« AnteriorContinuar »
hands than her's, in case of mortality, &c. Your mother says,
write she will second it ; and you may write to your mother, and then it will come from her. She tells me Lady Giffard has, a mind to see me, by her discourse; but I told her what to say with a vengeance. She told Lady Giffard she was going to see me: she looks extremely well. I am writing in my bed like a tyger, and so good night, &c.
22. I dined with Secretary St John; and Lord Dartmouth, who is the other secretary, dined with us, and Lord Orrery and Prior, &c. Harley called, but could not dine with us, and would have had me away while I was at dinner ; but I did not like the company he was to have. We staid till eight, and I called at the coffeehouse, and looked where the letters lie; but no letter directed for Mr Presto : at last I saw a letter to Mr Addison, and it looked like a rogue's hand, so I made the fellow give it me, and opened it before him, and saw three letters all for myself: so, truly, I put them in my pocket, and came home to my lodging. Well, and so you shall hear : well, and so I found one of them in Dingley's hand, and the other in Stella's, and the third in Domville's. Well, so you shall hear : so, said I to myself, What now, two letters from MD together? But I thought there was something in the wind ; so I opened one, and I opened the other; and so you shall hear, one was from Walls. Well, but the other was from own dear MD; yes it was. O faith, have you received my seventh, young women, already ? then I must send this to
morrow, else there will be old doings at our house, faith.— Well, I will not answer your letter in this: no faith, catch me at that, and I never saw the like. Well, but as to Walls, tell him, (with service to him and wife, &c.) that I have no imagination of Mr Pratt's losing his place : and while Pratt continues, Clements is in no danger; and I have already engaged Lord Hyde * he speaks of, for Pratt and twenty others; but if such a thing should happen, I will do what I can. I have above ten businesses of other people's now on my hands, and, I believe, shall miscarry in half. It is your sixth I now have received. I writ last post to the Bishop of Clogher again. Shall I send this to-morrow ? Well, I will, to oblige MD. Which would you rather, a short letter every week, or a long one every fortnight? A long one ; well, it shall be done, and so good night. Well, but is this a long one? No, I warrant you : too long for naughty girls.
23. I only ask, have you got both the ten pounds, or only the first ; I hope you mean both. Pray be good housewives, and I beg you to walk when you can for health. Have you the horse in town ? and do you ever ride him ? how often?. Confess. Abhh, sirrah, have I caught you ? Can you contrive to let Mrs Fenton + know, that the request she has made me in her letter, I will use what credit I have to bring about, although I hear it is very difficult, and I doubt I shall not succeed. Cox is not to be your chancellor : all joined against him, I have been supping with Lord Peterborow, at his house, with Prior, Lewis, and Dr Freind. It is the ramblingest lying rogue on earth. *. Dr Raymond is çome to town: it is late, and so I bid you good night.
* Eldest son of the Earl of Rochester. He became joint vicetreasurer for Ireland ; hence his interest with respect to these appointments.
+ Swift's sister, whom, it is said, he never forgave for marrying a tradesman. He certainly talks of her with little affection, nor would the reader probably have suspected their relationship without a note.
24. I tell you pretty management : Ned Southwell told me the other day, he had a letter from the bishops of Ireland, with an address to the Duke of Ormond, to intercede with the queen, to take off the first-fruits. I dined with him to-day, and saw it, with another letter to him from the Bishop of Kildare, to call upon me for the papers, &c. and I had last post one from the Archbishop of Dublin, telling me the reason of this proceeding; that upon hearing the Duke of Ormond was declared lord-lieutenant, they met, and the bishops were for this project, and talked coldly of my being solicitor, as one that was favoured by the other party, &c. but desired that I would still solicit. f Now the wisdom of this is admirable ; for I had given the archbishop an account of my reception from Mr Harley, and how he had spoken to the queen, and promised it should be done ; but Mr Harley ordered me to tell no person alive. Some time after, he gave me leave to let the primate and archbishop know that the queen had remitted the first-fruits, and that in a short time they should have an account of it in form from Lord Dartmouth, Secretary of State. So while their letter was on the road to the Duke of Ormond and Southwell, mine was going to them with an account of the thing being done. I writ a very warm answer to the archbishop immediately,* and showed my resentment, as I ought, against the bishops, only in good manners excepting himself. I wonder what they will say when they hear the thing is done. I was yesterday forced to tell Southwell so, that the queen had done it, &c. for he said, my Lord Duke would think of it some months hence when he was going for Ireland ; and he had it three years in doing formerly, without any success. I give you free leave to say, on occasion, that it is done, and that Mr Harley prevailed on the queen to do it, &c. as you please. As I hope to live, I despise the credit of it, out of an excess of pride, and desire you will not give me the least merit when you talk of it; but I would vex the bishops, and have it spread that Mr Harley had done it : pray do so. Your mother sent me last night a parcel of wax candles, and a bandbox full of small plumcakes. I thought it had been something for you ; and, without opening them, sent answer by the maid that brought them, that I would take care to send the things, &c. but I will write her thanks. Is this a long letter, sirrahs ? Now, are you satisfied ? I have had no fit since the first : I drink brandy every morning, and take pills every night. Never fear, I an't vexed at this puppy business of the bishops, although I was a little at first. I will tell you my reward : Mr Harley will think he has done me a favour; the Duke of Ormond, perhaps, that I have put a neglect on him ; and the bishops in Ireland that I have done nothing at all. So goes the world. But I have got above all this, and, perhaps, I have better reason for it than they know: and so you shall hear no more of first-fruits, dukes, Harleys, archbishops, and Southwells.
* i. e. Lord Peterborough.
+ The expression of the archbishop is, “ I am not to conceal from you, that some expressed a little jealousy, that you would not be acceptable to the present courtiers; intimating, that you were under the reputation of being a favourite of the late party in power."
* This indignant letter is dated 230 November 1710. It produced some contrition in the archbishop, who represented in his exculpation, that the letter to Southwell was a snare laid in his way, since, if he declined signing it, it might have been interpreted into disrespect to the Duke of Ormond. See his Letter, 30th November 1711.
I have slipped off Raymond upon some of his countrymen to show him the town, &c. and I lend him Patrick. He desires to sit with me in the evenings ; upon which I have given Patrick positive orders that I am not within at evenings.
London, Nov. 25, 1710. I will tell you something that is plaguy silly; I had forgot to say on the 23d in my last, where I dined; and because I had done it constantly, I thought it was a great omission, and was going to interline it; but at last the silliness of it made me cry pshah, and I let it alone. I was to-day to see the parliament meet, but only saw a great crowd ; and Ford and I went to see the tombs at Westminster, and sauntered so long I was forced to go to an eating-house for my dinner. Bromley is chosen speaker, nemine contradicente : Do you understand those two words ? and Pompey, Colonel Hill's black, designs to stand speaker for the footmen. I am engaged to use my interest for him, and have spoken to Patrick to get him some votes. We are now all impatient for
* The footmen in attendance at the Houses of Parliament used, at this time, to form themselves into a deliberative body, and usu