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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 me over. 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 Tagler. 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. 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.
I writ to
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
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 lord 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,
like a fool, with sir Andrew Fountain and two more; and spent seven shillings for my dinner like a puppy: this is the second time he has served me so ; but I will never do it again, though all mankind should persuade me, unconsidering puppies! There is a young fellow here in town we are all fond of, and about a year or two come from the university, one Harrison, a little pretty fellow, with a great deal of wit, good sense, and good nature; has written some nighty pretty things; that in your 6th Miscellanea,
about the Sprig of an Orange, is his : he has noI thing to live on but being governor to one of the
duke of Queensberry's sons for forty pounds a year. The fine fellows are always inviting him to the tavern, and make him pay his club. Henley is a great crony of his : they are often at the tavern at six or seven shillings reckoning, and always make the poor lad pay his full share.
his full share. A colonel and a lord were at him and me the same way to night : I absolutely refused, and made Harrison lag behind, and persuaded him not to go to them. I tell you this, because I find all rich fellows have that humour of using all people without any consideration of their fortunes ; but I will see them rot before they shall serve me so. Lord Halifax is always teazing me to go down to his country house, which will cost me a guinea to his servants, and twelve shillings coachhire ; and he shall be hanged first. Is not this a plaguy silly story? But I am vexed at the heart; for I love the young fellow, and am resolved to stir up people to do something for him : he is a whig, and I will put him upon some of my cast whigs; for I have done with them, and they have, I hope, done with this kingdom for our time. They were
sure of the four members for London above all places, and they have lost three in the four. Sir Richard Onslow, we hear, has lost for Surry : and they are overthrown in most places. Lookee, gentlewomen, if I write long letters, I must write you news and stuff, unless I send you my verses; and some I dare not; and those on the Shower in London I have sent to the Tatler, and you may see them in Ireland. I fancy you will smoke me in the Tatler* I am going to write ; for I believe I have told you the hint. I had a letter sent me to night from sir Matthew Dudley, and found it on my table when I came in. Because it is extraordinary I will transcribe it from beginning to end. It is as follows ["Is “ the devil in you? Oct. 13, 1710."] I would have answered every particular passage in it, only I wanted time. Here is enough for to night, such as it is, &c.
14. Is that tobacco at the top of the paper up, or what? I do not remember I slobbered. Lord, I dreamed of Stella, &c. so confusedly last night, and that we saw dean Bolton and Sterne go into a shop; and she bid me call them to her, and they proved to be two parsons I knew not; and I walked with out till she was shifting, and such stuff, mixed with much melancholy and uneasiness, and things not as they should be, and I know not how; and it is now an ugly gloomy morning. --At night, Mr. Addison and I dined with Ned Southwell, and walked in the Park; and at the coffeehouse I found a letter from
* Perhaps No. 258; which will be found in vol. XVIII.
+ The upper part of the letter was a little besmeared with some such stuff; the mark is still on it. @ 3