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your wheedling: no, no, look off, do not smile at me, and say, pray, pray, Presto, write a little more. Ah! you are a wheedling slut, you be so. Nay, but pray thee turn about, and let me go, do : it is a good girl, and do. O faith, my morning candle is just out, and I must go now in spite of my teeth ; for my bed-chamber is dark with curtains, and I am at the wrong side. So farewell, &c. &c.
I am in the dark almost : I must have another candle, when I am up, to seal this ; but I will fold it up in the dark, and make what you can of this, for I can only see this paper I am writing upon. Service to Mrs Walls and Mrs Stoyte. God Almighty bless you,
&c. What I am doing I cannot see; but I will fold it up, and not look on it again.
London, Jan. 4, 1710-11. I was going into the city (where I dined) and put my 12th, with my own fair hands, into the post-office as I came back, which was not till nine this night. I dined with people that you never heard of, nor is it worth your while to know; an authoress and a printer. * I walked bome for exercise, and at eleven got into bed ; and all the while I was undressing myself, there was I
* Probably Mrs Manley, who then wrote the Examiner, and Barber, the printer, by whom she is said to have been kept.
speaking monkey things in air, just as if MD had been by, and did not recollect myself till I got into bed. I writ last night to the archbishop, and told him the warrant was drawn for the first-fruits, and I told him Lord Peterborow was set out for his journey to Vienna : but it seems the lords have addressed to have him stay to be examined about Spanish affairs, upon this defeat there, and to know where the fault lay, &c. * So I write to the archbishop a lie ; but I think it was not a sin.
5. Mr Secretary St John sent for me this morning so early, that I was forced to go without shaving, which put me quite out of method : I called at Mr Ford's, and desired him to lend me a shaving, and so made a shift to get into order again. Lord ! here is an impertinence : Sir Andrew Fountaine's mother and sister are come above a hundred miles from Worcester to see him before he died. They got here but yesterday, and he must have been past hopes, or past fears, before they could reach him. I fell a scolding when I heard they were coming ; and the people about him wondered at me, and said what a mighty content it would be on both sides to die when they were with him. I knew the mother ; she is the greatest Overdo upon earth, and the sister, they say, is worse ; the poor man will relapse again among them. Here was the scoundrel brother always crying in the outer room till Sir Andrew was in danger, and the dog was to have all bis estate if he died;
* This was done accordingly; and Peterborough, in answer to five questions put to him by the House of Lords, gave such a recital of the affairs of Spain, as to call down a censure, both on the ministry who had directed that the campaign of 1707 should be offensively conducted, and upon the Earl of Galway, under whose conduct it miscarried.
and it is an ignorant, worthless, scoundrel rake: and the nurses were comforting him, and desiring he would not take on so. I dined to-day the first time with Ophy Butler and his wife ; and you supped with the dean, and lost two-and-twenty pence at cards. Mrs Walls is brought to bed of a girl, who died two days after it was christened ; and betwixt you and me, , she is not very sorry : she loves her ease and diversions too well to be troubled with children. I will go to bed.
6. Morning. I went last night to put some coals on my fire, after Patrick was gone to bed; and there I saw in a closet a poor linnet he has bought to bring over to Dingley : it cost him sixpence, and is as tame as a dor. mouse. I believe he does not know he is a bird : where you put him, there he stands, and seems to have neither hope nor fear ; I suppose in a week he will die of the spleen. Patrick advised with me before he bought him. I laid fairly before him the greatness of the sum, and the rashness of the attempt ; showed how impossible it was to carry him safe over the salt sea : but he would not take my counsel, and he will repent it. It is very cold this morning in bed, and I hear there is a good fire in the room without, what do you call it, the dining
I hope it will be good weather, and so let me rise, sirrahs, do so.—At night. I was this morning to visit the dean, or Mr Prolocutor, I think you call him, do not you? Why should not I go to the dean's as well as you ? A little black man of pretty near fifty ? Ay, the same. A good pleasant man ? Ay, the same. Cunning enough ? Yes. One that understands his own interest ? As well as any body. How comes it MD and I do not meet there sometimes ? A very good face, and
abundance of wit ; do you know his lady? O Lord ! whom do you mean? I mean Dr Atterbury, Dean of Carlisle, and prolocutor. * Pshaw, Presto, you are a fool ; I thought you had meant our Dean of St Patrick's.-Silly, silly, silly, you are silly, both are silly, every kind of thing is silly. As I walked into the city, I was stopped with clusters of boys and wenches, buzzing about the cakeshops like flies. There had the fools let out their shops two yards forward into the streets, all spread with great cakes frothed with sugar, and stuck with streamers of tinsel. And then I went to Bateman’s, the bookseller, † and laid out eight-and-forty shillings for books. I bought three little volumes of Lucian, in French, for our Stella, and so, and so. Then I went to Garraway's, to meet Stratford, and dine with him ; but it was an idle day with the merchants, and he was going to our end of the town : so I dined with Thomas Frankland, at the post-office, and we drank your Manley's health. It was in a newspaper that he was turned out, but Secretary St John told me it was false ; only that newswriter is a plaguy Tory. I have not seen one bit of Christmas merriment.
7. Morning. Your new lord-chancellor † sets out to-morrow for Ireland : I never saw him. He carries over one Trapp, S a parson, as his chaplain, a sort of facts are trifles. It was first printed privately here; and then some bold cur ventured to do it publicly, and sold two thousand in two days : who the author is must remain uncertain. Do you pretend to know, impudence ? how durst you think so ? pox on your parliaments : the archbishop has told me of it ; but we do not vouchsafe to know any thing of it here. No, no, no more giddiness yet ; thank you, Stella, for asking after it ; thank you; God Almighty bless you for your kindness to poor Presto. You write to Lady Giffard and your mother upon what I advise, when it is too late. But yet I fancy this bad news will bring down stocks so low, that one might buy to great advantage. I design to venture going to see your mother some day when Lady Giffard is abroad. Well, keep your Rathburn and stuff. I thought he was to pay in your money upon his houses to be flung down about the what do you call it ?- Well, Madam Dingley, I sent your inclosed to Bristol, but have not heard from Raymond since he went. Come, come, young women, I keep a good fire; it costs me twelvepence a-week, and I fear something more ; vex me, and I will have one in my bedchamber too. No, did not I tell you but just now, we have no high winds here? Have you forgot already?-Now you are at it again, silly Stella ; why does your mother say, my candles are scandalous ? they are good sixes in the pound, and she said I was extravagant enough to burn them in daylight. I never burn fewer at a time than one. What would people have ? the D-burst Hawkshaw. He told me he had not the box, and the next day Sterne * told
* He was made prolocutor to the Lower House of Convocation. + Mr Bateman, in Little Britain. # Sir Constantine Phipps.
§ Joseph Trapp, a divine of parts and learning, but an indifferent poet. He was educated in Wadham College, Oxford, and is said to have been chaplain to Sir Walter St John, father of the secretary; a connection which probably opened his way to the preferment mentioned in the text. Trapp's version of Virgil was an