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In heaps, like ambergrise, a stink it lies, 235
But well dispers’d, is incense to the skies.
P. Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats ?
The wretch that trusts them, and the rogue that
Is there a lord, who knows a cheerful noon
Without a fiddler, flatt'rer, or buffoon? 240
Whose table, wit, or modest merit share,
Un-elbow'd by a gamester, pimp, or play'r?
Who copies yours, or Oxford's better part,
To ease th' oppress’d, and raise the sinking heart?
Where'er he shines, oh Fortune, gild the scene, 245
And angels guard him in the golden mean!.
There, English bounty yet awhile may stand,
And honour linger ere it leaves the land.
But all our praises why should lords engross?
Rise, honest Muse ! and sing the MAN of Ross:
Pleas'd VER. 242. or play'r ?] Alluding to Cibber.
Ver. 243. Oxford's better part, Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford. The son of Robert, created Earl of Oxford and Earl of Mortimer hy Queen Anne. This nobleman died regretted by all men of letters, great numbers of whom had experienced his bene.
fits. He left behind him one of the most noble libraries in Europe.
- Ver. 250. The Man of Ross :) The person here celebrated,
who with a small estate actually performed 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 17:4, aged 90, and lies interred in
the chancel of the church of Ross in Herefordshire.
After ver. 250. in the MS.
Trace humble worth beyond Sabrina's shore,
Who sings not him, oh may he sing no more!
Pleas'd Vaga echoes thro' her winding bounds, 251
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.
Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost, 255
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,
But clear and artless, pouring thro' the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose cause-way parts the vale with shady rows ?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose ? 260
Who taught that heav'n-directed spire to rise ?
“ The Man of Ross!" each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread !
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread;.
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where age and want sit smiling at the gate : 266
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans blest,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
Is any sick? the Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the med'cine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance ? enter but his door, 271
Balk’d are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with eurses Aed the place,
And vile attornies, now an useless race. B. Thrice happy man! enabl’d to pursue 275
What all so wish, but want the pow'r to do! Oh say, what sums that gen'rous hand supply? What mines, to swell that boundless charity?
P. Of debts, and taxes, wife and children clear,
This man possest five hundred pounds a year.
Blush, grandeur, blush! proud courts, withdraw
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,
Will never mark the marble with his name: 286
Go, search it there, where to be born and die,
Of rich and poor, makes all the history;
Enough, that virtue fill'd the space between ;
Prov'd, by the ends of being, to have been. 290
When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
The wretch, who living sav'd a candle’s end :
Should'ring God's altar a vile image stands,
Belies his features, nay extends his hands ;
That live-long wig which Gorgon's self might own,
Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone. 296
Behold what blessings wealth to life can lend !
And see, what comfort it affords our end.
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-
The floors of plaster, and the walls of dung, 300
Ver. 287. Go, search it there,] The parish-register.
VER. 287. Thus in the MS.
The register inrolls him with his poor,
Tells he was born and dy'd, and tells no more.
Just as he ought, he filld the space between;
Then stole to rest, unheeded and unseen.,
On once a flock-bed, but repair'd with straw,
With tape-ty'd curtains, never meant to draw,
The George and Garter dangling from that bed
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red,
Great Villers lies--alas ! how chang'd from him,
That life of pleasure, and that soul of whim! 306
Gallant and gay, in Cliveden's proud alcove,
The bow'r of wanton Shrewsbury and love;
Or just as gay, at council, in a ring
Of mimick statesmen, and their merry king. 310
No wit to flatter, left of all his store !
No fool to laugh at, which he valued more.
There, victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
And fame ; this lord of useless thousands ends.
His grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee, 315
And well (he thought) advis'd him, “ Live like me.”
As well his grace reply'd, “ Like you, Sir John ?
“ That I can do, when all I have is gone.”
Resolve me, Reason, which of these is worse,
Want with a full, or with an empty purse ? 320
Thy Ver. 305. Great Villers lies-- This Lord, yet more famous for his vices than his misfortunes, having been possessed of about 50,000l. a-year, and passed through many of the highest posts in the kingdom, died in the year 1687, in a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost misery. · Ver. 307. Cliveden] A delightful palace, on the banks of the Thames, built by the D. of Buckingham.
VER. 308. Shrewsbury] 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.
Thy life more wretched, Cutler, was confess'd,
Arise, and tell me, was thy death more bless'd ?
Cutler saw tenants break, and houses fall,
For very want; he could not build a wall.
His only daughter in a stranger's pow'r, 325
For very want; he could not pay a dow'r.
A few grey hairs his rev'rend temples crown'd,
'Twas very want that sold them for two pound.
What ev’n deny'd a cordial at his end,
Banish'd the doctor, and expell’d the friend? 330
What but a want, which you perhaps think mad,
Yet numbers feel, the want of what he had !
Cutler and Brutus, dying, both exclaim,
“ Virtue! and wealth! what are ye but a name!”
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepar'd?
Or are they both, in this, their own reward? 336
A knotty point! to which we now proceed.
But you are tir'd-I'll tell a tale.-B. Agreed. P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies
Like a tall bully, lifts 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 Ver. 337. in the former editions :
That knotty point, my Lord, shall I discuss,
Or tell a tale ?--A tale.- It follows thus. VER. 339. Where London's column, The Monument built in memory of the fire of London, with an inscription importing that city to have been burnt by the papists.