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I tind you are grown a horrid flatterer, or else you could never have thought of any thing so much to my taste as this piece of marble you speak of for my sister Penelope*, which I desire may be at my expense: I cannot be exact, peither as to the time nor year; but she died soon after we came there, and we did not stay quite two years, and were in England some months before king William died. I wish I had my dame Wadgar's, or Mr. Ferrers's memorandum head, that I might know whether it was at the time of gooseberriest.
Surely your Irish air is very bad for darts ; if Mrs. Kelly's are blunted already, make her cross father let her come over, and we will not use her so in England. If my duchess t sees company in a morning, you need not grumble at the hour; it must be purely from great complaisance, for that never was her taste here, though she is as early a riser as the generality of ladies are; and, I believe, there are not many dressing-rooms in London, but mine, where the early idle come.
* Lady Penelope Berkeley died in Dublin, whilst her fa. ther was in the goveroment, and was interred in St. Andrew's church, under tbe altar. No monument was erected to her memory till about this time, when Dr. Swift caused a plate of black marble to be fixed in the wall over the altar-piece, with this inscription : “ Underneath lieth the body of the lady Penelope Berkeley,
daughter of the right benourable Charles earl of Berkeley.
She died September the 30, 1699." + In the petition of Francis Harris to the lords justices, losing her parse, here are these yerses : “ Yes, (says ske), the steward I remember, when I was at my
lady Shrewsbury's, Such a thing as this happened just about the time of goose
berries.” This steward was Mr. Ferrers; and dame Wadgar was the old deaf housekeeper in lord Berkeley's family, when he was one of the lords justices of Ireland.
The duchess of Dorset.
Adieu abruptly; for I will have no more formal humble servants, with your whole name at the bot. tom, as if I was asking you your Catechism.
LADY BG-TO DR. SWIFT.
Feb. 8, 1732-3. I RECEIVED yours of the th of January but last week; so find it has lain long on the road after the date. It was brought me whilst at dinner, that very lady sitting close to me, whom you seem to think such an absolute courtier*. She knew your hand, and inquired much after you, as she always does; but I, finding her name frequently mention. ed, not with that kindness I am sure she deserves, put it into my pocket with silence and surprise. Indeed, were it in people's power that live in a court with the appearance of favour, to do all they desire for their friends, they might deserve their anger, and be blaned, when it does not happen right to their minds; but that, I believe, never was the case of any one : and in this particular of Mr. Gay, thus far I know, and so far I will answer for, that she was under very great concern that nothing better could be got for him : the friendship upon all
• The countess of S.
other occasions in her own power, that she showed him, did not look like a double dealer.
As to that part concerning yourself and her, I suppose it is my want of comprehension, that I cannot find out why she was to blame to give you advice when you asked it, that had all the appear. ance of sincerity, good-nature, and right judgment. And if, after that, the court did not do what you wanted, and she both believed and wished they would, was it her fault? At least, I cannot find it out, that you have bitherto proved it upon her. And though you say, you lamented the hour you had seen her, yet I cannot tell how to suppose that your good sense and justice can impute any thing to her, because it did not fall out just as she endeavoured, and hoped it would.
As to your creed in politics, I will heartily and sincerely subscribe to it-That I detest avarice in courts; corruption in ministers; schisms in religion; illiterate fawning betrayers of the church in mitres. But at the same time, I prodigiously want an infallible judge, to determine when it is really 80 : for as I have lived longer in the world, and seen many changes, I know those out of power and place always see the faults of those in, with dreadful large spectacles; and, I dare say, you know many instances of it in lord Oxford's time. But the strongest in my memory is, sir R—W—~, being first pulled to pieces in the year 1720, because the South-Sea did not rise high enough ; and since that, he has been to the full as well banged about, because it did rise too high. So experience has caught me how wrong, unjust, and senseless party-factions are; therefore, I am determined
never wholly to believe any side or party against the other; and to show that I will not, as my friends are in and out of all sides, so my house receives them all together; and those people meet here, that have, and would fight in any other place. Those of them that have.great and good qualities and virtues, I love and admire; in which number is lady ; and I do like and love her, because I believe, and, as far as I am capable of judging, know her to be a wise, discreet, honest, and sincere courtier, who will promise no further than she can perform, and will always perform what she does promise; so now, you have my creed as to her.
I thought I had told you in my last, at least I am sure I designed it, that I desire you would do just as you like about the monument; and then, it will be most undoubtedly approved by your most sin. cere and faithful servant.
TO DR. SWIFT.
Knowle, July 9, 1733. Now, says parson Swift*, " What the devil makes this woman write to me with this filthy white ink ? I cannot read a word of it, without more trouble than her silly scribble is worth.” Why, say I again, ay, it is the women are always accused of having bad writing implements; but to my comfort be it spoke, this is his grace my lord-lieutenant's ink *. My bureau at London is so well furnished, that his grace and his secretary make so much use of it, that they are often obliged to give me half a crown, that I may not run out my estate in paper. It is very happy when a go-between pleases both sides, and I am very well pleased with my office ; for his grace is delighted that it was in his power to oblige you. So treve de compliment. Since I have declared my passion against a bishop and a parson, it is but fair I should tell you the story, whether you care to hear it or not; but if you do not, I give you leave not to mind it, for, now it is over, I am calm again.
* The name sbe called the dean by, in the stanza which she inseried in his ballad op The Game of Trafic.
As to the bishop t, I know neither his principles por his parts, but his diocese is Peterborough ; and having a small park in Northamptonshire, which I had a mind to increase by a small addition, to make my house stand in the middle of it. Threeshillings-and-sixpence worth of land, at the largest computation, belongs to the church; for which my old parson (who flatters me black and blue, when he comes from a Sunday dinner, and says he loves me better than any borly in the world) has made me give him up in lieu of that land, a house and ground that lets for 40s. a year, and is hardly content with that, but reckons it a vast favour. And the bishop has put me to ten times more charge than it is worth, by sending commissioners to view
* Duke of Dorset. + Dr. Robert Clavering.