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another letter from MD, yet I would not have it till this goes ; for that would look like two letters for one. Is it not whimsical that the dean has never once written to me? And I find the archbishop very silent to that letter I sent him with an account that the business was done. I believe he knows not what to write or say ; and I have since written twice to him, both times with a vengeance. * Well, go to bed, sirrahs, and so will I. But have you lost to-day? Three shillings. O fy,
7. No, I will not send this letter to-day, nor till Saturday, faith; and I am so afraid of one from MD between this and that : if it comes I will just say I received a letter, and that is all. I dined to-day with Mr Secretary St John, where were Lord Anglesea, Sir Thomas Hanmer, Prior, Freind, &c. and then made a debauch after nine at Prior's house, and have eaten cold pie, and I hate the thoughts of it, and I am full, and I do not like it, and I will go to bed, and it is late, and so good night.
8. To-day I dined with Mr Harley and Prior ; but Mr St John did not come, though he promised ; he chid me for not seeing him oftner. Here is a damned libellous pamphlet come out against Lord Wharton, giving the character first, and then telling some of his actions : the character is very well, but the facts indifferent. f It has been sent by dozens to several gentle. men's lodgings, and I had one or two of them, but no
Upon the 25th and 28th November. + This was his own writing, but seems to have been unsuspected at the time. Archbishop King would indeed have hardly otherwise ventured to mention it to Swift in his letter 9th January 1710, as a “ wound given in the dark.”
body knows the author or printer. We are terribly afraid of the plague ; they say it is at Newcastle. I begged Mr Harley, for the love of God, to take some care about it, or we are all ruined. There have been orders for all ships from the Baltic to pass their quarantine before they land ; but they neglect it. You remember I have been afraid these two
years. 9. O faith, you are a saucy rogue. I have had your sixth letter just now, before this is gone; but I will not answer a word of it, only that I never was giddy since my first fit, but I have had a cold just a fortnight, and cough with it still morning and evening ; but it will
It is, however, such abominable weather, that no creature can walk. They say here three of your commissioners will be turned out, Ogle, South, and St Quintain, and that Dick Stuart and Ludlow will be two of the new ones.
I am a little soliciting for another; it is poor Lord Abercorn, but that is a secret ; I mean, that I befriend him is a secret ; but I believe it is too late, by his own fault and ill fortune. I dined with him to-day. I am heartily sorry you do not go to Clogher, faith, I am ; and so God Almighty protect poor dear, dear, dear, dearest MD. Farewell till to-night. I will begin my eleventh to-night ; so I am always writing to little MD.
London, Dec. 9, 1710. So, young woinen, I have just sent my tenth to the post-office, and, as I told you, have received your seventh, (faith I am afraid I mistook, and said your sixth, and then we shall be all in confusion this month.) Well, I told you I dined with Lord Abercorn to-day, and that is enough till by and by ; for I must go write idle things, and twittle twattle. What is here to do with
* Swift was nervously apprehensive of infectious diseases.
your little MDs ? and so I put this by for a while. It is now late, and I can only say MD is a dear saucy rogue ; and what then, Presto loves them the better.
10. This son of a b Patrick is out of the way, and I can do nothing; am forced to borrow coals: it is now six o'clock, and I am come home after a pure walk in the Park; delicate weather, begun only to-day. A terrible storm last night : we hear one of your packet boats is cast away, and young beau Swift in it, and General Sankey: I know not the truth ; you will before me. Raymond talks of leaving the town in a few days, and going in a month to Ireland, for fear his wife should be too far gone, and forced to be brought to bed here. I think he is in the right, but perhaps this packet boat will fright him. He has no relish for London ; and I do not wonder at it. He has got some Templars from Ireland, that show him the town. I do not let him see me above twice a week, and that only while I am dressing in the morning.–So now the puppy's come in, and I have got my own ink, but a new pen; and so now you are rogues and sauce-boxes till I go to bed, for I must go study, sirrahs. Now I think of it, tell the Bishop of Clogher he shall not cheat me of one inch of my bell metal. You know it is nothing but to save the town money; and Enniskilling can afford it better than Laracor: he shall have but one thousand five hundred weight. I have been reading, &c. as usual, and am now going to bed, and I find this day's article is long enough ;
so get you gone till to-morrow, and then. I dined with Sir Matthew Dudley.
11. I am come home again as yesterday, and the puppy had again locked up my ink, notwithstanding all I said to him yesterday ; but he came home a little after me, so all is well; they are lighting my fire, and I will go study. The fair weather is gone again, and it has rained all day. I do not like this open weather, though some say it is healthy. They say it is a false report about the plague at Newcastle. I have no news to day ; I dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh, to desire them to buy me a scarf; and Lady Abercorn is to buy me another, to see who does best ; mine is all in rags. I saw the Duke of Richmond yesterday at court again ; but would not speak to him ; I believe we are fallen out. now in bed, and it has rained all this evening, like wildfire. Have you so much rain in your town? Raymond was in a fright, as I expected, upon the news of this shipwreck, but I persuaded him, and he leaves this town in a week. I got him acquainted with Sir Robert Raymond, the solicitor-general, who owns him to be of his family; and I believe it may do him a kindness, by being recommended to your new lord chancellor.--I had a letter from Mrs Long, * that has quite turned my stomach against her; no less than two nasty jests in it, with dashes to suppose them. She is corrupted in that country town t with vile conversation.--I will not answer your letter till I have leisure, so let this go on as it will, what care I? what cares saucy Presto ?
* Dated November 18, and indorsed by Swift, “ Poor Mrs Long's last letter, written five weeks before she died.”
+ Lynn Regis.
12. I was to-day at the secretary's office with Lewis, and in came Lord Rivers, who took Lewis out and whispered him, and then came up to me to desire my acquaintance, &c. so we bowed and complimented a while, and parted; and I dined with Phil. Savage, * and his Irish club, at their boarding place, and, passing an evening scurvily enough, did not come home till eight. Mr Addison and I hardly meet once a fortnight ; his parliament and my different friendships keep us asunder. Sir Matthew Dudley turned away his butler yesterday morning, and at night the poor fellow died suddenly in the streets. Was not it an odd event? But what care you; but then I knew the butler.—Why, it seems your packet boat is not lost : pshah, how silly that is, when I had already gone through the forms, and said it was a sad thing, and that I was sorry for it. But when must I answer this letter of our MD's? Here it is, lies between this paper on the other side the leaf : one of these odd come shortlies I will consider, so good night.
13. Morning. I am to go trapesing with Lady Kerry and Mrs Pratt to see sights all this day : they engaged me yesterday morning at tea. You hear the havock making in the army: Meredyth, Macartney, and Colonel Honeywood, are obliged to sell their commands at half value, and leave the army, for drinking destruction to the present ministry, and dressing up a hat on a stick, and calling it Harley ; then drinking a glass with one hand, and discharging a pistol with the other at the maukin, wishing it were Harley himself; and a hundred other such pretty tricks, as inflaming their soldiers and
* Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland.