« AnteriorContinuar »
as they could, yet had almost dined, and were going in anger to pull down the brass peg for my hat, but Lady Masham saved it. At eight I went again to Lord Masham's; lord-treasurer is generally there at night : we sat up till almost two. Lord-treasurer has engaged me to contrive some way to keep the Archbishop of York from being seduced by Lord Nottingham. I will do what I can in it to-morrow. 'Tis very late, so I must go sleep.
28. Poor Mrs Manley, the author, is very ill of a dropsy and sore leg ; the printer tells me he is afraid she cannot live long. I am heartily sorry for her ; she has very generous principles for one of her sort ; and a great deal of good sense and invention : she is about forty, very homely, and very fat. * Mrs Van made me dine
* In a romance entitled The History of Rivella, or some such name, (probably written by the lady herself, she is thus describ
“ Her person is neither tall nor short; from her youth she was inclined to fat; whence I have often heard her flatterers liken her to the Grecian Venus. It is certain, considering that disadvantage, she has the most easy air that one can have ; her hair is of a pale ash colour, fine, and in a large quantity. I have heard her friends lament the disaster of her having had the small-pox in such an injurious manner, being a beautiful child before that distemper ; but as that disease has now left her face, she has scarce any pretence to it. Few, who have only beheld her in public, could be brought to like her ; whereas none that became acquainted with her could refrain from loving her. I have heard several wives and mistresses accuse her of fascination : they would neither trust their husbands, lovers, sons, nor brothers, with her acquaintance, upon terms of the greatest advantage. But, to do Rivella justice, till she grew fat, there was not, I believe, any defect to be found in her body: her lips admirably coloured ; her teeth small and even ; a breath always sweet; her complexion fair and fresh ; yet, with all this, you must
with her to-day. I was this morning with the Duke of Ormond, and the prolocutor, about what lord-treasurer spoke to me yesterday; I know not what will be the issue. There is but a slender majority in the House of Lords; and we want more. We are sadly mortified at the news of the French taking the town in Brazil from the Portuguese. The sixth edition of three thousand of the Conduct of the Allies is sold, and the printer talks of a seventh ; eleven thousand of them have been sold; which is a prodigious run. The little twopenny
Letter of Advice to the October Club does not sell; I know not the reason ; for it is finely written, I assure you ; and, like a true author, I grow fond of it, because it does not sell : you know that is usual to writers to condemn the judgment of the world : if I had hinted it to be mine, every body would have bought it, but it is a great secret.
29. I borrowed one or two idle books of Contes des Fées, and have been reading them these two days, although I have much business upon my hands. I loitered till one at home, then went to Mr Lewis at his office; and the vice-chamberlain told me, that Lady Ryalton had yesterday resigned her employment of lady of the bedchamber, and that Lady Jane Hyde, Lord Rochester's daughter, a mighty pretty girl, is to succeed. He said, too, that Lady Sunderland would resign in a day or two. I dined with Lewis, and then went to see Mrs Wesley, who is better to-day. But you must know that Mr Lewis gave me two letters, one from the Bishop of Cloyne, with an enclosed from Lord Inchequin to lord-treasurer, which he desires I would deliver and recommend. I am told that lord was much in with Lord Wharton, and I remember he was to have been one of the lords justices by his recommendation ; yet the bishop recommends him as a great friend to the church, &c. I'll do what I think proper. T'other letter was from little saucy MD, N. 26. O Lord, never saw the like, under a cover too, and by way of journal ; we shall never have done. Sirrahs ; how durst you write so soon, sirrahs ? I won't answer it yet.
be used to her before she can be thought thoroughly agreeable. Her hands and arms have been publicly celebrated ; it is certain, that I never saw any so well turned : her neck and breasts have an established reputation for beauty and colour ; her feet small and pretty. Thus I have run through whatever custom suffers to be visible to us; and, upon my word, chevalier, I never saw any of Rivella's hidden charms."-Adventures of Rivella, Lond. 1714. pp. * And the aunt of Lady Jane Hyde.
30. I was this morning with the secretary, who was sick, and out of humour; he would needs drink champaign some days ago, on purpose to spite me, because I advised him against it, and now he pays for it ; Stella used to do such tricks formerly ; he put me in mind of her. Lady Sunderland has resigned her place too. It is Lady Catherine Hyde that succeeds Lady Ryalton; and not Lady Jane. Lady Catherine is the late Earl of Rochester's daughter. * I dined with the secretary, then visited his lady; and sat this evening with Lady Masham the secretary came to us ; but lord-treasurer did not; he dined with the master of the rolls, and staid late with him. Our society does not meet till to-morrow se'ennight, because we think the parliament will be very busy to-morrow upon the state of the war; and the secretary, who is to treat as president, must be in the house. I fancy my
talking of persons and things here must be
tedious to you, because you know nothing of them; and I talk as if you did. You know Kevin's Street, and Werburgh Street, and (what do you call the street where Mrs Walls lives ?) and Ingoldshy, and Higgins, and Lord Santry; but what care you for Lady Catherine Hyde ? Why do you say nothing of your health, sirrah ? I hope it is well.
31. Trinnel, Bishop of Norwich, who was with this Lord Sunderland at Moor Park in their travels, preached yesterday before the House of Lords; and to-day the question was put to thank him, and print his sermon; but passed against him ; for it was a terrible Whig ser
The bill to repeal the act for naturalizing Protestant foreigners passed the House of Lords to-day by a majority of twenty, though the Scotch lords went out, and would vote neither way, in discontent about Duke Hamilton's patent, * if you
* The patent which conferred on him the Dukedom of Brandon, but which, as the House of Lords had found by a vote, did not entitle him to sit as a British peer. The Scottish nobles were very reasonably discontented at finding that they were to be held incapable of receiving a grace which the crown could confer on the lowest commoner. Nor was the reasons insisted upon for their incapacity of becoming British peers very flattering; for it was more than insinuated, that the independence of the House would be in danger, if the king could confer the privilege of the British peerage at pleasure upon a set of nobles whose rank rendered the boon plausible, while their fortunes placed them in dependence on the
Accordingly, so incensed were the Scottish peers, that they refused for a time to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Justice was not done to them in this particular until 1782, when the late Duke of Hamilton was found entitled to his writ of summons as Duke of Brandon.
It was a
poem is come out to-day inscribed to me, by way of a flirt ; for it is a Whiggish poem, and good for nothing. They plagued me with it in the Court of Requests. I dined with lord-treasurer at five alone, only with one Dutchman. Prior is now a commissioner of the customs. I told you so before, I suppose. When I came home tonight, I found a letter from Dr Sacheverel, thanking me for recommending his brother to lord-treasurer and Mr Secretary for a place. Lord-treasurer sent to him about it: so good a solicitor was I, although I once hardly thought I should be a solicitor for Sacheverel.
Feb. 1. Has not your dean of St Patrick received my letter ? you say nothing of it, although I writ above a month ago. My printer has got the gout, and I was forced to go to him to-day, and there I dined. most delicious day: Why don't you observe whether the same days be fine with you ?. To-night, at six, Dr Atterbury, and Prior, and I, and Dr Freind, met at Dr Robert Freind's house at Westminster, who is master of the school : there we sat till one, and were good enough company. I here take leave to tell politic Dingley, that the passage in the Conduct of the Allies is so far from being blameable, that the secretary designs to insist upon it in the House of Commons, when the Treaty of Barrier is debated there, as it now shortly will, for they have ordered it to be laid before them. The pamphlet of Advice to the October Club begins now to sell ; but I believe its fame will hardly reach Ireland : 'tis finely written I assure you. I long to answer your letter, but won't yet ; you
know 'tis late, &c. 2. This ends Christmas, and what care I? I have neither seen, nor felt, nor heard any Christmas this year. I passed a lazy dull day. I was this morning with lord