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JOURNAL TO STELLA.
Chester, Sept. 2. 1710. Joe * will give you an account of me till I got into the boat, after which the rogues made a new bargain, and forced me to give them two crowns, and talked as if we should not be able to overtake any ship; but in half an hour we got to the yacht; for the ships lay by to wait for my lord-lieutenant's steward. We made our voyage in fifteen hours just. Last night I came to this town, and shall leave it, I believe, on Monday : the first man I met in Chester was Dr Raymond.* He and Mrs Raymond were here about levying a fine, in order to have power to sell their estate. I got a fall off my horse, riding here from Parkgate, but no hurt ; the horse understanding falls very well, and lying quietly till I got up. My duty to the Bishop of Clogher. † I saw him returning from Dunlary; but he saw not me. I take it ill he was not at convocation, and that I have not his name to my powers. I beg you will hold your resolution of going to Trim, and riding there as much as you can. Let the Bishop of Clogher remind the Bishop of Killala to send me a letter, with one inclosed to the Bishop of Litchfield. # Let all who write to me inclose to Richard Steele, Esq. at his office at the Cockpit, near Whitehall. S My Lord Mountjoy is now in the humour that we should begin our journey this after noon, so that I have stolen here again to finish this letter, which must be short or long accordingly. I write this post to Mrs Wesley, ll and will tell her that I have taken care she may have her bill of one hundred and fifteen pounds whenever she pleases to send for it; and in that case I desire you will send it her inclosed and sealed. God Almighty bless you ; and, for God's sake, be
Joseph Beaumont of Trim, merchant, had the honour to be numbered among
Swift's humble friends. He was a proficient in mathematics, and had invented a set of sleaing tables, calculated for the improvement of the linen trade. For this discovery, he received from government a reward of an hundred pounds, after many difficulties had occurred in the payment; a circumstance often alluded to in the course of these letters to Stella. Intense application to investigate the longitude, at length deranged Mr Beaumont's understanding, and he committed suicide in a fit of lunacy. He is described as a handsome grey-headed man,
with some pretensions to literary accomplishment. In his witty description of the Vicar's house at Castlenock, Swift introduces Beaumont,
The grey old fellow, poet Joe,
* Vicar of Trim, often mentioned in the Journal, and a particular friend of Swift, who had recommended him as such to the acquaintance of Addison.
+ Dr St George Ashe, afterwards Bishop of Derry; a man of wit and talents.
Dr John Hough. § Sir Richard was at this time Gazetteer; or, as he termed it, « Lowest Minister of State.” He was also a commissioner of the stamp office. There was great cordiality at this time between him and Swift, who had contributed several papers to the Tatler, which Steele then conducted, but their friendship was soon overclouded.
|| Elizabeth, lady of Garret Wesley, Esq. one of the daughters of Sir Dudley Colley.
merry, and get your health. I am perfectly resolved to return as soon as I have done my commission, whether it succeeds or not. I never went to England with so little desire in my life. *. If Mrs Curry' makes any difficulty about the lodgings, I will quit them. The post is just come from London, and just going out, so I have only time to pray to God to bless you, &c.
London, September 9, Saturday, 1710. I got here last Thursday, after five days travelling, weary the first, almost dead the second, tolerable the third, and well enough the rest; and am now glad of the fatigue, which has served for exercise ; and I am at present well enough. The Whigs were ravished to see me, and would lay hold on me as a twig while they are drowning, and the great men making me their clumsy apologies, &c. † But my Lord-Treasurer # received me with a great deal of coldness, which has enraged me so, I am almost vowing revenge.
* This will perhaps admit a scruple of doubt.
+ The subject of these apologies was, their having disappointed Swift's preferment, chiefly through the remonstrances of Sharpe, Archbishop of York, who argued, that the author of “ The Tale of a Tub” was a person unworthy of rising in the church.
# The Earl of Godolphin. Swift, in a letter to Archbishop King, says, his reception was altogether different from what he had
I have not yet gone half my circle ; but I find all my acquaintance just as I left them. I hear my Lady Giffard is much at court, and Lady Wharton was ridiculing it the other day ; so I have lost a friend there. I have not yet seen her, nor intend it; but I will contrive to see Stella's mother some other way. * I writ to the Bishop of Clogher from Chester ; and I now write to the Archbishop of Dublin. Every thing is turning upside down ; every Whig in great office will, to a man, be infallibly put out ; and we shall have such a winter as has not been seen in England. Every body asks me, how I came to be so long in Ireland, as naturally as if here were my being; but no soul offers to make it so : and I protest I shall return to Dublin, and the canal at Laracor, with more satisfaction than I ever did in my life. The Tatler expects every day to be turned out of his employment ; and the Duke of Ormond, they say, will be lieutenant of Ireland. I hope you are now peaceably in Presto's + lodgings : but I resolve to turn you out by Christmas : in which time I shall either do my business, or find it
received from any great man in his life ; altogether short, dry, and
Lady Giffard was the beloved sister of Sir William Temple, and is said to have had a large portion of his genius. But a quarrel, or at least a coldness, had taken place between Swift and the family of his original patron, owing, it would seem, to some difference about the publication of Sir William's posthumous works, intrusted to Swift by his will. Mrs Johnson's mother was then residing with Lady Giffard.
+ Presto stands for Swift, being adopted instead of PDFR, which is the character he himself uses when writing in the little language.
not to be done. Pray be at Trim by the time this letter comes to you, and ride little Johnson, who must needs be now in good case. I have begun this letter unusual. ly on the post night, and have already written to the archbishop, and cannot lengthen this. Henceforth I will write something every day to MD, and make it a sort of journal: and when it is full, I will send it whether MD writes or not : and so that will be pretty : and I shall always be in conversation with MD, and MD with Presto. Pray make Parvisol * pay you the ten pounds immediately ; so I ordered him. They tell me I am growing fatter, and look better; and, on Monday, Jervas is to retouch my picture. I thought I saw Jack Temple † and his wife pass by me to-day in their coach ; but I took no notice of them. I am glad I have wholly shaken off that family. Tell the provost I have obeyed his commands to the Duke of Ormond; or let it alone, if you please. I saw Jemmy Leigh I just now at the coffeehouse, who asked after you with great kindness : he talks of going in a fortnight to Ireland. My service to the dean, S and Mrs Walls, and her archdeacon. Will Frankland's wife is near bringing to bed, and I have promised to christen the child. I fancy you had my Chester letter the Tuesday after I writ. I presented Dr Raymond to Lord Wharton at Chester. Pray let me know when Joe gets his money. || It is near ten, and I hate to send by the bellman. MD shall
* The doctor's agent at Laracor, a Frenchman. + Nephew to Sir William. # An Irish gentleman of fortune, in the county of Westmeath. § Dr Sterne, Dean of St Patrick's, Dublin.
|| The government premium for his new invented mathematical sleaing tables, which I believe are still in use.