The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 15/Journal to Stella – Letter 51

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London, Aug. 7[1], 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 you 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 hedge 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 any body misses; but it lasts not above three or four days, and kills nobody. The queen has forty servants down in it at once. I dined yesterday with lord treasurer, but could do no business, though he sent for me, I thought, on purpose; but he desires I will dine with him again to day. Windsor is a most delightful place, and in this time abounds in dinners. My lodgings look upon Eton and the Thames. I wish I was owner of them; they belong to a prebend. God knows what was in your letter; and if it be not answered, whose fault is it, saucy dallars. Do you know that Grub street is dead and gone last week? No more ghosts or murders now for love or money. I plied it pretty close the last fortnight, and published at least seven penny papers of my own, besides some of other people's: but now every single half sheet pays a halfpenny to the queen. The Observator is fallen; the Medleys are jumbled together with the Flying Post; the Examiner is deadly sick; the Spectator keeps up, and doubles its price; I know not how long it will hold. Have you seen the red stamp the papers are marked with? Methinks the stamping it is worth a halfpenny. Lord Bolingbroke and Prior set out for France last Saturday. My lord's business is to hasten the peace before the Dutch are too much mauled; and hinder France from carrying the jest of beating them too far. Have you seen the fourth part of John Bull? It is equal to the rest, and extremely good. The bishop of Clogher's son has been ill of St. Anthony's fire, but is now quite well. I was afraid his face would be spoiled, but it is not. Dilly is just as he used to be, and puns as plentifully and as bad. Tht two brothers see one another; and I think not the two sisters. Raymond wrote to me, that he intended to invite you to Trim. Are you, have you, will you be there? Won't you see poor Laracor? Parvisol says, I shall have no fruit. Blasts have taken away all. Pray observe the cherry trees in the river walk; but you are too lazy to take such a journey. If you have not your letters in due time for two months hence, impute it to my being tosticated between this and Windsor. Poor lord Winchelsea is dead, to my great grief. He was a worthy honest gentleman, and particular friend of mine: and, what is yet worse, my old acquaintance, Mrs. Finch is now countess of Winchelsea, the title being fallen to her husband, but without much estate. I have been poring my eyes all this morning, and it is now past two afternoon, so I shall take a little walk in the park. Do you play at ombre still? Or is that off by Mr. Stoyte's absence, and Mrs. Manley's grief? Somebody was telling me of a strange sister that Mrs. Manley has got in Ireland, who disappointed you all about her being handsome. My service to Mrs. Walls. Farewell, dearest MD, FW, Me. Lele, rogues both; love poor Pdfr.

  1. At first written "Aug. 17;" with this note, "Pedefor was mistaken."