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THE Vanity of Expence in People of Wealth and
Quality. The abuse of the word Tafte, ver. 13That 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 Architecture and Gardening, where all must be adapted 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 undertakings, fot want of this true Foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all; and the best Examples and Rules will but be perverted into something burdensome or ridiculous, ver, 65,&c.
A defcription 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, or in the Repetition of the fame too frequently, ver. 105, &c. A word or two of false Taste in Books, in Mufic, 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 Objefts of Magnificence, and a proper field for the Expence of Great Men, ver, 177, &c. and finally the Great and Public Works which become a Prince, ver. 191, to the end.
'Tis strange, the Miser should his Cares employ
To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy :
Is it less strange, the prodigal Mould waste
His wealth, to purchase what he nc’er can taste ?
Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats;
Artists must chuse his Pictures, Music, Meats :
He buys for Topham, Drawings and Designs,
For Pembroke Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins;
Rare monkilh Manuscripts for Hearne alone,
And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane.
Think we all these are for himself? no more
Than his fine Wife, alas! or finer Whore.
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ?
Only to fhew, how many tastes he wanted.
What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste ?
Some Daemon whisper'd, “ Visto! have a Taste."
Heav'n visits with a Taste the Wealthy fool,
And needs no Rod but Ripley with a Rule.
See! sportive Fatè, to punish aukward pride,
Bicis Bubo build, and fends him such a Guide :
A standing sermon, at each year's expence,
That never Coxcomb reach'd Magnificence !
You Mow us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
And pompous Buildings once were things of Use.
Yet shall (my Lord) your just, your noble rules
Fill half the land with imitating-Fools;
Who random drawings from your sheets hall take,
And of one beauty many blunders make;
Load some vain Church with old Theatric state,
'Turns Arcs of triumph to a Garden-gate ;
Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all
On some patch'd dog-hole ek'd with ends of wall;
Then clap four Nices of Pilaster on't,
That, lac'd with bits of rustic, makes a Front:
Shall call the wind thro' long arcades to roar,
Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door ;
Conscious they act a true Palladian part,
And if they starve, they starve by rules of art.
Oft have you hinted to your brother Peer,
A certain truth, which many buy too dear :
Something there is more needful than Expence,
And something previous ev’n to Tafte~'tis Sense:
Good fenfe, which only is the gift of Heav'n,
And tho' no Science, fairly worth the sev'n:
A light, which in yourfelf you must perceive;
Jones and Le Notre have it not to give.
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the Column, or the Arch to bend,
To fwell the Terrace, or to link the Grot;
In all, let Nature never be forgot,
But treat the Goddess like a modest fair,
Nor over dress, nor leave her wholly bare ;
Let not each beauty ev'ry where be fpy'd,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
Surprizes, varies, and conceals the Bounds.
Consult the Genius of the Place in all;
That tells the Waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th' ambitious Hill the beav'ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the Vale;
Calls in the country, catches op'ning glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades;
Now breaks, or now directs, th' intending Lines;
Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
Still follow Sense, of ev'ry art the soul,
Parts answ'ring parts shall Nide into a whole,
Spontaneous beauties all around advance,
Start ev'n from Difficulty, strike from Chụnce;
Nature shall join you; Time fhall make it grow
A work to wonder at-perhaps a Stow.
Without it, proud Versailles! thy glory falls; And Nero's Terraces defert their walls :
The vast Parterres a thousand hands shall make,
Lo! COBHAM comes, and floats them with a Lake:
Or cut wide views thro' mountains to the Plain,
You'll with your hill or shelter'd feat again.
Ev’n in an ornament its place remark,
Nor in an Hermitage set Dr. Clarke.
Behold Villario's ten years toil complete;
His Quincunx da; kens, his Espaliers meet;
The Wood supports the Plain, the parts unite,
And strength of shade contends with strength of Light;
A waving Glow the bloomy beds display,
Bluling in bright diversities of day,
With silver quiv’ring rills meander'd o'er-
Enjoy them, you! Yillario, can no more;
Tir’d of the scene Parterres and Fountains yield,
He finds at last he hetter likes a Field.
Thro' his young Woods how pleas'd Sabinus stray'd,
Or sate delighted in the thick’ning fade,
With annual joy the red’ning lhoots to greet,
Or see the stretching branches long to meet!
His Son's fine taste an op'ner Vista loves,
Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves;
One boundless Green, or flourish'd carpet views,
With all the mournful family of Yews;
The thriving plants, ignoble broomstics made,
Now sweep those Alleys they were born to Thade.
At Timon's Villa let us pass a day,
Where all cry out “ What sums are thrown away!"
So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air,
Soft and Agreeable come never there.