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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
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 him ; 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, 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
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 nave 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 mingle too much with their proceedings. Mean-time, they seem to value all this as nothing, and are as easy and merry as if they had nothing in their hearts or upon their shoulders, like physicians, who endeavour to cure, but feel no grief, whatever the patient suffers. -Pshaw, what is all this? Do you know one thing, that I find I can write politicks to you much easier than to any body alive. But I swear my head is full, and I wish I were at Laracor with my dear charming MD, &c.
* These are afterward called the October Club.
8. Morning. Methinks, young women, I have made a great progress in four days, at the bottom of this side already, and no letter yet come from MD. (That word interlined is morning.) I find I have been writing state affairs to MD. How do they relish it? Why, any thing that comes from Presto is welcome; though really, to confess the truth, if they had their choice, not to disguise the matter, they had rather, &c. Now, Presto, I must tell you, you grow silly, says Stella. That is but one body's opinion, madam. I promised to be with Mr. secretary St. Johin this morning ; but I am lazy and will not go, because I had a letter from him yesterday to desire I would dine there to day. I shall be chid ; but what care I ?-Here has been Mrs. South with me, just come from sir Andrew Fountaine, and going to market. He is still in a fever, and may live or die. His mother and sister are now come up and in the house, so there is a
Mrs. South half a pistole for a new year's gift. So good morrow, dears both, till anon. -At night. Lord, I have been with Mr. secrétary from dinner till eight; and though I drank wine and water, I am so hot! Lady Stanley came to visit Mrs. St. John, and sent up for me, to make
up a quarrel with Mrs. St. John, whom I never yet saw; and do you think that devil of a secretary would not let me go, but kept me by main force, though I told him I was in love with his lady, and it was a shame to keep back a lover, &c. But all would not do; so at last I was forced to break away, but never went up, it was then too late ; and here I am, and have a great deal to do to night, though it be nine o'clock; but one must say something to these naughty MDs, else there will be no quiet.
9. To day Ford and I set apart to go into the city to buy books; but we only had a scurvy dinner at an alehouse, and he made me go to the tavern, and drink Florence, four and sixpence a flask ; damned wine ? so I spent my money, which I seldom do, and past an insipid day, and saw nobody, and it is now ten o'clock, and I have nothing to say, but that it is a fortnight to morrow since I had a letter from MD, but if I have it time enough to answer here, it is well enough, otherwise woe betide you, faith ; I will go to the toyman's here just in Pall Mall, and he sells great hugeous batoons; yes, faith, and so he does. Does not he, Dingley? Yes, faith. Do not lose your money this Christmas.
10. I must go this morning to Mr. secretary St. John. I promised yesterday, but failed, so I cannot write any more till night to poor dear MD.-At night. O faith, Dingley, I had company in the morning, and could not go where I designed ; and I had a basket from Raymond at Bristol, with six bottles of wine, and a pound of chocolate, and some tobacco to snuff; and he writ under, the carriage was paid ; but he lied, or I am cheated, or there is