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Constant at church and 'Change; his gains were
sure; His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
The devil was piqued 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.
Roused by the prince of air, the whirlwinds sweep The surge, and plunge his father in the deep; Then full against his Cornish lands they roar, And two rich shipwrecks 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 smoked upon the board,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay An honest factor stole a gem away: He pledged it to the knight; the knight had wit, So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit. · Some scruple rose, but thus he eased his thought;
• I'll now give şixpence 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 plied ; Stocks and subscriptions pour on every side, Till all the demon makes his full descent In one abundant shower 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)
A nymph of quality admires our knight ; .
OF THE USE OF RICHES.'
argument. The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality. The
abuse of the word taste.—That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is good sense. 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.-How men are disappointed ia 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 and ridicnlous.-A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimension, instead of the proportion and harmony, of the whole. And the second, either in joining together parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, or in the repetition of the sarne too frequently.-A word or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly in entertainments. --- 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. [Recurring to what is laid down in the first book, ep. ii. and in the epistle preceding this.]—What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men.--And, finally, the great and public works which become a prince.
'Tis strange the miser should his cares employ
Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats ;
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ?
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; Load some vain church with old theatric state; Turn arcs of triumph to a garden gate; Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all On some patch'd dog-hole eked with ends of wall, Then clap four slices of pilaster on’t, That, laced with bits of rustic, makes a front; Shall call the winds through long arcades to roar, . Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door: Conscious they act a true Palladian part, And if they starve, they starve by rules of art.
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
Consult the genius of the place in all;
Still follow sense, of every art the soul; Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole, Spontaneous beauties all around advance, Start e'en from difficulty, strike from chance : Nature sball join you : Time shall make it grow A work to wonder at-perhaps a Stow.
Without it, proud Versailles ! thy glory falls, And Nero's terraces desert their walls: