« AnteriorContinua »
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 summer-house, and a gentleman gave him these verses :
From business and the noisy world retired,
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
* « The inventors of the straps for razors,” says the Tatler, No. 224,“ have written against one another this way for several years, and that with great bitterness.”
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 stil] 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 tomorrow. 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 your money.
* Sir John Holland's. + There is an old poem so entitled.
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 small coal 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 slut
tikin, 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, January 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 handwriting 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 bed time, 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 eating-house ; 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 mend. ing, though slowly.
* i. e. the present ministers.
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 I 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 Cross. 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 let