Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

chest of the great duke's wine : it begins to turn. They say wine with you in Ireland is half-a-crown a bottle. 'Tis as Stella says, nothing that once grows dear in Ireland ever grows cheap again, except corn, with a pox, to ruin the parson. I had a letter to-day from the Archbishop of Dublin, giving me farther thanks about vindicating him to Mr Harley and Mr St John, and telling me a long story about your mayor's election, wherein I find he has had a finger, and given way to farther talk about him; but we know nothing of it here

yet.

* This walking to and fro, and dressing myself, takes up so much of my time, that I cannot go among company so much as formerly; yet what must a body do? I thank God I yet continue much better since I left the town; I know not how long it may last. I am sure it has done me some good for the present. I do not totter as I did, but walk firm as a cock, only once or twice for a minute, I dont know how ; but it went off, and I never followed it. Does Dingley read my hand as well as ever ? Do you, sirrah ? Poor Stella must not read Presto's ugly small hand. Preserve Preserve your eyes,

if
you

be wise. Your friend Walls's tea will go in a day or two toward Chester by one parson Richardson. My humble service to her, and to good Mrs Stoyte, and Catherine ; and pray

* The corporation of Dublin was then in the hands of the Whigs. The council, it seems, by the archbishop's letter, rejected four mayors and eight sheriffs, all regularly elected by the city; on account, doubtless, of their political principles. The archbishop “ just hints a fault, and hesitates dislike," of these arbitrary proceedings; but his expressions were strong enough to show Swift, that his heart was not with the measures of government, and that his hand had probably been against them. VOL. II.

s

walk while you continue in Dublin. I expect your next but one will be from Wexford. God bless dearest MD.

24. Morning. Mr Secretary has sent his groom hither to invite me to dinner to-day, &c. God Almighty for ever bless and preserve you both, and give you health, &c. Amen. Farewell, &c.

Don't I often say the same thing two or three times in the same letter, sirrah ?

Great wits, they say, have but short memories ; that's good vile conversation.

LETTER XXIV.

Chelsea, May 24, 1711. MORNING. Once in my life the number of my let- . ters and of the day of the month is the same ; that's lucky, boys ; that's a sign that things will meet, and that we shall make a figure together. What, will you still have the impudence to say London, England, because I say Dublin, Ireland ? Is there no difference between London and Dublin, saucy boxes ? I have sealed up my letter, and am going to town. Morrow, sirrahs. -At night. I dined with the secretary to-day; we sat down between five and six. Mr Harley's patent passed this morning : he is now Earl of Oxford, Earl Morti-mer, and Lord Harley of Wigmore Castle. My letter was sealed, or I would have told you this yesterday ; but the public news may tell it you. The queen, for all her favour, has kept a rod for him in her closet this week

; I suppose he will take it from her though in a day or

* two. At eight o'clock this evening it rained prodigiously, as it did from five; however, I set out, and in half way the rain lessened, and I got home, but tolerably wet; and this is the first wet walk I have had in a month's time that I am here: but however I got to bed, after a short visit to Atterbury.

25. It rained this morning, and I went to town by water; and Ford and I dined with Mr Lewis by appointment. I ordered Patrick to bring my gown and periwig to Mr Lewis, because I designed to go to see Lord Oxford, and so I told the dog ; but he never came, though I staid an hour longer than I appointed : so I went in my old gown, and sat with him two hours, but could not talk over some business I had with him; so he has desired me to dine with him on Sunday, and I must disappoint the secretary. My lord set me down at a coffeehouse, where I waited for the Dean of Carlisle's chariot to bring me to Chelsea ; for the dean did not come himself, but sent me his chariot, which has cost me two shil. lings to the coachman; and so I am got home, and Lord knows what is become of Patrick. I think I must send him over to you; for he is an intolerable rascal. If I had come without a gown, he would have served me so, though my life and preferment should have lain upon it : and I am making a livery for him will cost me four pounds ; but I will order the tailor to-morrow to stop till farther orders. My Lord Oxford can't yet abide to be called my lord ; and when I called him my lord, he called me Dr Thomas Swift, which he always does when he has a mind to teaze me. By a second hand he proposed my being his chaplain, which I by a second hand excused; but we had no talk of it to-day : but I will be no man's chaplain alive. But I must go and be busy.

* A jocular allusion to the lord-treasurer's staff, shortly to be conferred on Harley.

26. I never saw Patrick till this morning, and that only once, for I dressed myself without him ; and when I went to town, he was out of the way. I immediately sent for the tailor, and ordered him to stop his hand in Patrick's clothes till farther orders. O, if it were in Ireland, I should have turned him off ten times ago ; and it is no regard to him, but myself, that has made me keep him so long. Now I am afraid to give the rogue his clothes. What shall I do? I wish MD were here to entreat for him, just here at the bed's side. Lady Ashburnham has been engaging me this long time to dine with her, and I set to-day apart for it; and whatever was the mistake, she sent me word, she was at dinner and undressed, but would be glad to see me in the afternoon; so I dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh, and would not go see her at all, in a huff. My fine Florence is turning sour with a vengeance, and I have not drunk half of it. As I was coming home to-night, Sir Thomas Mansel and Tom Harley met me in the Park, and made me walk with them till nine, like unreasonable whelps; so I got not here till ten : but it was a fine evening, and the foot-path clean enough already after this hard rain.

27. Going this morning to town, I saw two old lame

Dr Thomas Swift was the name of our author's “parson-cousin,” as he contemptuously called him. This poor creature had the assurance to claim a joint interest with Jonathan in the “ Tale of a Tub."

fellows walking to a brandy shop, and when they got to the door, stood a long time complimenting who should go in first. Though this be no jest to tell, it was an admirable one to see. I dined to-day with my Lord Oxford and the ladies, the new countess, and Lady Betty, * who has been these three days a lady born. My lord left us at seven, and I had no time to speak to him about some affairs; but he promises in a day or two we shall dine alone ; which is mighty likely, considering we expect every moment that the queen will give him the staff, and then he will be so crowded, he will be good for nothing: for aught I know he may have it to-night at council.

28. I had a petition sent me t'other day from one Stephen Gernon, setting forth that he formerly lived with Harry Tenison, who gave him an employment of gauger; and that he was turned out after Harry's death, and came for England, and is now starving, or, as he expresses it, that the staff of life has of late been a stranger to his appetite. To-day the poor fellow called, and I knew him very well, a young slender fellow with freckles in his face; you must remember him ; he waited at table as a better sort of servant. I gave him a crown, and promised to do what I could to help him to a service, which I did for Harry Tenison's memory. It was bloody hot walking to-day, and I was so lazy I dined where my new gown was, at Mrs Vanhomrigh's, and came back like a

Lady Elizabeth Harley, afterwards married to the Marquis of Carmarthen, eldest son of the Duke of Leeds. After succeeding to the title of Duchess of Leeds, she died in child-birth, 15th December 1712.

« AnteriorContinuar »