« ZurückWeiter »
“ Where once I went to church, I'll now go twice" And am so clear too of all other vice."
The Tempter saw his time; the work he ply'd; Stocks and Subscriptions pour on ev'ry side, 370 'Till all the Dæmon makes his full descent In one abundant show'r of Cent per Cent, Sinks deep within him, and pofleffes whole, Then dubs Director, and secures his soul. Behold Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
375 Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit, What late he call'd a Blessing, now was wit, And God's good Providence, a lucky Hit.
NOTES. “ What Riches give us let us then enquire. “ Meat, Fire, and Cloaths. What more? Meat, Cloaths,
But here, in one who had not yet learnt the art of dir. guifing the Poverty of Wealth by the Refinements of Luxury, he shews, with admirable humour, the ridicule of that project: “ And lo! truo Puddings (moak'd upon
the board. Ver. 377. What late he call'da Blesing now was Wit, &C.] This is an admirable picture of human nature: In the entrance into life, all but coxcombs-born, are modest; and esteem the favours of their superiors as marks of their benevolence : But, if these favours happen to increase ; then, instead of advancing in gratitude to our benefactors, we only improve in the good opinion of ourselves; and the constant returns of such favours make us consider them no longer as accommodations to our wants, or the
Things change their titles, as our manners turn:
A Nymph of Quality admires our Knight; 385 He marries, bows at Court, and grows polite : Leaves the Cull Cits and joins (to pleafe the fair) The well-bred cuckolds in St. James's air: First, for his Son a gay Commission buys, Who drinks, whores, fights, and in a duel dies: 390 His daughter flaunts a Viscount's tawdry wife; She bears a Coronet and P-x for life.
NOTES. bire of our service, but debts due to our merit: Yet, at the same time, to do justice to our common nature, we Thould observe, that this does not proceed fo often from downright vice as is imagined, but frequently from mere infirmity; of which the reason is evident; for, having small knowledge, and yet an excessive opinion of ourselves, we estimate our merit by the passions and caprice of others; and this perhaps would not be so much amiss, were we not apt to take their favours for a declaration of their sense of our merits. How often, for instancs, has it been seen, in the three learned Profeilions, that a Man, who, had he continued in his primeval meanness, would have circumscribed his knowledge within the modeft limits of Socrates; yet, being push`d up, as the phrase is, has felt growing into a Hooker, a Hales, or a Sydenham ; while, in the rapidity of his course, he imagined he saw,
In Britain's Senate he a feat obtains,
atque unum civem donare Sibylle. Juv.
NOTES. at every new station, a new door of science opening to him, without so much as staying for a Flatterer to let him in;
Beatus enim jam Cum pulchris tunicis sumet nova consilia. Ver. 401. The Devil and the King divide the Prize.] This is to be understood in a very sober and decent sense ; as a Satire only on such Ministers of State which History informs us have been found, who aided the Devil in his temptations, in order to foment, if not to make, Plots for the sake of confiscations. So sure always, and just is our author's satire, even in those places where he seems most to have indulged himself only in an elegant badinage. But this Satire on the abuse of the general Laws of forfeiture for high treason, which Laws all well-policied communities have found necessary, is by no means to be understood as a reflexion on the Laws themselves; whose necessity, equity, and even lenity have been excellently
The Devil and the King divide the prize,
NOTES. well vindicated in that very learned and elegant Dif. course, intituled, Some confiderations on the Law of Forfeiture for high Treason. Third Edition, London 1748.
Ver. ult. - curses God and dies.] i. e. Fell under the temptations; alluding to the story of Job, referred to above.
The Vanity of Expence in People of Wealth and Qua
lity. The abuse of the word Taste, ver. 13. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is Good Sense, ver. 40. The chief proof of it is to follow Nature, even in works of mere Luxury and Elegance. Instanced in Architecture and Gardening, where all must be adapted to the Genius and Use of the Place, and the Beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it, ver. 50. are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings, for want of this true Foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all; and the best Examples and Rules will be but perverted into something burdensome or ridiculous, ver. 65. &c. to 92. A