Journal to Stella

by Jonathan Swift

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"Monday Is Parson's Holiday"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 239

Context: Going to London in 1710, Swift left behind two dear friends, Esther Johnson, whom he called Stella, and Rebecca Dingley. At that period, mature women even though unmarried were usually referred to as Mistress, or Mrs. Swift kept these friends informed of his doings in London by sending them his diary, in installments. In Letter XLI, covering part of February and March, 1711/1712 (Julian/Gregorian), he includes items of business and gossip. He comments that on the day after the Sunday sermon, the minister has the right to a day of relaxation. Part of the rest of the entry is set down in a sort of baby talk, perhaps the dean's idea of humor, though it does not occur very often in the Journal. "Deelest logues" must be "dearest loves," "oo" is used for "you," and the letters "z" and "s" replace "th." Having mentioned the pension of a friend, he continues:

. . . but oo must not know zees sings, zey are secrets; and we must keep them from nauty dallars. I dined in the city with my printer, with whom I had some small affair. I have no large work on my hands now. I was with Lord-Treasurer this morning and hat (what) care oo for zat? You dined with the Dean today. Monday is parson's holiday. And oo lost oo money at cards and dice; ze Givars' (Devil's) device. So I'll go to bed. Nite, my two deelest logues.

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