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I am now writing my poetical description of a shower in London, and will send it to the Tatler, This is the last sheet of a whole quire I have written since I came to town. Pray, now it comes into my head, will you, when you go to Mrs Wall, contrive to know whether Mrs Wesley be in town, and still at her bro, ther's, and how she is in health, and whether she stays in town? I writ to her from Chester, to know what I should do with her note; and I believe the poor wo: man is afraid to write to me; so I must go to my busi
11. To-day at last I dined with Lord Montrath, and carried Lord Mountjoy and Sir Andrew Fountaine with me; and was looking over them at ombre till eleven this evening like a fool : they played running ombre half crowns: and Sir Andrew Fountaine won eight guineas of Mr Cotte : so I am come home late, and will say but little to MD this night. I have gotten half a bushel of coals, and Patrick, the extravagant whelp, had a fire ready for me ; but I picked off the coals before I went to bed. It is a sign London is now an empty place, when it will not furnish me with matter for above five or six lines in a day. Did you smoke in my last how I told you the very day and the place you were playing ombre?* But I interlined and altered a little, after I had received a letter from Mr Manley, that said you were at it in his house, while he was writing to me; but without his help I guessed within one day. Your town is certainly much more sociable than ours. I have not seen your mother
12. I dined to-day with Dr Garth and Mr Addison,
* See Journal, October 5th.
at the Devil Tavern, by Temple Bar, and Garth treated; and it is well I dine every day, else I should be longer making out my letters: for we are yet in a very dull state, only inquiring every day after new elections, where the Tories carry it among the new members six to one.
Mr Addison's election has passed easy and undisputed; and I believe if he had a mind to be chosen king he would hardly be refused. * An odd accident has happened at Colchester : one Captain Lavallin coming from Flanders or Spain, found his wife with child by a clerk of Doctors' Commons, whose trade, you know, it is to prevent fornication; and this clerk was the very same fellow that made the discovery of Dyet's counterfeiting the stamp paper. Lavallin has been this fortnight hunting after the clerk to kill him ; but the fellow was constantly employed at the Treasury about the discovery he made : the wife had made a shift to patch up the business, alleging that the clerk had told her her husband was dead, and other excuses ; but the other day somebody told Lavallin his wife had intrigues before he married her : upon which he goes down in a rage, shoots his wife through the head, then falls on his sword; and, to make the matter sure, at the same time discharges a pistol through his own head, and died on the spot, his wife surviving him about two hours ; but in what circumstances of mind and body is terrible to imagine. I have finished my poem on the Shower, all but the beginning, and am going on with my Tatler. They have fixed about fifty things on me since I came : I have printed but three. One advantage I get by writing to you daily, or rather you get, is, that I remember not to write the same things twice ; and yet I fear I have done it often already : but I will mind and confine myself to the accidents of the day; and so get you gone to ombre, and be good girls, and save your money, and be rich against Presto comes, and write to me now and then : I am thinking it would be a pretty thing to hear something from saucy MD; but do not hurt your eyes, Stel- . la, I charge you.
* A remarkable testimony in favour of Addison's amiable temper, especially coming from a friend whose friendship was in the very act of becoming chill.
13. O Lord, here is but a trifle of my letter written yet; what shall Presto do for prittle prattle to entertain MD? The talk now grows fresher of the Duke of Ormond for Ireland, though Mr Addison says he hears it will be in commission, and Lord Galway * one. These letters of mine are a sort of journal, where matters open by degrees; and, as I tell true or false, you will find by the event whether my intelligence be good; but I do not care twopence whether it be or no.-At night. Today I was all about St Paul's, and up at the top, like a fool, with Sir Andrew Fountaine and two more ; and spent seven shillings for my dinner like a puppy : this is the second time he has served me so ; but I will never do it again, though all mankind should persuade me; unconsidering puppies! There is a young fellow here in town we are all fond of, and about a year or two come from the university, one Harrison, † a pretty little fel. low, with a great deal of wit, good sense, and good nature ; has written some mighty pretty things; that in your 6th Miscellaned, about the Sprig of an Orange, is his : he has nothing to live on but being governor to one of the Duke of Queensberry's sons for forty pounds a-year. The fine fellows are always inviting him to the tavern, and make him pay his club. Henley is a great crony of his : they are often at the tavern at six or seven shillings' reckoning, and always make the poor lad pay
* A French Protestant refugee; the same who, being appointed to command the forces in Spain, instead of the too victorious Earl of Peterborough, lost the battle of Almanza.
+ Thomas Harrison was educated at Winchester school, and took the degree of Master of Arts at New College, Oxford. He seems to have been a man of lively, pleasing parts, though but an indifferent poet. Woodstocke Park, in Dodsley's Collection, is his composition; and several
his full share. A colonel and a lord were at him and me the same way to-night: I absolutely refused, and made Harrison lag behind, and persuaded him not to go to them. I tell you this, because I find all rich fellows have that humour of using all people without any consideration of their fortunes ; but I will see them rot before they shall serve me so.
Lord Halifax is always teazing me to go down to his country house, which will cost me a guinea to his servants, and twelve shillings coach-hire; and he shall be hanged first. Is not this a plaguy silly story? But I am vexed at the heart ; for I love the young fellow, and am resolved to stir up people to do something for him : he is a Whig, and I will put him upon some of my cast Whigs ; for I have done with them, and they have, I hope, done with this kingdom for our time. They were sure of the four members for London above all places, and they have lost three in the four. * Sir Richard Onslow, we hear, has lost for Surry: and they are overthrown in most places. Lookee, gentlewomen, if I write long letters I must write you news and stuff, unless I send you my verses ; and some I dare not ; and those on the Shower in London I have sent to the Tatler, and you may see them in Ireland. I fancy you will smoke me in the Tatler | I am going to write'; for I believe I have told you the hint. I had a letter sent me to-night from Sir Matthew Dudley, and found it on my table when I came in. Because it is extraordinary I will transcribe it from beginning to end. It is as follows [". Is the devil in you ? Oct. 13, 1710.”] I would have answered every particular passage in it, only I wanted time. Here is enough for tonight, such as it is, &c.
in Nichol's Select Collection of Poetry. We shall presently find him engaged in continuing the. Tatler, when given up by Steele. Harrison was, by Swift's interest, made secretary to Lord Raby, afterwards Earl Stafford, then ambassador at Utrecht. But it appears from a letter to our author, dated 16th December 1712, that this office was attended with more honour than profit. His death, which took place on his return to England, 14th Sept. 1712-13, is mentioned by Swift in the course of this Journal, with circumstances that do honour to his heart.
14. Is that tobacco at 'the top of the paper, † or what? I do not remember I slobbered. Lord, I dreamed of Stella, &c. so confusedly last night, and that we saw Dean Bolton and Sterne go into a shop ; and she bid me call them to her, and they proved to be two parsons I knew not; and I walked without till she was shifting, and such staff, mixed with much melancholy and uneasiness, and things-not as they should be, and I know not how; and it is now an ugly gloomy morning.
* Or rather, they lost the whole four ; Sir William Withers, Sir Richard Hoare, Sir George Newland, and Mr John Cass, the members returned for the city, being all Tories, or converts.
t No. 258.