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ever he catches me so again, I will spend as many pounds; and therefore I have put it among my extraordinaries : but we had a neck of mutton dressed à la Maintenon, that the dog could not eat: and it is now twelve o'clock, and I must go sleep. I hope this letter will go before I have MD's third. Do you believe me and yet, faith, I long for MD's third too : and yet I would have it to say, that I write five for two.
two. I am not fond at all of St. James's coffeehouse, as I used to be. I hope it will mend in winter ; but now they are all out of town at elections, or not come from their country houses. Yesterday I was going with Dr. Garth to dine with Charles Main, near the Tower, who has an employment there : he is of Ireland : the bishop of Clogher knows him well : an honest, goodnatured fellow, a thorough hearty laugher, mightily beloved by the men of wit : his mistress is never above a cook maid. And so, good night, &c.
9. I dined to day at sir John Stanley's; my lady Stanley is one of my favourites: I have as many here as the bishop of Killala has in Ireland. I am thinking what scurvy company I shall be to MD when I come back : they know every thing of me already: I will tell you no more, or I shall have nothing to say, no story to tell, nor any kind of thing. I was very uneasy last night with ugly, nasty, filthy wine, that turned sour on my stomach. I must go to the tavern : 0, but I told you that before. To morrow I dine at Harley's, and will finish this letter at my return; but I can write no more now, because of the archbishop: faith it is true ; for I am going now to write to him an account of what I have done in the business with
Harley : Harley: and, faith, young women, I will tell you what you must count upon, that I never will write one word on the third side in these long letters.
10. Poor MD's letter was lying so huddled up among papers I could not find it: I mean poor Presto's letter. Well, I dined with Mr. Harley to day, and hope some things will be done; but I must say no more: and this letter must be sent to the posthouse, and not by the belman. I am to dine again there on Sunday next; I hope to good issue. And so now, soon as ever I can in bed, I must begin my 6th to MD, as gravely as if I had not written a word this month: fine doings, faith. Methinks I do not write as I should, because I am not in bed : see the ugly wide lines. God Almighty ever bless you, &c.
Faith, this is a whole treatise ; I will go reckon the lines on the other sides. I have reckoned them*.
London, Oct. 10, 1710.
as I told you just now in the letter I sent half an hour ago, I dined with Mr. Harley to day, who presented me to the attorney general sir Simon Harcourt, with much compliment on all sides, &c.
Seventy-three lines in folio upon one page, and in a very small hand
Harley told me he had shown my memorial to the queen, and seconded it very heartily; and he desires me to dine with him again on Sunday, when he promises to settle it with her majesty, before she names a governor; and I protest I am in hopes it will be done, all but the forms, by that time ; for he loves the church: this is a popular thing, and he would not have a governor share in it; and, besides, I am told by all hands, he has a mind to gain
But in the letter I writ last post (yesterday) to the archbishop I did not tell him a syllable of what Mr. Harley said to me last night, because he charged me to keep it secret : so I would not tell it to you, but that before this goes, I hope the secret will be over. I am now writing my poetical description of a shower in London, and will send it to the Taper. This is the last sheet of a whole quire I have written since I came to town. Pray, now it comes into my head, will you, when you go to Mrs. Wall, contrive to know whether Mrs. Wesley be in town, and still at her brother's, and how she is in health, and whether she stays in town.
I writ to her from Chester, to know what I should do with her note ; and I believe the poor woman is afraid to write to me : so I must go to my business, &c.
11. To day at last I dined with lord Montrath, and carried lord Mountjoy and sir Andrew Fountain with me; and was looking over them at ombre till eleven this evening like a fool : they played running ombre half crowns; and sir Andrew Fountain won eight guineas of Mr. Coote : so I am come home late, and will say but little to MD this night. I have gotten half a bushel of coals, and Patrick, the extravagant whelp, had a fire ready for me ; VOL. XIV.
but I picked off the coals before I went to bed. It is a sign London is now an empty place, when it will not furnish me with matter for above five or six lines in a day. Did you smoke in my last how I told you the very day and the place you were playing ombre ? But I interlined and altered a little, after I had received a letter from Mr. Manley, that said you were at it in his house, while he was writing to me; but without his help I guessed within one day. Your town is certainly much more sociable than ours. I have not seen your mother yet, &c.
12. I dined to day with Dr. Garth and Mr. Addison, at the Devil tavern by Temple Bar, and Garth treated ; and it is well I dine ever day, else I should be longer making out my letters : for we are yet in a very dull state, only inquiring every day after new elections, where the tories carry it among the new members six to one. Mr. Addison's election has passed easy and undisputed ; and I believe, if he had a mind to be chosen king, he would hardly be refused. An odd accident has happened at Colchester : one captain Lavallin coming from Flanders or Spain, found his wife with child by a clerk of Doctor's Commons, whose trade, you know, it is to prevent fornication : and this clerk was the very same fellow that made the discovery of Dyet's counterfeiting the stamp paper. Lavallin has been this fortnight hunting after the clerk to kill him; but the fellow was constantly employed at the Treasury about the discovery he made : the wife had made a shift to patch up the business, alleging that the clerk had told her her husband was dead, and other excuses ; but the other day somebody told Lavallin his wife had intrigues before he married
her : upon which he goes down in a rage, shoots his wife through the head, then falls on his sword ; and, to make the matter sure, at the same time discharges a pistol through his own head, and died on the spot, his wife surviving him about two hours; but in what circumstances of mind and body is terrible to imagine. I have finished my poem on the Shower, all but the beginning, and am going on with my Tatler. They have fixed about fifty things on me since I came: I have printed but three. One advantage I get by writing to you daily, or rather you get, is, that I remember not to write the same things twice; and yet I fear I have done it often already : but I will mind and confine myself to the accidents of the day; and so get you gone to ombre, and be good girls, and save your money, and be rich against Presto comes, and write to me now and then: I am thinking it would be a pretty thing to hear something from saucy MD; but do not hurt your eyes Stella, I charge you.
13. O Lord, here is but a trifle of my letter written yet ; what shall Presto do for prittle prattle to entertain MD? The talk now grows fresher of the duke of Ormond for Ireland, though Mr. Addison says he hears it will be in commission, and Jord Galway* one.
These letters of mine are a sort of journal, where matters open by degrees ; and, as I tell true or false, you will find by the event whether my intelligence be good ; but I do not care two pence whether it be or no.-At night. To day I was all about St. Paul's, and up at the top
* A French protestant nobleman, who fled from France to avoid persecution on account of his religion.