Imágenes de páginas

To balance Fortune by a just expense,
Join with Economy, Magnificence;

With Splendour, Charity; with Plenty, Health;
O teach us, BATHURST! yet unspoil'd by wealth1!
That secret rare, between th' extremes to move


Of mad Good-nature, and of mean Self-love.

B. To Worth or Want well-weigh'd, be Bounty giv'n,

And ease, or emulate, the care of Heav'n;


(Whose measure full o'erflows on human race)
Mend Fortune's fault, and justify her grace.
Wealth in the gross is death, but life diffus'd;
As Poison heals, in just proportion us'd:
In heaps, like Ambergrise, a stink it lies,


But well-dispers'd, is Incense to the Skies.

P. Who starves by Nobles, or with Nobles eats?

The Wretch that trusts them, and the Rogue that cheats.

Is there a Lord, who knows a cheerful noon

Without a Fiddler, Flatt'rer, or Buffoon?


Whose table, Wit, or modest Merit share,

Unelbow'd by a Gamester, Pimp, or Play'r?

Who copies Your's or OXFORD's better part 2,

To ease th' oppress'd, and raise the sinking heart?

Where-e'er he shines, oh Fortune, gild the scene,
And Angels guard him in the golden Mean!
There, English Bounty yet awhile may stand,


And Honour linger ere it leaves the land.

But all our praises why should Lords engross? Rise, honest Muse! and sing the MAN of Ross3: Pleas'd Vaga echoes thro' her winding bounds, And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.


Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost,


Or in proud falls magnificently lost,

But clear and artless, pouring thro' the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.

1 After v. 226 in the MS.

'That secret rare, with affluence hardly join'd,
Which W-n lost, yet B-y ne'er could find;
Still miss'd by Vice, and scarce by Virtue hit,
By G-'s goodness, or by S-'s Wit.'
[Possibly Wharton, Granville, Sheffield.]

2 OXFORD'S better part,] Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford. The son of Robert, created Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer by Queen Anne. This Nobleman died regretted by all men of letters, great numbers of whom had experienced his benefits. He left behind him one of the most noble Libraries in Europe. P.

3 The MAN of Ross:] The person here celebrated, who with a small Estate actually performed all these good works, and whose true name was almost lost (partly by the title of the Man of Ross given him by way of eminence, and partly by being buried without so much as an inscription)

was called Mr John Kyrle. He died in the year 1724, aged 90, and lies interred in the chancel of the church of Ross in Herefordshire. P.

We must understand what is here said, of actually performing, to mean by the contributions which the Man of Ross, by his assiduity and interest, collected in his neighbourhood. Warburton.

[Johnson, in his life of Pope, accordingly censures this passage as in vain recommending what is unattainable, inasmuch as the Man of Ross did not do the wonders ascribed to him with his five hundred pounds a year.]

After v. 250 in the MS.

'Trace humble worth beyond Sabrina's shore, Who sings not him, oh may he sing no more Warburton.

4 [Vaga is Latin name of the river Wye.]

Whose Cause-way parts the vale with shady rows?
Whose Seats the weary Traveller repose?
Who taught that heav'n-directed spire to rise?
"The MAN of Ross," each lisping babe replies.
Behold the Market-place with poor o'erspread !
The MAN of Ross divides the weekly bread;
He feeds yon Alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate;
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans blest,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
Is any sick? the MAN of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the med'cine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance; enter but his door,

Balk'd are the Courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing Quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile Attorneys, now an useless race.

B. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
What all so wish, but want the pow'r to do!
Oh say, what sums that gen'rous hand supply?
What mines, to swell that boundless charity?





P. Of Debts, and Taxes, Wife and Children clear,

This man possest-five hundred pounds a year.


Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud Courts, withdraw your blaze!

Ye little Stars! hide your diminish'd rays.

B. And what? no monument, inscription, stone1?
His race, his form, his name almost unknown?

P. Who builds a Church to God, and not to Fame,
Will never mark the marble with his Name:


Go, search it there 2, where to be born and die 3,

Of rich and poor makes all the history;
Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between ;
Prov'd, by the ends of being, to have been.
When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
The wretch, who living sav'd a candle's end:
Should'ring God's altar a vile image stands,
Belies his features, nay extends his hands;


That live-long wig which Gorgon's self might own,
Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone5.


Behold what blessings Wealth to life can lend !

And see, what comfort it affords our end.

In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
The floors of plaister, and the walls of dung,
On once a flock-bed, but repair'd with straw,


[This deficiency was afterwards supplied by the Earl of Kinnoul, a connexion of the family of the Man of Ross.]

2 Go, search it there,] The Parish-register. Warburton.

3 Ver. 287 thus in the MS.

The Register inrolls him with his Poor,
Tells he was born and dy'd, and tells no more.
Just as he ought, he fill'd the Space between;

Then stole to rest, unheeded and unseen.'


4 Edmund Boulter, Esq., executor to Vulture Hopkins, made so splendid a funeral for him, that the expenses amounted to £7666. Bowles.

5 Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone.] The poet ridicules the wretched taste of carving large perriwigs on bustos, of which there are several vile examples in the tombs at Westminster and elsewhere. P.

With tape-ty'd curtains, never meant to draw,
The George and Garter dangling from that bed
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red,
Great Villiers lies-alas! how chang'd from him,
That life of pleasure, and that soul of whim!
Gallant and gay, in Cliveden's proud alcove,
The bow'r of wanton Shrewsbury 3 and love;
Or just as gay, at Council, in a ring
Of mimic'd Statesmen, and their merry King.
No Wit to flatter left of all his store!
No Fool to laugh at, which he valu'd more.
There, Victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
And fame, this lord of useless thousands ends.
His Grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee,
And well (he thought) advis'd him, "Live like me."
As well his Grace reply'd, "Like you, Sir John?
"That I can do, when all I have is gone.'
Resolve me, Reason, which of these is worse,
Want with a full, or with an empty purse?
Thy life more wretched, Cutler, was confess'd,
Arise, and tell me, was thy death more bless'd?
Cutler saw tenants break, and houses fall,
For very want; he could not build a wall.
His only daughter in a stranger's pow'r,
For very want; he could not pay a dow'r.
A few grey hairs his rev'rend temples crown'd,
'Twas very want that sold them for two pound.
What ev'n deny'd a cordial at his end,
Banish'd the doctor, and expell'd the friend?
What but a want, which you perhaps think mad,
Yet numbers feel the want of what he had!
Cutler and Brutus, dying both exclaim,
"Virtue! and Wealth! what are ye but a name 5!"

Say, for such worth are other worlds prepar'd?

Or are they both, in this their own reward?
A knotty point! to which we now proceed.
But you are tir'd-I'll tell a tale- B. Agreed.

1 Great Villiers lies-] This Lord, yet more famous for his vices than his misfortunes, after having been possess'd of about £50,000 a year, and passed thro' many of the highest posts in the kingdom, died in the Year 1687, in a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost misery. P.

[George Villiers Duke of Buckingham, the son of the first Duke (the favourite and minister of James I. and Charles I.) was born in 1637. He lost his estates as a royalist, but recovered them by his marriage with the daughter of Lord Fairfax. He is the Zimri of the Absalom and Achitophel of Dryden, whom he had ridiculed as Bayes in the burlesque play of the Rehearsal. Thus we have portraits of this typical hero of the Restoration period by Dryden and Pope, as well as by Burnet and Butler, Count Grammont and Horace Walpole. The tenant's house at which








he died (in 1687) was at Kirby Moor Side, near Helmsly in Yorkshire.]

Cliveden] A delightful palace, on the banks of the Thames, built by the D. of Buckingham. P.

3 Shrewsbury] The Countess of Shrewsbury, a woman abandoned to gallantries. The Earl her husband was kill'd by the Duke of Buckingham in a duel; and it has been said, that during the combat she held the Duke's horses in the habit of a page. P.

[Sir John Cutler, a wealthy citizen of the Restoration period, accused of rapacity on account of a large claim made by his executors against the College of Physicians which he had aided by a loan. Carruthers.]

5 [Wakefield refers to the account of Brutus death. Dion Cassius (XLVII. 49).]

P. Where London's column1, pointing at the skies,

Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies;


There dwelt a Citizen of sober fame,

A plain good man, and Balaam was his name ;

Religious, punctual, frugal, and so forth;

His word would pass for more than he was worth.

One solid dish his week-day meal affords,


An added pudding solemniz'd the Lord's:

Constant at Church, and Change; his gains were sure,

His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.

The Dev'l was piqu'd such saintship to behold,

And long'd to tempt him like good Job of old:
But Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.


Rous'd by the Prince of Air, the whirlwinds sweep
The surge, and plunge his Father in the deep;
Then full against his Cornish 2 lands they roar,
And two rich ship-wrecks 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 smok'd upon the board,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,

An honest factor stole a Gem away:



He pledg'd it to the knight; the knight had wit,

So kept the Di'mond, and the rogue was bit.
Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought,
"I'll now give six-pence where I gave a groat;
"Where once I went to Church, I'll now go twice-
"And am so clear too of all other vice."



The Tempter saw his time; the work he ply'd;
Stocks and Subscriptions pour on ev'ry side,
'Till all the Demon makes his full descent
In one abundant show'r 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 call'd a Blessing, now was Wit,
And God's good Providence, a lucky Hit.
Things change their titles, as our manners turn:
His Counting-house employ'd the Sunday-morn;
Seldom at Church ('twas such a busy life)

1 Where London's column,] The Monument, on Fish Street Hill, built in memory of the fire of London, of 1666, with an inscription, importing that city to have been burnt by the Papists. P.

2 Cornish] The author has placed the scene of these shipwrecks in Cornwall, not only from their frequency on that coast, but from the inhumanity of the inhabitants to those to whom that misfortune arrives. When a ship happens to be stranded there, they have been known to bore holes in



[blocks in formation]

But duly sent his family and wife.
There (so the Dev'l ordain'd) one Christmas-tide
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:
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 gains1.
My Lady falls to play; so bad her chance,
He must repair it; takes a bribe from France;
The House impeach him; Coningsby harangues 2;
The Court forsake him, and Sir Balaam hangs :
Wife, son, and daughter, Satan! are thy own,
His wealth, yet dearer, forfeit to the Crown:
The Devil and the King divide the prize,
And sad Sir Balaam curses God and dies.








Of the Use of RICHES.

The Vanity of Expence in People of Wealth and Quality. The abuse of the word Taste, v. 13. That the first principle and foundation, in this as in every thing else, is Good Sense, v. 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, v. 50. How men are disappointed 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 but be perverted into something burdensome or ridiculous, v. 65, &c. to 92. A description of the false Taste of Magnificence; the first grand Error of which is to imagine that Greatness

1 And one more Pensioner St Stephen gains.] -atque unum civem donare Sibylla.

Juv. [11. 3.] Warburton.

2 [The impeachment of Oxford in 1715 was moved by Lord Coningsby.]

3 [Richard Boyle third Earl of Burlington born in 1695 died in 1753. He took no prominent part in politics, although his high rank obtained for him a great post at court and the order of the Garter. But he obtained wide fame by his taste in architecture, inspired by a natural love of art

and educated by studies in Italy. Horace Walpole says of him that he had every quality of genius and artist, except envy.' It has been doubted whether the architect Kent, who long lived with him, did not owe more to his patron, than the latter owed to the artist. The designs of many notable buildings were made by Lord Burlington; among these the Colonnade of Burlington-house (the house itself was built by his father).]

« AnteriorContinuar »