« EelmineJätka »
Constant at church and change; his gains were sure His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
The Devil was piqued such saintship to behold, And long'd to tempt him, like good Job of old; 350 But Satan now is wiser than of yore, And tempts by making rich, not making poor.
Roused 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 shipwrecks bless the lucky shore.
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks, He takes his chirping pint, and cracks his jokes : •Live like yourself,' was soon my lady's word; And, lo! two puddings smoked upon the board. 360
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay, An honest factor stole a gem away: He pledged it to the knight; the knight had wit, So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit. Some scruple rose, but thus he eased his thought, I'll now give sixpence where I gave a groat; Where once I went to church, I'll now go twiceAnd am so clear too of all other vice.'
The tempter saw his time : the work he plied ; Stocks and subscriptions pour on every side, 370 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 callid a blessing, now was wit, And God's good providence, a lucky hit. Things change their titles, as our manners turn: His compting-house employed the Sunday morn: 380 Seldom at church ('twas such a busy life,) But duly sent his family and wife. There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas tido My good old lady catch'd a cold, and died.
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 : 390 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; Ilis wealth, yet dearer, forfeit to the crown: 400 The devil and the king divide the prize, And sad sir balaam curses God, and dies.
TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF
of the l'se of Riches. The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality,
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. Che 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 re. bulling from it, ver. 50. How men are lisappointed in their most expensive undertakings, 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 riii. culons, ver 65 to 90. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is, 10 imagine that grealness consists in the size and timen. sion, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole, ver. 97, and the second either in joining to. gether parts incoherent, or 100 minutely resembling or in the repetition of the same lvo frequently, ver. 103, &c. A word or two of false taste in books music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly entertainments, ver 133, C Yet Providence is justitied in giving wealtı to be squandered in this manner, since it is disprossed to the poor and laborious part of mankind, ver. 109 frecurring to what is land down in the first book, Ep. ii and in the Epistle pre. ceding this, ver. 15), &c | What are the proper objects of magniticence, and a proper fiilid for ihe expense of greal men, ver. 177, &c. And finally the great and public works which become a prince, ver. 101, lo llc cnd.
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 Men. 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 analysed in a much narrower com pass.
'Tis strange, the miser should his cares employ
ITc buys for Topham drawings and designs;
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ?
You show us Rome was glorious, not profuse, And pompous buildings once were things of use; Yer shall, my lord, your just, your noble rules Fill half the land with imitating fools ; Whose random drawings from your sheets shall take, And of one beauty, many blunders make; Load some vain church with old theatric state, Turn arcs of Triumph to a garden gate;
30 Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all On some patch'd dog-hole eked with ends of wall; Then clap four slices of pilaster on 't, That laced with bits of rustic makes a front; Shall call the winds through 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 tou dear; 40 Something there is more needful than expense, And something previous e'en to taste-'tis sense, Good sensc, which only is the gift of Heaven, And, though no science, fairly worth the seven :
A light which in yourself you must perceive;
To builu, to plant, whatever you intend,
Consult the genius of the place in all:
Still follow sense, of every art the soul :