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“ 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, 370 'Till all the Dæmon 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, 375 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.
NOT E s.
" What Riches give us let us then enquire:
" and Fire.” But here, in one who had not yet learnt the art of difguising the Poverty of Wealth by the Refinements of Luxury, he shews, with admirable humour, the ridicule of that project :
“ And lo! two Puddings smoak’d upon the board." VER. 377. What late he call'd à Blesing, now was Wit, &c.] This is an admirable picture of human nature: In the entrance into life, all, but coxcombs-born, are modest; and esteem the favours of their superiors as marks of their benevolence : But if these favours happen to increase ; then, instead of advancing in gratitude to our benefactors, we only improve in the good opinion of ourselves; and the constant returns of such favours make us consider them no longer as accommodations to our wants, or the hire of our service,
Things change their titles, as our manners turn: His Compting-house employ'd the Sunday-morn; Seldom at Church ('twas such a busy life) 381 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 dy'd.
. A Nymph of Quality admires our Knight ; 385 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, Whodrinks, 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.
NOT E s. 1
but debts due to our merit: Yet, at the same time, to do justice to our common nature, we thould observe, that this does not proceed so often from downright vice as is imagined, but frequently from mere infirmity; of which the reason is evident; for, having small knowledge, and yet an excessive opinion of ourselves, we estimate our merit by the passions and caprice of others; and this perhaps would not be so much amiss, were we not apt to take their favours for a declaration of their sense of our merits. How often, for instance, has it been seen, in the three learned Professions, that a Man, who, had he continued in his primeval meanness, would have cir. cumscribed his knowledge within the modest limits of Socrates; yet, being push:d up, as the phrase is, has felt himself growing into a Hooker, a Hales, or a Sydenham; while, in the rapidity of his course, he imagined he saw, at every new
In Britain's Senate he a seat obtains,
NOT E s. station, a new door of science, opening to him, without so much as staying for a Flatterer to let him in ?
Beatus enim jam Cum pulchris tunicis sumet nova consilia. VER. 401. The Devil and the King divide the Prize,] This is to be understood in a very sober and decent sense ; as a Satire only on such Ministers of State whích History informs us have been found, who aided the Devil in his temptations, in order to foment, if not to make, Plots for the sake of confifcations. So sure always, and just, is our Author's satire, even in those places where he seems most to have indulged himself only in an elegant badinage. But this Satire on the abuse of the general laws of forfeiture for high treason, which laws all well-policied communities have found necessary, is
atque unum civem donare Sibylle.
NOT E s. by no means to be understood as a reflection on the Laws themselves; whose necessity, equity, and even lenity have been excellently well vindicated in that very learned and ele. gant Discourse, intitled, Some Confiderations on the Law of Forfeiture for High Treason. Third Edition, London, 1748.
Ver. ult.-curses God and dies.] i.e. Fell under the temp. tations; alluding to the story of Job, referred to above.
E PIST L E IV.
TO Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington,
ARGU M E N T.
The Vanity of Expence 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 other 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 burdensome and ridiculous, Ver. 65, &c. to 92. A defcription of the false Taste of Magnificence; the first grand Error of which is to imagine that Greatness confifts in the size and Dimen