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enemy here would say more. The Duke of Buckingham would say as much, though he and I are terribly fallen out; and the great men are perpetually inflaming me against him : they bring me all he says of me, and, I believe, make it worse, out of roguery.—No, 'tis not your pen is bewitched, Madam Stella, but your old scrawling, splay-foot, pot-hooks, s, , ay, that's it: there the s, s, s, there, there, that's exact. Farewell, &c.
Our fine weather is gone, and I doubt we shall have a rainy journey to-day. Faith, 'tis shaving day, and I have much to do.
When Stella says her pen is bewitched, it was only because there was a hair in it. You know the fellow they call God-help-it had the same thoughts of his wife, and for the same reason. I think this is very well observed, and I unfolded the letter to tell you it.
Cut off those two notes above; and see the nine pounds endorsed, and receive the other; and send me word how my accounts stand, that they may be adjusted by Nov. 1. Pray be very particular : but the twenty pounds I lend you is not to be included; so make no blunder. I won't wrong you ; nor you shan't wrong me; that's the short. O Lord, how stout Presto is of late! But he loves MD inore than his life a thousand times, for all his stoutness ; tell him that ; and I'll swear it, as hope saved, ten millions of times, &c. &c.
I open my letter once more to tell Stella, that, if she does not use exercise after her waters, it will lose all the effects of them : I should not live if I did not take all
opportunities of walking. Pray, pray, do this to oblige
Windsor, Sept. 8, 1711. I MADE the coachman stop, and put in my twentyninth at the post-office at two o'clock to-day, as I was going to lord-treasurer, with whom I dined, and came here by a quarter past eight ; but the moon shone, and so we were not in much danger of overturning ; which, however, he values not a straw, and only laughs when I chid at him for it. * There was nobody but he and I, and we supped together, with Mr Masham and Dr Ar. buthnot, the queen’s favourite physician, a Scotchman. I could not keep myself awake after supper, but did all I was able to disguise it, and thought I came off clear ; but, at parting he told me, I had got my nap already. It is now one o'clock ; but he loves sitting up late.
9. The queen is still in the gout, but recovering ; she saw company in her bed-chamber after church ; but, the crowd was so great, I could not see her. I dined with my brother, Sir William Wyndham, and some others of our society, to avoid the great tables on Sunday at Windsor, which I hate. The usual company supped to-night at lord-treasurer's, which was lord-keeper, Mr Secretary, George Granville, Masham, Arbuthing to-day, and that I don't love.—Noble fruit, and I dare not eat a bit. I ate one fig to-day, and sometimes a few mulberries, because it is said they are wholesome, and you know a good name does much. I shall return to town to-morrow, though I thought to have staid a week, to be at leisure for something I am doing. But I have put it off till next; for I shall come here again on Saturday, when our society are to meet at supper at Mr Secretary's. My life is very regular here : on Sunday morning I constantly visit lord-keeper, and sup at lord-treasurer's with the same set of company. I was not sleepy to-night ; I resolved I would not ; yet it is past midnight at this present writing.
But showers have hindered me from walk
not, and I.
* Swift on many occasions, notwithstanding his natural courage, indicates a feverish apprehension of casualties, which was probably constitutional. Who dreams of being overturned on the Windsor road, whether there be moonshine or not?
London, 10. Lord-treasurer and Masbam and I left Windsor at three this afternoon : we dropped Masham at Kensington with his lady, and got home by six. It was seven before we sat down to dinner, and I staid till past eleven. Patrick came home with the secretary : I am more plagued with Patrick and my portmanteau than with myself. I forgot to tell you, that, when I went to Windsor, on Saturday, I overtook Lady Gifford and Mrs Fenton in a chariot going, I suppose, to Sheen. I was then in a chariot too, of lord-treasurer's brother, who had business with the treasurer; and my lord came after, and overtook me at Turnham Green, four miles from London, and then the brother went back, and I went in the coach with lord-treasurer : so it happened that those people saw me, and not with lord-treasurer. Mrs F. was to see me about a week ago ; and desired I would get her son into the Charterhouse.
11. This morning the printer sent me an account of Prior's Journey ; it makes a twopenny pamphlet ; I
suppose you will see it, for I dare engage it will run; 'tis a formal grave lie, from the beginning to the end. I writ all but about the last page, that I dictated, and the printer writ. Mr Secretary sent to me to dine where he did; it was at Prior's; when I came in Prior showed me the pamphlet, seemed to be angry, and said, here is our English liberty : I read some of it, and said I liked it mightily, and envied the rogue the thought; for, had it come into my head, I should have certainly done it myself. We staid at Prior's till past ten, and then the secretary received a packet with the news of Bouchain being taken, for which the guns will go off to-morrow.
. Prior owned his having been in France, for it was past denying ; it seems he was discovered by a rascal at Dover, who had positive orders to let him pass. I believe we shall have a peace.
* “ About the beginning of July, Mr Prior, a person who, by his natural parts, improved by study and good conversation, had gained a name among the learned and polite, and raised himself to some employments, according as the party with which he sided happened to prevail, went down to Kent, and from thence to Suffolk, to give a visit to Sir T-H And as a man who is in no public station may be easily absent from town without being missed, especially in the summer season, no notice was taken of this journey. But it happened somewhat unluckily, that, about the beginning of August, a gentleman, who came over in a small vessel, and landed near Deal, was seized by the customhouse of ficers; and these inquiring who he was, he told a wrong name, to prevent being discovered. One of the officers, who, at first sight, thought he was not an absolute stranger to that place, looked more fixedly upon him, and, finding him to be Mr Prior, expostulated with him for concealing his true name; adding, that, in discharge of their trust, they must keep him in custody, till they had received farther instructions from the secretaries. Here upon Mr Prior produced a pass in due form: but the officers insisted, that, not having at first declared the name mentioned in the pass, they were not obliged to show any regard to it, and so Mr Prior was stopt till he was released from above.”—Annals of Queen Anne's Reign, year the tenth. London, 1712, p. 231.
12. It is terrible rainy weather, and has cost me three shillings in coaches and chairs to-day, yet I was dirty into the bargain. I was three hours this morning with the secretary about some business of moment, and then went into the city to dine. The printer tells me he sold yesterday a thousand of Prior's Journey, and had printed five hundred more. It will go rarely, I believe, and is a pure bite. And what is MD doing all this while ? got again to their cards, their Walls, their deans, their Stoytes, and their claret ? Pray present my service to Mr Stoyte and Catherine. Tell Goody Stoyte she owes me a world of dinners, and I will shortly come over and demand them.--Did I tell you of the Archbishop of Dublin's last letter? He had been saying in several of his former that he would shortly write to me something about myself, and it looked to me as if he intended something for me: at last out it comes, and consists of two parts. * First, he advises me to strike in for some preferment now I have friends; and secondly, he advises me, since I have parts, and learning, and a happy pen, to think of some new subject in divinity not handled by others, which I should manage better than any body. A rare spark this, with a pox ! but I shall answer him as rarely. Methinks he should have invited me over, and given me some hopes or promises. But, hang him! and so good night, &c.
* The extraordinary epistle which the archbishop ventured to write to Swift will be found in Vol. III.