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should have allowed for night, good night ; but when I am taking leave, I cannot leave a bit, faith; but I fancy the seal will not come there. I dined to day at lady Lucy's, where they ran down my Shower; and said Sid Hamet was the silliest poem they ever read, and told Prior so, whom they thought to be the author of it. Do not you wonder I never dined there before? But I am too busy, and they live too far off; and, besides, I do not like women so much as I did. [MD you must know, are not women.7 I supped to night at Addison's, with Garth, Steele, and Mr. Dopping; and am come home late. Lewis has sent to me to desire I will dine with some company I shall like. I suppose
it is Mr. secretary St. John's appointment. I had a letter just now from Raymond, who is at Bristol, and says he will be at London in a fortnight, and leave his wife behind him; and desires any lodging in the house where I am : but that must not be. I shall not know what to do with him in town: to be sure I will not present him to any acquaintance of mine, and he will live a delicate life, a parson and a perfect stranger.
Paaast twelvvve o'clock and so good night, &c. O! but I forgot, Jemmy Leigh is come to town ; says he has brought Dingley's things, and will send them by the first convenience. My parcel I hear is nor sent yet. He thinks of going for Ireland in a month, &c. I cannot write .to morrow, because—what, because of the archbishop; because I will seal my letter early; because I am engaged from noon till night; because of many kind of things; and yet I will write one or two words to morrow morning, to keep up my journal constant, and at night I will begin the ninth. 5.
11. Morning 11. Morning by candlelight. You must know that I am in my nightgown every morning between six and seven, and Patrick is forced to ply me fifty times before I can get on ny nightgown ; and so now I will take my leave of my own dear MD, for this letter, and begin my next when I come home at night. God Almighty bless and protect dearest MD. Farewell, &c.
This letter's as long as a sermon, faith.
London, Nov. 11, 1710.
I DINED to day, by invitation, with the secretary of state Mr. St. John. Mr. Harley came in to us before dinner, and made me his excuses for not dining with us, because he was to receive people who came to propose advancing money to the government: there dined with us only Mr. Lewis, and Dr. Freind, that writ lord Peterborow's actions in Spain. I staid with them till just now, between ten and eleven, and was forced again to give my eighth to the belman, which I did with my own hands, rather than keep it till next post. The secretary used me with all the kindness in the world. Prior came in after dinner; and, upon an occasion, he (the secretary) said, the best thing he ever read" is not yours, but Dr. Swift's on Vanbrugh ; which I do not reckon so very good neither. But Prior was
damped until I stuffed him with two or three compliments. I am thinking what a veneration we used to have for sir William Temple, because he might have been secretary of state at fifty ; and here is a young fellow, hardly thirty, in that employment. His father is a man of pleasure, that walks the Mall, and frequents St. James's coffeehouse, and the chocolatehouses, and the young son is principal secretary of state.
Is there not some thing very odd in that? He told me, aniong other things, that Mr. Harley complained he could keep nothing from me, I had the way so much of getting into him. I knew that was a refinement; and so I told him, and it was so : indeed it is hard to see these great men use me like one who was their betters, and the
puppies with you in Ireland hardly regarding me : but there are some reasons for all this, which I will tell you when we meet. At coming home I saw a letter from your mother, in answer to one I sent her two days ago. It seems she is in town ; but cannot come out in a morning, just as you said, and God knows when I shall be at leisure in an afternoon : for if I should send her a pennypost letter, and afterward not be able to meet her, it would vex me; and, besides, the days are short, and why she cannot come early in a morning before she is wanted, I cannot imagine. I will desire her to let lady Giffard know that she hears I am in town, and that she would go to see me to inquire after you. I wonder she will confine herself so much to that old beast's humour. You know I cannot in honour see lady Giffard, and consequently not go into her house. This I think is enough for the first time. 12. And how could you write with such thin
paper ? paper ? (I forgot to say this in my former.) Cannot you get thicker? Why, that is a common caution that writingmasters give their scholars; you must have heard it a hundred times. It is this,
If paper be thin,
write with a stick. I had a letter to day from poor Mrs. Long, giving me an account of her present life, obscure in a remote country town*, and how easy she is under it. Poor creature ! it is just such an alteration in life, as if Presto should be banished from MD, and condemned to converse with Mrs. Raymond. I dined to day with Ford, sir Richard Levinge, &c. at a place where they board, hard by. I was lazy, and not very well, sitting so long with company yesterday. I have been very busy writing this evening at home, and had a fire: I am spending my second half bushel of coals; and now am in bed, and it is late.
13. I dined to day in the city, and then went to christen Will Frankland's child ; and lady Falconbridge was one of the godmothers : this is a daughter of Oliver Cromwell, and extremely like him by his pictures that I have seen. I staid till almost eleven, and am now come home and gone to bed. My business in the city was to thank Stratford for a kindness he has done me, which now I will tell you. I found bank stock was fallen thirty-four in the hundred, and was mighty desirous to buy it;
* She was then at Lynn in Norfolk.
but I was a little too late for the cheapest time, be.. ing hindered by business here ; for I was so wise to guess to a day when it would fall. My project was this: I had three hundred pounds in Ireland; and so I writ Mr. Stratford in the city, to desire he would buy me three hundred pounds in bank stock, and that he should keep the papers, and that I would be bound to pay him for them; and if it should rise or fall, I would take my chance, and pay him interest in the mean time. I showed my letter to one or two people, who understand those things; and they said, money was so hard to be got here, that no man would do it for ine. However, Stratford, who is the most generous man alive, has done it : but it cost one hundred pounds and a half, that is ten shillings, so that three hundred pounds cost me three hundred pounds and thirty shillings. This was done about a week ago, and I can have five pounds for my bargain already. Before it fell it was cne hundred and thirty pounds, and we are sure it will be the same again. I told you I writ to your mother, to desire that lady Giffard would do the same with what she owes you; but she tells your mother she has no money.
I would to God all you had in the world was there. Whenever you lend money take this rule, to have two people bound, who have both visible fortunes ; for they will hardly die together; and when one dies, you fall upon the other, and make him add another security: and if Rathburn (now I have his name) pays you in your money, let me know, and I will direct Parvisol accordingly: however, he shall wait on you and know. So, ladies, enough of business for one night. Paaaaast twelvvve o'clock, I must only add,