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so I expect it every day; yet, perhaps, it may not be till Parliament is up, which will be in a fortnight.
8. I was to-day with the Duke of Ormond, and recommended to him the case of poor Joe Beaumont, who promises me to do him all justice and favour, and give him encouragement: and desired I would give a memorial to Ned Southwell about it, which I will, and so tell Joe when you see him, though he knows it already by a letter I writ to Mr Warburton. * It was bloody hot walking to-day. I dined in the city, and went and came by water ; and it rained so this evening again, that I thought I should hardly be able to get a dry hour to walk home in. I'll send to-morrow to the coffeehouse for a letter from MD, but I would not have one, methinks, till this is gone, as it shall on Saturday. I visited the Duchess of Ormond this morning; she does not go over with the duke. I spoke to her to get a lad touched for the evil, the son of a grocer in Capel Street, one Bell, the ladies have bought sugar and plums of him. Mrs Mary used to go there often.
. This is Patrick's account; and the poor fellow has been here some months with his boy. But the queen has not been able to touch, and it now grows so warm, I fear she will not at all. † Go, go, go to the dean's, and let him
* Dr Swift's curate at Laracor.
+ Queen Anne was the last sovereign who indulged her subjects with this superstition. The celebrated Samuel Johnson, as our readers must remember, was subjected to the ceremony. It is obvious that her successors had good reason for ceasing to touch, since, where a belief in the original superstition was deeply inherent, a failure in the cure might have implied a doubt of the royal title. Indeed, it was revived as an engine of the favourers of the house of Stuart, by an idle story of Prince Charles having cured a youth by his touch.
carry you to Donnybrook, and cut asparagus. Has Parvisol sent you any this year ? * I cannot sleep in the beginnings of the nights, the heat or something hinders me, and I am drowsy in the mornings.
9. Dr Freind came this morning to visit Atterbury's lady and children as physician, and persuaded me to go with him to town in his chariot. He told me he had been an hour before with Sir Cholmley Dering, Charles Dering's nephew, and head of that family in Kent, for which he is knight of the shire. He said he left him dying of a pistol-shot quite through the body, by one Mr Thornhill. 7-They fought at sword and pistol this morning in Tuttle-Fields; their pistols so near, that the muzzles touched. Thornhill discharged first, and Dering having received the shot, discharged his pistol as he was falling, so it went into the air. The story of this quarrel is long. Thornhill had lost seven teeth by a kick in the mouth from Dering, who had first knocked him down : this was above a fortnight ago. Dering was next week to be married to a fine young lady. This makes a noise here, but you won't value it. Well, Mr Harley, lord-keeper, and one or two more, are to be made lords immediately; their patents are now passing, and
* From the garden at Laracor.
† These combatants were previously great friends. Their duel is the subject of a paper in the SPECTATOR, No: 84, in which Thornhill is introduced under the name of Spinamont, bewailing his misfortune in having slain his friend, and the tyranny of custom which had forced him into the field. Thornhill was tried at the Old Bailey, May 18, 1711, and found guilty of manslaughter only. But he was shortly after assassinated on Turnham Green by two men, who, as they stabbed him, bid him remember Sir Cholmley Dering. See Journal, August 21.
I read the preamble to Mr Harley's, full of his praises. * Lewis and I dined with Ford ; I found the wine : two flasks of my Florence, and two bottles of six that Dr Raymond sent me of French wine ; he sent it to me to drink with Sir Robert Raymond and Mr Harley's brother, whom I had introduced him to; but they never could find time to come: and now I have left the town, and it is too late.-Raymond will think it a cheat. What care I, sirrah ?
10. Pshaw, pshaw, Patrick brought me four letters to-day: from Dilly at Bath ; Joe ; Parvisol ; and, what was the fourth, who can tell? Stand away, who'll guess ? who can it be ? You, old man with a stick, can you tell who the fourth is from ? Iss, an please your honour, it is from one Madam MD, Number fourteen. Well but I can't send this away now, because it was here, and I was in town, but it shall go on Saturday, and this is Thursday night, and it will be time enough for Wexford.—Take my method : I write here to Parvisol to lend Stella twenty pounds, and to take her note promissory to pay it in half a year, &c.
&c. You shall see, and if you want more, let me know afterward ; and be sure my money shall be always paid constantly too. Have you been good or ill housewives, pray ?
11. Joe has written to me to get him a collector's
* The preamble of Harley's patent, as Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, Baron Wigmore, set forth his praises in language rather too flowery and pompous, considering that it must have been drawn under his own eye. It may be found at length in the account of his family, in Collins's PEERAGE, Vol. IV. The Whigs censured Lord Oxford for the farther vanity of having his patent printed, whereas it was only usual to read them in the House of Lords.
place, nothing else ; he says all the world knows of my great intimacy with Mr Harley, and that the smallest word to him will do. This is the constant cant of
puppies who are at a distance, and strangers to courts and ministers. My answer is this; which pray send : That I am ready to serve Joe as far as I can ; that I have spoken to the Duke of Ormond about his money, as I writ to Warburton; that, for the particular he mentions, it is a work of time, which I cannot think of at present. But if accidents and opportunities should happen hereafter, I would not be wanting ; that I know best how far my credit goes; that he is at distance, and cannot judge; that I would be glad to do him good ; and, if fortune throws an opportunity in my way, I shall not be wanting. This is my answer ;
you may send or read to him. Pray contrive that Parvisol may not run away with my two hundred pounds, but get Burton's * note, and let the money be returned me by bill. Don't laugh, for I will be suspicious. Teach Parvisol to enclose, and direct the outside to Mr Lewis. I will answer your letter in my next, only what I take notice of here excepted. I forgot to tell you, that at the Court of Requests to-day I could not find a dinner I liked, and it grew late, and I dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh, &c.
12. Morning. I will finish this letter before I go to town, because I shall be busy, and have neither time nor place there. Farewell, &c. &c.
* An Irish banker.
Chelsea, May 12, 1711. I sent you my twenty-second this afternoon in town. I dined with Mr Harley and the old club, Lord Rivers, lord-keeper, and Mr Secretary.—They rallied me last week, and said I must have Mr St John's leave, so I writ to him yesterday, that, foreseeing I should never dine again with Sir Simon Harcourt, knight, * and Robert Harley, Esq., I was resolved to do it to-day. The jest is, that, before Saturday next, we expect they will be lords ; for Mr Harley's patent is drawing to be Earl of Oxford. Mr Secretary and I came away at seven, and he brought me to our town's end in his coach ; so I lost my walk. St John read my letter to the company, which was all raillery, and passed purely.
13. It rained all last night and this morning as heavy as lead; but I just got fair weather to walk to town before church. The roads are all over in deep puddle. The hay of our town is almost fit to be mowed. I went to court after church, (as I always do on Sundays) and then dined with Mr Secretary, who has engaged me for every Sunday, and poor MD dined at home upon a bit of veal, and a pint of wine. Is it not plaguy insipid to tell you every day where I dine ? yet now I have got into the way of it, I cannot forbear it neither. Indeed, Mr Presto, you had better go answer MD's letter, N. 14.
* Sir Simon Harcourt was about to be made Baron Harcourt. The preamble to his patent was as profuse of eulogy as that of Harley's.