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And gave you beauty, but denied the pelf
TO ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
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.
P. Who shall decide when doctors disagree,
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
P. But how unequal it bestows observe ;
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.
In vain may heroes fight and patriots rave,
Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see
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,
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.