The Journal to Stella, by Jonathan Swift

Letter 47.1

London, May 31, 1712.

I cannot yet arrive to my journal letters, my pains continuing still, though with less violence; but I don’t love to write journals while I am in pain; and above all, not journals to MD. But, however, I am so much mended, that I intend my next shall be in the old way; and yet I shall, perhaps, break my resolution when I feel pain. I believe I have lost credit with you, in relation to my coming over; but I protest it is impossible for one who has anything to do with this Ministry to be certain when he fixes any time. There is a business which, till it take some turn or other, I cannot leave this place in prudence or honour. And I never wished so much as now that I had stayed in Ireland; but the die is cast, and is now a spinning, and till it settles, I cannot tell whether it be an ace or a sise.2 I am confident by what you know yourselves, that you will justify me in all this. The moment I am used ill, I will leave them; but know not how to do it while things are in suspense. The session will soon be over (I believe in a fortnight), and the peace, we hope, will be made in a short time; and there will be no further occasion for me; nor have I anything to trust to but Court gratitude, so that I expect to see my willows3 a month after the Parliament is up: but I will take MD in my way, and not go to Laracor like an unmannerly spraenekich ferrow.4 Have you seen my Letter to Lord Treasurer? There are two answers come out to it already;5 though it is no politics, but a harmless proposal about the improvement of the English Tongue. I believe if I writ an essay upon a straw some fool would answer it. About ten days hence I expect a letter from MD; N.30. — You are now writing it, near the end, as I guess. — I have not received DD’s money; but I will give you a note for it on Parvisol, and bed oo paadon6 I have not done it before. I am just now thinking to go lodge at Kensington for the air. Lady Masham has teased me to do it, but business has hindered me; but now Lord Treasurer has removed thither. Fifteen of our Society dined together under a canopy in an arbour at Parson’s Green7 last Thursday: I never saw anything so fine and romantic. We got a great victory last Wednesday in the House of Lords by a majority, I think, of twenty-eight; and the Whigs had desired their friends to bespeak places to see Lord Treasurer carried to the Tower.8 I met your Higgins9 here yesterday: he roars at the insolence of the Whigs in Ireland, talks much of his own sufferings and expenses in asserting the cause of the Church; and I find he would fain plead merit enough to desire that his fortune should be mended. I believe he designs to make as much noise as he can in order to preferment. Pray let the Provost, when he sees you, give you ten English shillings, and I will give as much here to the man who delivered me Rymer’s books:10 he knows the meaning. Tell him I will not trust him, but that you can order it to be paid me here; and I will trust you till I see you. Have I told you that the rogue Patrick has left me these two months, to my great satisfaction? I have got another, who seems to be much better, if he continues it. I am printing a threepenny pamphlet,11 and shall print another in a fortnight, and then I have done, unless some new occasion starts. Is my curate Warburton married to Mrs. Melthrop in my parish? so I hear. Or is it a lie? Has Raymond got to his new house? Do you see Joe now and then? What luck have you at ombre? How stands it with the Dean? . . .12 My service to Mrs. Stoyte, and Catherine, if she be come from Wales. I have not yet seen Dilly Ashe’s wife. I called once, but she was not at home: I think she is under the doctor’s hand . . . .13 I believe the news of the Duke of Ormond producing letters in the council of war, with orders not to fight, will surprise you in Ireland. Lord Treasurer said in the House of Lords that in a few days the treaty of peace should be laid before them; and our Court thought it wrong to hazard a battle, and sacrifice many lives in such a juncture. If the peace holds, all will do well, otherwise I know not how we shall weather it. And it was reckoned as a wrong step in politics for Lord Treasurer to open himself so much. The Secretary would not go so far to satisfy the Whigs in the House of Commons; but there all went swimmingly. I’ll say no more to oo to-nite, sellohs, because I must send away the letter, not by the bell,14 but early: and besides, I have not much more to say at zis plesent liting.15 Does MD never read at all now, pee?16 But oo walk plodigiousry, I suppose; oo make nothing of walking to, to, to, ay, to Donnybrook. I walk too as much as I can, because sweating is good; but I’ll walk more if I go to Kensington. I suppose I shall have no apples this year neither, for I dined t’other day with Lord Rivers, who is sick at his country-house, and he showed me all his cherries blasted. Nite deelest sollahs; farewell deelest rives; rove poo poo Pdfr. Farewell deelest richar MD, MD, MD, FW, FW, FW, FW, FW, ME, ME, Lele, ME, Lele, Lele, richar MD.

1 Addressed to “Mrs. Dingley,” etc. Endorsed “June 5.”

2 Sice, the number six at dice.

3 At Laracor Swift had “a canal and river-walk and willows.”

4 Splenetic fellow.

5 One of them was by Oldmixon: Reflections on Dr. Swift’s Letter to the Earl of Oxford.

6 Beg your pardon.

7 See Letter 25, note 9.

8 On May 28, Lord Halifax moved an Address to the Queen that the instructions given to the Duke of Ormond might be laid before the House, and that further orders might be issued to him to act offensively, in concert with the Allies. Wharton and Nottingham supported the motion, but it was negatived by 68 votes against 40. A similar motion in the House of Commons was defeated by 203 against 73.

9 See Letter 34, note 10.

10 See Letter 23, note 13.

11 “Some Reasons to prove that no Person is obliged by his Principles, as a Whig, to oppose Her Majesty: in a Letter to a Whig Lord.”

12 Several words obliterated.

13 Several words obliterated.

14 The bellman.

15 This present writing.

16 Please.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 23:20