The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From John Barber to Jonathan Swift - 12
FROM ALDERMAN BARBER.
I HAVE deferred answering the favours of yours of the 9th and 31st of March, in hopes to have something to entertain you with, and I have succeeded in my wishes; for I am sure I give you great pleasure when I tell you the enclosed I received from the hands of my lord Bolingbroke and Mr. Pope, your dearest friends. My lord has been here a few days, and is come to sell Dawley, to pay his debts; and he will return to France, where, I am told, he is writing the History of his own Times; which I heartily rejoice at (though I am not likely to live to see it published) because so able a hand can do nothing but what must be instructive and entertaining to the next generation. His lordship is fat and fair, in high spirits; but joins with you, and all good men, to lament our present unhappy situation. Mr. Pope has a cold, and complains, but he is very well; so well, that he throws out a twelvepenny touch in a week or ten days, with as much ease as a friend of ours formerly used to roast the enemies to their country.
The report of the duke of Ormond's return is without foundation. His grace is very well in health, and lives in a very handsome manner, and has Mr. Kelly with him as his chaplain, the gentleman who escaped out of the Tower. A worthy friend of yours and mine passed through Avignon about a month since, and dined with his grace, from whom I have what I tell you.
I hear nothing of Dr. Squire's departure: I believe I may say that matter is secured for Mr. Dunkin.
I have seen lord and lady Oxford, who make you their compliments. He thanks you for your medals. I believe I told you he is selling Wimple, to pay off a debt of 100000l. That a man without any vice, should run out such a sum, is monstrous. It must be owing to the roguery of his stewards, and his indolency, which is vice enough.
I do not see lord —— in an age; his son is married, and proves bad enough; ill natured and proud, and very little in him. Our friend Ford lives in the same way, as constant as the sun, from the Cocoa tree to the park, to the tavern, to bed, &c.
So far in the historical way, to obey your several commands. You will now give me leave to hope this will find you free from all your complaints, and that I shall have the great pleasure of seeing it very quickly under your own hand. I thank God, I am better than I have been many years, but yet have many complaints; for my asthma sticks close by me, but less gout than formerly, so that though I cannot walk far I ride daily, and eat and drink heartily at noon; and I impute my being so much better to my drinking constantly the asses milk, which is the best specifick we have. I wish to God you would try it, I am sure it would do you much good. I take it betimes in the morning, which certainly gives me a little sleep, and often a small breathing or sweat.
If Mr. Richardson has not made you his acknowledgments for your great favour and friendship to him, he is much to blame; for to you he owes the continuance of his employment. An alderman of Derry came from thence on purpose to attach him, and he had many articles of impeachment; and I believe he had twenty out of twenty-four, of our society against him: and the cry has been against him for two or three years past, and I had no way to save him many times, but only by saying, that while I had the honour to preside in that chair, I would preserve the great privilege every Englishman had, of being heard before he was condemned: and I never put any question against him while he was in Ireland. Well, he came, and, after a long and tedious hearing of both sides, the society were of opinion, that he had acted justly and honourably in his office.
I shall trouble you no more at present, but to assure you I never think of you but with the utmost pleasure, and drink your health daily, and heartily pray for your long, long life, as you are an honour to your country, and will be the glory of the present and succeeding ages.
I am, dear sir, your most affectionate humble servant,