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bed-chamber, and am forced to have a candle till I rise, for the bed stands between me and the window, and I keep the curtains shut this cold weather. So pray let me rise, and, Patrick, here take away the candle.- At night. We are now here in high frost and snow, the largest fire can hardly keep us warm. It is very ugly walking; a baker's boy broke his thigh yesterday. I walk slow, make short steps, and never tread on my heel. It is a good proverb the Devonshire people have:
Walk fast in snow,
Tread on your toe:
I dined to-day with Dr Cockburn, but will not do so again in haste, he has generally such a parcel of Scots * with him.
22. Morning Starving, starving, uth, uth, uth, uth, uth.-Do not you remember I used to come into your chamber, and turn Stella out of her chair, and rake up the fire in a cold morning, and cry uth, uth, uth ? &c. O faith I must rise, my hand is so cold I can write no more. So good morrow, sirrahs.-At night. I went this morning to Lady Giffard's house, and saw your mother, and made her give me a pint bottle of palsy water, which I brought home in my pocket ; and sealed and tied up in a paper, and sent it to Mr Smyth, who goes to-morrow for Ireland, and sent a letter to him to desire his care of it, and that he would inquire at Ches
* For which nation Swift had no partiality.
ter about the box. He was not within, so the bottle and letter were left for him at his lodgings, with strict orders to give them to him; and I will send Patrick in a day or two, to know whether it was given, &c. Dr Stratford and I dined to-day with Mr Stratford in the city, by appointment : but I chose to walk there for exercise in the frost. But the weather had given a little, as you women call it, so it was something slobbery. I did not get home till nine, and now I am in bed to break your head.
23. Morning. They tell me it freezes again, but it is not so cold as yesterday : so now I will answer a bit of
your letter.---At night. O faith I was just going to answer some of our MD's letter this morning, when a printer came in about some business, and staid an hour; so I rose, and then came in Ben Tooke, and then I shaved and scribbled, and it was such a terrible day I could not stir out till one, and then I called at Mrs Barton's, and we went to Lady Worsley's, where we were to dine by appointment.' The Earl of Berkeley is going to be married to Lady Louisa Lennox, the Duke of Richmond's daughter. I writ this night to Dean Sterne, and bid him tell you all about the bottle of palsy water by Smyth, and to-morrow morning I will say something to your letter. 24. Morning. Come now to your letter.
. As for your being even with me, I have spoken to that already. So now, my dearly beloved, let us proceed to the next. You are always grumbling that you have not letters fast enough, surely we shall have your tenth ; and yet before you end your letter, you own you
my eleventh. --And why did not MD go into the country with the Bishop of Clogher? faith such a journey would have
As for my
done you good ; Stella should have rid, and Dingley gone in the coach. The Bishop of Kilmore I know nothing of; he is old and may die : he lives in some obscure corner, for I never hear of him. As for old friends, if you mean the Whigs, I never see them, as you may find by my journals, except Lord Halifax, and him very seldom ; Lord Somers never since the first visit, for he has been a false deceitful rascal. * My new friends are very kind, and I have promises enough, but I do not count upon them, and besides my pretences are very young to them. However, we will see what may be done, and if nothing at all, I shall not be disappointed ; although perhaps poor MD may, and then I shall be sorrier for their sakes than my own. -Talk of a merry Christmas, (why did you write it so then, young women ? sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,) I have wished you all that two or three letters ago. Good lack; and your news, that Mr St John is going to Holland; he has no such thoughts to quit the great station he is in, nor if he had, could I be spared to go with him. So faith, politic Madam Stella, you come with your two eggs a penny, &c. Well, Madam Dingley, , and so Mrs Stoyte invites you, and so you stay at Donnybrook, + and so you could not write. You are plaguy exact in your journals from December 25th to Ja
Well, Smyth and the palsy water I have
* Swift, probably from some feeling of disappointed ambition, seems to have entertained a great dislike to Somers; for to Macky's (or rather Davis's) character of that statesman, he added, " I allow him to have possessed all excellent qualifications except virtue; he had violent passions, and hardly subdued them by his great prudence.”
+ About a mile from Dublin.
handled already, and he does not lodge (or rather did not, for poor man now he is gone) at Mr Jesse's and all that stuff; but we found his lodging, and I went to Stella's mother on my own head, for I never remembered it was in the letter to desire another bottle; but I was so fretted, so tosticated, and so impatient, that Stella should have her water, (I mean decent, do not be rogues,) and so vexed with Sterne's carelessness. Pray God Stella's illness may not return. If they come seldom, they begin to be weary; I judge by myself; for when I seldom visit, I grow weary of my acquaintance. -Leave a good deal of my tenth unanswered—Impudent slut, when did you ever answer my tenth, or ninth, or any other number? or who desires you to answer, provided you write ? I defy the D— to answer my letters; sometimes there may be one or two things I should be glad you would answer, but I forget them, and you never think of them. I shall never love answering letters again, if you talk of answering. Answering, quotha; pretty answerers truly. As for the pamphlet you speak of, and call it scandalous, and that one Mr Presto is said to write it, hear my answer. * Fy, child, you must not mind what every idle body tells
I believe you lie, and that the dogs were not crying it when you said so; come, tell truth. I am sorry you go to St Mary's † so soon, you will be as poor as rats ; that place will drain you with a vengeance : besides, I would have you think of being in the country in sum
Indeed, Stella, pippins produced plentifully;
* Probably the severe character of Lord Wharton.
+ Mrs Johnson and Mrs Dingley, when in Dublin, lodged opposite to St Mary's church in Stafford Street. VOL. II.
Parvisol could not send from Laracor: there were about half a score, I would be glad to know whether they were good for any thing. Mrs Wells at Donnybrook with you ; why is she not brought to bed ? Well, well, well, Dingley, pray be satisfied ! you talk as if you were angry about the bishop's not offering you conveniences for the journey ; and so he should. What sort of Christmas ? why I have had no Christmas at all ; and has it really been Christmas of late ? I never once thought of it. My service to Mrs Stoyte, and Catherine, and let Catherine get the coffee ready against I come, and not have so much care on her countenance ; for all will go well. Mr Bernage, Mr Bernage, Mr Fiddlenage, I have had three letters from him now successively ; he sends no directions, and how the d— shall I write to him? I would have burnt his last, if I had not seen Stella's hand at the bottom : his request is all nonsense. How can I assist him in buying ? and if he be ordered to go to Spain, go he must, or else sell; and I believe one can hardly sell at such a juncture. If he had staid, and new regiments raised, I would have used my endeavour to have had him removed ; although I have no credit that way, or very little : but if the regiment goes, he ought to go too ; he has had great indulgence, and opportunities of saving; and I have urged him to it a hundred times. What can I do? whenever it lies in my power to do him a good office, I will do it. Pray draw up this into a handsome speech, and represent it to him from me, and that I would write, if I knew where to direct to him ; and so I have told you, and desired you would tell him, fifty times. Yes, Madam Stel
* See before, 16th January.