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the letter, as who should say, why should not I write like our Presto as well as Dingley? You with your aukward SS ; cannot you write them thus, SS: No, but always SSS*. Spiteful sluts, to affront Presto's writing; as that when you shut your eyes you write most like Presto. I know the time when I did not write to you half so plain as I do now; but I take pity on you both. I am very much concerned for Mrs. Walls's eyes. Walls says nothing of it to me in his letter dated after yours. You say, if she recovers she may lose her sight. I hope she is in no danger of her life. Yes, Ford is as sober, as I please : I use him to walk with me as an easy companion, always ready for what I please, when I am weary of business and ministers. I do not go to a coffeehouse twice a month. I am very regular in going to sleep before eleven.--And so you say that Stella's a pretty girl; and so she be, and methinks I see her now as handsome as the day is long. Do you know what? when I am writing in our language f I make up my mouth just as if I was speaking it. I caught myself at it just now. And I suppose Dingley is so fair and so fresh as a lass in May, and has her health, and no spleen.-In your account you sent do you reckon as usual from the 1st of November was twelvemonth? poor Stella, will not Dingley leave her a little daylight to write to Presto? well, well, we will have daylight shortly, spight of
* Print cannot do justice to whims of this kind, as they depend wholly upon che awkward shape of the letters.
+ This refers to that strange spelling, &c. which abounds in these journals ; but which could be no entertainment to the reader.
her teeth ; and zoo* must cly Lele, and Hele, and Hele aden. Must loo mimitate Pdfr, pay? Iss, and so la shall. And so leles fol ee rettle. Dood mollow.-At night. Mrs. Barton sent this morning to invite me to dinner; and there I dined, just in that genteel manner that MD used when they would treat some better sort of body than usual.
8. O dear MD, my heart is almost broken. You will hear the thing before this comes to you. I writ a full account of it this night to the archbishop of Dublin; and the dean may tell you the particulars from the archbishop. I was in a sorry way to write, but thought it might be proper to send a true account of the fact; for you will hear a thousand lying circumstances. It is of Mr. Harley's being stabbed this afternoon at three o'clock at a committee of the council. I was playing lady Catherine Morris's cards, where I dined, when young Arundel came in with the story. I ran away immediately to the secretary, which was in my way: no one was at home. I met Mrs. St. John in her chair; she had heard it imperfectly. I took a chair to Mr. Harley, who was asleep, and they hope in no danger ; but he has been out of order, and was so when he came abroad to day, and it may put him in a fever: I am in mortal pain for him. That desperate French villain, marquis de Guiscard, stabbed Mr. Harley. Guiscard was taken up by Mr.
* This is one specimen of his way of writing to Stella in these journals. The meaning of this pretty language is; “ And you “ must cry There, and Here, and Here again. Must you imitate “ Presto, pray? Yes, and so you shall. And so there's far “ your letter. Good morrow.”
secretary St. John's warrant for high' treason, and brought before the lords to be examined; there he stabbed Mr. Harley. I have told all the particulars already to the archbishop. I have now at nine sent again, and they tell me he is in a fair way. Pray pardon my distraction? I now think of all his kindness to me. The poor creature now lies stabbed in his bed by a desperate French popish villain. Good night, and God preserve you both, and pity me; I want it.
9. Morning; seven, in bed. Patrick is just come from Mr. Harley's. He slept well till four; the surgeon sat up with him : he is asleep again : he felt a pain in his wound when he waked : they apprehend him in no danger. This account the surgeon left with the porter, to tell people that send. Pray God preserve him. I am rising and going to Mr. secretary St. John. They say Guiscard will die with the wounds Mr. St. John and the rest gave him. I shall tell you more at night.-Night. Mr. Harley still continues on the mending hand; but he rested ill last night, and felt pain. I was early with the secretary this morning, and I dined with him, and he told me several particularities of this accident, too long to relate now. Mr. Harley is still mending this evening, but not at all out of danger ; and till then I can have no peace. Good night, &c. and pity Presto.
10. Mr. Harley was restless last night; but he has no fever, and the hopes of mending increases. I had a letter from Mr. Walls, and one from Mr. Bernage. I will answer them here, not having time to write. Mr. Walls writes about three things, First, about a hundred pounds from Dr. Rayınond,
of of which I hear nothing, and it is now too late. Secondly, about Mr. Clements : I can do nothing in it, because I am not to mention Mr. Pratt; and I cannot recommend without knowing Mr. Pratt's objections, whose relation Clements is, and who brought him into the place. The third is about my being godfather to the child : that is in my power, and (since there is no remedy) will submit. I wish you could hinder it; but if it cannot be helped, pay what you think proper, and get the provost to stand for me, and let his christian name be Harley, in honour to my friend, now lying stabbed and doubtful of his life. As for Bernage, he writes me word, that his colonel has offered to make him captain lieutenant for a hundred pounds. He was such a fool to offer him money without writing to me till it was done, though I have had a dozen letters from him ; and then he desires I would say nothing of this, for fear his colonel should be angry. People are mad. What can I do?
I engaged colonel Disney, who was one of his solicitors to the secretary, and then told him the story. He assured me, that Fielding (Bernage's colonel) said he might have got that sum ; but on account of those great recommendations he had, would give it him for nothing: and I would have Bernage write him a letter of thanks, as of a thing given him for nothing, upon recommendations, &c. Disney tells me he will again speak to Fielding, and clear
this matter; and then I will write to Bernage. A pox on him for promising money till I had it promised to me, and then making it such a ticklish point, that one cannot expostulate with the colonel upon it : but let him do as I say, and
there is an end. I engaged the secretary of state in it; and am sure it was meant a kindness to me, and that no money should be given, and a hundred pounds is too much in a Smithfield bargain, as a major general told me, whose opinion I asked. I am now hurried, and can say no more. Fare. well, &c. &c.
How shall I superscribe to your new lodgings, pray madams ? Tell me but that impudence and saucy face.
An't you sauceboxes to write lele [i. e. there] like Presto?
O poor Presto! Mr. Harley is better to night, that makes me so pert, you saucy Gog and Magog.
London, March 10, 1710-11.
PRETTY little MD must expect little from me till Mr. Harley is out of danger. We hope he is so now: but I am subject to fear for my friends. He has a head full of the whole business of the nation, was out of order when the villain stabbed him, and had a cruel contusion by the second blow. But all goes well on yet. Mr. Ford and I dined with Mr. Lewis, and we hope the best.
11. This morning Mr. secretary and I met at court, where we went to the queen, who is out of