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OF THE USE OF RICHES..
To Allen Lord Bathurst.
That it is known to fèw, most falling
into one of the extremes, avarice or profusion. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more commodious or pernicious to mankind. That riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men. That the conduct of men, with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable. How a prodigal does the same. The true medium and true use of riches. The Man of Ross. The fate ofthe profuse and covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death. The story of Sir Balaam.
P. Who shall decide when doctors disagree,
But I, who think more highly of our kind,
Then careful Heav'n supplied two sorts of men,
doctors thus, when much dispute has past,
B. What nature wants commodious gold bestows "Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.
P. But how unequal it bestows, observe;
B. Trade it may help, society extend:
P. But bribes a senate, and the land's betray'd.
0! that such bulky brides as all inight see Still, as of old, incumber'd villany! 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 con
found. Or water all the quorum ten miles round?
A statesman's slumbers how this speech would
spoil ! "Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil; Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ; A hundred oxen at your levee roar.'
Poor avarice one torment more would fiod, Nor could profusion squander all in kind, Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet, And Wordly crying coals from street to street; Whom, with a wig
so wild, and mien so maz’d, Pity mistakes for some poor tradesinan craz'd. Had Colepepper's whole wealth been hops and
hogs, Could he himself have sent it to the dogs? His grace will game ; to White's a bull be led, With spurning heels and with a butting head ; To White's be carry'd, 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 perfum'd and fine, Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine? O! filthy check on all industrious skill, To spoil the nation's last great trade, quadrille ! Since then, my Lord, on such a word we fall, What say you? B. Say? Why, take it, gold and all.
P. What riches give us, let us then inquire: Meat, fire, and clothes ? B. What more? P. Meat,
clothes, and fire, Is this too little ? would you more than live ? Alas! 'tis more than Turner finds they give. Alas! 'tis more than (all his visions past) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last! What can they give? To dying flopkins, heirs ! To Chartres, vigour ? Japhet, nose and ears! 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 th' embroiderý plaster'd at thy tail ? 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 or wretched Shylock, spite of Shylock's wife.
But thousands die, without or this or that,
part ? Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his
heart. The grave Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule, That every man in want is knave or fool. "God cannot love (says Blunt, with tearless eyes) The wretch he starves”-and piously denies ; But the good Bishop, with a meeker air, Adinits, and leaves them Providence's care.
Yet to be just to these poor men of pelf,
B. Who suffer thus mere Charity should own,
Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold,
The crown of Polanıl, venal twice an age,
wizard told him in these words our fate : - At length corruption, like a general flood,
(So long by watchful ministers withstood,)
arms !” 'Twas no court-badge, great Scrivener! fir'd thy
brain, Nor lordly luxury, nor city gain : No, 'twas thy righteous end, asham’d to see Senates degenerate, patriots disagree, And nobly wishing party-rage to cease, To buy both sides, and give their country peace: 6. All this is madness," cries a sober sage: But who, my friend! has reason in his rage ? “The ruling passion, be it what it will, The ruling passion conquers reason still." Less mad the wildest whimsey we can frame, Than ev’n that passion if it has no aim; For though such motives folly you may call, The folly's greater to have none at all. Hear then the truth : "'tis Heav'n each passion
sends, And different men directs to different ends. Extremes in nature equal good produce;, Extremes in man concur to general use. Ask ine what makes one keep and one bestow? That power who hids the ocean ebb and flow, Bids seed-time, harvest, equal course maintain. Thro' reconcil'd extremes of drought and rain : Builds life on death, change on duration founds, And gives th' eternal wheels to know their rounds,
Riches, like insects, when conceald they lie, Wait but for wings, and in their season fy. Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store, Sees but a backward steward for the poor; This year a reservoir to keep and spare, The next a fountain spouting through his heir, In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst, And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst: