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Mr. Harley. And it is fine cold sunshiny weather ; I wish dear MD would walk this morning in your Stephen's green : it is as good as our Park, but not so large*. Faith this summer we will take a coach for sixpence of to the Green Well, the two walks, and thence all the way to Stoyte's. My hearty service to goody Stoyte and Catherine, and I hope Mrs. Walls had a good time. How inconstant I am? I cannot imagine I was ever in love with her. Well, I am going ; what have you to say? I do not care how I write nowg. I do not design to write on this side, these few lines are but so much more than your due, so I will write large or small as I please. O, faith, my hands are starving in bed; I believe it is a hard frost. I must rise, and bid you good bye, for I will seal this letter immediately, and carry it in my pocket, and put it into the postoffice with my own fair hands. Farewell.
This letter is just a fortnight's journal to day. Yes, and so it is, I am sure, says you, with your two eggs a penny.
There, there, there ||
O Lord, I am saying there, there, to myself in all our little keys: and now you talk of keys, that dog Patrick broke the key general of the chest of drawers with six locks, and I have been so plagued to get a new one, beside my good two shillings.
* It was a measured mile round the outer wall; and far beyond any the finest square in London,
+ The common fare for a set down in Dublin.
| Mrs. Stoyte lived at Donnybrook, the road to which from Stephen's green ran into the country about a mile from the southeast corner.
Those words in italicks are written in a very large hand, and so is the word in one of the next lines.
|| In his cypher way of writing to Stella, he writes the word There, Lele.
London, Feb. 24, 1710-11.
Now, young women, I gave in my sixteenth this evening. I dined with Ford, it was his opera day as usual ; it is very convenient to me to do so, for coming home early after a walk in the Park, which now the days will allow. I called on the secretary at his office, and he had forgot to give the memorial about Bernage to the duke of Argyle; but two days ago I met the duke, who desired I would give it him myself, which should have more power with him than all the ministry together, as he protested solemnly, repeated it two or three times, and bid me count upon it. So that I verily believe Bernage will be in a very good way to establish himself. I think I can do no more for him at present, and there is an end of that; and so get you gone to bed, for it is late.
25. The three weeks are out yesterday since I had your last, and so now I will be expecting every day a pretty dear letter from my own MD, and hope to hear that Stella has been much better in her head and eyes; my head continues as it was, no fits, but a little disorder every day, which I can easily bear, if it will not grow worse. I dined to day with Mr. secretary St. John, on condition I might choose my company, which were lord Rivers, lord Carteret, sir Thomas Mansel, and Mr. Lewis ; I invited Masham, Hill, sir John Stanley, and George Granville, but they were engaged; and I did it in revenge of his having such bad company when I dined with him before : so we laughed, &c. And I ventured to go to church to day, which I have not done this month before. Can you send me such a good account of Stella's health, pray now? Yes, I hope, and better too. We dined (says you) at the dean's, and played at cards till twelve, and there came in Mr. French, and Dr. Travors, and Dr. Wittingham, and Mr. (I forgot his name, that I always tell Mrs. Walls of) the banker's son, a pox on him. And we were so merry; I vow they are pure good company. But I lost a crown ; for you must know I had always hands tempting me to go out, but never took in any thing, and often two black aces without a manilio; was not that hard, Presto? hold your tongue, &c.
26. I was this morning with Mr. secretary about some business, and he tells me, that colonel Fielding is now going to make Bernage his captain lieutenant, that is, a captain by commission, and the perquisites of the company, but not captain's pay, only the first step to it. I suppose he will like it, and the recommendation to the duke of Argyle goes on. And so trouble me no more about your Bernage;
the jackanapes understands what fair solicitors he has · got, I warrant you. Sir Andrew Fountaine and I
dined by invitation, with Mrs. Vanhomrigh. You say they are of no consequence; why, they keep as
good female company as I do male; I see all the drabs of quality at this end of the town with them; I saw two lady Bettys there this afternoon, the beauty of one, the good breeding and nature of the other, and the wit of neither*, would have made a fine woman. Rare walking in the Park now: why do not you walk in the Green of St. Stephen? the walks there are finer gravelled than the Mall. What beasts the Irish women are, never to walk?
27. Dartineuf and I and little Harrison, the new Tatler, and Jervas the painter, dined to day with James, I know not his other name, but it is one of Dartineuf's dining places, who is a true epicure. James is Clerk of the Kitchen to the queen, and has a little snug house at St. James's, and we had the queen's wine, and such very fine victuals, that I could not eat itof.Three weeks and three days since my last letter from MD, rare doings ! why truly we were so busy with poor Mrs. Walls, that indeed, Presto, we could not write, we were afraid the poor woman would have died : and it pitied us to see the archdeacon, how concerned he was. The dean never came to see her but once; but now she is up again, and we go and sit with her in the evenings. The child died the next day after it was born, and I believe, between friends, she is not very sorry for it. Indeed, Presto, you are plaguy silly to night, and have not guessed one word right; for
* i. e. without the wit of either.
+ There seems to be a false concord in this passage : however, as the word victuals is a peculiar sort of noun, which is never used in the singular number, but, like food, implies either one or more dishes, the phrase may be excused, whether Swift had any authority to back him or not.
she and the child are both well, and it is a fine girl, likely to live ; and the dean was godfather, and Mrs. Catherine and I were godmothers; I was going to say Stoyte, but I think I have heard they do not put maids and married women together; though I know not why I think so, nor I do not care ; what care I ? but I must prate, &c.
28. I walked to day into the city for my health, and there dined, which I always do when the weather is fair, and business permits, that I may be under a necessity of taking a good walk, which is the best thing I can do at present for my health. Some bookseller has raked up every thing I writ, and published it the other day in one volume; but I know nothing of it, it was without my knowledge or consent: it makes a four shilling book, and is called Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. Tooke pretends he knows nothing of it, but I doubt he is at the bottom. One must have patience with these things; the best of it is, I shall be plagued no more. However, I will bring a couple of them over with me for MD, perhaps you may desire to see them. I hear they sell mightily.
March 1. Morning. I have been calling to Patrick to look in his almanack for the day of the month; I did not know but it might be leap year. The almanack says it is the third after leap year, and I always thought till now, that every third year was leap year. I am glad they come so seldom; but I am sure it was otherwise when I was a young man; I see times are mightily changed since then. -Write to me sirrahs, be sure do by the time this side is done, and I will keep the other side for the answer : so I will go write to the bishop