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Buy every stick of wood that lends them heat;
Buy every pullet they afford to eat;

Yet these are wights, who fondly call their own
Half that the devil o'erlooks from Lincoln town.
The laws of God, as well as of the land,
Abhor a perpetuity should stand:


Estates have wings, and hang in Fortune's power
Loose on the point of every wavering hour:
Ready, by force, or of your own accord,


By sale, at least by death, to change their lord.

Man? and for ever? wretch! what wouldst thou have?

Heir urges heir, like wave impelling wave.
All vast possessions (just the same the case
Whether you call them villa, park, or chase,)
Alas, my Bathurst! what will they avail?
Join Cotswood hills to Saperton's fair dale,
Let rising granaries and temples here,
There mingled farms and pyramids appear,
Link towns to towns with avenues of oak,

Enclose whole downs in walls,-'tis all a joke!
Inexorable Death shall level all,

And trees, and stones, and farms, and farmer fall.



Gold, silver, ivory, vases sculptured high,

Paint, marble, gems, and robes of Persian dye,
There are who have not-and thank Heaven there are,
Who, if they have not, think not worth their care.

Talk what you will of taste, my friend, you'll find
Two of a face, as soon as of a mind.
Why, of two brothers, rich and restless one
Ploughs, burns, manures, and toils from sun to sun;
The other slights, for women, sports, and wines,
All Townshend's turnips,11 and all Grosvenor's mines:



11 Lord Townshend, Secretary of State to George the First and Second.When this great statesman retired from business, he amused himself in husbandry and was particularly fond of that kind of rural improvement which arises from turnips; it was the favourite subject of his conversation.

[Charles, the second Viscount Townshend, brother-in-law of Sir Robert Walpole. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's notice of this nobleman is to the same effect as Pope's sarcasm. He had that sort of understanding, she observes, "which commonly makes men honest in the first part of their lives; they follow the instruction of their tutor, and, till somebody thinks it worth


Why one like Bu

with pay and scorn content,12


Bows and votes on, in court and parliament;

while to show them a new path, go regularly on in the road where they are set."]

12 ["Bu," Bubb Dodington, afterwards Lord Melcombe.]

One, driven by strong benevolence of soul,
Shall fly, like Oglethorpe, from pole to pole:
Is known alone to that Directing Power
Who forms the genius in the natal hour;
That God of Nature, who, within us still,
Inclines our action, not constrains our will;
Various of temper, as of face or frame,
Each individual: his great end the same.



Yes, sir, how small soever be my heap,
A part I will enjoy, as well as keep;
My heir may sigh, and think it want of grace
A man so poor would live without a place:
But sure no statute in his favour says,
How free, or frugal, I shall pass my days: 14


I, who at sometimes spend, at others spare,
Divided between carelessness and care.
'Tis one thing madly to disperse my store;
Another, not to heed to treasure more;


Glad, like a boy, to snatch the first good day,
And pleased, if sordid want be far away.


What is 't to me (a passenger, God wot,)

Whether my vessel be first-rate or not?
The ship itself may make a better figure,
But I that sail am neither less nor bigger;

13 Employed in settling the colony of Georgia.

[General Oglethorpe was a remarkable man. He had served under Prince Eugene, and in 1733 he entered upon those services for founding the colony of Georgia which the poet has so finely commemorated. The two eminent brothers, John and Samuel Wesley, accompanied him to Georgia. He returned in 1734, bringing some Indian chiefs with him; and two years afterwards he repaired again to Georgia, accompanied by a second body of emigrants. The war with Spain threatened the destruction of the colony, but Oglethorpe repelled the Spaniards, though he was unsuccessful in an expedition he made against St. Augustin. On his return to England he was employed against the followers of Charles Edward in Scotland, in 1745. He could not come up with them, and was tried for neglect of duty, but acquitted. The circumstance that Oglethorpe was a decided Jacobite, perhaps led to this slur on his military character, as it led to subsequent neglect on the part of the court and ministry. The general, however, was repaid by the praises of Pope, Thomson, and Dr. Johnson, and by the regard which his amiable character and intelligence inspired. He died in 1785.]

14 Alluding to the statutes made in England and Ireland, to regulate the succession of Papists, &c.

I neither strut with every favouring breath,
Nor strive with all the tempest in my teeth.
In power, wit, figure, virtue, fortune, placed
Behind the foremost, and before the last.


"But why all this of avarice? I have none."

I wish you joy, sir, of a tyrant gone;
But does no other lord it at this hour,
As wild and mad? the avarice of power?
Does neither rage inflame, nor fear appal?
Not the black fear of death, that saddens all?
With terrors round, can reason hold her throne,
Despise the known, nor tremble at the unknown?
Survey both worlds, intrepid and entire,
In spite of witches, devils, dreams, and fire?
Pleased to look forward, pleased to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind?
Has life no sourness, drawn so near its end?
Canst thou endure a foe, forgive a friend?
Has age but melted the rough parts away,
As winter-fruits grow mild ere they decay?




Or will you think, my friend, your business done,
When, of a hundred thorns, you pull out one?


Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; You've play'd, and loved, and eat, and drunk your fill: Walk sober off, before a sprightlier age

Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage:

Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease,

Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.





"Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentes
Quærere, num illius, num rerum dura negarit
Versiculos natura magis factos, et euntes

["What then forbids our equal right to know

Why his own verses in harmonious flow?

Or whether in his subject lies the fault,

Or in himself, that they 're not higher wrought."-FRANCIS.]

[Dr. John Donne, the precursor of Cowley and the other metaphysical poets, wrote Latin verses much smoother and more correct than his English numbers. The latter, however, abound in sense and wit, and Dryden had suggested the modernisation of his satires. Donne died in 1662, having survived many schools of poetry and politics: he was in his eighty-ninth year. The style of this old poet, though rugged and most unmusical, is not very antiquated in expression. The following is the opening of his second satire:


'Sir, though (I thank God for it) I do hate

Perfectly all this town; yet there's one state

In all ill things so excellently best,

That hate towards them, breeds pity towards the rest.
Though poetry, indeed, be such a sin,

As I think, that brings dearth and Spaniards in:
Though, like the pestilence and old-fashion'd love,
Ridlingly it catch men, and doth remove

Never, till it be starved out; yet their state

Is poor, disarm'd, like Papists, not worth hate.

One (like a wretch, which at barre judged as dead,

Yet prompts him which stands next, and cannot read,
And saves his life) gives idiot-actors means,

(Starving himself) to live by 's laboured scenes:

As in some organs, puppets dance above,

And bellows pant below which them do move.

One would move love by rhymes; but witchcraft's charms
Bring not now their old fears, nor their old harms;

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