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Or just as gay at council, in a ring
His Grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee,
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepared ? Or are they both, in this, their own reward ? A knotty point to which we now proceed, But you are tired—I'll tell a tale-B. Agreed.
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies Like a tall bully, Kits the head and lies,
340 There dwelt a citizen of sober fame, A plain good man, and Balaam was his name; Religious, punctual, frugal, and so forth : His word would pass for more than he was worth. One solid dish his week-day meal affords, An added pr dding solemnized the Lord's:
Constant at church and change; his gains were sure: His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
The Devil was piqued such saintship to behold, And long'd to tempt him, like good Job of old; 350 But Satan now is wiser than of yore, And tempts by making rich, not making poor. Roused by the prince of air, the whirlwinds sweep
and plunge his father in the deep; Then full against his Cornish lands they roar, And two rich shipwrecks bless the lucky shore.
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks, He takes his chirping pint, and cracks his jokes : Live like yourself,' was soon my lady's word; And, lo! two puddings smoked upon the board. 360
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay, An honest factor stole a gem away: He pledged it to the knight; the knight had wit, So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit. Some scruple rose, but thus he eased his thought, I'll now give sixpence where I gave a groat; Where once I went to church, I'll now go twiceAnd am so clear too of all other vice.'
The tempter saw his time : the work he plied ; Stocks and subscriptions pour on every side, 370 Till all the demon makes his full descent In one abundant shower of cent per cent, Sinks deep within him, and possesses whole, Then dubs director, and secures his soul.
Behold sir Balaam, now a man of spirit, Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit; What late he call'd a blessing, now was wit, And God's good providence, a lucky hit. Things change their titles, as our manners turn: His compting-house employed the Sunday morn: 380 Seldom at church ('twas such a busy life, But duly sent his family and wife. There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas tide My good old lady catch'd a cold, and died.
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 coinmission buys, Who drinks, whores, fights, and in a duel dies : 390 His daughter flaunts a viscount's tawdry wife; She bears a coronet and p-x 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: 400 The devil and the king divide the prize, And sad sir Balaam curses God, and dies.
TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF
Of the Use of Riches. The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality.
The abuse of the word Taste, ver. 13. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is good sense, ver. 40. 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 re. sulting from it, ver. 50. How men are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings, for want of this true foundation, without which nothing can please
Jong, if at all; and the best examples and rules will be but perverted into something burthensoine and ridiculous, ver. 65 to 90. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is, to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimen. sion, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole, ver. 97, and the second either in joining to. gether parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, or in the repetition of the same too frequently, ver. 105, &c. A word or two of false taste in books, music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly in entertainments, ver 133, &c. Yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered in this manner, since it is dispersed to the poor and laborions part of mankind, ver. 169 (recurring to what is laid down in the first book, Ep. ii and in the Epistle pre. ceding this, ver. 159, &c.] What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper fi·ld for the expense of great men, ver. 177, &c. And finally the great and public works which become a prince, ver. 191, to the end.
The extremes of avarice and profusion being treated of in the foregoing Epistle, this takes up one particular branch of the latter, the vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality; and is, therefore, a corollary to the preceding, just as the Epistle on the Characters of Women is to that of the Knowledge and Characters of Men. It is equally remarkable for exactness of method with the rest. But the nature of the subject, which is less philosophical, makes it capable of being analysed in a much narrower compass.
"T18 strange, the miser should his cares employ
He buýs for Topham drawings and designs;
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ?
You show us Rome was glorious, not profuse,
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer,