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see it ; lie still ; I'll answer you, when the ducks have eaten up the dirt.
17. I dined to-day at lord-treasurer's with Mrs Masham, and she is extremely like one Mrs Malolly, that was once my landlady in Trim. She was used with mighty kindness and respect, like a favourite. It signifies nothing going to this lord-treasurer about business, although it be his own.—He was in haste, and desires I will come again, and dine with him to-morrow. His famous lying porter is fallen sick, and they think he will die : I wish I had all my half-crowns again. I believe I have told you, he is an old Scotch fanatic, and the damn’dest liar in his office alive. * I have a mind to recommend Patrick to succeed him: I have trained him up pretty well. I reckon for certain you are now in town. The weather now begins to alter to rain.
Windsor, 18. I dined to-day with lord-treasurer, and he would make me go with him to Windsor, although I was engaged to the secretary, to whom I made my excuses : we had in the coach besides, his son and son-inlaw, Lord Dupplin, who are two of our society, and seven of us met by appointment, and supped this night with the secretary. It was past nine before we got here ; but a fine moonshiny night. I shall go back, I believe, on Monday. 'Tis very late.
19. The queen did not stir out to-day, she is in a little fit of the gout. I dined at Mr Masham's; we had none but our society members, six in all, and I supped with lord-treasurer. The queen has ordered twenty thousand pounds to go on with the building at Blenheim, which has been starved till now, since the change of the ministry. I suppose it is to reward his last action of getting into the French lines. * Lord-treasurer kept me till past twelve.
* His name was Read.
London, 20. It rained terribly every step of our journey to-day ; I returned with the secretary after a dinner of cold meat, and went to Mrs Van's, where I sat the evening. I grow very idle, because I have a great deal of business. Tell me how you passed your time at Wexford ; and an't you glad at heart you have got safe home to your lodgings at St Mary's, pray ? and so your friends come to visit you : and Mrs Walls is much better of her eye : and the dean is just as he used to be : and what does Walls say of London ? 'tis a reasoning coxcomb. And Goody Stoyte, and Hannah what d'ye call her; no, her name en't Hannah, Catharine I mean ; they were so glad to see the ladies again ; and Mrs Manley wanted a companion at ombre.
21. I writ to-day to the Archbishop of Dublin, and enclosed a long politic paper by itself. You know the bishops are all angry, that (smoke the wax-candle drop at the bottom of this paper) I have let the world know the first-fruits were got by lord-treasurer before the Duke of Ormond was governor. I told lord-treasurer all this, and he is very angry; but I pacified him again by telling him they were fools, and knew nothing of what passed here, but thought all was well enough, if they complimented the Duke of Ormond. Lord-treasurer gave me t'other day a letter of thanks he received from the Bishops of Ireland, signed by seventeen, and says he will write them an answer. The Dean of Carlisle sat with me
* Before Bouchain ; a piece of generalship deemed equal to almost any of his exploits.
I went my
to-day till three, and I went to dine with lord-treasurer, who dined abroad, so did the secretary, and I was left in the suds. 'Twas almost four, and I got to Sir Matthew Dudley, who had half dined. Thornhill, who killed Sir Cholmley Dering, was murdered by two men on Turnham Green last Monday night : as they stabbed him, they bid him remember Sir Cholmley Dering. They had quarrelled at Hampton Court, and followed and stabbed him on horseback. We have only a GrubStreet paper of it, but I believe it is true. self through Turnham Green the same night, which was yesterday.
22. We have had terrible rains these two or three days. I intended to dine at lord-treasurer's, but went to see Lady Abercorn, who is come to town, and my lord ; and I dined with them, and visited lord-treasurer this evening. His porter is mending. I sat with my lord about three hours, and am come home early to be busy. Passing by White's chocolate-house, my brother Masham called me, and told me his wife was broughtto-bed of a boy, and both very well. (Our society, you must know, are all brothers.) Dr Garth told us, that Mr Henley is dead of an apoplexy. His brother-in-law, Earl Poulet, is gone down to the Grange to take care of his funeral. The Earl of Danby, the Duke of Leeds' eldest grandson, a very hopeful young man of about twenty, is dead at Utrecht of the small-pox. I long to know whether you begin to have any good effect by your waters. Methinks this letter goes on slowly ; 'twill be a fortnight next Saturday since it was begun, and one side not filled. O fy for shame, Presto. Faith, I'm so tosticated to and from Windsor, that I know not what to say ; but faith, I'll go to Windsor again on Saturday, if they ask me, not else. So lose your money again, now you are come home; do, sirrah.
Take your magnifying glass, Madam Dingley.
You shan't read this, sirrah Stella ; don't read it for your life, for fear of
eyes. There's enough for this side; these ministers hinder
Pretty, dear, little, naughty, saucy MD.
23. Dilly and I dined to-day with Lord Abercorn, and had a fine fat haunch of venison, that smelt rarely on one side, and after dinner Dilly won half-a-crown off me at backgammon, at his lodgings, to his great content. It is a scurvy empty town this melancholy season of the year, but I think our weather begins to mend. The roads are as deep as in winter. The grapes are sad things, but the peaches are pretty good, and there are some figs. I sometimes venture to eat one, but always repent it. You say nothing of the box sent half a year ago. I wish you would pay me for Mrs Walls's tea.
Your mother is in the country, I suppose. Pray send me the account of MD, Madam Dingley, as it stands since November, that is to say, for this year, (excluding the twenty pounds lent Stella for Wexford,) for I cannot look in your letters. I think I ordered that Hawkshaw's interest should be paid to you. When
you think proper, I will let Parvisol know you have paid that twenty pounds, or part of it; and so go play with the dean, and I will answer your letter to-morrow. Good night, sirrahs, and love Presto, and be good girls.
24. I dined to-day with lord-treasurer, who chid me for not dining with him yesterday; for it seems I did not understand his invitation; and their club of the ministry dined together, and expected me. Lord Radnor and I were walking the Mall this evening ; and Mr Secretary met us, and took a turn or two, and then stole away, and we both believe it was to pick up some wench ; and to-morrow he will be at the cabinet with the queen; so goes the world. Prior has been out of town these two months, nobody knows where, and is lately returned. People confidently affirm he has been in France, and I half believe it. It is said, he was sent by the ministry, and for some overtures toward a peace. The secretary pretends he knows nothing of it. I believe your parliament will be dissolved.
dissolved. I have been talking about the quarrel between your lords and commons with lord-treasurer; and did, at the request of some people, desire that the queen's answer to the commons' address might express a dislike to some principles, &c. but was answered dubiously. And so now to your letter, fair ladies. I know drinking is bad ; I mean writing is bad in drink. ing the waters; and was angry to see so much in Stella's hand. But why Dingley drinks them I cannot imagine; but truly she'll drink waters as well as Stella : Why not? I hope you now find the benefit of them since you are returned : pray let me know particularly. I am glad you are forced upon exercise, which, I believe, is as good as the waters for the heart of them. 'Tis now past the middle of August; so by your reckoning you are in Dublin. It would vex me to the dogs, that letters should miscarry between Dublin and Wexford, after 'scaping the salt seas. I will write no more to that nasty town in haste again, I warrant you.
I have been four Sundays together at Windsor, of which a fortnight together; but I believe I shall not go to-morrow, for I will not, unless the secretary asks me. I know all