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day; and so I will observe henceforward, if there be any politics or stuff worth sending. My shin mends in spite of the scratching last night. I dined to-day at Ned Southwell's with the Bishop of Ossory and a parcel of Irish gentlemen. Have you yet seen any of the Spectators ? Just three weeks to-day since I had your last, N. 11. I am afraid I have lost one by the packet that was taken ; that will vex me, considering the pains MD take to write, especially poor Stella, and her weak eyes ; God bless them and the owner, and send them well, and little me together, I hope ere long. This illness of Mr Harley puts every thing backward, and he is still down, and like to be so, by that extravasated blood which comes from his breast to the wound : it was by the second blow Guiscard gave him after the penknife was broken. I am shocked at that villany whenever I think of it. Biddy Floyd is past danger, but will lose all her beauty: she had them mighty thick, especially about her
25. Morning. I wish you a merry new year : this is the first day of the year, you know, with us, and 'tis Lady-day. I must rise and go to my lord-keeper: it is not shaving day to-day, so I shall be early. I am to dine with Mr Secretary St John. Good morrow, my mistresses both, good morrow.
Stella will be peeping out of her room at Mrs De Caudres' down upon the folks as they come from church ; * and there comes Mrs Proby, and that's my Lady Southwell, and there's Lady Betty Rochfort. I long to hear how you are settled in your new lodgings. I wish I were rid of
* Mrs De Caudres was their French landlady, formerly mentioned, and lived opposite to St Mary's church.
and that Mrs Brent could contrive to put up my books in boxes, and lodge them in some safe place, and you keep my papers of importance. But I must rise, I tell you.—At night. So I visited and dined as I told you, and what of that? We have let Guiscard be buried at last, after showing him pickled in a trough this fortnight for twopence a piece; and the fellow that showed would point to his body, and, See, gentlemen, this is the wound that was given him by his Grace the Duke of Ormond; and this is the wound, &c. and then the show was over, and another set of rabble came in. * 'Tis hard that our laws would not suffer us to hang his body in chains, because he was not tried ; and in the eye
of our law every man is innocent till then.--Mr Harley is still very weak, and never out of bed.
26. This was a most delicious day; and my shin being past danger, I walked like lightning above two hours in the Park. We have generally one fair day, and then a great deal of rain for three or four days together. All things are at a stop in parliament for want of Mr Harley; they cannot stir an inch without him in
* « His dead body being ordered to be preserved in pickle, the keeper of the prison showed it to all comers for a small piece of money, not without bestowing on the carcase those opprobrious epithets the living man had so well deserved. Of which indignities offered to human nature, the pious queen was no sooner informed, than she commanded one of the secretaries of state to give orders for his burial, which was done accordingly, in the Green Church-yard of Christ Church, the common burying place of the malefactors that die in Newgate.”—Bove's Annals of Queen Anne, Vol. IX. p. 341. No service was performed over his body; but the sexton thought proper to exercise his wit in this formula:
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust;
their most material affairs : and we fear by the caprice of Radcliffe, * who will admit none but his own surgeon, he has not been well looked after. I dined at an alehouse with Mr Lewis, but had his wine. Don't you begin to see the flowers and blossoms of the field ? How busy should I now be at Laracor ? No news of your box ? I hope you have it, and are this minute drinking the chocolate, and that the smell of the Brazil tobacco has not affected it. I would be glad to know whether you like it, because I would send you more by people that are now every day thinking of going to Ireland ; therefore
pray tell me, and tell me soon: and I will have the
27. A rainy wretched scurvy day from morning till night : and my neighbour Vanhomrigh invited me to dine with them: and this evening I passed at Mr Prior's with Dr Freind; and 'tis now past twelve, so I must go sleep.
28. Morning. O faith, you're an impudent saucy couple of sluttekins, for presuming to write so soon, said I to myself this morning ; who knows but there
be a letter from MD at the coffeehouse? Well, you must know, and so, I just now sent Patrick, and he brought me three letters, but not one from MD, no indeed, for I read all the superscriptions; and not one from MI). One I opened, it was from the archbishop; tother I opened, it was from Staunton; the third I took, and looked at the hand. Whose hand is this? says I: yes, says I, whose hand is this? then there was wax between the folds; then I began to suspect; then I peeped ; faith, it was Walls's hand after all: then I opened it in a rage, and then it was little MD's hand, dear, little, pretty, charming MD's sweet hand again. O Lord, en't here a clutter and a stir, and a bustle, never saw the like. Faith I believe yours lay some days at the post-office, and that it came before my eighteenth went, but that I did not expect it, and I hardly ever go there. Well, and so you think I'll answer this letter now ? no, faith, and so I won't. I'll make you wait, young women; but I'll inquire immediately about poor Dingley's exchequer trangum. What, is that Vedel again a soldier? Was he broke ? I'll put it in Ben Tooke's hand. I hope Vedel could not sell it.—At night. Vedel, Vedel, poh, pox, I thing it is Vedeau, † ay, Vedeau, now I have it : let me see, do you name him in yours? Yes, Mr John Vedeau is the brother ; but where does this brother live? I'll inquire. This was a fast-day for the public; so I dined late with Sir Matthew Dudley, whom I have not been with a great while. He is one of those that must lose his employment whenever the great shake comes ; and I can't contribute to keep him in, though I have dropped words in his favour to the ministry ; but he has
* “ Contrary to the usual custom, Mr Bussiere (the surgeon who had first dressed the wound) was not sent for any more to attend Mr Harley, which, however, did not proceed from any ill opinion that was entertained of his known abilities, either by Mr Harley himself, or any of his honourable family, but only from the jealousy of a physician who refused to consult with Mr Bussiere, though Mr Green, Mr Harley's chirurgeon in ordinary, earnestly desired his assistance.”—Political State of Europe for April 1711.
* An exchequer tally.
+ See Journal December 24. Swift had seen Vedeau (who, it seems, was a tradesman) at court, and in scarlet, and is therefore apprehensive he had become bankrupt, and gone into the army. See March 4. He had sold his share in the shop, bought a lieutenant's commission, and gone to Portugal.
been too violent a Whig, and friend to the lord-treasurer, * to stay in. 'Tis odd to think how long they let those people keep their places ; but the reason is, they have not enough to satisfy all expecters, and so they keep them all in hopes, that they may be good boys in the mean time; and thus the old ones hold in still. The comptroller † told me, that there are eight people expect his staff. I walked after dinner to-day round the Park.
-What, do I write politics to little young women ? Hold your tongue, and go to your dean's.
29. Morning. If this be a fine day, I will walk into the city, and see Charles Bernard's library. What care I for your letter, your saucy N. 12? I will say nothing to it yet : faith, I believe this will be full before its time, and then go it must. I will always write once a-fortnight ; and if it goes sooner by filling sooner, why then there is so much clear gain. Morrow, morrow, rogues and lasses both, I can't lie scribbling here in bed for your play ; I must rise, and so morrow again. At night. Your friend Montgomery and his sister are here, as I am told by Patrick : I have seen him often, but take no notice of him : he is grown very ugly and pimpled. They tell me he is a gamester, and wins money. How could I help it, pray? Patrick snuffed the candle too short, and the grease ran down upon the paper. It en't my fault, 'tis Patrick's fault ; pray now don't blame Presto. I walked to-day into the city, and dined at a priyate house, and went to see the auction of
poor Charles Bernard's books; they were in the middle of the physic books ; so I bought none; and they are so dear. I be
* The Earl of Godolphin, late lord-treasurer.
+ Sir John Holland. He was shortly after displaced, to make way for Sir Thomas Mansel.