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the parliament may be chosen Whig or Tory, as the queen pleases. Then I think our friends press a little too hard on the Duke of Marlborough. *
The country members t are violent to have past faults inquired into, and they have reason ; but I do not observe the ministry to be very fond of it. In my opinion, we have nothing to save us but a peace, and I am sure we cannot have such a one as we hoped, and then the Whigs will bawl what they would have done had they continued in power. I tell the ministry this as much as I dare, and shall venture to say a little more to them, especially about the Duke of Marlborough, who, as the Whigs give out, will lay down his command ; and I question whether ever any wise state laid aside a general who had been successful nine years together, whom the enemy so much dreaded, and his own soldiers cannot but believe must always conquer; and you know that
* “ Marlborough, who, but a few months before, had been so highly esteemed and caressed by the representatives of the people, was now become the object of parliamentary hatred and censure, though no sensible alteration had happened in his conduct or suc
That hero, who had retrieved the glory of the British arms, won so many battles, subdued such a number of towns and districts, humbled the pride, and checked the ambition of France, secured the liberty of Europe, and, as it were, chained victory to his chariot wheels, was, in a few weeks, dwindled into an object of contempt and derision. He was ridiculed in public libels, and reviled in private conversation. Instances were every where repeated of his fraud, avarice, and extortion ; his insolence, cruelty, ambition, and misconduct ; even his courage was called in question, and this consummate general was represented as the very
lowest of mankind. So unstable is the popularity of every character that Auctuates between two opposite sides of faction.” -SMOLLET's History.
+ These afterwards formed the body called the October Club. VOL. II.
in war opinion is nine parts in ten. The ministry hear me always with appearance of regard, and much kind. ness; but I doubt they let personal quarrels mingle too much with their proceedings. Meantime, they seem to value all this as nothing, and are as easy and merry as if they had nothing in their hearts, or upon their shoulders ; like physicians, who endeavour to cure, but feel no grief, whatever the patient suffers. Pshaw, what is all this? Do you know one thing, that I find I can write politics to you much easier than to any body alive? But I swear my head is full, and I wish I were at Laracor, with
my dear charming MD, &c. 8. Morning. Methinks, young women, I have made a great progress in four days, at the bottom of this side already, and no letter yet come from MD. (That word interlined is morning.) I find I have been writing state affairs to MD. How do they relish it ? Why, any thing that comes from Presto is welcome; though really, to confess the truth, if they had their choice, not to disguise the matter, they had rather, &c. Now, Presto, I must tell you, you grow silly, says Stella. That is but one body's opinion, madam. I promised to be with Mr Secretary St John this morning ; but I am lazy, and will not go, because I had a letter from him yesterday, to desire I would dine there to-day. I shall be chid, but what care I ? Here has been Mrs South with me, just come from Sir Andrew Fountaine, and going to market. He is still in a fever, and may live or die. His mother and sister are now come up, and in the house, so there is a lurry. I gave Mrs South half a pistole, for a new-year's gift. So good morrow, dears both, till anon.-At night. Lord, I have been with Mr Secretary from dinner till eight; and, though I
drank wine and water, I am so hot! Lady Stanley came to visit Mr St John, and sent up for me, to make up a quarrel with Mrs St John, whom I never yet saw; and do you think that devil of a secretary would not let me go, but kept me by main force, though I told him I was in love with his lady, and it was a shame to keep back a lover, &c. But all would not do. So at last I was forced to break away, but never went up, it was then too late ; and here I am, and have a great deal to do to-night, though it be nine o'clock ; but one must say something to these naughty MDs, else there will be no quiet.
9. To-day Ford and I set apart to go into the city to buy books; but we only had a scurvy dinner at an alehouse, and he made me go to the tavern, and drink Florence, four and sixpence a flask; damned wine! so 1
spent my money, which I seldom do, and past an insipid day, and saw nobody, and it is now ten o'clock, and I have nothing to say, but that it is a fortnight tomorrow since I had a letter from MD, but if I have it time enough to answer here, it is well enough, otherwise woe betide you, faith; I will go to the toyman's here just in Pall-Mall, and he sells great hugeous batoons ; yes, faith, and so he does. Does not he, Dingley? Yes, faith. Do not lose your money this Christ
10. I must go this morning to Mr Secretary St John. I promised yesterday, but failed, so I cannot write any more till night, to poor dear MD.-At night. O, faith, Dingley, I had company in the morning, and could not go where I designed ; and I had a basket from Raymond at Bristol, with six bottles of wine, and a pound of chocolate, and some tobacco to snuff; and he writ under, the carriage was paid ; but he lied, or I am cheated, or there is a mistake ; and he has written to me so confusedly about things, that Lucifer could not understand him. This wine is to be drank with Harley's brother and Sir Robert Raymond, solicitor-general, in order to recommend the doctor to your new lord chancellor, who left this place on Monday, and Raymond says he is hasting to Chester to go with him. I suppose he leaves his wife behind; for, when he left London, he had no thoughts of stirring till summer. * So I suppose he will be with you before this. Ford came and desired I would dine with him, because it was opera day, which I did, and sent excuses to Lord Shelburn, who had invited me.
11. I am setting up a new Tatler, little Harrison, whom I have mentioned to you. Others have
Others have put him on it, and I encourage him; and he was with me this morning and evening, showing me his first, which comes out on Saturday. I doubt he will not succeed, for I do not much approve his manner; but the scheme is Mr Secretary St John's and mine, and would have done well enough in good hands. I recommended him to a printer, whom I sent for, and settled the matter between them this evening. Harrison has just left me, and I am tired with correcting his trash.
12. I was this morning upon some business with Mr Secretary St John, and he made me promise to dine with him, which otherwise I would have done with Mr Harley, whom I have not been with these ten days. I cannot but think they have mighty difficulties upon them ; yet I always find them as easy and disengaged as schoolboys on a holiday. * Harley has the procuring of five or six millions on his shoulders, and the Whigs will not lend a groat ; which is the only reason of the fall of stocks : for they are like Quakers and fanatics, that will only deal among themselves, while all others deal indifferently with them. Lady Marlborough offers, if they will let her keep her employments, never to come into the queen's presence.
* The lady, as the reader will be pleased to remember, expected to be confined.
The Whigs say the Duke of Marlborough will serve no more ; but I hope and think otherwise. + I would to Heaven I were this minute with MD at Dublin ; for I am weary of
politics that give me such melancholy prospects.
13. O faith, I had an ugly giddy fit last night in my chamber, and I have got a new box of pills to take, and hope I shall have no more this good while. I would
* Harley had a large share of the volto sciolto recommended to politicians, although the Duchess of Marlborough alleges, that a
constant awkward motion, or rather agitation of his head and body," betrayed what her Grace calls “ a turbulent dishonesty within, even in the midst of all these familiar airs, jocular bowing, and smiling, which he always affected to cover what could not be covered.”
+ It can hardly be believed, that so proud a woman as the duchess would have made such a proposal as is mentioned in the text. But it seems certain that the duke would have been contented to retain his command abroad, even after his wife's disgrace. This the Whigs attributed to patriotism and greatness of soul. The Tories, on the other hand, failed not to insinuate, that the emoluments of the duchess at court were trifling, compared with those which the duke derived from his situation as commander-in-chief, and that he was content to wink at the loss of the former, though attended with some disgrace, rather than take revenge on himself and the queen at once, by relinquishing his command, and all that was attached to it.