« AnteriorContinuar »
did you put the whips, Dingley ? Marg'et, where have you
laid Mrs Johnson's ribband to tie about her ? reach me my mask ; sup up this before you go. So, so, a gallop, a gallop ; sit fast, sirrah, and don't ride hard upon the stones. Well, now Stella is gone, tell me, Dingley, is she a good girl ? and what news is that you are to tell me ? —No, I believe the box is not lost: Sterne
it is not.—No, faith, you must go to Wexford without seeing your Duke of Ormond, unless you stay on purpose ; perhaps you may be so wise. I tell you this is your sixteenth letter; will you never be satisfied ? No, no, I'll walk late no more; I ought less to venture it than other people, and so I was told : * but I'll return to lodge in town next Thursday. come from Wexford, I would have you send a letter of attorney to Mr Benjamin Tooke, bookseller in London, directed to me; and he shall manage your affair. I have your parchment safely locked up in London. O Madam Stella, welcome home; was it pleasant riding? did your
horse stumble? how often did the man light to settle your stirrup? ride nine miles ? faith
have galloped indeed. Well, but where's the fine thing you promised me? I have been a good boy, ask Dingley else. I believe you did not meet the fine-thing-man: faith you are a cheat. So you'll see Raymond and his
As obnoxious to the opposite faction, Swift's caution was not groundless, as political writers at this period were often subjected to personal hazard. The celebrated Samuel Johnson (author of Julian) was nearly assassinated in his own house ; and Tutchin, for writing a poem on the death of James II., reflecting bitterly on his character, was way-laid, and so severely beaten, that he died of the bruises. De Foe, in the course of his Review, often mentions attempts upon
wife in town. Faith that riding to Laracor gives me short sighs, as well as you. All the days I have passed here have been dirt to those. I have been gaining enemies by the scores, and friends by the couples, which is against the rules of wisdom, because they say one enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good. But I have had my revenge at least, if I get nothing else. And so let fate govern. Now I think your letter is answered ; and mine will be shorter than ordinary, because it must go to-day. We have had a great deal of scattering rain for some days past, yet it hardly keeps down the dust.We have plays acted in our town, and Patrick was at one of them, oh, oh. He was damnably mauled one day when he was drunk ; he was at cuffs with a brother footman, who dragged him along the floor upon his face, which looked for a week after as if he had the leprosy ; and I was glad enough to see it. I have been ten times sending him over to you; yet now he has new clothes, and a laced hat, which the hatter brought by his orders, and he offered to pay for the lace out of his wages. I am to dine to-day with Dilly, at Sir Andrew Fountaine's, who has bought a new house, and will be weary of it in half a year. I must rise and shave, and walk to town, unless I go with the dean in his chariot at twelve, which is too late ; and I have not seen that Lord Peterborow yet. The Duke of Shrewsbury is almost well again, and will be abroad in a day or two : what care you? There it is now ; you don't care for my friends. Farewell, my
dearest lives and delights, I love you better than ever, if possible, as hope saved, I do, and ever will. God Almighty bless you ever, and make us happy together ; I pray for this twice every day; and I hope God will hear my poor hearty prayers.
member, if I am used ill and ungratefully, as I have formerly been, 'tis what I am prepared for, and shall not wonder at it. Yet, I am now envied, and thought in high favour, and have every day numbers of considerable men teazing me to solicit for them. And the ministry all use me perfectly well, and all that know them say they love me. Yet I can count upon nothing, nor will, but upon MD's love and kindness. They think me useful; they pretended they were afraid of none but me; and that they resolved to have me; they have often confessed this : yet all makes little impression on me. Pox of these speculations! they give me the spleen ; and that is a disease I was not born to.—Let me alone, sirrahs, and be satisfied : I am, as long as MD and Presto are well :
And a life by stealth ; that is all we want; and so farewell, dearest MD; Stella, Dingley, Presto, all together, now and for ever all together. Farewell again and again.
Chelsea, June 30, 1711. SeĖ what large paper I am forced to take to write to MD; Patrick has brought me none clipped ; but faith the next shall be smaller. I dined to-day, as I told you, with Dilly, at Sir Andrew Fountaine's : there were we wretchedly punning, and writing together to Lord Pem
broke. Dilly is just such a puppy as ever ; and it is so uncouth, after so long an intermission. My twenty-fifth is
gone this evening to the post. I think I will direct my next (which is this) to Mr Curry's, and let them send it to Wexford, and then the next enclosed to Reading. Instruct me how I shall do. I long to hear from you from Wexford, and what sort of place it is. The town grows very empty and dull. This evening I have had a letter from Mr Philips, the pastoral poet, to get him a certain employment from lord-treasurer. I have now had almost all the Whig poets my solicitors; and I have been useful to Congreve, Steele, and Harrison ; but I will do nothing for Philips ; I find he is more a puppy than ever, so don't solicit for him. Besides, I will not trouble lord-treasurer, unless upon some very extraordinary occasion.
July 1. Dilly lies conveniently for me when I come to town from Chelsea of a Sunday, and go to the secretary's ; so I called at his lodgings this morning, and sent for my gown, and dressed myself there. He had a letter from the bishop, with an account that you were set out for Wexford the morning he writ, which was June 26, and he had the letter the 30th; that was very quick. The bishop says, you design to stay there two months or more. Dilly had also a letter from Tom Ashe, full of Irish news: that your Lady Linden is dead, and I know not what besides, of Dr Coghil* losing his drab, &c. The secretary is gone to Windsor, and I dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh. Lord-treasurer is at Windsor too : they will be going and coming all summer, while the queen is there, and the town is empty; and I fear I shall be sometimes forced to stoop beneath my dignity, and send to the alehouse for a dinner. Well, sirrahs, had you a good journey to Wexford ? Did you drink ale by the way? were you never overturned ? how many things did you forget? do you lie on straw in your new town where you are : Cudsho, the next letter to Presto will be dated from Wexford. What fine
* Dr Marmaduke Coghill was judge of the Prerogative Court for Ireland. In his judicial capacity he was called on to decide a question between a wife and her husband, who had given her a good beating. Upon this occasion the Doctor delivered a grave opinion, that moderate chastisement, with such a switch as he held in his hand, was within the husband's matrimonial privilege. This legal maxim gave so much offence or alarm to a lady to whom for some time he had paid his addresses with a prospect of success, that she positively dismissed the assertor of so ungallant a doctrine. To this disappointment Swift alludes in the text. Dr Coghill, as may be guessed from his opinions, died unmarried.
there? what new acquaintance have you got? you are to write constantly to Mrs Walls and Mrs Stoyte : and the dean said, shall we never hear from you ? Yes, Mr Dean, we'll make bold to trouble you with a letter.
Then at Wexford; when you meet a lady ; Did your waters pass well this morning, madam ? Will Dingley drink them too ? Yes, I warrant, to get her a stomach. I suppose you are all gamesters at Wexford. Don't lose your money, sirrah, far from home. I believe I shall go to Windsor in a few days ; at least, the secretary tells
He has a small house there, with just room enough for him and me; and I would be satisfied to pass a few days there some times. Sirrahs, let me go to sleep, 'till past twelve in our town.
2. Sterne came to me this morning, and tells me he has yet some hopes of compassing his business : he was with Tom Harley, the secretary of the treasury, and