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cheat me. Ppt* makes a petition with mauy apologies. John Danvers, you know, is lady Giffard's friend. The rest I never heard of. I tell you what, as things are at present, I cannot possibly speak to lord-treasurer for any body.
I need tell you no more. Something or nothing will be done in my own affairs ; if the former, I will be a solicitor for your sister; if the latter, I have done with courts for ever. Opportunities will often fall in my way, if I am used well, and I will then make it my business. It is my delight to do good offices for people who want and deserve it, and a tenfold delight to do it to a relation of Ppt, whose affairs Pdfr has so at heart. I have taken down his name and his case (not her case ;) and whenever a proper time comes, I will do all I can : that is enough to say when I can do no more ; and I beg your pardon a thousand times, that I cannot do better. I hope the dean of St Patrick's is well of his fever: he has never wrote to me: I am glad of it; pray don't desire him to write. * I have dated your bill late, because it must not commence, young women, till the first of November next. O, faith I must be ise'; yes, faith, must I ; else we shall cheat Pdfr. Are you good housewives and readers ? Are you walkers ? I know you are gamesters. Are you drinkers ? Are you
hold, I must go no farther, for fear of abusing fine ladies. Parvisol has not sent me one word how he set this year's tithes. Pray, ask whether tithes set well or ill this year. Bishop of Killaloe tells me wool bears a good rate in Ireland: but how is corn? II dined yesterday with Lady Orkney,
Ppt, is Mrs Johnson. + Dean Sterne, with whom Swift was on cold terms.
On the price of which the value of the Doctor's tithes depended.
and we sat alone from two till eleven at night. You have heard of her, I suppose. I have twenty letters upon my hands, and am so lazy and so busy, I cannot answer them, and they grow upon me for several months. Have I any apples at Laracor? It is strange every year should blast them, when I took so much care for shelter. Lord Bolingbroke has been idle at his country house this fortnight, which puts me backward in business I have. I am got into an ordinary room two pair of stairs, and see nobody, if I can help it; yet some puppies have found me out, and my man is not such an artist as Patrick at denying me. Patrick has been soliciting to come to me again, but in vain. The printer has been here with some of the new whims printed, and has taken up my time. . I am just going out, and can only bid you farewell. Farewell, dearest little MD, &c.
London, Oct. 28, 1712. I have been in physic this month, and have been better these three weeks. I stop my physic, by the doctor's orders, till he sends me further directions. DD grows politician, and longs to hear the peace is proclaimed. I hope we shall have it soon, for the Dutch are fully humbled; and Prior is just come over from France for a few days ; I suppose upon some important affair. I saw him last night, but had no private talk with him, Stocks rise upon his
coming. As for my stay in England, it cannot be long now, so tell my friends. The parliament will not meet till after Christmas, and by that time the work I am doing will be over, and then nothing shall keep me.
I am very much discontented at Parvisol, about neglecting to sell my horses, &c.
Lady Masham is not yet brought to-bed; but we expect it daily. I dined with her to-day. Lord Bolingbroke returned about two months ago, and Prior about a week; and goes back (Prior I mean) in a few days. Who told
snuff-box and pocket ? Did I? I had a letter to-day from Dr Coghil
, desiring me to get Raphoe for dean Sterne, and the deanery for myself. Í shall indeed, I have such obligations to Sterne. But however, if I am asked who will make a good bishop, I shall name him before any body. Then comes another letter, desiring I would recommend a provost, supposing that Pratt (who has been here about a week) will certainly be promoted; but I believe he will not. I presented Pratt to lord treasurer, and truly young Molyneux would have had me present him too; but I directly answered him I would not, unless he had business with him. He is the son of one Mr Molyneux of Ireland. His father wrote a book; I suppose you know it. Here is the Duke of Marlborough going out of England (Lord knows why) which causes many speculations. † Some say he is conscious of guilt, and dare not stand it. Others think he has a mind to fling an odium on the government, as who should say, that one, who has
* The Case of Ireland's being bound by Acts of Parliament in England stated, Svo, 1698.
+ He went abroad in November 1712, and remained on the Continent till a short time before Queen Anne's death.
done such great services to his country, cannot live quietly in it, by reason of the malice of his enemies. I have helped to patch up these people together once more. God knows how long it may last. I was to-day at a trial between Lord Lansdown and Lord Carteret, two friends of mine. It was in the Queen's Bench, for about six thousand a-year (or nine, I think.) I sat under Lord chief justice Parker, and his pen falling down I reached it up. He made me a low bow; and I was going to whisper him, that I had done good for evil; for he would have taken mine from me.
I told it lord-treasurer and Bolingbroke. Parker would not have known me, if several lords on the bench, and in the court, bowing, had not turned every body's eyes, and set them a whispering. I owe the dog a spite, and will pay him in two months at farthest, if I can.
So much for that. But you must have chat, and I must say every sorry thing that comes into my head. They say the queen will stay a month longer at Windsor. These devils of Grub-street rogues, that write the Flying Post and Medley in one paper, will not be quiet. They are always mauling lord-treasurer, Lord Bolingbroke, and me. We have the dog under prosecution, but Bolingbroke is not active enough; but I hope to swinge him. He is a Scotch rogue, one Ridpath. † They get out upon bail, and
* Lord Chief-justice Parker, upon the prospect of the Whigs returning to power in the end of the preceding year, sent for Morphew, the publisher of the Conduct of the Allies, threatened him, demanded the name of the author, and bound him over to appear next term. See Journal, 13 December, 1711.
+ Celebrated in the Dunciad with Abel Roper, a news-writer of the opposite faction often mentioned in this journal.
There Redpath, Roper cudgell'd you might view,
write on. We take them again, and get fresh bail ; so it goes round. * They say some learned Dutchman has wrote a book, proving by civil law, that we do them wrong by this peace; but I shall show, by plain reason, that we have suffered the wrong, and not they. I toil like a horse, and have hundreds of letters still to read : and squeeze a line out of each, or at least the seeds of a line. Strafford goes back to Holland in a day or two, and I hope our peace is very near, I have about thirty pages more to write, (that is to be extracted) which will be sixty in print. It is the most troublesome part of all, and I cannot keep myself private, though I stole into a room up two pair of stairs, when I came from Windsor; but my present man has not yet learned his lesson of denying me discreetly.
30. The Duchess of Ormond found me out to-day, and made me dine with her. Lady Masham is still expecting. She lias had a cruel cold. I could not finish my letter last post for the soul of mę. Lord Boling broke has had my papers these six weeks, and done nothing to them. Is T'isdall yet in the world? I propose writing controversies, to get a name with posterity. The Duke of Ormond will not be over these three or four days. I design to nake him join with me in settling all right among our people. I have ordered the Duchess to let me have an hour with the Duke at his first coming, to give him a true state of persons and things. I believe the Duke of Shrewsbury will hardly be declared your governor yet; at least, I think so now; but resolutions alter very often. Duke Hamilton gave me a pound of
From this and other passages it would seem, that Swift wanted the equanimity which became a disputant. He could not allow for, or despise, the virulence of the antagonists whom he had provoked, or defied.