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haste, and nothing was done. If your parliament meets this summer, it must be a new one; but I find some are of opinion there should be none at all these two years. I will trouble myself no more about it. My design was to serve the Duke of Ormond. Dr Pratt and I sat this evening with the bishop of Clogher, and played at ombre for threepence. That I suppose is but low with you. I found, at coming home, a letter from MD, N. 37. I shall not answer it this bout, but will the next. I am sorry for poor Ppt. Pray walk if you can. I have got a terrible new cold, before my old one was quite gone, and don't know how. **** I shall have DD's money soon from the exchequer. The bishop of Dromore is dead now at last. Night, MD.

24. I was at court to-day, and it was comical to see Lord Abercorn bowing to me, but not speaking, and Lord Selkirk the same. I dined with lord-treasurer, and his Saturday club, and sat with him two hours after the rest were gone, and spoke freer to him of affairs than I am afraid others do, who might do more good. All his friends repine, and shrug their shoulders; but will not deal with him so freely as they ought. It is an odd business; the parliament just going to sit, and no employments given. They say they will give them in a few days. There is a new bishop made of Here

* so Ossory is disappointed. I hinted so to his friends two months ago, to make him leave off deluding himself, and being indiscreet, as he was. I have just time to send this, without giving it to the bellman. My second cold is better now.Night, dearest little MD, FW, Me, Lele.


* Dr Bisse was transferred to it from the see of St David's.


London, Jan. 25, 1712-1713. We had such a terrible storm to-day, that going to Lord Bolingbroke's, I saw a hundred tiles fallen down; and one swinger fell about forty yards before me, that would have killed a horse : so, after church and court, I walked through the Park, and took a chair to lord-treasurer's. Next door to his house, a tin chimney-top had fallen down, with a hundred bricks. It is grown calm this evening. I wonder had you such a wind to-day? I hate it as much as any hog does. Lord-treasurer has engaged me to dine again with him to-morrow. He has those tricks sometimes of inviting me from day to-day, which I am forced to break through. My little pamphlet is out: 'tis not politics. If it takes, I say again you shall hear of it.

26. This morning I felt a little touch of giddiness, which has disordered and weakened me with its ugly remains all this day. **** After dinner at lord-treasurer's, the French ambassador, Duke d’Aumont, sent lord-treasurer word, that his house was burnt down to the ground. It took fire in the upper rooms, while he was at dinner with Monteleon, the Spanish ambassador, and other persons; and soon after Lord Bolingbroke came to us with the same story. We are full of speculations upon it, but I believe it was the carelessness of his French rascally servants. It is odd that this very day Lord Somers, Wharton, Sunderland, Halifax, and the whole club of Whig lords, dined at Pontac's in the city, as I received private notice. They have some

damned design. I tell you another odd thing; I was observing it to lord-treasurer, that he was stabbed on the day king William died; and the day I saved his life, by opening the band-box, was king William's birth-day. My friend Mr Lewis * has had a lie spread on him by the mistake of a man, who went to another of his name, to give him thanks for passing his privy seal to come from France. That other Lewis spread about, , that the man 'brought him thanks from Lord Perth and Lord Melfort, (two lords with the pretender,) for his great services, &c. The Lords will examine that other Lewis to-morrow, in council; and I believe you will hear of it in the prints

, for I will make Abel Roper give a relation of it. Pray tell me if it be necessary to write a little plainer; for I looked over a bit of my last letter, and could hardly read it. I'll mend my hand, if you please : but

you are more used to it nor I," as Mr Raymond says. Night, MD,

27. I dined to-day with lord-treasurer: this makes four days together; and he has invited me again to-morrow, but I absolutely refused him. I was this evening at a christening with him of Lord Dupplin's daughter. He went away at ten; but they kept me and some others till past twelve ; so you may be sure 'tis late, as they say. We have now stronger suspicions that the Duke d'Aumont's house was set on fire by malice. I was to-day to see Lord-keeper, who has quite lost his voice with a cold. There Dr Radcliffe told me, that it was the ambassador's confectioner set the house on fire

* Erasmus Lewis, secretary to the Earl of Dartmouth, one of the secretaries of state, and afterward to the Earl of Oxford. Swift's narrative of this matter may be found in this volume.


by boiling sugar, and going down and letting it boil over.

Yet others still think differently; so I know not what to judge. Night, my own dearest MD.

28. I was to-day at court, where the ambassador talked to ine as if he did not suspect any design in burning d'Aumont's house : but Abbé Gautier, secretary for France here, said quite otherwise; and that d'Aumont had a letter the very same day, to let him know his house should be burnt, and tells several other circumstances too tedious to write. One is, that a fellow mending the tiles just when the fire broke out, saw a pot with wildfire in the

I dined with Lord Orkney. Neither Lord Abercorn nor Selkirk will now speak with me. I have disobliged both sides. Night, dear MD.

29. Our society met to-day, fourteen of us, and at a tavern. We now resolve to meet but once a fortnight, and have a committee every other week of six or seven, to consult about doing some good. I proposed another message to lord-treasurer by three principal members, to give a hundred guineas to a certain person, and they are to urge it as well as they can. We also raised sisty guineas upon our own society ; but I made them do it by assessors, and I was one of them, and we fitted our tax to the several estates. The Duke of Ormond pays ten guineas, and I the third part of a guinea ; at that rate, they may tax as often as they please. Well, but I must answer your letter, young women: not yet; it is late now, and I can't find it. Nighty dearest MD.

30. I have drank Spa waters these two or three

* It was a shocking peculiarity of that time, that every casualty was held to be the result of a plot.


days; but they do not pass, and make me very giddy. I am not well; faith, I will take them no

I sauntered after church with the provost to-day, to see a library to be sold, and dined at five with Lord Orkney. We still think there was malice in burning d’Aumont's house. I hear little Harrison is come over; it was he I sent to Utrecht. He is now queen's secretary to the embassy, and has brought with him the Barrier Treaty, as it is now corrected by us, and yielded to by the Dutch, which was the greatest difficulty to retard the peace. I hope he will bring over the peace a month hence, for we will send him back as soon as possible. I long to see the little brat, my own creature. His pay is in all a thousand pounds a-year, and they have never paid him a groat, though I have teased their hearts out. He must be three or four hun. dred pounds in debt at least. Poor brat! Let me go to bed, sirrahs.—Night, dear MD.

31. Harrison was with me this morning; we talked three hours, and then I carried him to court. When we went down to the door of my lodging, I found a coach waited for him. I chid him for it; but he whispered me it was impossible to do otherwise ; and in the coach he told me he had not one farthing in his pocket to pay it; and therefore took the coach for the whole day, and intended to bor row money somewhere or other. So there was the queen's minister intrusted in affairs of the greatest importance, without a shilling in his pocket to pay a coach! I paid him while he was with me seven guineas, in part of a dozen of shirts he bought me in Holland. I presented him to the Duke of Ormond, and several lords at court; and I contrived it so, that lord-treasurer came to me, and asked (I had Parnell by me) whether that was Dr Parnell, and came up and spoke to him with great kindness,

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