« VorigeDoorgaan »
DR. SWIFT'S JOURNAL
STELL A *.
Chester, Sept. 2, 1710.
JOE + will give you an account of me till I got into the boat, after which the rogues made a new bargain, and forced me to give them two crowns, and
• These letters to Stella, or Mrs. Johnson, were all written in a series from the time of Dr. Swift's landing at Chester, in September 1710, until his return to Ireland, upon being made dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. The letters were all very carefully preserved by Stella ; and at her death, if not before, taken back by Dr. Swift; for what end we know not, unless it were to compare the current news of the times with that history of the queen which he writ at Windsor in the year 1773: they were sometimes addressed to Mrs. Johnson, and sometimes to Mrs. Dingley, who was a relation of the Temple family, and friend to Mrs. Johnson. Both these ladies went over to Ireland upon Swift's invitation in the year 1701, and lodged constantly together.
+ Mr. Joseph Beaumont, merchant, of Trim, whose name fre. quently occurs in these papers. He was a venerable, handsome, grayheaded man, of quick and various natural abilities, but not improved by learning : his forte was mathematicks, which he applied to some useful purposes in the linen trade, but chiefly to the investigation of Vol. XIV.
talked as if we should not be able to overtake any ship; but in half an hour we got to the yacht; for the ships lay by to wait for my lord lieutenant's steward. We made our voyage in fifteen hours just. Last night I came to this town, and shall leave it, I believe, on Monday : the first man I met in Chester was Dr. Raymond *. He and Mrs. Raymond were here about levying a fine, in order to have power to sell their estate. I got a fall off my horse, riding here from Parkgate, but no hurt; the horse understanding falls very well, and lying quietly till I got up. My duty to the bishop of Cloghert. I saw him returning from Dunlary * ; but he saw not me. I take it ill he was not at convocation, and that I have not his name to my powers. I beg you will hold your resolution of going to Trim, and riding there as much as you can. Let the bishop of Clogher remind the bishop of Killala to send me a letter, with one enclosed to the bishop of Litchfield 3. Let all who write to me, enclose to Richard Steele, esq., at his office at the Cockpit near Whitehall. My lord Mountjoy is now in the humour that we should begin our journey this afternoon, so that I have stolen here
the longitude; which was supposed to have occasioned a lunacy, with which he was seized in Dublin about the year 1718; whence he was brought home to Trim, and recovered his understanding. But some years after, having relapsed into his former malady, he cut his throat in a fit of distraction.
* Vicar of Trim, and formerly one of the fellows of the Univer. sity of Dublin.
+ Dr. St. George Ashe, who, in the reign of George I, was made bishop of Derry.
İ This must have been while Swift was sailing in the bay of Dublin, and the bishop riding upon the North Strand.
Dr. John Hough.
again to finish this letter, which must be short or long accordingly. I write this post to Mrs. Wesley*, and will tell her, that I have taken care slie may have her bill of one hundred and fifteen pounds whenever she pleases to send for it; and in that case I desire you will send it her enclosed and sealed. God Almighty bless you ; and, for God's sake, be merry and get your health. I am perfectly resolved to return as soon as I have done my commission, whether it succeeds or not. I never went to England with so little desire in my life. If Mrs. Curry makes any difficulty about the lodgings, I will quit them. The post is just come from London, and just going out, so I have only time to pray to God to bless you, &c.
London, Sept. 9, Saturday 1710.
I GOT here last Thursday, after five days travelling, weary the first, almost dead the second, tolerable the third, and well enough the rest; and am now glad of the fatigue, which has served for exercise ; and I am at present well enough. The whigs were
* Elizabeth, lady of Garret Wesley, esq., one of the daughters of sir Dudley Colley.
+ This commission was, to solicit the queen to remit the first fruits and twentieth parts, payable to the crown by the clergy of Ireland.
javished to see me, and would lay hold on me as a twig while they are drowning, and the great men making me their cluinsy apologies, &c. But my lord treasurer * received me with a great deal of coldness, which has enraged me so, I am almost yowing revenge. I have not yet gone half my circle ; but I find all my acquaintance just as I left them. I hear my lady Giffard † is much at court, and lady Wharton was ridiculing it the other day; so I have lost a friend there. I have not yet seen her, nor intend it; but I will contrive to see Stella's mother some other way. I writ to the bishop of Clogher from Chester ; and I now write to the archbishop of Dublin. Every thing is turning upside down; every whig in great office will, to a man, be infallibly put out ; and we shall have such a winter as has not been seen in England. Every body asks me, how I came to be so long in Ireland, as naturally as if here were my being; but no soul offers to make it so : and I protest I shall return to Dublin, and the canal at Laracory, with more satisfaction than I ever did in my life. The Tatler || expects every day to be turned out of his employment; and the duke of Ormond, they say, will be lieutenant of Ireland. I hope you are now peaceably in Presto's lodgings :
* The earl of Godolphin.
I In these letters Pdfr, tands for Dr. Swift ; Ppt, for Stella ; D. for Dingley ; D.D. generally for Dingley, but sometimes for both Stella and Dingley ; and MD generally stands for both these ladies; yet sometimes only for Stella. But, to avoid perplexing the but I resolve to turn you out by Christmas : in which time I shall either do my business, or find it not to be done. Pray be at Trim by the time this letter comes to you, and ride little Johnson, who must needs be now in good case. I have begun this letter unusually on the postnight, and have already written to the archbishop; and cannot lengthen this. Henceforth I will write something every day to MD, and make it a sort of journal : and when it is full, I will send it whether MD writes or not : and so that will be pretty: and I shall always be in conversation with MD, and MD with Presto. Pray make Parvisol* pay you the ten pounds immediately ; so I ordered him. They tell me I am grown fatter, and look better ; and, on Monday, Jervas is to retouch my picture. I thought I saw Jack Temple of and his wife pass by me to day in their coach ; but I took no notice of them. I am glad I have wholly shaken off that family . Tell the provost $ I have obeyed his commands to the duke of Ormond; or let it alone, if you please. I saw Jemmy Leigh || just now at the coffeehouse, who asked after you with great kindness; he talks of going in a fortnight to Ireland. My reader, it was thought more advisable to use the word Presto for Swift, which is borrowed from the duchess of Shrewsbury, who, whimsically called him Dr. Presto, which is the Italian for Swift.
* The doctor's agent at Laracor, + Nephew to sir William,
# This coldness between the Temple family and Dr. Swift has been variously accounted for, but never satisfactorily cleared up."
§ Dr. Pratt, afterward dean of Downe.
| A gentleman of fortune in the county of Westmeath, in Ireland, whose name often occurs in these letters. He was well acquainted with Stella, and seems to have had a great esteem for her merit and accomplishments.