Imatges de pÓgina
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the name of him that stabbed the first Duke of Buckingham.- Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined with the Vans to-day, and my cold made me loiter all the evening. Stay, young women, don't you begin to owe me a letter ? just a month to-day since I had your N. 22. I'll stay a week longer, and then I'll expect like agog; till then you may play at ombre, and so forth, as you please. The Whigs are still crying down our peace, but we will have it, I hope, in spite of them : the emperor comes now with his two eggs a penny, and promises wonders to continue the war ; but it is too late ; only I hope the fear of it will serve to spur on the French to be easy and sincere. Night, sirrahs ; I'll go early to bed.

17. Morning. This goes to-night; I will put it myself in the post-office. I had just now a long letter from the Archbishop of Dublin, giving me an account of the ending your sessions, how it ended in a storm ; which storm, by the time it arrives here, will be only half nature.* I can't help it, I won't hide. I often advised the dissolution of that parliament, although I did not think the scoundrels had so much courage ; but they have it only in the wrong, like a bully that will fight for a whore, and run away in an army. I believe, by several things the archbishop says, he is not very well either with the government or clergy.t-See how luckily my

mean to compliment him on the enmity of the French to his person.

* See his letter of date the 27th October 1711. The Irish House of Commons proved intractable about this time.

+ He voted against Higgins, the Sacheverel of Ireland, whose case was tried before the lord-lieutenant and council about this time. Indeed, though his political sentiments are mollified, not to say disguised, in his correspondence with Swift, the archbishop

paper ends with a fortnight.-God Almighty bless and preserve dearest little MD.-I suppose your lord-lieutenant is now setting out for England. I wonder the Bishop of Clogher does not write to me; or let me know of his statues, and how he likes them: I will write to him again, as soon as I have leisure. Farewell, dearest MD, and love Presto, who loves MD infinitely above all earthly things, and who will.—My service to Mrs Stoyte, and Catherine. I'm sitting in my bed; but will rise to seal this. Morrow, dear rogues. Farewell again, dearest MD, &c.

LETTER XXXV.

London, Nov. 17, 1711. I put my last this evening in the post-office. 1 dined with Dr Cockburn. This being Queen Elizabeth's birthday, we have the d—and all to do among us. I just heard of the stir as my letter was sealed this morning; and was so cross I would not open it to tell you. I have been visiting Lady Oglethorp and Lady Worsley; the latter is lately come to town for the winter, and with child, and what care you? This is Queen Elizabeth's birth-day, usually kept in this town by apprentices, &c.; but the Whigs designed a mighty procession by midnight, and had laid out a thousand pounds to dress up the pope, devil, cardinals, Sacheverel, &c. and

carry

them

seems to have been a keen Whig in his heart. The lower House of Convocation had espoused the cause of Higgins.

with torches about, and burn them. They did it by contribution. Garth gave five guineas ; Dr Garth I mean, if ever you heard of him. But they were seized last night, by order from the secretary; you will have an account of it, for they bawl it about the streets already. They had some very foolish and mischievous designs; and it was thought they would have put the rabble upon assaulting my lord-treasurer's house, and the secretary's; and other violences. The militia* was raised to prevent it, and now, I suppose, all will be quiet. The figures are now at the secretary's office at Whitehall. I design to see them if I can.†

18. I was this morning with Mr Secretary, who just came from Hampton Court. He was telling me more particulars about this business of burning the cost a great deal of money, and had it gone on, would have cost three times as much : but the town is full of it, and half a dozen Grub Street papers already. The secretary and I dined at Brigadier Britton's, but I left

pope. It

* i. e. The London trained bands.

+ This scheme seems to have been the revival of one, which Shaftesbury's party played off with great effect against the court party in 1682. See Dryden's Works, Vol. X. p. 370. The Postboy of 22d Nov. charged the Kit-Cat Club, which contained the most distinguished of the Whig party, with “ a conspiracy to raise a mob, to confront the best of queens and her ministry, pull down the houses of several honest true worthy English gentlemen, having had money distributed to them some time before for that purpose by G. G. G. S. S. S. W. H. M. (i. e. Grafton, Godolphin, Dr Garth, Somerset, Sunderland, Somers, Warton, Halifax, and Mountague,) an insatiable junto cum multis aliis, who made the subscription, and gave out the queen was very ill, if not dead, in order to have acted their treasons with greater freedom.” The account was, however, grossly exaggerated.

with me.

them at six, upon an appointment with some sober company of men and ladies, to drink punch at Sir Andrew Fountaine's. We were not very merry; and I don't love rack punch, I love it better with brandy ; are you of my opinion? Why then, twelvepenny weather; sirrahs, why don't you play at shuttlecock ? I have thought of it a hundred times; faith Presto will come over after Christmas, and will play with Stella before the cold weather is gone.

Do

you read the Spectators ? I never do; they never come in my way; I go to no coffeehouses. They say

abundance of them are very pretty ; they are going to be printed in small volumes ; I'll bring them over

I shall be out of my hurry in a week, and if Leigh be not gone over, I will send you by him what I am now finishing. I don't know where Leigh is; I have not seen him this good while, though he promised to call : I shall send to him. The queen comes to town on Thursday for good and all.

19. I was this morning at Lord Dartmouth's office, and sent out for him from the committee of council, about some business. I was asking him more concerning this bustle about the figures in wax-work of the pope, and devil, &c. He was not at leisure, or he would have seen them. I hear the owners are so impudent, that they design to replevin them by law. I am assured that the figure of the devil is made as like lord-treasurer as they could. Why; I dined with a friend in St James's Street. Lord-treasurer, I am told, was abroad to-day ; I will know to-morrow how he does after it. The Duke of Marlborough is come, and was yesterday at Hampton Court with the queen; no, it was t'other day; no, it was yesterday; for to-day I remember Mr Secretary was going to see him, when I was there, not at the Duke of Marlborough's, but at the secretary's; the duke is not so fond of me. What care I ? I won seven shillings to-night at picquet : I play twice a year

or so.

20. I have been so teased with Whiggish discourse by Mrs Barton and Lady Betty Germain, never saw the like. They turn all this affair of the pope burning into ridicule; and, indeed, they have made too great a clutter about it, if they had no real reason to apprehend some tumults. * I dined with Lady Betty. I hear Prior's commission is passed to be ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for the peace; my lord privy seal, who you know is Bishop of Bristol, is the other; and Lord Strafford, already ambassador at the Hague, the third : I am forced to tell you, ignorant sluts, who is who. I was punning scurvily with Sir Andrew Fountaine and Lord Pembroke this evening ; do you ever pun now? Sometimes the dean, or Tom Leigh. Prior puns very well. Odso, I must go see his excellency, 'tis a noble advancement: but they could do no less, after sending him to France. Lord Strafford is as proud as Hell, and how he will bear one of Prior's mean birth on an equal

* In a Whig ballad of the time, called Plot upon Plot, it is thus ridiculed :

You for your bonfires maukins dress'd

On good Queen Bess's day,
Whereby much treason was express'd,

As all true churchmen say.
Against the Devil and the Pope,

The French our new ally,
And Perkin too, that youth of hope,

On whom we all rely.

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