The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From John Barber to Jonathan Swift - 8

LONDON, NOV. 17, 1733.

AS I have now got rid of the plague of grandeur, and all its dependencies, I take this first opportunity to pay my respects to you, sir, which I beg pardon for not doing sooner. The transition from Goldsmiths-hall to Queen square is hardly credible; for in one view, to imagine the constant hurry, noise, and impertinence I lay under from morning till night, in opposition to the peace, the quiet, and great tranquillity I feel in my little retirement; makes me pity your great men, who certainly must be strangers to the great pleasure I now enjoy.

Before I left my office I took care to do justice to Mr. Pilkington, who has received more than I mentioned, and indeed more than any chaplain ever had before, viz.

Of the city. £. s d.
Salary 20 0 0
Gratuity 25 0 0
Gratuity extraordinary 21 0 0
66 0 0
From my lord mayor 50 0 0
Five sermons preached before the mayor 10 0 0
For a copy of one sermon printed 4 0 0
£130 0 0

St. Paul's happened to be shut up in the summer for two months, when the mayor went on Sundays to his own chapel at Guildhall, and his chaplain read prayers for eight Sunday mornings only; for which the mayor got him from the court of aldermen twenty guineas.

I have been the more particular in this account, because I know your great punctuality in things of this nature, as well as to do myself justice. How much he may be a gainer by coming over, I cannot tell; but if he had pleased to have lived near the hall, as he might, in a lodging of ten or twelve pounds a year, he need not have kept a man (for I had more for show than business) nor given the extravagant sum of thirty pounds a year for lodgings; he might have saved something in those articles. Had he lived in the city, I should now and then have had the favour of his company in an evening; but his living from me brought him into company, and among the rest into that of Mr. Edward Walpole, from whom he has great dependences.

I recommended him to Mr. alderman Champion, who got the primate's wife's brother to write in his favour to the primate. And he talks of the living of Colerain's being vacant; if it be, I will do him what service I can.

Thus, sir, I have discharged myself of the duty you laid upon me, in relation to that gentleman, which I hope will be to your satisfaction; for I will never be ungrateful, though I have met with it frequently myself.

All your friends in town are well, and in high spirits. Lord Bolingbroke complains you do not write to him. Poor Mrs. Barber has the gout, but is better. It was a great mortification to me that you did not come and eat some custard; but I hope your health will permit your coming next summer. We rejoice much at my brother French's success. I know you do not deal in news, so I send you none. Pray God continue your health, and believe me always, with the greatest sincerity, sir, your most obedient and most obliged humble servant,

P. S. Why Mr. Pilkington should send his wife home in the midst of winter, or why he should stay here an hour after her, are questions not easily answered. I am not of his counsel.