Abbildungen der Seite

B. What Nature wants, commodious gold be

stows; '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 much distrust) 25
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. 31

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.

The Waters here mentioned is the same person who is introduced under the character of · Wise Peter,' whose name was Walter, though sometimes called Waters.

Fr. Chartres, a man infamous for all manner of vices. When he was an ensign in the army, he was drummed out of the regiment for a cheat: he was next banished Brussels, and drummed out of Ghent, on the same account. After a hundred tricks at the gaming-tables, he took to lending of money at exorbitant interest and on great penalties, accumulating premium, interest, and capital into a new capital, and seizing to a minute when the payments became due: in a word, by a constant attention to the vices, wants, and follies of mankind, be acquired an immense fortune. He was twice condemned, and pardoned; but the last time not without imprisonment in Newgate, and large confiscations. He died in Scotland in 1731, aged sixty-two. The populace at his funeral raised a great riot, almost tore the body out of the coffin, and cast dead dogs, &c. into the grave along with it.-Pope.

32 But bribes a senate, 8c. Evidently levelled at sir Robert Walpole's administration, and the supposed corrupt mode by which he maintained his influence in parliament.

Once, we confess, beneath the patriot's cloak, 35
From the crack'd bag the dropping guinea spoke,
And gingling down the back-stairs, told the crew,
• Old Cato is as great a rogue as you.'
Bless’d paper-credit! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly! 40
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 a distant shore;
A leaf, like sibyl's, scatter to and fro

45 Our fates and fortunes, as the winds shall blow : Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen, And silent sells a king, or buys a queen.

0! that such bulky bribes as all might see, Still, as of old, encumber'd villany!

50 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 quorum ten miles' round? A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil!

55 • Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil;

as Beneath the patriot's cloak. This is a true story, which happened in the reign of William III. to an unsuspected old patriot, who coming out at the back-door from having been closeted by the king, where he had received a large bag of guineas, the bursting of the bag discovered his business there.-Pope.

44 Or ship of* senates to a distant shore. Alludes to several ministers, counsellors, and patriots banished in our times to Siberia, and to that more glorious fate of the parliament of Paris, banished to Pontoise in the year 1720.--Pope.


Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door;
A hundred oxen at your levee roar.'
Poor Avarice one torment more would find;
Nor could profusion squander all in kind : 60
Astride his cheese sir Morgan might we meet;
And Worldly crying coals from street to street,
Whom, with a wig so wild, and mien so mazed,
Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman crazed.
Had Colepepper's whole wealth been hops and hogs,
Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ? 66
His grace will game: to White's a bull be led,
With spurning heels and with a butting head.
To White's be carried, as to ancient games,
Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames.
Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep,
Bear home six whores, and make his lady weep?
Or soft Adonis, so perfumed and fine,
Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine?
O, filthy check on all industrious skill, 75
To spoil the nation's last great trade, Quadrille!
Since then, my lord, on such a world we fall,
What say you ? B. Say? Why, take it, gold

and all. 62 Some misers of great wealth, proprietors of the coalmines, had entered at this time into an association to keep up coals to an extravagant price, whereby the poor were reduced almost to starve; till one of them, taking the advantage of underselling the rest, defeated the design. One of those misers was worth £10,000, another £7000 a year.-Pope.

65 Colepepper's. Sir William Colepepper, bart., a person of an ancient family and fortune, without one other quality of a gentleman ; who, after ruining himself at the gaming-table, passed the rest of his days in sitting there to see the ruin of others; preferring to subsist on borrowing and begging, rather than to enter into any reputable method of life; and refusing a post in the army, which was offered him.- Pope.

P. What riches give us let us then inquire: Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat, clothes, and fire.

80 Is this too little ? would you more than live? Alas! 'tis more than Turner finds they give: Alas ! 'tis more than (all his visions pass’d) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last! What can they give? to dying Hopkins, heirs? 85 To Chartres, vigor? Japhet, nose and ears?

82 Turner. One who, being possessed of £300,000, laid down his coach, because interest was reduced from five to four per cent., and then put £70,000 into the Charitable Corporation for better interest; which sum having lost, he took it so much to beart, that he kept his chamber ever after. It is thought he would not have outlived it, but that he was heir to another estate, which he daily expected; and that by this course of life he saved both clothes and all other expenses.

[ocr errors]

84 Unhappy Wharton. A nobleman of great qualities; but as unfortunate in the application of them, as if they had been vices and follies.-Pope.

85 Hopkins. A citizen, whose rapacity obtained him the name of Vulture Hopkins. He lived worthless, but died worth £300,000, which he would give to no person living, but left it so as not to be inherited till after the second generation. His counsel representing to him how many years it must be before this could take effect, and that his money could only lie at interest all that time, he expressed great joy thereat, and said, “They would then be as long in spending, as he had been in getting it. But the chancery afterwards set aside the will, and gave it to the heir at law.-Pope.

86 Japhet, nose and ears ? Japhet Crook, alias sir Peter Stranger, was punished with the loss of those parts, for having forged a conveyance of an estate to himself, on which he took up several thousand pounds: he was at the same time sued in chancery for having fraudulently obtained a will, by which he possessed another considerable estate, in wrong of the brother of the deceased. By these means he was worth a great sum, which, in reward for the small loss of his ears, he

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 the embroidery plaster'd at thy tail ? 90
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 Shylock, spite of Shylock's wife:
But thousands die, without or this or that; 95
Die, and endow a college or a cat:
To some, indeed, Heaven grants the happier

To enrich a bastard, or a son they hate.

Perhaps you think the poor might have their


Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his heart.


enjoyed in prison till his death, and quietly left to his executor.–Pope.

96 Endow a college or a cat. ‘La belle Stuart,' of Grammont's Memoirs, was the endower. The poet ridicules her pensions to cats ; but Warton explains, that her provision for their maintenance, was, in fact, nothing more than an ingenious, though whimsical contrivance, for giving annuities to several poor relations, who would have been too proud to receive direct benefaction. By quartering her cats on them, she saved their delicacy.

100 Bond damns the poor, 8c. This Epistle was written in the year 1730, when a corporation was established to lend money to the poor on pledges, by the name of the Charitable Corporation ; but the whole was turned only to an iniquitous method of enriching particular people, to the ruin of such numbers, that it became a parliamentary concern to endeavor the relief of those unhappy sufferers; and three of the managers, who were members of the house, were expelled.Pope.

« ZurückWeiter »