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He was ambitious; all his Powers of Mind
Were to one end controll'd, improv'd, combin'd;
Wit, Learning, Judgment, were, by his account,
Steps for the Ladder he design'd to mount:
Such step was Money: Wealth was but his Slave,
For Power he gain'd it, and for Power he gave ;
Full well the Borough knows that he'd the art
Of bringing Money to the surest Mart;
Friends too were Aids, they led to certain ends,
Increase of Power and Claim on other Friends.
A favourite step was Marriage: then he gain'd
Seat in our Hall, and o'er his Party reign'd;
Houses and Lands he bought, and long'd to buy,
But never drew the Springs of Purchase dry,
And thus at last they answer'd every Call,
The Failing found him ready for their Fall:
He walks along the Street, the Mart, the Quay,
And looks and mutters, "This belongs to me."
His Passions all partook the general bent,
Interest inform'd him when he should resent,
How long resist, and on what terms relent:
In points where he determin'd to succeed,
In vain might Reason or Compassion plead;
But, gain'd his point, he was the best of Men,
"Twas loss of Time to be vexatious then:
Hence he was mild to all Men whom he led,
Of all who dar'd resist, the Scourge and Dread.
Falsehood in him was not the useless Lie
Of boasting Pride or laughing Vanity;
It was the gainful, the persuading Art,
That made its way and won the doubting Heart,
Which argued, soften'd, humbled, and prevail'd;
Nor was it tried till ev'ry Truth had fail'd;
No Sage on Earth could more than he despise
Degrading, poor, unprofitable Lies.
Though fond of Gain, and griev'd by wanton Waste, To social Parties he had no distaste; With one presiding purpose in his view, He sometimes could descend to trifle too! Yet, in these moments, he had still the art To ope the Looks and close the guarded Heart ; And, like the public Host, has sometimes made A grand Repast, for which the Guests have paid.
At length, with Power endued and wealthy grown,
Frailties and Passions, long suppress'd, were shown;
Then to provoke him was a dangerous thing,
His Pride would punish, and his Temper sting;
His powerful Hatred sought th' avenging hour,
And his proud Vengeance struck with all his Power,
Save when th' Offender took a prudent way
The rising Storm of Fury to allay:
This might he do, and so in safety sleep,
By largely casting to the angry Deep;
Or, better yet (its swelling Force t' assuage,)
By pouring Oil of Flattery on its rage.
And now, of all the Heart approv'd, possess'd,
Fear'd, favour'd, follow'd, dreaded and caress'd,
He gently yields to one mellifluous Joy,
The only Sweet that is not found to cloy,
Bland Adulation! other Pleasures pall
On the sick Taste, and transient are they all
But this one Sweet has such enchanting power,
The more we take, the faster we devour;
Nauseous to those who must the dose apply,
And most disgusting to the Standers-by;
Yet in all Companies will Laughton feed,
Nor care how grossly Men perform the deed.
As gapes the Nursling, or, what comes more near, Some Friendly-Island Chief, for hourly Cheer;
When Wives and Slaves, attending round his Seat,
Prepare by turns the masticated Meat:
So for this Master, Husband, Parent, Friend,
His ready Slaves their various efforts blend,
And, to their Lord still eagerly inclin❜d,
Pour the crude trash of a dependent Mind.
But let the Muse assign the Man his due:
Worth he possess'd, nor were his Virtues few ;—
He sometimes help'd the Injur'd in their Cause;
His Power and Purse have back'd the failing Laws;
He for Religion has a due respect,
And all his serious notions are correct;
Although he pray'd and languish'd for a Son,
He grew resign'd when Heaven denied him one;
He never to this quiet Mansion sends
Subject unfit, in compliment to Friends:
Not so Sir Denys, who would yet protest
He always chose the worthiest and the best;
Not Men in Trade by various Loss brought down,
But those whose Glory once amaz'd the Town,
Who their last Guinea in their Pleasures spent,
Yet never fell so low as to repent;
To these his Pity he could largely deal,
Wealth they had known, and therefore Want could feel.
Three Seats were vacant while Sir Denys reign'd, And three such Favourites their Admission gain'd; These let us view, still more to understand The moral Feelings of Sir Denys Brand.
INHABITANTS OF THE ALMS-HOUSE.
Sed quia cæcus inest vitiis amor, omne futurum
Despicitur; suadent brèvem præsentia fructum,
Et ruit in vetitum damni secura libido.
Nunquam parvo contenta peracta
Et quæsitorum terrâ pelagoque ciborum
Ambitiosa fames et lautæ gloria mensæ.
Et Luxus, populator Opum, tibi semper adbærens
Infelix humili gressu comitatur Egestas.
Behold what Blessing Wealth to Life can lend!
Blaney, a wealthy Heir, dissipated, and reduced to Poverty.-His Fortune restored by Marriage: again consumed.-His Manner of Living in the West Indies. -Recalled to a larger Inheritance.-His more refined and expensive Luxuries.-His Method of quieting Conscience.-Death of his Wife.-Again become poor. -His Method of supporting Existence.-His Ideas of Religion.-His Habits and Connections when old. Admitted into the Alms-House.
OBSERVE that tall pale Veteran! what a look
Of Shame and Guilt! who cannot read that Book?
Misery and Mirth are blended in his Face,
Much innate Vileness and some outward Grace;
There Wishes strong and stronger Griefs are seen,
Looks ever chang'd, and never one serene:
Show not that Manner, and these Features all,
The Serpent's Cunning and the Sinner's Fall?
Hark to that Laughter!-'tis the way he takes
To force Applause for each vile Jest he makes;
Such is yon Man by partial Favour sent
To these calm Seats to ponder and repent.
Blaney, a wealthy Heir at twenty-one,
At twenty-five was ruin'd and undone :
These Years with grievous Crimes we need not load, He found his Ruin in the common Road;