Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

What but a want, which you perhaps think mad,
Yet numbers feel the want of what he had !
Cutler and Brutus, dying, both exclaim,
« Virtue! and Wealth ! what are ye but a name !"

Say, for such worth are other worlds prepar'd?.
Or are they both in this their own reward?
A knotty point ! to which we now proceed.
But you are tir'd—I'll tell a tale-B. Agreed.

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,
In one abundant shower of cent. per cent.
Sinks deep within him, and possesses whole,
Then dubs Director, and secures bis soul.

Behold Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
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.
Things change their titles as our manners turn;
His compting-house employ'd the Sunday morn :
Seldom at church, ('twas such a busy life)
But duly sent his family and wife.
There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas-tide
My good old lady catch'd a cold, and died.

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."

PART II.

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,
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is more needful than expence,
And something previous ev'n to taste--'tis sense;
Good sense, which only is the gift of Heav'n,
And though po science, fairly worth the sevin; !
A light which in yourself you must perceive ;
Jones and Le Notre have it not to give.

To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the column, or the arch to bendeksi

To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot,
In all let Nature never be forgot;
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Nor overdress, nor leave her wholly bare ;
Let not each beauty every where be spy'd,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points who pleasingly confounde,
Surprizes, varies, and conceals the bounds.

Consult the genius of the place in all,
That tells the waters or to rise or fall;
Or helps the ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale ;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades;
Now breaks, or now directs, the intending lines,
Paints as you plant, and as you work, designs.

Still follow sense, of every art the soul,
Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole ;
Spontaneous beauties all around advance,
Start ev'n from difficulty, strike from chance :
Nature shall join you; time shall make it grow
A work to wonder at-perhaps a Stow.

Without it, proud Versailles ! thy glory falls,
And Nero's terraces desert their walls ;
The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make,
Lo! Cobham comes, and floats them with a lake :
Or eut wide views through mountains to the plain,
You'll wish your hill or shelter'd seat again.
Ev'n in an ornament its place remark,
Nor in an hermitage 'set Dr. Clarke.

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.

« ZurückWeiter »