Obrázky na stránke

death. I have now not above six people to provide for, and about as many to do good offices to; and thrice as many that I will do nothing for; nor can I if I would. Night, dear MD.

14. To-day I took the circle of morning visits. I went to the Duchess of Ormond, and there was she, and Lady Betty, and Lord Ashburnham together: this was the first time the mother and daughter saw each other since Lady Ashburnham's death. They were both in tears, and I chid them for being together, and made Lady Betty go to her own chamber ; then sat a while with the Duchess, and went after Lady Betty, and all was well. There is something of farce in all these mournings, let them be ever so serious. People will pretend to grieve more than they really do, and that takes off from their true grief. * I then went to the Duchess of Hamilton, who never grieved, but raged, and stormed, and railed. She is pretty quiet now, but has a diabolical temper. Lord-keeper and his son, and their two ladies, and I, dined to-day with Mr Cæsar, treasurer of the navy, at his house in the city, where he keeps his office. We happened to talk of Brutus, and I said something in his praise, when it struck me immediately that I had made a blunder in doing so; and therefore I recollected myself, and said, Mr Cæsar, I beg your pardon. So we laughed, &c. Night, my own dearest little

rogues, MD.

15. I forgot to tell you, that last night I had a poet when

* This maxim is worthy of Rochefoucault. I know not whether it is refining upon it to say, that upon occasions of formal mourning, strangers generally feel more than they expected, and those really afflicted something less. The formality which imposes awe and melancholy upon indifference, distracts the feelings of real grief.

present sent me (I found it when I came home, in my chamber) of the finest wild-fowl I ever saw, with the vilest letter, and from the vilest poet in the world, who sent it me as a bribe to get him an employment. I knew not where the scoundrel lived, so I could not send them back; and therefore I gave them away as freely as I got them, and have ordered my man never to let


the he comes.

The rogue should have kept the wings at least for his muse. One of his fowls was a large capon pheasant, as fat as a pullet. I ate share of it to-day with a friend. We have now a drawingroom every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at one o'clock. The queen does not come out; but all her ministers, foreigners, and persons of quality, are at it. I was there to-day ; and as lord-treasurer came toward me, I avoided him, and he hunted me thrice about the room. I affect never to take notice of him at church or court. He knows it, for I have told him so; and to-night, at Lord Masham's, he gave an account of it to the company ;


my reasons are, that people seeing me speak to him, causes a great deal of teasing. I tell you what comes into my head, that I never knew whether you were Whigs or Tories, and I value our conversation the more, that it never turned on that subject. I have a fancy that Ppt is a Tory, and a rigid one. I don't know why; but methinks she looks like one, and DD a sort of a trimmer. Am I right? I gave the Examiner a hint about this prorogation, and to praise the queen for her tenderness to the Dutch, in giving them still more time to submit. It fitted the occasions at present.

16. I was busy to-day at the secretary's office, and staid till past three. The Duke of Ormond and I.were to dine at Lord Orkney's. The Duke was at the committee, so I thought all was safe. When I went there, they had almost dined; for the Duke had sent to excuse himself, which I never knew. I came home at seven, and began a little whim, which just came into my head; and will make a threepenny pamphlet. It shall be finished and out in a week; and if it succeed, you shall know what it is; otherwise, not. I cannot send this to-morrow, and will put it off till next Saturday, because I have much business. So my journals shall be short, and Ppt must have patience.

17. This rogue Parnell has not yet corrected his poem, and I would fain have it out. I dined today with lord-treasurer, and his Saturday's company, nine of us in all. They went away at seven, and lord-treasurer and I sat talking an hour after. After dinner, he was talking to the lords about the speech the queen must make when the parliament meets. He asked me how I would make it? I was going to be serious, because it was seriously put; but I turned it to a jest. And because they had been speaking of the Duchess of Marlborough going to Flanders after the Duke, I said, the speech should begin thus: My Lords and Gentlemen, In order to my own quiet, and that of my subjects, I have thought fit to send the Duchess of Marlborough abroad, after the Duke. This took well, and turned off the discourse. I must tell you, I do not at all like the present situation of affairs, and remember I tell you so. Things must be on another foot, or we are all undone. I hate this driving always to an inch.

18. We had a mighty full court to·day. Dilly was with me at the French church, and edified mightily. Duke of Ormond and I dined at Lord Orkney's; but I left them at seven, and came home to my whim. I have made a great progress. My

very well,

large Treatise * stands stock still. Some think it too dangerous to publish, and would have me print only what relates to the peace. I cannot tell what I shall do. The bishop of Dromore is dying. They thought yesterday he could not live two hours: yet he is still alive, but is utterly past all hopes. Go to cards, dearest MD.

19. I was this morning to see the Duke and Duchess of Ormond. The Duke d’Aumont came in while I was with the Duke of Ormond, and we complimented each other like dragons. A poor fellow called at the door where I lodge, with a parcel of oranges for a present for me. I bid my man learn what his name was, and whence it came. He sent word his name was Bun, and that I knew him

well. I bid my man tell him I was busy, and he could not speak to me; and not to let him leave

I know no more of it, but I am sure I never heard the name, and I shall take no such presents from strangers. Perhaps he might be only some beggar, who wanted a little money. Perhaps it might be something worse.

Let them keep their poison for their rats. I don't love it. That blot t'is a blunder. Night, dear MD.

20. A committee of our society dined to-day with the chancellor of the exchequer. Our society does not meet now as usual, for which I am blamed: but till lord-treasurer will agree to give us money and employments to bestow, I am averse to it; and he gives us nothing but promises. Bishop of Dromore is still alive, and that is all. We expect every day he will die, and then Tom Leigh must go back, which is one good thing to the town.

his oranges.

* His History of the Peace of Utrecht. † A line erased.


I believe Pratt will drive at one of these bishoprics. Our English bishopric * is not yet disposed of. I believe the peace will not be ready by the session.

21. I was to-day with my printer, to give him a little pamphlet I have written, but not politics. It will be out by Monday. If it succeeds, I will tell you of it; otherwise not. We had a prodigious thaw to-day, as bad as rain ; yet I walked like a good boy all the way. The bishop of Dromore still draws breath, but cannot live two days longer. My large book lies flat. Some people think a great part of it ought not to be now printed. I believe I told you so before. This letter shall not go till Saturday, which makes up the three weeks exactly, and I allow MD six weeks, which are now almost out; so you must know I expect a letter very soon, and that MD is very well; and so night, dear MD.

22. This is one of our court days, and I was there. I told you there is a drawing-room Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The Hamiltons and Abercorns have done teasing me.

The latter, I hear, is actually going to France. Lord-treasurer quarrelled with me at court, for being four days without dining with him; so I dined there to-day, and he has at last fallen in with my project (as he calls it) of coining halfpence and farthings with devices, like medals, in honour of the queen, every year changing the device. I wish it


be done. Night, MĎ.

23. Duke of Ormond and I appointed to dine with Ned Southwell to-day, to talk of settling your affairs of parliament in Ireland, but there was a mixture of company, and the Duke of Ormond was in

• That of Hereford, vacant by the death of Dr Humphry Humphreys, on the 20th of November, 1712.

« PredošláPokračovať »