Dec. 27. I met Mr. Addison and Pastoral Philips on the Mall today, and took a turn with them; but they both looked terrible dry and cold. A curse of party! And do you know that I have taken more pains to recommend the Whig wits to the favour and mercy of the ministers than any other people. Steele I have kept in his place. Congreve I have got to be used kindly, and secured. Rowe I have recommended, and got a promise of a place. Philips I should certainly have provided for, if he had not run party mad and made me withdraw my recommendation, and I set Addison so right at first, that he might have been employed, and have partly secured him the place he has; yet I am worse used by that faction than any man.
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Jan. 3, 1712-13. I am just now told that poor dear Lady Ashburnham, the Duke of Ormond's daughter, died yesterday at her country house. The poor creature was with child. She was my greatest favourite, and I am in excessive concern for her loss. I hardly knew a more valuable person on all accounts. You must have heard me talk of her. I am afraid to see the duke and duchess. She was naturally very healthy; I am afraid she has been thrown away for want of care. Pray condole with me: it is extremely moving. Her lord's a puppy, and I shall never think it worth my while to be troubled with him, now he has lost all that was valuable in his possession. Yet I think he used her pretty well. I hate life when I think it exposed to such accidents; and to see so many thousand wretches burdening the earth, while such as her die, makes me think God did never intend life for a blessing. Farewell.
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