The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 15/Journal to Stella – Letter 63

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London, April 7, 1713.

I FANCY I marked my last, which I sent this day, wrong; only 61, and it ought to be 62. I dined with lord treasurer, and though the business I had with him is something against Thursday, when the parliament is to meet, and this is Tuesday, yet he put it off till to morrow. I dare not tell you what it is, lest this letter should miscarry or be opened; but I never saw his fellow for delays. The parliament will now certainly sit, and every body's expectations are ready to burst. At a council to night, the lord chief justice Parker[1], a whig, spoke against the peace; so did lord Cholmondeley, another whig, who is treasurer of the houshold. My lord keeper was this night made lord chancellor. We hope there will soon be some removes. Night, dearest little MD.

8. Lord Cholmondeley is this day removed from his employment, for his last night's speech; and sir Richard Temple, lieutenant general, the greatest whig in the army, is turned out; and lieutenant general Palmes will be obliged to sell his regiment. This is the first-fruits of a friendship I have established between two great men. I dined with lord treasurer, and did the business I had for him to his satisfaction. I won't tell you what it was. **** The parliament sits to morrow for certain. Here is a letter printed in Macartney's name, vindicating himself from the murder of duke Hamilton. I must give some hints to have it answered; 'tis full of lies, and will give an opportunity of exposing that party. To morrow will be a very important day. All the world will be at Westminster. Lord treasurer is as easy as a lamb. They are mustering up the proxies of the absent lords; bnt they are not in any fear of wanting a majority, which death and accidents have increased this year. Night, MD.

9. I was this morning with lord treasurer, to present to him a young son of the late earl of Jersey, at the desire of the widow. There I saw the mace and great coach ready for lord treasurer, who was going to parliament. Our society met to day; but I expected the houses would sit longer than I cared to fast; so I dined with a friend, and never inquired how matters went till eight this evening, when I went to lord Orkney's, where I found sir Thomas Hanmer. The queen delivered her speech very well, but a little weaker in her voice. The crowd was vast. The order for an address was moved, and opposed by lords Nottingham, Halifax, and Cowper. Lord treasurer spoke with great spirit and resolution; lord Peterborow flirted against the duke of Marlborough (who is in Germany you know) but it was in answer to one of lord Halifax's impertinences. The order for an address passed by a majority of thirty-three, and the houses rose before six. This is the account I heard at lord Orkney's. The bishop of Chester[2], a high tory, was against the court. The duchess of Marlborough sent for him some months ago, to justify herself to him in relation to the queen, and showed him letters and told him stories, which the weak man believed, and was converted.

10. I dined with a cousin in the city, and poor Pat Rolt was there. I have got her rogue of a husband leave to come to England from Portmahon. The whigs are much down; but I reckon they have some scheme in agitation. This parliament time hinders our court meetings on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I had a great deal of business to night, which gave me a temptation to be idle, and I lost a dozen shillings at ombre with Dr. Pratt and another. It rains every day, and yet we are all over dust. Lady Masham's eldest boy is very ill: I doubt he will not live, and she stays at Kensington to nurse him, which vexes us all. She is so excessively fond, it makes me mad. She should never leave the queen, but leave every thing, to stick to what is so much the interest of the publick, as well as her own. This I tell hers but talk to the winds. Night, MD.

11. I dined at lord treasurer's with his Saturday company. We had ten at table, all lords but myself and the chancellor of the exchequer. Argyle went off at six, and was in very indifferent humour as usual. Duke of Ormond and lord Bolingbroke were absent. I staid till near ten. Lord treasurer showed us a small picture, enamelled work, and set in gold, worth about twenty pounds; a picture, I mean of the queen, which she gave to the duchess of Marlborough, set in diamonds. When the duchess was leaving England, she took off all the diamonds, and gave the picture to one Mrs. Higgins, (an old intriguing woman, whom every body knows) bidding her make the best of it she could. Lord treasurer sent to Mrs. Higgins for this picture, and gave her a hundred pounds for it. Was ever such an ungrateful beast as that duchess? or did you ever hear such a story? I suppose the whigs will not believe it. Pray, try them. She takes off the diamonds, and gives away the picture to an insignificant woman, as a thing of no consequence: and gives it to her to sell, like a piece of old fashioned plate. Is she not a detestable slut? Night, dear MD.

12. I went to court to day, on purpose to present Mr. Berkeley[3], one of your fellows of Dublin college, to lord Berkeley of Stratton. That Mr. Berkeley is a very ingenious man, and great philosopher, and I have mentioned him to all the ministers, and have given them some of his writings; and I will favour him as much as I can. This I think I am bound to, in honour and conscience, to use all my little credit toward helping forward men of worth in the world[4]. The queen was at chapel to day, and looks well. I dined at lord Orkney's with the duke of Ormond, lord Arran, and sir Thomas Hanmer. Mr. St. John, secretary at Utrecht, expects every moment to return there with the ratification of the peace. Did I tell you in my last of Addison's play called Cato, and that I was at the rehearsal of it? Night, MD.

13. This morning my friend, Mr. Lewis, came to me, and showed me an order for a warrant for three deaneries; but none of them to me. This was what I always foresaw, and received the notice of it better, I believe, than he expected. I bid Mr. Lewis tell my lord treasurer, that I take nothing ill of him, but his not giving me timely notice, as he promised to do, if he found the queen would do nothing for me. At noon, lord treasurer hearing I was in Mr. Lewis's office, came to me, and said many things too long to repeat. I told him, I had nothing to do but go to Ireland immediately; for I could not, with any reputation, stay longer here, unless I had something honourable immediately given to me. We dined together at the duke of Ormond's. He there told me, be had stopped the warrants for the deans, that what was done for me, might be at the same time, and he hoped to compass it to night; but I believe him not. I told the duke of Ormond my intentions. He is content Sterne should be a bishop, and I have St. Patrick's; but, I believe, nothing will come of it, for stay I will not; and so I believe for all our **** **** you may see me in Dublin before April ends. I am less out of humour than you would imagine: and if it were not, that impertinent people will condole with me, as they used to give me joy, I would value it less. But I will avoid company, and muster up my baggage, and send them next Monday by the carrier to Chester, and come and see my willows, against the expectation of all the world. What care I? Night, dearest rogues, MD.

14. I dined in the city to day, and ordered a lodging to be got ready for me against I came to pack up my things; for I will leave this end of the town as soon as ever the warrants for the deaneries are out, which are yet stopped. Lord treasurer told Mr. Lewis, that it should be determined to night: and so he will say a hundred nights. So he said yesterday, but I value it not. My daily journals shall be but short till I get into the city, and then I will send away this, and follow it myself; and design to walk it all the way to Chester, my man and I, by ten miles a day. It will do my health a great deal of good. I shall do it in fourteen days. Night, dear MD.

15. Lord Bolingbroke made me dine with him to day. I was as good company as ever: and told me the queen would determine something for me to night. The dispute is, Windsor, or St. Patrick's. I told him I would not stay for their disputes, and he thought I was in the right. Lord Masham told me, that lady Masham is angry I have not been to see her since this business, and desires I will come to morrow. Night, dear MD.

16. I was this noon at lady Masham's, who was just come from Kensington, where her eldest son is sick. She said much to me of what she had talked to the queen and lord treasurer. The poor lady fell a shedding tears openly. She could not bear to think of my having St. Patrick's, &c. I was never more moved than to see so much friendship. I would not stay with her, but went and dined with Dr. Arbuthnot, with Mr. Berkeley, one of your fellows, whom I have recommended to the doctor, and to lord Berkeley of Stratton. Mr. Lewis tells me, that the duke of Ormond has been to day with the queen; and she was content, that Dr. Sterne should be bishop of Dromore, and I dean of St. Patrick's; but then out came lord treasurer, and said, he would not be satisfied, but that I must be prebendary of Windsor. Thus he perplexes things. I expect neither; but I confess, as much as I love England, I am so angry at this treatment, that, if I had my choice, I would rather have St. Patrick's. Lady Masham says, she will speak to the purpose to the queen to morrow. Night, dear MD.

17. I went to dine at lady Masham's to day, and she was taken ill of a sore throat, and aguish. She spoke to the queen last night, but had not much time. The queen says she will determine to morrow with lord treasurer. The warrants for the deaneries are still stopped, for fear I should be gone. Do you think any thing will be done? I don't care whether it is or no. In the mean time I prepare for my journey, and see no great people, nor will see lord treasurer any more, if I go. Lord treasurer told Mr. Lewis it should be done to night; so he said five nights ago. Night, MD.

18. This morning Mr. Lewis sent me word, that lord treasurer told him the queen would determine at noon. At three lord treasurer sent to me to come to his lodgings at St. James's, and told me the queen was at last resolved, that Dr. Sterne should be bishop of Dromore, and I dean of St. Patrick's; and that Sterne's warrant should be drawn immediately. You know the deanery is in the duke of Ormond's gift; but this is concerted between the queen, lord treasurer, and the duke of Ormond, to make room for me. I do not know whether it will yet be done; some unlucky accident may yet come. Neither can I feel joy at passing my days in Ireland; and confess, I thought the ministry would not let me go; but perhaps they can't help it. Night, MD.

19. I forgot to tell you that lord treasurer forced me to dine with him yesterday as usual, with his Saturday company; which I did after frequent refusals. To day I dined with a private friend, and was not at court. After dinner Mr. Lewis sent me word, that the queen staid till she knew whether the duke of Ormond approved of Sterne for a bishop. I went this evening, and found the duke of Ormond at the cockpit, and told him, and desired he would go to the queen, and approve of Sterne. He made objections, and desired I would name any other deanery, for he did not like Sterne; that Sterne never went to see him; that he was influenced by the archbishop of Dublin, &c. so all is now broken again. I sent out for lord treasurer and told him this. He says all will do well; but I value not what he says. This suspense vexes me worse than any thing else. Night, MD.

20. I went to day, by appointment, to the cockpit, to talk with the duke of Ormond. He repeated the same proposals of any other deanery, &c. I desired he would put me out of the case, and do as he pleased. Then, with great kindness, he said he would consent; but would do it for no man alive but me, &c. And he will speak to the queen to day or to morrow: so, perhaps, something will come of it. I can't tell. Night, own dear MD.

21. The duke of Ormond has told the queen he is satisfied that Sterne should be bishop, and she consents I shall be dean; and I suppose the warrants will be drawn in a day or two. I dined at an alehouse with Parnell and Berkeley; for I am not in humour to go among the ministers, though lord Dartmouth invited me to dine with him to day, and lord treasurer was to be there. I said I would if I were out of suspense. Night, dearest MD.

22. The queen says warrants shall be drawn, but she will dispose of all in England and Ireland at once, to be teased no more. This will delay it some time; and, while it is delayed, I am not sure of the queen, my enemies being busy. I hate this suspense. Night, dear MD.

23. I dined yesterday with general Hamilton: I forgot to tell you. I write short journals now. I have eggs on the spit. This night the queen has signed all the warrants, among which Sterne is bishop of Dromore, and the duke of Ormond is to send over an order for making me dean of St. Patrick's. I have no doubt of him at all. I think 'tis now past. And I suppose MD is malicious enough to be glad, and rather have it than Dean of WellsWells]][5]. But you see what a condition I am in. I thought I was to pay but six hundred pounds for the house; but the bishop of Clogher says eight hundred pounds; first-fruits one hundred and fifty pounds, and so, with patent, a thousand pounds in all; so that I shall not be the better for the deanery these three years. I hope, in some time, they will be persuaded here to give me some money to pay off these debts. I must finish the book[6] I am writing, before I can go over; and they expect I shall pass next winter here, and then I will drive them to give me a sum of money. However, I hope to pass four or five months with MD whatever comes of it. **** I received yours to night; just ten weeks since I had your last. I shall write next post to bishop Sterne. Never man had so many enemies in Ireland as he. I carried it with the strongest hand possible. If he does not use me well and gently in what dealings I shall have with him, he will be the most ungrateful of mankind. The archbishop of York[7], my mortal enemy, has sent, by a third hand, that he would be glad to see me. Shall I see him, or not? I hope to be over in a month, and that MD with their raillery, will be mistaken, that I shall make it three years. I will answer your letter soon; but no more journals. I shall be very busy. Short letters from henceforward. I shall not part with Laracor. That is all I have to live on, except the deanery be worth more than four hundred pounds a year. Is it? If it be, overplus shall be divided *****, beside usual *****. Pray write to me a good humoured letter immediately, let it be ever so short. This affair was carried with great difficulty, which vexes me. But they say here, it is much to my reputation, that I have made a bishop, in spite of all the world, to get the best deanery in Ireland. Night, dear MD.

24. I forgot to tell you I had Sterne's letter yesterday, in answer to mine. ****** I made mistakes the three last days, and am forced to alter the number. I dined in the city to day with my printer, and came home early, and am going to be busy with my work. I will send this to morrow, and I suppose the warrants will go then. I wrote to Dr. Coghill, to take care of passing my patent; and to Parvisol, to attend him with money, if he has any, or to borrow some where he can. Night, MD.

25. Morning. I know not whether my warrant be got ready from the duke of Ormond. I suppose it will by to night. I am going abroad, and will keep this unsealed, till I know whether all be finished.

I had this letter all day in my pocket, waiting till I heard the warrants were gone over. Mr. Lewis sent to Southwell's clerk at ten; and he said the bishop of Killaloe[8] had desired they should be stopped till next post. He sent again, that the bishop of Killaloe's business had nothing to do with ours. Then I went myself, but it was past eleven, and asked the reason. Killaloe is removed to Raphoe, and he has a mind to have an order for the rents of Raphoe, that have fallen due since the vacancy, and he would have all stop till he has gotten that. A pretty request! But the clerk at Mr. Lewis's message, sent the warrants for Sterne and me; but then it was too late to send this, which frets me heartily, that MD should not have intelligence first from Pdfr. I think to take a hundred pounds a year out of the deanery, and divide between **** but will talk of that when I come over. Night, dear MD. Love Pdfr.

26. I was at court to day, and a thousand people gave me joy; so I ran out. I dined with lady Orkney. Yesterday I dined with lord treasurer and his Saturday people as usual; and was so be-deaned! The archbishop of York says, he will never more speak against me. Pray see that Parvisol stirs about getting my patent. I have given Tooke DD's note, to prove she is alive.****

27. Nothing new to day. I dined with Tom Harley, &c. I'll seal up this to night. Pray write soon. Farewell, MD, FW, Me, Lele.

  1. Afterward earl of Macclesfield.
  2. Dr. Francis Gastrell, consecrated to that see April 4, 1713.
  3. This Mr. Berkeley was afterward the celebrated bishop of Cloyne.
  4. Swift procured him to be sent secretary and chaplain to Sicily, with the earl of Peterborow.
  5. A deanery which Swift expected.
  6. The History of the Peace of Utrecht.
  7. Dr. Sharp, who, with the duchess of Somerset, prevented the queen from giving him a bishoprick.
  8. Dr. Thomas Lindsay.