Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

EPISTLE III.1

TO ALLEX LORD BATHURST%.

ARGUMENT.

Of the Use of RICHES. THAT it is known to few, most falling into one of the extremes, Avarice or Profusion, v. 1, &c. The point discuss*d, whether the invention of Money has been more commodious or pernicious to Mankind, v. 21 to 77. That Riches, either to the Avaricious or the Prodigal, cannot afford Happiness, scarcely Necessaries, v. 89—160. That Avarice is an absolute Frenzy, without an End or Purpose, v. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the Motives of Avaricious men, v. 121 to 153. 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, v. 161 to 178. How a Miser acts upon Principles which appear to him reasonable, v. 179. How a Prodigal does the same, v. 199. The due Medium, and true use of Riches, v. 219. The Man of Ross, v. 250. The fate of the Profuse and the Covetous, in two examples; both miserable in Life and in Death, v. 300, &c. The Story of Sir Balaam, v. 339 to the end.

[ocr errors]

WHO

5

HO shall decide, when Doctors disagree,

And soundest Casuists doubt, like you and me?
You hold the word, from Jove to Momus 3 giv'n
That Man was made the standing jest of Heav'n;
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, Heav'n 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 Heav'n supply'd 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.

10

15

1 This Epistle was written after a violent out- applications, I may probably, in my next, make cry against our Author, on a supposition that he use of real names instead of fictitious ones.” P. had ridiculed a worthy nobleman merely for his 2 [Allen Apsley Lord Bathurst, a Tory peer, wrong taste, He justified himself upon that was one of the most intimate of Pope's friends and article in a letter to the Earl of Burlington; at associates. 'He united,' says Carruthers, 'a sort of the end of which are these words: “I have learnt French vivacity' ('Bathurst impetuous, whom you tha there are some who would rather be wicked and I strive who shall love the most,' is the mention than ridiculous: and therefore it may be safer of him in Gay's catalogue of Pope's friends) - to to attack vices than follies. I will therefore leave English principles, and mingled freely in society my betters in the quiet possession of their idols, till past ninety, living to walk under the shade their groves, and their high places; and change of lofty trees which Pope and he had planted, my subject from their pride to their meanness, and to see his son Lord Chancellor of England.' from their

vanities to their miseries; and as the He died in the year 1774, at the age of 91.1 only certain way to avoid misconstructions, to 3 [Momus (derisive blame) is personified as a lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natured god in the Theogony of Hesiod.]

20

Both fairly owning Riches, in effect,
No grace of Heav'n or token of th' Elect;
Giv'n to the Fool, the Mad, the Vain, the Evil,
To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the Devil 4.
B. What nature wants, commodious 6 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:

1.John Ward, of Hackney, Esq.; Member of died in Scotland in 1731, aged 62. The populace Parliament, being prosecuted by the Duchess of at his funeral rais'd a great riot, almost tore the Buckingham, and convicted of Forgery, was first body out of the coffin, and cast dead dogs, &c. expelled the House, and then stood in the Pillory into the grave along with it. The following on the 17th of March, 1727. He was suspected of Epitaph contains his character very justly drawn joining in a conveyance with Sir John Blunt, to by Dr Arbuthnot; secrete fifty thousand pounds of that Director's

HERE continueth to rot Estate, forfeited to the South-Sea Company by The Body of FRANCIS CHARTRES, Act of Parliament. The company recovered the

Who with an INFLEXIBLE CONSTANCY, fifty thousand pounds against Ward; but he set

and INIMITABLE UNIFORMITY of Life, up prior conveyances of his real estate to his

PERSISTED, brother and son, and conceal'd all his personal, In spite of Age and INFIRMITTES, which was computed to be one hundred and fifty

In the Practice of EVERY HUMAN VICE; thousand pounds. These conveyances being also set aside by a bill in Chancery, Ward was im- His insatiable Avarice exempted him from the

Excepting PRODIGALITY and HYPOCRISY: prisoned, and hazarded the forfeiture of his life,

first, by not giving in his effects till the last day, which

His matchless IMPUDENCE from the second. was that of his examination. During his con

Nor was he more singular finement, his amusement was to give poison to

in the undeviating Pravity of his Manners dogs and cats, and to see them expire by slower

Than successful or quicker torments. To sum up the worth of

in Accumulating WEALTH. this gentleman, at the several æra's of his life,

For, without TRADE or PROFESSION, At his standing in the Pillory he was worth above

Without TRUST of Public Money, two hundred thousand pounds; at his commit

And without BRIBE-WORTHY Service, ment to Prison, he was worth one hundred and

He acquired, or more properly created, fifty thousand; but has been since so far dimi

A MINISTERIAL ESTATE. nished in his reputation, as to be thought a worse

He was the only Person of his Time, man by fifty or sixty thousand. P: (From Who could cheat without the Mask of HONESTY, Pope's intimate acquaintance with Mr Ward's

Retain his Primeval MEANNESS career, it might almost be suspected that he is

When possess'd of Ten Thousand a Year, the same who is enumerated among Pope's friends And having daily deserved the Gibbet for what in Gay's poem. ]

2 Mr Waters, the third of these worthies, Was at last condemn'd to it for what he could was a man no way resembling the former in his

not do. military, but extremely so in his civil capacity;

Oh Indignant Reader ! his great fortune having been rais'd by the like

Think not his Life useless to Mankind! diligent attendence on the necessities of others. PROVIDENCE conniv'd at his execrable Designs, But this gentleman's history must be deferred

To give to After-ages till his death, when his worth may be known

A conspicuous Proof and EXAMPLE, more certainly. P.

Of how small Estimation is EXORBITANT WEALTH 3 Fr. Chartres, a man infamous for all manner

in the Sight of GOD, of vices. When he was an ensign in the army, By his bestowing it on the most unworthy of he was drumm'd out of the regiment for a cheat;

ALL MORTALS. he was next banish'd Brussels, and drumm'd out of Ghent on the same account.

After a hundred This Gentleman was worth seven thousand tricks at the gaming tables, he took to lending pounds a year estate in Land, and about one of money at exorbitant interest and on great hundred thousand in Money. P. penalties, accumulating premium, interest, an 4 and the Devil.] Alluding to the vulgar capital into a new capital, and seizing to a minute opinion, that all mines of metal and subterraneous when the payments became due; in a word, by treasures are in the guard of the Devil : which a constant attention to the vices, wants, and seems to have taken its rise from the pagan fable follies of mankind, he acquired an immense for- of Plutus the God of Riches. Warburton. [The tune. His house was a perpetual bawdy-house. name of Pluton, given to the God beneath the He was twice condemn'd for rapes, and par- surface who sends forth the wealth of corn, prodoned: but the last time not without imprison- bably originated in the Eleusinian Mysteries.] ment in Newgate, and large confiscations. He .5 (Commodious, i.e. accommodating.]

he did,

25

30

35

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.
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 supply3!
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 a 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 old, encumber'd Villainy 8!
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,

40

45

50

1

If secret Gold sap on from knave to knave.] * Imp'd [i.e. fresh-winged. To imp is a term The expression is fine, and gives us the image of falconry, used of the repairing of the falcon's of a place invested, where the approaches are wings by new feathers. (Cf. the German impfen, made by communications which support each to engraft.)? other; as the connexions amongst knaves, after 5 --fetch or carry Kings;] In our author's they have been taken in by a state engineer, time, many Princes had been sent about the world, serve to screen and encourage one another's and great changes of Kings projected in Europe. private corruptions.

The partition-treaty had disposed of Spain; ? -beneath the Patriot's cloak,] This is a France had set up a King for England, who was true story, which happened in the reign of Wil- sent to Scotland, and back again; King Stanisliam III. to an unsuspected old Patriot, who laus was sent to Poland, and back again ; the coming out at the back-door from having been Duke of Anjou was sent to Spain, and Don closeted by the King, where he had receiv'd Carlos to Italy. P. a large bag of Guineas, the bursting of the bag 6 Or ship off Senates to a distant Shore;] discovered his business there. P. [According Alludes to several Ministers, Counsellors, and to Warburton, quoting Burnet, this was Sir Patriots banished in our times to Siberia, and Christopher Musgrave, who as a leader of op- to that MORE GLORIOUS FATE of the PARLIAMENT position was induced by King William III. to oF Paris, banished to Pontoise in the year 1720. give many points of importance at the critical

P. minute, in return for payments amounting in the

7

[The allusion seems to be to the Pretender total to £ 12,000.)

King James III.' and to Queen Caroline. There 3 paper-credit. [In 1733 the privileges of the are no grounds for such an imputation upon the Bank of England were renewed. In the same latter; but the taunt might be applied with much year, in spite of the opposition of Barnard and force to her unhappy later namesake.] others, Walpole openly availed himself of the 8 After v. 50, in the MS. Sinking Fund, and before 1737 had mortgaged 'To break a trust were Peter brib’d with wine, and alienated its entire produce.]

Peter ! 'twould pose as wise a head as thine.'

)

65

Or water all the Quorum1 ten miles round? A Statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil! 55 “Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil;

Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ; “A hundred oxen at your levee roar.'

Poor Avarice one torment, more would find; Nor could Profusion squander all in kind.

60 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'á, Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman craz'd. Had Colepepper's 4 whole wealth been hops and hogs, Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ? His! Grace will game: to White's 5 a Bull be led, With spurning heels and with a butting head. To. White's be carry'd, as to ancient games, Fair Coursers, Vases, and alluring Dames.

70 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,

75 To spoil the nation's last great trade, Quadrille 6! 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 enquire: Meat, Fire, and Clothes. B. What more? P. Meat, Clothes, and Fire.

80 Is this too little? would you more than live? Alas! 'tis more than Turner7 finds they give. Alas! 'tis more than all his Visions past) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last! What can they give? to dying Hopkins, Heirs ;

85

[i. e. every justice of peace.]

o [The game of Quadrille, which is a species 2 (As a Welshman attached to a cheap na- of Ombre, soon came to surpass the latter in tional delicacy.]

popularity.) 3 Some Misers of great wealth, proprietors 7 Turner] One, who, being possessed of three of the coal-mines, had entered at this time into hundred thousand pounds, laid down his Coach, an association to keep up coals to an extravagant because Interest was reduced from five to four price, whereby the poor were reduced almost to per cent, and then put seventy thousand into the starve, till one of them taking the advantage of Charitable Corporation for better interest; which underselling the rest, defeated the design. One sum having lost, he took it so much to heart, of these Misers was worth ten thousand, another that he kept his chamber ever after. It is thought seven thousand a year. P.

he would not have outlived it, but that he was 4 Colepepper] Sir William Colepepper, Bart. heir to another considerable estate, which he a person of an ancient family, and ample fortune, daily expected, and that by this course of life he without one other quality of a Gentleman, who saved both cloaths and all other expences. P. after ruining himself at the Gaming-table, past 8 Unhappy Wharton,] A Nobleman of great the rest of his days in șitting there to see the qualities, but as unfortunate in the application of ruin of others; preferring to subsist upon borrow- them, as if they had been vices and follies. See ing and begging, rather than to enter into any his Character in the first Epistle. P. [v. 179.) reputable method of life, and refusing a post in 9 Hopkins,] A Citizen, whose rapacity obthe army which was offered him. P.

tained him the name of Vulture Hopkins. He 5 [The famous Club-house in St James Street, lived worthless, but died worth three hundred where games of chance were played for the high- thousand pounds, which he would give to no est stakes. ]

person living, but left it so as not to be inherited

[blocks in formation]

What Nature wants (a phrase I much distrust)
Extends to Lary, extends to Last:
Used I grant, it serves what be requires,
Bay dreait too, the dark Assassin dira:
B Trade it may help, Society extend.
P. Ba: lures the Pirate, and corrupt the Friend
B. It raises Armies in a Nation's aid.
P. But bribes a Senate, and the Land's betray'd.
In vain may Heroes fight, and Patriots rave;
If secret Gold sap on from knave to kaavel
Once, we confess, beneath the Patrio:'s coak,
From the crack d bag the dropping Guinea spoke,
And jingiing, down the back-stairs, told the crew,
Oid Cato is as great a Rogue as you."
Blest paper-credit! last and best supply: !
That lends Corruption lighter wings to fly!
Goid imp'dé 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 a distant Shore ;
A leaf, like Sibyi'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 old, encumber d Villainy S!
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,

40

45

50

? If secret Gold sap on from knave to knave.] * Imod [i.e. fresh-winged. To imp is a term The expression is fine, and gives us the image of falconry, used of the repairing of the falcon's of a place invested, where the approaches are wings by new feathers. (Cf. the German impfen, made by communications which support each to engrait) other; as the connexions amongst knaves, after s-fetch or carry Rings;] In our author's they have been taken in by a state engineer, time, many Princes had been sent about the world, serve to screen and encourage one another's and great changes of Kings projected in Europe. private corruptions.

The partition-treaty had disposed of Spain ; 2-beneath the Patriot's cloak,) This is a France had set up a King for England, who was true story, which happened in the reign of Wil- sent to Scotland, and back again; King Stanisliam III. to an unsuspected old Patriot, who laus was sent to Poland, and back again; the coming out at the back-door from having been Duke of Anjou was sent to Spain, and Don closeted by the King, where he had receiv'd Carlos to Italy. P. a large bag of Guineas, the bursting of the bag . Or shig off Senates to a distant Shore;} discovered his business there. P. (According Alludes to several Ministers, Counsellors, and to Warburton, quoting Burnet, this, was Sir Patriots banished in our times to Siberia, and Christopher Musgrave, who as a leader of op- to that MORE GLORIOUS FATE of the PARLIAMENT position was induced by King William III. to of Paris, banished to Pontoise in the year 1720. give up many points of importance at the critical

P. minute, in return for payments amounting in the 7 [The allusion seems to be to the Pretender total to £12,000.)

'King James III.' and to Queen Caroline. There 3 paper-credit. (In 1733 the privileges of the are no grounds for such an imputation upon the Bank of England were renewed. In the same latter; but the taunt might be applied with much year, in spite of the opposition of Barnard and force to her unhappy later namesake. ] others, Walpole openly availed himself of the 8 After v. 50, in the MS. Sinking Fund, and before 1737 had mortgaged "To break a trust were Peter brib'd with wine, and alienated its entire produce.)

Peter ! 'twould pose as wise a head as thine.'

« AnteriorContinuar »