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Kensington, July 17, 1712. I am weary of living in this place, and glad to leave it soon. The queen goes on Tuesday to Windsor, and I shall follow in three or four days after. I can do nothing here, going early to London, and coming late from it, and supping at Lady Masham's. I dined to-day with the Duke of Argyle at Kew, and would not go to the court to-night, because of writing to MD. The bishop of Clogher has been here this fortnight: I see him as often as I can. Poor master Ashe has a bad redness in his face, it is St Anthony's fire; his face all swelled, and will break out in his cheek, but no danger. Since Dunkirk has been in our hands, Grub-street has been very fruitful. Pdfr has writ five or six Grub-street papers this last week. Have you seen “Toland's Invitation to Dismal,” or “ Hue and Cry after Dismal,” or “ Ballad on Dunkirk," or " Agreement that Dunkirk is not in our Hands?" Poh! You have seen nothing. I am dead here with the hot weather ; yet I walk every night home, and believe it does me good : but my shoulder is not yet right; itchings and scratchings, and small achings. Did I tell you I have made Ford gazetteer, with two hundred pounds a-year salary, beside perquisites. I had a letter lately from Parvisol, who says my canal looks very finely; I long to see it; but no apples; all blasted again. He tells me there will be a septennial visitation in August. I must send Raymond another proxy. So now I will answer
your letter, No. 30, date June 17. Ppt writes as well as ever, for all her waters. I wish I had never come here, as often and as heartily as Ppt. What had I to do here? I can assure you the bishop of Clogher's being here does not in the least affect my staying or going. I have heard of the bishop's making me uneasy, but I did not think it was, because I never wrote to him. A little would make me write to him, but I don't know what to say. - I find I am obliged to the provost for keeping the bishop from being impertinent. Yes, Mrs DD, but you would not be content with letters from Pdfr of six lines, or twelve either, faith. I hope Ppt will have done with the waters soon, and find benefit by them. I believe, if they were as far off as Wexford, they would do as much good; for I take the journey to contribute as much as any thing. I can assure you, the bishop of Clogher's being here does not in the least affect my staying or going. I never talked to Higgins but once in my life in the street, and I believe he and I shall hardly meet but by chance. What care I whether my Letter to Lord Treasurer be commended there or not? Why does not somebody among you answer it, as three or four have done here? (I am now sitting with nothing but my bedgown, for heat.) Ppt shall have a great Bible, and DD shall be repaid her other book; but patience; all in good time : you are so hasty, a dog, would, &c. So Ppt has neither won nor lost. Why, mun, I play sometimes too at picket; that is picquett, I mean; but very seldom.-Out late? why, it is only at Lady Masham's, and that is in our town; but I never come late here from London, except once in rain, when I could not get a coach. We have had very little thunder here; none these two months. Why, pray, madam philosopher, how did the rain hinder the
thunder from doing any harm ? I suppose it squenched it. So here comes Ppt again with her little watery postscript. You bold drunken slut you ! drink Pdfr's health ten times in a morning! you are a whetter, faith. I
MD's fifteen times every morning in milk porridge. There's for you now-and there's for your letter, and every kind of thing--and now I must say something else. You hear secretary St John is made Viscount Bolingbroke. I could hardly persuade him to take that title, because the eldest branch of his family had it in an earldom, and it was last year extinct. If he did not take it, I advised him to be Lord Pomfret, which I think is a noble title. You hear of it often in the chronicles, Pomfret Castle: but we believed it was among the titles of some other lord. Jack Hill sent his sister a pattern of a head-dress from Dunkirk; it was like our fashion twenty years ago, only not quite so high, * and looks very ugly. I have made Trap chaplain to Lord Bolingbroke, and he is mighty happy and thankful for it. Mr Addison returned me my visit this morning. He lives in our town. I shall be mighty retired, and mighty busy for a while at Windsor. Pray why don't MD go to Trim, and see Laracor, and give me an ac
* The SPECTATOR, about this time, has the same remarks on the old head-dress, which was called a Fontange.
“ There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady's headdress. Within my own memory, I have known it rise and fall above thirty degrees. 'About ten years ago it shot up to a very great height, insomuch, that the female part of our species were much taller than the men.' The women were of such an enormous stature, that we appeared as grasshoppers before them. At present the whole sex is in a manner dwarfed, and shrunk into a race of beauties that seems almost another species. I remember several ladies who were once very near seven foot high, that at present want some inches of five."---Spectator, No. 98.
count of the garden, and the river, and the holly and the cherry trees on the river walk?
19. I could not send this letter last post, being called away before I could finish it. I dined yesterday with lord-treasurer; sat with him till ten at night; yet could not find a minute for some business I had with him. He brought me to Kensington, and Lord Bolingbroké would not let me go away till two; and I am now in bed very lazy and sleepy at nine. I must shave head and face, and meet Lord Bolingbroke at eleven, and dine again with lord-treasurer. To-day there will be another Grub, “ A Letter from the Pretender to a Whig
Grub-street has - but ten days to live; then an act of parliament takes place that ruins it, by taxing every half sheet at a halfpenny. We have news just come, but not the particulars, that the Earl of Albemarle, at the head of eight thousand Dutch, is beaten, lost the greatest part of his men, and himself made a prisoner. † This perhaps may cool their courage, and make them think of a peace. The Duke of Ormond has got abundance of credit by his good conduct of affairs in Flanders. We had a good deal of rain last night, very refreshing. It is late, and I must rise. Don't play at ombre in your waters, sirrah. Farewell, dearest MD.
* « Some Reasons to prove that no Person is obliged by his Principles, as a Whig, to oppose her Majesty or the present Ministry. In a Letter to a Whig Lord.”
# The confederates were much weakened by the separation of the British forces, who went under the Duke of Ormond to take possession of Dunkirk. Marshal Villars attacked their camp at Denain, defeated them with slaughter, and made the Earl of Albemarle and many officers of distinction prisoners.
London, Aug. 7, 1712. I RECEIVED your N. 32, at Windsor: I just read it, and immediately sealed it up again, and shall read it no more this twelvemonth at least. The reason of my resentment is, because you talk as glibly of a thing as if it were done, which, for aught I know, is farther from being done than ever, since I hear not a word of it, though the town is full of it, and the court always giving me joy and vexation. You might be sure I would have let you known as soon as it was done; but I believe
fancied I would not affect to tell it you, but let you learn it from newspapers and reports. Remember only there was something in your letter about Me's money; and that shall be taken care of. I left Windsor on Monday last, upon Lord Bolingbroke's being gone to France; and somebody's being here that I ought often to consult with in an affair I am upon : but that person talks of returning to Windsor again, and I shall follow him. I am now in a bedge lodging very busy, as I am every day till noon: so that this letter is like to be short, and you are not to blame me these two months; for I protest, if I study ever so hard, I cannot in that time compass what I am upon. We have a fever both here and at Windsor, which hardly
* At first written “ Aug. 17," with this note, “ Pedefar was mistaken."