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And gave you beauty, but denied the pelf
That buys your sex a tyrant o'er itself.
The generous god, who wit and gold refines,
And ripens spirits as he ripens mines,
Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall know it,
To you gave sense, good humour, and a poet.

EPISTLE III.

TO ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.

OF THE USE OF RICHES.

ARGUMENT.

men.

That it is known to few, most falling into one of the extremes,

avarice or profusion. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more commodious or pernicious to mankind. That riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious

That the conduct of men, with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable. How a prodigal does the same. The due medium and true use of riches. The Man of Ross. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death. The story of Sir Balaam.

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P. Who shall decide when doctors disagree,
And soundest casuists doubt, like you

and me?
You hold the word from Jove to Momus given,
That man was made the standing jest of heaven;
And gold but sent to keep the fools in play,
For some to heap, and some to throw away.

But I, who think more highly of our kind, (And surely heaven and I are of a mind) Opine that nature, as in duty bound, Deep hid the shining mischief under ground: But when by man's audacious labour won, Flam'd forth this rival to its sire the sun, Then careful heaven supplied two sorts of men, To squander these, and those to hide again,

Like doctors thus, when much dispute has past, We find our tenets just the same at last : Both fairly owning riches, in effect, No grace of heaven, or token of th' elect; Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil, Toi Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the devil. B. What nature wants, commodious gold

bestows;
'Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.

P. But how unequal it bestows observe ;
'Tis thus we riot, while who sow it starve:
What nature wants (a phrase I much distrust)
Extends to luxury, extends to lust:
Useful I grant, it serves what life requires,
But dreadful too, the dark assassin hires.

B. Trade it may help, society extend. P. But lures the pirate, and corrupts the friend. B. It raises armies in a nation's aid. P. But bribes a senate, and the land's betray'd. 1 Three personages notorious for having amassed money by nefarious practices : for an account of Chartres, see note * p. 75.

2

In vain may heroes fight and patriots rave,
If secret gold sap on from knave to knave.
Once, we confess, beneath the patriot's cloak
From the crack'd bag the dropping guinea spoke,
And jingling down the back-stairs, told the crew,
“ Old Cato is as great a rogue as you."
Blest paper-credit! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly!
Gold imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Can pocket states, can fetch or carry kings;
A single leaf shall waft an army o’er,
Or ship off senates to some distant shore ;
A leaf, like Sibyl's, scatter to and fro
Our fates and fortunes as the winds shall blow;
Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen,
And silent sells a king or buys a queen.

Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see
Still, as of dold, incumber'd villany!
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

confound,
Or water all the quorum ten miles round?
A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil!
“ Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil ;
Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ;
A hundred oxen at your levee roar.”

2 This is said to have happened to Sir Christopher Musgrave, as he was coming out at the back door, after having been closeted with King William III,

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Poor avarice one torment more would find, Nor could profusion squander all in kind : Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet ; And Worldly crying coals from street to street, Whom with a wig so wild and mien so maz’d, Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman craz’d. Had Colepepper's 3 whole wealth been hops and Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ? [hogs, His grace

will gain : to White's a bull be led, With spurning heels and with a butting head : To White's be carried, as to ancient games, Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames. Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep, Bear home six whores, and make his lady weep? Or soft Adonis, so perfum'd and fine, Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine ? Oh filthy check on all industrious skill, To spoil the nation's last great trade, - quadrille! Since then, my lord, on such a world we fall, What say you? B. Say? Why, take it, gold and all.

P. What riches give us let us then inquire : Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat,

clothes, and fire. Is this too little ? would you more than live? Alas! 'tis more than Turner* finds they give.

* Sir William Colepepper, Bart., who ruined himself at the gaming-table.

• A person who, possessing three hundred thousand pounds, laid down his coach, because interest was reduced from five to four per cent.

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