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London, October 31, 1710.
now I have sent my seventh to your fourth, young women; and now I will tell you what I would not in my last, that this morning, sitting in my bed, I had a fit of giddiness: the room turned round for about a minute, and then it went off, leaving me sickish, but not very: and so I passed the day as I told you ; but I would not end a letter with telling you this, because it might vex you : and I hope in God I shall have no more of it. I saw Dr. Cockburn to day, and he promises to send me the pills that did me good last year, and likewise has promised me an oil for my car, that he has been making for that ailment for somebody else.
Nov. ]. I wish MD a merry new year. You know this is the first day of it with us.
I had no giddiness to day, but I drank brandy, and have bought a pint for two shillings. I sat up the night before my giddiness pretty late, and writ very much; so I will impute it to that. But I never eat fruit, nor drink ale, but drink better wine than you do, as I did to day with Mr. Addison at lord Mountjoy's: then went at five to see Mr. Harley, who could not see me for much company ; but sent me his excuse, and desired I would dine with him on Friday; and then I expect some answer to this business, which must either be soon done, or begun again ; and then the duke of Ormond and his people will interfere
for their honour, and do nothing. I came home at six, and spent my time in my chamber, without going to the coffeehouse, which I grow weary of; and I studied at leisure, writ not above forty lines, some inventions of my own, and some hints, and read not at all, and this because I would take care of Presto, for fear little MD should be angry.
2. I took my four pills last night, and they lay an hour in my throat, and so they will do to night. I suppose I could swallow four affronts as easily. I dined with Dr. Cockburn to day, and came home at seven; but Mr. Ford has been with me till just now, and it is near eleven. I have had no giddiness to day. Mr. Dopping I have seen, and he tells me coldly, my Shower is liked well enough ; there is your Irish judgment. I writ this post to the bishop of Clogher. It is now just a fortnight since I heard from you. I must have you write once a fortnight, and then I will allow for wind and weather. How goes ombre? does Mrs. Walls win constantly, as she used to do ; and Mrs. Stoyte ? I have not thought of her this long time ; how does she? I find we have a cargo of Irish coming for London : I am sorry for it; but I never go near them. And Tighe is landed; but Mrs. Wesley, they say, is going home to her husband, like a fool, Well, little monkies mine, I must go write ; and so good night.
3. I ought to read these letters I write, after I have done ; for looking over thus much I found two or three literal mistakes, which should not be when the hand is so bad. But I hope it does not puzzle little Dingley to read, for I think I mend : but methinks when I write plain, I do not know
how, how, but we are not alone, all the world can see us. A bad scrawl is so snug, it looks like a PMD*. We have scurvy Tatlers of late : so pray do not suspect me. I have one or two hints I design to send him, and never any more: he does not deserve it. He is governed by his wife most abominably, as bad as
I never saw her since I came ; nor has he ever made me an invitation ; either he dares not, or is such a thoughtless Tisdall fellow, that he never minds it. So what care I for his wit? for he is the worst company in the world, till he has a bottle of wine in his head. I cannot write straighter in bed, so you must be content.–At night in bed. Stay, let me see where is this letter to MD
among these papers ? oh! here. Well, I will go on now; but I am very busy (smoke the new pen.) I dined with Mr. Harley to day, and am invited there again on Sunday. I have now leave to write to the primate and archbishop of Dublin, that the queen has granted the first-fruits ; but they are to take no notice of it, till a letter is sent them by the queen's order from lord Dartmouth, secretary of state, to signify it. The bishops are to be made a corporation to dispose of the revenue, &c. and I shall write to the archbishop of Dublin to morrow (I have had no giddiness to day) I know not whether they will have any occasion for me longer to be here; nor can I judge till I see what letter the queen sends to the bishops, and what they will do upon it. If dispatch be used, it may be done in six weeks; but I cannot
* PMD. This cypher stands for Presto, Stella, and Dingley; as much as to say, it looks like us three quite retired from all the rest of the world.
judge. judge. They sent me to day a new commission, signed by the primate and archbishop of Dublin, and promise me letters to the two archbishops here; but mine a— for it all. The thing is done, and has been so these ten days; though I had only leave to tell it to day. I had this day likewise a letter from the bishop of Clogher, who complains of my not writing ; and what vexes me, says he knows you have long letters from me every week. Why do you tell him so? it is not right, faith : but I will not be angry with MD at a distance. I writ to him last post,
before I had his, and will write again soon, since I see he expects it, and that lord and lady. Mountjoy put him off upon me to give themselves ease. Lastly, I had this day a letter from a certain naughty rogue called MD, and it was N. 5, which I shall not answer to night, I thank you. No, faith, I have other fish to fry; but to morrow or next day will be time enough. I have put MD's commissions in a memorandum paper. I think I have done all before, and remember nothing but this to day about glasses and spectacles and spectacle cases. I have no commission from Stella, but the chocolate and handkerchiefs; and those are bought, and I expect they will be soon sent. I have been with, and sent to, Mr. Sterne, two or three times to know, but he was not within. Odds my life, what am I doing? I must go write and do business.
4. I dined to day at Kensington, with Addison, Steele, &c. came hoine, and writ a short letter to the archbishop of Dublin, to let him know the queen has granted the thing, &c. I writ in the coffeehouse, for I staid at Kensington till nine, and am plaguy weary; for colonel Proud was very ill com. pany, and I will never be of a party with him again; and I drank punch, and that and ill company has made me hot.
pany, 7. I dined
5. I was with Mr. Harley from dinner to seven this night, and went to the coffeehouse, where Dr. d'Avenant would fain have had me gone and drink a bottle of wine at his house hard by, with Dr. Chamberlain ; but the puppy used so many words, that I was afraid of his company; and though we promised to come at eight, I sent a messenger to him, that Chamberlain was going to a patient, and therefore we would put it off till another time: so he, and the comptroller, and I were prevailed on, by sir Matthew Dudley, to go to his house, where I staid till twelve, and left them. D'Avenant has been teasing me to look over some of his writings that he is going to publish; but the rogue is so fond of his own productions, that I hear he will not part with a syllable; and he has lately put out a foolish pamphlet, called, the third part of Tom Double; to make his court to the tories, whom he had left.
6. I was to day gambling in the city to see Party Rolt, who is going to Kingston, where she lodges; but to say the truth, I had a mind for a walk to exercise myself, and happened to be disengaged : for dinners are ten times more plentiful with me here than ever, or than in Dublin. I will not answer your letter yet, because I am busy. I hope to send this before I have another from MD: it would be a sad thing to answer two letters together, as MD does from Presto. But when the two sides are full, away the letter shall go, that is certain, like it or not like it; and that will be about three days hence, for the answering night will be a long one.