« AnteriorContinuar »
Who copies your's, or Oxford's better part,
But all our praises why should lords engross? Rise, honest Muse! and sing the MAN of Ross: 250 Pleas'd Vaga echoes through 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 fails magnificently lost,
But clear and artless pouring through the plain
B. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
P. Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear, This man possest-five hundred pounds a year. 280 Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud courts, withdraw your blaze!
Ye little stars! hide your diminish'd rays.
B. And what? no monument, inscription, stone? 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, where to be born and die, 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; Shouldering 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 stone.
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,
After ver. 250, in the MS.
Trace humble worth beyond Sabrina's shore, Who sings not him, oh may he sing no more! 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; The stole to rest, unheeded and unseen.
On once a flock-bed, but repair'd with straw,
Of mimick'd statesmen, and their merry king. 310
No fool to laugh at, which he valued 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 are worse,
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies; 340 There dwelt a citizen of sober fame,
A plain good man, and Balaam was his name;
An honest factor stole a gem away:
He pledg'd it to the knight, the knight had wit, So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit.
Ver. 337. In the former editions,
That knotty point, my lord, shall I discuss, Or tell a tale?-a ta'e-it follows thns.
Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought,
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 compting-house employ'd the Sunday morn: Seldom at church, ('twas such a busy life) But duly sent his family and wife. There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas-tide My good old lady catch'd a cold, and dy'd.
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 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, His 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 BURLINGTON.
OF THE USE 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. 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, 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 ridiculous, ver. 65, &c. to 92. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand errour 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 same too frequently, ver. 105, &c. A word or two of false taste in books, in music, 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 objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men, ver. 177, &c. and finally the great and public works which become a prince, ver. 191, to the end.
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 analyzed in a much narrower compass.
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted? Only to show how many tastes he wanted. What brought sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste? Some demon whisper'd, "Visto? have a taste." Heaven visits with a taste the wealthy fool, And needs no rod but Ripley with a rule. See! sportive Fate, to punish awkward pride, Bids Bubo build, and sends him such a guide: 20 A standing sermon, at each year's expense, That never coxcomb reach'd magnificence!
You show 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 shall take And of one beauty many blunders make;
After ver. 22, in the MS.
Must bishops, lawyers, statesmen, have the skill To build, to plant, judge paintings, what you will? Then why not Kent as well our treaties draw, Bridgman explain the gospel, Gibbs the law?
Load some vain church with old theatric state,
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer,
At Timon's villa let us pass a day,
Where all cry out, “W, at sums are thrown away!”
Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around!
My lord advances with majestic mien,
But soft-by regular approach not yet- [130
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
Still follow sense, of every art the soul,
Without it, proud Versailles! thy glory falls;
Through his young woods how pleas'd Sabinus
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle. 'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense, And splendour borrows all her rays from sense.
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
You too proceed! make falling arts your care,
Imperial wonders rais'd on nations spoil'd, Where mix'd with slaves the groaning martyr toil'd:
Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods,
Perhaps, by its own ruins sav'd from flame,
Ambition sigh'd: she found it vain to trust
Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more!
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears cach form and name: In one short view subjected to our eye Gods, emperors, herocs, sages, beauties, lie. With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore, Th' inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years! To gain Pescenius one employs his schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams. Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd: And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side, Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine : Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories shine: Her gods and godlike heroes rise to view, And all her faded garlands bloom anew. Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage: These pleas'd the fathers of poetic rage: The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, And art reflected images to art.
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Stand emulous of Greck and Roman fame? In living medals see her wars enroll'd, And vanquish'd realis supply recording gold? Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face; There, warriors frowning in historic brass: Then future ages with delight shall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree; Or in fair series laurel'd bards be shown, A Virgil there, and here an Addison. Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) On the cast ore, another Pollio, hine: With aspect open shall erect his head, And round the orb in lasting notes be read, "Statesman, best friend to truth! of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear; Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, And prais'd, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov'd"
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT:
THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
TO THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS EPISTLE.
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Friend to my life! (which did you not prolong,
saving counsel," Keep your piece nine years." "Nine years!" cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, Oblig'd by hunger and request of friends:
"The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it;
P.SHUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd I said,
What walls can guard me, or what shades can
Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer,
A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begu many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some persons of rank and fortune [the authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace, and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton-Court] | to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my writings (of which, being public, the pub-This lie is judge) but my person, morals, and family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own lazines to undertake so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth and the sentiment; and if any thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous.
Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true: but I have, for the most part, spared their names; and they may escape being laughed at, if they please.
I would have some of them to know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine. How-There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, ever, I shall have this advantage, and honour, on The players and I are, luckily, no friends. 60 [it, my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any Fir'd that the house reject him, "Sdeath! I'll print abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can And shame the fools-your interest, sir, with Lintot." possibly be done by mine, since a nameless cha- Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much: racter can never be found out, but by its truth "Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch." and likeness. All my demurs but double his attacks:
At last he whispers, "Do; and we go snacks."
Sir, let me see your works and you nɔ more." "Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king) His very minister, who spy'd them first, (Some say his queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, When every coxcomb perks them in my face?