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Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see, Still, as of old, incumber'd villainy! 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. Or water all the quorum ten miles round ? [found, A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil! “ Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil; 56 “ Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ; “ A hundred oxen at your levee roar.”
Poor avarice one torment more would find; Nor could profusion squander all in kind. 60
VER. 44. Or ship off senates to a distant shore;] Alludes to several ministers, counsellors, and patriots banished in our times to Siberia, and to that MORE GLORIOUS pate of the PARLIAMENT of Paris, banished to Pontoise in the year 1720. Atter ver. 50. in the MS.
To break a trust were Peter brib'd with wine,
Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet ;
75 To spoil the nation's last great trade, Quadrille!
Ver. 62.) Some misers of great wealth, proprietors of the coalmines, had entered at this time into an association to keep up coals to an extravagant price, whereby the poor were reduced almost to starve; till one of them, taking the advantage of underselling the rest, defeated the design. One of these misers was worth ton tbousand, another seven thousand a year.
VER. 65. Colepepper's] Sir WILLIAM COLEPEPPER, Bart. a person of an ancient family and ample fortune, without one other quality of a gentleman, who, after ruining himself at the gamingtable, passed the rest of his days in sitting there to see the ruin of others; preferring to subsist upon borrowing and begging, rather than to enter into any reputable method of life, and refusing a post in the army, which was offered him. Ver.65. Had Colepepper's) Thus in former editions,
Had Hawley's fortune lay'n in hops and hogs,
Since then, my Lord, on such a world we fall,
What say you? B. Say? Why take it, gold and P. What riches give us let us then enquire : [all. Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat, clothes, and fire.
Ver. 77. Since then, &c.] In the former editions,
Well then, since with the world we stand or fall,
Come take it as we find it, gold and all. VER. 82. Turner] One who, being possessed of three hundred thousand pounds, laid down his coach, because interest was reduced from five to four per cent. and then put seventy thousand into the Charitable Corporation for better interest; which sum having lost, he took it so much to heart, that he kept his chamber ever after. It is thought he would not have ourlived it, but that he was heir to another considerable estate, which he daily expected, and that by this course of life he saved both clothes and all other expences.
Ver. 84. Unbappy Wharton,] A nobleman of great qualities, but as unfortunate in the application of them, as if they had been vices and follies.
Vrr. 85. Hopkins,] A citizen, whose rapacity obtained him the name of Vulture Hopkins. He lived worthless, but died worth tbree bundred thousand pounds, which he would give to no person living, but left it so as not to be inherited till after the second generation. His counsel representing to him how many years it must be before this could take effect, and that his money could only lie at interest all that time, he expressed great joy thereat, and said, “ They would then be as long in spending, as he had been in getting it.” But the Chancery afterwards set aside the will, and gave it to the heir at law.
Can they, in gems bid pallid Hippia glow,
Perhaps you think the poor might have their part ? Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his heart: The grave Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule 101 That ev'ry man in want is knave or fool :
Ver. 86. Japhet, nose and ears?] JAPHET Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger, was punished with the loss of those parts, for have ing forged a conveyance of an estate to himself, upon which he cook up several thousand pounds. He was at the same time sued in Chancery for having fraudulently obtained a will, by which he possessed another considerable estate, in wrong of the brother of the deceased. By these means he was worth a great sum, which (in reward for the small loss of his ears) he enjoyed in prison till his death, and quietly left to his executor. * Ver. 100. Bond damns the poor, &c.] This Epistle was written in the year 1730, when a corporation was establishe i to lend money to the poor upon pledges, by the name of the Charitable Corporation ; but the whole was turned only to an iniquitous method of enriching particular people, to the ruin of such numbers, that it became a parliamentary concern to endeavour the relief of those unhappy sufferers; and three of the managers, who were members of the House, were expelled.
“ God cannot love (says Blunt, with tearless eyes)
Yet, to be just to these poor men of pelf,
The slave that digs it, and the slave that hides.
Must act on motives pow'rful, tho' unknown.
Some revelation hid from you and me.
Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold,
Ver. 118. To live on ven’son] In the extravagance and luxury of the South-sea year, the price of a haunch of venison was from three to five pounds.
VER. 120. general excise.] Many people, about the year 1733, had a conceit that such a thing was intended, of which it is not improbable this lady might have some intimation.