« AnteriorContinua »
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 thein had something pretty. I believe Addison and he club. I never see them; and I plainly told Mr Harley and Mr St John ten days ago, before my lordkeeper 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,
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 Bernard'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 Arburthnot, * 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
* The name is pronounced in Scotland as spelled by Swift. His friendship with Arbuthnot was now just commencing. VOL. II.
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 comes out of the wound: he keeps his bed, and sees nobody. The speaker's eldest son is just dead of the small-pox, and the House is adjourned a week, to give him time to wipe off his tears. 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 fourpence 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
I think it very 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 quite 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 walk. ing 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.
* Created Baron Perceval, April 21, 1715; Viscount Perceval, Feb. 25, 1722 ; and Earl of Egmont, Nov. 6, 1733.
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.
London, March 24, 1710-11. It was a little cross in Presto not to send to-day to the coffeehouse to see whether there was a letter from MD before I sent away mine.; but faith I did it on purpose, because I would scorn to answer two letters of yours successively. This way of journal is the worst in the world for writing of news, unless one does it the last
* The Scottish lords were not judged, it would seem, safe depositaries of a piece of news so essential to the Stuart family,