« ZurückWeiter »
Sinks deep within him, and possesses Whole,
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 Commision buys, Who drinks, whores, fights, and in a Duel dies: His Daughter Aaunts a Viscount's tawdry Wife; She bears a Coronet and Pox 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 hangs : 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 dieg.
And the Poet goes on upon thesame Subject to the Earl of Burlington, a Nobleman worthy the greatest Praise, of a diftinguish'd and true Taste, and a very great Friend to Mr. Pope and his 'Writings, and indeed It has been much Matter of Wonder to us, confidoring
the great Love and Esteem there was between them, that we do not find the Earl of Burlington's Name in Mr. Pope's Will, we do not mean otherwise than that it might have been expected, that out of Mr. Pope's Collection of Books, and other Curiosities, something might have been found, which might have remain'd with my Lord, as a Memorial of the long Friendshp between them This Epistle, of which we are now about to speak, is a Corollary to the preceeding. As that treated of the Extremes of Avarice and Profu. fion, this takes up one Branch of the latter, the Vanity of Expence in People of Quality or Fortune, and the Poet admires that Misers should be so anxious to heap up Riches, which they never can have Enjoyment of, and Prodigals spend so much Money, in what they have no Taste of; he ridicules several patch'd Buildings, and Buildings of ill Taste, to taste Architecture he says, Sense should be previous, of which the chief Proof is to follow Nature, and adapt all to the Nature and Use of the Place, the Beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it.
After this, Mr. Pope goes on with a Description, intended to comprize the Principles of a falfe Taste of Magnificence, and to exemplify what was said before, that nothing but good Sense can attain it; the first wrong Principle is to think that true Greatness consists in size and Dimension, whereas, let the Work be ever so vaft, unless the Parts cohere in one Harmony, it will be but a great many Littlenesles put together, there must be no Disproportion, nor the Ends and Bounds must not be seen at once, which, however large, will diminish both the Gran deur and the Surprize. Mr. Pope says thus :
At Timon's Villa let us pass a Day, Where all cry out;
66 what Suins are thrown away!
So proud, fo grand, of that stupendous Air,
The Whole, a labour'd Quarry above Ground.
My Lord advances with majestick Mien, Smit with the mighty Pleasure, to be seen: But soft---by regular Approach--not yet First thro' the Length of yon hot Terras sweat, And when up ten steep Slopes you've dragg’d your Just at his Study-door he'll bless your Eyes. [Thighs,
His Study? with what Authors is it stor'd? In Books, not Authors, curious is my Lord; To all their dated Backs he turns you round These Aldus printed, those Du Sučil has bound.
Lo some are Vellom, and the Rest as good
And now the Chappel's filver Bell you hear,
* This is a fast, a Reverend Dean of Peterborough preaching at Court, threatned the Sinner with Punishment in " a Place which he thought it not decent to name in 1: so polite an Assembly.."
These Lines to a certain Grandee, no lefs than a Duke, gave great Offence, the Description was too plain not to be known (as the malicious Town said) who was pointed at at first Sight, and many Persons began to think that Mr. Pope was out of his Place in attacking a Peer, and one of the first Rank, in so publick a Manner, and Terms of so little Respect, Numbers of Complaints were made, the Duke himself wrote Mr. Pope a Letter, and made him sensible, that he ought to have confin'd himfelf to a made Character, and not pretend to give for a real one, what altogether belong'd to no Body, in short, Mr. Pope began to wish he had not push'd the Matter fo far, but there was no receding, all he could do was a litele to palliate the Business, and partly deny that the Character was meant for that noble Duke, and this he chose to do, or rather got Mr. Cleland to do, in a Letter to his dear and intrinsick Friend Mr. Gay, dated December 16, 1731: Am astonish'd at the Complaints occafioned by a
late Epistle to the Earl of Burlington; and I should be afflicted, were there the least juft Ground for them. Had the Writer attack'd Vice, at a Time when it is not only tolerated, but triumphant, and so far from being conceal'd as a Defett, that it is proclaim'd with Oftentation as a Merit, I should have been apprehensive of the Consequence : Had he sa'tiriz'd Gamesters of a hundred thousand Pounds For tune, acquir'd by such Methods as' are daily in Practice, and almost universally encourag‘d : Had he over warmly defended the Religion of his country, against fuch Books as come from every Press, are publickly vended in every Shop, and greedily bought by almost every Rank of Men'; or had he called our excellent Weekly Writers by the famc Names which