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is not yet certain; neither, indeed, can the ministers themselves tell; for it depends on winds and weather, and circumstances of negociation. However, we go on as if it was certainly to meet; and I am to be at lord-treasurer's to-morrow, upon that supposition, to settle some things relating that way. Ppt may understand me. The doctors tell me, that if poor Colonel Disney does not get some sleep to-night, he must die. What care you ?. Ah! but I do care. He is one of our society; a fellow of abundance of humour; an old battered rake; but very honest: not an old man, but an old rake. It was he that said of Jenny Kingdom, the maid of honour, who is a little old,' “ that, since she could not get a husband, the queen should give her a brevet to act as a married woman." You don't understand this. They give brevets to majors and captains to act as colonels in the army. Brevets are commissions. * Ask soldiers, dear sirrahs. Night, MD.
16. I was at lord-treasurer's before he came; and, as he entered, he told me the parliament was prorogued till Thursday se'ennight. They have had some expresses, by which they count that the peace may be signed by that time; at least, that France, Holland, and we, will sign some articles, by which we shall engage to sign the peace when it is ready: but Spain has no minister there; for Monteleon, who is to be their ambassador at Utrecht, is not yet gone from hence; and till he is there, the Spaniards can sign no peace: and one thing take notice, that a general peace can hardly be finished these two months, so as to be proclaimed here; for, after signing, it must be ratified; that is, confirmed by the several princes at their courts, which to Spain will cost a month; for we must have notice that it is ratified in all courts before we can proclaim it. So be not in too much haste. Night, MD.
17. The Irish folks were disappointed that the parliament did not meet to-day, because it was St Patrick's day; and the Mall was so 'full of crosses, that I thought all the world was Irish. ..Miss Ashe is almost quite well, and I see the bishop, but shall not yet go to his house * I dined again with lordtreasurer ; but the parliament being prorogued, I must keep what I have till next week: for I believe he will not see it till just the evening before the session. He has engaged me to dine with him again to-morrow, though I did all I could to put it off; but I don't care to disoblige him. **** Night, MD.
18. I have now dined six days successively with lord-treasurer ; but to night I stole away while he was talking with somebody else, and so am at liberty to-morrow. There was a flying report of a general cessation of arms : every body had it at court; but, I believe, there is nothing in it. I asked a certain French minister how things went? And he whispered me in French, "Your plenipotentiaries and ours play the fool.” None of us indeed approve of the conduct of either at this time; but lord-treasurer was in full good humour for all that. He had invited a good many of his relations; and, of a dozen at table, they were all of the Harley family but myself. Disney is recovering, though you don't care a straw. Dilly murders us with his if puns. You know them. **** Night, MD.
19. The bishop of Clogher has made an if pun, that lie is mighty proud of, and designs to send it over to his brother Tom. But Sir Andrew Fountaine has wrote to Tom Ashe last post, and told him the pun, and desired him to send it over to the bishop as his own; and, if it succeeds, it will be a pure bite. The bishop will tell it us as a wonder
* Swift greatly dreaded the small-pox.
, that he and his brother should jump so exactly: I'll tell you the pun;-if there was a hackney coach at Mr Pooley's door, what town in Egypt would it be? Why, it would be Hecatompolis ; Hack at Tom Pooley's
. Silly, says Ppt. I dined with a private friend to-day; for our society, I told you, meet but once a fortnight. I have not seen Fanny Manley yet; I can't help it. Lady Orkney is come to town : why, she was' at her country house; what care you? Night, MD.
20. Dilly read me a letter to-day from Ppt. She seems to have scratched her head when she wrote it. . 'Tis a sad thing to write to people without taste. There you say, you hear I was going to Bath. No such thing ; I am pretty well, I thank God. The town is now sending me to Savoy. Forty people have given me joy of it, yet there is not the least truth that I know in it. I was at an auction of pictures, but bought none. I was so glad of my liberty, that I would dine no where ; but, the weather being fine, I sauntered into the city, and ate a bit about five, and then supped at Mr Burke's, your accomptant-general, who had been engaging me this month. The bishop of Clogher was to have been there, but was hindered by Lord Paget's funeral. The provost and 1 sat till one o'clock; and, if that be not late, I don't know what is late. Parnell's poem will be published on Monday, and to-morrow I design he shall present it lord-treasurer and Lord Bolingbroke at court. The poor lad is almost always out of order with his head. Burke's wife is his sister. She has a little of the pert Irish way. Night, MD.
21. Morning. I will now finish my letter; for company will come, and a stir, and a clutter; and I'll keep the letter in my pocket, and give it into the post myself. I must go to court, and you know on Saturday I dine with lord-treasurer, of course. Farewell, dearest MD, FW, Me, Lele.
London, March 21, 1712-13. I gave your letter in this night. I dined with lord-treasurer to-day, and find he has been at a meeting at Lord Halifax's house, with four principal Whigs; but he is resolved to begin a speech against them when the parliament sits; and I have begged that the ministry may have 'a ineeting on purpose to settle that matter, and let us be the attackers ; and I believe it will come to something, for the Whigs intend to attack the ininisters : and if, instead of that, the ministers attack the Whigs, it will be better : and farther, I believe we shall attack them on those very points they intend to attack us. The parliament will be again prorogued for a fortnight, because of Passion-week. I forgot to tell you, that Mr Griffin has given Ppt's brother a new employment, about ten pounds a-year better than his former; but more remote, and consequently cheaper. I wish I could have done better, and hope that you will take what can be done in good part, and that Ppt's brother will not dislike it. Night, dearest MD.
22. I dined to-day with lord-steward. * There Frank Annesley (a parliament-man) told me he had heard that I had wrote to my friends in Ireland to keep firm to the Whig interest; for that lord-treasurer would certainly declare for it after the peace. Annesley said twenty people had told him this. You must know this is what they endeavour to report of lord-treasurer, that he designs to declare for the Whigs; and a Scotch fellow has wrote the same to Scotland; and his meeting with those lords gives occasion to such reports. Let me henceforth cail lord-treasurer Eltee, because possibly my letters may be opened. Pray remember Eltee. You know the reason. L. T. and Eltee are pronounced the same way. Stay, it is now five weeks since I had a letter from MD. I allow you six. You see why I cannot come over the beginning of April; but as hope saved it is not Pdfr's fault. Whoever has to do with this ministry can fix no time: but, as hope saved, it is not Pdfr’s fault. ****
23. I dined to-day at Sir Thomas Hanmer's, by an old appointment: there was the Duke of Ormond, and Lord and Lady Orkney. I left them at six. Every body is as sour as vinegar. I endeavour to keep a firm friendship between the Duke of Ormond and Eltee. You know who Eltee is (or have you forgot already?) I have great designs, if I can compass them; but delay is rooted in Eltee's heart; yet the fault is not altogether there, that things are no better. Here is the cursedest libel in verse come out that ever was seen, called the Ambassadress; † it is very dull too; it has been printed three or four different ways, and is handed about, but not sold. It abuses the queen horribly.
Ear) Poulet. + It was entitled, “The British Ambassadress's Speech to the