The Journal to Stella, by Jonathan Swift

Letter 63.1

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 everybody’s expectations are ready to burst. At a Council to-night the Lord Chief-Justice Parker, a Whig, spoke against the peace; so did Lord Chomley,2 another Whig, who is Treasurer of the Household. My Lord Keeper3 was this night made Lord Chancellor. We hope there will soon be some removes. Nite, dee sollahs; Late. Rove Pdfr.4

8. Lord Chomley (the right name is Cholmondeley) is this day removed from his employment, for his last night’s speech; and Sir Richard Temple,5 Lieutenant-General, the greatest Whig in the army, is turned out; and Lieutenant-General Palmes6 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 MD what it was. . . . 7 for zat. The Parliament sits to-morrow for certain. Here is a letter printed in Maccartney’s name, vindicating himself from the murder of the Duke of 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; but they are not in any fear of wanting a majority, which death and accidents have increased this year. Nite MD.

9. I was this morning with Lord Treasurer, to present to him a young son8 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 the Address9 was moved, and opposed by Lord Nottingham, Halifax, and Cowper. Lord Treasurer spoke with great spirit and resolution; Lord Peterborow flirted10 against the Duke of Marlborough (who is in Germany, you know), but it was in answer to one of 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,11 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 perverted. Nite MD.

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 Port-Mahon. 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. I have been to see t’other day the Bishop of Clogher and lady, but did not see Miss. 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 everything, to stick to what is so much the interest of the public, as well as her own. This I tell her; but talk to the winds. Nite 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 stayed 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 everybody 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. 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? Nite deelest MD.

12. I went to Court to-day, on purpose to present Mr. Berkeley,12 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 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. 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? Nite MD.

13. This morning my friend, Mr. Lewis, came to me, and showed me an order for a warrant for the three vacant 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 Lord Treasurer that I took 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 he 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 oo . . . 13 oo 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. — Hat care I? Nite deelest logues, 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 for14 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. Nite dee MD.

15. Lord Bolingbroke made me dine with him to-day; he15 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. Nite deelest 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, etc. 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 Prebend[ary] 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 purpose to the Queen to-morrow. Nite, . . . dee 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 anything will be done? I don’t care whether it is or no. In the meantime, 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. Nite 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 I confess I thought the Ministry would not let me go; but perhaps they can’t help it. Nite 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 a note, that the Queen stayed till she knew whether the Duke of Ormond approved of Sterne for Bishop. I went this evening, and found the Duke of Ormond at the Cock-pit, and told him, and desired he would go to the Queen, and approve of Sterne. He made objections, 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, etc.; so all now is 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 anything else. Nite MD.

20. I went to-day, by appointment, to the Cock-pit, to talk with the Duke of Ormond. He repeated the same proposals of any other deanery, etc. 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, etc. And he will speak to the Queen today or to-morrow; so, perhaps, something will come of it. I can’t tell. Nite dee dee logues, 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 ale-house 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. Nite deelest 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. Nite deelest MD.16

23. I dined yesterday with General Hamilton.17 I forgot to tell oo. 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 passed. And I suppose MD is malicious enough to be glad, and rather have it than Wells.18 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 I am writing,19 before I can go over; and they expect I shall pass next winter here, and then I will dun them to give me a sum of money. However, I hope to pass four or five months with MD, and whatever comes on it. MD’s allowance must be increased, and shall be too, fais . . . 20 I received oor rettle No. 39 to-night; just ten weeks since I had your last. I shall write next post to Bishop Sterne. Never man had so many enemies of Ireland21 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,22 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 oo rettle soon; but no more journals. I shall be very busy. Short letters from hence forward. 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, the overplus shall be divided between MD and FW beside usual allowance of MD. . . . 23 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 ’tis much to my reputation that I have made a bishop, in spite of all the world, to get the best deanery in Ireland. Nite dee sollahs.

24. I forgot to tell you I had Sterne’s letter yesterday, in answer to mine. Oo performed oor commission well, dood dallars both.24 I made mistakes the three last days, and am forced to alter the number.25 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. Nite MD.

25. Morning. I know not whether my warrant be yet ready from the Duke of Ormond. I suppose it will by tonight. I am going abroad, and will keep this unsealed, till I know whether all be finished. Mollow,26 sollahs.

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 Killaloe27 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 it between MD and Pr,28 and so be one year longer in paying the debt; but we’ll talk of zis hen I come over. So nite dear sollahs. Lele.29

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 bedeaned! 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. I’ll answer oo rettle. . . . Nite.

27. Nothing new to-day. I dined with Tom Harley, etc. I’ll seal up this to-night. Pray write soon. . . . MD MD MD FW FW FW ME ME ME Lele, lele.

1 Addressed to “Mrs. Dingley,” etc. Endorsed “May 4.”

2 Lord Cholmondeley (see Letter 36, note 15).

3 Harcourt.

4 Forster’s reading; the last two words are doubtful.

5 See Letter 7, note 27.

6 Francis Palmes, who was wounded at Blenheim, was made a Lieutenant-General in 1709. In 1707 he was elected M.P. for West Loo; in 1708 he was sent as Envoy Extraordinary to the Duke of Savoy, and in 1710 to Vienna.

7 Apparently “so heed.”

8 Henry Villiers (died 1743), second son of the first Earl of Jersey and of Barbara, daughter of William Chiffinch (see Letter 29, note 3 and Letter 59, note 25).

9 See Letter 61, Mar. 8, 1712-13. The Speech and Address are in the Commons’ Journals, xvii. 278, 280. For the draft Address, in Swift’s handwriting, see the Portland Papers (1899), v. 276.

10 Scoffed, jeered.

11 Dr. Gastrell (see Letter 25, note 8).

12 George Berkeley, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, but then a young man of twenty-eight, came to London in January 1713. He was already known by his “New Theory of Vision” and “Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge”, and he brought with him his “Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous”. Steele was among the first to welcome him, and he soon made the acquaintance of Addison, Pope, and Swift. On March 27, Berkeley wrote to Sir John Perceval of the breach between Swift and the Whigs: “Dr. Swift’s wit is admired by both of them (Addison and Steele], and indeed by his greatest enemies, and . . . I think him one of the best-matured and agreeable men in the world.” In November 1713 Swift procured for Berkeley the chaplaincy and secretaryship to Lord Peterborough, the new Envoy to Sicily.

13 Forster reads, “all oo sawcy Ppt can say oo may see me”; but the words are illegible.

14 Possibly “see,” written in mistake for “say.”

15 “J” (MS.).

16 Obliterated. Forster imagined that he read, “Nite dee logues. Poo Mr.”

17 There were two General Hamiltons at this time; probably Swift’s acquaintance was Gustavus Hamilton (1639-1723), who was created Viscount Boyne in 1717. Hamilton distinguished himself at the battle of the Boyne and the capture of Athlone, and was made Brigadier-General in 1696, and Major General in 1703. He took part in the siege of Vigo, and was made a member of the Privy Council in 1710.

18 See Letter 43, note 38.

19 The History of the Peace of Utrecht.

20 This is Forster’s reading, and appears to be correct. The last word, which he gives as “iss truly,” is illegible.

21 Belonging to Ireland.

22 See Letter 40, note 1.

23 Another excellent reading of Forster’s. I cannot decipher the last word, which he gives as “dee rogues.”

24 Sentence obliterated.

25 The number at the beginning of each entry in the Journal.

26 Mr. Ryland’s reading. Forster has “morning, dee.”

27 Dr. Thomas Lindsay (see Letter 6, note 45).

28 I think the “MD” is right, though Forster gives “M.” The “Pr” is probably an abbreviation of “Pdfr.”

29 The last three lines have been obliterated.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00