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Madam Proby curious company? I am afraid this rainy weather will spoil your waters.
We have had a great deal of wet these three days. Tell me all the particulars of Wexford; the place the company, the diversions, the victuals, the wants, the vexations. Poor Dingley never saw such a place in her life; sent all over the town for a little parsley to a boiled chicken, and it was not to be had : the butter is stark naught, except an old English woman's; and it is such a favour to get a pound from her now and then. I am glad you carried down your sheets with you, else you must have lain in sackcloth. O Lord !
25. I was this afternoon with Mr Secretary at his office, and helped to hinder a man of his pardon, who is condemned for a rape. The under secretary was willing to save him, upon an old notion that a woman cannot be ravished: but I told the secretary he could not pardon him without a favourable report from the judge ; besides he was a fiddler, and consequently a rogue, and deserved hanging for something else ; and so he shall swing. What : I must stand up for the honour of the fair sex? 'Tis true, the fellow had lain with lier a hundred times before ; but what care I for that ? what ! must a woman be ravished because she is a whore ?The secretary and I go on Saturday to. Windsor for a week. I dined with lord-treasurer, and staid with him till past ten. I was to-day at his levee, where I went against my custom, because I had a mind to do a good office for a gentleman : so I talked with him before my lord, that he might see me, and then found occasion to recommend him this afternoon. I was forced to excuse my coming to the levee, that I did it to see the sight; for he was going to chide me away : I had never been there before but once, and that was long before he was treasurer. The rooms were all full, and as many Whigs as Tories. He whispered me a jest or two, and bid me come to dinner.
I left him but just now, and 'tis late. 26. Mr Addison and I have at last met again. I dined with him and Steele to-day at young Jacob Tonson's. *
The two Jacobs think it is I who have made the secretary take from them the printing of the Gazette, which they are going to lose, and Ben Tooke and another are to have it. Jacob came to me t'other day, to make his court; but I told him, it was too late, and that it was not my doing. I reckon they will lose it in a week or two. Mr Addison and I talked as usual, and as if we had seen one another yesterday ; and Steele and I were very easy, though I writ him a biting letter, in answer to one of his, where he desired me to recom. mend a friend of his to lord-treasurer. Go, get you gone to your waters, sirrah. Do they give you a stomach? Do you eat heartily ?- We had much rain today and yesterday.
27. 1 dined to-day in the city, and saw poor Patty Rolt, and gave her a pistole to help her a little forward against she goes to board in the country. She has but eighteen pounds a-year to live on, and is forced to seek out for cheap places. Sometimes they raise their price, and sometimes they starve her, and then she is forced to shift. Patrick, the puppy, put too much ink in my standish, and carrying too many things together, I spil
* Old Jacob was the celebrated bookseller of Dryden. He was a violent Whig, and secretary to the Kit-cat Club, which might seem a good reason to the Tory ministers for taking the Gazette from him.
led it on my paper and floor. The town is dull, and wet, and empty: Wexford is worth two of it ; I hope so at least, and that poor little MD finds it so. I reckon upon going to Windsor to-morrow with Mr Secretary, unless he changes his mind, or some other business prevents him. I shall stay there a week I hope.
· 28. Morning. Mr Secretary sent me word he will call at my lodgings by two this afternoon, to take me to Windsor, so I must dine no where ; and I promised lord-treasurer to dine with him to-day ; but I suppose we shall dine at Windsor at five, for we make but three hours there. I am going abroad, but have left Patrick to put up my things, and to be sure to be at home half an hour before two. Windsor, at night. We did not leave London till three, and dined here between six and seven ; at nine I left the company, and went to see lord-treasurer, who is just come. I chid him for coming so late ; he chid me for not dining with him ; said, he staid an hour for me. Then I went and sat an hour with Mr Lewis till just now, and 'tis past eleven. I lie in the same house with the secretary, one of the prebendary's houses. The secretary is not come from his apartment in the castle. Do
Do you think that abominable dog Patrick was out after two to-day, and I in a fright every moment for fear the chariot should come; and when he came in he had not put up one rag of my things : I never was in a greater passion, and would certainly have cropt one of his ears, if I had not looked every moment for the secretary, who sent his equipage to my lodging before, and came in a chair from Whitehall to me, and happened to stay half an hour later than he intended. One of lord-treasurer's servants gave me a letter from *****, with an offer of fifty pounds to be
paid me in what manner I pleased ; because, he said, he desired to be well with me. I was in a rage: but my friend Lewis cooled me, and said, it is what the best men sometimes meet with ; and I have been not seldom served in the like manner, although not so grossly. In these cases I never demur a moment; nor ever found the least inclination to take any thing. Well, I'll go try to sleep in my new bed, and to dream of poor
Wexford MD, and Stella that drinks water, and Dingley that drinks ale.
29. I was at court and church to-day, as I was this day se’ennight; I generally am acquainted with about thirty in the drawing-room, and am so proud I make all the lords come up to me; one passes half an hour pleasant enough. We had a dunce to preach before the queen to-day, which often happens. Windsor is a delicious situation, but the town is scoundrel. I have this morning got the Gazette for Ben Tooke and one Barber a printer; it will be about three hundred pounds ayear between them. T'other fellow was printer of the Examiner, which is now laid down. I dined with the secretary, we were a dozen in all, three Scotch lords, and Lord Peterborow. Duke Hamilton would needs be witty, and hold up my train as I walked up stairs. It is an ill circumstance, that on Sundays much company meet always at the great tables. Lord-treasurer told at court, what I said to Mr Secretary on this occasion. The secretary showed me his bill of fare, to encourage me to dine with him. Poh, said I, show me a bill of company, for I value not your dinner. See how this is all blotted, I can write no more here, but to tell love MD dearly, and God bless them.
30. In my conscience I fear I shall have the gout.
I sometimes feel pains about my feet and toes ; I never drank till within these two years, and I did it to cure
I often sit evenings with some of these people, and drink in my turn ; but I am now resolved to drink ten times less than before; but they advise me to let what I drink be all wine, and not to put water to it. Tooke and the printer staid to-day to finish their affair, and treated me and two of the under secretaries, upon their getting the Gazette. Then I went to see lord-treasurer, and chid him for not taking notice of me at Windsor: he said, he kept a place for me yesterday at dinner, and expected me there ; but I was glad I did not come, because the Duke of Buckingham was there, and that would have made us acquainted ; which I have no mind to. However, we appointed to sup at Mr Masham's, and there staid till past one o'clock; and that is late, sirrahs : and I have much business.
31. I have sent a noble haunch of venison this afternoon to Mrs Vanhomrigh : I wish you had it, sirrahs : I dined gravely with my landlord the secretary. The queen was abroad to-day in order to hunt, but finding it disposed to rain she kept in her coach : she hunts in a chaise with one horse, which she drives herself, and drives furiously, like Jehu, and is a mighty hunter, like Nimrod. Dingley has heard of Nimrod, but not Stella, for it is in the Bible. I was to-day at Eaton, which is but just cross the bridge, to see my Lord Kerry's son, who is at school there. Mr Secretary has given me a warrant for a buck; I can't send it to MD. It is a sad thing faith, considering how Presto loves MD, and how MD would love Presto’s venison for Presto's sake. God bless the two dear Wexford girls.
Aug. 1. We had for dinner the fellow of that haunch