Open main menu

The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to John Barber - 5

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 19

SEPTEMBER 11, 1732.

I ANTICIPATE your title, because perhaps it may be your due before your chaplain, Mr. Pilkington, can attend you. And, besides, I have a mind to be the first person who gives it to you. And, first, I heartily acknowledge your goodness in favouring a young gentleman who has well answered all the recommendations that have been given me of him, and I have some years watched all opportunities to do him a good office, but none of the few things in my own gift that would be proper for him have fallen in my way since I knew him; and power with others, you know, or may believe, I have none. I value Mr. Pilkington as much for his modesty, as his learning and sense, or any good quality he has. And it would be hard, after your sending us over so many worthless bishops, all bedangled with their pert illiterate relations and flatterers, if you would not suffer us to lend you, at least for one year, one sample of modesty, virtue, and good sense; and I am glad it falls to your lordship to give the first precedent. I will write to Dr. Trap in Mr. Pilkington's favour, but whether I have any credit with him I cannot tell, although, perhaps, you will think, I may pretend to some. It is by my advice that Mr. Pilkington goes over somewhat sooner; for I would have him know a little of your end of the town, and what he is to do; but he will not give you any trouble or care till you please to command him, which I suppose will not be till you are settled in your office.

Nothing but this cruel accident of a lameness could have hindered me from attending your ceremonial as a spectator, and I should have forwarded, to the utmost, Mr. Pope's scheme, for I never approved the omission of those shows. And I think I saw, in my youth, a lord mayor's show with all that pomp, when sir Thomas Pilkington, of your chaplain's name and family, made his procession.

I have advised your chaplain to send you this letter, and not present it, that you may be in no pain about him, for he shall wait on you the next morning, when he has taken a lodging for himself, till you come into your mayoralty.

I cannot conclude without repeating my acknowledgments for your kind remembrance of me. We were both followers of the same court and the same cause, and exiles, after a sort, you a voluntary one and I a necessary; but you have outthrown me many a hundred bars lengths. I heartily wish the continuance of your good success, and am, with great truth, your most constant friend and most obedient humble servant,