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for I went to-day to see the Duke of Buckingham, * but came too late ; then I visited Mrs Barton, and thought to have dined with some of the ministry; but it rained, and Mrs Vanhomrigh was nigh, and I took the opportunity of paying her for a scarf she bought me, and dined there; at four I went to congratulate with Lord Shelburn, for the death of poor Lady Shelburn dowager ; he was at his country house, and returned while I was there, and had not heard of it, and he took it
well. I am now come home before six, and find a packet from the Bishop of Clogher, with one enclosed to the Duke of Ormond, which is ten days earlier dated than another I had from Parvisol ; however, it is no matter, for the duke has already disposed of the vice chancellorship to the Archbishop of Tuam, † and I could not help it, for it is a thing wholly, you know, in the duke's power ; and I find the bishop has enemies about the duke. I writ this while Patrick is folding up my scarf, and doing up the fire, (for I keep a fire, it costs me twelvepence a-week,) and so be quiet till I am gone to bed, and then sit down by me a little, and we will talk a few words more. Well ; now MD is at my bedside ; and now what shall we say? How does Mrs
* John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, familiarly called by the wits of the time John of Bucks. He did himself honour by patronizing Dryden from an early period, and in his latter days was the friend of Pope. Swift hints at some cause for not visiting him, which he had overcome with difficulty. It is certain he never loved or esteemed him.
+ Dr John Vesey, Bishop of Limerick, June 11th, 1672 ; translated to Tuam, March 18th, 1678. He died in 1716. It would seem that Swift's friend, the Bishop of Clogher, had solicited his interest for the place.
Stoyte ? What had the dean for supper? How much did Mrs Walls win ? Poor Lady Shelburn : well, go get you to bed, sirrahs.
20. Morning. I was up this morning early, and shaved by candlelight, and write this by the fireside. Poor Raymond just came in and took his leave of me; he is summoned by high order from his wife, but pretends he has had enough of London. I was a little melancholy to part with him ; he goes to Bristol, where they are to be with his merchant brother, and now thinks of staying till May; so she must be brought to bed in England. He was so easy and manageable, that I almost repent I suffered him to see me so seldom. But he is gone, and will save Patrick some lies in a week : Patrick is grown admirable at it, and will make his fortune. How now, sirrah, must I write in a morning to your impudence ?
Stay till night,
A bite a bite !
At night. Dr Raymond came back, and goes to-mor
I did not come home till eleven, and found him here to take leave of me. I went to the Court of Requests, thinking to find Mr Harley and dine with him, and refuse Henley and every body, and at last knew not where to go, and met Jemmy Leigh by chance, and was just in the same way, so I dined at his lodging on a beefsteak, and drank your health, then left him, and went to the tavern with Ben Tooke and Portlack, the Duke of Ormond's secretary, drinking nasty white wine till eleven. I am sick and ashamed of it, &c.
21. I met that beast Ferris, Lord Berkeley's steward formerly ; I walked with him a turn in the Park, and that scoundrel dog is as happy as an emperor, has married a wife with a considerable estate in land and houses about this town, and lives at his ease at Hammersmith. See your confounded sect. *Well; I had the same luck to-day with Mr Harley ; it was a lovely day, and went by water into the city, and dined with Stratford at a merchant's house, and walked home with as great a dunce as Ferris, I mean Colonel Caufield, and came home by eight, and now am in bed, and going to sleep for a wager, and will send this letter on Saturday ; and so; but first I will wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year, and pray God we may never keep them asunder again.
22. Morning. I am going now to Mr Harley's levee on purpose to vex him; I will say I had no other way of seeing him, &c. Patrick says, it is a dark morning, and that the Duke of Argyle is to be knighted today; the booby means installed at Windsor. But I must rise, for this is a shaving day, and Patrick says, there is a good fire; I wish MD were by it, or I by MD's. At night. I forgot to tell you,
Madam Dingley, that I paid nine shillings for your glass and spectacles, of which three were for the bishop's case ; I ry I did not buy you such another case, but if you
like it, I will bring one over with me; pray tell me : the
The doctor reflects on this lady for her choice of “ so great a dunce as Ferris.”
glass to read was four shillings, the spectacles two. And have you had your chocolate ? Leigh says, he sent the petticoat by one Mr Spencer. Pray, have you no farther commissions for me? I paid the glassman but last night, and he would have made me a present of the microscope worth thirty shillings, and would have sent it home with me; I thought the deuce was in the man : he said I could do him more service than that was worth, &c. I refused his present, but promised him all service I could do him; and so now I am obliged in honour to recommend him to every body.-At night. I went to Mr Harley's levee; he came and asked me, what had I to do there, and bid me come and dine with him on a family dinner; which I did, and it was the first time I ever saw his lady and daughter ; at five my lord keeper came in: I told Mr Harley, he had formerly presented me to Sir Simon Harcourt, but now must to my lord keeper, so he laughed, &c.
23. Morning. This letter goes to-night without fail; I hope there is none from you yet at the coffeehouse ; I will send and see by and by; and let you know, and so and so. Patrick goes to see for a letter; what will you lay, is there one from MD or no; No, I say; done for sixpence. Why has the dean never once written to me?-I won sixpence; I won sixpence; there is not one letter to Presto. Good morrow, dear sirrahs : Stratford and I dine to-day with Lord Mountjoy. Gold Almighty preserve and bless you ; farewell, &c.
I have been dining at Lord Mountjoy's; and am come to study; our news from Spain this post takes off some of our fears. The parliament is prorogued to-day, or adjourned rather, till after the holidays. Bank stock is 105, so I may get L. 12 for my bargain already. Patrick the puppy is abroad, and how shall I send this letter? Good night, little dears both, and be happy, and remember your poor Presto, that wants you sadly, as hope saved. Let me go study, naughty girls, and do not keep me at the bottom of the paper. O faith, if you knew what lies on my hands constantly, you would wonder to see how I could write such long letters; but we will talk of that some other time. Good night again, and God bless dear MD with his best blessing, yes, yes, and Dingley, and Stella, and me too, &c.
* Sir Simon Harcourt, formerly Attorney General, but now Keeper of the Great Seal.
Ask the Bishop of Clogher about the pun I sent him of Lord Stawell's brother ; it will be a pure bite.
. This letter has 199 lines in it, besides all postscripts ; I had a curiosity to reckon.
There is a long letter for you.
I had another letter from Mrs Fenton, who says you were with her. I hope you did not go on purpose.
I will answer her letter soon; it is about some money in Lady Giffard's hands.
They say you have had eight packets due to you; so pray, madams, do not blame Presto, but the wind.
My humble service to Mrs Walls and Mrs Stoyte; I missed the former a good while.