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P. Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats ?
But all our praises why should lords engross ?
1 The person here celebrated, who with a small estate actually per. formed all these good works, and whose true name was almost lost (partly by the title of The Man of Ross, given him by way of eminence, and partly by being buried without so much as an inscription), was called Mr. John Kyrle. He died in the year 1724, aged 90, and lies interred in the chancel of the church of Ross in Herefordshire.
B. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue What all so wish, but want the power to do! Oh say, what sums that generous hand supply? What mines, to swell that boundless charity ?
P. Of debts, and taxes, wife and children clear, This man possess'd
-five hundred pounds a-year. Blush, grandeur, blush; proud courts, withdraw your
blaze! Ye little stars ! hide your diminish'd rays.
B. And what? no monument, inscription, stone ? His race, his form, his name almost unknown?
P. Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame,
1 This duke, yet more famous for his vices than his misfortunes, having been possessed of about 50,0001. a-year, and passed through many of the highest posts in the kingdom, died in the year 1687.
[This picture of destitution is greatly exaggerated. The Duke of Buckingham had not reduced himself to beggary, nor did he breathe his last “in the worst inn's worst room.” He had retired to his seat at Helmsley, in Yorkshire, and died at the house of a tenant, at Kirby Moorside, after a few days' fever, produced by sitting on the damp ground when heated by a fox-chase. Dryden, in the character of Zimri, in Absalom and Achitophel, has drawn the duke's portrait much more faithfully.)
Gællant and gay, in Cliefden's proud alcove,
His Grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee,
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepared ?
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; 1 A delightful palace, on the banks of the Thames, built by the Duke of Buckingham.
The Countess of Shrewsbury, a woman abandoned to gallantries. The earl, her husband, was killed by the Duke of Buckingham in a duel; and it has been said, that during the combat she held the duke's horses in the habit of a page.
3 The Monument, built in memory of the Great Fire of London, with an inscription importing that city to have been burnt by the papists. This inscription has since been erased.
Religious, punctual, frugal, and so forth;
givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
The devil was piqued such saintship to behold,
Roused by the prince of air, the whirlwinds sweep
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,
The tempter saw his time; the work he plied;
Behold Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
A nymph of quality admires our knight;
Leaves the dull cits, and joins (to please the fair)
TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF BURLINGTON.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality. The abuse of the word taste. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in everything 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, where 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 entertainments. 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 (recurring to what is laid down in the first book, Ep. ii. and in the epistle preceding this). What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men, and finally, the great and public works which become a prince.