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otherwise engaged ; then the secretary and I go and dine with Brigadier Britton, sit till eight, grow merry, no business done ; he is in haste to see Lady Jersey; we part, and appoint no time to meet again. This is the fault of all the present ministers, teasing me to death for
my assistance, laying the whole weight of their affairs upon it, yet slipping opportunities. Lord-treasurer mends every day, though slowly: I hope he will take care of himself. Pray, will you send to Parvisol to send me a bill of twenty pounds as soon as he can, for I want money. I must have money ; I will have money, sirrahs.
Nov. 1. I went to-day into the city to settle some business with Stratford, and to dine with him ; but he was engaged, and I was so angry I would not dine with any other merchant, but went to my printer, and ate a bit, and did business of mischief - with him, and I shall have the spectacles and Miscellany to-morrow, and leave them with Leigh. A fine day always makes me go into the city, if I can spare time, because it is exercise ; and that does me more good than any thing. I have heard nothing since of my head, but a little, I don't know how, sometimes : but I am very temperate, especially now-the treasurer is ill, and the ministers often at Hampton Court, and the secretary not yet fixed in his house, and I hate dining with many of my old acquaint
Here has been a fellow discovered going out of the East India House with sixteen thousand pounds in money and bills; he would have escaped, if he had not been so uneasy with thirst, that he stole out before his time, and was caught. But what is that to MD? I wish we had the money, provided the East India Company was never the worse ; you know we must not covet, &c.
Our weather, for this fortnight past, is chequered, a fair and a rainy day; this was very fine, and I have walked four miles ; wish MD would do so, lazy sluttikins.
2. It has rained all day with a continuendo, and I went in a chair to dine with Mrs Van; always there in å very rainy day. But I made a shift to come back afoot. I live a very retired life, pay very few visits, and keep but very little company ; I read no newspapers. I am sorry I sent you the Examiner, for the printer is going to print them in a small volume: it seems the author is too proud to have them printed by subscription, though his friends offered, they say, to make it worth five hundred pounds to him. The Spectators are likewise printing in a larger and smaller volume, so I believe they are going to leave them off, and indeed people grow weary of them, though they are often prettily written. We have had no news for me to send you now toward the end of my letter. The queen has the gout a little ; I hoped the lord-treasurer would have had it too, but Radcliffe told me yesterday it was the rheumatism in his knee and foot; however he mends, and I hope will be abroad in a short time. I am told they design giving away several employments before the parliament sits, which will be the thirteenth instant. I either do not like, or not understand this policy; and if lordtreasurer does not mend soon, they must give them just before the sessions. But he is the greatest procrastinator in the world.
3. A fine day this, and I walked a pretty deal : I stuffed the secretary's pockets with papers, which he must read and settle at Hampton Court, where he went today, and stays some time. They have no lodgings for me there, so I can't go, for the town is small, charge
able, and inconvenient. Lord-treasurer had a very ill night last night, with much pain in his knee and foot, but is easier to-day.—And so I went to visit Prior about some business, and so he was not within, and so Sir Andrew - Fountaine made me dine to-day again with Mrs Van, and I came home soon, remembering this must go to-night, and that I had a letter of MD's to answer. O Lord, where is it? let me see ; so, so, here it is, You grudge writing so soon. Pox on that bill; the woman would have me manage that money for her.
. I do not know what to do with it now I have it: I am like the unprofitable steward in the Gospel : I laid it up in a napkin; there thou hast what is thine own, &c. Well, well, I know of your new mayor. (I'll tell you a pun; a fishmonger owed a man two crowns; so he sent him a piece of bad ling and a tench, and then said he was paid : how is that now? find it out; for I won't tell it you : which of you finds it out?) Well, but as I was saying, what care I for your mayor ? I fancy Ford may tell Forbes right about my returning to Ireland before Christmas, or soon after. I'm sorry you did not go on with your story about Pray God you be John ; I never heard it in my life, and wonder what it can be.Ah, Stella, faith you leaned upon your Bible to think what to say when you writ that. Yes, that story of the secretary's making me an example is true; "never heard it before ;" why how could you hear it ? is it possible to tell you the hundredth part of what passes in our companies here ? the secretary is as easy with me as Mr Addison was. I have often thought what a splutter Sir William Temple makes about being secretary of state; I think Mr St John the greatest young man I ever knew ; wit, capacity, beauty, quickness of apprehension,
good learning, and an excellent taste; the best orator in the House of Commons, admirable conversation, good nature, and good manners ; generous, and a despiser of money. His only fault is talking to his friends in way of complaint of too great a load of business, which looks a little like affectation; and he endeavours too much to mix the fine gentleman, and man of pleasure, with the man of business. What truth and sincerity he may
have I know not : he is now but thirty-two, and has been secretary above a year. Is not all this extraordinary? how he stands with the queen and lord-treasurer I have told you before. This is his character ; and I believe you will be diverted by knowing it. I writ to the Archbishop of Dublin, Bishop of Cloyne and of Clogher together, five weeks ago from Windsor : I hope they had my letters ; pray know if Clogher had his.-Fig for your physician and his advice, Madam Dingley; if I grow worse, I will ; otherwise I will trust to temperance and exercise : your fall of the leaf; what care I when the leaves fall ? I am sorry to see them fall with all my heart; but why should I take physic because leaves fall off from trees ? that won't hinder them from falling. If a man falls from a horse, must I take physic for that? —This arguing makes you mad; but it is true right reason, not to be disproved.—I am glad at heart to hear poor Stella is better; use exercise and walk, spend pattens and spare potions, wear, out clogs and waste claret. Have you found out my pun of the fishmonger? don't read a word more till you have got it. And Stella is handsome again you say? and is she fat ? I have sent to Leigh the set of Examiners; the first thirteen were written by several hands, some good, some bad ; the next three-and-thirty were all by one hand, that makes
forty-six : then that author, whoever he was, laid it down on purpose to confound guessers; and the last six were written by a woman. Then there is an account of Guiscard by the same woman, but the facts sent by Presto. Then an answer to the letter to the lords about Gregg by Presto; Prior's Journey by Presto; Vindication of the Duke of Marlborough entirely by the same woman; Comment on Hare's Sermon by the same woman, only hints sent to the printer from Presto to give her. Then there's the Miscellany, an apron for Stella, a pound of chocolate, without sugar, for Stella, a fine snuffrasp of ivory, given me by Mrs St John for Dingley, and a large roll of tobaccco, which she must hide or cut shorter out of modesty, and four pair of spectacles for the Lord knows who. There's the cargo, I hope it will come safe. O, Mrs Masham and I are very well ; we write to one another, but it is upon business; I believe I told you so before : pray pardon my forgetfulness in these cases ; poor Presto can't help it. MD shall have the money as soon as Tooke gets it. And so I think I have answered all, and the paper is out, and now I have fetched up my week, and will send you another this day fortnight.—Why, you rogues, two crowns make tenchill-ling : you are so dull you could never have found it out. Farewell, &c. &c.
London, Nov. 3, 1711. My thirty-third lies now before me just finished, and I am going to seal and send it, so let me know whether