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his friend; and the Bishop of Clogher says, Clements's danger is not from Pratt, but from some other enemies, that think him a Whig.
14. I was so busy this morning that I did not go out till late. I writ to-day to the Duke of Argyle, but said nothing of Bernage, who, I believe, will not see him till Spain is conquered, and that is not at all. I was to-day at Lord Shelburne's, and spoke to Mrs Pratt again about Clements: her husband himself wants some good offices, and I have done him very good ones lately, and told Mrs Pratt,* I expected her husband would stand by Clements in return. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined with neighbour Vanhomrigh; he is mighty ill of an asthma, and apprehends himself in much danger; 'tis his own fault, that will rake and drink, when he is but just crawled out of his grave. I will send this letter just now, because I think my half year is out for my lodging; and, if you please, I would be glad it were paid off, and some deal boxes made for my books, and kept in some safe place: I would give something for their keeping; but I doubt that lodging will not serve me when I come back; I would have a larger place for books, and a stable, if possible. So pray be so kind to pay the lodging, and all accounts about it; and get Mrs Brent to put up my things. I would have no books put in that trunk where my papers are. If you do not think of going to the Bath, I here send you a bill on Parvisol for twenty pounds Irish, out of which you will pay for the lodging, and score the rest to me. Do as you please,
Probably with the joint Vice-Treasurers Lord Anglesea and Lord Hyde, Mr Pratt being Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, under them.
and love poor Presto, that loves MD better than his life a thousand millions of times. Farewell, MD, &c. &c.
London, April 14, 1711.
REMEMBER, sirrahs, that there are but nine days between the dates of my two former letters. I sent away my twentieth this moment, and now am writing on like a fish, as if nothing was done. But there was a cause for my hasting away the last, for fear it should not come time enough before a new quarter began. I told you where I dined to-day, but forgot to tell you what I believe, that Mr Harley will be lord-treasurer in a short time, and other great removes and promotions made. This is my thought, &c.
15. I was this morning with Mr Secretary, and he is grown pretty well. I dined with him to-day, and drank some of that wine which the great Duke of Tuscany used to send to Sir William Temple: he always sends some to the chief ministers. I liked it mightily, but he does not; and he ordered his butler to send me a chest of it to-morrow. Would to God MD had it. The queen is well again, and was at chapel to-day, &c.
16. I went with Ford into the city to day, and dined with Stratford, and drank tockay, and then we went to the auction; but I did not lay out above twelve shillings. My head is a little out of order to-night, though no formal fit. My lord-keeper has sent to invite me to dinner to-morrow, and you'll dine better with the dean, and
God bless you. I forgot to tell you that yesterday was sent me a narrative printed, with all the circumstances of Mr Harley's stabbing. I had not time to do it myself, so I sent my hints to the author of the Atalantis, * and she has cooked it into a sixpenny pamphlet, in her own style, only the first page is left as I was beginning it. But I was afraid of disobliging Mr Harley or Mr St John in one critical point about it, † and so would not do it myself. It is worth your reading, for the circumstances are all true. My chest of Florence was sent me this morning, and cost me seven and sixpence to two servants. I would give two guineas you had it, &c.
17. I was so out of order with my head this morning, that I was going to send my excuses to my lord-keeper; but however I got up at eleven, and walked there after two, and staid till eight. There was Sir Thomas Mansel, Prior, George Granville, and Mr Cæsar, and we were very merry. My head is still wrong, but I have had no formal fit, only I totter a little. I have left off snuff altogether. I have a noble roll of tobacco for grating, very good. Shall I send it to MD, if she likes that sort? My lord-keeper and our this day's company
* Mrs Manley, author of a scandalous private history called the Atalantis. She was now an author by profession, wrote several papers of the Examiner after it was given up by Swift, and did other literary drudgery for administration. See the pamphlet al
luded to in the Appendix to Swift's political pieces.
+ This critical point was to whom the compliment should be given of the main object of France's dread, and consequently of Guiscard's attempt. For although Harley was the person stabbed, yet the secretary, who had been an old acquaintance of Guiscard, and companion of his debaucheries, was the main object of his re
are to dine on Saturday with George Granville, and tomorrow I dine with Lord Anglesea.
18. Did you ever see such a blundering goosecap as Presto? I saw the number 21 atop, and so I went on as if it were the day of the month, whereas this is but Wednesday the 18th. How shall I do to blot and alter them? I have made a shift to do it behind, but it is a great botch. I dined with Lord Anglesea to-day, but did not go to the House of Commons about the yarn ; my head was not well enough. I know not what's the matter; it has never been thus before: two days together giddy from morning till night, but not with any violence or pain; and I totter a little, but can make shift to walk. I doubt I must fall to my pills again: I think of going into the country a little way. I tell you what you must do henceforward: you must enclose your letter in a fair half sheet of paper, and direct the outside to Erasmus Lewis, Esquire, at my Lord Dartmouth's office at Whitehall; for I never go to the coffeehouse, and they will grudge to take in my letters. I forgot to tell you that your mother was to see me this morning, and brought me a flask of sweet water for a present, admirable for my head; but I shall not smell to it. She is going to Sheen with Lady Giffard: she would fain send your papers over to you, or give them to me. Say what you would have done, and it shall be done; because I love Stella, and she is a good daughter, they say, and so is Dingley.
19. This morning General Webb was to give me a visit; he goes with a crutch and a stick, yet was forced to make up two pair of stairs. two pair of stairs. I promised to dine with him, but afterward sent my excuses, and dined privately in my friend Lewis's lodgings at Whitehall, with whom
I had much business to talk of relating to the public and myself. Little Harrison the Tatler goes to-morrow to the secretaryship. I got him at the Hague, and Mr St John has made him a present of fifty guineas to bear his charges. An't I a good friend? Why, are not you a young fellow, that I might prefer you? I had a letter from Bernage from Kinsale: he tells me his commission for captain-lieutenant was ready for him at his arrival so there are two Jackanapeses I have done with. My head is something better this evening, though not well.
20. I was this morning with Mr Secretary, whose packets were just come in, and among them a letter from Lord Peterborow to me: * he writes so well, I have no mind to answer him, and so kind, that I must answer him. The emperor's death must, I think, causé great alterations in Europe, and, I believe, will hasten a peace. We reckon our King Charles will be chosen emperor, and the Duke of Savoy set up for Spain; but I believe he will make nothing of it. Dr Freind † and I dined in the city at a printer's, but it cost me two shillings in coach hire, and a great deal more this week and month, which has been almost all rain, with now and then sunshine, and is the truest April that I have known these many years. The lime trees in the Park are all out in leaves, though not large leaves yet. Wise people are going into the country; but many think the parliament can hardly be up these
* The letter is dated April 8, 1711. Swift's compliment on the style of it is beautifully turned.
+ Dr Freind, already mentioned, wielded the pen of a ready writer; and being a keen Tory, was deeply engaged in political disputes on behalf of the ministry.