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hinge, and gilding it; give him six shillings, and I will pay it, and never employ him or his again. No--indeed, I put off preaching as much as I can. I am upon another foot : nobody doubts here whether I can preach, and you are fools. The account you give of that weekly paper * agrees with us here. Mr Prior was like to be insulted in the street for being supposed the author of it, but one of the last papers cleared him. Nobody knows who it is, but the few in the secret. I
suppose the ministry and the printer. Poor Stella's eyes, God bless them, and send them better. Pray spare them, and write not above two lines a-day in broad day light. How does Stella look, Madam Dingley ? Pretty well ; a handsome young woman still. Will she pass in a crowd? Will she make a figure in a country church ?- Stay a little, fair ladies. I this minute sent Patrick to Sterne : he brings back word that your box is very safe with one Mr Earl's sister, in Chester ; and that Colonel Edgworth's widow goes for Ireland on Monday next, and will receive the box at Chester, and deliver it to you safe ; so there is some hopes now. t Well, let us go on to your letter. The warrant is passed for the first-fruits. The queen does not send a letter, but a patent will be drawn here, and that will take up time. Mr Harley, of late, has said nothing of presenting me to the queen: I was overseen when I mentioned it to you. He has
* The Examiner.
+ It is a whimsical consequence of reading this strange medley of politics, puns, sentiment, affectionate trifling, and private affairs, that the reader at length takes an interest in the most minute domestic detail, and is probably as much pleased as the Doctor, to find that this long missing box, with all its miscellaneous contents, is likely to reach MD at last.
such a weight of affairs on him, that he cannot mind all; but he talked of it three or four times to me, long before I dropped it to you.
What, is not Mrs Wall's business over yet? I had hopes she was up, and well, and the child dead before this time. You did right, at last, to send me your accounts; but I did not stay for them, I thank you. I hope you have your bill sent in my last, and there will be eight pounds interest soon due from Hawkshaw ; pray look at his bond. I hope you are good managers, and that, when I say so, Steila will not think I intend she should grudge herself wine. But going to those expensive lodgings requires some fund. I wish you
had staid till I came over, for some reasons. That Frenchwoman t will be grumbling again in a little time ; and, if you are invited any where to the country, it will vex you to pay in absence ; and the country may be necessary for poor Stella's health : but do as you like, and do not blame Presto. O, but you are telling your
Well, I have read them ; do as you please. Yes, Raymond says he must stay longer than he thought, because he cannot settle his affairs. M-is in the country at some friend's, comes to town in spring, and then goes to settle in Herefordshire. Her husband is a surly ill-natured brute, and cares not she should see any body. O Lord, see how I blundered, and left two lines short; it was that ugly score in the paper that made me mistake. I believe you lie about the story of the fire, only to make it more odd. Bernage must go to Spain, and I will see to recommend him to the Duke of Argyle,
* Queen Anne's objections to Swift's religious principles, as author of the Tale Of A Tub, were found invincible by her ministers. This they carefully concealed from him : but the same dislike which proved an insuperable impediment to his gaining promotion in England, probably prevented his having the honour he alludes to in the text.
+ Mrs De Caudres; the landlady of MD.
* his general, when I see the duke next : but the officers tell me it would be dishonourable in the last degree for him to sell now, and he would never be preferred in the army; so that, unless he designs to leave it for good and all, he must go. Tell him so, and that I would write, if I knew where to direct to him ; which I have said fourscore times already. I had rather any thing almost than that you should strain yourselves to send a letter when it is inconvenient ; we have settled that matter already. I will write when I can, and so shall MD; and, upon occasions extraordinary, I will write, though it be a line ; and when we have not letters soon, we agree that all things are well ; and so that is settled for ever, and so hold your tongue. Well, you shall have your pins; but, for the candle ends, I cannot promise, because I burn them to the stumps; besides, I remember what Stella told Dingley about them many years ago, and she may think the same thing of me.-And Dingley shall have her hinged spectacles. Poor dear Stella, how durst you write these two lines by candle light, bang your bones ? Faith, this letter shall go to-morrow, I think, and that will be in ten days from the last, young women ; that is too soon, of all conscience : but answering yours has filled it up so quick, and I do not design to use you to three pages in folio, , no nooooh. All this is one morning's work in bed ;and so good morrows, little sorrohs, that is for the
* The duke was now about to assume the command in Spain.
You want politics : faith, I cannot think of any, but maybe at night I may tell you a passage. Come, sit off the bed, and let me rise, will you ?- At night. I dined to-day with my neighbour Vanhomrigh; it was such dismal weather, I could not stir farther. I have had some threatenings with my head, but no fits; I still drink Dr Radcliffe's bitter, and will continue it.
10. I was this morning to see the secretary of state, and have engaged him to give a memorial from me to the Duke of Argyle in behalf of Bernage. The duke is a man that distinguishes people of merit, and I will speak to him myself ; but the secretary backing it will be very effectual, and I will take care to have it done to purpose. Pray tell Bernage so, and that I think nothing can be luckier for him, and that I would have him go by all means. I will order it that the duke shall send for him when they are in Spain ; or, if he fails, that he shall receive him kindly when he goes to wait on him. Can I do more? Is not this a great deal -I now send away this letter that you may not stay.I dined with Ford upon his opera day, and am now come home, and am going to study; do not you presume to guess, sirrahs, impudent saucy dear boxes. Toward the end of a letter I could not say saucy boxes, without putting dear between. En't that right now? Farewell. This should be longer, but that I send it tonight. †
* In the original, good mollors, little sollahs. But the passage, not certainly for the sake of the rhyme, has hitherto been translated, good morrow, little sirrahs.
+ Those letters in italics, in the original, are very large.
O silly, silly loggerhead ! I sent a letter this post to one Mr Staunton, and I direct it to Mr Acton's in St Michael's Lane. He formerly lodged there, but he has not told me where to direct. Pray send to that Acton, whether the letter is come there, and whether he has sent it to Staunton.
If Bernage designs to sell his commission and stay at home, pray let him tell me so, that my recommenda, tion to the Duke of Argyle may not be in vain.
London, Feb. 10, 1710-11. I HAVE just dispatched my fifteenth to the post ; I tell you how things will be, after I have got a letter from MD. I am in furious haste to finish mine, for fear of having two of MD's to answer in one of Presto's, which would be such a disgrace, never saw the like but before you write to me I write at my leisure, like a gentleman, a little every day, just to let you know how matters go, and so, and so; and I hope before this comes to you, you will have got your box and chocolate, and Presto will take more care another time.
11. Morning I must rise and go see my Lord Keeper, which will cost me two shillings in coach-hire. Do not call them two thirteens. *-At night. It has rained all day, and there was no walking. I read pray
* A shilling passes for thirteen pence in Ireland. VOL. II.