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Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil,
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 what 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. 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.' Blest paper-credit! last and blest supply! That lends corruption lighter wings to fly! 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 bnys a queen.
O! that such bulky bribes as all might see, Still, as of old, incumber'd villany! 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 confound,
Or water all the qnorum 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;
Poor avarice one torment more would find;
P. What riches give us, let us then inquire: Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P, Meat,
clothes, and fire. Is this too little? would you more than live? Alas! 'tis more than Turner finds they give. Alas! 'tis more than (all his visions past) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last I 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? 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 Shy lock, spite of Shylock'a wife.
But thousands die, without or this or that,
Perhaps you think the poor might have their part;
Yet, to be just to these poor men of pelf,
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 venison when it sold so dear.
Ask you why Phryne the whole auction bnys?
Phryne foresees a general excise.
Why she and Sappho raise that monstrous sum?
Alas! they fear a man will cost a plum.
And therefore hopes this nation may be sold:
Glorious ambition! Peter, swell thy store,
And be what Rome's great Didins was before.
The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
Mach-injur'd Blunt! why bears he Britain's hate? A wizard told him in these words our fate:
* At length corruption, like a general flood
And judges job, and bishops bite the town,
Nor lordly luxury, nor city gain:
* But who, my friend, has reason in his rage?
The ruling passion conquers reason still.'
Hear then the truth: * 'Tis Heaven each passion
Riches, like insects, when conceal'd they lie, Wait but for wings, and in their season fly.
'Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst fais store,
Sees but a backward 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,
And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst*
Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth, Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth: What though (the use of barbarous spits forgot) His kitchen vied in coolness with his grot? His court with nettles, moats with cresses stor'd. With soups unbought and salads blest his board i If Cotta liv'd on pulse, it was no more Than Bramins, saints, and sages did before: To cram the rich was prodigal expense, And who would take the poor from Providence i Like some long Cbartrenx stands the good old hall, Silence without, and fasts within the wall; No rafter'd roofs with dance and tabor sound* No noontide bell invites the country round: Tenants with sighs the smokeless tow'rs survey, And turn th' unwilling steeds another way: Benighted wanderers, the forest o'er. Curse the sav'd candle and unopening door; While the gannt mastiff, growling at the gate, Affrights the beggar whom he longs to eat.
Not so his son: he mark'd this oversight. And then mistook reverse of wrong for right: (For what to shun, will no great knowledge need; But what to follow, is a task indeed). Yet sure, of qualities deserving praise, More go to ruin fortunes, than to raise. What alanghter'd hecatombs, what floods of wine, Fill the capacious 'squire, and deep divine! . Yet no mean motive this profusion draws. His oxen perish in his country's canse; *Tis George and liberty that crowns the cup, And zeal for that great house which eats him up* The woods recede around the naked seat, The SyIvans groan—no matter—for the fleet: