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Say, for such worth are other worlds prepared? Or are they both, in this their own reward? A knotty point to which we now proceed, But you are tired-I'll tell a tale-B. Agreed.
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies Like a tall bully, lifts the head and lies,
There dwelt a citizen of sober fame,
A plain good man, and Balaam was his name;
His word would pass for more than he was worth.
An added pudding solemnized the Lord's:
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 plunged 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,
And am so clear too of all other vice.'
The tempter saw his time: the work he plied;
Behold sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas tide
A nymph of quality admires our knight;
He marries, bows at court, and grows polite;
The devil and the king divide the prize,
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 luxu, ry 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 to 90. 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, 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 analysed in a much narrower com pass.
'Tis strange, the miser should his cares employ To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy : Is it less strange, the prodigal should waste His wealth to purchase what he ne'er can taste : Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats; Artists must choose his pictures, music, meats; He buys for Topham drawings and designs; For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins; Rare moukish manuscripts for Hearne alone, And books for Mead, and butterflies from Sloane, 10 Think we all these are for himself? no more Than his fine wife, alas! or finer whore.
For what was Virro painted, built, and planted? Only to show how many tastes he wanted.
What brought sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste?
You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
Yet shall, my lord, your just, your noble rules
Whose random drawings from your sheets shall take,
Load some vain church with old theatric state,
Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all
On some patch'd dog-hole eked with ends of wall,
That laced with bits of rustic makes a front;
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,