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Sed quia cæcus inest vitiis amor, omne futurum
Despicitur; suadent brevem præsentia fructum,
Et ruit in vetitum damni secura libido.

Claudian. in Eutrop.

Nunquam parvo contenta peracta

Et quæsitorum terrâ pelagoque ciborum
Ambitiosa fames et lautæ gloria mensæ.

Et Luxus, populator Opum, tibi semper adhærens,
Infelix humili gressu comitatur Egestas.

Claudian. in Rufinum.

Behold what blessing wealth to life can lend !


Blaney, a wealthy Heir, dissipated, and reduced to PovertyHis 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 Connexions when old— Admitted into the Alms-House.


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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 changed, 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;—

Gamed without skill, without inquiry bought,
Lent without love, and borrow'd without thought.
But, gay and handsome, he had soon the dower
Of a kind wealthy widow in his power:
Then he aspired to loftier flights of vice,
To singing harlots of enormous price:
He took a jockey in his gig to buy
A horse, so valued, that a duke was shy:
To gain the plaudits of the knowing few,
Gamblers and grooms, what would not Blaney do?
His dearest friend, at that improving age,
Was Hounslow Dick, who drove the western stage.
Cruel he was not-If he left his wife,

He left her to her own pursuits in life;
Deaf to reports, to all expenses blind,
Profuse, not just, and careless, but not kind.
Yet thus assisted, ten long winters pass'd
In wasting guineas ere he saw his last;
Then he began to reason, and to feel

He could not dig, nor had he learn'd to steal;
And should he beg as long as he might live,
He justly fear'd that nobody would give:
But he could charge a pistol, and at will,
All that was mortal, by a bullet kill:

And he was taught, by those whom he would call

Man's surest guides-that he was mortal all.

While thus he thought, still waiting for the day, When he should dare to blow his brains away, A place for him a kind relation found,

Where England's monarch ruled, but far from English


He gave employ that might for bread suffice,
Correct his habits and restrain his vice.

Here Blaney tried (what such man's miseries teach)
To find what pleasures were within his reach;
These he enjoy'd, though not in just the style
He once possess'd them in his native isle;
Congenial souls he found in every place,
Vice in all soils, and charms in every race:
His lady took the same amusing way,

And laugh'd at Time till he had turn'd them grey:
At length for England once again they steer'd,
By ancient views and new designs endear'd;
His kindred died, and Blaney now became
An heir to one who never heard his name.

What could he now?-The man had tried before
The joys of youth, and they were joys no more;
To vicious pleasure he was still-inclined,
But vice must now be season'd and refined;
Then as a swine he would on pleasure seize,
Now common pleasures had no power to please:
Beauty alone has for the vulgar charms,

He wanted beauty trembling with alarms:

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