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Spence, he looked with horror on some of his experiments. "I shall be very glad to see Dr. Hales, and always love to see him, he is so worthy and good a man. Yes, he is a very good man; only I'm sorry he has his hands so much imbrued in blood. What, he cuts up rats? Ay, and dogs too! [with what emphasis and concern he spoke it!] Indeed he commits most of those barbarities, with the thought of being of use to man! but how do we know that we have a right to kill creatures that we are so little above as dogs, for our curiosity, or even for some use to us? I used to carry it too far; I thought they had reason as well as we. So they have to be sure: all our disputes about that are only disputes about words. Man has reason enough only to know what is necessary for him to know, and dogs have just that too. But then they must have souls, too, as unperishable as ours!' And what harm would that be to us?" This is what Dr. Johnson would have called wild talk. The question as to the reasoning power in dogs is solved by the obvious and prosaic fact, that they can only be trained up to a certain point, and have no progressive advancement.
ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
That it is known to few, most falling into one of the extremes, avarice or profusion, ver. 1, &c. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more commodious or pernicious to mankind, ver. 21 to 77. That riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries, ver. 89 to 160. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose, ver. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, ver. 121 to 153. That the conduct of men, with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions, ver. 161 to 178. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable, ver. 179. How a prodigal does the same, ver. 199. The due medium, and true use of riches, ver. 219. The Man of Ross, ver. 250. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples: both miserable in life and in death, ver. 300, &c. The story of Sir Balaam, ver. 339 to the end.
HO shall decide, when doctors disagree,
And soundest casuists doubt, like you and me?
1 This Epistle was written [in 1732] after a violent outcry against our author, on a supposition that he had ridiculed a worthy nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justified himself upon that article in a letter to the Ear of Burlington; at the end of which are these words: "I have learnt that there are some who would rather be wicked than ridiculous; and therefore it may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will therefore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their idols, their groves, and their high places; and change my subject from their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their miseries; and, as the only certain way to avoid misconstructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natured applications, I may probably, in my next, make use of real names instead of fictitious ones."
[See Timon's Villa and the Duke of Chandos in Epistle IV.]
You hold the word, from Jove to Momus given,
But I, who think more highly of our kind,
Like doctors thus, when much dispute has pass'd,
No grace of Heaven or token of the elect;
2 John Ward, of Hackney, Esq., member of parliament, being prosecuted by the Duchess of Buckingham, and convicted of forgery, was first expelled the house, and then stood in the pillory on the 17th of March, 1727. He was suspected of joining in a conveyance with Sir John Blunt, to secrete fifty thousand pounds of that director's estate, forfeited to the South Sea Company, by act of parliament. The company recovered the fifty thousand pounds against Ward; but he set up prior conveyances of his real estate to his brother and son, and concealed all his personal, which was computed to be one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. These conveyances being also set aside by a bill in Chancery, Ward was imprisoned, and hazarded the forfeiture of his life by not giving in his effects till the last day, which was that of his examination. During his confinement, his amusement was to give poison to dogs and cats, and 'see them expire by slower or quicker torments. To sum up the worth of this gentleman at the several eras of his life: at his standing in the pillory he was worth above two hundred thousand pounds; at his commitment to prison he was worth one hundred and fifty thousand; but has been so far diminished in his reputation, as to be thought a worse man by fifty or sixty thousand.
Fr. Chartres, a man infamous for all manner of vices. When he was an ensign in the army, he was drummed out of the regiment for a cheat; he was next banished Brussels, and drummed out of Ghent, on the same account. After a hundred tricks at the gaming-tables, he took to lending of money at an exorbitant interest and on great penalties, accumulating premium, interest, and capital into a new capital, and seizing to a minute when the payments became due; in a word, by a constant attention to the vices, wants, and follies of mankind, he acquired an immense fortune. His house was a perpetual
B. What Nature wants, commodious gold bestows, "Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.
bawdy-house. He was twice condemned for rapes, and pardoned; but the last time not without imprisonment in Newgate, and large confiscations. He died in Scotland, in 1731, aged sixty-two. The populace at his funeral raised a great riot, almost tore the body out of the coffin, and cast dead dogs, &c., into the grave along with it. The following epitaph contains his character very justly drawn by Dr. Arbuthnot:
HERE continueth to rot
The Body of FRANCIS CHARTRES,
In spite of AGE and INFIRMITIES,
In the undeviating pravity of his manners,
In Accumulating WEALTH;
For, without TRADE or PROFESSION,
He was the only Person of his Time,
When possessed of TEN THOUSAND a Year,
Think not his Life useless to Mankind!
A conspicuous PROOF and EXAMPLE,
Of how small estimation is EXORBITANT WEALTH
In the sight of GOD,
By his bestowing it on the most UNWORTHY of ALL MORTALS.
This gentleman was worth seven thousand pounds a year estate in land, and about one hundred thousand in money.
Mr. Waters, the third of these worthies, was a man no way resembling the former in his military, but extremely so in his civil capacity; his great fortune
P. But how unequal it bestows, observe,
B. Trade it may help, society extend:
P. But lures the pirate, and corrupts the friend.
P. But bribes a senate, and the land 's betray'd.
Gold imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Our fates and fortunes, as the wind shall blow:
having been raised by the like diligent attendance on the necessities of others. But this gentleman's history must be deferred till his death, when his worth may be known more certainly. [The same person who is introduced under the character of "wise Peter," whose name was Walter, though sometimes called Waters.-BOWLES. See Additional Notes.]
8 This is a true story, which happened in the reign of William III. to an unsuspected old patriot, who coming out at the back-door from having been closeted by the king, where he had received a large bag of guineas, the bursting of the bag discovered his business there.
[Sir Christopher Musgrave, who, Burnet says, had £12,000 from King William III.]
4 In our author's time, many princes had been sent about the world, and great changes of kings projected in Europe. The partition treaty had disposed of Spain; France had set up a king for England, who was sent to Scotland, and back again; King Stanislaus was sent to Poland, and back again; the Duke of Anjou was sent to Spain, and Don Carlos to Italy.
5 Alludes to several ministers, counsellors, and patriots banished in our time to Siberia, and to that more glorious fate of the Parliament of Paris, banished to Pontoise in the year 1720.