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any other.' I see I have said this before. I hear the Duke of Marlborough is turned out of all his employments : I shall know to-morrow, when I am to carry Dr King to dine with the secretary.— These are strong remedies ; pray God the patient is able to bear them. The last ministry people are utterly desperate.
Jan. 1. Now I wish my dearest little MD many happy new years ; yes, both Dingley and Stella, ay and Presto too, many happy new years. I dined with the secretary, and it is true that the Duke of Marlborough is turned out of all. The Duke of Ormond has got his regiment of foot-guards, I know not who has the rest. If the ministry be not sure of a peace, I shall wonder at this step, and do not approve it at best. The queen and lord-treasurer mortally hate the Duke of Marlborough, and to that he owes his fall, more than to his other faults : unless he has been tampering too far with his party, of which I have not heard any particulars ; however it be, the world abroad will blame us.
I confess my belief, that he has not one good quality in the world beside that of a general, and even that I have heard denied by several great soldiers. * But we have had constant success in arms while he commanded. Opinion is a mighty matter in war, and I doubt the French think it impossible to conquer an army that he leads, and our soldiers think the same ; and how far even this
* This common cant was generally applied to the duke by the Tory writers. One used this expression, “ Once he was fortunate;" which being quoted to Prince Eugene, he said it was the highest possible, compliment to Marlborough's conduct, since, being only once indebted to fortune, he had always been successful without her aid. But Swift, even while willing to adopt such mean prejudices, argues the expediency of the question like a politician.
step may encourage the French to play tricks with us, no man knows. I do not love to see personal resentment mix with public affairs.
2. This being the day the lords meet, and the new peers to be introduced, I went to Westminster to see the sight; but the crowd was too great in the house. So I only went into the robing room, to give my four brothers joy, and Sir Thomas Mansel, and Lord Windsor ; the other six I am not acquainted with. It was apprehended the Whigs would have raised some difficulties, but nothing happened. I went to see Lady Masham at noon, and wish her joy of her new honour, and a happy new year. I found her very well pleased : for peerage will be some sort of protection to her upon any turn of affairs. She engaged me to come at night, and sup with her and lord-treasurer ; I went at nine, and she was not at home, so I would not stay.--No, no, I won't answer your letter yet, young women. I dined with a friend in the neighbourhood. I see nothing here like Christmas, except brawn or mincepies in places where I dine, and giving away my half-crowns like farthings to great men's porters and butlers. Yesterday I paid seven good guineas to the fellow at the tavern, where I treated the society. I have a great mind to send you the bill. I think I told you some articles. I have not heard whether any thing was done in the House of Lords after introducing the new ones. Ford has been sitting with me till peeast tweeleve a clock.
3. This was our society day; Lord Dupplin was president : we choose every week ; the last president treats and chooses his successor. I believe our dinner cost fifteen pounds beside wine. The secretary grew brisk, and would not let me go, nor Lord Lansdown, who would fain have gone home to his lady, being newly mar. ried to Lady Mary Thynne. It was near one when we parted, so you must think I cannot write much to-night. The adjourning of the House of Lords yesterday, as the queen desired, was just carried by the twelve new lords, and one more, Lord Radnor was not there; I hope I have cured him. Did I tell you that I have brought Dr King in to be Gazetteer ? It will be worth above two hundred pounds a-year to him : I believe I told you so before, but I am forgetful. Go, get you gone to ombre, and claret, and toasted oranges. l'll go sleep
4. I cannot get rid of the leavings of my cold. I was in the city to-day, and dined with my printer, and gave him a ballad made by several hands, I know not whom. I believe lord-treasurer had a finger in it; I added three stanzas ; I suppose Dr Arbuthnot had the greatest share. I have been overseeing some other little prints, and a pamphlet made by one of my under-strappers. Somerset is not out yet. I doubt not but you will have the Prophecy in Ireland, although it is not published here, only printed copies given to friends. Tell me, do you understand it? No, faith, not without help. Tell me what you stick at, and I'll explain. We turned out a member of our society yesterday for gross neglect and non-attendance. I writ to him by order to give him notice of it. It is Tom Harley, secretary to the treasurer, and cousin-german to lord-treasurer. He is going to Hanover from the queen. I am to give the Duke of Ormond notice of his election as soon as I can see him.
5. I went this niorning with a parishioner of mine, one Nuttal, who came over here for a legacy of one hundred pounds, and a roguish lawyer had refused to pay him,
and would not believe he was the man. I writ to the lawyer a sharp letter, that I had taken Nuttal into my protection, and was resolved to stand by him, and the next news was, that the lawyer desired I would meet him, and attest he was the man, which I did, and his money was paid upon the spot. I then visited lord-treasurer, who is now right again, and all well, only that the Somerset family is not out yet. I hate that ; I don't like it, as the man said, by, &c. Then I went and visited poor Will. Congreve, who had a French fellow tampering with one of his eyes; he is almost blind of both. I dined with some merchants in the city, but could not see Stratford, with whom I had business. Presto, leave off your impertinence, and answer our letter, saith MD. Yes, yes, one of these days, when I have nothing else to do. O, faith, this letter is a week written, and not one side done yet.-These ugly spots are not tobacco, but this is the last gilt sheet I have of large paper, therefore hold your tongue. Nuttal was surprised, when they gave him bits of paper instead of money, but I made Ben Tooke put him in his geers; he could not reckon ten pounds, but was puzzled with the Irish way. Ben Tooke and my printer have desired me to make them stationers to the ordnance, of which Lord Rivers is master, instead of the Duke of Marlborough. * It will be a hundred pounds a-year a-piece to them, if I can get it. I will try to-morrow.
6. I went this morning to Earl Rivers, gave him joy of his new employment, and desired him to prefer my printer and bookseller to be stationers to his office. He immediately granted it me; but, like an old courtier, told me it was wholly on my account, but that he heard I had intended to engage Mr Secretary to speak to him, and desired I would engage him to do so, but that, however, he did it only for my sake. This is a court trick, to oblige as many as you can at once. I read prayers to poor Mrs Wesley, who is very much out of order, instead of going to church ; and then I went to court, which I found very full, in expectation of seeing Prince Eugene, * who landed last night, and lies at Leicester House ; he was not to see the queen till six this evening. I hope and believe he comes too late to do the Whigs any good. I refused dining with the secretary, and was like to lose my dinner, which was at a private acquaintance's. I went at six to see the prince at court, but he was gone in to the queen; and when he came out, Mr Secretary, who introduced him, walked so near him, that he quite screened me from him with his great periwig. I'll tell you a good passage : as Prince Eugene was going with Mr Secretary to court, he told the secretary, that Hoffman, the emperor's resident, said to his highness, that it was not proper to go to court without a long wig, and his was a tied up one : now, says the prince, I knew not what to do, for I never had a long periwig in my life; and I have sent to all my valets and footmen, to see whether any of them have one, that I might borrow it, but none of them has any.—Was not this spoken very greatly with some sort of contempt ?
* Amid the spoils of the Duke of Marlborough, Earl Rivers succeeded him in the office of master-general of the ordnance, and as colonel of the royal regiment of Horse Guards.