Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

She who ne'er answers till a husband cools ;
Or, if she rules him, never shews she rules ;
Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
Yet has her humour most when she obeys;
Let fops or fortune fly which way they will,
Disdains all loss of tickets or codille;
Spleen, vapours, or small-pox, above them all,
And mistress of herself though China fall.

And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
Woman's at best a contradiction still.

270 Heaven when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer man ; Picks from each sex, to make the favorite bless'd, Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest; Blends, in exception to all general rules, Your taste of follies with our scorn of fools; Reserve with frankness, art with truth allied, Courage with softness, modesty with pride; Fix'd principles with fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces--you.

280 Be this a woman's fame; with this unbless'd, Toasts live a scorn, and queens may die a jest. This Phoebus promised (I forget the year) When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere; Ascendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half your parents' simple prayer : And gave you beauty, but denied the pelf That buys your sex a tyrant o'er itself. The generous god, who wit and gold refines, And ripens spirits as he ripens mines,

290 Kept dross for duchesses, the world sball know it, To you gave sense, good-humour, and a poet.

241

TO ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.

ARGUMENT.

of the Use of Riches. That it is known to few, most falling into one of the extremes,

avarice or profusion, ver. 1, &c. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more cominodious or pernicious to mankind, ver. 21 to 77. That riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries, ver. 89 to 160. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose, er. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, ver. 121 to 153. That the conduct of men with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions, ver. 161 to 178. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable, ver. 179. How a prodigal does the same, ver. 199. The true medium, and true use of riches, ver. 219. The man of Ross, ver. 250. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death, ver. 300, &c. The story of Sir Balaam, ver. 339 to the end.

This Epistle was written after a violent outcry against our author, on a supposition that he had ridiculed a worthy nobleman, merely for his wrong taste. He justified him self upon that article in a letter to the Earl of Burlington; at the end of which are these words : 'I have learnt that there are some who would rather be wicked than ridiculous: and therefore it may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will therefore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their idols, their groves, and their high-places; and change my subject from their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their miseries; and as the only certain way to avoid misconstruction, to lessen offence, and not to mul. tiply ill-natured applications, I may probably in my next

make use of real cames instead of fictitious ones." X P. Who shall decide when doctors disagree,

And soundest casuists doubt, like you and me?
You hold the word, from Jove to Momus given,
That man was made the standing jest of Heaven :
And gold but sent to keep the fools in play,
For some to heap, and some to throw away.

But I, who think more highly of our kind (And, surely, Heaven and I are of a mind),

Opine, that nature, as in duty bound,
Deep hid the shining mischief under ground: 10
But when, by man's audacious labour won,
Flamed forth this rival to its sire the sun,
Then careful Heaven supplied two sorts of men,
To squander these, and those to hide again.

Like doctors thus, when much dispute has pass'd,
We find our tenets just the same at last :
Both fairly owning riches, in effect,
No grace of Heaven, or token of th' elect;
Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil,
To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the devil. 20

B. What nature wants, commodious gold bestows : Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.

P. But how unequal it bestows, observe ;
'Tis thus we riot, while, who sow it, starve :
What nature wants (a phrase I must distrust)
Extends to luxury, extends to lust :
Useful, I grant, it serves while life requires,
But, dreadful too, the dark assassin hires.

B. Trade it may help, society 'extend :
P. But lures the pirate, and corrupts the friend. 30
B. It raises armies in a nation's aid:

P. But bribes a senate and the land's betray'd.
In vain may heroes fight and patriots rave,
If secret gold sap on from knave to knave.
Once, we confess, beneath the patriot's cloak,
From the crack'd bag the dropping guinea spoke,
And, jingling down the back-stairs, told the crew,
« Old Cato is as great a rogue as you.'
Bless'd paper credit ! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly!

40
Gold, imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Can pocket states, can fetch or carry kings;
A single leaf shall waft an army o’er,
Or ship off senates to some distant shore ;
A leaf, like Sibyl's, scatter to and fro
Our fates and fortunes, as the wind shall blow;
Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen,
And silent sells a king or buys a queen.

Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see, Still, as of old, encumber'd villany!

50

Could France or Rome divert our brave designs,
With all their brandies or with all their wines?
What could they more than knights and 'squires con-

found, Or water all the quorum ten miles round? A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil! 'Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil; Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door; A hundred oxen at your levee roar.'

Poor avarice one torment more would find ; Nor could profusion squander all in kind.

60 Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet, And Worldly crying coals from street to street, Whom, with a wig so wild and mien so mazed, Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman crazed, Had Colepepper's whole wealth been hops and hogs, Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ? His grace will game : to White's a bull be led, With spurning heels and with a butting head : To White's be carried, as to ancient games, Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames.

70 Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep, Bear homé six whores, and make his lady weep? Or soft Adonis, so perfumed and fine, Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine? O filthy check on all industrious skill, To spoil the nation's last great trade, quadrille! Since then, my lord, on such a world we fall, What say you? B. Say? Why, take it, gold and all.

P. What riches give us, let us then inquire: Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat, clothes, and fire.

80 Is this too little ? wonld you more than live? Alas! 'tis more than Turner finds they give. Alas ! 'tis more than (all his visions pass’d) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last ! What can they give? To dying Hopkins heirs ? To Chartres vigour ? Japhet nose and ears? Can they in gems bid pallid Hippia glow? In Fulvia's buckle ease the throbs below? Or heal, old Narses, thy obscener all, With all th' embroidery plaster'd at thy tail ? 90

They might (were Harpax not too wise to spend)
Give Harpax'self the blessing of a friend ;
Or find some doctor that would save the life
Of wretched Shylock, spite of Shylock's wife.
But thousands die, without or this or that,
Die, and endow a college or a cat.
To some, indeed, Heaven grants the happier fate,
T'enrich a bastard, or a son they hate.

Perhaps you think the poor might have their part; Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his heart; The grave Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule,

101 That every man in want is knave or fool: • God cannot love,' says Blunt, with tearless eyes, • The wretch he starves'-—and piously denies : But the good bishop, with a meeker air, Admits, and leaves them, Providence's care.

Yet, to be just to these poor men of pelf, Each does but hate his neighbour as himself : Damn'd to the mines, an equal fate betides The slave that digs it, and the slave that hides. 110

B. Who suffer thus, mere charity should own, Must act on motives powerful, though unknown.

P. Some war, some plague, or famine, they foresee, Some revelation hid from you and me. Why Shylock wants a meal, the cause is found; He thinks a loaf will rise to fifty pound. What made directors cheat in South-sea year? To live on yenisou when it sold so dear. Ask you why Phryne the whole auction buys? Phryne foresees a general excise.

120 Why she and Sappho raise that monstrous sum? Alas! they fear a man will cost a plum,

Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold, And therefore hopes this nation may be sold : Glorious ambition ! Peter, swell thy store, And be what Rome's great Didius was before.

The crown of Poland, venal twice an age, To just three millions stinted modest Gage. But nobler scenes Maria's dreams unfold, Hereditary realms, and worlds of gold.

130 Congenial souls; whose life one avarice joins, And one fate buries in th' Asturian mines,

« ZurückWeiter »