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treasurer, to get some papers from him, which he will remember as much as a cat, although it be his own business. It threatened rain, but did not much ; and Prior and I walked an hour in the Park, which quite put me out of my measures. I dined with a friend hard by ; and in the evening sat with Lord Masham till twelve. Lord-treasurer did not come; this is an idle dining day usually with him. We want to hear from Holland how our peace goes on ; for we are afraid of those scoundrels the Dutch, lest they should play us tricks. Lord Marr, * a Scotch earl, was with us at Lord Masham's: I was arguing with him about the stubbornness and folly of his countrymen; they are so angry about the affair of Duke Hamilton, whom the queen has made a duke of England, and the House of Lords will not admit him. He swears he would vote for us, but dare not; because all Scotland would detest him if he did : he should never be chosen again, nor be able to live there. +
3. I was at court to-day to look for a dinner, but did
* John, eleventh and last Earl of Mar, then a privy-counsellor, and in 1712 secretary of state for Scotland, afterwards unfortunately famous for heading the rebellion in 1715, for which being attainted, he fled abroad, and died in 1735.
+ “ The Scotch lords seeing no redress to their complaint, seemed resolved to come no more to sit in the House of Peers; but the court was sensible that their strength in that house consisted chiefly in them and in the new peers ; so pains were taken, and secret forcible arguments were used to them, which proved so effectual, that after a few days absence they came back, and continued, during the session, to sit in the house. They gave it out, that an expedient would be found that would be to the satisfaction of the peers of Scotland: but nothing of that appearing, it was concluded that the satisfaction was private and personal.”-Burnet's History of his Own Times, ad annum 1711-1712.
not like any that were offered me; and I dined with Lord Mountjoy. The queen has the gout in her knee, and was not at chapel. I hear we have a Dutch mail, but I know not what news, although I was with the secretary this morning. He showed me a letter from the Hanover envoy, Mr Bothmar, complaining that the Barrier Treaty is laid before the House of Commons; and desiring that no infringement may be made in the guarantee of the succession ; but the secretary has written him a peppering answer. I fancy you understand all this, and are able states girls, since you have read the Conduct of the Allies. We are all preparing against the birth-day ; I think it is Wednesday next. If the queen’s gout increases, it will spoil sport. Prince Eugene has two fine suits made against it; and the queen is to give him a sword worth four thousand pounds, the diamonds set transparent.
4. I was this morning soliciting at the House of Commons' door for Mr Vesey, a son of the Archbishop of Tuam, who has petitioned for a bill to relieve him in some difficulty about his estate ; I secured him above fifty members. I dined with Lady Masham. We have no packet from Holland, as I was told yesterday : and this wind will hinder many people from appearing at the birth-day, who expected clothes from Holland. I appointed to meet a gentleman at the secretary's to-night, and they both failed. The House of Commons have this day made many severe votes about our being abused by our allies.
Those who spoke, drew all their arguments from my book, and their votes confirm all I writ; the court had a majority of a hundred and fifty : all agree that it was my book that spirited them to these resolutions; I long to see them in print. My head has not been as well as I could wish it for some days past, but I have not had any giddy fit, and I hope it will
5. The secretary turned me out of his room this morning, and showed me fifty guineas rolled up, which he was going to give some French spy. I dined with four Irishmen at a tavern to-day ; I thought I had resolved against it before, but I broke it. I played at cards this evening at Lady Masham’s, but I only played for her while she was waiting ; and I won her a pool; and supped there. Lord-treasurer was with us, but went away before twelve. The ladies and lords liave all their clothes ready against to morrow: I saw several mighty fine, and I hope there will be a great appearance, in spite of that spiteful French fashion of the Whiggish ladies not to come, which they have all resolved to a woman ; and I hope it will more spirit the
queen against them for ever.
6. I went to dine at Lord Masham's at three, and met all the company just coming out of court ; a mighty crowd : they staid long for their coaches : I had an opportunity of seeing several lords and ladies of my acquaintance in their fineries. Lady Ashburnham looked the best in my eyes. They say the court was never fuller nor finer. Lord-treasurer, his lady, and two daughters and Mrs Hill, dined with Lord and Lady Masham ; the five ladies were monstrous fine. The queen gave Prince Eugene the diamond sword to-day; but nobody was by when she gave it, except my lord chamberlain. There was an entertainment of opera songs at night, and the queen was at all the entertainment, and is very well after it. I saw Lady Wharton, as ugly as the devil, coming out in the crowd all in an undress;
she has been with the Marlborough daughters and Lady Bridgwater in St James's, looking out of the window all undressed to see the sight. I do not hear that one Whig lady was there, except those of the bedchamber. Nothing has made so great a noise as one Kelson's chariot, that cost nine hundred and thirty pounds, the finest was ever seen. The rabble huzzaed him as much as they did Prince Eugene. This is birth-day chat.
7. Our society met to-day, the Duke of Ormond was not with us; we have lessened our dinners, which were grown so extravagant, that lord-treasurer and every body else cried shame. I left them at seven, visited for an hour, and then came home, like a good boy. The queen is much better after yesterday's exercise : her friends wish she would use a little more. I opposed Lord Jersey's * election into our society, and he is refused : I likewise opposed the Duke of Beaufort ; but I believe he will be chosen in spite of me: I don't much care; I shall not be with them above two months ; for I resolve to set out for Ireland the beginning of April next, (before I treat them again,) and see my willows.
8. I dined to-day in the city ; this morning a scoundrel dog, one of the queen's music, a German, whom I had never seen, got access to me in my chamber by Patrick's folly, and gravely desired me to get an employment in the customs for a friend of his, who would be very grateful ; and likewise to forward a project of his own, for raising ten thousand pounds a-year upon operas: I used him civiller than he deserved ; but it vexed me to the pluck. He was told, I had a mighty interest
* William Villiers, second Earl of Jersey, to which title he succeeded by the death of his father, in August 1711.
with lord-treasurer, and one word of mine, &c.-Well; I got home early on purpose to answer MD's letter, N. 26; for this goes to-morrow.-Well; I never saw such a letter in all my life ; so saucy, so journalish, so sanguine, so pretending, so every thing. I satisfied all your fears in my last ; all is gone well, as you say; yet you are an impudent slut to be so positive ; you will swagger so upon your sagacity, that we shall never have done. Pray don't mislay your reply; I would certainly print it, if I had it here : how long is it? I supposę half a sheet : was the answer written in Ireland ? Yes, yes, you shall have a letter when you come from Bali
I need not tell you again who's out and who's in: we can never get out the Duchess of Somerset. So, they say Presto writ the Conduct, † &c. Do they like it? I don't care whether they do or no; but the Resolutions printed t’other day in the Votes are almost quotations from it ; and would never have passed, if that book had not been written. I will not meddle with the Spectator, let him fair-sex it to the world's end. My disorder is over, but blood was not from the p–les.Well, Madam Dingley, the frost ; why we had a great frost, but I forget how long ago ; it lasted above a week or ten days : I believe about six weeks ago ; but it did not break so soon with us I think as December 29 ; yet I think it was about that time, on second thoughts. MD can have no letter from Presto, says you; and yet four days before you own you had my thirty-seventh,
A village near Dublin. of Of the Allies.
I Swift always ridiculed the perpetual mention of the fair-sex in this celebrated periodical paper.