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It stands on record, that in Richard's times
P. Libels and satires ! lawless things indeed!
BOOK II. SATIRE II.
TO MR. BETHEL.
W HAT, and how great, the virtue and the art
W To live on little with a cheerful heart (A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine); Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine. Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride Turns you from sound philosophy aside ; Not when from plate to plate your eye-balls roll, And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.
Hear Bethel's sermon, one not vers'd in schools, But strong in sense, and wise without the rules.
Go work, hunt, exercise,' he thus began, • Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can. Your wine lock'd up, your butler stroll'd abroad, Or fish denied (the river yet unthaw'd), If then plain bread and milk will do the feat, The pleasure lies in you, and not the meat.
Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men. Will choose a pheasant still before a hen;
Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold,
'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother
Avidien, or his wife (uo matter which, For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch) Sell their presented partridges and fruits, And humbly live on rabbits and on roots : One half-pint bottle serves them both to dine; And is at once their vinegar and wine. But on some lucky day (as when they found A lost bank bill, or heard their son was drown'd), At such a feast, old vinegar to spare, Is what two souls so generous cannot bear;
Oil, though it stink, they drop by drop impart,
He knows to live who keeps the middle state,
Now hear what blessings temperance can bring: (Thus said our friend, and what he said I sing) First health: the stomach (cramm'd from every
How pale each worshipful and reverend guest
On morning wings how active springs the mind
Our fathers prais'd rank ven'son. You suppose, Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose. Not so: a buck was then a week's repast, And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it last; More pleas'd to keep it till their friends could come, Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home.
Why had not I in those good times my birth,
Upworthy he the voice of fame to hear,
• Right,' cries his lordship, <for a rogue in need To have a taste, is insolence indeed : In me'tis noble, suits my birth and state, My wealth unwieldy, and my heap too great.' Then, like the sun, let bounty spread her ray, And shine that superfluity away. O impudence of wealth! with all thy store, How dar'st thou let one worthy man be poor? Shall half the new-built churches round thee fall? Make keys, build bridges, or repair Whitehall: Or to thy country let that heap be lent, As Meto's was, but not at five per cent.
Who thinks that fortune cannot change her mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And who stands safest ? tell me, is it he That spreads and swells in puff'd prosperity, Or blest with little, whose preventing care In peace provides fit arms against a war?
Thus Bethel spoke, who always speaks his thought. And always thinks the very thing he ought: His equal mind I copy what I can, And as I love, would imitate the man. In South-Sea days not happier, when surmis'd Tbe lord of thousands, than if now excis'd; In forest planted by a father's band, Than in five acres now of rented land.
Content with little I can piddle nere
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast : Though double tax'd, how little have I lost 1 My life's amusements have been just the same, Before, and after standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; I'll hire another's : is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free-open
ing gate None comes too early, none departs too late ; (For 1, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest).
Pray Heaven it last!' cries Swift, ' as you go on : I wish to God this house had been your own : Pity! to build, without a son or wife; Why, you'll enjoy it only all your life.' Well, if the use be mine, can it concern one, Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon? • What's property ? dear Swift, you see it alter From you to me, from me to Peter Walter ; Or, in a mortgage, prove a lawyer's share; Or, in a jointure, vanish from the heir; Or in pure equity (the case not clear) The Chancery takes your rents for twenty year : At best, it falls to some ungracious son, Who cries, ' My father's damn'd, and all's my own.'