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Opine, that nature, as in duty bound,
Like doctors thus, when much dispute has pass'd,
B. What nature wants, commodious gold bestows : Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.
P. But how unequal it bestows, observe ;
B. Trade it may help, society 'extend :
P. But bribes a senate and the land's betray'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!
Could France or Rome divert our brave designs,
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 home 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 ail, With all th' embroidery plaster'd at thy tail ? 90
They might (were Harpax not too wise to spend)
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 loa 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.
Much-injured Blunt ! why bears he Britain's hate? A wizard told him in these words our fate : “At length corruption, like a general flood (So long by watchful ministers withstood), Shall deluge all; and avarice creeping on, Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the sun ; Statesman and patriot ply alike the stocks, Peeress and butler share alike the box,
140 And judges job, and bishops bite the town, And mighty dukes pack cards for half-a-crown. See Britain sunk in lucre's sordid charms, And France revenged of Anne's and Edward's arms! 'Twas no court-badge, great scrivener! fired thy brain, Nor lordly luxury, nor city gain: No, 'twas thy righteous end, ashamed to see Senates degenerate, patriots disagree, And nobly wishing party-rage to cease, To buy both sides, and give thy country peace.
150 • All this is madness,' cries a sober sage:
But who, my friend, has reason in his rage ? The ruling passion, be it what it will, The ruling passion conquers reason still.' Less mad the wildest whimsey we can frame, Than even that passion, if it has no aim; For though such motives folly you may call, The folly's greater to have none at all. (sends,
Hear then the truth : “ 'Tis Heaven each passion And different men directs to different ends. 160 Extremes in nature equal good produce, Extremes in man concur to general use.' Ask we what makes one keep, and one bestow ? That Power who bids the ocean ebb and flow; Bids seed-time, harvest, equal course maintain, Through reconciled extremes of drought and rain; Builds life on death, on change duration founds, And gives th' eternal wheels to know their rounds.
Riches, like insects, when conceal'd they lie, Wait but for wings, and in their season fly. 170 Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store, Sees but a ackward steward for the poor; This year a reservoir to keep and spare, The next a fountain, spouting through his heir,
In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst,
Old Cotta shamed his fortune and his birth,
Not so his son : he mark'd this oversight,