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any body misses; but it lasts not above three or four days, and kills nobody. The queen has forty servants down in it at once. I dined yesterday with lord-treasurer, but could do no business, though he sent for me, I thought on purpose; but he desires I will dine with him again to-day. Windsor is a most delightful place, and in this time abounds in dinners. My lodgings look upon Eton and the Thames. I wish I was owner of them ; they belong to a prebend. God knows what was in your letter; and if it be not answered, whose fault is it, saucy dallars. Do you know that Grub-street is dead and gone last week? No more ghosts or murders now for love or money. I plied it pretty close the last fortnight, and published at least seven penny papers of my own, besides some of other people's: but now every single half sheet pays a halfpenny to the queen. The Observator is fallen; the Medleys are jumbled together with the Flying Post; the Examiner is deadly sick; the Spectator keeps up, and doubles its price; I know not how long it will hold. Have you seen the red stamp the papers are marked with ?' Methinks the stamping it is worth a halfpenny. Lord Bolingbroke and Prior set out for France last Saturday. My lord's business is to hasten the peace before the Dutch are too much mauled, and hinder France from carrying the jest of beating them too far. ' Have you seen the fourth part of John Bull? It is equal to the rest, and extremely good. The bishop of Clogher's son has been ill of St Anthony's fire, but is now quite well. I was afraid his face would be spoiled, but it is not. Dilly is just as he used to be, and puns as plentifully and as bad. The two brothers see one another; and I think not the two sisters. Rayinond wrote to me, that he intended to invite
Are you, have you, will you be
you to Trim.
there? Won't you see poor Laracor? Parvisol says I shall have no fruit. Blasts have taken away all. Pray observe the cherry trees in the river walk; but you are too lazy to take such a journey. If you have not your letters in due time for two months hence, impute it to my being tosticated between this and Windsor. Poor Lord Winchelsea is dead, to my great grief. He was a worthy honest gentleman, and particular friend of mine: and what is yet worse, my old acquaintance, Mrs Finch, is now Countess of Winchelsea, the title being fallen to her husband, but without much estate. I have been poring my eyes all this morning, and it is now past two afternoon, so I shall take a little walk in the Park. Do you play at ombre still? Or is that off by Mr Stoyte's absence, and Mrs Manley's grief? Somebody was telling me of a strange sister that Mrs Manley has got in Ireland, who disappointed you all about her being handsome. My service to Mrs Walls. Farewell, dearest MD, FW, Me. Lele, rogues both; love poor Pdfr.
Windsor, Sept. 15, 1712. * I NEVER was so long without writing to MD as now, since I left them, nor ever will again, while I am able to write. I have expected from one week to another that something would be done in my
* Endorsed, “ Received Oct. 1, at Portraine."
own affairs; but nothing at all is, nor I don't know when any thing will, or whether any at all, so slow are people at doing favours. I have been much out of order of late, with the old giddiness in my head. I took a vomit for it two days ago, and will take another about a day or two hence. I have eat mighty little fruit; yet I impute my disorder to that little, and shall henceforth wholly forbear it. I am engaged in a long work, and have done all I can of it, and wait for some papers from the ministry for materials for the rest; and they delay me, as if it were a favour I asked of them ; so that I have been idle here this good while, and it happened in a right time, when I was too much out of order to study. One is kept constantly out of humour by a thousand unaccountable things in public proceedings; and when I reason with some friends, we cannot conceive how affairs can last as they are. God only knows, but it is a very melancholy subject for those who have any near concern in it. I am again endeavouring, as I was last year, to keep people from breaking to pieces upon a hundred misunderstandings. One cannot withhold them from drawing different ways, while the enemy is watching to destroy both. See how my style is altered, by living and thinking and talking among these people, instead of my canal and river, walk and willows. I lose all my money here among the ladies ; so that I never play when I can help it, being sure to lose. I have lost five pounds the five weeks I have been here. I hope Ppt is luckier at piquet with the dean and Mrs Walls. The dean never answered my letter, and I have clearly forgot whether I sent a bill for Me in any of my last letters. I think I did; pray let me know, and always give me timely notice. I wait here but to see what they will do for me; and whenever preferments are given from me, as *** said, I will come over.
18. I have taken a vomit to-day, and hope I shall be better. I have been very giddy since I wrote what is before, yet not as I used to be: more frequent, but not so violent. Yesterday we were alarmed with the queen's being ill : she had an aguish and feverish fit; and you never saw such countenances as we all had, such dismal melancholy. Her physicians from town were sent for; but toward night she grew better, to-day she missed her fit, and was up: we are not now in any fear; it will be at worst but an ague, and we hope even that will not return. Lord-treasurer would not come here from London, because it would make a noise, if he came before his usual time, which is Saturday, and he goes away on Mondays. The Whigs have lost a great support in the Earl of Godolphin. It is a good jest to hear the ministers talk of him with humanity and pity, because he is dead, and can do them no more hurt. Lady Orkney, † the late king's mistress (who lives at a fine place, five miles from hence, called Cliffden) and Í, are grown mighty acquaintance. She is the wisest woman I ever saw; and lord-treasurer made great use of her advice in the late change of affairs. I heard Lord-Marlborough is growing ill of his diabetes ; which, if it be true, may soon carry him off ; and then the ministry will be something more at
MD has been a long time without writing to Pdfr, though they have not the same cause : it
* He died, September 15, 1712.
Lady Elizabeth Villiers, on whom King William settled an estate in Ireland, worth 25,995. a year.' Archbishop King, in a letter to Swift, (which, like many others, probably was not very acceptable,) hints his hopes, that this donation might be recalled.
is seven weeks since your last came to my hands, which was N. 32, that you may not be mistaken. I hope Ppt has not wanted her health. You were then drinking waters. The doctor tells me I must go into a course of steel, though I have not the spleen; for that they can never give me, though I have as much provocation to it as any man alive. Bernage's regiment is broke; but he is upon halfpay. I have not seen him this long time; but I suppose he is overrun with melancholy. My Lord Shrewsbury is certainly designed to be governor of Ireland; and, I believe, the Duchess will please the people there mightily. The Irish Whig leaders promise great things to themselves from this government: but great care shall be taken, if possible, to prevent them. Mrs Fenton has writ to me, that she has been forced to leave Lady Giffard, and come to town, for a rheumatism : that lady does not love to be troubled with sick people. Mrs Fenton writes to me as one dying; and desires I would think of her son: I have not answered her letter. She is retired to Mrs Povey's. Is my aunt alive yet; and do you ever see her? I suppose she has forgot the loss of her son. Is Raymond's new house quite finished? and does he squander as he used to do ? Has he yet spent all his wife's fortune? I hear there are five or six people putting strongly in for my livings; God help them! But if ever the court should give me any thing, I would recommend Raymond to the Duke of Ormond; not for any particular friendship to him, but because it would be proper for the minister of Trim to have Laracor. You may keep the gold studded snuff-box now; for my brother Hill, governor of Dunkirk, has sent me the finest that ever you saw. It is allowed at court that none in England comes near it, though