The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to John Barber - 9




JULY 12, 1735.

I WRITE to you at the command of a gentleman, for whom I have a perfect friendship and esteem, and the request he desires me to make, appears to me altogether reasonable. The gentleman I mean is doctor Helsham, the most eminent physician of this city and kingdom. There is a person of quality, an intimate friend of the doctor's, my lord Tyrone, formerly sir Tristram Beresford, who is a tenant to the Londonderry society. His lordship is going to build two houses upon their estate; and, to assist him in so good work, I desire that when the particulars of the request shall be laid before the society, you, who are the governor, will please, if you find them just and reasonable, to forward them as far as lies in your power; by which you will much oblige me, and several worthy persons, particularly my friend doctor Helsham.

Do you sometimes honour poor Mrs. Barber with a visit? We are afraid here, that the gout has got too strong a possession of her, and pray let me have some account of your own health; I wish we three valetudinarians were together, we should make excellent company; but I can drink my pint of wine twice a day, which I doubt both of you could not do in a week. I long excessively to be in England, but am afraid of being surprised by my old disorder in my head, far from help, or at least from conveniency; and I dare not so much as travel here without being near enough to come back in the evening to lie in my own bed. These are the effects of living too long; and the publick miseries of this kingdom add to my disease. I am,

Dear sir,

With true esteem and friendship,

Your most obedient humble servant,