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now very bad ; and I cannot tell how I got it. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I were invited to dine with Mrs Van. I was this morning with the Duke of Ormond; and neither he nor I can think of any thing to comfort us in present affairs. We must certainly fall, if the Duchess of Somerset be not turned out; and nobody believes the queen will ever part with her. The duke and I were settling when Mr Secretary and I should dine with him, and he fixed upon Tuesday; and when I came away I remembered it was Christmas-day. I was to see Lady who is just up after lying-in ; and the ugliest sight I have seen, pale, dead, old and yellow, for want of her paint. She has turned my stomach. But she will soon be painted, and a beauty again.
22. I find myself disordered with a pain all round the small of my back, which I imputed to Champaigne I had drunk ; but find it to have been only my new cold. It was a fine frosty day, and I resolved to walk into the city. I called at lord-treasurer's at eleven, and staid some time with him. He showed me a letter from a great Presbyterian parson * to him, complaining how their friends had betrayed them by passing this Conformity Bill; and he showed me the answer he had written, which his friends would not let him send ; but was a very good one. He is very cheerful ; but gives one no hopes, nor has any to give. I went into the city, and there I dined.
23. Morning. As I was dressing to go to church, a friend that was to see me advised me not to stir out; so
* Mr Shower. Vide his letter to the lord high treasurer Oxford, and my lord-treasurer's answer. Also John Bull, Chapter * Particularly combating the right of a Scottish peer, being created a British peer, to sit as such in the House of Lords. This was a great victory over the ministers.
I shall keep at home to-day, and only eat some broth, if I can get it. It is a terrible cold frost, and snow fell yesterday, which still remains ; look there, you may see it from the penthouses. The Lords made yesterday two or three votes about peace, and Hanover ; of a very angry kind to vex the ministry, and they will meet sooner by a fortnight than the Commons; and they say, are preparing some knocking addresses. * Morrow, sirrahs. I'll sit at home, and when I go to bed, I will tell you how I am. I have sat at home all day, and eaten only a mess of broth and a roll. I have written a Prophecy, which I design to print ; I did it to-day, and some other
24. I went into the city to-day in a coach, and dined there. My cold is going. It is now bitter hard frost, and has been so these three or four days. My Prophecy + is printed, and will be published after Christmasday; I like it mightily ; I don't know how it will
pass. You will never understand it at your distance, without help. I believe every body will guess it to be mine, because it is somewhat in the same manner with that of Merlin in the Miscellanies. My lord privy seal set out this day for Holland : he'll have a cold journey. I gave Patrick half-a-crown for his Christmas-box, on condition he would be good, and he came home drunk at midnight. I have taken a memorandum of it; because I never design to give him a groat more. 'Tis cruel cold.
+ The Windsor Prophecy; a piece which drew on our author the deep and unremitting resentment of the Duchess of Somerset, and certainly did not conciliate the queen, already indisposed towards Swift.
25. I wish MD a merry Christmas, and many a one; but mine is melancholy: I durst not go to church to-day, finding myself a little out of order, and it snowing prodigiously, and freezing. At noon I went to Mrs Van, who had this week engaged me to dine there to-day: and there I received the news, that poor Mrs Long died at Lynn in Norfolk on Saturday last, at four in the morning; she was sick but four hours. We suppose it was the asthma, which she was subject to as well as the dropsy, as she sent me word in her last letter, written about five weeks ago ; but then said she was recovered. I never was more afflicted at any death. The
poor creature had retired to Lynn two years ago, to live cheap, and pay her debts. In her last letter she told me she hoped to be easy by Christmas ; and she kept her word, although she meant it otherwise. She had all sorts of amiable qualities, and no ill ones, but the indiscretion of too much neglecting her own affairs. She had two thousand pounds left her by an old grandmother, with which she intended to pay her debts, and live on an annuity she had of one hundred pounds a-year, and Newburg House, which would be about sixty pounds
That odious grandmother living so long, forced her to retire ; for the two thousand pounds was settled on her after the old woman's death, yet her brute of a brother, Sir James Long, * would not advance it for her; else she might have paid her debts, and continued here, and lived still : I believe melancholy helped her on to her grave.
* This unfortunate lady, a toast, a wit, and a beauty, was sister of Sir James Long, member of parliament for Wiltshire, who was so cold-hearted as to treat her in the manner mentioned in the text. Her grandmother was daughter of Sir Edward Leach of Chatsworth, Derbyshire.
I have ordered a paragraph to be put in the Post-Boy, giving an account of her death, and making honourable mention of her ; which is all I can do to serve her memory : but one reason was spite; for her brother would fain have her death a secret, to save the charge of bringing her up here to bury her, or going into mourn. ing. Pardon all this, for the sake of a poor creature I had so much friendship for.
26. I went to Mr Secretary this morning, and he would have me dine with him. I called at noon at Mrs Masham’s, who desired me not to let the Prophecy be published, for fear of angering the queen about the Duchess of Somerset ; so I writ to the printer to stop them. They have been printed and given about, but not sold. I saw lord-treasurer there, who had been two hours with the queen : and Mrs Masham is in hopes things will do well again, I went at night again, and supped at Mr Masham's, and lord-treasurer sat with us till one o'clock. So 'tis late, &c.
27. I entertained our society at the Thatched House Tavern to-day at dinner ; but brother Bathurst sent for wine, the house affording none. The printer had not received my letter, and so he brought up dozens a-piece of the Prophecy ; but I ordered him to part with no more. 'Tis an admirable good one, and people are mad for it. The frost still continues violently cold. Mrs Masham invited me to come to-night and play at cards ; but our society did not part till nine. But I supped with Mrs Hill, her sister, and there was Mrs Masham and lord-treasurer, and we staid till twelve. He is endeavouring to get a majority against next Wednesday, when the House of Lords is to meet, and the Whigs intend to make some violent addresses against a peace, if not prevented. God knows what will become of us. It is still prodigiously cold ; but so I told you already. We have eggs on the spit, I wish they may not be addle. When I came home to-night I found, forsooth, a letter from MD, N. 24, 24, 24, 24 ; there, do you know the numbers now ? and at the same time one from Joe, full of thanks : let him know I have received it, and am glad of his success, but won't put him to the charge of a let. ter. I had a letter some time ago from Mr Warburton,* and I beg one of you will copy out what I shall tell you, and send it by some opportunity to Warburton. 'Tis as follows: The doctor has received Mr Warburton's letter, and desires he will let the doctor know, where that accident he mentions is like soon to happen, and he will do what he can in it. And pray, madam, let them know, that I do this to save myself the trouble, and them the expence of a letter. And I think this is enough for one that comes home at twelve from a lordtreasurer and Mrs Masham. O, I could tell you ten thousand things of our mad politics, upon what small circumstances great affairs have turned. But I will
go rest my busy head.
28. I was this morning with brother Bathurst to see the Duke of Ormond. We have given his
We have given his grace some hopes to be one of our society. The secretary and I and Bathurst are to dine with him on Sunday next. The duke is not in much hopes, but has been very busy in endeavouring to bring over some lords against next Wednesday. The duchess caught me as I was going out ; she is sadly in fear about things, and blames me for not mending them by my credit with lord-treasurer; and I
* The doctor's cu