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Congenial souls ! whose life one av'rice joins,
And one fate buries in th’ Asturian mines.
Much injur'd Blunt ! why bears he Britain's hate ?
A wizard told him in these words our fate.
“At length Corruption, like a gen’ral flood,
“ (So long by watchful ministers withstood)
“ Shall deluge all ; and Av'rice creeping on,
Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the sun. “Statesman and patriot ply alike the stocks, “ Peeress and butler share alike the box, “ The Judge shall job, the Bishop bite the town, “ And mighty Dukes pack cards for half a crown. “ See Britain sunk in Lucre's sordid charins, “ And France reveng'd of Anne's and Edward's arms !” No mean court-badge, great Scriv'ner ! fir'd thy brain, No lordly luxury, nor city gain : No, 'twas thy righteous end, (asham'd to see Senates degen'rate, patriots disagree, And nobly wishing party-rage to cease) To buy both sides, and give thy country peace. “ All this is madness,” cries a sober sage : But who, my friend, has reason in his rage ? “The ruling passion, be it what it will, " The ruling passion conquers reason still.” Less mad the wildest whimsy we can frame, Than ev'n that passion, if it has no aim ; For tho' such motives folly you may call, The folly's greater to have none at all.
Hear then the truth : “ 'Tis Heav'n each passion sends,
" And diff'rent men, directs to different ends,
“ Extremes in nature equal good produce,
* Extremes in man concur to general use.”
Ask we what makes one keep, and one bestow ?
That pow'r who bids the ocean ebb and flow;
Bids seed time, harvest, equal course maintain,
Thro' reconcil'd extremes of drought and rain ;
Builds life on death, on change duration founds,
And gives th' eternal wheels to know their rounds,
Riches, like insects, when conceal'd they lie,
Wait but for wings, and in their season, fly.
Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store,
Sees but a backward steward for the poor ;
This year a reservoir, to keep and spare,
The next, a fountain spouting thro' his heir,
In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst,
And men and dogs shall drink him, till they burst.
Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth,
Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth :
What tho' (the use of barb'rous spits forgot)
His kitchen vy't in coolness with his grot ?
His court with pettles, moat with cresses stor'd,
With soups unbought, and sallads, blest his board.
It Cotta liv’d on pulse, it was no more
Than Bramins, saints, and sages did before :
To cram the rich, was prodigal expence,
And who would take the poor from Providence ?
Like some lone Chartreuse stands the good old hall,
Silence without, and fasts within the wall ;
No rafter'd roofs with dance and tabor sound,
No noontide-bell invites the country round;
Tenants with sighs the smoakless tow'rs survey,
And turn th' unwilling steed another way :
Benighted wanderers, the forest o'er
Curse the sav'd candle, and unopening door ;
While the gaunt mastiff, growling at the gate,
Affrights the beggar whom he longs to eat.
Not so his son, he mark'd this oversight,
And then mistook reverse of wrong for right :
For what to shun will no great knowledge need,
But what to follow is a task indeed.
Whole slaughter'd hecatombs, and floods of wine,
Fill the capacious squire, and deep divine,
Yet no mean motive this profusion draws,
His oxen perish in his country's cause :
'Tis George and Liberty that crowns the cup,
And zeal for that great house that eats him up.
The woods recede around the naked seat,
The sylvans groan—no matter-for the Fleet,
Next goes his wool, to clothe our valiant bands,
Last, for his country's love, he sells his lands.
To Court he comes, compleats the nation's hope,
And heads the bold Train-bands, and burns a Pope.
And shall not Britain now reward his toils,
Britain, that pays her patriots with her spoils ?
In vain at Court the bankrupt pleads his cause,
His thankless country leaves him to her laws.
The sense to value riches, with the art
T' enjoy them, and the virtue to impart,
Not meanly, nor ambitiously persu'd,
Not sunk by sloth, nor raised by servitude ;
To balance fortune by a just expence,
Join with economy, magnificence,
With splendor, charity, with plenty, health ;
Oh teach us, Bathurst ! yet unspoil'd by wealth !
That secret rare, between th' extremes to move
Of mad good-nature, and of mean self-love.
To want, or worth, well-weigh'd, be bounty givin,
And ease, or emulate, the care of Heav'n.
Whose measure full o'erflows on human race,
Mends Fortune's fault, and justifies her grace.
Wealth in the gross is death, but life diffus'd,
As poison heals, in just proportion us'd :
In heaps, like ambergrise, a stink it lies,
But well dispers'd, is incence to the skies.
Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats!
The wretch that trusts them, and the rogue that cheats.
Is there a lord, who knows a chearful noon
Without a fidler, flatt'rer, or buffoon :
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-e'er he shines, oh Fortune gild the scene,
And angels guard him in the golden mean !
There, English bounty yet a while 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 :
Pleased Vaga ecchoes thro' her winding bounds,
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.
Who liung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,
But clear and artless, pouring thro' the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose canse-way parts the vale with shady rows ?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose ?
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 :
Behold yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where age and want sit smiling at the gate ;
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,
Balk'd are the Courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attornies, now an useless race.
“ Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
“ 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 ?".
Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear,
This man possest—tive hundred pounds a year.
Blush grandeur, blush ! proud Courts withdraw your blaze !
Ye little stars ! hide your diminished rays.
“And what ? no monument, inscription, stone ?
“His race, his form, his name almost unknown ?”
Who builds a church to Go I, and not to fame,
Will never mark the marble with his name :
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.
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.
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-hung,
The floors of plaister, and the walls of dung.
On once a flockbed, 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 !
Gallant and gay, in Cliveden's proud alcove,
The bow'r of wanton Shrewsbury and love ;
Or just as gay, at Conncil, in a ring
Of mimick statesmen, and their merry King.
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 thousand ends.
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 pow'r,
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 bis end,
Banish'd the doctor, and expellid the friend?
What but a want, which you perhaps think mal,
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 ?
That knotty point, my Lord, shall I discuss,
Or tell a tale - A tale - it follows thus.
Where London's column pointing at the skies,
Like a tall bully, lifts the head and lyes :
There dwelt a citizen of noble 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 pudding solemniz'd the Lord's.
Constant at church, and Change; his gains were sture,
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
The Dev'l was piquid, such saintship to behold,
And long'd to tompt him, like good Job of old :
But Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.
Rouz'd by the Prince of Air, the whirlwinds sweep
The surge, and plunge his father in the deep ;
Then full against his Cornish lands they roar,
And two rich ship-wrecks bless the lucky shore.
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks,
He takes his chirping pint, he cracks his jokes :
“Live like your self," was soon my lady's word ;
And lo! two puddings smoak’d upon the board.
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,
An honest factor stole a gem away :
He pledg'd it to the Knight; the knight had wit,
So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit.
Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought,
“I'll now give six-pence 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 ev'ry side ;
Till all the dæmon makes his full descent,
In one abundant show'r 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 inerit.
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 Dev'l 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, bow's 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 ; Conningsby harrangues ;
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 sau Sir Balaam curses God and dies.