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ing to leave it, and return to town, now the Irish folks are gone. Ford goes in three days. How does Dingley divert herself while Stella is riding ? work, or read, or walk ? Does Dingley ever read to you ? Had you ever a book with you in the country? Is all that left off? confess. Well, I'll go sleep, 'tis past eleven, and I go early to sleep; I write nothing at night but to MD.
24. Stratford and I, and Pastoral Philips, (just come from Denmark,) dined at Ford's to-day, who paid his way, and
goes for Ireland on Tuesday. The Earl of Peterborow is returned from Vienna without one servant: he left them scattered in several towns of Germany. I had a letter from him, four days ago, from Hanover, where he desires I would immediately send him an answer to his house at Parson's Green, about five miles off. I wondered what he meant, till I heard he was come. He sent expresses, and got here before them. He is above fifty, and as active as one of fiveand-twenty. I have not seen him yet, nor know when I shall, or where to find him.
25. Poor Duke of Shrewsbury has been very ill of a fever : we were all in a fright about him: I thank God, he is better. I dined to-day at Lord Ashburnham's with his lady, for he was not at home: she is a very good girl, and always a great favourite of mine. Sterne tells me, he has desired a friend to receive your box in
* See his lively verses addressed to this restless and energetic character :
Mordanto gallops on alone,
Chester, and carry it over. I fear he will miscarry in his business, which was sent to the treasury before he was recommended; for I was positive only to second his recommendations, and all his other friends failed him. However, on your account, I will do what I can for him to-morrow with the secretary of the treasury.
26. We had much company to-day at dinner at lordtreasurer's. Prior never fails : he is a much better courtier than I; and we expect every day that he will be a commissioner of the customs, and that in a short time a great many more will be turned out. They blame lord-treasurer for his slowness in turning people out ; but I suppose he has his reasons. They still keep my neighbour Atterbury in suspense about the Deanery of Christchurch, which has been above six months vacant, and he is heartily angry. * I reckon you are now preparing for your Wexford expedition ; and poor Dingley is full of carking, and caring, and scolding. How long will you stay? Shall I be in Dublin before you return ? Don't fall and hurt yourselves, nor overturn the coach. Love one another, and be good girls; and drink Presto's health in water, Madam Stella ; and in good ale, Madam Dingley.
27. The secretary appointed me to dine with him today, and we were to do a world of business : he came at
* There was a competition for the preferment between Atterbury and Smallridge. The conciliatory temper of the latter would have been more acceptable to the university. Indeed, when he did obtain the Deanery upon Atterbury's banishment, he complained he was constantly engaged in carrying water to extinguish the flames which his ardent predecessor had kindled during his incumbency.
four, and brought Prior with him, and had forgot the appointment, and no business was done. I left him at eight, and went to change my gown at Mrs Vanhomrigh's; and there was Sir Andrew Fountaine at ombre with Lady Ashburnham and Lady Frederic Schomberg; and Lady Mary Schomberg, and Lady Betty Butler, and others talking; and it put me in mind of the dean, and Stoyte, and Walls, and Stella at play, and Dingley and I looking on. I staid with them till ten, like a fool. Lady Ashburnham is something like Stelle ; so I helped her, and wished her good cards. It is late, &c.
28. Well, but I must answer this letter of our MD's. Saturday approaches, and I han't written down this side. O faith, Presto has been a sort of a lazy fellow : but Presto will remove to town this day se'ennight : the secretary has commanded me to do so; and I believe he and I shall go for some days to Windsor, where he will have leisure to mind some business we have together. To-day our society (it must not be called a club) dined at Mr Secretary's; we were but eight, the rest sent excuses, or were out of town. We sat till eight, and made some laws and settlements; and then I went to take leave of Lady Ashburnham, who goes out of town to-morrow, as a great many of my acquaintance are already, and left the town very thin. I shall make but short journies this summer, and not be long out of London. The days are grown' sensibly shorter already, and all our fruit blasted. Your Duke of Ormond is still at Chester; and perhaps this letter will be with you as soon as he. Sterne's * business is quite blown
* Collector of Wicklow.
up; they stand to it to send him back to the commissioners of the revenue in Ireland for a reference, and all my credit could not alter it, although I almost fell out with the secretary of the treasury, who is my
lordtreasurer's cousin-german, and my very good friend. * It seems every step he has hitherto taken hath been wrong; at least they say so, and that is the same thing. I am heartily sorry for it; and I really think they are in the wrong, and use him hardly; but I can do no more.
29. Steele has had the assurance to write to me, that I would engage my lord-treasurer to keep a friend of his in an employment: I believe I told you how he and Addison served me for my good offices in Steele's behalf; and I promised lord-treasurer never to speak for either of them again. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I dined to-day at Mrs Vanhomrigh's. Dilly Ashe has been in town this fortnight : I saw him twice ; he was four days at Lord Pembroke's in the country, punning with him ; his face is very well. † I was this evening two or three hours at lord-treasurer's, who called me Dr Thomas Swift twenty times ; that's his way of teazing. I left him at nine, and got home here by ten, like a gentleman; and to-morrow morning I'll answer your letters, sirrahs.
30. Morning. I am terrible sleepy always in a morn. ing; I believe it is my walk overnight that disposes me to sleep; faith 'tis now striking eight, and I am but just awake. Patrick comes early, and wakes me five or six times, but I have excuses, though I am three parts asleep.
* Thomas Harley, Esq. + Which Swift formerly said would hiss in the Bath waters.
I tell him I sat up late, or slept ill in the night, and often it is a lie. I have now got little MD's letter before me, N. 16, no more, nor no less, no mistake. Dingley says, “ This letter won't be above six lines," and I was afraid it was true, though I saw it filled on both sides. The Bishop of Clogher writme word you were in the country, and that he heard you were well ; I am glad at heart MD rides, and rides, and rides. Our hot weather ended in May, and all this month has been moderate: it was then so hot, I was not able to endure it; I was miserable every moment, and found myself disposed to be peevish and quarrelsome ; I believe a very hot country would make me stark mad.-Yes, my head continues pretty tolerable, and I impute it all to walking. Does Stella eat fruit? I eat a little, but I always repent, and resolve against it. No, in very hot weather I always go to town by water, but I constantly walk back, for then the sun is down. And so Mrs Proby goes with you to Wexford ; she's admirable company : you'll grow plaguy wise with those you frequent. Mrs Taylor, and Mrs Proby; take care of infection. I believe my two hundred pounds will be paid, but that Sir Alexander Cairnes is a scrupulous puppy: I left the bill with Mr Stratford, who is to have the money.--Now, Madam Stella, what say you ? you ride every day ; I know that already, sirrah ; and if you ride every day for a twelvemonth, you would be still better and better. No, I hope Parvisol will not have the impudence to make you stay an hour for the money; if he does, I'll un-parvisol him ; pray let me know. O Lord, how hasty we are; Stella can't stay writing and writing; she must write and go a cockhorse, pray now. Well, but the horses are not come to the door ; the fellow can't find the bridle ; your stirrup is broken ; where