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Dingley is well enough. Go, get you gone, naughty girl, you are well enough. (). dear MD, contrive to have some share of the country this spring : go to Finglas, or Donnybrook, or Clogher, or Killala, or Lowth. Have you got your box yet ? yes, yes. Don't write to me again till this letter goes : I must make haste, that I may write two for one. Go to the Bath : I hope you are now at the Bath, if you had a mind to go ; or go to Wexford : do something for your living. Have you given up my lodging according to order? I have had just now a compliment from Dean Atterbury's lady, * to command the garden and library, and whatever the house affords. I lodge just over against them ; but the dean is in town with his convocation : so I have my dean and prolocutor as well as you, young women, though he has not so good wine, nor so much meat.
2. A fine day, but begins to grow a little warın ; and that makes your little fat Presto sweat in the forehead. Pray, are not the fine buns sold here in our town; was it not Rrrrrrrrrrare Chelsea Buns? I bought one today in my walk; it cost me a penny; it was stale, and I did not like it, as the man said, &c. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined at Mrs Vanhomrigh’s; and had a flask of my Florence, which lies in their cellar ; and so I came home gravely, and saw nobody of consequence to-day. I am very easy here, nobody plaguing me in a morning; and Patrick saves many a score lies. I sent over to Mrs Atterbury, to know whether I might wait on her ? but she is gone a visiting: we have exchanged some compliments, but I have not seen her yet. We have no news in our town.
3. I did not go to town to-day, it was so terrible
Daughter of Mr John Bedingfield.
rainy ; nor have I stirred out of my room till eight this evening; when I crossed the way to see Mrs Atterbury, and thank her for her civilities. She would needs send me some veal, and small beer, and ale, to-day at dinner; and I have lived a scurvy, dull, splenetic day, for want of MD: I often thought how happy I could have been, had it rained eight thousand times more, if MD had been with a body. My Lord Rochester * is dead this morning ; they say at one o'clock; and I hear he died suddenly. To-morrow I shall know more.—He is a great loss to us: I cannot think who will succeed him as lord president. I have been writing a long letter to Lord Peterborow, and am dull.
4. I dined to-day at Lord Shelburne's, where Lady Kerry made me a present of four India handkerchiefs, which I have a mind to keep for little MD, only that I had rather, &c. I have been a mighty handkerchiefmonger, and have bought abundance of snuff ones since I have left off taking snuff. And I am resolved, when I come over, MD shall be acquainted with Lady Kerry : we have struck up a mighty friendship: and she has much better sense than any other lady of your country. We are almost in love with one another : but she is most egregiously ugly; but perfectly well bred, and governable as I please. I am resolved, when I come, to keep no company but MD; you know I kept my
* Hyde, Earl of Rochester, second son of the celebrated Clarendon, and maternal uncle to Queen Anne. He was a keen Tory, if not a Jacobite, and is charged by the Duchess of Marlborough as the principal agent in overthrowing her influence with Queen Anne. The death of Rochester left Harley without a rival in ministerial power; yet this very circumstance tended to undo him by exciting the jealous emulation of his colleague St John.
resolution last time; and, except Mr Addison, conversed with none but you and your club of deans and Stoytes. 'Tis three weeks, young women, since I had a letter from you; and yet, methinks, I would not have another for five pound till this is gone ; and yet I send every day to the coffeehouse, and I would fain have a letter, and not have a letter : and I don't know what, nor I don't know how ; 'tis a week to-morrow since I began it. I am a poor country gentleman, and don't know how the
Do you know that every syllable I write I hold my lips just for all the world as if I were talking in our own little language to MD. Faith, I am very silly ; but I can't help it for my life. I got home early to-night. My solicitors, that used to ply me every morning, knew not where to find me; and I am so happy not to hear Patrick, Patrick, called a hundred times every morning. But I looked backward, and find I have said this before. What care I ? go to the dean, and roast the oranges.
5. I diped to-day with my friend Lewis, and we were deep in politics how to save the present ministry; for I am afraid of Mr Secretary, as I believe I told you. I went in the evening to see Mr Harley; and, upon my word, I was in perfect joy. Mr Secretary was just going out of the door ; but I made him come back, and there was the old Saturday club, lord-keeper, Lord Rivers, Mr Secretary, Mr Harley, and I; the first time since his stabbing. Mr Secretary went away ; but I staid till nine, and made Mr Harley show me his breast, and tell all the story : and I showed him the Archbishop of Dublin's letter, and defended him effectually. We were all in mighty good humour.—Lord-keeper and I left them together, and I walked here after nine, two miles, and I found a parson drunk fighting with a seaman, and Pa
trick and I were so wise to part them, but the seaman followed him to Chelsea, cursing at him, and the parson slipped into a house, and I know no more. It mortified me to see a man in my coat so overtaken.-A pretty scene for one that just came from sitting with the prime ministers : 1 had no money in my pocket, and so could not be robbed. However, nothing but Mr Harley shall make me take such a journey again. We don't yet know who will be president in Lord Rochester's room. I measured and found that the penknife would have killed Mr Harley, if it had gone but half the breadth of my thumb nail lower; so near was he to death. I was so curious to ask him what were his thoughts while they were carrying him home in the chair. He said, he concluded himself a dead man. He will not allow that Guiscard gave him the second stab, though my lord- . keeper, who is blind, and I that was not there, are positive in it. He wears a plaster still as broad as half-a
Smoke how wide the lines are, but faith I don't do it on purpose : but I have changed my side in this new Chelsea bed, and I don't know how, methinks, but it is so unfit, and so awkward, never saw the like.
6. You must remember to enclose your letters in a fair paper, and direct the outside thus :-To Erasmus Lewis, Esq., at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall; I said so before, but it may miscarry, you know, yet I think none of my letters did ever miscarry; faith I think never one ; among all the privateers and the storms: O faith, my letters are too good to be lost.
MD's letters may tarry,
But never miscarry, as the old woman used to say. And, indeed, how should
they miscarry, when they never come before their time ? It was a terrible rainy day; yet I made a shift to steal fair weather over head, enough to go and come in. I was early with the secretary, and dined with him afterward. In the morning I began to chide him, and tell him my fears of his proceedings. But Arthur Moore came up and relieved him. But I forgot, for you never heard of Arthur Moore. * But when I get Mr Harley alone, I will know the bottom. You will have Dr Raymond over before this letter, and what care you?
7. I hope, and believe, my walks every day do me good. I was busy at home, and set out late this morning, and dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh, at whose lodgings I always change my gown and periwig. I visited this afternoon, and, among others, poor Biddy Floyd, who is very red, but I believe won't be much marked. t As I was coming home I met Sir George Beaumont in the Pall Mall, who would needs walk with me as far as Buckingham House. I was telling him of my head : he said he had been ill of the same disorder, and by all means forbid me bohea tea; which he said always gave it him; and that Dr Ratcliffe said it was very bad. Now I had observed the same thing, and have left it off this month, having found myself ill after it several times; and I mention it, that Stella may consider it for her poor own little head : a pound lies ready packed up, and directed for Mrs Walls, to be sent by the first convenience. Mr Secretary told me yesterday, that Mr Harley would this week be lord-treasurer and a peer,
* Brother to the Earl of Drogheda, named one of the Lords Commissioners of Trade, 30th Sept. 1710.
+ She was just recovered from the small-pox. VOL. II.