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Go, search it there, where to be born and die,
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
His grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee, 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 ? 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 power; For very want he could not pay a dower.
A few grey hairs his reverend temples crown'd;
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepar'd?
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies
The devil was piqu'd such saintship to behold,
Rous'd by the prince of air, the whirlwinds sweep
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,
ow give sixpence where I gave a groat;
Where once I went to church, I'll now go twice And am so clear too of all other vice.'
The tempter saw his time: the work he ply'd; Stocks and subscriptions pour on every side, 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 employ'd the Sunday morn : 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 dy'd.
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 commission buys, Who drinks, whores, fights, and in a duel dies : 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: The devil and the king divide the prize, And sad sir Balaam curses God and dies.
TO RICHARD BOYLE,
EARL OF BURLINGTON.
Of the Use of Riches.
The vanity of expense in people of wealth and qua
lity. 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 arch. itecture and gardening, where all must be adapt. ed to the genius and use of the place, and the beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it, ver. 50. How men are disappointed in their most expensive understandings, for want of this true foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all; and the best examples and rules will be but perverted into something burthensome and ridiculous, ver. 65 to 92. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is, to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimension, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole, ver. 97, and the second either in joining together parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, aer in the repetition of the same too frequently, ont. 105, &c. A word or two of false taste in books, in 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 laborious part of mankind, ver. 169, [recurring to what is laid down in the first book, Ep. ii. and in the Epistle preceding this, ver. 159, &c.] What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field 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 mea. 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 analyzed in a mucha narrower compass.
'T'S strange, the miser should his cares employ
To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy: Is it less strange, the prodigal should waste His wealth, to purchase what he ue'er can taste? Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats ; Artists must choose his pictures, music, meats: He buys for Topham drawings and designs; For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins; Rare monkish manuscripts for Hearne alone, And books for Mead, and butterflies for Sloane,