The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to John Barber - 11

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DEC. 8, 1736.

I AM glad of any occasion to write to you, and therefore business will be my excuse. I had lately a letter from Mrs. Warburton, the widow of him for whom I got a living in those parts where your society's estate lies. The substance of her request is a publick affair, wherein you and I shall agree; for neither of us are changed in point of principles. Mr. John Williams, your society's overseer, is worried by a set of people in one part of your estate, which is called Salters' Proportion, because he opposed the building of a fanatick meetinghouse in that place. This crew of dissenters are so enraged at this refusal, that they have incensed sir Thomas Webster, the landlord (I suppose under you) of that estate, against him, and are doing all in their power to get him discharged from your service. Mr. Warburton was his great friend. By what I understand, those factious people presume to take your timber at pleasure, contrary to your society's instructions, wherein Mr. Williams constantly opposes them to the utmost of his power, and that is one great cause of their malice. Long may you live a bridle to the insolence of dissenters, who, with their pupils the atheists, are now wholly employed in ruining the church; and have entered into publick associations subscribed and handed about publickly for that purpose. I wish you were forced to come over hither, because I am confident the journey and voyage would be good for your health: but my ill health and age have made it impossible for me to go over to you. I have often let you know that I have a good warm apartment for you, and I scorn to add any professions of your being welcome in summer or winter, or both: pray God bless you, and grant that you may live as long as you desire, and be ever happy hereafter. Is our friend Bolingbroke well? he is older than either of us; but I am chiefly concerned about his fortune: for some time ago a friend of us both writ to me, that he wished his lordship had listened a little to my thrifty lectures, instead of only laughing at them.

I am ever, with the truest affection,

Dear Mr. alderman,

Your most hearty friend

and obedient humble servant,

This letter, I suppose, will reach you, although I have forgot your street and part of the town.