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TO RICHARD BOYLE,
EARL OF BURLINGTON.
The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality. 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 arch, itecture and gardening, where all must be adapted to the genins and use of the place, and the beauties not forced into it, but resultmg from it, ver. 50. How men are disappointed in their most expensive understandings, for want of this true foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all; aud the best examples and rules will be but perverted into something burthensome and ridiculous, ver. 65 to 9?. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is, to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimension, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole, ver. 97, and the second either in joining together parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, Jkt in the repetition of the same too frequently, f. 105, &c.
Of the Use of Bichts.
A word or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly in entertainments, ver. 133, &c. Yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered in this manner, s^nce it is dispersed to the poor and laborious part of mankind, ver. 169, [recurring to what is laid down in the first book, Ep. ii. and in the Epistle preceding this, ver. I5p, &c.] What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men, ver. 177, &c. And finally the great and public works which become a prince, ver. 191, to the end.
The extremes of avarice and profusion being treated of in the foregoing Epistle; this takes up one particular branch of the latter, the vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality; and is therefore a corollary to the preceding, just as the epistle on the characters of women is to that of the knowledge and characters of men. It is equally remark able for exactness of method with the rest. But the nature of the subject, which is less philosophical, makes it capable of being analyzed in a much narrower compass.
''"PIS strange, the miser should his cares employ
To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy: Is it less strange, the prodigal should waste His wealth, to purchase what he ne'er can taste? "Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats; Artists must choose his pictures, music, meats: He bnys for Tophara drawings and designs; For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins; Kare monkish manuscripts for Heame alone, And books tor Mead, and buUerthue :'oi Stoune, O
Think we all these are for himself? no more
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted?
You show us Rome was glorious, not profuse, And pompous buildings once were things of use, Yet shall, my lord, your just, your noble rules Till half the land with imitating fools; Who random drawings from your sheets shall take, And of one beauty many blunders make; Load some vain church with old theatric state, Turn arcs of trinmph to a garden-gate; Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all On some patch'd dog-hole ek'd with ends of wall: Then clap four slices of pilaster on't, That lac'd with bits of rustic makes a front; Shall call the winds through long arcades to roar, Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door: Conscious they act a true Palladian part, And if they staive, they starve by rules of art.
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer,
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Consult the genins of the place in all;
Still follow sense, of every art the soul,
Without it, proud Versailles! thy glory falls;
Behold ViHario's ten years' toil complete, His quincunx darkens, his espaliers meet; The wood supports the plain, the parts unite, And strength of shade contends with strength of A waving glow the bloomy beds display, [light; Blushing in bright diversities of day, With silver-quivering rills meander" d o'er— Enjoy them, you! Villario ran no more: Tir^d of the scene parterres and fountains yield. He finds at last he better likes a field. [ stray \1,
Through his young woods how pleas'd Sabinei Or sat delighted in the thickening shade,
With annual joy the reddening shoots to greet,
Or see the stretching branches long to meet!
His son's tine taste an opener vista loves,
Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves;
One boundless green, or flourish'd carpet views.
With alt the mournful family of yews:
The thriving plants, ignoble broomsticks made,
Now sweep those alleys they were born to shade.
At Timon's villa let us pass a day, Where alt cry out,' What sums are thrown away 1' So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air. Soft and agreeable come never there. Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a draught As brings all Brobdignag before your thought. To compass this, his building is a town, His pond an ocean, his parterre a down: Who but must laugh, the master when he sees, A puny insect, shivering at a breeze! I.o, what huge heaps of littleness around! The whole a labour'd quarry above ground. Two-Cupids squirt before: a lake behind Improves the keenness of the northern wind. His gardens next your admiration call, On every side you look, behold the wall! No pleasing intricacies intervene, No artful wildness to perplex the scene; Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother, And half the platform just reflects the other. The suffering eye inverted nature sees. Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees; With here a fountain, never to be ptay'd, And there a summer-house that knows no shade; Here Amphitrite sails through myrtle bowers; There gladiators light, or die in flowers; Unwater'd see the droopmg sea-horse mourn, And swallows roost in Kilus' dusty urn.
My lord advances with majestic mien, Smit with the mighty pleasure to be seen: But sort—by regular approach—not yet— First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat