Page images

write it, hear my answer. Fy, child, you must not mind what every idle body tells you.- I believe you lie, and that the dogs were not crying it when you said so; come, tell truth. I am sorry you go to St. Mary's * so soon, you will be as poor as rats ; that place will drain you with a vengeance : besides, I would have you think of being in the country in summer. Indeed, Stella, pippins produced plentifully ; Parvisol could not send from Laracor : there were about half a score, I would be glad to know whether they were good for any thing.-Mrs. Wells at Donnybrook with you; why is not she brought to bed? Well, well, well, Dingley, pray be satisfied ! you talk as if you were angry about the bishop's not offering you conveniences for the journey ; and so he should. What sort of Christmas ? why I have had no Christmas at all; and has it really been Christmas of late? I never once thought of it. My service to Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine, and let Catherine get the coffee ready against I come, and not have so much care on her countenance; for all will go well.—Mr. Bernage, Mr. Bernage, Mr. Fiddlenage, I have had three letters from him now successively; he sends no directions, and how the D-shall I write to him? I would have burnt his last, if I had not seen Stella's hand at the bottom : his request is all nonsense. How can I assist him in buying and if he be ordered to go to Spain, go he must, or else sell, and I believe one can hardly sell, at such a juncture. If he had staid, and new regiments raised, I would have used my endeavour to have had him removed ; although I have no credit that way, or very little : but if the regiment goes, he ought to go too; he has had great indulgence, and opportunities of saving; and I have urged him to it a hundred times. What can I do? whenever it lies in my power to do him a good office, I will do it. Pray draw up this into a handsome speech, and represent it to him from me, and that I would write, if I knew where to direct to him; and so I have told you, and desired you would tell him, fifty times. Yes, madam Stella, I think I can read your long concluding word, but you cannot read mine after bidding you good night. And yet, methinks, I mend extremely in my writing ; but when Stella's eyes are well, I hope to write as bad as ever.--So now I have answered your letter, and mine is an answer ; for I lay yours before me, and I look and write, and write and look, and look and write again. So good morrow, madams both, and I will go rise, for I must rise; for I take pills at night, and so I must rise early, I do not know why.

* MD's lodgings opposite to St. Mary's church in Stafford street.


25. Morning. I did not tell you how I past my time yesterday, nor bid you good night, and there was good reason. I went in the morning to secretary St. John about some business; he had got a great whig with him ; a creature of the duke of Marlborough, who is a go-between to make peace between the duke and the ministry; so he came out of his closet; and after a few words, desired I would dine with him at three, but Mr. Lewis staid till six before he came ; and there we sat talking, and the time slipped so, that at last, when I was positive to go, it was past two o'clock; so I came home and

z 2


went straight to bed. He would never let me look at his watch, and I could not imagine it above twelve when we went away. So I bid you good night for last night, and now I bid you good morrow, and I am still in bed, though it be near ten, but I must rise.

26, 27, 28, 29, 30. I have been so lazy and negligent these last four days that I could not write to MD. My head is not in order, and yet it is not absolutely ill, but giddyish, and makes me listless; I walk every day, and take drops of Dr. Cockburn, and I have just done a box of pills, and to day lady Kerry sent me some of her bitter drink, which I design to take twice a day, and hope I shall grow better. I wish I were with MD, I long for spring and good weather, and then I will come over. My riding in Ireland keeps me well. I am very temperate, and eat of the easiest meats as I am directed, and hope the malignity will go off; but one fit shakes me a long time. I dined to day with lord Mountjoy, yesterday at Mr. Stone's in the city, on Sunday at Vanhomrigh's, Saturday with Ford, and Friday I think at Vanhomrigh's, and that is all the journal I can send MD, for I was so lazy while I was well, that I could not write. I thought to have sent this to night, but it is ten, and I will go to bed, and write on the other side to Parvisol to morrow, and send it on Thursday; and so good night my dears, and love Presto, and be healthy, and Presto will be so too, &c.

Cut off these notes handsomely, do you hear, sirrahs, and give Mrs. Brent hers, and keep yours till you see Parvisol, and then make up the letter to him, and send it him by the first opportunity, and so God Almighty bless you both, here and ever, and

poor Presto.

What, I warrant you thought at first that these last lines were another letter. Dingley, Pray pay Stella six fishes, and place

them to the account of your humble servant,

Presto. Stella, Pray pay Dingley six fishes, and place them to the account of

ount of your humble servant, Presto. There's bills of exchange for you.


London, Jan. 31, 1710-11.

I AM to send you my fourteenth to morrow, but my head having some little disorder, confounds all my journals. I was early this morning with Mr. secretary St. John about some business, so I could not scribble my morning lines to MD. They are here intending to tax all little printed penny papers a halfpenny every halfsheet, which will utterly ruin Grub street, and I am endeavouring to prevent it. Besides, I was forwarding an impeachment against a certain great person; that was two of my businesses with the secretary, were they not worthy ones? It was Ford's birthday, and I refused the secretary and dined with Ford. We are here in as smart a frost for the time as I have seen ; delicate walking wea. ther, and the Canal and Rosamond's Pond full of the rabble sliding and with skates, if you know what those are. Patrick's bird's water freezes in the gallipot, and my hands in bed.

Feb, 1. I was this morning with poor lady Kerry, who is much worse in her head than I. She sends me bottles of her bitter, and we are so fond of one another, because our ailments are the same ; do not you know that, madam Stell ? have not I seen you conning ailments with Joe's wife* and some others, sirrah? I walked into the city to dine, because of the walk, for we must take care of Presto's health you know, because of poor little MD. But I walked plaguy carefully, for fear of sliding against my will; but I am very busy.

2. This morning Mr. Ford came to me to walk into the city, where he had business, and then to buy books at Bateman's ; and I laid out one pound five shillings for a Strabo and Aristophanes, and I have now got books enough to make me another shelf, and I will have more, or it shall cost me a fall ; and so as we came back, we drank a flask of right French wine at Ben Tooke's chamber ; and when I had got home, Mrs. Vanhomrigh sent me word her eldest daughter was taken suddenly very ill, and desired I would come and see her ; I went, and found it was a silly trick of Mrs. Armstrong, lady Lucy's sister, who, with Moll Stanhope, was visiting there: however I rattled off the daughter.

3. To day I went and dined at lady Lucy's, where you know I have not been this long time; they are

* Mrs, Beaumont.


« PreviousContinue »