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hour upon some business. I returned answer that I would wait on him ; which I did. We discours sed a while, and he left me with Lady Orkney; and in came the Earl of Selkirk, whom I had never seen before. He is another brother of Duke Hamilton, and is going to France, by a power from his mother the old Duchess, to negociate their pretensions to the duchy of Châttelleraut. He teased me for two hours in spite of my teeth, and held my hand when I offered to stir; would have had me engage the ministry to favour him against Lord Abercorn, and to convince them, that Lord Abercorn had no pretensions; and desired I would also convince Lord Abercorn himself so; and concluded, he was sorry I was a greater friend to Abercorn than Hamilton. I had no patience, and used him with some plainness. Am not I purely handled between a couple of puppies? Ay, says Ppt, you must be meddling in other folk's affairs. I appeal to the Bishop of Clogher whether Abercorn did not complain, that I would not let him see me last year, and that he swore he would take no denial from my servant when he came again. The ministers gave me leave to tell the Hamilton family, it was their opinion, that they ought to agree with Abercorn. Lord Anglesey was then by, and told Abercorn ; upon which he gravely tells me, I was commissioned by the ministers
, and ought to perform ny commission, &c.-But I'll have done with them. I have warned lord treasurer, and Lord Bolingbroke, to beware of Selkirk's teasing on him! yet Abercorn vexes me more. The whelp owes to me all the kind receptions he has had from the ministry. I dined to-day at lord treasurer's with the young folks, and sat with lordtreasurer till nine, and then was forced to Lady Mashani's, and sat there till twelve, talking of affairs, till I am out of humour, as every one must, that knows them inwardly. A thousand things wrong, most of them easy to mend; yet our schemes availing at best but little, and sometimes nothing at all. One evil, which I twice patched up with the hazard of all the credit I had, 'is now spread more than ever. But burn politics, and send me from courts and ministers ! Night, dearest little MD.
2. I sauntered about this morning, and went with Dr Pratt to a picture auction, where I had like to be drawn in to buy a picture that I was fond of; but, it seems, was good for nothing: Pratt was there to buy some pictures for the Bishop of Clogher, who resolves to lay out ten pounds to furnish his house with curious pieces. * We dined with the bishop, I being by chance disengaged. And this evening ( sate with the Bishop of Ossory, t who is laid up with the gout. The French ambassador, Duke d’Aumont, I came to town to-night; and the rabble conducted him home with shouts. I cannot smell yet, though my cold begins to break. It continues cruel hard frosty weather. Go and be merry, little sirrahs.
3. Lord Dupplin and I went with Lord and Lady Orkney this morning at ten to Wimbleton, six miles off, to see Lord and Lady Caermarthen. It is much the finest place about this town. Did
you never see it? I was once there before, about five years
* This seems to be seriously written; and if so,
many curious pieces of painting were to be bought for ten pounds ? If the phrase be ironical, it is inconsistent with the rest of the Bishop's character, who was neither fool nor miser.
+ Dr John Harstonge, translated to Derry in 1714.
* He entered in prodigious state, and scattered money among the populace, bribing their applause, as the Whigs alleged, both through their eyes and their fingers.
ago. You know Lady Caermarthen is lord-treasurer's daughter, married about three weeks ago.I hope the young fellow will be a good husband. I must send this away now. I came back just by nightfall, cruel cold weather ;**** I'll take my leave. I forgot how MD's accounts are. Pray let me know always timely before MD wants; and pray give the bill on the other side to Mrs Brent as usual. I believe I have not paid her this great while. Go, play at cards. **** Love Pdfr. Night, MD, FW, Me, Lele. The six odd shillings, tell Mrs Brent, are for her new year's gift. I am just now told, that poor dear Lady Ashburnham, the Duke of Ormond's daughter, died yesterday at her country house. The poor creature was with child. She was my greatest favourite, and I am in excessive concern for her loss. I hardly knew a more valuable person on all accounts. You must have heard me talk of her. I am afraid to see the Duke and Duchess. She was naturally very healthy ; I fear has been thrown away for want of care. Pray condole with me.
'Tis extremely moving. Her lord is a puppy; and I shall never think it worth my while to be troubled with him, now he has lost all that was valuable in his possession; yet I think he used her pretty well. I hate life, when I think it exposed to such accidents; and to see so many thousand wretches burdening the earth, while such as her die, makes me think God did never intend life for a blessing. *
* This is the reflection of nature, and therefore always affecting. In the extinction of one valuable life, we look
that indulged to the thousands who remain, as a superfluous waste of c.xistence.
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
London, Jan. 4, 1712-13, I ENDED my last with the melancholy news of poor Lady Ashburnham's death. The Bishop of Clogher and Dr Pratt made me dine with them today at Lord Mountjoy's, pursuant to an engagement, which I had forgot. Lady Mountjoy told me, that Macartney was got safe out of our clutches, for she had spoke with one who had a letter from him from Holland. Others say the same thing:-As 1 left Lord Mountjoy's, I saw the Duke d’Aumont, the French ambassador, going from Lord Bolingbroke's where he dined, to have a private audience of the queen.
I followed, and went up to court, where there was a great crowd. I was talking with the Duke of Argyle, by the fireside in the bedchamber, when the ambassador came out from the queen. Argyle presented me to him, and Lord Bolingbroke, and we talked together a while. He is a fine gentleman, something like the Duke of Ormond, and just such an expensive man. After church to-day, I showed the Bishop of Clogher, at court, who was who. Night, my two dear rogues.
5. Our frost is broke, but it is bloody cold. Lordtreasurer is recovered, and went out this evening to the
queen. I dined with Lady Oxford, and then sate with lord-treasurer till he went out. me a letter from an unknown hand, relating to Dr Brown, Bishop of Cork, recommending him to a better bishopric, as a person who opposed Lord Wharton, and was made a bishop on that account,
celebrating him for a great politician, &c. In short, all directly contrary to his character, which I made bold to explain. What dogs there are in the world ! I was to see the poor Duke and Duchess of Ormond this morning. The Duke was in his public room, with Mr Southwell and two more gentlemen. When Southwell and I were alone with him, he talked something of Lord Ashburnham, that he was afraid the Whigs would get him again. He bore up as well as he could, but something falling accidentally in discourse, the tears were just falling out of his eyes, and I looked off to give him an opportunity (which he took) of wiping them with his handkerchief. I never saw any thing so moving, nor such a mixture of greatness of mind, and tenderness and discretion. Night, dearest MD.
6. Lord Bolingbroke, and Parnell, and I, dined, by invitation, with my friend Dartineuf, whom you have heard me talk of. Lord Bolingbroke likes Parnell mightily; and it is pleasant to see, that one, who hardly passed for any thing in Ireland, makes his way here with a little friendly forwarding. It is scurvy rainy weather, and I have hardly been abroad to-day, nor know any thing that passes.Lord-treasurer is quite recovered, and I hope will take care to keep himself well. The Duchess of Marlborough is leaving England, to go to her Duke, and makes presents of rings to several friends, they say worth two hundred pounds a piece. I am sure she ought to give me one, though the Duke pretended to think me his greatest enemy, and got people to tell me so, and very mildly to let me know how gladly he would have me softened toward him. I bid a lady of his acquaintance and mine let him know, that I had hindered many a bitter thing against him; not for his own sake, but because I thought it looked base; and I desired every