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I beg your pardon ; I have cheated you all this margin I did not perceive it; and I went on wider and wider like Stella ; awkward sluts, she writes so so, there : * that’s as like as two eggs a penny.-A weak old man, now I am saying it, and shall till to-morrow.-The Duke of Marlborough says, there is nothing he now desires so much as to contrive some way how to soften Dr Swift. He is mistaken ; for those things that have been hardest against him were not written by me. Mr Secretary told me this from a friend of the duke's; and I'm sure now he is down, I shall not trample on him ; although I love him not, I dislike 'his being out.-Bernage was to see me this morning, and gave some very indifferent excuses for not calling here so long. I care not twopence. Prince Fugene did not dine with the Duke of Marlborough on Sunday, but was last night at Lady Betty Germain's assemblée, and a vast number of ladies to see him. Mr Lewis and I dined with a private friend. I was this morning to see the Duke of Ormond, who appointed me to meet him at the cockpit at one, but never came. I sat too some time with the duchess. We don't like things very well yet. I am come home early, and going to be busy. I'll go write.
9. I could not go sleep last night till past two, and was waked before three by a noise of people endeavouring to break open my window. For a while I would not stir, thinking it might be my imagination ; but hearing the noise continued, I rose and went to the window, and then it ceased. I went to bed again, and heard it repeated more violently ; then I rose and called up the house, and got a candle : the rogues had lifted up the sash a yard; there are great sheds before my windows, although my lodgings be a storey high ; and if they get upon the sheds they are almost even with my window. We observed their track, and panes of glass. fresh broken. The watchmen told us to-day they saw them, but could not catch them. They attacked others in the neighbourhood about the same time, and actually robbed a house in Suffolk Street, which is the next street but one to us. It is said they are seamen discharged from service. I went up to call my man, and found his bed empty ; it seems he often lies abroad. I challenged him this morning as one of the robbers. He is a sad dog; and the minute I come to Ireland I will discard him. I have this day got double iron bars to every window in my dining-room and bed-chamber; and I hide my purse in my thread stocking between the bed's head and the wainscoat. Lewis and I dined with an old Scotch friend, who brought the Duke of Douglas, and three or four more Scots upon
* These words in the manuscript imitate Stella’s writing, and are sloped the wrong way.
10. This was our society day you know : but the Duke of Ormond could not be with us, because he dined with Prince Eugene. It cost me a guinea contribution to a poet, who had made a copy of verses upon monkies, applying the story to the Duke of Marlborough ; the rest gave two guineas, except the two physicians, who followed my example. I don't like this custom : the next time I will give nothing. . I sat this evening at Lord Masham's with lord-treasurer: I don't like his countenance ; nor I don't like the posture of things well.
We cannot be stout,
as the old saying is.
11. Mr Lewis and I dined with the chancellor of the exchequer, who eats the most elegantly of any man I know in town. I walked lustily in the Park by moonshine till eight, to shake off my dinner and wine ; and then went to sup at Mr Domville's with Ford, and staid till twelve. It is told me to-day as a great secret, that the Duke of Somerset will be out soon ; that the thing is fixed; but what shall we do with the duchess? They say the duke will make her leave the queen out of spite, if he be out. It has stuck upon that fear a good while already. * Well, but Lewis gave me a letter from MD, N. 25. O Lord, I did not expect one this fortnight, faith. You are mighty good, that's certain : but I won't answer it, because this goes to-morrow, only what you say of the printer being taken up; I value it not; all's safe there ; nor do I fear any thing, unless the ministry be changed ; I hope that danger is over. However, I shall be in Ireland before such a change ; which could not be, I think, till the end of the session, if the Whigs' designs had gone on.—Have not you an apron by Leigh, Madam Stella ? have you all I mentioned in a former letter ?
12. Morning. This goes to-day as usual. I think of going into the city ; but of that at night. 'Tis fine moderate weather these two or three days last. Farewell, &c. &c.
See note on Journal December 17.
London, Jan. 12, 1711-12. When I sealed up my letter this morning, I looked upon myself to be not worth a groat in the world. Last night, after Mr Ford and I left Domville, Ford desired me to go with him for a minute upon earnest business, and then told me that both he and I were ruined : for he had trusted Stratford with five hundred pounds for tickets for the lottery, and he had been with Stratford, who confessed he had lost fifteen thousand pounds by Sir Stephen Evans, who broke last week; that he concluded Stratford must break too; that he could not get his tickets, but Stratford made him several excuses, which seemed very blind ones, &c.
&c. And Stratford had near four hundred pounds of mine, to buy me five hundred pounds in the South Sea Company. I came home reflecting a little ; nothing concerned me but MD. I called all my philosophy and religion up; and, I thank God, it did not keep me awake beyond my usual time above a quarter of an hour. This morning I sent for Tooke, whom I had employed to buy the stock of Stratford, and settle things with him. He told me, I was secure; for Stratford had transferred it to me in form in the South Sea House, and he had accepted it for me, and all was done on stamped parchment. However, he would be farther informed ; and at night, sent me a note to confirm me. However, I am not yet secure; and, besides, am in pain for Ford, whom I first brought acquainted with Stratford. 1 dined in the city.
13. Domville and I dined with Ford to-day by appointment; the Lord Mansel told me at court to-day, that I was engaged to him : but Stratford had promised Ford to meet him and me to-night at Ford's lodgings. He did so; said he had hopes to save himself in his affair with Evans. Ford asked him for his tickets: he said he would send them to-morrow; but looking in his pocket-book, said he believed he had some of them about him, and gave him as many as came to two hundred pounds, which rejoiced us much ; besides, he talked so frankly, that we might think there is no danger. I asked him, Was there any more to be settled between us in my affair ? He said, No; and answering my questions just as Tooke had got them from others; so I hope I am safe. This has been a scurvy affair. I believe Stella would have half laughed at me, to see a suspicious fellow like me overreached. I saw Prince Eugene to-day at court: I don't think him an ugly faced fellow, but well enough, and a good shape.
14. The parliament was to sit to-day; and met; but were adjourned by the queen's directions till Thursday. She designs to make some important speech then. She pretended illness ; but I believe they were not ready, and they expect some opposition: and the Scotch lords are angry, and must be pacified. * I was this morning to invite the Duke of Ormond to our society on Thursday, where he is then to be introduced. He has appointed me at twelve to-morrow about some business : I would fain have his help to impeach a certain lord : but I doubt we shall make nothing of it. I intended to
* Their displeasure was occasioned by the refusal of the House of Lords to permit the Duke of Hamilton to sit as Duke of Brandon, on his receiving that British title.