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What but a want, which you perhaps think mad,
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepar'd?.
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies, Like a tall bully, lifts the head and lies, There dwelt a citizen of sober fame, A plain good man, and Balaam was his name; Religious, punctual, frugal, and so forth; His word would pass for more than he was worth. One solid dish his week-day meal aftords, An added pudding solemniz'd the Lord's : Constant at church and change; his gains were sare; His givings rare, save farthings to the poor..
The devil was piqu'd such saintship to behold, And long'd 'to tempt him, like good Job of old ; But Satan now is wiser than of yore, And tempts by making rich, not making poor. Rous'd by the Prince of Air, the whirlwinds sweep The surge, and plunge his father in the deep, Then full against his Cornish lands they roar, And two rich shipwrecks bless the lucky shore.
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks ; He takes his chirping pint and cracks his jokes. “ Live like yourself,” was soon my lady's word; And, lo! two puddings smok'd upon the board.
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay, An honest factor stole a gem away : He pledg'd it to the Knight; the Knight had wit, So kept the di'mond, and the rogue was bit. Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought, “ I'll now give sixpence where I gave a groat; 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 subscriptious pour on every side,
Till all the dæmon makes his full descent,
Behold Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
A nymph of quality admires our knight; He marries, bows at court, and grows polite; Leaves the dull cits, and joins (to please 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 : His daughter flaunts a Viscount's tawdry wife; She bears a coronet and p-x for life. In Britain's senate he a seat obtains, And one more pensioner St. Stephen gains. My lady falls to play ; so bad her chance, He must repair it; takes a bribe from France : The House impeach him: Coningsby harangues ; The Court forsake him, and Sir Balaam ha Wife, son, and daughter, Satan! are thy own, His wealth, yet dearer, forfeit to the crown: The devil and the king divide the prize, And sad Sir Balaam curses God, and dies.
To Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington."
The vanity of expence in people of wealth and quality.
The abuse of the word Taste. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is good sense. The chief proof of it is to follow nature, even in works of mere luxury and elegance. Instanced in architecture and gardening, wbere all must be adapted to the genius and use of the place, and the beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it. How men 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 and ridiculous. 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 ; and the second, either in joining together parts incoherent, or, too minutely resembling, or, in the repetition of the same too frequently. A word or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer ; and, lastly, in entertaip, ments: yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered in this manner, since it is dispersed to the poor and laborious part of mankind, What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expence of great men. And, finally, the
great and public works which become a prince. 'Tis 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 chuse his pictures, music, meats: He buys for Topham drawings and designs, For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins ;
Rare monkish manuscripts for Hearne alone, And books for Mead, and butterflies for Sloane. Think we all these are for himself? no more Than bis fine wife, alas ! or finer whore.
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ? Only to show how many tastes he wanted. What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste? Some dæmon whisperid, “ Visto ! have a taste.” Heav'n visits with a taste the wealthy fool, And needs no rod but Ripley with a rule. See ! sportive fate, to punish aukward pride, Bids Bubo build, and sends him such a guide : A standing sermon, at each year's expence, That never coxcomb reach'd magnificence!
You show us Rome was glorious, not profuse, And pompous buildings opce were things of use; Yet shall, my Lord, your just, your noble rules, Fill 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 triumph 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 thro' long arcades to roar, ..) Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door; Conscious they act a true Palladian part, And if they starve, they starve by rules of art,
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer,
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot,
Consult the genius of the place in all,
Still follow sense, of every art the soul,
Without it, proud Versailles ! thy glory falls,
Behold Villario'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 light; A waving glow the bloomy beds display, Blashing in bright diversities of day, With silver quivering rills meander'd o'er Enjoy them, you ! Villario can do more : Tir'd of the scene parterres and fountains yield, He finds at last he better likes a field.