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If Bernage designs to sell his commission and stay at home, pray let him tell me so, that my recommendation to the duke of Argyle may not be in vain.
London, Feb. 10, 1710-11.
I HAVE just dispatched my fifteenth to the post; I tell you how things will be, after I have got a letter from MD. I am in furious haste to finish mine, for fear of having two of MD's to answer in one of Presto's. which would be such a disgrace, never saw the like ; but before you write to me I write at my leisure, like a gentleman, a little every day, jus to let you know how matters go, and so, and so; and I hope before this comes to you, you will have got your box and chocolate, and Presto will take more care another time.
11. Morning. I must rise and go see my lord keeper, which will cost me two shillings in coachhire. Do not call them two thirteens*?-At night. It has rained all day, and there was no walking. I read prayers to sir Andrew Fountaine in the afternoon, and I dined with three Irishmen at one Mr. Cope'sa lodgings; the other two were one Morris an arch
* A shilling passes for thirteen pence in Ireland.
* Robert Cope, esq., a gentleman of leaming, good fortune, and family; and a correspondent of Dr. Swift's. See vol. XII of this collection. VOL. XIV. AA
deacon, and Mr. Ford. When I came home this evening, I expected that little jackanapes Harrison would have come to get help about his Tatler for Tuesday: I have fixed two evenings in the week which I allow him to come. The toad never came, and I expecting him fell a reading, and left off other business.-Come, what are you doing? how do you pass your time this ugly weather Gaming and drinking, I suppose : fine diversions for young ladies, truly. I wish you had some of our Seville oranges, and we some of your wine. We have the finest oranges for two pence a piece, and the basest wine for six shillings a bottle. They tell me wine grows cheap with you. I am resolved to have half a hogshead when I get to Ireland, if it be good and cheap, as it used to be ; and I will treat MD at my table in an evening, oh hoa, and laugh at great ministers of state.
12. The days are grown fine and long, be thanked. O faith, you forget all our little sayings, and I am angry. I dined to day with Mr. Secretary St. John: I went to the court of requests at noon, and sent Mr. Harley into the house to call the secretary, to let him know I would not dine with him if he dined late. By good luck the duke of Argyle was at the lobby of the house too, and I kept him in talk till the secretary came out, then told them I was glad to meet them together, and that I had a request to the duke which the secretary must second, and his grace inust grant. The duke said, he was sure it was something insignificant, and wished it was ten times greater. At the secretary's house i writ a memorial, and gave it to the secretary to give the duke, and shall see that he does it. It is, that his
Grace will please to take Mr. Bernage into his
pro: tection; and if he finds Bernage answers my character, to give him all encouragement. Colonel Masham and colonel Hill (Mrs. Masham's brother) tell me my request is reasonable, and they will second it heartily to the duke too : so I reckon Bernage is on a very good foot when he goes to Spain. Pray tell him this, though perhaps I will write to him before he goes ; yet where shall I direct ? for I suppose he has left Conolly's.
13. I have left off lady Kerry's bitter, and got another box of pills. I have no fits of giddiness, but only some little disorders toward it: and I walk as much as I can. Lady Kerry is just as I am, only a great deal worse: I dined to day at lord Shelburn's, where she is, and we con ailments, which makes us very fond of each other. I have taken Mr Harley into favour again, and called to see him, but he was not within ; I will use to visit him after dinner, for he dines too late for niy head: then I went to visit poor Congreve, who is just getting out of a severe fit of the gout, and I sat with him till near nine o'clock. He gave me a Tatler he had written out, as blind as he is, for little Harrison. It is about a scoundrel that was grown rich, and went and bought a coat of arms at the Herald's, and a set of ancestors at Fleet ditch; it is well enough, and shall be printed in two or three days, and if you read those kind of things, this will divert you. It is now between ten and eleven, and I am going to bed.
14. This was Mrs. Vanhomrigh's daughter's birthday, and Mr. Ford and I were invited to dinner to keep it, and we spent the evening there drinking
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punch. punch. That was our way of beginning Lent; and in the morning lord Shelburn, lady Kerry, Mrs. Pratt and I went to Hyde Park, instead of going to church; for till my head is a little settled, I think it better not to go; it would be so silly and troublesome to go out sick. Dr. Duke died suddenly two or three nights ago; he was one of the wits when we were children, but turned parson, and left it, and never writ farther than a prologue or recommendatory copy of verses. He had a fine living given him by the bishop of Winchester about three months ago ; he got his living suddenly, and he go! his dying so too.
15. I walked purely to day about the park, the rain being just over, of which we have had a grear deal, mixed with little short frosts. I went to the court of requests, thinking if Mr. Harley dined early, to go with him. But meeting Leigh and Sterne, they invited me to dine with them, and away we went.
When we got into his room, one H- a worthless Irish fellow, was there ready to dine with us, so I stepped out and whispered them, that I would not dine with that fellow; they made excuses, and begged me to stay, but away I went to Mr. Harley's, and he did not dine at home, and at last I dined at sir John Germain's, and found lady Betty but just recovered of a miscarriage. I am writing an inscription for lord Berkeley's tomb: you know the young rake his son, the new earl, is married to the duke of Richmond's daughter, at the duke's country house, and are now coming to town. She will be fluxed in two months, and they will be parted in a year. You ladies are brave, bold, ventersome folks ; and the chit is but seven
teen, * Mr. Richard Estcourt ; a player and dramatick writer cele. brated in the Spectator, and in the Miscellaneous Works of Dr. King, vol. III, pages 86, 307.
teen, and is ill natured, covetous, vicious, and proud in extremes. And so get you gone to Stoyte to morrow.
16. Faith this letter goes on but slow, it is a week old, and the first side not written. I went to day into the city for a walk, but the person I designed to dine with was not at home ; so I came back and called at Congreve's, and dined with him, and Estcourt* and laughed till six, then went to Mr. Harley's, who was not gone to dinner ; there I staid till, nine, and we made up our quarrel, and he has invited me to dinner to morrow, which is the day of the week (Saturday) that lord keeper and secretary St. John diñe with him privately, and at last they have consented to let me among them on that day. Atterbury and Prior went to bury poor Dr. Duke. Congreve's nasty white wine has given me the heartburn.
17. I took some good walks in the park to day, and then went to Mr. Harley. Lord Rivers was got there before me, and I chid him for presuming to come on a day when only lord keeper and the secretary and I were to be there ; but he regarded me not; so we all dined together, and sat down at four ; and the secretary has invited me to dine with him to morrow. I told them I had no hopes they could ever keep in, but that I saw they loved one another so well, as indeed they seem to do. They call me nothing but Jonathan ; and I said, I belived they would leave me Jonathan as they found
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