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days, since I have taken Lady Kerry's bitter. Our frost holds like a dragon. I went to Mr Addison's, and dined with him at his lodgings ; I had not seen him these three weeks; we are grown common acquaintance : yet what have not I done for his friend Steele? Mr. Harley reproached me the last time I saw him, that to please me, he would be reconciled to Steele, and had promised and appointed to see him, and that Steele never came. Harrison, whom Mr Addison recommended to me, I have introduced to the Secretary of State, who has promised me to take care of him ; and I have represented Addison himself so to the ministry, that they think and talk in his favour, though they hated him before.— Well ; he is now in my debt, and there is an end; and I never had the least obligation to him, and there is another end. This evening I had a message from Mr Harley, desiring to know whether I was alive, and that I would dine with him to-morrow. They dine so late, that since my head has been wrong, I have avoided being with them. Patrick has been out of favour these ten days; I talk dry and cross to him, and have called him friend three or four times. But, sirrahs, get you gone.
5. Morning. I am going this morning to see Prior, who dines with me at Mr Harley's; so I cannot stay fiddling and talking with dear little brats in a morning, and it is still terribly cold. I wish my cold hand was in the warmest place about you, young woman, I would give ten guineas upon that account with all my heart, faith ; oh, it starves my thigh ; so I will rise, and bid you good morrow. Come stand away, let me rise : Patrick, take away the candle. Is there a good fire ?—So -up adazy.-—At night. Mr Harley did not sit down till six, and I staid till eleven; henceforth, I will choose
to visit him in the evening, and dine with him no more, if I can help it. It breaks all my measures, and hurts my health ; my head is disorderly, but not ill, and I hope it will mend.
6. Here has been such a hurry with the queen's birthday, so much fine clothes, and the court so crowded, that I did not go there. All the frost is
All the frost is gone. It thawed on Sunday, and so continues, yet ice is still on the canal, (I did not mean that of Laracor, but St James's Park,) and boys sliding on it. Mr Ford pressed me to dine with him in his chamber. Did not I tell you Patrick has got a bird, a linnet, to carry over to Dingley ? It was very tame at first, and it is now the wildest I ever saw. He keeps it in a closet, where it makes a terrible litter; but I say nothing: I am as tame as a clout. When must we answer our MD's letter ? one of these oddcome-shortlies. This is a week old, you see, and no farther yet. Mr Harley desired I would dine with him again to-day ; but I refused him, for I fell out with him yesterday, and will not see him again till he makes me amends; and so I go to bed.
7. I was this morning early with Mr Lewis of the secretary's office, and saw a letter Mr Harley had sent to him, desiring to be reconciled ; but I was deaf to all entreaties, and have desired Lewis to go to him, and let him know I expect farther satisfaction. If we let these great ministers pretend too much, there will be no governing them. He promises to make me easy, if I will but come and see him ; but I will not, and he shall do it by message, or I will cast him off. I will tell you the cause of our quarrel when I see you, and refer it to yourselves. In that he did something, * which he intended for a favour, and I have taken it quite otherwise, disliking both the thing and the manner, and it has heartily vexed me, and all I have said is truth, though it looks like jest : and I absolutely refused to submit to his intended favour, and expect farther satisfaction. Mr Ford and I dined with Mr Lewis. We have a monstrous deal of snow, and it has cost me two shillings today in chair and coach, and walked till I was dirty besides. I know not what it is now to read or write after I am in bed. The last thing I do up is to write something to our MD, and then get into bed, and put out my candle, and so go sleep as fast as ever I can. But in the mornings I do write sometimes in bed, as you know.
* See Journal for 6th January.
8. Morning. I hare desired Apronia to be always careful, especially about the legs. Pray, do you see any such great wit in that sentence? I must freely own that I do not. But party carries every thing now-a-days, and what a splutter have I heard about the wit of that saying, repeated with admiration about a hundred times in half an hour. Pray read it over again this moment, and consider it. I think the word is advised, and not desired. I should not have remembered it, if I had not heard it so often. Why-ay-You must know I dreamed it just now, and waked with it in my mouth. Are you bit, or are you not, sirrahs ? + I met Mr Har
* This alludes to an offer of a L. 50 bank-note from Harley to the dean. See Journal of March 7, 1710-11.
+ It is well the bite is at length explained ; else a modern editor must have held it his bounden duty to hunt this enigmatical advice to Apronia, through all the penny pamphlets and broadsides of the
ley in the Court of Requests, and he asked me how long I had learnt the trick of writing to myself. He had seen your letter through the glass-case, at the coffeehouse, and would swear it was my hand; and Mr Ford, who took and sent it me, was of the same mind.
I remember others have formerly said so too. I think I was little MD's writing-master. But come, what is here to do, writing to young women in a morning ? I have other fish to fry; so good morrow, my ladies all, good morrow. Perhaps I will answer your letter tonight, perhaps I will not ; that is, as saucy little Presto takes the humour.At night. I walked in the Park today, in spite of the weather, as I do always, when it does not actually rain. Do you know what it has gone and done? We had a thaw for three days, then a monstrous dirt and snow, and now it freezes, like a potlid, upon
I dined with Lady Betty Germain, the first tiine since I came for England; and there did I sit, like a booby, till eight, looking over her and another lady at picquet, when I had other business enough to do. It was the coldest day I felt this year.
9. Morning. After I had been a-bed an hour last night, I was forced to rise and call to the landlady and maid to have the fire removed in a chimney below stairs, which made my bedchamber smoke, though I had no fire in it. I have been twice served so. I never lay so miserable an hour in my life. Is it not plaguy vexatious ? It has showed all night, and rains this morning. Come, where is MD's letter ? Come, Mrs Letter, make your appearance. Here am I, says she, answer me to my face. O, faith, I am sorry you had my twelfth so soon; I doubt
will stay longer for the rest. I am so afraid you have got my fourteenth while I am writing this, and
I would always have one letter from Presto reading, one travelling, and one writing. As for the box, I now believe it lost. It is directed for Mr Curry, at his house in Capel Street, &c. I had a letter yesterday from Dr Raymond in Chester, who says, he sent his man every where, and cannot find it; and God knows whether Mr Smyth will have better success. Sterne spoke to him, and I writ to him with the bottle of palsy water ; that bottle, I hope, will not miscarry: I long to hear you have it. O, faith, you have too good an opinion of Presto's care. I am negligent enough of every thing enough but MD, and I should not have trusted Sterne. But it shall not go so : I will have one more tug for it. As to what you say of Goodman Peasly and Isaac, I answer as I did before. * Fy, child, you must not give yourself the way to believe any such thing: and afterward, only for curiosity, you may tell me how those things are approved, and how you like them; and whether they instruct you in the present course of affairs, and whether they are printed in your town, or only sent from hence. Sir Andrew Fountaine is recovered; so take your sorrow again, but do not keep it, Aing it to the dogs. And does little MD walk, indeed? I am glad of it at heart. Yes, we have done with the plague here : it was very saucy in you to pretend to have it before your betters. Your intelligence that the story is false about the officers forced to sell is admirable. You may see them all three every day, no more in the army than you. Twelve shillings for mending the strong box; that is, for putting a farthing's worth of iron on a
* He alludes to some pamphlet, of which he was the suspected, and, perhaps, real author. It is now unknown..