Page images


London, Jan. 4, 1710-11.

I WAS going into the city (where I dined) and put my 12th, with my own fair hands into the postoffice as I came back, which was not till nine this night. I dined with people that you never heard of, nor is it worth your while to know; an authoress and a printer. I walked home for exercise, and at eleven got into bed, and all the while I was undressing myself, there was I speaking monkey things in air, just as if MD had been by, and did not recollect myself till I got into bed. I writ last night to the archbishop, and told him the warrant was drawn for the first-fruits, and I told him lord Peterborow was set out for his journey to Vienna; but it seems the lords have addressed to have him stay to be examined about Spanish affairs, upon this defeat there, and to know where the fault lay, &c. So I writ to the archbishop a lie; but I think it was not a sin.

5. Mr. secretary St. John sent for me this morning so early, that I was forced to go without shaving, which put me quite out of method: I called at Mr. Ford's, and desired him to lend me a shaving, and so made a shift to get into order again. Lord! here is an impertinence : sir Andrew Fountaine's mother and sister are come above a hundred miles from Worcester to see him before he died. They got here but yesterday, and he must have been past

hopes, hopes, or past fears, before they could reach him. I fell a scolding when I heard they were coming; and the people about him wondered at me, and said what a mighty content it would be on both sides to die when they were with him. I knew the mother; she is the greatest Overdo upon earth, and the sister, they say, is worse ; the poor man will relapse again among them. Here was the scoundrel brother always crying in the outer room till sir Andrew was in danger, and the dog was to have all his estate if he died; and it is an ignorant, worthless, scoundrel rake : and the nurses were comforting him, and desiring he would not take on so. I dined to day the first time with Ophy Butler and his wife ; and you supped with the dean, and lost two and twenty pence at cards. And so Mrs. Walls is brought to bed of a girl, who died two days after it was christened ; and betwixt you and me, she is not very sorry : she loves her ease and diversions too well to be troubled with children. I will go to bed.

6. Morning. I went last night to put some coals on my fire after Patrick was gone to bed ; and there I saw in a closet a poor linnet he has bought to bring over to Dingley: it cost him sixpence, and is as tame as a dormouse. I believe he does not know he is a bird : where you put him, there he stands, and seems to have neither hope nor fear; I suppose in a week he will die of the spleen. Patrick advised with me before he bought him. I laid fairly before him the greatness of the sum, and the rashness of the attempt; showed how impossible it was to carry him safe over the salt sea : but he would not take my counsel, and he will repent it. It is very cold this morning in bed, and I hear there is a good fire in the room without, what do you call it, the diningroom. I hope it will be good weather, and so let me rise, sirrrahs, do so.—At night. I was this morning to visit the dean, or Mr. prolocutor, I think you call him, do not you? Why should not I go to the dean's as well as you ? A little black man of pretty near fifty? Ay, the same. A good pleasant man ? Ay, the same. Cunning enough? Yes. One that understands his own interest ? As well as any body. How comes it MD and I do not meet there sometimes ? A very good face, and abundance of wit; do you know his lady? O Lord ! whom do you mean * ? I mean Dr. Atturbury, dean of Carlisle and prolocutor. Pshaw, Presto you are a fool; I thought you had meant our dean of St. Patrick's.—Silly, silly, silly, you are silly, both are silly, every kind of thing is silly. As I walked into the city, I was stopped with clusters of boys and wenches buzzing about the cakeshops like flies. There had the fools let out their shops two yards forward into the streets, all spread with great cakes frothed with sugar, and stuck with streamers of tinsel. And then I went to Bateman's the booksellert, and laid out eight and forty shillings for books. I bought three little volumes of Lucian in French for our Stella, and so, and so. Then I went to Garraway's to meet Stratford, and dine with himn; but it was an idle day with the

* Dr. Sterne, dean of St. Patrick's, was not a married man, which seems to have been the cause of this surprise in MD.

+ Mr. Bateman, who lived in Little Britain, dealt principally in old books.

merchants, merchants, and he was gone to our end of the town : so I dined with Thomas Frankland at the postoffice, and we drank your Manley's health. It was in a newspaper that he was turned out; but secretary St. John told me it was false, only, that newswriter is a plaguy tory. I have not seen one bit of Christmas merriment.

7. Morning. Your new lord chancellor *, sets out to morrow for Ireland : I never saw him. He carries over one Trap a parson as his chaplain, a sort of pretender to wit, a second rate pamphleteer for the cause, whom they pay by sending him to Ireland. I never saw Trap neither. I met Tighe and your Smyth of Lovet's yesterday by the Exchange. Tighe and I took no notice of each other : but I stopped Smyth, and told him of the box that lies for you at Chester, because he says he goes very soon to Ireland, I think this week : and I will send this morning to Sterne, to take measures with Smyth; so good morrow, sirrahs, and let me rise, pray. I took up this paper when I came in at evening, I mean this minute, and then said I, No, no, indeed, MD, you must stay, and then was laying it aside, but could not for my heart, though I am very busy, till I just ask you how you do since morning ; by and by we shall talk more, so let me lay you softly down, little paper, till then ; so there—now to business; there, I say, get you gone : no, I will not push you neither, but hand you on one side-SoNow I am got into bed, I will talk with you. Mr. secretary St. John sent for me this morning in all haste; but I would not lose my shaving for fear of

+ Sir Constantine Phipps.




missing church. I went to court, which is of late always very full, and young Manley and I dined at sir Matthew Dudley's.--I must talk politicks. I protest I am afraid we shall all be embroiled with parties. The whigs, now they are fallen, are the most malicious toads in the world. We have had now a second misfortune, the loss of several Virginia ships. I fear people will begin to think that nothing thrives under this ministry : and if the ministry can once be rendered odious to the people, the parliament may be chosen whig of tory as the queen pleases. Then I think our friends press a little too hard on the duke of Marlborough. The country members * are violent to have past faults inquired into, and they have reason ; but I do not observe the ministry to be very fond of it. In my opinion we have nothing to save us but a peace, and I am sure we cannot have such a one as we hoped, and then the whigs will bawl what they would have done had they continued in power. I tell the ministry this as much as I dare, and shall venture to say a little more to them, especially about the duke of Marlborough, who, as the whigs give out, will lay down his command; and I question whether ever any wise state laid aside a general who had been successful nine years together, whom the enemy so much dread, and his own soldiers cannot but believe must always conquer; and you know that in war opinion is nine parts in ten. The ministry hear me always with appearance of regard, and much kindness ; but I doubt they let personal quarrels ningle too much with their proceedings. Mean-time, they

* These are afterward called the October Club.


« PreviousContinue »