« AnteriorContinuar »
My young nephew, * his son of six months old, has got a swelling in his neck. I fear it is the evil. We did not go to dinner till eight of night, and I left them at ten. The Commons have been very severe on the Barrier Treaty, as you will find by their' votes.
A Whig member took out the Conduct of the Allies, and read that passage
about the succession with great resentment ; but none seconded him. The church party carried every vote by a great majority. The Archbishop of Dublin is so railed at by all who come from Ireland, that I can defend him no longer. Lord Anglesey assured me, that the story of applying Piso out of Tacitus to lord-treasurer being wounded is true. t I believe the Duke of Beaufort will be admitted to our society next meeting. Today I published the Fable of Midas, a poem, printed in a loose half sheet of paper. I I know not how it will take ; but it passed wonderfully at our society to-night; and Mr Secretary read it before me the other night to lord-treasurer, at Lord Masham's, where they equally approved of it. Tell me how it
* Lord Masham was one of the sixteen brothers of the club ; his · son was Swift's nephew, of course.
+ See Vol. II. pp. 228, 229.
# A cruel satire on the Duke of Marlborough, comparing his loss of power and place to that of Midas, deprived of the virtues of his touch, by the streams of Pactolus :
While he his utmost strength applied,
I think this paper is larger than ordinary; for here is a six days journal, and no nearer the bottom. I fear these journals are very dull. Note my dullest lines.
15. Mr Lewis and I dined by invitation with a Scotch acquaintance, after I had been very busy in my chamber till two in the afternoon. My third cold is now very troublesome on my breast, especially in the morning. This is a great revolution in my health ; colds never used to return so soon with me, or last so long. It is very surprising this news to-day, of the dauphin and dauphiness both dying within six days. They say the old king is almost heart-broke : he has had prodigious mortifications in his family. The dauphin has left two little sons, of four and two years old ; the eldest is sick. There is a foolish story got about the town, that Lord Strafford, one of our plenipotentiaries, is in the interest of France : and it has been a good while said, that lord privy-seal * and he do not agree very well; they are both long practised in business, but neither of them of much parts. Strafford has some life and spirit ; but is infinitely proud, and wholly illiterate. **** Night, MD.
16. I dived to-day in the city with my printer, to finish something I am doing about the Barrier Treaty ; but it is not quite done. † I went this evening to Lord Masham's, where lord-treasurer sat with us till past twelve. The Lords have voted an address to the queen, to tell her they are not satisfied with the King of France's offers. The Whigs brought it in of a sudden; and the
* Dr John Robinson, Bishop of Bristol.
+ It was published under the title of “ Remarks on the Barrier Treaty."
court could not prevent it, and therefore did not oppose it. The House of Lords is too strong in Whigs, notwithstanding the new creations; for they are very diligent, and the Tories as lazy: the side that is down has always most industry. The Whigs intended to have made a vote that would reflect on lord-treasurer; but their project was not ripe. I hit my face such a rap by calling the coach to stop to-night, that it is plaguy sore, the bone beneath the eye. Night, dearest MD.
17. The court was mighty full to-day, and has been these many Sundays; but the queen was not at chapel. She has got a little fit of the gout in her foot. The good of going to court is, that one sees all one's acquaintance, whom otherwise I should hardly meet twice a-year. Prince Eugene dines with the secretary to-day, with about seven or eight general officers, or foreign ministers. They will be all drunk, I am sure. I never was in company
with this prince. I have proposed to some lords that we should have a sober meal with him ; but I cannot compass it. It is come over in the Dutch new prints, that I was arrested on an action of L. 20,000 by the Duke of Marlborough. I did not like my court invitations to-day; so Sir Andrew Fountaine and I went and dined with Mrs Vanhomrigh. I came home at six, and have been very busy till this minute, and it is past twelve, so I got into bed to write to MD. We reckon the dauphin's death will set forward the peace a good deal. Pray, is Dr Griffith reconciled to me yet? Have I done enough to soften him ? ****
18. Lewis had Guiscard's picture ; he bought it, and offered it to lord-treasurer, who promised to send for it, but never did ; so I made Lewis give it me, and I have it in my room ; and now lord-treasurer says he will take
it from me.
Is that fair? He designs to have it in length in the clothes he wore when he did the action, and a penknife in his hand ; and Kneller is to copy it from this that I have. I intended to dine with lordtreasurer to-day, but he has put me off till-morrow ; so I dined with Lord Dupplin. You know Lord Dupplin very well; he is a brother of the society. Well, but I have received a letter from the Bishop of Clogher, to solicit an affair for him with lord-treasurer, and with the parliament, which I will do as soon as fly. I am not near so keen about other people's affairs as Ppt used to reproach me about. It was a judgment on me. Hearkee, idle dearees both, methinks I begin to want a letter from MD: faith, and so I do. I doubt you have been in pain about the report of my being arrested. The pamphleteers have let me alone this month, which is a great wonder: only the third part of the answer to the Conduct, which is lately come out. (Did I tell you of it already ?) The House of Commons goes on in mauling the late ministry and their proceedings.
19. I dined with lord-treasurer to-day, and sat with him till ten, in spite of my teeth, though my printer waited for me to correct a sheet. I told him of four lines I writ extempore with my pencil, on a bit of
in his house, while he lay wounded. Some of the servants, I suppose, made waste paper of them, and he never heard of them. They were inscribed to Mr Harley's physician thus :
On Britain Europe's safety lies;
: Think what you save, or what you
I proposed that some company should dine with him on the eighth of March, which was the day he was wounded ; but he says he designs that the lords of the cabinet, who then sate with him, should dine that day with him : however, he has invited me to dine. I am not yet rid of my cold ; it plagues me in the morning chiefly.
Night, MD. 20. After waiting to catch the secretary coming out from Sir Thomas Hanmer, for two hours in vain, about some business, I went into the city to my printer, to correct some sheets of the Barrier Treaty, and Remarks, which must be finished to-morrow. I have been terribly busy for some days past, with this and some other things; and I wanted some very necessary papers, which the secretary was to give me, and the pamphlet must not be published without them ; but they are all busy too. Sir Thomas Hanmer is chairman of the committee for drawing up a representation of the state of the nation to the queen, where all the wrong steps of the allies and late ministry about the war will be mentioned. The secretary, I suppose, was helping him about it to-day ; I believe it will be a pepperer. Night, dear MD.
21. I have been six hours to-day morning writing nineteen pages of a letter to lord-treasurer, about forming a society or academy, to correct and fix the English language. (Is English a speech or a language ?) It will not be above five or six more I will send it him to morrow, and will print it, if he desires me. I dined, you know, with our society to-day ; Thursday is our day. We had a new member admitted ; it was the Duke of Beaufort. We were thirteen met; brother Ormond was not there, but sent his excuse; the Prince Eugene dined with him. I left them at seven, being engaged to