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ers to Sir Andrew Fountaine in the afternoon, and I dined with three Irishmen at one Mr Cope’s * lodgings ; the other two were one Morris an archdeacon, and Mr Ford. When I came home this evening, I expected that little jackanapes Harrison would have come to get help about his Tatler for Tuesday: I have fixed two evenings in the week which I allow him to come. The toad never came, and I expecting him fell a reading, and left off other business.—Come, what are you
doing ? how do you pass your time this ugly weather ? Gaming and drinking, I suppose : fine diversions for young ladies, truly. I wish you had some of our Seville oranges, and we some of
We have the finest oranges for twopence a-piece, and the basest wine for six shillings a bottle. They tell me wine grows cheap with
you. I am resolved to have half a hogshead when I get to Ireland, if it be good and cheap, as it used to be; and I will treat MD at my table in an evening, oh hoa, and laugh at great ministers of state.
12. The days are grown fine and long, be thanked. O faith, you forget all our little sayings, and I am angry. I dined to-day with Mr Secretary St John: I went to the Court of Requests at noon, and sent Mr Harley into the house to call the secretary, to let him know I would not dine with him if he dined late. By good luck the Duke of Argyle was at the lobby of the house too, and I kept him in talk till the secretary came out, then told them I was glad to meet them together, and that I had a request to the duke, which the secretary must second, and his grace must grant. The duke said, he was sure it was something insignificant, and wished it was ten times greater. At the secretary's house I writ a memorial, and gave it to the secretary to give the duke, and shall see that he does it. It is, that his grace will please to take Mr Bernage into his protection ; and if he finds Bernage answers my character, to give him all encouragement,
* Robert Cope, Esq. a gentleman of learning, good fortune, and family, and a correspondent of Dr Swift's. It was at his lodgings that an odd adventure took place between Swift and the Serjeant at Arms of the House of Commons.
Colonel Masham and Colonel Hill (Mrs Masham's brother) tell me my request is reasonable, and they will second it heartily to the duke too : so I reckon Bernage is on a very good foot when he goes to Spain. Pray tell him this, though perhaps I will write to him before he goes; yet where shall I direct ? for I suppose he has left Conolly's.
13. I have left off Lady Kerry's bitter, and got another box of pills. I have no fits of giddiness, but only some little disorders toward it : and I walk as much as I can.
Lady Kerry is just as I am, only a great deal worse: I dined to-day at Lord Shelburn's, where she is, and we con ailments, which makes us very fond of each other. I have taken Mr Harley into favour again, and called to see him, but he was not within ; I will use to visit him after dinner, for he dines too late for my head: then I went to visit poor Congreve, * who is just getting out of a severe fit of the gout, and I sat with him till near nine o'clock. He gave me a Tatler he had written out, as blind as he is, for little Harrison. It is about a scoundrel that was grown rich, and went and bought a coat of arms at the Herald's, and a set of ancestors at Fleet-ditch ; it is well enough, and shall be printed in two or three days, and if you read those kind of things, this will divert you. * It is now between ten and eleven, and I am going to bed.
* Congreve appears to have been much beloved by Swift. So early as 1693, our author addressed the inimitable comic dramatist in a copy of verses, and ever after they seem to have been intimate friends. The gentleness of Congreve's temper afforded no asperity at which Swift's ardent and haughty spirit might have taken offence; and it is probable, that in the present passage and others, inferring kind feelings towards Congreve, Swift only repaid kindly notice received from that poet when he was himself in a dependent situation.
14. This was Mrs Vanhomrigh's daughter's birthday, and Mr Ford and I were invited to dinner to keep it, † and we spent the evening there drinking punch. That was our way of beginning Lent; and in the morning, Lord Shelburn, Lady Kerry, Mrs Pratt, and I, went to Hyde Park, instead of going to church ; for till
my head is a little settled, I think it better not to go; it would be so silly and troublesome to go out sick. Dr Duke died suddenly two or three nights ago ; he was one of the wits when we were children, but turned parson,
and left it, and never writ farther than a prologue or recommendatory copy of verses. He had a fine living given him by the Bishop of Winchester about three months ago ; he got his living suddenly, and he got his dying so too.
* No. 14 of Harrison’s volume. It is reprinted in the excellent edition of The TaTLER, with notes, 1786.
+ This is one of the very few instances in which Swift mentions Vanessa incidentally in his Journal to Stella.
# Richard Duke, preferred by the Bishop of Winchester to the living of Witney in Gloucestershire. He was educated at Cambridge ; was a friend of Otway, who addressed a poem to him, and a contributor to Dryden's Miscellany. If not a prolific poet, Dr Duke was an efficient divine, and fifteen of his sermons were printed in 1715. Moreover, his poems were collected and edited with those of Roscommon in 1717.
15. I walked purely to-day about the Park, the rain being just over, of which we have had a great deal, mixed with little short frosts. I went to the Court of Requests, thinking if Mr Harley dined early to go with him. But meeting Leigh and Sterne, they invited me to dine with them, and away we went.
When we got into his room, one H-, a worthless Irish fellow, was there ready to dine with us, so I stepped out and whispered them, that I would not dine with that fellow; they made excuses, and begged me to stay, but away I went to Mr Harley's, and he did not dine at home, and at last I dined at Sir John Germain's, and found Lady Betty but just recovered of a miscarriage. I am writing an inscription for Lord Berkeley's tomb: you know the young rake his son, the new earl, * is married to the Duke of Richmond's daughter, at the duke's country house, and are now coming to town. She will be fluxed in two months, and they will be parted in a year. You ladies are brave, bold venturesome folks ; and the chit is but seventeen, and is ill-natured, covetous, vi. cious, and proud in extremes. And so get you gone to Stoyte to-morrow.
16. Faith this letter goes on but slow; it is a week old, and the first side not written. I went to-day into the city for a walk, but the person I designed to dine with was not at home : so I came back and called at Congreve's, and dined with him and Estcourt, * and laughed till six, then went to Mr Harley's, who was not gone to dinner; there I staid till nine, and we made up our quarrel, and he has invited me to dinner to-morrow, which is the day of the week (Saturday) that Lordkeeper and Secretary St John dine with him privately, and at last they have consented to let me among them on that day. Atterbury and Prior went to bury poor Dr Duke. Congreve's nasty white wine has given me the heartburn.
• The third Earl of Berkeley. Notwithstanding the disadvantageous character here given him by Swift, he was a gallant seaofficer, and distinguished himself under Rooke and Shovel in the Mediterranean. He defeated a squadron commanded by Du Guay Trouin, one of the few excellent naval officers whom the French annals can boast. He died at Aubigny in France, August 1736. His wife, Lady Louisa Lennox, predeceased him some years,
having died of the small-pox in 1716-17, aged only twenty-three years.
17. I took some good walks in the Park to-day, and then went to Mr Harley. Lord Rivers was got there before me, and I chid him for presuming to come on a day when only lord-keeper, the secretary, and I were to be there ; but he regarded me not ; so we all dined together, and sat down at four ; and the secretary has invited me to dine with him to-morrow. I told them, I had no hopes they could ever keep in, but that I saw they loved one another so well, as indeed they seem to do. They call me nothing but Jonathan ; and I said, I believed they would leave me Jonathan, as they found me; and that I never knew a ministry do any thing for those whom they make companions of their pleasures ; and I believe you will find it so; but I care not. upon a project of getting five hundred pounds, without
* Mr Richard Estcourt, a player and dramatic writer, celebrated in The SPECTATOR, and other works of the time. His talents for mimicry and conviviality made him welcome to the joyous festivals. He was Providore of the Beef-steak Club when first insti. tuted, and wore, in honour of his office, a small golden gridiron, suspended around his neck by a silken ribbon.