I would give a penny the letter to the bishop of Killaloe was in it: it would do him honour. Could not you contrive to say you hear they are printing my things together; and that you wish the bookseller had that letter among the rest: but do not say any thing of it as from me. I forgot whether it was good or no; but only having heard it much commended, perhaps it may deserve it. Well, I have to morrow to finish this letter in, and then I will send it next day. I am so vexed that you should write your third to me, when you had but my second, and I had written five, which now I hope you have all I and so I tell you, you are saucy, little, pretty, dear rogues, &c.
18. To day I dined, by invitation, with Stratford and others, at a young merchant's in the city, with hermitage and tokay, and staid till nine, and am now come home. And that dog Patrick is abroad, and drinking, and I cannot get my nightgown. I have a mind to turn that puppy away: he has been drunk ten times in three weeks. But I had not time to say more; so good night, &c.
19. I am come home from dining in the city with Mr. Addison, at a merchant's: and just now, at the coffeehouse, we have notice that the duke of Ormond was this day declared lord lieutenant, at Hampton court, in council. I have not seen Mr. Harley since; but hope the affair is done about first-fruits. I will see him, if possible, to morrow morning; but this goes to night. I have sent a box to Mr. Sterne, to send to you by some friend; I have directed it for Mr. Curry, at his house; so you have warning when it comes, as I hope it will soon. The handkerchiefs will be put in some friend's pocket, not to pay custom. And so here ends my sixth, sent when I had but three of MD's: now I am beforehand, and will keep so; and God Almighty bless dearest MD, &c.
London, Oct. 19, 1710.
O FAITH, I am undone! this paper is larger than the other, and yet I am condemned to a sheet; but since it is MD, I did not value though I were condemned to a pair. I told you in a letter to day where I had been, and how the day past; and so, &c.
20. To day I went to Mr. Lewis, at the secretary's office, to know when I might see Mr. Harley; and by and by comes up Mr. Harley himself, and appoints me to dine with him to morrow. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and went to wait on the two lady Butlers; but the porter answered, they were not at home; the meaning was, the youngest, lady Mary, is to be married to morrow to lord Ashburnham, the best match now in England, twelve thousand pounds a year, and abundance of money. Tell me how my Shower is liked in Ireland: I never knew any thing pass better here. I spent the evening with Wortley Mountague and Mr. Addison, over a bottle of Irish wine. Do they know any thing in Ireland of my greatness among the tories? Every body reproaches me of it here; but I value them not. Have you heard of the verses about the Rod of Sid Hamet? Say nothing of them for your life. Hardly any body suspects me for them, only they think no body but Prior or I could write them. But I doubt they have not reached you. There is likewise a ballad, full of puns, on the Westminster election, that cost me half an hour: it runs, though it be good for nothing. But this is likewise a secret to all but MD. If you have them not, I will bring them over.
21. I got MD's fourth to day at the coffeehouse. God Almighty bless poor Stella, and her eyes and head: What shall we do to cure them, poor dear life? Your disorders are a pull back for your good qualities. Would to Heaven I were this minute shaving your poor dear head, either here or there. Pray do not write, nor read this letter, nor any thing else, and I will write plainer for Dingley to read, from henceforward, though my pen is apt to ramble when I think who I am writing to. I will not answer your letter until I tell you that I dined this day with Mr. Harley, who presented me to the earl of Sterling, a Scotch lord; and in the evening came in lord Peterborow. I staid till nine before Mr. Harley would let me go, or tell me any thing of my affair. He says, the queen has now granted the first-fruits and twentieth parts; but he will not yet give me leave to write to the archbishop, because the queen designs to signify it to the bishops in Ireland in form, and to take notice, that it was done upon a memorial from me, which Mr. Harley tells me he does to make it look more respectful to me, &c. And I am to see him on Tuesday. I know not whether I told you, that in my memorial which was given to the queen, I begged for two thousand pounds a year more, though it was not in my commission; but that Mr. Harley says cannot yet be done, and that he and I must talk of it farther: however, I have started it, and it may follow in time. Pray say nothing of the first-fruits being granted, unless I give leave at the bottom of this. I believe never any thing was compassed so soon, and purely done by my personal credit with Mr. Harley, who is so excessively obliging, that I know not what to make of it, unless to show the rascals of the other party that they used a man unworthily, who had deserved better. The memorial given to the queen from me speaks with great plainness of lord Wharton. I believe this business is as important to you as the convocation disputes from Tisdall. I hope in a month or two all the forms of settling this matter will be over and then I shall have nothing to do here. I will only add one foolish thing more, because it is just come into my head. When this thing is made known, tell me impartially whether they give any of the merit to me, or no; for I am sure I have so much, that I will never take it upon me. — Insolent sluts! because I say Dublin, Ireland, therefore you must say London England: that is Stella's malice. — Well, for that I will not answer your letter till to morrow day; and so, and so, I will go write something else, and it will not be much; for it is late.
22. I was this morning with Mr. Lewis, the under secretary to lord Dartmouth, two hours talking politicks, and contriving to keep Steele in his office of stamped paper: he has lost his place of Gazetteer, three hundred pounds a year, for writing a Tatler, some months ago, against Mr. Harley, who gave it him at first, and raised the salary from sixty to three hundred pounds. This was devilish ungrateful; and Lewis was telling me the particulars: but I had a hint given me, that I might save him in the other employment; and leave was given me to clear matters with Steele. Well, I dined with sir Matthew Dudley, and in the evening went to sit with Mr. Addison, and offer the matter at distance to him, as the discreeter person; but found party had so possessed him, that he talked as if he suspected me, and would not fall in with any thing I said. So I stopped short in my overture, and we parted very dryly; and I shall say nothing to Steele, and let them do as they will; but if things stand as they are, he will certainly lose it, unless I save him; and therefore I will not speak to him, that I may not report to his disadvantage. Is not this vexatious? and is there so much in the proverb of proffered service? When shall I grow wise? I endeavour to act in the most exact points of honour and conscience, and my nearest friends will not understand it so. What must a man expect from his enemies? This would vex me, but it shall not; and so I bid you good night, &c.
23. I know it is neither wit nor diversion to tell you every day where I dine, neither do I write it to fill my letter; but I fancy I shall, some time or other, have the curiosity of seeing some particulars how I passed my life when I was absent from MD this time; and so I tell you now that I dined to day at Molesworth's the Florence envoy, then went to the coffeehouse, where I behaved myself coldly enough to Mr. Addison, and so came home to scribble. We dine together to morrow and next day, by invitation; but I shall alter my behaviour to him, till he begs my pardon, or else we shall grow bare acquaintance. I am weary of friends, and friendships are all monsters, but MD's.
24. I forgot to tell you, that last night I went to Mr. Harley's hoping — faith, I am blundering, for it was this very night at six; and I hoped he would have told me all things were done and granted; but he was abroad, and came home ill, and was gone to bed, much out of order, unless the porter lied. I dined to day at sir Matthew Dudley's with Mr. Addison, &c.
25. I was to day to see the duke of Ormond and coming out, met lord Berkeley of Stratton, who told me, that Mrs. Temple, the widow, died last Saturday, which, I suppose, is much to the outward grief and inward joy of the family. I dined to day with Mr. Addison and Steele, and a sister of Mr. Addison, who is married to one mons. Sartre, a Frenchman, prebendary of Westminster, who has a delicious house and garden; yet I thought it was a sort of a monastick life in those cloisters, and I liked Laracor better. Addison's sister is a sort of a wit, very like him. I am not fond of her, &c.
26. I was to day to see Mr. Congreve, who is almost blind with cataracts growing on his eyes; and his case is, that he must wait two or three years, until the cataracts are riper, and till he is quite blind, and then he must have them couched; and besides he is never rid of the gout, yet he looks young and fresh and is as cheerful as ever. He is younger by three years or more than I, and I am twenty years younger than he. He gave me a pain in the great toe, by mentioning the gout. I find such suspicions frequently, but they go off again. I had a second letter from Mr. Morgan; for which I thank you: I wish you were whipped for forgetting to send him that answer I desired you in one of my former, that I could do nothing for him of what he desired, having no credit at all, &c. Go, be far enough, you negligent baggages. I have had also a letter from Parvisol, with an account how my livings are set, and that they are fallen, since last year, sixty pounds. A comfortable piece of news! He tells me plainly that he finds you have no mind to part with the horse, because you sent for him at the same time you sent him my letter; so that I know not what must be done. It is a sad thing that Stella must have her own horse, whether Parvisol will or not! So now to answer your letter that I had three or four days ago. I am not now in bed, but am come home by eight; and it being warm, I write up. I never writ to the bishop of Killala, which, I suppose, was the reason he had not my letter. I have not time, that is the short of it. — As fond as the dean is of my letter, he has not written to me. I would only know whether dean Bolton paid him the twenty pounds; and for the rest, he may kiss ——. And that you may ask him, because I am in pain about it, that dean Bolton is such a whipster. It is the most obliging thing in the world in dean Sterne to be so kind to you. I believe he knows it will please me, and makes up, that way, his other usage. No, we have had none of your snow, but a little one morning; yet I think it was great snow for an hour or so, but no longer. I had heard of Will Crowe's death before, but not the foolish circumstance that hastened his end. No, I have taken care that captain Pratt shall not suffer by lord Anglesea's death. I will try some contrivance to get a copy of my picture from Jervas. I will make sir Andrew Fountain buy one as for himself, and I will pay him again and take it, that is, provided I have money to spare when I leave this. — Poor John! is he gone? and madam Parvisol has been in town? Humm. Why, Tighe and I, when he comes, shall not take any notice of each other; I would not do it much in this town, though we had not fallen out. — I was to day at Mr. Sterne's lodging; he was not within, and Mr. Leigh is not come to town, but I will do Dingley's errand when I see him. What do I know whether china be dear or no? I once took a fancy of resolving to grow mad for it, but now it is off: I suppose I told you so in some former letter. And so you only want some sallad dishes, and plates, and, &c. Yes, yes, you shall. I suppose you have named as much as will cost five pounds. — Now to Stella's little postscript; and I am almost crazed that you vex yourself for not writing. Cannot you dictate to Dingley, and not strain your little dear eyes? I am sure it is the grief of my soul to think you are out of order. Pray be quiet, and if you will write, shut your eyes, and write just a line, and no more, thus [How do you do, Mrs. Stella?] That was written with my eyes shut. Faith, I think it is better than when they are open: and then Dingley may stand by, and tell you when you go too high or too low. — My letters of business, with packets, if there be any more occasion for such, must be enclosed to Mr. Addison, at St. James's coffeehouse: but I hope to hear, as soon as I see Mr. Harley, that the main difficulties are over, and that the rest will be but form. — Take two or three nutgalls, take two or three — galls, stop your receipt in your —— I have no need on't. Here is a clutter! Well, so much for your letter, which I will now put up in my letter partition in my cabinet, as I always do every letter as soon as I answer it. Method is good in all things. Order governs the world. The Devil is the author of confusion. A general of an army, a minister of state; to descend lower, a gardener, a weaver, &c. That may make a fine observation, if you think it worth finishing; but I have not time. Is not this a terrible long piece for one evening? I dined to day with Patty Rolt at my cousin Leach's, with a pox, in the city: he is a printer, and prints the Postman, oh oh, and is my cousin, God knows how, and he married Mrs. Baby Aires of Leicester; and my cousin Thompson was with us: and my cousin Leach offers to bring me acquainted with the author of the Postman; and says, he does not doubt but the gentleman will be glad of my acquaintance, and that he is a very ingenious man, and a great scholar, and has been beyond sea. But I was modest, and said, may be the gentleman was shy, and not fond of new acquaintance; and so put it off; and I wish you could hear me repeating all I have said of this in its proper tone, just as I am writing it. It is all with the same cadence with oh hoo, or as when little girls say, I have got an apple, miss, and I won't give you some. It is plaguy twelve penny weather this last week, and has cost me ten shillings in coach and chair hire. If the fellow that has your money will pay it, let me beg you to buy Bank Stock with it, which is fallen near thirty per cent, and pays eight pounds per cent, and you have the principal when you please: it will certainly soon rise. I would to God lady Giffard would put in the four hundred pounds she owes you, and take the five per cent common interest, and give you the remainder. I will speak to your mother about it when I see her. I am resolved to buy three hundred pounds of it for myself, and take up what I have in Ireland; I have a contrivance for it, that I hope will do, by making a friend of mine buy it as for himself, and I will pay him when I get in my money. I hope Stratford will do me that kindness. I will ask him to morrow or next day.
27. Mr. Rowe the poet desired me to dine with him to day. I went to his office (he is under secretary in Mr. Addison's place that he had in England) and there was Mr. Prior; and they both fell commending my Shower beyond any thing that has been written of the kind? there never was such a Shower since Danae's, &c. You must tell me how it is liked among you. I dined with Rowe; Prior could not come: and after dinner we went to a blind tavern, where Congreve, sir Richard Temple, Eastcourt, and Charles Main were over a bowl of bad punch. The knight sent for six flasks of his own wine for me, and we staid till twelve. But now my head continues pretty well, I have left off my drinking, and only take a spoonful mixed with water, for fear of the gout, or some ugly distemper; and now, because it is late, I will, &c.
28. Garth and Addison and I dined to day at a hedge tavern; then I went to Mr. Harley, but he was denied, or not at home: so I fear I shall not hear my business is done before this goes. Then I visted lord Pembroke, who is just come to town, and we were very merry talking of old things, and I hit him with one pun. Then I went to the ladies Butler, and the son of a whore of a porter denied them: so I sent them a threatening message by another lady, for not excepting me always to the porter. I was weary of the coffeehouse, and Ford desired me to sit with him at next door, which I did, like a fool, chattering till twelve, and now am got into bed. I am afraid the new ministry is at a terrible loss about money: the whigs talk so it would give one the spleen: and I am afraid of meeting Mr. Harley out of humour. They think he will never carry through this undertaking. God knows what will come of it. I should be terribly vexed to see things come round again: it will ruin the church and clergy for ever; but I hope for better. I will send this on Tuesday, whether I hear any farther news of my affair or not.
29. Mr. Addison and I dined to day with lord Mountjoy; which is all the adventures of this day. — I chatted a while to night in the coffeehouse, this being a full night; and now am come home to write some business.
30. I dined to day at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, and sent a letter to poor Mrs. Long, who writes to us, but is God knows where, and will not tell any body the place of her residence. I came home early, and must go write.
31. The month ends with a fine day; and I have been walking, and visiting Lewis, and concerting where to see Mr. Harley. I have no news to send you. Aire, they say, is taken, though the Whitehall letters this morning say quite the contrary: it is good, if it be true. I dined with Mr. Addison and Dick Stuart, lord Mountjoy's brother; a treat of Addison's. They were half fuddled, but not I; for I mixed water with my wine, and left them together between nine and ten; and I must send this by the belman, which vexes me, but I will put it off no longer. Pray God it does not miscarry. I seldom do so; but I can put off little MD no longer. Pray give the under note to Mrs. Brent.
I am a pretty gentleman; and you lose all your money at cards, sirrah Stella. I found you out; I did so.
I am staying before I can fold up this letter, till that ugly D is dry in the last line but one. Do not you see it? O Lord, I am loth to leave you, faith — but it must be so, till next time. Pox take that D; I will blot it to dry it.
London, October 31, 1710.
SO, now I have sent my seventh to your fourth, young women; and now I will tell you what I would not in my last, that this morning, sitting in my bed, I had a fit of giddiness: the room turned round for about a minute, and then it went off, leaving me sickish, but not very: and so I passed the day as I told you; but I would not end a letter with telling you this, because it might vex you: and I hope in God I shall have no more of it. I saw Dr. Cockburn to day, and he promises to send me the pills that did me good last year, and likewise has promised me an oil for my ear, that he has been making for that ailment for somebody else.
Nov. 1. I wish MD a merry new year. You know this is the first day of it with us. I had no giddiness to day, but I drank brandy, and have bought a pint for two shillings. I sat up the night before my giddiness pretty late, and writ very much; so I will impute it to that. But I never eat fruit, nor drink ale, but drink better wine than you do, as I did to day with Mr. Addison at lord Mountjoy's: then went at five to see Mr. Harley, who could not see me for much company; but sent me his excuse, and desired I would dine with him on Friday; and then I expect some answer to this business, which must either be soon done, or begun again; and then the duke of Ormond and his people will interfere for their honour, and do nothing. I came home at six, and spent my time in my chamber, without going to the coffeehouse, which I grow weary of; and I studied at leisure, writ not above forty lines, some inventions of my own, and some hints, and read not at all, and this because I would take care of Presto, for fear little MD should be angry.
2. I took my four pills last night, and they lay an hour in my throat, and so they will do to night. I suppose I could swallow four affronts as easily. I dined with Dr. Cockburn to day, and came home at seven; but Mr. Ford has been with me till just now, and it is near eleven. I have had no giddiness to day. Mr. Dopping I have seen, and he tells me coldly, my Shower is liked well enough; there is your Irish judgment. I writ this post to the bishop of Clogher. It is now just a fortnight since I heard from you. I must have you write once a fortnight, and then I will allow for wind and weather. How goes ombre? does Mrs. Walls win constantly, as the used to do; and Mrs. Stoyte? I have not thought of her this long time; how does she? I find we have a cargo of Irish coming for London: I am sorry for it; but I never go near them. And Tighe is landed; but Mrs. Wesley, they say, is going home to her husband, like a fool, Well, little monkies mine, I must go write; and so good night.
3. I ought to read these letters I write, after I have done; for looking over thus much I found two or three literal mistakes, which should not be when the hand is so bad. But I hope it does not puzzle little Dingley to read, for I think I mend: but methinks when I write plain, I do not know how, but we are not alone, all the world can see us. A bad scrawl is so snug, it looks like a PMD. We have scurvy Tatlers of late: so pray do not suspect me. I have one or two hints I design to send him, and never any more: he does not deserve it. He is governed by his wife most abominably, as bad as ——. I never saw her since I came; nor has he ever made me an invitation; either he dares not, or is such a thoughtless Tisdall fellow, that he never minds it. So what care I for his wit? for he is the worst company in the world, till he has a bottle of wine in his head. I cannot write straighter in bed, so you must be content. — At night in bed. Stay, let me see where is this letter to MD among these papers? oh! here. Well, I will go on now; but I am very busy (smoke the new pen.) I dined with Mr. Harley to day, and am invited there again on Sunday. I have now leave to write to the primate and archbishop of Dublin, that the queen has granted the first-fruits; but they are to take no notice of it, till a letter is sent them by the queen's order from lord Dartmouth, secretary of state, to signify it. The bishops are to be made a corporation to dispose of the revenue, &c. and I shall write to the archbishop of Dublin to morrow (I have had no giddiness to day) I know not whether they will have any occasion for me longer to be here; nor can I judge till I see what letter the queen sends to the bishops, and what they will do upon it. If dispatch be used, it may be done in six weeks; but I cannot judge. They sent me to day a new commission, signed by the primate and archbishop of Dublin, and promise me letters to the two archbishops here; but mine a— for it all. The thing is done, and has been so these ten days; though I had only leave to tell it to day. I had this day likewise a letter from the bishop of Clogher, who complains of my not writing; and what vexes me, says he knows you have long letters from me every week. Why do you tell him so? it is not right, faith: but I will not be angry with MD at a distance. I writ to him last post, before I had his, and will write again soon, since I see he expects it, and that lord and lady Mountjoy put him off upon me to give themselves ease. Lastly, I had this day a letter from a certain naughty rogue called MD, and it was N. 5, which I shall not answer to night, I thank you. No, faith, I have other fish to fry; but to morrow or next day will be time enough. I have put MD's commissions in a memorandum paper. I think I have done all before, and remember nothing but this to day about glasses and spectacles and spectacle cases. I have no commission from Stella, but the chocolate and handkerchiefs; and those are bought, and I expect they will be soon sent. I have been with, and sent to, Mr. Sterne, two or three times to know, but he was not within. Odds my life, what am I doing? I must go write and do business.
4. I dined to day at Kensington, with Addison, Steele, &c. came home, and writ a short letter to the archbishop of Dublin, to let him know the queen has granted the thing, &c. I writ in the coffeehouse, for I staid at Kensington till nine, and am plaguy weary; for colonel Proud was very ill company, and I will never be of a party with him again; and I drank punch, and that and ill company has made me hot.
5. I was with Mr. Harley from dinner to seven this night, and went to the coffeehouse, where Dr. d'Avenant would fain have had me gone and drink a bottle of wine at his house hard by, with Dr. Chamberlain; but the puppy used so many words, that I was afraid of his company; and though we promised to come at eight, I sent a messenger to him, that Chamberlain was going to a patient, and therefore we would put it off till another time: so he, and the comptroller, and I were prevailed on, by sir Matthew Dudley, to go to his house, where I staid till twelve, and left them. D'Avenant has been teasing me to look over some of his writings that he is going to publish; but the rogue is so fond of his own productions, that I hear he will not part with a syllable; and he has lately put out a foolish pamphlet, called, the third part of Tom Double; to make his court to the tories, whom he had left.
6. I was to day gambling in the city to see Patty Rolt, who is going to Kingston, where she lodges; but to say the truth, I had a mind for a walk to exercise myself, and happened to be disengaged: for dinners are ten times more plentiful with me here than ever, or than in Dublin. I will not answer your letter yet, because I am busy. I hope to send this before I have another from MD: it would be a sad thing to answer two letters together, as MD does from Presto. But when the two sides are full, away the letter shall go, that is certain, like it or not like it; and that will be about three days hence, for the answering night will be a long one.
7. I dined to day at sir Richard Temple's, with Congreve, Vanbrugh, lieutenant general Farrington, &c. Vanbrugh, I believe I told you, had a long quarrel with me about those verses on his house; but we were very civil and cold. Lady Marlborough used to tease him with them, which had made him angry, though he be a good natured fellow. It was a thanksgiving day, and I was at court, where the queen past by us with all tories about her; not one whig: Buckingham, Rochester, Leeds, Shrewsbury, Berkeley of Stratton, lord keeper Harcourt, Mr. Harley, lord Pembroke, &c. and I have seen her without one tory. The queen made me a curtsy, and said, in a sort of familiar way to Presto, How does MD? I considered she was a queen, and so excused her. I do not miss the whigs at court; but have as many acquaintance there as formerly.
8. Here is ado and a clutter! I must now answer MD's fifth; but first you must know I dined at the Portugal envoy's to day, with , Vanbrugh, admiral Wager, sir Richard Temple, Methuen, &c. I was weary of their company, and stole away at five, and came home like a good boy, and studied till ten, and had a fire; O ho! and now am in bed. I have no fire place in my bed chamber; but it is very warm weather when one is in bed. Your fine cap, madam Dingley, is too little, and too hot: I will have that fur taken off; I wish it were far enough; and my old velvet cap is good for nothing. Is it velvet under the fur? I was feeling, but cannot find: if it be, it will do without it, else I will face it; but then I must buy new velvet: but may be I may beg a piece. What shall I do? well, now to rogue MD's letter. God be thanked for Stella's eyes mending; and God send it holds; but faith you writ too much at a time: better write less, or write it at ten times. Yes, faith, a long letter in a morning from a dear friend is a dear thing. I smoke a compliment, little mischievous girls, I do so. But who are those wiggs that think I am turned tory? Do you mean whigs? Which wiggs and what do you mean? I know nothing of Raymond, and only had one letter from him a little after I came here. [Pray remember Morgan.] Raymond is indeed like to have much influence over me in London, and to share much of my conversation. I shall no doubt, introduce him to Harley, and lord keeper, and the secretary of state. The Tatler upon Ithuriel's spear is not mine, madam. What a puzzle there is between you and your judgment? In general you may be sometimes sure of things, as that about style, because it is what I have frequently spoken of; but guessing is mine a—; and I defy mankind, if I please. Why, I writ a pamphlet when I was last in London, that you and a thousand have seen, and never guessed it to be mine. Could you have guessed the Shower in Town to be mine? How chance you did not see that before your last letter went; but I suppose you in Ireland did not think it worth mentioning. Nor am I suspected for the lampoon: only Harley said he smoked me, (have I told you so before?) and some others knew it. It is called the Rod of Sid Hamet. And I have written several other things that I hear commended, and nobody suspects me for them; nor you shall not know till I see you again. What do you mean "That boards near me, that I dine with now and then?" I know no such person: I do not dine with boarders. What the pox! You know whom I have dined with every day since I left you, better than I do. What do you mean, sirrah? Slids, my ailment has been over these two months almost. Impudence, if you vex me, I will give ten shillings a week for my lodging; for I am almost stunk out of this with the sink, and it helps me to verses in my Shower. Well, madam Dingley, what say you to the world to come? What ballad? Why go look, it was not good for much: have patience till I come back; patience is a gay thing as, &c. I hear nothing of lord Mountjoy's coming for Ireland. When is Stella's birthday? in March? lord bless me, my turn at Christ Church; it is so natural to hear you write about that, I believe you have done it a hundred times; it is as fresh in my mind, the verger coming to you; and why to you? would he have you preach for me? O, pox on your spelling of latin. Jonsonibus atque, that is the way. How did the dean get that name by the end? It was you betrayed me: not I, faith; I will not break his head. Your mother is still in the country, I suppose, for she promised to see me when she came to town. I writ to her four days ago, to desire her to break it to lady Giffard, to put some money for you in the Bank, which was then fallen thirty per cent. Would to God mine had been here, I should have gained one hundred pounds, and got as good interest as in Ireland, and much securer. I would fain have borrowed three hundred pounds; but money is so scarce here, there is no borrowing, by this fall of stocks. It is rising now, and I knew it would: it fell from one hundred and twenty-nine to ninety-six. I have not heard since from your mother. Do you think I would be so unkind not to see her, that you desire me in a style so melancholy? Mrs. Raymond you say is with child: I am sorry for it, and so is, I believe, her husband. Mr. Harley speaks all the kind things to me in the world; and I believe, would serve me, if I were to stay here; but I reckon in time the duke of Ormond may give me some addition to Laracor. Why should the whigs think I came to England to leave them? Sure my journey was no secret? I protest sincerely, I did all I could to hinder it, as the dean can tell you, although now I do not repent it. But who the devil cares what they think? Am I under obligations in the least to any of them all? Rot them, for ungrateful dogs; I will make them repent their usage before I leave this place. They say here the same thing of my leaving the whigs; but they own they cannot blame me, considering the treatment I have had. I will take care of your spectacles, as I told you before, and of the bishop of Killala's; but I will not write to him, I have not time. What do you mean by my fourth, madam Dinglibus? Does not Stella say you have had my fifth, goody blunder; you frighted me till I looked back. Well, this is enough for one night. Pray give my humble service to Mrs. Stoyte and her sister, Kate is it or Sarah? I have forgot her name, faith. I think I will even (and to Mrs. Walls and the archdeacon) send this to morrow: no, faith, that will be in ten days from the last. I will keep it till Saturday, though I write no more. But what if a letter from MD should come in the mean time? why then I would only say, madam, I have received your sixth letter; your most humble servant to command, Presto; and so conclude. Well, now I will write and think a little, and so to bed, and dream of MD.
9. I have my mouth full of water, and was going to spit it out, because I reasoned with myself, how could I write when my mouth was full. Have not you done things like that, reasoned wrong at first thinking? Well, I was to see Mr. Lewis this morning, and am to dine a few days hence, as he tells me, with Mr. secretary St. John; and I must contrive to see Harley soon again, to hasten this business from the queen. I dined to day at lord Montrath's, with lord Mountjoy, &c. but the wine was not good, so I came away, staid at the coffeehouse till seven, then came home to my fire, the maidenhead of my second half bushel, and am now in bed at eleven, as usual. It is mighty warm; yet I fear I shall catch cold this wet weather, if I sit an evening in my room after coming from warm places: and I must make much of myself, because MD is not here to take care of Presto; and I am full of business, writing, &c, and do not care for the coffeehouse; and so this serves for all together, not to tell it you over and over, as silly people do; but Presto is a wiser man, faith, than so, let me tell you, gentlewomen. See, I am got to the third side; but, faith, I will not do that often; but I must say something early to day, till the letter is done, and on Saturday it shall go; so I must save something till to morrow, till to morrow and next day.
10. O Lord, I would this letter was with you with all my heart: if it should miscarry, what a deal would be lost? I forgot to leave a gap in the last line but one for the seal, like a puppy; but I should have allowed for night, good night; but when I am taking leave, I cannot leave a bit, faith; but I fancy the seal will not come there. I dined to day at lady Lucy's, where they ran down my Shower; and said Sid Hamet was the silliest poem they ever read, and told Prior so, whom they thought to be the author of it. Do not you wonder I never dined there before? But I am too busy, and they live too far off; and, besides, I do not like women so much as I did. [ MD you must know, are not women.] I supped to night at Addison's, with Garth, Steele, and Mr. Dopping; and am come home late. Lewis has sent to me to desire I will dine with some company I shall like. I suppose it is Mr. secretary St. John's appointment. I had a letter just now from Raymond, who is at Bristol, and says he will be at London in a fortnight, and leave his wife behind him; and desires any lodging in the house where I am: but that must not be. I shall not know what to do with him in town: to be sure I will not present him to any acquaintance of mine, and he will live a delicate life, a parson and a perfect stranger. Paaast twelvvve o'clock and so good night, &c. O! but I forgot, Jemmy Leigh is come to town; says he has brought Dingley's things, and will send them by the first convenience. My parcel I hear is not sent yet. He thinks of going for Ireland in a month, &c. I cannot write to morrow, because — what, because of the archbishop; because I will seal my letter early; because I am engaged from noon till night; because of many kind of things; and yet I will write one or two words to morrow morning, to keep up my journal constant, and at night I will begin the ninth.
11. Morning by candlelight. You must know that I am in my nightgown every morning between six and seven, and Patrick is forced to ply me fifty times before I can get on my nightgown; and so now I will take my leave of my own dear MD, for this letter, and begin my next when I come home at night. God Almighty bless and protect dearest MD. Farewell, &c.
This letter's as long as a sermon, faith.
London, Nov. 11, 1710.
I DINED to day, by invitation, with the secretary of state Mr. St. John. Mr. Harley came in to us before dinner, and made me his excuses for not dining with us, because he was to receive people who came to propose advancing money to the government: there dined with us only Mr. Lewis, and Dr. Freind, that writ lord Peterborow's actions in Spain. I staid with them till just now, between ten and eleven, and was forced again to give my eighth to the belman, which I did with my own hands, rather than keep it till next post. The secretary used me with all the kindness in the world. Prior came in after dinner; and, upon an occasion, he [the secretary] said, the best thing he ever read is not yours, but Dr. Swift's on Vanbrugh; which I do not reckon so very good neither. But Prior was damped until I stuffed him with two or three compliments. I am thinking what a veneration we used to have for sir William Temple, because he might have been secretary of state at fifty; and here is a young fellow, hardly thirty, in that employment. His father is a man of pleasure, that walks the Mall, and frequents St. James's coffeehouse, and the chocolatehouses, and the young son is principal secretary of state. Is there not some thing very odd in that? He told me, among other things, that Mr. Harley complained he could keep nothing from me, I had the way so much of getting into him. I knew that was a refinement; and so I told him, and it was so: indeed it is hard to see these great men use me like one who was their betters, and the puppies with you in Ireland hardly regarding me: but there are some reasons for all this, which I will tell you when we meet. At coming home I saw a letter from your mother, in answer to one I sent her two days ago. It seems she is in town; but cannot come out in a morning, just as you said, and God knows when I shall be at leisure in an afternoon: for if I should send her a pennypost letter, and afterward not be able to meet her, it would vex me; and, besides, the days are short, and why she cannot come early in a morning before she is wanted, I cannot imagine. I will desire her to let lady Giffard know that she hears I am in town, and that she would go to see me to inquire after you. I wonder she will confine herself so much to that old beast's humour. You know I cannot in honour see lady Giffird, and consequently not go into her house. This I think is enough for the first time.
12. And how could you write with such thin paper? (I forgot to say this in my former.) Cannot you get thicker? Why, that is a common caution that writingmasters give their scholars; you must have heard it a hundred times. It is this,
If paper be thin,
Ink will slip in;
But if it be thick,
You may write with a stick.
I had a letter to day from poor Mrs. Long, giving me an account of her present life, obscure in a remote country town, and how easy she is under it. Poor creature! it is just such an alteration in life, as if Presto should be banished from MD, and condemned to converse with Mrs. Raymond. I dined to day with Ford, sir Richard Levinge, &c. at a place where they board, hard by. I was lazy, and not very well, sitting so long with company yesterday. I have been very busy writing this evening at home, and had a fire: I am spending my second half bushel of coals; and now am in bed, and it is late.
13. I dined to day in the city, and then went to christen Will Frankland's child; and lady Falconbridge was one of the godmothers: this is a daughter of Oliver Cromwell, and extremely like him by his pictures that I have seen. I staid till almost eleven, and am now come home and gone to bed. My business in the city was to thank Stratford for a kindness he has done me, which now I will tell you. I found bank stock was fallen thirty-four in the hundred, and was mighty desirous to buy it; but I was a little too late for the cheapest time, being hindered by business here; for I was so wise to guess to a day when it would fall. My project was this: I had three hundred pounds in Ireland; and so I writ Mr. Stratford in the city, to desire he would buy me three hundred pounds in bank stock, and that he should keep the papers, and that I would be bound to pay him for them; and if it should rise or fall, I would take my chance, and pay him interest in the mean time. I showed my letter to one or two people, who understand those things; and they said, money was so hard to be got here, that no man would do it for me. However, Stratford, who is the most generous man alive, has done it: but it cost one hundred pounds and a half, that is ten shillings, so that three hundred pounds cost me three hundred pounds and thirty shillings. This was done about a week ago, and I can have five pounds for my bargain already. Before it fell it was one hundred and thirty pounds, and we are sure it will be the same again. I told you I writ to your mother, to desire that lady Giffard would do the same with what she owes you; but she tells your mother she has no money. I would to God all you had in the world was there. Whenever you lend money take this rule, to have two people bound, who have both visible fortunes; for they will hardly die together; and when one dies, you fall upon the other, and make him add another security: and if Rathburn (now I have his name) pays you in your money, let me know, and I will direct Parvisol accordingly: however, he shall wait on you and know. So, ladies, enough of business for one night. Paaaaast twelvvve o'clock. I must only add, that after a long fit of rainy weather, it has been fair two or three days, and is this day grown cold and frosty; so that you must give poor little Presto leave to have a fire in his chamber morning and evening too, and he will do as much for you.
14. What, has your chancellor lost his senses, like Will Crowe? I forgot to tell Dingley, that I was yesterday at Ludgate, bespeaking the spectacles at the great shop there, and shall have them in a day or two. This has been an insipid day. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and came gravely home, after just visiting the coffeehouse. Sir Richard Cox, they say, is sure of going over lord chancellor, who is as errant a puppy as ever eat bread: but the duke of Ormond has a natural affection to puppies, which is a thousand pities, being none himself. I have been amusing myself at home till now, and in bed bid you good night.
15. I have been visiting this morning, but nobody was at home, secretary St. John, sir Thomas Hanmer, sir chancellor Cox-comb, &c. I attended the duke of Ormond with about fifty other Irish gentlemen at Skinner's hall, where the Londonderry society laid out three hundred pounds to treat us and his grace with a dinner. Three great tables with the dessert laid in mighty figure. Sir Richard Levinge and I got discreetly to the head of the second table, to avoid the crowd at the first: but it was so cold, and so confounded a noise with the trumpets and hautboys, that I grew weary, and stole away before the second course came on; so I can give you no account of it, which is a thousand pities. I called at Ludgate for Dingley's glasses, and shall have them in a day or two; and I doubt it will cost me thirty shillings for a miscroscope, but not without Stella's permission; for I remember she is a virtuoso. Shall I buy it or no? It is not the great bulky ones, nor the common little ones, to impale a louse (saving your presence) upon a needle's point; but of a more exact sort, and clearer to the sight, with all its equipage in a little trunk that you may carry in your pocket. Tell me, sirrah, shall I buy it or not for you? I came home straight, &c.
16. I dined to day in the city with Mr. Manley, who invited Mr. Addison and me, and some other friends, to his lodging, and entertained us very handsomely. I returned with Mr. Addison, and loitered till nine in the coffeehouse, where I am hardly known by going so seldom. I am here soliciting for Trounce; you know him: he was gunner in the former yacht, and would fain be so in the present one: if you remember him, a good lusty freshcoloured fellow. Shall I stay till I get another letter from MD before I close up this? Mr. Addison and I meet a little seldomer than formerly, although we are still at bottom as good friends as ever; but differ a little about party.
17. To day I went to Lewis at the secretary's office, where I saw and spoke to Mr. Harley, who promised, in a few days, to finish the rest of my business. I reproached him for putting me on the necessity of minding him of it, and rallied him, &c. which he took very well. I dined to day with one Mr. Gore, elder brother to a young merchant of my acquaintance, and Stratford, and my other friend merchants dined with us, where I staid late, drinking claret and burgundy, and am just got to bed, and will say no more, but that it now begins to be time to have a letter from my own little MD; for the last I had above a fortnight ago, and the date was old too.
18. To day I dined with Lewis and Prior at an eating house, but with Lewis's wine. Lewis went away, and Prior and I sat on, where we complimented one another for an hour or two upon our mutual wit and poetry. Coming home at seven, a gentleman unknown stopped me in the Pall Mall, and asked my advice; said he had been to see the queen (who was just come to town) and the people in waiting would not let him see her; that he had two hundred thousand men ready to serve her in the war; that he knew the queen perfectly well, and had an apartment at court, and if she heard he was there, she would send for him immediately; that she owed him two hundred thousand pounds, &c. and he desired my opinion whether he should go try again whether he could see her; or, because perhaps she was weary after her journey, whether he had not better stay till to morrow. I had a mind to get rid of my companion, and begged him of all love to wait on her immediately; for that, to my knowledge, the queen would admit him; that this was an affair of great importance, and required dispatch: and I instructed him to let me know the success of his business, and come to the Smyrna coffeehouse, where I would wait for him till midnight; and so ended this adventure. I would have fain given the man half a crown; but was afraid to offer it him, lest he should be offended; for, beside his money, he said he had a thousand pounds a year. I came home not early, and so, madams both, good night, &c.
19. I dined to day with poor lord Mountjoy, who is ill of the gout; and this evening I christened our coffeeman Elliot's child; where the rogue had a most noble supper, and Steele and I sat among some scurvy company over a bowl of punch, so that I am come home late, young women, and cannot stay to write to little rogues.
20. I loitered at home, and dined with sir Andrew Fountain at his lodging, and then came home: a silly day.
21. I was visiting all this morning, and then went to the secretary's office, and found Mr. Harley, with whom I dined; and secretary St. John, &c. and Harley promised in a very few days to finish what remains of my business. Prior was of the company, and we all dine at the secretary's to morrow. I saw Stella's mother this morning: she came early, and we talked an hour. I wish you would propose to lady Giffard to take the three hundred pounds out of her hands, and give her common interest for life, and security that you will pay her: the bishop of Clogher, or any friend, would be security for you, if you gave them counter security; and it may be argued, that it will pass better to be in your hands than hers in case of mortality, &c. Your mother says, if you write she will second it; and you may write to your mother, and then it will come from her. She tells me lady Giffard has a mind to see me, by her discourse; but I told her what to say with a vengeance. She told lady Giffard she was going to see me: she looks extremely well. I am writing in my bed like a tiger, and so good night, &c.
22. I dined with secretary St. John; and lord Dartmouth, who is the other secretary, dined with us, and lord Orrery and Prior, &c. Harley called, but could not dine with us, and would have had me away while I was at dinner; but I did not like the company he was to have. We staid till eight, and I called at the coffeehouse, and looked where the letters lie; but no letter directed for Mr. Presto: at last I saw a letter to Mr. Addison and it looked like a rogue's hand, so I made the fellow give it me, and opened it before him, and saw three letters all for myself: so, truly, I put them in my pocket, and came home to my lodging. Well, and so you shall hear: well, and so I found one of them in Dingley's hand, and the other in Stella's, and the third in Domville's. Well, so you shall hear: so, said I to myself, what now, two letters from MD together? But I thought there was something in the wind; so I opened one, and I opened the other; and so you shall hear, one was from Walls. Well, but the other was from own dear MD; yes it was. O faith, have you received my seventh, young women, already; then I must send this to morrow, else there will be old doings at our house, faith. — Well, I will not answer your letter in this: no faith, catch me at that, and I never saw the like. Well; but as to Walls, tell him (with service to him and wife, &c.) that I have no imagination of Mr. Pratt's losing his place: and while Pratt continues Clements is in no danger; and I have already engaged lord Hyde he speaks of, for Pratt and twenty others; but, if such a thing should happen, I will do what I can. I have above ten businesses of other people's now on my hands, and, I believe, shall miscarry in half. It is your sixth I now have received. I writ last post to the bishop of Clogher again. Shall I send this to morrow? Well, I will to oblige MD. Which would you rather, a short letter every week, or a long one every fortnight? A long one; well, it shall be done, and so good night. Well, but is this a long one? No, I warrant you: too long for naughty girls.
23. I only ask, have you got both the ten pounds, or only the first; I hope you mean both. Pray be good housewives; and I beg you to walk when you can for health. Have you the horse in town? and do you ever ride him? how often? confess. Ahhh, sirrah, have I caught you? Can you contrive to let Mrs. Fenton know, that the request she has made me in her letter, I will use what credit I have to bring about, although I hear it is very difficult, and I doubt I shall not succeed. Cox is not to be your chancellor: all joined against him. I have been supping with lord Peterborow, at his house, with Prior, Lewis, and Dr. Freind. It is the ramblingest lying rogue on earth. Dr. Raymond is come to town: it is late, and so I bid you good night.
24. I tell you pretty management: Ned Southwell told me the other day, he had a letter from the bishops of Ireland, with an address to the duke of Ormond, to intercede with the queen, to take off the first-fruits. I dined with him to day, and saw it, with another letter to him from the bishop of Kildare to call upon me for the papers, &c. and I had last post one from the archbishop of Dublin, telling me the reason of this proceeding; that upon hearing the duke of Ormond was declared lord lieutenant, they met and the bishops were for this project, and talked coldly of my being solicitor, as one that was favoured by the other party, &c. but desired that I would still solicit. Now the wisdom of this is admirable; for I had given the archbishop an account of my reception from Mr. Harley, and how he had spoken to the queen, and promised it should be done; but Mr. Harley ordered me to tell no person alive. Some time after he gave me leave to let the primate and archbishop know that the queen had remitted the first-fruits; and that in a short time they should have an account of it in form from lord Dartmouth, secretary of state. So while their letter was on the road to the duke of Ormond and Southwell, mine was going to them with an account of the thing being done, I writ a very warm answer to the archbishop immediately, and showed my resentment, as I ought, against the bishops; only in good manners excepting himself. I wonder what they will say when they hear the thing is done. I was yesterday forced to tell Southwell so, that the queen had done it, &c. for he said, my lord duke would think of it some months hence when he was going for Ireland; and he had it three years in doing formerly, without any success. I give you free leave to say, on occasion, that it is done, and that Mr. Harley prevailed on the queen to do it, &c. as you please. As I hope to live, I despise the credit of it, out of an excess of pride, and desire you will not give me the least merit when you talk of it; but I would vex the bishops, and have it spread that Mr. Harley had done it: pray do so. Your mother sent me last night a parcel of wax candles, and a bandbox full of small plumcakes. I thought it had been something for you; and, without opening them, sent answer by the maid that brought them, that I would take care to send the things, &c. but I will write her thanks. Is this a long letter, sirrahs? Now, are you satisfied? I have had no fit since the first: I drink brandy every morning, and take pills every night. Never fear, I an't vexed at this puppy business of the bishops, although I was a little at first. I will tell you my reward: Mr. Harley will think he has done me a favour; the duke of Ormond, perhaps, that I have put a neglect on him; and the bishops in Ireland, that I have done nothing at all. So goes the world. But I have got above all this, and, perhaps, I have better reason for it than they know: and so you shall hear no more of first-fruits, dukes, Harleys, archbishops, and Southwells.
I have slipped off Raymond upon some of his countrymen to show him the town, &c. and I lend him Patrick. He desires to sit with me in the evenings; upon which I have given Patrick positive orders that I am not within at evenings.
London, Nov. 25, 1710.
I WILL tell you something that is plaguy silly: I had forgot to say on the 23d in my last, where I dined; and because I had done it constantly, I thought it was a great omission, and was going to interline it; but at last the silliness of it made me cry, pshah, and I let it alone. I was to day to see the parliament meet; but only saw a great crowd: and Ford and I went to see the tombs at Westminster, and sauntered so long I was forced to go to an eatinghouse for my dinner. Bromley is chosen speaker, nemine contradiciente: Do you understand those two words? and Pompey, colonel Hill's black, designs to stand speaker for the footmen. I am engaged to use my interest for him, and have spoken to Patrick to get him some votes. We are now all impatient for the queen's speech, what she will say about removing the ministry, &c. I have got a cold, and I do not know how; but got it I have, and am hoarse: I do not know whether it will grow better or worse. What is that to you? I will not answer your letter to night. I will keep you a little longer in suspense: I cannot send it. Your mother's cakes are very good, and one of them serves me for breakfast, and so I will go sleep like a good boy.
26. I have got a cruel cold, and staid within all this day in my nightgown, and dined on sixpennyworth of victuals, and read and writ, and was denied to every body. Dr. Raymond called often, and I was denied; and at last, when I was weary, I let him come up, and asked him, without consequence, How Patrick denied me, and whether he had the art of it? So by this means he shall be used to have me denied to him; otherwise he would be a plaguy trouble and hindrance to me: he has sat with me two hours, and drank a pint of ale cost me five pence, and smoked his pipe, and it is now past eleven that he is just gone. Well, my eighth is with you now, young women, and your seventh to me is somewhere in a postboy's bag: and so go to your gang of deans, and Stoytes, and Walls, and lose your money; go sauceboxes, and so good night and be happy, dear rogues. O, but your box was sent to Dr. Hawkshaw by Sterne, and you will have it with Hawkshaw, and spectacles, &c. &c.
27. To day Mr. Harley met me in the court of requests, and whispered me to dine with him. At dinner I told him what those bishops had done, and the difficulty I was under. He bid me never trouble myself; he would tell the duke of Ormond the business was done, and that he need not concern himself about it. So now I am easy, and they may hang themselves for a parcel of insolent ungrateful rascals. I suppose I told you in my last, how they sent an address to the duke of Ormond, and a letter to Southwell, to call on me for the papers, after the thing was over; but they had not received my letter; though the archbishop might, by what I writ to him, have expected it would be done. Well, there is an end of that; and in a little time the queen will send them notice, &c. And so the methods will be settled; and then I shall think of returning, although the baseness of those bishops makes me love Ireland less than I did.
28. Lord Halifax sent to invite me to dinner, where I staid till six, and crossed him in all his whig talk, and made him often come over to me. I know he makes court to the new men, although he affects to talk like a whig. I had a letter to day from the bishop of Clogher; but I writ to him lately, that I would obey his commands to the duke of Ormond. He says I bid him read the London Shaver, and that you both swore it was Shaver, and not Shower. You all lie, and you are puppies, and cannot read Presto's hand. The bishop is out entirely in his conjectures of my share in the Tatlers. — I have other things to mind, and of much greater importances, else I have little to do to be acquainted with a new ministry, who consider me a little more than Irish bishops do.
29. Now for your saucy good dear letter: let me see, what does it say? come then. I dined to day with Ford, and went home early; he debauched me to his chamber again with a bottle of wine till twelve: so good night. I cannot write an answer now, you rogues.
30. To day I have been visiting, which I had long neglected; and I dined with Mrs. Barton alone; and sauntered at the coffeehouse till past eight, and have been busy till eleven, and now I will answer your letter, saucebox. Well, let me see now again. My wax candle's almost out, but however I will begin. Well then, do not be so tedious, Mr. Presto; what can you say to MD's letter? Make haste, have done with your preambles — Why, I say I am glad you are so often abroad; your mother thinks it is want of exercise hurts you, and so do I. (She called here to night, but I was not within, that is by the by.) Sure you do not deceive me, Stella, when you say you are in better health than you were these three weeks; for Dr. Raymond told me yesterday, that Smyth of the Blind Quay had been telling Mr. Leigh, that he left you extremely ill; and in short, spoke so, that he almost put poor Leigh into tears, and would have made me run distracted; though your letter is dated the 11th instant, and I saw Smyth in the city above a fortnight ago, as I passed by in a coach. Pray, pray, do not write, Stella, until you are mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty well in your eyes, and are sure it won't do you the least hurt. Or come, I will tell you what; you, mistress Stella, shall write your share at five or six sittings, one sitting a day; and then comes Dingley all together, and then Stella a little crumb toward the end, to let us see she remembers Presto; and then conclude with something handsome and genteel, as your most humble cumdumble, or, &c. O Lord! does Patrick write word of my not coming till spring? insolent man! he know my secrets? No; as my lord mayor said, No; if I thought my shirt knew, &c. Faith, I will come as soon as it is any way proper for me to come; but, to say the truth, I am at present a little involved with the present ministry in some certain things (which I tell you as a secret) as soon as ever I can clear my hands, I will stay no longer: for I hope the first-fruit business will be soon over in all its forms. But, to say the truth, the present ministry have a difficult task, and want me, &c. Perhaps they may be just as grateful as others: but, according to the best judgment I have, they are pursuing the true interest of the publick; and therefore I am glad to contribute what is in my power. For God's sake, not a word of this to any alive. — Your chancellor? why, madam, I can tell you he has been dead this fortnight. Faith, I could hardly forbear our little language about a nasty dead chancellor, as you may see by the blot. Ploughing? A pox plough them; they will plough me to nothing. But have you got your money, both the ten pounds? How durst he pay the second so soon? Pray be good housewifes. — Ay, well, and Joe,; why, I had a letter lately from Joe, desiring I would take some care of their poor town, who, he says, will lose their liberties. To which I desired Dr. Raymond would return answer; That the town had behaved themselves so ill to me, so little regarded the advice I gave them, and disagreed so much among themselves, that I was resolved never to have more to do with them; but that whatsoever personal kindness I could do to Joe, should be done. Pray, when you happen to see Joe, tell him this, lest Raymond should have blundered or forgotten. Poor Mrs. Wesley — Why these poligyes for being abroad? Why should you be at home at all, until Stella is quite well? — So, here is mistress Stella again with her two eggs, &c. My Shower admired with you; why, the bishop of Clogher says, he has seen something of mine of the same sort, better than the Shower. I suppose he means the Morning; but it is not half so good. I want your judgment of things, and not your country's. How does MD like it ? and do they taste it all? &c. I am glad dean Bolton has paid the twenty pounds. Why should not I chide the bishop of Clogher for writing to the archbishop of Cashel, without sending the letter first to me? It does not signify a ——; for he has no credit at court. Stuff — they are all puppies. I will break your head in good earnest, young woman, for your nasty jest about Mrs. Barton. Unlucky sluttikin, what a word is there? Faith, I was thinking yesterday, when I was with her, whether she could break them or no, and it quite spoiled my imagination. Mrs. Wall, does Stella win as she pretends? No indeed, doctor; she loses always, and will play so ventersomely, how can she win? See here now; are not you an impudent lying slut? Do, open Domvile's letter; what does it signify, if you have a mind? Yes, faith, you write smartly with your eyes shut; all was well but the w. See how I can do it; madam Stella your humble servant, O, but one may look whether one goes crooked or no, and so write on. I will tell you what you may do ; you may write with your eyes half shut, just as when one is going to sleep: I have done so for two or three lines now; it is but just seeing enough to go straight. — Now, madam Dingley, I think I bid you tell Mr. Walls, that in case there be occasion I will serve his friend as far as I can; but I hope there will be none. Yet I believe you will have a new parliament; but I care not whether you have or no a better. You are mistaken in all your conjectures about the Tatlers. I have given him one or two hints, and you have heard me talk about the Shilling. Faith, these answering letters are very long ones: you have taken up almost the room of a week in journals; and I will tell you what, I saw fellows wearing crosses to day, and I wondered what was the matter; but just this minute I recollect it is little Presto's birthday; and I was resolved these three days to remember it when it came, but could not. Pray, drink my health to day at dinner; do you rogues. Do you like Sid Hamet's Rod? Do you understand it all? Well, now at last I have done with your letter, and so I will lay me down to sleep, and about fair maids; and I hope merry maids all.
Dec. 1. Morning. I wish Smyth were hanged. I was dreaming the most melancholy things in the world of poor Stella, and was grieving and crying all night. — Pshah, it is foolish: I will rise and divert myself; so good morrow, and God of his infinite mercy keep and protect you. The bishop of Clogher's letter is dated Nov. 21. He says, you thought of going with him to Clogher. I am heartily glad of it, and wish you would ride there, and Dingley go in a coach. I have had no fit since my first, although sometimes my head is not quite in good order. — At night. I was this morning to visit Mr. Pratt, who is come over with poor sick lord Shelburn; they made me dine with them, and there I staid, like a booby, till eight, looking over them at ombre, and then came home. Lord Shelburn's giddiness is turned into a colick, and he looks miserably.
2. Steele, the rogue, has done the impudentest thing in the world: he said something in a Tatler, that we ought to use the word Great Britain, and not England, in common conversation, as, the finest lady in Great Britain, &c. Upon this Rowe, Prior, and I sent him a letter, turning this into ridicule. He has to day printed the letter, and signed it J. S. M. P.. and N. R. the first letters of our names. Congreve told me to day, he smoked it immediately. Congreve and I and sir Charles Wager dined to day at Delaval's, the Portugal envoy; and I staid there till eight, and came home, and am now writing to you before I do business, because that dog Patrick is not at home, and the fire is not made, and I am not in my gear. Pox take him! — I was looking by chance at the top of this side, and find I make plaguy mistakes in words; so that you must fence against that as well as bad writing. Faith, I cannot nor will not read what I have written. (Pox of this puppy!) Well, I will leave you till I am got to bed, and then I will say a word or two. — Well, it is now almost twelve, and I have been busy ever since, by a fire too, (I have my coals by half a bushel at a time, I will assure you) and now I am got to bed. Well, and what have you to say to Presto now he is abed? Come now, let us hear your speeches. No, it is a lie, I am not sleepy yet. Let us sit up a little longer, and talk. Well, where have you been to day, that you are but just this minute come home in a coach? What have you lost? Pay the coachman, Stella. No, faith, not I, he will grumble. — What new acquaintance have you got? come, let us hear. I have made Delaval promise to send me some Brazil tobacco from Portugal for you, madam Dingley. I hope you will have your chocolate and spectacles before this comes to you.
3. Pshaw, I must be writing to those dear saucy brats every night, whether I will or no, let me have what business I will, or come home ever so late, or be ever so sleepy; but an old saying, and a true one, be you lords, or be you earls, you must write to naughty girls. I was to day at court, and saw Raymond among the beefeaters, staying to see the queen; so I put him in a better station, made two or three dozen of bows, and went to church, and then to court again, to pick up a dinner, as I did with sir John Stanley, and then we went to visit lord Mountjoy, and just now left him, and it is near eleven at night, young women, and methinks this letter comes pretty near to the bottom, and it is but eight days since the date, and do not think I will write on the other side, I thank you for nothing. Faith, if I would use you to letters on sheets as broad as this room, you would always expect them from me. O, faith, I know you well enough; but an old saying, &c. Two sides in a sheet, and one in a street. I think that is but a silly old saying, and so I will go to sleep, and do you so too.
4. I dined to day with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and then came home, and studied till evening. No adventure at all to day.
5. So I went to the Court of Requests (we have had the devil and all of rain by the by) to pick up a dinner; and Henley made me go dine with him and one colonel Brag at a tavern, cost me money, faith. Congreve was to be there, but came not. I came with Henley to the coffeehouse, where lord Salisbury seemed mighty desirous to talk with me; and while he was wriggling himself into my favour, that dog Henley asked me aloud, whether I would go to see lord Somers as I had promised (which was a lie) and all to vex poor lord Salisbury, who is a high tory. He played two or three other such tricks, and I was forced to leave my lord, and I came home at seven, and have been writing ever since, and will now go to bed. The other day I saw Jack Temple in the Court of Requests: it was the first time of seeing him; so we talked two or three careless words, and parted. Is it true that your recorder and mayor, and fanatick aldermen, a month or two ago, at a solemn feast, drank Mr. Harley's, lord Rochester's, and other tory healths? Let me know: it was confidently said here. — The scoundrels! It shall not do, Tom.
6. When is this letter to go, I wonder: hearkee, young women, tell me that? Saturday next for certain, and not before: then it will be just a fortnight; time enough for naughty girls, and long enough for two letters, faith. Congreve and Delaval have at last prevailed on sir Godfrey Kneller to entreat me to let him draw my picture for nothing; but I know not yet when I shall sit. — It is such monstrous rainy weather, that there is no doing with it. Secretary St. John sent to me this morning, that my dining with him to day was put off till to morrow; so I peaceably sat with my neighbour Ford, dined with him, and came home at six, and am now in bed as usual; and now it is time to have another letter from MD, yet I would not have it till this goes: for that would look like two letters for one. Is it not whimsical that the dean has never once written to me? And I find the archbishop very silent to that letter I sent him with an account that the business was done. I believe he knows not what to write or say; and I have since written twice to him, both times with a vengeance. Well, go to bed, sirrahs, and so will I. But have you lost to day? Three shillings. O fy, O fy.
7. No, I will not send this letter to day, nor till Saturday, faith; and I am so afraid of one from MD between this and that: if it comes I will just say I received a letter, and that is all. I dined to day with Mr. secretary St. John, where were lord Anglesea, sir Thomas Hanmer, Prior, Freind, &c. and then made a debauch after nine at Prior's house, and have eaten cold pie, and I hate the thoughts of it, and I am full, and I do not like it, and I will go to bed, and it is late, and so good night.
8. To day I dined with Mr. Harley and Prior; but Mr. St. John did not come, though he promised: he chid me for not seeing him oftener. Here is a damned libellous pamphlet come out against lord Wharton, giving the character first, and then telling some of his actions: the character is very well, but the facts indifferent. It has been sent by dozens to several gentlemen's lodgings, and I had one or two of them, but nobody knows the author or printer. We are terribly afraid of the plague; they say it is at Newcastle. I begged Mr. Harley for the love of God to take some care about it, or we are all ruined. There have been orders for all ships from the Baltick to pass their quarantine before they land; but they neglect it. You remember I have been afraid these two years.
9. O faith, you are a saucy rogue. I have had your sixth letter just now, before this is gone; but I will not answer a word of it, only that I never was giddy since my first fit, but I have had a cold just a fortnight, and cough with it still morning and evening; but it will go off. It is, however, such abominable weather that no creature can walk. They say here three of your commissioners will be turned out, Ogle, South, and St. Quintain, and that Dick Stuart and Ludlow will be two of the new ones. I am a little soliciting for another; it is poor lord Abercorn, but that is a secret, I mean, that I befriend him is a secret; but I believe it is too late, by his own fault and ill fortune. I dined with him to day. I am heartily sorry you do not go to Clogher, faith, I am; and so God Almighty protect poor dear, dear, dear, dearest MD. Farewell till to night. I will begin my eleventh to night; so I am always writing to little MD.
London, Dec. 9, 1710.
SO, young women, I have just sent my tenth to the postoffice, and, as I told you, have received your seventh (faith I am afraid I mistook, and said your sixth, and then we shall be all in confusion this month.) Well, I told you I dined with lord Abercorn to day, and that is enough till by and by; for I must go write idle things; and twittle twattle. What is here to do with your little MDs? and so I put this by for a while. It is now late, and I can only say MD is a dear saucy rogue, and what then Presto loves them the better.
10. This son of a b—— Patrick is out of the way, and I can do nothing; am forced to borrow coals: it is now six o'clock, and I am come home after a pure walk in the Park; delicate weather, begun only to day. A terrible storm last night: we hear one of your packet boats is cast away, and young beau Swift in it, and general Sankey: I know not the truth; you will before me. Raymond talks of leaving the town in a few days, and going in a month to Ireland, for fear his wife should be too far gone, and forced to be brought to bed here. I think he is in the right: but perhaps this packet boat will fright him. He has no relish for London; and I do not wonder at it. He has got some templars from Ireland that show him the town. I do not let him see me above twice a week, and that only while I am dressing in the morning. — So now the puppy's come in, and I have got my own ink, but a new pen; and so now you are rogues and sauceboxes till I go to bed; for I must go study, sirrahs. Now I think of it, tell the bishop of Clogher he shall not cheat me of one inch of my bell metal. You know it is nothing but to save the town money; and Enniskilling can afford it better than Laracor: he shall have but one thousand five hundred weight. I have been reading, &c. as usual, and am now going to bed; and I find this day's article is long enough; so get you gone till to morrow and then. I dined with sir Matthew Dudley.
11. I am come again as yesterday, and the puppy had again locked up my ink, notwithstanding all I said to him yesterday; but he came home a little after me, so all is well: they are lighting my fire, and I will go study. The fair weather is gone again and it has rained all day. I do not like this open weather, though some say it is healthy. They say it is a false report about the plague at Newcastle. I have no news to day: I dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh, to desire them to buy me a scarf; and lady Abercorn is to buy me another, to see who does best: mine is all in rags. I saw the duke of Richmond yesterday at court again; but would not speak to him: I believe we are fallen out. I am now in bed; and it has rained all this evening, like wildfire. Have you so much rain in your town? Raymond was in a fright, as I expected, upon the news of this shipwreck; but I persuaded him, and he leaves this town in a week. I got him acquainted with sir Robert Raymond, the solicitor general, who owns him to be of his family; and I believe it may do him a kindness, by being recommended to your new lord Chancellor. — I had a letter from Mrs. Long, that has quite turned my stomach against her: no less than two nasty jests in it with dashes to suppose them. She is corrupted in that country town with vile conversation. — I will not answer your letter till I have leisure: so let this go on as it will, what care I? what cares saucy Presto?
12. I was to day at the secretary's office with Lewis, and in came lord Rivers, who took Lewis out and whispered him; and then came up to me to desire my acquaintance, &c. so we bowed and complimented a while, and parted; and I dined with Phil. Savage, and his Irish club, at their boarding place; and, passing an evening scurvily enough, did not come home till eight. Mr. Addison and I hardly meet once a fortnight: his parliament and my different friendships keep us asunder. Sir Matthew Dudley turned away his butler yesterday morning, and at night the poor fellow died suddenly in the streets: Was not it an odd event? But what care you; but then I knew the butler. — Why, it seems your packet boat is not lost: pshah, how silly that is, when I had already gone through the forms, and said it was a sad thing, and that I was sorry for it. But when must I answer this letter of our MD's? Here it is, lies between this paper on the other side the leaf: one of these odd come shortlies I will consider, so good night.
13. Morning. I am to go trapesing with lady Kerry and Mrs. Pratt to see sights all this day: they engaged me yesterday morning at tea. You hear the havock making in the army: Meredyth, Macartney, and colonel Honeywood, are obliged to sell their commands at half value, and leave the army, for drinking destruction to the present ministry, and dressing up a hat on a stick, and calling it Harley; then drinking a glass with one hand, and discharging a pistol with the other at the maukin, wishing it were Harley himself; and a hundred other such pretty tricks, as inflaming their soldiers, and foreign ministers, against the late changes at court. Cadogan has had a little paring: his mother told me yesterday he had lost the place of envoy: but I hope they will go no farther with him, for he was not at those mutinous meetings. Well, these saucy jades take up so much of my time, with writing to them in a morning; but faith I am glad to see you whenever I can: a little snap and away; so hold your tongue, for I must rise: not a word for your life. How nowww? so very well; stay till I come home, and then, perhaps, you may hear farther from me. And where will you go to day, for I cannot be with you for these ladies? It is a rainy ugly day. I would have you send for Walls, and go to the dean's; but do not play small games when you lose. You will be ruined by Manilio, Basto, the queen, and two small trumps in red. I confess it is a good hand against the player; but then there are Spadilio, Punto, the king, strong trumps against you, which, with one trump more, are three tricks ten ace: for, suppose you play your Manilio — O, silly, how I prate and cannot get away from this MD in a morning. Go, get you gone, dear naughty girls, and let me rise. There, Patrick locked up my ink again the third time last night: the rogue gets the better of me; but I will rise in spite of you, sirrahs. — At night. Lady Kerry, Mrs. Pratt, Mrs. Cadogan, and I, in one coach; Lady Kerry's son and his governor, and two gentlemen, in another; maids and misses, and little master (lord Shelburn's children) in a third, all hackneys, set out at ten o'clock this morning from lord Shelburn's house in Piccadilly to the Tower, and saw all the sights, lions, &c. then to Bedlam; then dined at the chophouse behind the Exchange; then to Gresham College (but the keeper was not at home) and concluded the night at the puppetshow, whence we came home safe at night, and I left them. The ladies were all in mobs; how do you call it? undressed; and it was the rainiest day that ever dripped; and I am weary, and it is now past eleven.
14. Stay, I will answer some of your letter this morning in bed: let me see; come and appear, little letter. Here I am, says he, and what say you to Mrs. MD this morning fresh and fasting? who dares think MD negligent? I allow them a fortnight, and they give it me. I could fill a letter in a week; but it is longer every day, and so I keep it a fortnight, and then it is cheaper by one half. I have never been giddy, dear Stella, since that morning: I have taken a whole box of pills, and kecked at them every night, and drank a pint of brandy at mornings. — O then, you kept Presto's little birthday: would to God I had been with you. I forgot it, as I told you before. Rediculous, madam; I suppose you mean ridiculous: let me have no more of that; it is the author of the Atlantis's spelling. I have mended it in your letter. And can Stella read this writing without hurting her dear eyes? O, faith, I am afraid not. Have a care of those eyes, pray, pray, pretty Stella. — It is well enough what you observe. That if I writ better, perhaps you would not read so well, being used to this manner; it is an alphabet you are used to: you know such a pothook makes a letter; and you know what letter, and so and so. — I will swear he told me so, and that they were long letters too; but I told him it was a gasconade of yours, &c. I am talking of the bishop of Clogher, how he forgot. Turn over. I had not room on the other side to say that, so I did it on this: I fancy that is a good Irish blunder. Ah, why do not you go down to Clogher nautinautinautidear girls; I dare not say nauti without dear: O, faith, you govern me. But, seriously, I am sorry you do not go, as far as I can judge at this distance. No, we would get you another horse; I will make Parvisol get you one. I always doubted that horse of yours: prithee sell him, and let it be a present to me. My heart aches when I think you ride him. Order Parvisol to sell him, and that you are to return me the money: I shall never be easy until he is out of your hands. Faith, I have dreamed five or six times of horses stumbling since I had your letter. If he cannot sell him, let him run this winter. Faith, if I was near you, I would whip your — to some tune, for your grave saucy answer about the dean and Jonsonibus; I would, young women. And did the dean preach for me? very well. Why, would they have me stand here and preach to them? No, the Tatler of the Shilling was not mine, more than the hint, and two or three general heads for it. I have much more important business on my hands: and, besides, the ministry hate to think that I should help him, and have made reproaches on it; and I frankly told them, I would do it no more. This is a secret though, madam Stella. You win eight shillings; you win eight fiddlesticks. Faith, you say nothing of what you lose, young women. — I hope Manley is in no great danger; for Ned Southwell is his friend, and so is sir Thomas Frankland; and his brother John Manley stands up heartily for him. On the other side, all the gentlemen of Ireland here are furiously against him. Now, mistress Dingley, are not you an impudent slut to expect a letter next packet from Presto, when you confess yourself, that you had so lately two letters in four days? unreasonable baggage! no, little Dingley, I am always in bed by twelve; I mean my candle's out by twelve, and I take great care of myself. Pray let every body know, upon occasion, that Mr. Harley got the first-fruits from the queen for the clergy of Ireland, and that nothing remains but the forms, &c. So you say the dean and you dined at Stoyte's, and Mrs. Stoyte was in raptures that I remembered her. I must do it but seldom, or it will take off her rapture. — But, what now, you saucy sluts, all this written in a morning, and I must rise and go abroad. Pray stay till night: do not think I will squander mornings upon you, pray good madam. Faith, if I go on longer in this trick of writing in the mornings I shall be afraid of leaving it off, and think you expect it, and be in awe. Good morrow, sirrahs, I will rise. — At night. I went to day to the court of requests (I will not answer the rest of your letter yet, that by the way) in hopes to dine with Mr. Harley: but lord Dupplin, his son-in-law, told me he did not dine at home; so I was at a loss, until I met with Mr. secretary St. John, and went home and dined with him, where he told me of a good bite. Lord Rivers told me two days ago, that he was resolved to come Sunday fortnight next to hear me preach before the queen. I assured him the day was not yet fixed, and I knew nothing of it. To day the secretary told me, that his father, (sir Harry St. John,) and lord Rivers, were to be at St. James's church, to hear me preach there; and were assured I was to preach: so there will be another bite; for I know nothing of the matter, but that Mr. Harley and St. John are resolved I must preach before the queen, and the secretary of state has told me he will give me three weeks warning; but I desired to be excused, which he will not. St. John, "you shall not be excused:" however, I hope they will forget it; for if it should happen, all the puppies hereabouts will throng to hear me, and expect something wonderful, and be plaguily balked; for I shall preach plain honest stuff. I staid with St. John till eight, and then came home, and Patrick desired leave to go abroad, and by and by comes up the girl to tell me, a gentleman was below in a coach who had a bill to pay me; so I let him come up, and who should it be but Mr. Addison and Sam Dopping, to haul me out to supper, where I have staid till twelve. If Patrick had been at home I should have escaped this; for I have taught him to deny me almost as well as Mr. Harley's porter. — Where did I leave off in MD's letter: let me see. So, now I have it. You are pleased to say, madam Dingley, that those that go for England, can never tell when to come back. Do you mean this as a reflection upon Presto, madam? sauceboxes, I will come back as soon as I can, this is his common phrase and I hope with some advantage, unless all ministries be alike, as perhaps they may. I hope Hawkshaw is in Dublin before now, and that you have your things, and like your spectacles: if you do not, you shall have better. I hope Dingley's tobacco did not spoil Stella's chocolate, and that all is safe: pray let me know. Mr. Addison and I are different as black and white, and I believe our friendship will go off, by this damned business of party: he cannot bear seeing me fall in so with this ministry; but I love him still as well as ever, though we seldom meet. — Hussy, Stella, you jest about poor Congreve's eyes; you do so, hussy; but I will bang your bones, faith. — Yes, Steele was a little while in prison, or at least in a spunginghouse, some time before I came, but not since. — Pox on your convocation, and your Lamberts; they write with a vengeance! I suppose you think it a piece of affectation in me to wish your Irish folks would not like my Shower; but you are mistaken. I should be glad to have the general applause there as I have here (though I say it) but I have only that of one or two, and therefore I would have none at all, but let you all be in the wrong. I do not know, that is not what I would say; but I am so tosticated with supper and stuff that I cannot express myself — What you say of Sid Hamet is well enough; that an enemy should like it, and a friend not; and that telling the author would make both change their opinions. Why did not you tell Griffyth that you fancied there was something in it of my manner; but first spur up his commendation to the height, as we served my poor uncle about the sconce that I mended. Well, I desired you to give what I intended for an answer to Mrs. Fenton, to save her postage, and myself trouble; and I hope I have done it if you have not.
15. Lord, what a long day's writing was yesterday's answer to your letter, sirrahs? I dined to day with Lewis and Ford, whom I have brought acquainted. Lewis told me a pure thing. I had been hankering with Mr. Harley to save Steele his other employment, and have a little mercy on him, and I had been saying the same thing to Lewis, who is Mr. Harley's chief favourite. Lewis tells Mr. Harley how kindly I should take it, if he would be reconciled to Steele, &c. Mr. Harley, on my account, falls in with it, and appoints Steele a time to let him attend him;, which Steele accepts with great submission, but never comes, nor sends any excuse. Whether it was blundering, sullenness, insolence, or rancour of party, I cannot tell; but I shall trouble myself no more about him. I believe Addison hindered him out of mere spite, being grated to the soul to think he should ever want my help to save his friend; yet now he is soliciting me to make another of his friends queen's secretary at Geneva; and I will do it if I can, it is poor Pastoral Philips.
16. O, why did you leave my picture behind you at the other lodgings; forgot it? well; but pray remember it now, and do not roll it up, do you hear, but hang it carefully in some part of your room, where chairs and candles, and mopsticks will not spoil it, sirrahs. No truly, I will not be godfather to goody Walls this bout, and I hope she will have no more. There will be no quiet, nor cards, for this child. I hope it will die the day after the christening. Mr. Harley gave me a paper, with an account of the sentence you speak of against the lads that defaced the statue, and that Ingoldsby reprieved that part of it standing before the statue. I hope it was never executed. We have got your Broderick out; Doyne is to succeed him, and Cox Doyne. And so there is an end of your letter; it is all answered, and now I must go on upon my own stock; go on, did I say? why I have written enough; but this is too soon to send it yet, young women; faith I dare not use you to it, you will always expect it; what remains shall be only short journals of a day, and so I will rise; for this morning. — At night. I dined with my opposite neighbour, Darteneuf, and I was soliciting this day, to present the bishop of Clogher vice chancellor; but it will not do; they are all set against him, and the duke of Ormond, they say, has resolved to dispose of it somewhere else. Well; little saucy rogues, do not stay out too late to night, because it is Saturday night, and young women should come home soon then.
17. I went to court to seek a dinner, but the queen was not at church, she has got a touch of the gout; so the court was thin, and I went to the coffeehouse; and sir Thomas Frankland, and his eldest son and I went and dined with his son William. I talked a great deal to sir Thomas about Manley, and find he is his good friend, and so has Ned Southwell been, and I hope he will be safe though all the Irish folks here are his mortal enemies. There was a devilish bite to day. They had it, I know not how, that I was to preach this morning at St. James's church, and abundance went, among the rest lord Radnor, who never is abroad till three in the afternoon. I walked all the way home from Hatton Garden at six, by moonlight, a delicate night. Raymond called at nine, but I was denied, and now I am in bed between eleven and twelve, just going to sleep, and dream of my own dear roguish impudent pretty MD.
18. You will now have short days works, just a few lines to tell you where I am, and what I am doing; only I will keep room for the last day to tell you news, if there be any worth sending. I have been sometimes like to do it at the top of my letter, until I remark it would be old before it reached you. I was hunting to dine with Mr. Harley to day, but could not find him; and so I dined with honest Dr. Cockburn, and came home at six, and was taken out to next door by Dopping and Ford, to drink bad claret and oranges, and we let Raymond come to us, who talks of leaving the town to morrow, but I believe will stay a day or two longer. It is now late, and I will say no more, but end this line with bidding my own dear saucy MD good night, &c.
19. I am come down proud stomach in one instance, for I went to day to see the duke of Buckingham; but came too late; then I visited Mrs. Barton, and thought to have dined with some of the ministry; but it rained, and Mrs. Vanhomrigh was nigh, and I took the opportunity of paying her for a scarf she bought me, and dined there; at four I went to congratulate with lord Shelburn, for the death of poor lady Shelburn dowager; he was at his country house; and returned while I was there, and had not heard of it, and he took it very well. I am now come home before six, and find a packet from the bishop of Clogher, with one enclosed to the duke of Ormond, which is ten days earlier dated than another I had from Parvisol; however, it is no matter, for the duke has already disposed of the vice chancellorship to the archbishop of Tuam, and I could not help it, for it is a thing wholly you know in the duke's power; and I find the bishop has enemies about the duke. I writ this while Patrick is folding up my scarf, and doing up the fire (for I keep a fire, it costs me twelve pence a week) and so be quiet till I am gone to bed, and then sit down by me a little, and we will talk a few words more. Well; now MD is at my bedside; and now what shall we say? How does Mrs. Stoyte? What had the dean for supper? How much did Mrs. Walls win? poor lady Shelburn: well, go get you to bed, sirrahs.
20. Morning. I was up this morning early, and shaved by candlelight, and write this by the fireside. Poor Raymond just came in and took his leave of me; he is summoned by high order from his wife, but pretends he has had enough of London. I was a little melancholy to part with him; he goes to Bristol, where they are to be with his merchant brother, and now thinks of staying till May; so she must be brought to bed in England. He was so easy and manageable, that I almost repent I suffered him to see me so seldom. But he is gone, and will save Patrick some lies in a week: Patrick is grown admirable at it, and will make his fortune. How now, sirrah, must I write in a morning to your impudence?
Stay till night,
And then I'll write
In black and white,
Of wax so bright,
It helps the sight,
A bite a bite!
Marry come up, Mrs. Boldface.
At night. Dr. Raymond came back, and goes to morrow. I did not come home till eleven, and found him here to take leave of me. I went to the Court of Requests, thinking to find Mr. Harley and dine with him, and refuse Henley, and every body, and at last knew not where to go, and met Jemmy Leigh by chance, and was just in the same way, so I dined at his lodging on a beefsteak, and drank your health, then left him and went to the tavern with Ben Tooke and Portlack, the duke of Ormond's secretary, drinking nasty white wine till eleven. I am sick and ashamed of it, &c.
21. I met that beast Ferris, lord Berkeley's steward formerly; I walked with him a turn in the Park, and that scoundrel dog is as happy as an emperor, has married a wife with a considerable estate in land and houses about this town, and lives at his ease at Hammersmith. See your confounded sect. — Well; I had the same luck to day with Mr. Harley; it was a lovely day, and went by water into the city, and dined with Stratford at a merchant's house, and walked home with as great a dunce as Ferris, I mean colonel Caufield, and came home by eight, and now am in bed, and going to sleep for a wager, and will send this letter on Saturday, and so; but first; I will wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year, and pray God we may never keep them asunder again.
22. Morning. I am going now to Mr. Harley's levee on purpose to vex him; I will say I had no other way of seeing him, &c. Patrick says, it is a dark morning, and that the duke of Argyle is to be knighted to day, the booby means installed at Windsor. But I must rise, for this is a shaving day, and Patrick says, there is a good fire; I wish MD were by it, or I by MD's. — At night. I forgot to tell you, madam Dingley, that I paid nine shillings for your glass and spectacles, of which three were for the bishop's case; I am sorry I did not buy you such another case, but if you like it, I will bring one over with me, pray tell me: the glass to read was four shillings, the spectacles two. And have you had your chocolate? Leigh says, he sent the petticoat by one Mr. Spencer. Pray have you no farther commissions for me? I paid the glassman but last night, and he would have made me a present of the microscope worth thirty shillings, and would have sent it home with me; I thought the deuce was in the man: he said I could do him more service than that was worth, &c. I refused his present, but promised him all service I could do him; and so now I am obliged in honour to recommend him to every body. — At night. I went to Mr. Harley's levee; he came and asked me, what had I to do there, and bid me come and dine with him on a family dinner; which I did, and it was the first time I ever saw his lady and daughter; at five my lord keeper came in: I told Mr. Harley, he had formerly presented me to sir Simon Harcourt, but now must to my lord keeper, so he laughed, &c.
23. Morning. This letter goes to night without fail; I hope there is none from you yet at the coffeehouse; I will send and see by and by; and let you know, and so, and so. Patrick goes to see for a letter: what will you lay, is there one from MD or no; No, I say; done for sixpence. Why has the dean never once written to me? I won sixpence; I won sixpence; there is not one letter to Presto. Good morrow, dear sirrahs: Stratford and I dine to day with lord Mountjoy. God Almighty preserve and bless you; farewell, &c.
I have been dining at lord Mountjoy's; and am come to study; our news from Spain this post takes off some of our fears. The parliament is prorogued to day, or adjourned rather till after the holidays. Bank stock is 105, so I may get 12l. for my bargain already. Patrick the puppy is abroad, and how shall I send this letter? Good night little dears both, and be happy, and remember your poor Presto, that wants you sadly, as hope saved. Let me go study, naughty girls, and do not keep me at the bottom of the paper. O faith, if you knew what lies on my hands constantly, you would wonder to see how I could write such long letters; but we will talk of that some other time. Good night again, and God bless dear MD with his best blessing, yes, yes, and Dingley and Stella and me too, &c.
There is a long letter for you.
It is longer than a sermon, faith.
I had another letter from Mrs. Fenton, who says you were with her. I hope you did not go on purpose. I will answer her letter soon; it is about some money in lady Giffard's hands.
They say you have had eight packets due to you; so pray, madams, do not blame Presto, but the wind.
My humble service to Mrs. Walls and Mrs. Stoyte; I missed the former a good while.
London, Dec. 23, 1710.
I HAVE sent my 11th to night as usual, and begin the dozenth, and told you I dined with Stratford at lord Mountjoy's, and I will tell you no more at present, guess for why; because I am going to mind things, and mighty affairs, not your nasty first-fruits: I let them alone till Mr. Harley gets the queen's letter, but other things of greater moment, that you shall know one day, when the ducks have eaten up all the dirt. So sit still a while just by me while I am studying, and do not say a word, I charge you, and when I am going to bed, I will take you along, and talk with you a little while, so there, sit there. — Come then, let us see what we have to say to these saucy brats, that will not let us go sleep at past eleven. Why, I am a little impatient to know how you do; but that I take it for a standing maxim, that when you are silent, all is pretty well, because that is the way I will deal with you; and if there was any thing you ought to know now, I would write by the first post, although I had written but the day before. Remember this, young women, and God Almighty preserve you both, and make us happy together; and tell me how accounts stand between us, that you may be paid long before it is due, not to want. I will return no more money while I stay, so that you need not be in pain to be paid; but let me know at least a month before you can want. Observe this, do you hear, little dear sirrahs, and love Presto as Presto loves MD, &c.
24. You will have a merrier Christmas Eve than we here. I went up to court before church, and in one of the rooms, there being but little company, a fellow in a red coat without a sword came up to me, and after words of course asked me how the ladies did. I asked, what ladies? He said Mrs. Dingley and Mrs. Johnson; very well, said I, when I heard from them last: and pray when came you from thence, sir? He said, I never was in Ireland; and just at that word lord Winchelsea comes up to me, and the man went off: as I went out I saw him again, and recollected him, it was Vedeau with a pox: I then went and made my apologies that my head was full of something I had to say to lord Winchelsea, &c. and I asked after his wife, and so all was well, and he inquired after my lodging, because he had some favour to desire of me in Ireland, to recommend somebody to somebody, I know not what it is. When I came from church I went up to court again, where sir Edmund Bacon told me the bad news from Spain, which you will hear before this reaches you; as we have it now, we are undone there, and it was odd to see the whole countenances of the court changed so in two hours. Lady Mountjoy carried me home to dinner, where I staid not long after, and came home early, and now am got into bed, for you must always write to your MDs in bed, that is a maxim. Mr. White and Mr. Red, write to MD when abed; Mr. Black and Mr. Brown, write to MD when you are down; Mr. Oak and Mr. Willow, write to MD on your pillow. — What is this? faith I smell fire; what can it be; this house has a thousand s—ks in it. I think to leave it on Thursday, and lodge over the way. Faith I must rise, and look at my chimney, for the smell grows stronger, stay — I have been up, and in my room, and found all safe, only a mouse within the fender to warm himself, which I could not catch. I smelt nothing there, but now in my bed chamber I smell it again; I believe I have singed the woollen curtains, and that is all, though I cannot smoke it. Presto's plaguy silly to night; is not he? Yes, and so he be. Ay, but if I should wake and see fire. Well; I will venture; so good night, &c.
25. Pray, young women, if I write so much as this every day, how will this paper hold a fortnight's work, and answer one of yours into the bargain? You never think of this, but let me go on like a simpleton. I wish you a merry Christmas, and many, many a one with poor Presto at some pretty place. I was at church to day by eight, and received the sacrament, and came home by ten; then went to court at two, it was a collar day, that is, when the knights of the garter wear their collars; but the queen staid so late at sacrament, that I came back, and dined with my neighbour Ford, because all people dine at home on this day. This is likewise a collar day all over England in every house, at least where there is brawn: that is very well — I tell you a good pun; a fellow hard by pretends to cure agues, and has set out a sign, and spells it egoes; a gentleman and I observing it, he said. How does that fellow pretend to cure agues? I said, I did not know, but I was sure it was not by a spell. That is admirable. And so you asked the bishop about that pun of lord Stawell's brother. Bite. Have I caught you, young women? Must you pretend to ask after roguish puns, and Latin ones too? O but you smoke me, and did not ask the bishop. O you are a fool, and you did. I met Vedeau again at court to day, and I observed he had a sword on; I fancy he was broke, and has got a commission, but I never asked him. Vedeau I think his name is, yet Parvisol's man is Vedel, that is true. Bank stock will fall like stockfish by this bad news, and two days ago I could have got 12l. by my bargain; but do not intend to sell, and in time it will rise. It is odd, that my lord Peterborow foretold this loss two months ago, one night at Mr. Harley's, when I was there; he bid us count upon it, that Stanhope would lose Spain before Christmas, that he would venture his head upon it, and gave us reasons; and though Mr. Harley argued the contrary, he still held to his opinion. I was telling my lord Anglesea this at court this morning, and a gentleman by said, he had heard my lord Peterborow affirm the same thing. I have heard wise folks say, An ill tongue may do much. And it is an old saying, Once I guessed right, and I got credit by it; Thrice I guessed wrong, and I kept my credit on. No, it is you are sorry, not I.
26. By the lord Harry I shall be undone here with Christmas boxes. The rogues at the coffeehouse have raised their tax, every one giving a crown, and I gave mine for shame, beside a great many half crowns to great men's porters, &c. I went to day by water into the city, and dined with no less a man than the city printer. There is an enmity between us, built upon reasons that you shall know when I see you: but the rain caught me within twelve penny length of home. I called at Mr. Harley's, who was not within, dropped my halfcrown with his porter, drove to the coffeehouse, where the rain kept me till nine. I had letters to day from the archbishop of Dublin, and Mr. Bernage; the latter sends me a melancholy account of lady Shelburn's death, and his own disappointments, and would gladly be a captain; if I can help him I will.
27. Morning. I bespoke a lodging over the way for to morrow, and the dog let it yesterday to another; I gave him no earnest, so it seems he could do it; Patrick would have had me give him earnest to bind him; but I would not. So I must go saunter to day for a lodging somewhere else. Did you ever see so open a winter in England? We have not had two frosty days; but it pays it off in rain: we have not had three fair days these six weeks. O faith, I dreamed mightily of MD last night; but so confused I cannot tell a word. I have made Ford acquainted with Lewis, and to day we dined together; in the evening I called at one or two neighbours, hoping to spend a Christmas evening; but none were at home, they were all gone to be merry with others. I have often observed this, that in merry times ever body is abroad: where the dense are they? So I went to the coffeehouse, and talked with Mr. Addison an hour, who at last remembered to give me two letters, which I cannot answer to night, nor to morrow neither, I can assure you, young women, count upon that. I have other things to do than to answer naughty girls, an old saying and true. Letters from MDs must not be answered in ten days: it is but bad rhyme, &c.
28. To day I had a message from sir Thomas Hanmer to dine with him: the famous Dr. Smallridge was of the company, and we sat till six, and I came home to my new lodgings in St. Alban street, where I pay the same rent (eight shillings a week) for an apartment two pair of stairs; but I have the use of the parlour to receive persons of quality, and I am got into my new bed, &c.
29. Sir Andrew Fountaine has been very ill this week; and sent to me early this morning to have prayers, which you know is the last thing. I found the doctors and all in despair about him. I read prayers to him, found he had settled all things; and when I came out the nurse asked me, whether I thought it possible he could live; for the doctors thought not. I said, I believed he would live; for I found the seeds of life in him, which I observe seldom fail; (and I found them in poor dearest Stella, when she was ill many years ago) and to night I was with him again, and he was mightily recovered, and I hope he will do well, and the doctor approved my reasons; but if he should die, I should come off scurvily. The secretary of state (Mr. St. John) sent to me to dine with him; Mr. Harley and lord Peterborow dined there too, and at night came lord Rivers. Lord Peterborow goes to Vienna in a day or two; he has promised to make me write to him. Mr. Harley went away at six, but we staid till seven. I took the secretary aside, and complained to him of Mr. Harley, that he had got the queen to grant the first-fruits, promised to bring me to her, and get her letter to the Bishops of Ireland; but the last part he had not done in six weeks, and I was in danger to lose reputation, &c. He took the matter right, desired me to be with him on Sunday morning, and promises me to finish the affair in four days; so I shall know in a little time what I have to trust to. — It is nine o'clock, and I must go study, you little rogues; and so good night, &c.
30. Morning. The weather grows cold, you sauceboxes. Sir Andrew Fountaine, they bring me word, is better. I will go rise, for my hands are starving while I write in bed. — Night. Now sir Andrew Fountaine is recovering, he desires to be at ease; for I called in the morning to read prayers, but he had given orders not to be disturbed. I have lost a legacy by his living; for he told me he had left me a picture and some books, &c. I called to see my quondam neighbour Ford (do you know what quondam is? though) and he engaged me to dine with him; for he always dines at home on opera days. I came home at six, writ to the archbishop, then studied till past eleven, and stole to bed, to write to MD these few lines to let you know I am in good health at the present writing hereof, and hope in God MD is so too. I wonder I never write politicks to you: I could make you the profoundest politician in all the lane. — Well, but when, shall we answer this letter, N. 8, of MD's? Not till next year, faith. O Lord — bo — but that will be a Monday next. Cod's so, is it? and so it is: never saw the like. — I made a pun the other day to Ben Portlack about a pair of drawers. Poh, said he, that is mine a—— all over. Pray, pray, Dingley, let me go sleep; pray, pray, Stella, let me go slumber, and put out my wax candle.
31. Morning. It is now seven, and I have got a fire, but am writing abed in my bedchamber. It is not shaving day, so I shall be ready early to go before church to Mr. St. John, and to morrow I will answer our MD's letter. Would you answer MD's letter, on new year's day you will do it better: For when the year with MD 'gins, it without MD never lins. (These proverbs have always old words in them; lins is leaves off.) But if on new year you write nones, MD then will bang your bones. — But Patrick says I must rise. — Night. I was early this morning with secretary St. John, and gave him a memorial to get the queen's letter for the first-fruits, who has promised to do it in a very few days. He told me he had been with the duke of Marlborough, who was lamenting his former wrong steps in joining with the whigs, and said he was worn out with age, fatigues, and misfortunes. I swear it pitied me; and I really think they will not do well in too much mortifying that man, although indeed it is his own fault. He is covetous as Hell, and ambitious as the prince of it: he would fain have been general for life, and has broken all endeavours for peace, to keep his greatness and get money. He told the queen he was neither covetous nor ambitious. She said, if she could have conveniently turned about, she would have laughed, and could hardly forbear it in his face. He fell in with all the abominable measures of the late ministry, because they gratified him for their own designs. Yet he has been a successful general, and I hope he will continue his command. O Lord, smoke the politicks to MD. Well; but if you like them, I will scatter a little now and then, and mine are all fresh from the chief hands. Well, I dined with Mr. Harley, and came away at six: there was much company, and I was not merry at all. Mr. Harley made me read a paper of verses of Prior's. I read them plain without any fine manner, and Prior swore I should never read any of his again; but he would be revenged, and read some of mine as bad. I excused myself, and said, I was famous for reading verses the worst in the world, and that every body snatched them from me when I offered to begin. So we laughed. — Sir Andrew Fountaine still continues ill. He is plagued with some sort of bile.
January 1. Morning. I wish my dearest pretty Dingley and Stella a happy new year, and health, and mirth, and good stomachs, and Fr's company. Faith, I did not know how to write Fr. I wondered what was the matter; but now I remember I always write Pdfr. Patrick wishes me a happy new year, and desires I would rise, for it is a good fire, and faith it is cold. I was so politick last night with MD, never saw the like. Get the Examiners, and read them; the last nine or ten are full of the reasons for the late change, and of the abuses of the last ministry; and the great men assure me they are all true. They are written by their encouragement and direction. I must rise and go see sir Andrew Fountaine; but perhaps to night I may answer MD's letter: so good morrow, my mistresses all, good morrow. I wish you both a merry new year, roast beef, minced pies, and good strong beer, and me a share of your good cheer. That I was there, or you were here, and you are a little saucy dear. — Good morrow again, dear sirrahs; one cannot rise for your play. — At night. I went this morning to visit lady Kerry and lord Shelburn, and they made me dine with them. Sir Andrew Fountaine is better. And now let us come and see what this saucy dear letter of MD says. Come out, letter, come out from between the sheets; here it is underneath, and it will not come out. Come out again, I say: so there. Here it is. What says Presto to me, pray? says it. Come, and let me answer for you to your ladies. Hold up your head then, like a good letter. There. Pray, how have you got up with Presto? Madam Stella. You write your eighth when you receive mine: now I write my twelfth, when I receive your eighth. Do not you allow for what are upon the road, simpleton? what say you to that? and so you kept Presto's little birthday, I warrant: would to God I had been at the health, rather than here, where I have no manner of pleasure, nothing but eternal business upon my hands. I shall grow wise in time; but no more of that: only I say Amen with my heart and vitals, that we may never be asunder again ten days together while poor Presto lives. ———————— I cannot be merry so near any splenetick talk; so I made that long line, and now all is well again. Yes, you are a pretending slut, indeed, with your fourth and fifth in the margin, and your journal, and every thing. Wind — we saw no wind here, nothing at all extraordinary at any time. We had it once when you had it not. But an old saying and a true; I hate all winds, before and behind, from cheeks with eyes, or from blind ——. Your chimney fall down! God preserve you. I suppose you only mean a brick or two: but that is a damned lie of your chimney being carried to the next house with the wind. Do not put such things upon us; those matters will not pass here; keep a little to possibilities. My lord Hertford would have been ashamed of such a stretch. You should take care of what company you converse with: when one gets that faculty, it is hard to break one's self of it. Jemmy Leigh talks of going over; but quando? I do not know when he will go. O, now you have had my ninth, now you are come up with me; marry come up with you, indeed. I know all that business of lady S, Will nobody cut that D——y's throat? Five hundred pounds do you call poor pay for living three months the life of a king? they say she died with grief, partly, being forced to appear as witness in court about some squabble among their servants. — The bishop of Clogher showed you a pamphlet. Well, but you must not give your mind to believe those things; people will say any thing. The character is here reckoned admirable, but most of the facts are trifles. It was first printed privately here; and then some bold cur ventured to do it publickly, and sold two thousand in two days: who the author is must remain uncertain. Do you pretend to know, impudence? how durst you think so? pox on your parliaments: the archbishop has told me of it; but we do not vouchsafe to know any thing of it here. No, no, no more giddiness yet; thank you, Stella, for asking after it; thank you; God Almighty bless you for your kindness to poor Presto. You write to lady Giffard and your mother upon what I advise, when it is too late. But yet I fancy this bad news will bring down stocks so low, that one might buy to great advantage. I design to venture going to see your mother some day when lady Giffard is abroad. Well, keep your Rathburn and stuff. I thought he was to pay in your money upon his houses to be flung down about the what do you call it. — Well, madam Dingley, I sent your enclosed to Bristol, but have not heard from Raymond since he went. Come, come young women, I keep a good fire; it costs me twelve pence a week, and I fear something more; vex me. and I will have one in my bedchamber too. No, did not I tell you but just now, we have no high winds here. Have you forgot already? — Now you are at it again, silly Stella; why does your mother say, my candles are scandalous? they are good sixes in the pound, and she said I was extravagant enough to burn them by daylight. I never burn fewer at a time than one. What would people have? the D— burst Hawkshaw. He told me he had not the box, and the next day Sterne told me he had sent it a fortnight ago; Patrick could not find him the other day, but he shall to morrow: dear life and heart, do you tease me? does Stella tease Presto? that palsy water was in the box: it was too big for a packet, and I was afraid of its breaking. Leigh was not in town then, or I would not have trusted it to Sterne, whom yet I have befriended enough to do me more kindness than that. I will never rest till you have it, or till it is in a way for you to have it. Poor dear rogue, naughty to think it teases me; how could I ever forgive myself for neglecting any thing that related to your health? sure I were a devil if I did? *************** See how far I am forced to stand from Stella, because I am afraid she thinks poor Presto has not been careful about her little things; I am sure I bought them immediately according to order, and packed them up with my own hands, and sent them to Sterne, and was six times with him about sending them away. I am glad you are pleased with your glasses. I have got another velvet cap, a new one lord Herbert bought and presented me one morning I was at breakfast with him, where he was as merry and easy as ever I saw him, yet had received a challenge half an hour before, and half an hour after fought a duel. It was about ten days ago. You are mistaken in your guesses about Tatlers: I did neither write that on Noses, nor Religion, nor do I send him of late any hints at all. — Indeed, Stella, when I read your letter, I was not uneasy at all; but when I came to answer the particulars, and found that you had not received your box, it grated me to the heart, because I thought through your little words, that you imagined I had not taken the care I ought. But there has been some blunder in this matter, which I will know to morrow, and write to Sterne, for fear he should not be within. — And pray, pray. Presto, pray now do. — No, Raymond was not above four times with me while he staid, and then only while I was dressing. Mrs. Fenton has written me another letter about some money of hers in lady Giffard's hands, that is intrusted to me by my mother, not to come to her husband. I send my letters constantly every fortnight, and if you will have them oftener you may, but then they will be the shorter. Pray, let Parvisol sell the horse. I think I spoke to you of it in a former letter: I am glad you are rid of him, and was in pain while I thought you rode him: but if he would buy you another, or any body else, and that you could be often able to ride, why do not you do it?
2. I went this morning early to the secretary of state, Mr. St. John, and he told me from Mr. Harley, that the warrant was now drawn, in order for a patent for the first-fruits; it must pass through several offices, and take up some time, because in things the queen gives, they are always considerate; but that he assures me it is granted and done, and past all dispute, and desires I will not be in any pain at all. I will write again to the archbishop to morrow, and tell him this, and I desire you will say it on occasion. From the secretary I went to Mr. Sterne, who said he would write to you to night, and that the box must be at Chester, and that some friend of his goes very soon, and will carry it over. I dined with Mr. secretary St. John, and at six went to Darteneuf's house to drink punch with him, and Mr. Addison, and little Harrison, a young poet whose fortune I am making. Steele was to have been there, but came not, nor never did twice, since I knew him, to any appointment. I staid till past eleven, and am now in bed. Steele's last Tatler came out to day. You will see it before this comes to you, and how he takes leave of the world. He never told so much as Mr. Addison of it, who was surprised as much as I; but to say the truth, it was time, for he grew cruel dull and dry. To my knowledge he had several good hints to go upon; but he was so lazy and weary of the work, that he would not improve them. I think I will send this after to morrow: shall I before it is full, Dingley?
3. Lord Peterborow yesterday called me into a barber's shop, and there we talked deep politicks: he desired me to dine with him to day at the Globe in the Strand; he said he would show me so clearly how to get Spain, that I could not possibly doubt it. I went to day accordingly, and saw him among half a dozen lawyers and attornies and hang-dogs, signing deeds and stuff before his journey; for he goes to morrow to Vienna. I sat among that scurvy company till after four, but heard nothing of Spain; only I find, by what he told me before, that he fears he shall do no good in his present journey. We are to be mighty constant correspondents. So I took my leave of him, and called at sir Andrew Fountaine's, who mends much. I came home, an't please you, at six, and have been studying till now past eleven.
4. Morning. Morrow, little dears. O, faith, I have been dreaming; I was to be put in prison, I do not know why, and I was so afraid of a black dungeon; and then all I had been inquiring yesterday of sir Andrew Fountaine's sickness I thought was of poor Stella. The worst of dreams is, that one wakes just in the humour they leave one. Shall I send this to day? with all my heart: it is two days within the fortnight; but may be MD are in haste to have a round dozen, and then how are you come up to me with your eighth, young women? but you indeed ought to write twice slower than I, because there are two of you; I own that. — Well then, I will seal up this letter by my morning candle, and carry it into the city with me, where I go to dine, and put it in the postoffice with my own fair hands. So, let me see whether I have any news to tell MD. They say, they will very soon make some inquiries into the corruptions of the late ministry; and they must do it, to justify their turning them out. Atterbury we think is to be dean of Christchurch in Oxford; but the college would rather have Smallridge. — What is all this to you? what care you for Atterburys and Smallridges? No, you care for nothing but Presto, faith. So I will rise, and bid you farewell; yet I am loth to do so, because there is a great bit of paper yet to talk upon; but Dingley will have it so: yes, says she, make your journals shorter, and send them oftener; and so I will. And I have cheated you another way too; for this is clipped paper, and holds at least six lines less than the former ones. I will tell you a good thing I said to my lord Carteret. So, says he, my lord —— came up to me, and asked me, &c. No said I, my lord — never did, nor ever can come up to you. We all pun here sometimes. Lord Carteret set down Prior the other day in his chariot, and Prior thanked him for his charity; that was fit for Dilly. I do not remember I heard one good one from the ministry, which is really a shame. Henley is gone to the country for Christmas. The puppy comes here without his wife, and keeps no house, and would have me dine with him at eatinghouses; but I have only done it once, and will do it no more. He had not seen me for some time in the coffeehouse, and asking after me, desired lord Herbert to tell me, I was a beast for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Did you ever read the Scripture? It is only changing the word priest to beast. — I think I am bewhiched to write so much in a morning to you, little MD. Let me go, will you? and I will come again to night in a fine clean sheet of paper; but I can nor will stay no longer now; no, I will not, forall your wheedling: no, no, look off, do not smile at me, and say, pray, pray, Presto, write a little more. Ah! you are a wheedling slut, you be so. Nay, but prithee turn about, and let me go, do: it is a good girl, and do. faith, my morning candle is just out, and I must go now in spite of my teeth; for my bed chamber is dark with curtains, and I am at the wrong side. So farewell, &c. &c.
I am in the dark almost: I must have another candle, when I am up, to seal this; but I will fold it up in the dark, and make what you can of this, for I can only see this paper I am writing upon. Service to Mrs. Walls and Mrs. Stoyte.
God Almighty bless you, &c. What I am doing cannot see; but I will fold it up, and not look on it again.
London, Jan. 4, 1710-11.
I WAS going into the city (where I dined) and put my 12th, with my own fair hands into the postoffice as I came back, which was not till nine this night. I dined with people that you never heard of, nor is it worth your while to know; an authoress and a printer. I walked home for exercise, and at eleven got into bed, and all the while I was undressing myself, there was I speaking monkey things in air, just as if MD had been by, and did not recollect myself till I got into bed. I writ last night to the archbishop, and told him the warrant was drawn for the first-fruits, and I told him lord Peterborow was set out for his journey to Vienna; but it seems the lords have addressed to have him stay to be examined about Spanish affairs, upon this defeat there, and to know where the fault lay, &c. So I writ to the archbishop a lie; but I think it was not a sin.
5. Mr. secretary St. John sent for me this morning so early, that I was forced to go without shaving, which put me quite out of method: I called at Mr. Ford's, and desired him to lend me a shaving, and so made a shift to get into order again. Lord! here is an impertinence: sir Andrew Fountaine's mother and sister are come above a hundred miles from Worcester to see him before he died. They got here but yesterday, and he must have been past hopes, or past fears, before they could reach him. I fell a scolding when I heard they were coming; and the people about him wondered at me, and said what a mighty content it would be on both sides to die when they were with him. I knew the mother; she is the greatest Overdo upon earth, and the sister, they say, is worse; the poor man will relapse again among them. Here was the scoundrel brother always crying in the outer room till sir Andrew was in danger, and the dog was to have all his estate if he died; and it is an ignorant, worthless, scoundrel rake: and the nurses were comforting him, and desiring he would not take on so. I dined to day the first time with Ophy Butler and his wife; and you supped with the dean, and lost two and twenty pence at cards. And so Mrs. Walls is brought to bed of a girl, who died two days after it was christened; and betwixt you and me, she is not very sorry: she loves her ease and diversions too well to be troubled with children. I will go to bed.
6. Morning. I went last night to put some coals on my fire after Patrick was gone to bed; and there I saw in a closet a poor linnet he has bought to bring over to Dingley: it cost him sixpence, and is as tame as a dormouse. I believe he does not know he is a bird: where you put him, there he stands, and seems to have neither hope nor fear; I suppose in a week he will die of the spleen. Patrick advised with me before he bought him. I laid fairly before him the greatness of the sum, and the rashness of the attempt; showed how impossible it was to carry him safe over the salt sea: but he would not take my counsel, and he will repent it. It is very cold this morning in bed, and I hear there is a good fire in the room without, what do you call it, the diningroom. I hope it will be good weather, and so let me rise, , do so. — At night. I was this morning to visit the dean, or Mr. prolocutor, I think you call him, do not you? Why should not I go to the dean's as well as you? A little black man of pretty near fifty? Ay, the same. A good pleasant man? Ay, the same. Cunning enough? Yes. One that understands his own interest? As well as any body. How comes it MD and I do not meet there sometimes? A very good face, and abundance of wit; do you know his lady? O Lord! whom do you mean? I mean Dr. Atturbury, dean of Carlisle and prolocutor. Pshaw, Presto you are a fool; I thought you had meant our dean of St. Patrick's. — Silly, silly, silly, you are silly, both are silly, every kind of thing is silly. As I walked into the city, I was stopped with clusters of boys and wenches buzzing about the cakeshops like flies. There had the fools let out their shops two yards forward into the streets, all spread with great cakes frothed with sugar, and stuck with streamers of tinsel. And then I went to Bateman's the bookseller, and laid out eight and forty shillings for books. I bought three little volumes of Lucian in French for our Stella, and so, and so. Then I went to Garraway's to meet Stratford, and dine with him; but it was an idle day with the merchants, and he was gone to our end of the town: so I dined with Thomas Frankland at the postoffice, and we drank your Manley's health. It was in a newspaper that he was turned out; but secretary St. John told me it was false, only, that newswriter is a plaguy tory. I have not seen one bit of Christmas merriment.
7. Morning. Your new lord chancellor, sets out to morrow for Ireland: I never saw him. He carries over one Trap a parson as his chaplain, a sort of pretender to wit, a second rate pamphleteer for the cause, whom they pay by sending him to Ireland. I never saw Trap neither. I met Tighe and your Smyth of Lovet's yesterday by the Exchange. Tighe and I took no notice of each other: but I stopped Smyth, and told him of the box that lies for you at Chester, because he says he goes very soon to Ireland, I think this week: and I will send this morning to Sterne, to take measures with Smyth; so good morrow, sirrahs, and let me rise, pray. I took up this paper when I came in at evening, I mean this minute, and then said I, No, no, indeed, MD, you must stay, and then was laying it aside, but could not for my heart, though I am very busy, till I just ask you how you do since morning; by and by we shall talk more, so let me lay you softly down, little paper, till then; so there — now to business; there, I say, get you gone: no, I will not push you neither, but hand you on one side — So — Now I am got into bed, I will talk with you. Mr. secretary St. John sent for me this morning in all haste; but I would not lose my shaving for fear of missing church. I went to court, which is of late always very full, and young Manley and I dined at sir Matthew Dudley's. — I must talk politicks. I protest I am afraid we shall all be embroiled with parties. The whigs, now they are fallen, are the most malicious toads in the world. We have had now a second misfortune, the loss of several Virginia ships. I fear people will begin to think that nothing thrives under this ministry: and if the ministry can once be rendered odious to the people, the parliament may be chosen whig or tory as the queen pleases. Then I think our friends press a little too hard on the duke of Marlborough. The country members are violent to have past faults inquired into, and they have reason; but I do not observe the ministry to be very fond of it. In my opinion we have nothing to save us but a peace, and I am sure we cannot have such a one as we hoped, and then the whigs will bawl what they would have done had they continued in power. I tell the ministry this as much as I dare, and shall venture to say a little more to them, especially about the duke of Marlborough, who, as the whigs give out, will lay down his command; and I question whether ever any wise state laid aside a general who had been successful nine years together, whom the enemy so much dread, and his own soldiers cannot but believe must always conquer; and you know that in war opinion is nine parts in ten. The ministry hear me always with appearance of regard, and much kindness; but I doubt they let personal quarrels mingle too much with their proceedings. Mean-time, they seem to value all this as nothing, and are as easy and merry as if they had nothing in their hearts or upon their shoulders, like physicians, who endeavour to cure, but feel no grief, whatever the patient suffers. — Pshaw, what is all this? Do you know one thing, that I find I can write politicks to you much easier than to any body alive. But I swear my head is full, and I wish I were at Laracor with my dear charming MD, &c.
8. Morning. Methinks, young women, I have made a great progress in four days, at the bottom of this side already, and no letter yet come from MD. (That word interlined is morning.) I find I have been writing state affairs to MD. How do they relish it? Why, any thing that comes from Presto is welcome; though really, to confess the truth, if they had their choice, not to disguise the matter, they had rather, &c. Now, Presto, I must tell you, you grow silly, says Stella. That is but one body's opinion, madam. I promised to be with Mr. secretary St. John this morning; but I am lazy and will not go, because I had a letter from him yesterday to desire I would dine there to day. I shall be chid; but what care I? — Here has been Mrs. South with me, just come from sir Andrew Fountaine, and going to market. He is still in a fever, and may live or die. His mother and sister are now come up and in the house, so there is a lurry. I gave Mrs. South half a pistole for a new year's gift. So good morrow, dears both, till anon. — At night. Lord, I have been with Mr. secretary from dinner till eight; and though I drank wine and water, I am so hot! Lady Stanley came to visit Mrs. St. John, and sent up for me, to make up a quarrel with Mrs. St. John, whom I never yet saw; and do you think that devil of a secretary would not let me go, but kept me by main force, though I told him I was in love with his lady, and it was a shame to keep back a lover, &c. But all would not do; so at last I was forced to break away, but never went up, it was then too late; and here I am, and have a great deal to do to night, though it be nine o'clock; but one must say something to these naughty MDs, else there will be no quiet.
9. To day Ford and I set apart to go into the city to buy books; but we only had a scurvy dinner at an alehouse, and he made me go to the tavern, and drink Florence, four and sixpence a flask; damned wine? so I spent my money, which I seldom do, and past an insipid day, and saw nobody, and it is now ten o'clock, and I have nothing to say, but that it is a fortnight to morrow since I had a letter from MD, but if I have it time enough to answer here, it is well enough, otherwise woe betide you, faith; I will go to the toyman's here just in Pall Mall, and he sells great hugeous batoons; yes, faith, and so he does. Does not he, Dingley? Yes, faith. Do not lose your money this Christmas.
10. I must go this morning to Mr. secretary St. John. I promised yesterday, but failed, so I cannot write any more till night to poor dear MD. — At night. O faith, Dingley, I had company in the morning, and could not go where I designed; and I had a basket from Raymond at Bristol, with six bottles of wine, and a pound of chocolate, and some tobacco to snuff; and he writ under, the carriage was paid; but he lied, or I am cheated, or there is a mistake; and he has written to me so confusedly about things, that Lucifer could not understand him. This wine is to be drank with Harley's brother and sir Robert Raymond, solicitor general, in order to recommend the doctor to your new lord chancellor, who left this place on Monday, and Raymond says he is hasting to Chester to go with him. — I suppose he leaves his wife behind; for when he left London he had no thoughts of stirring till summer. So I suppose he will be with you before this. Ford came and desired I would dine with him, because it was opera day, which I did, and sent excuses to lord Shelburn who had invited me.
11. I am setting up a new Tatler, little Harrison, whom I have mentioned to you. Others have put him on it, and I encourage him; and he was with me this morning and evening, showing me his first, which comes out on Saturday. I doubt he will not succeed, for I do not much approve his manner; but the scheme is Mr. secretary St. John's and mine, and would have done well enough in good hands. I recommended him to a printer, whom I sent for, and settled the matter between them this evening. Harrison has just left me, and I am tired with correcting his trash.
12. I was this morning upon some business with Mr. secretary St. John, and he made me promise to dine with him, which otherwise I would have done with Mr. Harley, whom I have not been with these ten days. I cannot but think they have mighty difficulties upon them; yet I always find them as easy and disengaged as schoolboys on a holiday. Harley has the procuring of five or six millions on his shoulders, and the whigs will not lend a groat; which is the only reason of the fall of stocks: for they are like quakers and fanaticks, that will only deal among themselves, while all others deal indifferently with them. Lady Marlborough offers, if they will let her keep her employments, never to come into the queen's presence. The whigs say the duke of Marlborough will serve no more; but I hope and think otherwise. I would to Heaven I were this minute with MD at Dublin; for I am weary of politicks, that give me such melancholy prospects.
13. O faith, I had an ugly giddy fit last night in my chamber, and I have got a new box of pills to take, and hope I shall have no more this good while. I would not tell you before, because it would vex you, little rogues; but now it is over. I dined to day with lord Shelburn, and to day little Harrison's new Tatler came out: there is not much in it, but I hope he will mend. You must understand that upon Steele's leaving off, there were two or three scrub Tatlers came out, and one of them holds on still, and to day it advertised against Harrison's; and so there must be disputes which are genuine, like the straps for razors. I am afraid the little toad has not the true vein for it. I will tell you a copy of verses. When Mr. St. John was turned out from being secretary at war, three years ago, he retired to the country: there he was talking of something he would have written over his summerhouse, and a gentleman gave him these verses:
From business and the noisy world retir'd,
Nor vex'd by love, nor by ambition fir'd;
Gently I wait the call of Charon's boat,
Still drinking like a fish, and —— like a goat.
He swore to me he could hardly bear the jest; for he pretended to retire like a philosopher, though he was but twenty-eight years old: and I believe the thing was true; for he had been a thorough rake. I think the three grave lines do introduce the last well enough. Od so, but I will go sleep; I sleep early now.
14. O faith, young women, I want a letter from MD; it is now nineteen days since I had the last: and where have I room to answer it, pray? I hope I shall send this away without any answer at all; for I will hasten it, and away it goes on Tuesday, by which time this side will be full. I will send it two days sooner on purpose out of spite, and the very next day after, you must know, your letter will come, and then it is too late, and I will so laugh, never saw the like! It is spring with us already. I ate asparagus the other day. Did you ever see such a frostless winter? Sir Andrew Fountaine lies still extremely ill; it costs him ten guineas a day to doctors, surgeons, and apothecaries, and has done so these three weeks. I dined to day with Mr. Ford; he sometimes chooses to dine at home, and I am content to dine with him; and at night I called at the coffeehouse, where I had not been a week, and talked coldly a while with Mr. Addison; all our friendship and dearness are off: we are civil acquaintance, talk words of course, of when we shall meet, and that is all. I have not been at any house with him these six weeks: the other day we were to have dined together at the comptroller's; but I sent my excuses, being engaged to the secretary of state. Is not it odd? But I think he has used me ill, and I have used him too well, at least his friend Steele.
15. It has cost me three guineas to day for a periwig. I am undone! It was made by a Leicester lad, who married Mr. Worrall's daughter, where my mother lodged; so I thought it would be cheap, and especially since he lives in the city. Well, London lickpenny: I find it true. I have given Harrison hints for another Tatler to morrow. The jackanapes wants a right taste; I doubt he will not do. I dined with my friend Lewis of the secretary's office, and am got home early, because I have much business to do; but before I begin I must needs say something to MD, faith — No, faith, I lie, it is but nineteen days to day since my last from MD. I have got Mr. Harley to promise, that whatever changes are made in the council, the bishop of Clogher shall not be removed, and he has got a memorial accordingly. I will let the bishop know so much in a post or two. This is a secret; but I know he has enemies, and they shall not be gratified, if they designed any such thing, which perhaps they might; for some changes there will be made. So drink up your claret, and be quiet, and do not lose you money.
16. Morning. Faith I will send this letter to day to shame you, if I have not one from MD before night, that is certain. Will not you grumble for want of the third side, pray now? Yes, I warrant you; yes, yes, you shall have the third, you shall so, when you can catch it, some other time; when you be writing girls. — O faith, I think I will not stay till night, but seal up this just now, and carry it in my pocket, and whip it into the postoffice as I come home at evening. I am going out early this morning. — Patrick's bills for coals and candles, &c. come sometimes to three shillings a week; I keep very good fires, though the weather be warm. Ireland will never be happy till you get smallcoal likewise; nothing so easy, so convenient, so cheap, so pretty for lighting a fire. My service to Mrs. Stoyte and Walls, has she a boy or a girl? A girl, hmm; and died in a week, hmmm, and was poor Stella forced to stand for godmother? — Let me know how accounts stand, that you may have your money betimes. There is four months for my lodging, that must be thought on too: and so go dine with Manley, and lose your money, do extravagant sluttikin, but do not fret. — It will be just three weeks when I have the next letter, that is to morrow. Farewell, dearest beloved MD, and love poor, poor Presto, who has not had one happy day since he left you, as hope saved — It is the last sally I will ever make, but I hope it will turn to some account. I have done more for these, and I think they are more honest than the last; however, I will not be disappointed. I would make MD and me easy; and I never desired more. — Farewell, &c. &c.
London, Jan. 16, 1710-11.
O FAITH, young women, I have sent my letter N. 13, without one crumb of an answer to any of MD's there is for you now; and yet Presto ben't angry faith, not a bit, only he will begin to be in pain next Irish post, except he sees MD's little hand writing in the glass frame at the bar of St. James's coffeehouse, where Presto would never go but for that purpose. Presto's at home, God help him every night from six till bedtime, and has as little enjoyment or pleasure in life at present as any body in the world, although in full favour with all the ministry. As hope saved, nothing gives Presto any sort of dream of happiness but a letter now and then from his own dearest MD. I love the expectation of it, and when it does not come, I comfort myself, that I have it yet to be happy with. Yes faith, and when I write to MD, I am happy too; it is just as if methinks you were here and I prating to you, and telling you where I have been: Well, says you, Presto, come, where have you been to day? come, let's hear now. And so then I answer; Ford and I were visiting Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Prior, and Prior has given me a fine Plautus, and then Ford would have had me dine at his lodgings, and so I would not; and so I dined with him at an eatinghouse; which I have not done five times since I came here; and so I came home, after visiting Sir Andrew Fountaine's mother and sister, and sir Andrew Fountaine is mending, though slowly.
17. I was making, this morning, some general visits, and at twelve I called at the coffeehouse for a letter from MD; so the man said, he had given it to Patrick; then I went to the court of requests and treasury, to find Mr. Harley, and after some time spent in mutual reproaches, I promised to dine with him; I staid there till seven, then called at Sterne's and Leigh's to talk about your box, and to have it sent by Smyth; Sterne says he has been making inquiries, and will set things right as soon as possible. I suppose it lies at Chester, at least I hope so, and only wants a lift over to you. Here has little Harrison been to complain, that the printer I recommended to him for his Tatler, is a coxcomb; and yet to see how things will happen; for this very printer is my cousin, his name is Dryden Leach; did you never hear of Dryden Leach, he that prints the Postman? He acted Oroonoko, he is in love with miss Crosse. — Well, so I came home to read my letter from Stella, but the dog Patrick was abroad; at last he came, and I got my letter; I found another hand had superscribed it; when I opened it I found it written all in French, and subscribed Bernage: faith I was ready to fling it at Patrick's head. Bernage tells me, he had been to desire your recommendation to me to make him a captain, and your cautious answer, "That he had as much power with me as you," was a notable one; if you were here I would present you to the ministry as a person of ability. Bernage should let me know where to write to him; this is the second letter I have had without any direction; however, I beg I may not have a third, but that you will ask him, and send me how I shall direct to him. In the mean time, tell him, that if regiments are to be raised here, as he says, I will speak to George Granville, secretary at war, to make him a captain; and use what other interest I conveniently can. I think that is enough, and so tell him, and do not trouble me with his letters when I expect them from MD; do you hear, young women, write to Presto.
18. I was this morning with Mr. secretary St. John, and we were to dine at Mr. Harley's alone, about some business of importance; but there were two or three gentlemen there. Mr. Secretary and I went together from his office to Mr. Harley's, and thought to have been very wise; but the deuse a bit, the company staid, and more came, and Harley went away at seven, and the secretary and I staid with the rest of the company till eleven; I would then have had him come away, but he was in for it; and though he swore he would come away at that flask, there I left him. I wonder at the civility of these people; when he saw I would drink no more, he would always pass the bottle by me, and yet I could not keep the toad from drinking himself, nor he would not let me go neither, nor Masham, who was with us. When I got home, I found a parcel directed to me, and opening it, I found a pamphlet written entirely against myself, not by name, but against something I writ: it is pretty civil, and affects to be so, and I think I will take no notice of it; it is against something written very lately; and indeed I know not what to say, nor do I care; and so you are a saucy rogue for losing your money to day at Sloyte's; to let that bungler beat you, fy Stella, are not you ashamed? well, I forgive you this once, never do so again; no, noooo. Kiss and be friends, sirrah. — Come, let me go sleep, I go earlier to bed than formerly; and have not been out so late these two months; but the secretary was in a drinking humour. So good night myownlittledearsaucyinsolentrogues.
19. Then you read that long word in the last line, no faith have not you. Well, when will this letter come from our MD? to morrow or next day without fail; yes faith, and so it is coming. This was an insipid snowy day, no walking day, and I dined gravely with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, and came home, and am now got to bed a little after ten; I remember old Culpepper's maxim. Would you have a settled head, you must early go to bed: I tell you and I tell it again, you must be in bed at ten.
20. And so I went to day with my new wig, o hoao, to visit lady Worsley, whom I had not seen before, although she was near a month in town. Then I walked in the Park to find Mr. Ford, whom had promised to meet, and coming down the Mall, who should come toward me but Patrick, and gives me five letters out of his pocket. I read the superscription of the first, Pshoh, said I; of the second, pshoh again; of the third, pshah, pshah, pshah; of the fourth, a gad, a gad, a gad, I am in a rage; of the fifth and last, O hoooa; ay marry this is something, this is our MD, so truly we opened it, I think immediately, and it began the most impudently in the world, thus; Dear Presto, we are even thus far. Now we are even, quoth Stephen, when he gave his wife six blows for one. I received your ninth four days after I had sent my thirteenth. But I will reckon with you anon about that, young women. Why did not you recant at the end of your letter when you got your eleventh, tell me that huzzies base, were we even then, were we, sirrah? but I will not answer your letter now, I will keep it for another time. We had a great deal of snow to day, and it is terrible cold. I dined with Ford, because it was his opera day and snowed, so I did not care to stir farther. I will send to morrow to Smyth.
21. Morning. It has snowed terribly all night, and is vengeance cold. I am not yet up, but cannot write long; my hands will freeze. Is there a good fire, Patrick? yes, sir; then I will rise, come take away the candle. You must know I write on the dark side of my bed chamber, and am forced to have a candle till I rise, for the bed stands between me and the window, and I keep the curtains shut this cold weather. So pray let me rise, and, Patrick, here take away the candle. — At night. We are now here in high frost and snow, the largest fire can hardly keep us warm. It is very ugly walking, a baker's boy broke his thigh yesterday. I walk slow, make short steps, and never tread on my heel. It is a good proverb the Devonshire people have; walk fast in snow, in frost walk slow, and still as you go, tread on your toe: when frost and snow are both together, sit by the fire and spare shoe leather. I dined to day with Dr. Cockburn, but will not do so again in haste, he has generally such a parcel of Scots with him.
22. Morning. Starving, starving, uth, uth, uth, uth, uth. — Do not you remember I used to come into your chamber, and turn Stella out of her chair, and rake up the fire in a cold morning, and cry uth, uth, uth? &c. O faith I must rise, my hand is so cold I can write no more. So good morrow, sirrahs. — At night. I went this morning to lady Giffard's house, and saw your mother, and made her give me a pint bottle of palsy water, which I brought home in my pocket; and sealed and tied up in a paper, and sent it to Mr. Smyth, who goes to morrow for Ireland, and sent a letter to him to desire his care of it, and that he would inquire at Chester about the box. He was not within, so the bottle and letter were left for him at his lodgings, with strict orders to give them to him; and I will send Patrick in a day or two, to know whether it was given, &c. Dr. Stratford and I dined to day with Mr. Stratford in the city, by appointment: but I chose to walk there for exercise in the frost. But the weather had given a little, as you women call it, so it was something slobbery. I did not get home till nine, and now I am in bed to break your head.
23. Morning. They tell me it freezes again, but it is not so cold as yesterday: so now I will answer a bit of your letter. — At night. O faith I was just going to answer some of our MDs letter this morning, when a printer came in about some business, and staid an hour; so I rose, and then came in Ben Tooke, and then I shaved and scribbled, and it was such a terrible day I could not stir out till one, and then I called at Mrs. Barton's, and we went to lady Worsley's, where we were to dine by appointment. The earl of Berkeley is going to be married to lady Louisa Lenox, the duke of Richmond's daughter. I writ this night to dean Sterne, and bid him tell you all about the bottle of palsy water by Smyth, and to morrow morning I will say something to your letter.
24. Morning. Come now to your letter. As for your being even with me, I have spoken to that already. So now, my dearly beloved let us proceed to the next. You are always grumbling that you have not letters fast enough, surely we shall have your tenth; and yet before you end your letter, you own you have my eleventh. — And why did not MD go into the country with the bishop of Clogher? faith such a journey would have done you good; Stella should have rid, and Dingley gone in the coach. The bishop of Kilmore I know nothing of; he is old and may die: he lives in some obscure corner, for I never hear of him. As for my old friends, if you mean the whigs, I never see them, as you may find by my journals, except lord Halifax, and him very seldom; lord Somers never since the first visit, for he has been a false deceitful rascal. My new friends are very kind, and I have promises enough, but I do not count upon them, and besides my pretences are very young to them. However, we will see what may be done, and if nothing at all, I shall not be disappointed; although perhaps poor MD may, and then I shall be sorrier for their sakes than my own. — Talk of a merry Christmas (why did you write it so then, young women? sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander) I have wished you all that two or three letters ago. Good lack; and your news, that Mr. St. John is going to Holland; he has no such thoughts to quit the great station he is in, nor if he had, could I be spared to go with him. So faith, politick madam Stella, you come with your two eggs a penny, &c. Well, madam Dingley, and so Mrs. Stoyte invites you, and so you stay at Donnybrook, and so you could not write. You are plaguy exact in your journals from Dec. 25, to Jan. 4th. Well, Smyth and the palsy water I have handled already, and he does not lodge (or rather did not, for poor man now he is gone) at Mr. Jesse's and all that stuff; but we found his lodging, and I went to Stella's mother on my own head, for I never remembered it was in the letter to desire another bottle; but I was so fretted, so tosticated, and so impatient, that Stella should have her water (I mean decently, do not be rogues) and so vexed with Sterne's carelessness. — Pray God Stella's illness may not return. If they come seldom, they begin to be weary; I judge by myself; for when I seldom visit, I grow weary of my acquaintance. — Leave a good deal of my tenth unanswered — Impudent slut, when did you ever answer my tenth, or ninth, or any other number? or who desires you to answer, provided you write? I defy the D— to answer my letters; sometimes there may be one or two things I should be glad you would answer, but I forget them, and you never think of them. I shall never love answering letters again, if you talk of answering. Answering, quotha; pretty answerers truly. — As for the pamphlet you speak of, and call it scandalous, and that one Mr. Presto is said to write it, hear my answer. Fy, child, you must not mind what every idle body tells you. — I believe you lie, and that the dogs were not crying it when you said so; come, tell truth. I am sorry you go to St. Mary's so soon, you will be as poor as rats; that place will drain you with a vengeance: besides, I would have you think of being in the country in summer. Indeed, Stella, pippins produced plentifully; Parvisol could not send from Laracor: there were about half a score, I would be glad to know whether they were good for any thing. — Mrs. Wells at Donnybrook with you; why is not she brought to bed? Well, well, well, Dingley, pray be satisfied! you talk as if you were angry about the bishop's not offering you conveniences for the journey; and so he should. What sort of Christmas? why I have had no Christmas at all; and has it really been Christmas of late? I never once thought of it. My service to Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine, and let Catherine get the coffee ready against I come, and not have so much care on her countenance; for all will go well. — Mr. Bernage, Mr. Bernage, Mr. Fiddlenage, I have had three letters from him now successively; he sends no directions, and how the D— shall I write to him? I would have burnt his last, if I had not seen Stella's hand at the bottom: his request is all nonsense. How can I assist him in buying? and if he be ordered to go to Spain, go he must, or else sell, and I believe one can hardly sell, at such a juncture. If he had staid, and new regiments raised, I would have used my endeavour to have had him removed; although I have no credit that way, or very little: but if the regiment goes, he ought to go too; he has had great indulgence, and opportunities of saving; and I have urged him to it a hundred times. What can I do? whenever it lies in my power to do him a good office, I will do it. Pray draw up this into a handsome speech, and represent it to him from me, and that I would write, if I knew where to direct to him; and so I have told you, and desired you would tell him, fifty times. Yes, madam Stella, I think I can read your long concluding word, but you cannot read mine after bidding you good night. And yet, methinks, I mend extremely in my writing; but when Stella's eyes are well, I hope to write as bad as ever. — So now I have answered your letter, and mine is an answer; for I lay yours before me, and I look and write, and write and look, and look and write again. — So good morrow, madams both, and I will go rise, for I must rise; for I take pills at night, and so I must rise early, I do not know why. ——
25. Morning. I did not tell you how I past my time yesterday, nor bid you good night, and there was good reason. I went in the morning to secretary St. John about some business; he had got a great whig with him; a creature of the duke of Marlborough, who is a go-between to make peace between the duke and the ministry; so he came out of his closet; and after a few words, desired I would dine with him at three, but Mr. Lewis staid till six before he came; and there we sat talking, and the time slipped so, that at last, when I was positive to go, it was past two o'clock; so I came home and went straight to bed. He would never let me look at his watch, and I could not imagine it above twelve when we went away. So I bid you good night for last night, and now I bid you good morrow, and I am still in bed, though it be near ten, but I must rise. ——
26, 27, 28, 29, 30. I have been so lazy and negligent these last four days that I could not write to MD. My head is not in order, and yet it is not absolutely ill, but giddyish, and makes me listless; I walk every day, and take drops of Dr. Cockburn, and I have just done a box of pills, and to day lady Kerry sent me some of her bitter drink, which I design to take twice a day, and hope I shall grow better. I wish I were with MD, I long for spring and good weather, and then I will come over. My riding in Ireland keeps me well. I am very temperate, and eat of the easiest meats as I am directed, and hope the malignity will go off; but one fit shakes me a long time. I dined to day with lord Mountjoy, yesterday at Mr. Stone's in the city, on Sunday at Vanhomrigh's, Saturday with Ford, and Friday I think at Vanhomrigh's, and that is all the journal I can send MD, for I was so lazy while I was well, that I could not write. I thought to have sent this to night, but it is ten, and I will go to bed, and write on the other side to Parvisol to morrow, and send it on Thursday; and so good night my dears, and love Presto, and be healthy, and Presto will be so too, &c.
Cut off these notes handsomely, do you hear, sirrahs, and give Mrs. Brent hers, and keep yours till you see Parvisol, and then make up the letter to him, and send it him by the first opportunity, and so God Almighty bless you both, here and ever, and poor Presto.
What, I warrant you thought at first that these last lines were another letter.
There's bills of exchange for you.
London, Jan. 31, 1710-11.
I AM to send you my fourteenth to morrow, but my head having some little disorder, confounds all my journals. I was early this morning with Mr. secretary St. John about some business, so I could not scribble my morning lines to MD. They are here intending to tax all little printed penny papers a halfpenny every halfsheet, which will utterly ruin Grub street, and I am endeavouring to prevent it. Besides, I was forwarding an impeachment against a certain great person; that was two of my businesses with the secretary, were they not worthy ones? It was Ford's birthday, and I refused the secretary and dined with Ford. We are here in as smart a frost for the time as I have seen; delicate walking weather, and the Canal and Rosamond's Pond full of the rabble sliding and with skates, if you know what those are. Patrick's bird's water freezes in the gallipot; and my hands in bed.
Feb. 1. I was this morning with poor lady Kerry, who is much worse in her head than I. She sends me bottles of her bitter, and we are so fond of one another, because our ailments are the same; do not you know that, madam Stell? have not I seen you conning ailments with Joe's wife and some others, sirrah? I walked into the city to dine, because of the walk, for we must take care of Presto's health you know, because of poor little MD. But I walked plaguy carefully, for fear of sliding against my will; but I am very busy.
2. This morning Mr. Ford came to me to walk into the city, where he had business, and then to buy books at Bateman's; and I laid out one pound five shillings for a Strabo and Aristophanes, and I have now got books enough to make me another shelf, and I will have more, or it shall cost me a fall; and so as we came back, we drank a flask of right French wine at Ben Tooke's chamber; and when I had got home, Mrs. Vanhomrigh sent me word her eldest daughter was taken suddenly very ill, and desired I would come and see her; I went, and found it was a silly trick of Mrs. Armstrong, lady Lucy's sister, who, with Moll Stanhope, was visiting there: however I rattled off the daughter.
3. To day I went and dined at lady Lucy's, where you know I have not been this long time; they are plaguy whigs, especially the sister Armstrong, the most insupportable of all women pretending to wit, without any taste. She was running down the last Examiner, the prettiest I had read, with a character of the present ministry. — I left them at five, and came home. But I forgot to tell you, that this morning my cousin Dryden Leach the printer, came to me with a heavy complaint, that Harrison the new Tatler had turned him off, and taken the last Tatler's printers again. He vowed revenge; I answered gravely, and so he left me, and I have ordered Patrick to deny me to him from henceforth: and at night comes a letter from Harrison, telling me the same thing, and excused his doing it without my notice, because he would bear all the blame; and in his Tatler of this day he tells you the story, how he has taken his old officers, and there is a most humble letter from Morphew and Lilly to beg his pardon, &c. And lastly, this morning Ford sent me two letters from the coffeehouse, (where I hardly ever go) one from the archbishop of Dublin, and the other from ——. Who do you think the other was from! —— I will tell you, because you are friends; why then it was, faith it was from my own dear little MD, N. 10. O, but will not answer it now, no, noooooh, I will keep it between the two sheets; here it is, just under: O, I lifted up the sheet and saw it there: lie still, you shall not be answered yet, little letter; for I must go to bed, and take care of my head.
4. I avoid going to church yet, for fear of my head, though it has been much better these last five or six days, since I have taken lady Kerry's bitter. Our frost holds like a dragon. I went to Mr. Addison's, and dined with him at his lodgings; I had not seen him these three weeks, we are grown common acquaintance: yet what have not I done for his friend Steele? Mr. Harley reproached me the last time I saw him, that to please me he would be reconciled to Steele, and had promised and appointed to see him, and that Steele never came. Harrison, whom Mr. Addison recommended to me, I have introduced to the secretary of state, who has promised me to take care of him; and I have represented Addison himself so to the ministry, that they think and talk in his favour, though they hated him before. —— Well; he is now in my debt, and there is an end; and I never had the least obligation to him, and there is another end. This evening I had a message from Mr. Harley, desiring to know whether I was alive, and that I would dine with him to morrow. They dine so late, that since my head has been wrong I have avoided being with them. — Patrick has been out of favour these ten days; I talk dry and cross to him, and have called him friend three or four times. But, sirrahs, get you gone.
5. Morning. I am going this morning to see Prior, who dines with me at Mr. Harley's; so I cannot stay fiddling and talking with dear little brats in a morning, and it is still terribly cold. — I wish my cold hand was in the warmest place about you, young women, I would give ten guineas upon that account with all my heart, faith; oh, it starves my thigh; so I will rise, and bid you good morrow. Come stand away, let me rise: Patrick, take away the candle. Is there a good fire? — So — up adazy. — At night. Mr. Harley did not sit down till six, and I staid till eleven; henceforth I will choose to visit him in the evening, and dine with him no more if I can help it. It breaks all my measures, and hurts my health; my head is disorderly, but not ill, and I hope it will mend.
6. Here has been such a hurry with the queen's birthday, so much fine clothes, and the court so crowded that I did not go there. All the frost is gone. It thawed on Sunday, and so continues, yet ice is still on the canal (I did not mean that of Laracor, but St. James's Park) and boys sliding on it. Mr. Ford pressed me to dine with him in his chamber. — Did not I tell you Patrick has got a bird, a linnet, to carry over to Dingley? It was very tame at first, and it is now the wildest I ever saw. He keeps it in a closet, where it makes a terrible litter; but I say nothing: I am as tame as a clout. When must we answer our MD's letter? one of these oddcome-shortlies. This is a week old, you see, and no farther yet. Mr. Harley desired I would dine with him again to day; but I refused him, for I fell out with him yesterday, and will not see him again till he makes me amends: and so I go to bed.
7. I was this morning early with Mr. Lewis of the secretary's office, and saw a letter Mr. Harley had sent to him, desiring to be reconciled; but I was deaf to all entreaties, and have desired Lewis to go to him, and let him know I expect farther satisfaction. If we let these great ministers pretend too much, there will be no governing them. He promises to make me easy, if I will but come and see him; but I will not, and he shall do it by message, or I will cast him off. I will tell you the cause of our quarrel when I see you, and refer it to yourselves. In that he did something, which he intended for a favour; and I have taken it quite otherwise, disliking both the thing and the manner, and it has heartily vexed me, and all I have said is truth, though it looks like jest: and I absolutely refused to submit to his intended favour, and expect farther satisfaction. Mr. Ford and I dined with Mr. Lewis. We have a monstrous deal of snow, and it has cost me two shillings to day in chair and coach, and walked till I was dirty besides. I know not what it is now to read or write after I am in bed. The last thing I do up is to write something to our MD, and then get into bed, and put out my candle, and so go sleep as fast as ever I can. But in the mornings I do write sometimes in bed, as you know.
8. Morning. I have desired Apronia to be always careful, especially about the legs. Pray, do you see any such great wit in that sentence? I must freely own that I do not. But party carries every thing nowadays, and what a splutter have I heard about the wit of that saying, repeated with admiration about a hundred times in half an hour. Pray read it over again this moment, and consider it. I think the word is advised, and not desired. I should not have remembered it if I had not heard it so often. Why — ay — You must know I dreamed it just now, and waked with it in my mouth. Are you bit, or are you not, sirrahs? I met Mr. Harley in the court of Requests, and me how long I had learn the trick of writing to myself? He had seen your letter through the glass case, at the coffeehouse, and would swear it was my hand; and Mr. Ford, who took and sent it me, was of the same mind. I remember others have formerly said so too. I think I was little MD's writingmaster. — But come, what is here to do, writing to young women in a morning? I have other fish to fry; so good morrow, my ladies all, good morrow. Perhaps I will answer your letter to night, perhaps I will not; that is as saucy little Presto takes the humour. — At night. I walked in the park to day in spite of the weather, as I do always when it does not actually rain. Do you know what it has gone and done? we had a thaw for three days, then a monstrous dirt and snow, and now it freezes, like a potlid, upon our snow. I dined with lady Betty Germain, the first time since I came for England; and there did I sit, like a booby, till eight, looking over her and another lady at picquet, when I had other business enough to do. It was the coldest day I felt this year.
9. Morning. After I had been abed an hour last night, I was forced to rise and call to the landlady and maid to have the fire removed in a chimney below stairs, which made my bedchamber smoke, though I had no fire in it. I have been twice served so. I never lay so miserable an hour in my life. Is it not plaguy vexatious? — It has snowed all night, and rains this morning. — Come, where is MD's letter? Come, Mrs. letter, make your appearance. Here am I, says she, answer me to my face. — O, faith, I am sorry you had my twelfth so soon; I doubt you will stay longer for the rest. I am so afraid you have got my fourteenth while I am writing this; and I would always have one letter from Presto reading, one travelling, and one writing. As for the box, I now believe it lost. It is directed for Mr. Curry at his house in Capel street, &c. I had a letter yesterday from Dr. Raymond in Chester, who says, he sent his man every where, and cannot find it; and God knows whether Mr. Smyth will have better success. Sterne spoke to him, and I writ to him with the bottle of palsy water; that bottle, I hope, will not miscarry: I long to hear you have it. O, faith, you have too good an opinion of Presto's care. I am negligent enough of every thing but MD, and I should not have trusted Sterne. — But it shall not go so: I will have one more tug for it. — As to what you say of goodman Peasly and Isaac, I answer as I did before. Fy, child, you must not give yourself the way to believe any such thing: and afterward, only for curiosity, you may tell me how those things are approved, and how you like them; and whether they instruct you in the present course of affairs, and whether they are printed in your town, or only sent from hence. — Sir Andrew Fountaine is recovered; so take your sorrow again, but do not keep it, fling it to the dogs. And does little MD walk, indeed? — I am glad of it at heart. — Yes, we have done with the plague here: it was very saucy in you to pretend to have it before your betters. Your intelligence that the story is false about the officers forced to sell, is admirable. You may see them all three every day, no more in the army than you. Twelve shillings for mending the strong box; that is, for putting a farthing's worth of iron on a hinge, and gilding it; give him six shillings, and I will pay it, and never employ him or his again. — No — indeed, I put off preaching as much as I can. I am upon another foot: nobody doubts here whether I can preach, and you are fools. — The account you give of that weekly paper agrees with us here. Mr. Prior was like to be insulted in the street for being supposed the author of it; but one of the last papers cleared him. Nobody knows who it is, but the few in the secret. I suppose the ministry and the printer. — Poor Stella's eyes, God bless them, and send them better. Pray spare them, and write not above two lines a day in broad daylight. How does Stella look, madam Dingley? Pretty well; a handsome young woman still. Will she pass in a crowd? Will she make a figure in a country church? — Stay a little, fair ladies. I this minute sent Patrick to Sterne: he brings back word that your box is very safe with one Mr. Earl's sister in Chester, and that colonel Edgworth's widow goes for Ireland on Monday next, and will receive the box at Chester, and deliver it you safe: so there is some hopes now. — Well, let us go on to your letter. — The warrant is passed for the first-fruits. The queen does not send a letter; but a patent will be drawn here, and that will take up time. Mr. Harley of late has said nothing of presenting me to the queen: — I was overseen when I mentioned it to you. He has such a weight of affairs on him, that he cannot mind all; but he talked of it three or four times to me, long before I dropped it to you. What, is not Mrs. Wall's business over yet? I had hopes she was up and well, and the child dead before this time. — You did right, at last, to send me your accounts; but I did not stay for them, I thank you. I hope you have your bill sent in my last, and there will be eight pounds interest soon due from Hawkshaw; pray look at his bond. I hope you are good managers, and that when I say so, Stella will not think I intend she should grudge herself wine. But going to those expensive lodgings requires some fund. I wish you had staid till I came over, for some reasons. That Frenchwoman will be grumbling again in a little time, and if you are invited any where to the country, it will vex you to pay in absence; and the country may be necessary for poor Stella's health: but do as you like, and do not blame Presto. — O, but you are telling your reasons. — Well, I have read them; do as you please. — Yes, Raymond says he must stay longer than he thought, because he cannot settle his affairs. M—— is in the country at some friend's, comes to town in spring, and then goes to settle in Herefordshire. Her husband is a surly ill natured brute, and cares not she should see any body. O Lord, see how I blundered, and left two lines short; it was that ugly score in the paper that made me mistake. I believe you lie about the story of the fire, only to make it more odd. Bernage must go to Spain, and I will see to recommend him to the duke of Argyle, his general, when I see the duke next: but the officers tell me it would be dishonourable in the last degree for him to sell now, and he would never be preferred in the army; so that unless he designs to leave it for good and all, he must go. Tell him so, and that I would write if I knew where to direct to him; which I have said fourscore times already. I had rather any thing almost than that you should strain yourselves to send a letter when it is inconvenient; we have settled that matter already. I will write when I can, and so shall MD; and upon occasions extraordinary I will write, though it be a line; and when we have not letters soon, we agree that all things are well; and so that is settled for ever, and so hold your tongue. — Well, you shall have your pins; but for the candle ends, I cannot promise, because I burn them to the stumps; besides, I remember what Stella told Dingley about them many years ago, and she may think the same thing of me. — And Dingley shall have her hinged spectacles. — Poor dear Stella, how durst you write those two lines by candlelight, bang your bones. Faith, this letter shall go to morrow, I think, and that will be in ten days from the last, young women; that is too soon of all conscience: but answering yours has filled it up so quick, and I do not design to use you to three pages in folio, no nooooh. All this is one morning's work in bed; — and so good morrow, little sirrahs that is for the rhyme. You want politicks: faith, I cannot think of any; but may be at night I may tell you a passage. Come, sit off the bed, and let me rise, will you? — At night. I dined to day with my neighbour Vanhomrigh; it was such dismal weather I could not stir farther. I have had some threatenings with my head, but no fits. I still drink Dr. Radcliffe's bitter, and will continue it.
10. I was this morning to see the secretary of state, and have engaged him to give a memorial from me to the duke of Argyle in behalf of Bernage. The duke is a man that distinguishes people of merit, and I will speak to him myself; but the secretary backing it will be very effectual, and I will take care to have it done to purpose. Pray tell Bernage so, and that I think nothing can be luckier for him, and that I would have him go by all means. I will order it that the duke shall send for him when they are in Spain; or, if he fails, that he shall receive him kindly when he goes to wait on him. Can I do more? Is not this a great deal? — I now send away this letter that you may not stay. — I dined with Ford upon his opera day, and am now come home, and am going to study; do not you presume to guess, sirrahs, impudent saucy dear boxes. Toward the end of a letter I could not say saucy boxes without putting dear between. En't that right now? Farewell. This should be longer, but that I send it to night.
O silly, silly loggerhead!
I sent a letter this post to one Mr. Staunton, and I direct it to Mr. Acton's in St. Michael's lane. He formerly lodged there, but he has not told me where to direct. Pray send to that Acton, whether the letter is come there, and whether he has sent it to Staunton.
If Bernage designs to sell his commission and stay at home, pray let him tell me so, that my recommendation to the duke of Argyle may not be in vain.
London, Feb. 10, 1710-11.
I HAVE just dispatched my fifteenth to the post; I tell you how things will be, after I have got a letter from MD. I am in furious haste to finish mine, for fear of having two of MD's to answer in one of Presto's, which would be such a disgrace, never saw the like; but before you write to me I write at my leisure, like a gentleman, a little every day, just to let you know how matters go, and so, and so; and I hope before this comes to you, you will have got your box and chocolate, and Presto will take more care another time.
11. Morning. I must rise and go see my lord keeper, which will cost me two shillings in coachhire. Do not call them two thirteens? — At night. It has rained all day, and there was no walking. I read prayers to sir Andrew Fountaine in the afternoon, and I dined with three Irishmen at one Mr. Cope's lodgings; the other two were one Morris an archdeacon, and Mr. Ford. When I came home this evening, I expected that little jackanapes Harrison would have come to get help about his Tatler for Tuesday: I have fixed two evenings in the week which I allow him to come. The toad never came, and I expecting him fell a reading, and left off other business. — Come, what are you doing? how do you pass your time this ugly weather? Gaming and drinking, I suppose: fine diversions for young ladies, truly. I wish you had some of our Seville oranges, and we some of your wine. We have the finest oranges for two pence a piece, and the basest wine for six shillings a bottle. They tell me wine grows cheap with you. I am resolved to have half a hogshead when I get to Ireland, if it be good and cheap, as it used to be; and I will treat MD at my table in an evening, oh hoa, and laugh at great ministers of state.
12. The days are grown fine and long, —— be thanked. O faith, you forget all our little sayings, and I am angry. I dined to day with Mr. Secretary St. John: I went to the court of requests at noon, and sent Mr. Harley into the house to call the secretary, to let him know I would not dine with him if he dined late. By good luck the duke of Argyle was at the lobby of the house too, and I kept him in talk till the secretary came out, then told them I was glad to meet them together, and that I had a request to the duke which the secretary must second, and his grace must grant. The duke said, he was sure it was something insignificant, and wished it was ten times greater. At the secretary's house I writ a memorial, and gave it to the secretary to give the duke, and shall see that he does it. It is, that his Grace will please to take Mr. Bernage into his protection; and if he finds Bernage answers my character, to give him all encouragement. Colonel Masham and colonel Hill (Mrs. Masham's brother) tell me my request is reasonable, and they will second it heartily to the duke too: so I reckon Bernage is on a very good foot when he goes to Spain. Pray tell him this, though perhaps I will write to him before he goes; yet where shall I direct? for I suppose he has left Conolly's.
13. I have left off lady Kerry's bitter, and got another box of pills. I have no fits of giddiness, but only some little disorders toward it: and I walk as much as I can. Lady Kerry is just as I am, only a great deal worse: I dined to day at lord Shelburn's, where she is, and we con ailments, which makes us very fond of each other. I have taken Mr Harley into favour again, and called to see him, but he was not within; I will use to visit him after dinner, for he dines too late for my head: then I went to visit poor Congreve, who is just getting out of a severe fit of the gout, and I sat with him till near nine o'clock. He gave me a Tatler he had written out, as blind as he is, for little Harrison. It is about a scoundrel that was grown rich, and went and bought a coat of arms at the Herald's, and a set of ancestors at Fleet ditch; it is well enough, and shall be printed in two or three days, and if you read those kind of things, this will divert you. It is now between ten and eleven, and I am going to bed.
14. This was Mrs. Vanhomrigh's daughter's birthday, and Mr. Ford and I were invited to dinner to keep it, and we spent the evening there drinking punch. That was our way of beginning Lent; and in the morning lord Shelburn, lady Kerry, Mrs. Pratt and I went to Hyde Park, instead of going to church; for till my head is a little settled, I think it better not to go; it would be so silly and troublesome to go out sick. Dr. Duke died suddenly two or three nights ago; he was one of the wits when we were children, but turned parson, and left it, and never writ farther than a prologue or recommendatory copy of verses. He had a fine living given him by the bishop of Winchester about three months ago; he got his living suddenly, and he got his dying so too.
15. I walked purely to day about the park, the rain being just over, of which we have had a great deal, mixed with little short frosts. I went to the court of requests, thinking if Mr. Harley dined early, to go with him. But meeting Leigh and Sterne, they invited me to dine with them, and away we went. When we got into his room, one H——, a worthless Irish fellow, was there ready to dine with us, so I stepped out and whispered them, that I would not dine with that fellow; they made excuses, and begged me to stay, but away I went to Mr. Harley's, and he did not dine at home, and at last I dined at sir John Germain's, and found lady Betty but just recovered of a miscarriage. I am writing an inscription for lord Berkeley's tomb: you know the young rake his son, the new earl, is married, to the duke of Richmond's daughter, at the duke's country house, and are now coming to town. She will be fluxed in two months, and they will be parted in a year. You ladies are brave, bold, ventersome folks; and the chit is but seventeen, and is ill natured, covetous, vicious, and proud in extremes. And so get you gone to Stoyte to morrow.
16. Faith this letter goes on but slow, it is a week old, and the first side not written. I went to day into the city for a walk, but the person I designed to dine with was not at home; so I came back and called at Congreve's, and dined with him and Estcourt and laughed till six, then went to Mr. Harley's, who was not gone to dinner; there I staid till nine, and we made up our quarrel, and he has invited me to dinner to morrow, which is the day of the week (Saturday) that lord keeper and secretary St. John dine with him privately, and at last they have consented to let me among them on that day. Atterbury and Prior went to bury poor Dr. Duke. Congreve's nasty white wine has given me the heartburn.
17. I took some good walks in the park to day, and then went to Mr. Harley. Lord Rivers was got there before me, and I chid him for presuming to come on a day when only lord keeper and the secretary and I were to be there; but he regarded me not; so we all dined together, and sat down at four; and the secretary has invited me to dine with him to morrow. I told them I had no hopes they could ever keep in, but that I saw they loved one another so well, as indeed they seem to do. They call me nothing but Jonathan; and I said, I belived they would leave me Jonathan as they found me; and that I never knew a ministry do any thing for those whom they make companions of their pleasures; and I believe you will find it so; but I care not, I am upon a project of getting five hundred pounds, without being obliged to any body; but that is a secret, till I see my dearest MD; and so hold your tongue, and do not talk, sirrahs, for I am now about it.
18. My head has no fits, but a little disordered before dinner; yet I walk stoutly, and take pills, and hope to mend. Secretary St. John would needs have me dine with him to day, and there I found three persons I never saw, two I had no acquaintance with, and one I did not care for: so I left them early and came home, it being no day to walk, but scurvy rain and wind. The secretary tells me he has put a cheat on me; for lord Peterborow sent him twelve dozen flasks of Burgundy, on condition that I should have my share; but he never was quiet till they were all gone, so I reckon he owes me thirty-six pounds. Lord Peterborow is now got to Vienna, and I must write to him to morrow. I begin now to be toward looking for a letter from some certain ladies of Presto's acquaintance, that live at St Mary's, and are called in a certain language our little MD. No, stay, I do not expect one these six days, that will be just three weeks; an't I a reasonable creature? We are plagued here with an October club; that is, a set of above a hundred parliamentmen of the country, who drink October beer at home, and meet every evening at a tavern near the parliament, to consult affairs, and drive things on to extremes against the whigs, to call the old ministry to account, and get off five or six heads. The ministry seem not to regard them, yet one of them in confidence told me, that there must be something thought on to settle things better. I will tell you one great state secret; the queen, sensible how much she was governed by the late ministry, runs a little into the other extreme, and is jealous in that point, even of those who got her out of the others hands. The ministry is for gentler measures, and the other tories for more violent. Lord Rivers, talking to me the other day, cursed the paper called the Examiner, for speaking civilly of the duke of Marlborough; this I happened to talk of to the secretary, who blamed the warmth of that lord, and some others, and swore, that if their advice were followed they would be blown up in twenty-four hours. And I have reason to think, that they will endeavour to prevail on the queen to put her affairs more into the hands of a ministry than she does at present; and there are, I believe, two men thought on, one of them you have often met the name of in my letters. But so much for politicks.
19. This proved a terrible rainy day, which prevented my walk into the city, and I was only able to run and dine with my neighbour Vanhomrigh, where sir Andrew Fountaine dined too, who has just began to sally out, and has shipped his mother and sister, who were his nurses, back to the country. This evening was fair, and I walked a little in the Park, till Prior made me go with him to the Smyrna coffeehouse, where I sat a while, and saw four or five Irish persons, who are very handsome genteel fellows, but I know not their names. I came away at seven, and got home. Two days ago I writ to Bernage, and told him what I had done, and directed the letter to Mr. Curry's to be left with Dingley. Brigadiers Hill and Masham, brother and husband to Mrs. Masham, the queen's favourite, colonel Disney and I have recommended Bernage to the duke of Argyle; and secretary St. John has given the duke my memorial; and besides, Hill tells me, that Bernage's colonel, Fielding, designs to make him his captain lieutenant: but I believe I said this to you before, and in this letter, but I will not look.
20. Morning. It snows terribly again, and it is mistaken, for I now want a little good weather: I bid you good morrow, and if it clear up, get you gone to poor Mrs. Walls, who has had a hard time of it, but is now pretty well again; I am sorry it is a girl; the poor archdeacon too, see how simply he looked when they told him: what did it cost Stella to be gossip? I will rise, so do you hear, let me see you at night, and do not stay late out, and catch cold, sirrahs. — At night. It grew good weather, and I got a good walk, and dined with Ford upon his opera day: but now all his wine is gone, I shall dine with him no more. I hope to send this letter before I hear from MD: methinks there is — something great in doing so, only I cannot express where it lies; and faith this shall go by Saturday, as sure as you are a rogue. Mrs. Edgworth was to set out but last Monday, so you will not have your box so soon perhaps as this letter; but Sterne told me since, that it is safe at Chester, and that she will take care of it. I would give a guinea you had it.
21. Morning. Faith I hope it will be fair for me to walk into the city, for I take all occasions of walking. — I should be plaguy busy at Laracor if I were there now, cuttting down willows, planting others, scouring my canal, and every kind of thing. If Raymond goes (illegible text) this summer, you must submit, and make them a visit, that we may have another eel and trout fishing; and that Stella may ride by and see Presto in his morning-gown in the garden, and so go up with Joe to the Hill of Bree, and round by Scurlock's Town; O Lord, how I remember names; faith it gives me short sighs: therefore no more of that if you love me. Good morrow, I will go rise like a gentleman, my pills say I must. — At night. Lady Kerry sent to desire me to engage some lords about an affair she has in their house here: I called to see her, but found she had already engaged every lord I knew, and that there was no great difficulty in the matter, and it rained like a dog; so I took coach, for want of better exercise, and dined privately with a hangdog in the city, and walked back in the evening. The days are now long enough to walk in the Park after dinner; and so I do whenever it is fair. This walking is a strange remedy; Mr. Prior walks to make himself fat, and I to bring myself down; he has generally a cough, which he only calls a cold: we often walk round the Park together. So I will go sleep.
22. It snowed all this morning prodigiously, and was some inches thick in three or four hours. I dined with Mr. Lewis of the secretary's office at his lodgings: the chairmen that carried me squeezed a great fellow against a wall, who wisely turned his back, and broke one of the side glasses in a thousand pieces. I fell a scolding, pretended I was like to be cut to pieces, and made them set down the chair in the Park, while they picked out the bits of glasses: and when I paid them, I quarrelled still, so they dared not grumble, and I came off for my fare: but I was plaguy afraid they would have said, God bless your honour, will not you give us something for our glass? Lewis and I were forming a project how I might get three or four hundred pounds, which I suppose may come to nothing. I hope Smyth has brought you your palsy drops; how does Stella do? I begin more and more to desire to know. The three weeks since I had your last is over within two days, and I will allow three for accidents.
23. The snow is gone every bit, except the remainder of some great balls made by the boys. Mr. Sterne was with me this morning about an affair he has before the treasury. That drab Mrs. Edgworth is not yet set out, but will infallibly next Monday, and this is the third infallible Monday, and pox take her! So you will have this letter first; and this shall go to morrow; and if I have one from MD in that time, I will not answer it till my next; only I will say, madam, I received your letter, and so, and so. I dined to day with my Mrs. Butler, who grows very disagreeable.
24. Morning. This letter certainly goes this evening, sure as you are alive, young women, and then you will be so ashamed that I have had none from you; and if I was to reckon like you, I would say, I were six letters before you, for this is N. 16, and I have had your N. 10. But I reckon you have received but fourteen and have sent eleven. I think to go to day a minister of state hunting in the court of requests; for I have something to say to Mr. Harley. And it is fine cold sunshiny weather; I wish dear MD would walk this morning in your Stephen's green: it is as good as our Park, but not so large. Faith this summer we will take a coach for sixpence to the Green Well, the two walks, and thence all the way to Stoyte's. My hearty service to goody Stoyte and Catherine, and I hope Mrs. Walls had a good time. How inconstant I am? I cannot imagine I was ever in love with her. Well, I am going; what have you to say? I do not care how I write now. I do not design to write on this side, these few lines are but so much more than your due, so I will write large or small as I please. O, faith, my hands are starving in bed; I believe it is a hard frost. I must rise, and bid you good bye, for I will seal this letter immediately, and carry it ia my pocket, and put it into the postoffice with my own fair hands. Farewell.
This letter is just a fortnight's journal to day. Yes, and so it is, I am sure, says you, with your two eggs a penny.
There, there, there.
O Lord, I am saying there, there, to myself in all our little keys: and now you talk of keys, that dog Patrick broke the key general of the chest of drawers with six locks, and I have been so plagued to get a new one, beside my good two shillings.
London, Feb. 24, 1710-11.
NOW, young women, I gave in my sixteenth this evening. I dined with Ford, it was his opera day as usual; it is very convenient to me to do so, for coming home early after a walk in the Park, which now the days will allow. I called on the secretary at his office, and he had forgot to give the memorial about Bernage to the duke of Argyle; but two days ago I met the duke, who desired I would give it him myself, which should have more power with him than all the ministry together, as he protested solemnly, repeated it two or three times, and bid me count upon it. So that I verily believe Bernage will be in a very good way to establish himself. I think I can do no more for him at present, and there is an end of that; and so get you gone to bed, for it is late.
25. The three weeks are out yesterday since I had your last, and so now I will be expecting every day a pretty dear letter from my own MD, and hope to hear that Stella has been much better in her head and eyes; my head continues as it was, no fits, but a little disorder every day, which I can easily bear if it will not grow worse. I dined to day with Mr. secretary St. John, on condition I might choose my company, which were lord Rivers, lord Carteret, sir Thomas Mansel, and Mr. Lewis; I invited Masham, Hill, sir John Stanley, and George Granville, but they were engaged; and I did it in revenge of his having such bad company when I dined with him before: so we laughed, &c. And I ventured to go to church to day, which I have not done this month before. Can you send me such a good account of Stella's health, pray now? Yes, I hope, and better too. We dined (says you) at the dean's, and played at cards till twelve, and there came in Mr. French, and Dr. Travors, and Dr. Wittingham, and Mr. (I forgot his name, that I always tell Mrs. Walls of) the banker's son, a pox on him. And we were so merry; I vow they are pure good company. But I lost a crown; for you must know I had always hands tempting me to go out, but never took in any thing, and often two black aces without a manilio; was not that hard. Presto? hold your tongue, &c.
26. I was this morning with Mr. secretary about some business, and he tells me, that colonel Fielding is now going to make Bernage his captain lieutenant, that is, a captain by commission, and the perquisites of the company, but not captain's pay, only the first step to it. I suppose he will like it, and the recommendation to the duke of Argyle goes on. And so trouble me no more about your Bernage; the jackanapes understands what fair solicitors he has got, I warrant you. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined by invitation, with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. You say they are of no consequence; why, they keep as good female company as I do male; I see all the drabs of quality at this end of the town with them; I saw two lady Bettys there this afternoon, the beauty of one, the good breeding and nature of the other, and the wit of neither, would have made a fine woman. Rare walking in the Park now: why do not you walk in the Green of St. Stephen? the walks there are finer gravelled than the Mall. What beasts the Irish women are, never to walk?
27. Dartineuf and I and little Harrison, the new Tatler, and Jervas the painter, dined to day with James, I know not his other name, but it is one of Dartineufs dining places, who is a true epicure. James is Clerk of the Kitchen to the queen, and has a little snug house at St. James's, and we had the queen's wine, and such very fine victuals, that I could not eat it. — Three weeks and three days since my last letter from MD, rare doings! why truly we were so busy with poor Mrs. Walls, that indeed, Presto, we could not write, we were afraid the poor woman would have died: and it pitied us to see the archdeacon, how concerned he was. The dean never came to see her but once; but now she is up again, and we go and sit with her in the evenings. The child died the next day after it was born, and I believe, between friends, she is not very sorry for it. — Indeed, Presto, you are plaguy silly to night, and have not guessed one word right; for she and the child are both well, and it is a fine girl, likely to live; and the dean was godfather, and Mrs. Catherine and I were godmothers; I was going to say Stoyte, but I think I have heard they do not put maids and married women together; though I know not why I think so, nor I do not care; what care I? but I must prate, &c.
28. I walked to day into the city for my health, and there dined, which I always do when the weather is fair, and business permits, that I may be under a necessity of taking a good walk, which is the best thing I can do at present for my health. Some bookseller has raked up every thing I writ, and published it the other day in one volume; but I know nothing of it, it was without my knowledge or consent: it makes a four shilling book, and is called Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. Tooke pretends he knows nothing of it, but I doubt he is at the bottom. One must have patience with these things; the best of it is, I shall be plagued no more. However, I will bring a couple of them over with me for MD, perhaps you may desire to see them. I hear they sell mightily.
March 1. Morning. I have been calling to Patrick to look in his almanack for the day of the month; I did not know but it might be leap year. The almanack says it is the third after leap year, and I always thought till now, that every third year was leap year. I am glad they come so seldom; but I am sure it was otherwise when I was a young man; I see times are mightily changed since then. — Write to me sirrahs, be sure do by the time this side is done, and I will keep the other side for the answer: so I will go write to the bishop of Clogher; good morrow, sirrahs. —— Night. I dined to day at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, being a rainy day, and lady Betty Butler knowing it, sent to let me know she expected my company in the evening, where the Vans (so we call them) were to be. The duchess and they do not go over this Summer with the duke; so I got to bed.
2. This rainy weather undoes me in coaches and chairs. I was traipsing to day with your Mr. Sterne, to go along with them to Moor, and recommend his business to the treasury. Sterne tells me his dependence is wholly on me; but I have absolutely refused to recommend it to Mr. Harley, because I troubled him lately so much with other folk's affairs; and besides, to tell the truth, Mr. Harley told me he did not like Sterne's business; however, I will serve him, because I suppose MD would have me. But in saying his dependence lies wholly on me, he lies, and is a fool. I dined with lord Abercorn, whose son Peasley will be married at Easter to ten thousand pounds.
3. I forgot to tell you that yesterday morning I was at Mr. Harley's levee: he swore I came in spite, to see him among a parcel of fools. My business was to desire I might let the duke of Ormond know how the affair stood of the first-fruits. He promised to let him know it, and engaged me to dine with him to day. Every Saturday lord keeper, secretary St. John, and I dine with him, and some times lord Rivers, and they let in none else. Patrick brought me some letters into the Park; among which was one from Walls, and the other, yes faith, the other was from our little MD, N. 11. I read the rest in the Park, and MD's in a chair as I went from St. James's to Mr. Harley, and glad enough I was faith to read it, and see all right: O, but I will not answer it these three or four days, at least, or may be sooner. Am not I silly? faith your letters would make a dog silly, if I had a dog to be silly, but it must be a little dog — I staid with Mr. Harley till past nine, where we had much discourse together after the rest were gone; and I gave him very truly my opinion where he desired it. He complained he was not very well, and has engaged me to dine with him again on Monday. So I came home afoot, like a fine gentleman, to tell you all this.
4. I dined to day with Mr. secretary St. John; and after dinner he had a note from Mr. Harley, that he was much out of order; pray God preserve his health, every thing depends upon it. The parliament at present cannot go a step without him, nor the queen neither. I long to be in Ireland; but the ministry beg me to stay: however, when this parliament hurry is over, I will endeavour to steal away; by which time I hope the first-fruit business will be done. This kingdom is certainly ruined as much as was ever any bankrupt merchant. We must have peace, let it be a bad or a good one, though nobody dares talk of it. The nearer I look upon things, the worse I like them. I believe the confederacy will soon break to pieces; and our factions at home increase. The ministry is upon a very narrow bottom, and stand like an isthmus between the whigs on one side, and violent tories on the other. They are able seamen, but the tempest is too great, the ship too rotten, and the crew all against them. Lord Somers has been twice in the queen's closet, once very lately; and your duchess of Somerset, who now has the key, is a most insinuating woman, and I believe they will endeavour to play the same game that has been played against them. — I have told them of all this, which they know already, but they cannot help it. They have cautioned the queen so much against being governed, that she observes it too much. I could talk till to morrow upon these things, but they make me melancholy. I could not but observe that lately after much conversation with Mr. Harley, though he is the most fearless man alive, and the least apt to despond, he confessed to me, that uttering his mind to me gave him ease.
5. Mr. Harley continues out of order, yet his, affairs force him abroad: he is subject to a sore throat, and was cupped last night: I sent and called two or three times. I hear he is better this evening. I dined to day in the city with Dr. Freind at a third body's house, where I was to pass for some body else, and there was a plaguy silly jest carried on, that made me sick of it. Our weather grows fine, and I will walk like camomile. And pray walk you to your dean's, or your Stoyte's, or your Manley's or your Walls'. But your new lodgings make yoa so proud, you will walk less than ever. Come, let me go to bed, sirrahs.
6. Mr. Harley's going out yesterday has put him a little backward. I called twice, and sent, for I am in pain for him. Ford caught me, and made me dine with him on his opera day; so I brought Mr. Lewis with me, and sat with him till six. I have not seen Mr. Addison these three weeks; all our friendship is over. I go to no coffeehouse. I presented a parson of the bishop of Clogher's, one Richardson, to the duke of Ormond to day: he is translating prayers and sermons into Irish, and has a project about instructing the Irish in the protestant religion.
7. Morning. Faith, a little would make me, I could find in my heart, if it were not for one thing, I have a good mind, if I had not something else to do, I would answer your dear saucy letter. O Lord, I am going awry with writing in bed. O faith, but I must answer it, or I shall not have room, for it must go on Saturday; and do not think I will fill the third side, I am not come to that yet, young women. Well then as for your Bernage, I have said enough: I writ to him last week. — Turn over that leaf. Now, what says MD to the world to come? I tell you, madam Stella, my head is a great deal better, and I hope will keep so. How came yours to be fifteen days coming, and you had my fifteenth in seven? answer me that, rogues. Your being with goody Walls is excuse enough: I find I was mistaken in the sex, it is a boy. Yes, I understand your cypher, and Stella guesses right, as she always does. He gave me al bsadnuk lboinlpl dfaonr ufainfbtoy dpionufnad, which I sent him again by Mr. Lewis, to whom I writ a very complaining letter that was showed him; and so the matter ended. He told me he had a quarrel with me; I said I had another with him, and we returned to our friendship, and I should think he loves me as well as a great minister can love a man in so short a time. Did not I do right? I am glad at heart you have got your palsy water; pray God Almighty it may do my dearest Stella good. I suppose Mrs. Edgworth set out last Monday sennight. Yes, I do read the Examiners, and they are written very finely as you judge. I do not think they are too severe on the duke; they only tax him of avarice, and his avarice has ruined us. You may count upon all things in them to be true. The author has said, it is not Prior; but perhaps it may be Atterbury. — Now, madam Dingley, says she, it is fine weather, says she; yes, says she, and we have got to our new lodgings. I compute you ought to save eight pounds by being in the others five months; and you have no more done it than eight thousand. I am glad you are rid of that squinting, blinking Frenchman. I will give you a bill on Parvisol for five pound for the half year. And must I go on at four shillings a week, and neither eat nor drink for it? who the D— said Atterbury and your dean were alike? I never saw your chancellor, nor his chaplain. The latter has a good deal of learning, and is a well wisher to be an author: your chancellor is an excellent man. As for Patrick's bird, he bought him for his tameness, and is grown the wildest I ever saw. His wings have been quilled thrice, and are now up again: he will be able to fly after us to Ireland, if he be willing. — Yes, Mrs. Stella, Dingley writes more like Presto than you; for all you superscribed the letter, as who should say, why should not I write like our Presto as well as Dingley? You with your SS; cannot you write them thus, SS? No, but always SSS. Spiteful sluts, to affront Presto's writing; as that when you shut your eyes you write most like Presto. I know the time when I did not write to you half so plain as I do now; but I take pity on you both. I am very much concerned for Mrs. Walls's eyes. Walls says nothing of it to me in his letter dated after yours. You say, if she recovers she may lose her sight. I hope she is in no danger of her life. Yes, Ford is as sober, as I please: I use him to walk with me as an easy companion, always ready for what I please, when I am weary of business and ministers. I do not go to a coffeehouse twice a month. I am very regular in going to sleep before eleven. — And so you say that Stella's a pretty girl; and so she be, and methinks I see her now as handsome as the day is long. Do you know what? when I am writing in our language I make up my mouth just as if I was speaking it. I caught myself at it just now. And I suppose Dingley is so fair and so fresh as a lass in May, and has her health, and no spleen. — In your account you sent do you reckon as usual from the 1st of November was twelvemonth? poor Stella, will not Dingley leave her a little daylight to write to Presto? well, well, we will have daylight shortly, spight of her teeth; and zoo must cly Lele, and Hele, and Hele aden. Must loo mimitate Pdfr, pay? Iss, and so la shall. And so leles fol ee rettle. Dood mollow. — At night. Mrs. Barton sent this morning to invite me to dinner; and there I dined, just in that genteel manner that MD used when they would treat some better sort of body than usual.
8. O dear MD, my heart is almost broken. You will hear the thing before this comes to you. I writ a full account of it this night to the archbishop of Dublin; and the dean may tell you the particulars from the archbishop. I was in a sorry way to write, but thought it might be proper to send a true account of the fact; for you will hear a thousand lying circumstances. It is of Mr. Harley's being stabbed this afternoon at three o'clock at a committee of the council. I was playing lady Catherine Morris's cards, where I dined, when young Arundel came in with the story. I ran away immediately to the secretary, which was in my way: no one was at home. I met Mrs. St. John in her chair; she had heard it imperfectly. I took a chair to Mr. Harley, who was asleep, and they hope in no danger; but he has been out of order, and was so when he came abroad to day, and it may put him in a fever: I am in mortal pain for him. That desperate French villain, marquis de Guiscard, stabbed Mr. Harley. Guiscard was taken up by Mr. secretary St. John's warrant for high treason, and brought before the lords to be examined; there he stabbed Mr. Harley. I have told all the particulars already to the archbishop. I have now at nine sent again, and they tell me he is in a fair way. Pray pardon my distraction? I now think of all his kindness to me. — The poor creature now lies stabbed in his bed by a desperate French popish villain. Good night, and God preserve you both, and pity me; I want it.
9. Morning; seven, in bed. Patrick is just come from Mr. Harley's. He slept well till four; the surgeon sat up with him: he is asleep again: he felt a pain in his wound when he waked: they apprehend him in no danger. This account the surgeon left with the porter, to tell people that send. Pray God preserve him. I am rising and going to Mr. secretary St. John. They say Guiscard will die with the wounds Mr. St. John and the rest gave him. I shall tell you more at night. — Night. Mr. Harley still continues on the mending hand; but he rested ill last night, and felt pain. I was early with the secretary this morning, and I dined with him, and he told me several particularities of this accident, too long to relate now. Mr. Harley is still mending this evening, but not at all out of danger; and till then I can have no peace. Good night, &c. and pity Presto.
10. Mr. Harley was restless last night; but he has no fever, and the hopes of mending increases. I had a letter from Mr. Walls, and one from Mr. Bernage. I will answer them here, not having time to write. Mr. Walls writes about three things. First; about a hundred pounds from Dr. Raymond, of which I hear nothing, and it is now too late. Secondly, about Mr. Clements: I can do nothing in it, because I am not to mention Mr. Pratt; and I cannot recommend without knowing Mr. Pratt's objections, whose relation Clements is, and who brought him into the place. The third is about my being godfather to the child: that is in my power, and (since there is no remedy) will submit. I wish you could hinder it; but if it cannot be helped, pay what you think proper, and get the provost to stand for me, and let his christian name be Harley, in honour to my friend, now lying stabbed and doubtful of his life. As for Bernage, he writes me word, that his colonel has offered to make him captain lieutenant for a hundred pounds. He was such a fool to offer him money without writing to me till it was done, though I have had a dozen letters from him; and then he desires I would say nothing of this, for fear his colonel should be angry. People are mad. What can I do? I engaged colonel Disney, who was one of his solicitors to the secretary, and then told him the story. He assured me, that Fielding (Bernage's colonel) said he might have got that sum; but on account of those great recommendations he had, would give it him for nothing: and I would have Bernage write him a letter of thanks, as of a thing given him for nothing, upon recommendations, &c. Disney tells me he will again speak to Fielding, and clear up this matter; and then I will write to Bernage. A pox on him for promising money till I had it promised to me, and then making it such a ticklish point, that one cannot expostulate with the colonel upon it: but let him do as I say, and there is an end. I engaged the secretary of state in it; and am sure it was meant a kindness to me, and that no money should be given, and a hundred pounds is too much in a Smithfield bargain, as a major general told me, whose opinion I asked. I am now hurried, and can say no more. Farewell, &c. &c.
How shall I superscribe to your new lodgings, pray madams? Tell me but that impudence and saucy face.
An't you sauceboxes to write lele [i. e. there] like Presto?
O poor Presto!
Mr. Harley is better to night, that makes me so pert, you saucy Gog and Magog.
London, March 10, 1710-11.
PRETTY little MD must expect little from me till Mr. Harley is out of danger. We hope he is so now: but I am subject to fear for my friends. He has a head full of the whole business of the nation, was out of order when the villain stabbed him, and had a cruel contusion by the second blow. But all goes well on yet. Mr. Ford and I dined with Mr. Lewis, and we hope the best.
11. This morning Mr. secretary and I met at court, where we went to the queen, who is out of order and aguish: I doubt the worst for this accident to Mr. Harley. We went together to his house, and his wound looks well, and he is not feverish at all, and I think it is foolish in me to be so much in pain as I am. I had the penknife in my hand, which is broken within a quarter of an inch of the handle. I have a mind to write and publish an account of all the particularities of this fact: it will be very curious, and I would do it when Mr. Harley is past danger.
12. We have been in terrible pain to day about Mr. Harley, who never slept last night, and has been very feverish. But this evening I called there, and young Mr. Harley (his only son) tells me he is now much better, and was then asleep. They let nobody see him, and that is perfectly right. The w:Parliament of the United Kingdom|parliament cannot go on till he is well, and are forced to adjourn their money businesses, which none but he can help them in. Pray God preserve him.
13. Mr. Harley is better to day, slept well all night, and we are a little out of our fears. I send and call three or four times every day. I went into the city for a walk, and dined there with a private man; and coming home this evening broke my shin in the Strand over a tub of sand left just in the way. I got home dirty enough, and went straight to bed, where I have been cooking it with goldbeaters skin, and have been peevish enough with Patrick, who was near an hour bringing a rag from next door. It is my right shin, where never any humour fell when the other used to swell: so I apprehend it less: however I shall not stir till it is well, which I reckon will be in a week. I am very careful in these sort of things; but I wish I had Mrs. Johnson's water: she is out of town, and I must make a shift with alum. I will dine with Mrs. Vanhomrigh till I am well, who lives but five doors off: and that I may venture.
Mr. Harley's mending, and of my broken shin. I just walked to my neighbour Vanhomrigh at two, and came away at six, when little Harrison the Tatler came to me, and begged me to dictate a paper to him, which I was forced in charity to do. Mr. Harley still mends; and I hope in a day or two to trouble you no more with him, nor with my shin. Go to bed and sleep, sirrahs, that you may rise to morrow and walk to Donnybrook, and lose your money with Stoyte and the dean; do so dear little rogues, and drink Presto's health. O, pray, do not you drink Presto's health sometimes with your deans, and your Stoytes, and your Walls, and your Manleys, and your every bodies, pray now? I drink MD's to myself a hundred thousand times.. My journals are like to be very diverting, now I cannot stir abroad, between accounts of
15. I was this morning at Mr. secretary St. John's for all my shin, and he has given me for young Harrison, the Tatler, the prettiest employment in Europe; secretary to lord Raby, who is to be ambassador extraordinary at the Hague, where all the great affairs will be concerted; so we shall lose the Tatlers in a fortnight. I will send Harrison to morrow morning to thank the secretary. Poor Biddy Floyd has got the smallpox. I called this morning to see lady Betty Germain; and when she told me so, I fairly took my leave. I have the luck of it; for about ten days ago I was to see lord Carteret; and my lady was entertaining me with telling of a young lady, a cousin, who was then ill in the house of the smallpox, and is since dead: it was near lady Betty's, and I fancy Bibby took the fright by it. I dined with Mr. secretary, and a physician came in just from Guiscard, who tells us he is dying of his wounds, and can hardly live till to morrow. A poor wench that Guiscard kept, sent him a bottle of sack; but the keeper would not let him touch it, for fear it was poison. He had two quarts of old clotted blood come out of his side to day, and is delirious. I am sorry he is dying; for they have found out a way to hang him. He certainly had an intention to murder the queen.
16. I have made but little progress in this letter for so many days, thanks to Guiscard and Mr. Harley; and it would be endless to tell you all the particulars of that odious fact. I do not yet hear that Guiscard is dead, but they say it is impossible he should recover. I walked too much yesterday for a man with a broken shin; to day I rested, and went no farther than Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, where I dined; and lady Betty Butler coming in about six, I was forced in good manners to sit with her till nine; then I came home, and Mr. Ford came in to visit my shin, and sat with me till eleven: so I have been very idle and naughty. It vexes me to the pluck that I should lose walking this delicious day. Have you seen the Spectator yet, a paper that comes out every day? It is written by Mr. Steele, who seems to have gathered new life, and have a new fund of wit; it is in the same nature as his Tatlers, and they have all of them had something pretty. I believe Addison club. I never see them; and I plainly told Mr. Harley and Mr. St. John, ten days ago, before my lord keeper and lord Rivers, I had been foolish enough to spend my credit with them in favour of Addison and Steele; but that I would engage and promise never to say one word in their behalf, having been used so ill for what I had already done. — So, now I have got into the way of prating again, there will be no quiet for me. When Presto begins to prate, Give him a rap upon the pate. — O Lord, how I blot; it is time to leave off, &c.
17. Guiscard died this morning at two, and the coroner's inquest have found that he was killed by bruises received from a messenger, so to clear the cabinet counsellors from whom he received his wounds. I had a letter from Raymond, who cannot hear of your box; but I hope you have it before this comes to your hands. I dined to day with Mr. Lewis of the secretary's office. Mr. Harley has abundance of extravasated blood comes from his breast out of his wound, and will not be well so soon as we expected. I had something to say, but cannot call it to mind (what was it?)
18. I was to day at court to look for the duke of Argyle, and give him the memorial about Bernage. The duke goes with the first fair wind: I could not find him, but I have given the memorial to another to give him; and, however, it shall be sent after him. Bernage has made a blunder in offering money to his colonel without my advice; however he is made captain lieutenant, only he must recruit the company, which will cost him forty pounds, and that is cheaper than a hundred. I dined to day with Mr. secretary St. John, and staid till seven, but would not drink his champaign and burgundy, for fear of the gout. My shin mends but is not well. I hope it will by the time I send this letter, next Saturday.
19. I went to day into the city, but in a coach, tossed up my leg on the seat; and as I came home I went to see poor Charles Barnard's books, which are to be sold by auction, and I itch to lay out nine or ten pounds for some fine editions of fine authors. But it is too far, and I shall let it slip, as I usually do all such opportunities. I dined in a coffeehouse with Stratford upon chops, and some of his wine. Where did MD dine? Why, poor MD dined at home to day, because of the archbishop, and they could not go abroad, and had a breast of mutton and a pint of wine. I hope Mrs. Walls mends; and pray give me an account what sort of godfather I made, and whether I behaved myself handsomely. The duke of Argyle is gone; and whether he has my memorial, I know not, till I see Dr. Arbuthnot, to whom I gave it. That hard name belongs to a Scotch doctor, an acquaintance of the duke's and me; Stella cannot pronounce it. O, that we were at Laracor this fine day! the willows begin to peep, and the quicks to bud. My dream is out: I was a dreaming last night that I eat ripe cherries. — And now they begin to catch the pikes, and will shortly the trouts (pox on these ministers), and I would fain know whether the floods were ever so high as to get over the holly bank or the river walk; if so, then all my pikes are gone; but I hope not. Why do not you ask Parvisol these things, sirrahs? And then my canal, and trouts, and whether the bottom be fine and clear? But harkee, ought not Parvisol to pay in my last year's rents and arrears out of his hands? I am thinking, if either of you have heads to take his accounts, it should be paid in to you; otherwise to Mr. Walls. I will write an order on the other side; and do as you will. Here is a world of business; but I must go sleep I am drowsy; and so good night, &c.
20. This sore shin ruins me in coach-hire; no less than two shillings to day going and coming from the city, where I dined with one you never heard of, and passed an insipid day. I writ this post to Bernage, with the account I told you above. I hope he will like it; it is his own fault, or it would have been better. I reckon your next letter will be full of Mr. Harley's stabbing. He still mends, but abundance of extravasated blood has come out of the wound: he keeps his bed, and sees nobody. The speaker's eldest son is just dead of the smallpox, and the house is adjourned a week, to give him time to wipe off his tears. I think it very handsomely done; but I believe one reason is, that they want Mr. Harley so much. Biddy Floyd is like to do well: and so go to your dean's, and roast his oranges, and lose your money, do so, you saucy sluts. Stella, you lost three shillings and four pence the other night at Stoyte's, yes, you did, and Presto stood in a corner, and saw you all the while, and then stole away. I dream very often I am in Ireland, and that I have left my clothes and things behind me, and have not taken leave of any body; and that the ministry expect me to morrow, and such nonsense.
21. I would not for a guinea have a letter from you till this goes; and go it shall on Saturday, faith. I dined with Mrs. Vanhomrigh, to save my shin, and then went on some business to the secretary, and he was not at home.
22. Yesterday was a short day's journal: but what care I? what cares saucy Presto? Darteneuf invited me to dinner to day. Do not you know Darteneuf? That is the man that knows every thing, and that every body knows; and that knows where a knot of rabble are going on a holiday, and when they were there last: and then I went to the coffeehouse. My shin mends, but is not healed: I ought to keep it up but I do not; I e'en let it go as it comes. Pox take Parvisol and his watch. If I do not receive the ten pound bill I am to get toward it, I will neither receive watch nor chain; so let Parvisol know.
23. I this day appointed the duke of Ormond to meet him at Ned Southwell's, about an affair of printing Irish prayer book, &c. but the duke never came. There Southwell had letters that two packets are taken; so if MD writ then, the letters are gone; for they were packets coming here. Mr. Harley is not yet well, but his extravasated blood continues, and I doubt he will not be quite well in a good while: I find you have heard of the fact, by Southwell's letters from Ireland: What do you think of it? I dined with sir John Perceval, and saw his lady sitting in the bed, in the forms of a lying in woman; and coming home my sore shin itched, and I forgot what it was, and rubbed off the scab, and blood came; but I am now got into bed, and have put on alum curd, and it is almost well. Lord Rivers told me yesterday a piece of bad news, as a secret, that the pretender is going to be married to the duke of Savoy's daughter. It is very bad, if it be true. We were walking in the Mall with some Scotch lords, and he could not tell it until they were gone, and he bade me tell it to none but the secretary of state and MD. This goes to morrow, and I have no room but to bid my dearest little MD good night.
24. I will now seal up this letter, and send it; for I reckon to have none from you (it is morning now) between this and night; and I will put it in the post with my own hands. I am going out in great haste; so farewell, &c.
- These letters to Stella, or Mrs. Johnson, were all written in a series from the time of Dr. Swift's landing at Chester, in September 1710, until his return to Ireland, upon being made dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. The letters were all very carefully preserved by Stella; and at her death, if not before, taken back by Dr. Swift; for what end we know not, unless it were to compare the current news of the times with that history of the queen which he writ at Windsor in the year 1713: they were sometimes addressed to Mrs. Johnson, and sometimes to Mrs. Dingley, who was a relation of the Temple family, and friend to Mrs. Johnson. Both these ladies went over to Ireland upon Swift's invitation in the year 1701, and lodged constantly together.
- Mr. Joseph Beaumont, merchant, of Trim, whose name frequently occurs in these papers. He was a venerable, handsome, grayheaded man, of quick and various natural abilities, but not improved by learning: his forte was mathematicks, which he applied to some useful purposes in the linen trade, but chiefly to the investigation of the longitude; which was supposed to have occasioned a lunacy, with which he was seized in Dublin about the year 1718; whence he was brought home to Trim, and recovered his understanding. But some years after, having relapsed into his former malady, he cut his throat in a fit of distraction.
- Vicar of Trim, and formerly one of the fellows of the University of Dublin.
- Dr. St. George Ashe, who, in the reign of George I, was made bishop of Derry.
- This must have been while Swift was sailing in the bay of Dublin, and the bishop riding upon the North Strand.
- Dr. John Hough.
- Elizabeth, lady of Garret Wesley, esq., one of the daughters of sir Dudley Colley.
- This commission was, to solicit the queen to remit the first-fruits and twentieth parts, payable to the crown by the clergy of Ireland.
- The earl of Godolphin.
- Lady Giffard was sister to sir William Temple.
- She was at that time in lady Giffard's family.
- The Doctor's benefice in the diocese of Meath.
- Richard Steele, esq.
- In these letters Pdfr, for Dr. Swift; Ppt, for Stella; D. for Dingley; D.D. generally for Dingley, but sometimes for both Stella and Dingley; and MD generally stands for both these ladies; yet sometimes only for Stella. But, to avoid perplexing the reader, it was thought more advisable to use the word Presto for Swift, which is borrowed from the duchess of Shrewsbury, who, whimsically called him Dr. Presto, which is the Italian for Swift.
- The doctor's agent at Laracor.
- Nephew to sir William.
- This coldness between the Temple family and Dr. Swift has been variously accounted for, but never satisfactorily cleared up.
- Dr. Pratt, afterward dean of Downe.
- A gentleman of fortune in the county of Westmeath, in Ireland, whose name often occurs in these letters. He was well acquainted with Stella, and seems to have had a great esteem for her merit and accomplishments.
- Dr. Sterne, dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin.
- This money was a premium of a hundred pounds the government had promised him for his mathematical sleaing tables, calculated for the improvement of the linen manufactory, which were afterward printed, and are still highly regarded.
- Manley was post mastergeneral of Ireland.
- See Tatler, No. 193.
- The doctor's bookseller.
- Vicetreasurer of Ireland.
- Lord Somers.
- Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, afterward bishop of Winchester.
- Supposed to be Mrs. Barton.
- He succeeded sir Thomas Felton, March 25, 1709-10.
- See his epitaphs in vol. XVIII.
- See this Tatler (No. 230) in the Fifth volume of this collection.
- John, earl of Anglesea, succeeded his brother James September 19, 1701. He was joint vice treasurer of Ireland.
- 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.
- See the Journal hereafter, October 20, 1710.
- John Molesworth, envoy extraordinary from queen Anne to the grand duke of Tuscany, and from king George I, in 1720, to the king of Sardinia; and afterward to the states of Venice and Switzerland. He was a commissioner of the stampoffice, and the second lord viscount Molesworth, succeeding to that title in May, 1723, but lived only to the 17th of the following February.
- The doctor's housekeeper.
- This must have been at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's.
- This was, the Virtues of Sid Hamet the Magician's Rod.
- Dr. Raymond is only called his father, because he espoused Mr. Morgan's interest with all his power.
- The doctor's curate at Laracor.
- A commissioner of the revenue, &c. afterward speaker.
- The earl of Godolphin.
- Sir Paul Methuen, a very ingenious gentleman, who was ambassador at the court of Portugal. His collection of pictures is esteemed one of the finest in England.
- When this letter was written there were no turnpike roads in Ireland: but the case now is quite altered.
- He was tried at the Old Bailey, Jan. 15, 1710-11; and was acquitted.
- A privy counsellor, and secretary of State for Ireland.
- Sir Godfrey Kneller's, the painter.
- Dr. Sterne. He bequeathed 1200l. to build a spire on St. Patrick's cathedral.
- George Henry Hay, viscount Dupplin, eldest son to the earl of Kinnoul, to which title he afterward succeeded.
- These words plainly refer to some particular publication of Swift's, which he supposes induced the ministers to court him. It is certain, that after he had become intimate with the ministry, they freely acknowledged to him in conversation, that he was the only man in England they were afraid of.
- Seventy-three lines in folio upon one page, and in a very small hand.
- A French protestant nobleman, who fled from France to avoid persecution on account of his religion.
- Perhaps No. 258; which will be found in .
- The upper part of the letter was a little besmeared with some such stuff; the mark is still on it.
- That is, to the next page; for he is now within three lines of the bottom of the first.
- Joshua Dawson, esq., secretary to the lord justices of Ireland. He built a very fine house in a street called by his own name, which is now the mansion house of the lord mayor of Dublin.
- No. 230, printed in vol. V.
- This appears to be an interjection of surprise at the length of his journal.
- It is reported of this colonel Ambrose Edgworth, that he once made a visit to one of his brothers, who lived at the distance of about one day's journey from his house, and that he travelled to see him with his led horse, portmantuas, &c. As soon as he arrived at his brother's, the portmantuas were unpacked, and three suits of fine clothes, one finer than another, hung upon chairs in his bedchamber, together with his nightgown, and shaving plate, disposed in their proper places. The next morning, upon his coming down to breakfast, with his boots on, his brother asked him where he proposed riding before dinner: I am going directly home, said the colonel. Lord! said his brother, I thought you intended to stay some time with us. No, replied the colonel, I cannot stay with you at present; I only just came to see you and my sister, and must return home this morning. And accordingly his clothes, &c. were packed up, and off he went.
But what merit soever the colonel might have had to boast of, his son Talbot Edgworth excelled him by at least fifty bars length. Talbot never thought of any thing but fine clothes, splendid furniture for his horse, and exciting, as he flattered himself, universal admiration. In these pursuits he expended his whole income, which, at best, was very inconsiderable; in other respects he cared not how he lived. To do him justice, he was an exceeding handsome fellow, well shaped, and of a good height, rather tall than of the middle size. He began very early in his life, even before he was of age, to shine forth in the world, and continued to blaze during the whole reign of George the First. He bethought himself very happily of one extravagance, well suited to his disposition: he insisted upon an exclusive right to one board at Lucas's coffeehouse, where he might walk backward and forward, and exhibit his person to the gaze of all beholders; in which particular he was indulged almost universally: but now and then some arch fellow would usurp on his privilege, take possession of the board, meet him, and dispute his right; and when this happened to be the case, he would chafe, bluster, ask the gentleman his name, and immediately set him down in his tablebook, as a man that he would fight when he came to age. With regard to the female world, his common phrase was, They may look and die. In short, he was the jest of the men, and the contempt of the women. D S. This unhappy man, being neglected by his relations in his lunacy, was taken into custody during his illness, and confined in Bridewell, Dublin, where he died.
- Youngest daughter of the duke of Ormond. See an account of her death and character .
- See Oct. 5, p. 218.
- These words, notwithstanding their great obscurity at present, were very clear and intelligible to Mrs. Johnson: they referred to conversations, which passed between her and Dr. Tisdall seven or eight years before; when the doctor, who was not only a learned and faithful divine, but a zealous church tory, frequently entertained her with convocation disputes. See .
- There is a particular compliment to Stella couched in these words. Stella was herself an Englishwoman, born at Richmond in Surry; nevertheless she respected the interest and the honour of Ireland, where she had lived for some years, with a generous patriotick spirit.
- M. Sartre died September 30, 1713. His widow (afterward married to Daniel Combes, esq.) died March 2, 1750.
- Congreve was born in the year 1672: consequently he was between four and five years younger than Dr. Swift.
- This gentleman, as well as Dr. Swift, was one of the chaplains to lord Berkeley, when lord lieutenant; and was promoted to the deanery of Derry, which had been previously promised to Dr. Swift; but Mr. Bushe, the principal secretary, for weighty reasons best known to himself, laid Dr. Swift aside, unless he would pay him a large sum, which the doctor refused with the utmost contempt and scorn. He was afterward promoted to the archbishoprick of Cashel. He was one of the most eloquent speakers of his time, and was a very learned man, especially in church history.
- It is actually better written, and in a plainer hand.
- PMD. This cypher stands for Presto, Stella, and Dingley; as much as to say, it looks like us three quite retired from all the rest of the world.
- Probably on Taste in Reading, addressed to sir Andrew Fountaine.
- She was then at Lynn in Norfolk.
- Speaker of the house of commons, and lord chief justice of the queen's bench, in Ireland.
- He was writing the Examiner at this time.
- To make this intelligible, it is necessary to observe, that the words this fortnight in the preceding sentence, were first written in what he calls their little language, and afterwards scratched out and written plain. It must be confessed this little language, which passed current between Swift and Stella, has occasioned infinite trouble in the revisal of these papers.
- So written for apologies.
- He certainly means the ridicule of triplets in particular.
- This jest is lost, whatever it was, for want of MD's letter.
- Here he writ with his eyes shut, and the writing is somewhat crooked, although as well in other respects as if his eyes had been open.
- St. Andrew's
- See this Tatler in .
- The aldermen of Dublin were fanatical in those days; but, about twenty years after the date of this letter, the protestant party so far prevailed, that they have since that period kept out fanaticks of all denominations.
- Lynn Regis.
- Chancellor of the exchequer in Ireland.
- i. e. His attendance in parliament.
- William Cadogan, esq., was quarter master general in 1701; colonel of a regiment of horse in 1703; brigadier general in 1704; plenipotentiary to the Spanish Netherlands and major general in 1706; lieutenant general in 1709; on the accession of king George master of the robes, and colonel of the second regiment of horseguards; knight of the Thistle in 1715; governor of the isle of Wight, and plenipotentiary to Holland in 1716; created lord Cadogan, June 21, that year; baron Oakley, viscount Caversham, and earl Cadogan, April 17, 1718. On the death of the duke of Marlborough in 1722, he was master general of the ordnance, and colonel of the first regiment of foot guards. He died July 17, 1726. — No officer was ever so much relied on by the duke of Marlborough as general Cadogan. He had the care of marking out almost every camp during the war in the Netherlands and Germany; which he executed so skilfully, that, it was observed, the duke was never surprised or attacked in his camp during the whole war.
- He seems to have written these words in a whim, for the sake of what follows.
- The ministry never could prevail upon the doctor to preach before the queen.
- Dr. Lambert was chaplain to lord Wharton. He was censured in the lower house of convocation of Ireland as author of a libelling letter.
- An equestrian statue of king William III, in College Green, Dublin. It was common in the days of party, for wild young students of the university of Dublin to play several tricks with this statue. Sometimes in their frolicks they would set a mawkin behind the effigies of the king; sometimes dress up the horse and rider with bows and sheaves of straw; but their infernal sin was that of whipping the truncheon out of the rider's hand, and thereby leaving the poor statue defenceless. For these and the like freaks, many young gentlemen were in former days expelled the university. But, in aftertimes, there was ample amends made to the statue for these affronts; if wheeling round its pedestal with all gravity and solemnity, then alighting from coaches, falling down upon the knees, and drinking to the glorious and immortal memory of the dead, with eyes lifted up to the statue, could express the gratitude and devotion of its adorers. It is said, that what originally gave the students offence, was the site of the statue; the front of it being directed to the city, and the back diametrically opposite to the great and beautiful entrance of the college.
- Dr. St. George Ashe.
- Of the university of Dublin.
- Dr. John Vesey, bishop of Limerick, June 11, 1672; translated to Tuam, March 18, 1678. He died in 1716.
- Writing the Examiner.
- Although it be said in jest, there is some truth in this.
- Son to the duke of Somerset.
- Enoch Sterne, esq., clerk to the house of lords in Ireland, and collector of Wicklow.
- Mrs. Fenton was sister to Dr. Swift.
- Steele (having rendered the Tatler obnoxious for party meddling) very prudently dropped it, and began the Spectator upon a new and better plan.
- After is interlined.
- Dillon Ashe.
- Dr. Sterne, dean of St. Patrick's, was not a married man, which seems to have been the cause of this surprise in MD.
- Mr. Bateman, who lived in Little Britain, dealt principally in old books.
- Sir Constantine Phipps.
- These are afterward called the October Club.
- Probably against the Character of Lord Wharton.
- In that word there was some puzzling characters.
- These are the words of MD.
- About a mile from Dublin.
- MD's lodgings opposite to St. Mary's church in Stafford street.
- Mrs. Beaumont.
- This l. bank note; see Journal of March 7, 1710-11. to the 50
- Stella's hand had a great deal of the air of the doctor's; but she writ more legibly, and rather better.
- The Examiner.
- A crease in the sheet.
- In the original it was, good mollows, little sollahs. But in these words, and many others, he writes constantly llfor rr.
- Those letters which are in italicks, in the original are of a monstrous size, which occasioned his calling himself a loggerhead.
- A shilling passes for thirteen pence in Ireland.
- Robert Cope, esq., a gentleman of learning, good fortune, and family; and a correspondent of Dr. Swift's. See vol. XII of this collection.
- Mr. Richard Estcourt; a player and dramatick writer celebrated in the Spectator, and in the Miscellaneous Works of Dr. King, vol. III, pages 86, 307.
- It was a measured mile round the outer wall; and far beyond any the finest square in London.
- The common fare for a set down in Dublin.
- Mrs. Stoyte lived at Donnybrook, the road to which from Stephen's green ran into the country about a mile from the southeast corner.
- Those words in italicks are written in a very large hand, and so is the word in one of the next lines.
- In his cypher way of writing to Stella, he writes the word There, Lele.
- i. e. without the wit of either.
- There seems to be a false concord in this passage: however, as the word victuals is a peculiar sort of noun, which is never used in the singular number, but, like food, implies either one or more dishes, the phrase may be excused, whether Swift had any authority to back him or not.
- The October Club.
- Mr. Harley.
- A bank bill for fifty pound. See before Journal of February 8, 1710-11.
- Even to his beloved Stella he had not acknowledged himself, at this time, to be the author of the Examiner.
- Print cannot do justice to whims of this kind, as they depend wholly upon the awkward shape of the letters.
- This refers to that strange spelling, &c. which abounds in these journals; but which could be no entertainment to the reader.
- This is one specimen of his way of writing to Stella in these journals. The meaning of this pretty language is; "And you must cry There, and Here, and Here again. Must you imitate Presto, pray? Yes, and so you shall. And so there's for your letter. Good morrow."
- Dr. Swift never had the smallpox.
- It is reasonable to suppose that Swift's acquaintance with Arbuthnot commenced just about this time; for in the original letter Swift mispels his name, and writes it Arthburthnet, in a clear large hand, that MD might not mistake any of the letters.
- Created baron Perceval, April 21, 1715, viscount Perceval, Feb. 25, 1722, and earl of Egmont, Nov. 6, 1733, all Irish titles; John, his only son, who was born Feb. 24, 1710-11, and succeeded him in honours and estate, was created an English peer, by the titles of baron Lovell and Holland, in 1762.