1732 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Matthew Pilkington

John Barber to Jonathan Swift, 24 August 1732; Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, ed. John Nichols (1801) 12:494-95.



LONDON, AUG. 24, 1732.

SIR,

I wish Dr. Delany had complied with your request sooner, in acquainting me with your intentions in favour of Mr. Pilkington. I could have been glad also, that he had acquainted you, as I desired him, with the particulars how I stood circumstantiated in relation to the chaplain; for I flatter myself that your usual good nature would have induced you to comply with my request, in writing a letter to me, in an authoritative way, in your recommendation of Mr. Pilkington; which would have given me a good excuse for my refusing a gentleman, whom my deputy and common councilmen had recommended to me above six months ago.

Another accident happened in this affair, by the doctor's not receiving a letter I sent him, which, by mistake, came not to his hands (though at home) until many hours after my man had left it at his lodgings; which letter, had he seen in time, would have prevented some little difficulties I lie under in this affair, and which I must get over as well as I can. For, sir, when I reflect on the many obligations I have to you, which I shall ever acknowledge, I am glad of any occasion to show my gratitude; and do hereby, at your request, make Mr. Pilkington my chaplain, when mayor. I wish it may answer his expectations; for the profits are not above one hundred and twenty pounds, if so much, as I am told. He constantly dines with the mayor; but I am afraid cannot lie in the hall, the rooms being all of state. For your sake I will show him all the civilities I can. You will recommend him to Jo. (Dr. I mean) Trapp. The mayor's day is the 30th of October; so that he may take his own time.

It would add very much to my felicity, if your health would permit you to come over in the spring, and see a pageant of your own making. Had you been here now, I am persuaded you would have put me to an additional expense, by having a raree-show (or pageant) as of old, on the lord mayor's day. Mr. Pope and I were thinking to have a large machine carried through the city, with a printingpress, author, publishers, hawkers, devils, etc., and a satirical poem printed and thrown from the press to the mob, in publick view, but not to give offence; but your absence spoils that design.

Pray God preserve you long, very long, for the good of your country, and the joy and satisfaction of your friends; among whom I take the liberty to subscribe myself, with great sincerity, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

J. BARBER.