Page images
[blocks in formation]

THE Vanity of Expence in People of Wealth and Quality. The abuse of the word Tafte, ver. 13That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing elfe, is Good fenfe, ver. 40. The chief proof of it is to follow Nature, even in works of mere Luxury and Elegance. Inftanced in Architecture and Gardening, where all must be adapted to the Genius and Ufe of the Place, and the Beauties not forced into it, but refulting from it, ver. 50, How men are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings, fot 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 fomething burdenfome or ridiculous, ver, 65, &c. to 92. A defcription of the false Taste of Magnificence; the first grand error of which is to imagine


that Greatness confifts in the Size and Dimenfion, instead of the Proportion and Harmony of the whole, ver. 97. and the second, either in joining together Parts incoherent, or too minutely refembling, or in the Repetition of the fame too frequently, ver. 105, &c. A word or two of falfe Tafte in Books, in Mufic, in Painting, even in Preaching and Prayer, and laftly in Entertainments, ver. 133, &c. Yet PROVIDENCE is justified in giving Wealth to be fquandered in this manner, fince it is difperfed 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 epiftle preceding this, ver. 159, &c.] What are the proper Objets of Magnificence, and a proper field for the Expence of Great Men, ver. 177, &c. and finally the Great and Public Works which become a Prince, ver. 191, to the end.

'TIS ftrange, the Mifer should his Cares employ
To gain thofe riches he can ne'er enjoy :
Is it lefs ftrange, the prodigal should waste
His wealth, to purchase what he ne'er can taste?
Not for himself he fees, or hears, or eats;
Artists must chufe his Pictures, Mufic, Meats:
He buys for Topham, Drawings and Designs,
For Pembroke Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins;
Rare monkish Manufcripts for Hearne alone,
And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane.
Think we all thefe are for himfelf? no more
Than his fine Wife, alas! or finer Whore.

For what has Virro painted, built, and planted? Only to fhew, how many tastes he wanted. What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to wafte? Some Daemon whisper'd, " Vifto! have a Taste." Heav'n vifits with a Tafte the Wealthy fool, And needs no Rod but Ripley with a Rule. See! fportive Fate, to punifh aukward pride, Bids Bubo build, and fends him fuch a Guide: A standing fermon, at each year's expence, That never Coxcomb reach'd Magnificence !

You how us, Rome was glorious, not profufe, And pompous Buildings once were things of Ufe. Yet fhall (my Lord) your juft, your noble rules Fill half the land with imitating-Fools;

Who random drawings from your sheets fhall take,
And of one beauty many blunders make;

Load fome vain Church with old Theatric ftate,
Turns Arcs of triumph to a Garden-gate;
Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all
On fome patch'd dog-hole ek'd with ends of wall;
Then clap four flices of Pilafter on't,

That, lac'd with bits of ruftic, makes a Front:
Shall call the wind thro' long arcades to roar,
Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door;
Confcious they act a true Palladian part,
And if they starve, they starve by rules of art.
Oft have you hinted to your brother Peer,
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is more needful than Expence,
And fomething previous ev'n to Tafte-'tis Senfe:

Good fenfe, which only is the gift of Heav'n,
And tho' no Science, fairly worth the fev❜n:
A light, which in yourself you must perceive;
Jones and Le Notre have it not to give.

To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the Column, or the Arch to bend,
To fwell the Terrace, or to fink the Grot;
In all, let Nature never be forgot,

But treat the Goddess like a modest fair,
Nor over drefs, nor leave her wholly bare;
Let not each beauty ev'ry where be spy'd,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
Surprizes, varies, and conceals the Bounds.

Confult the Genius of the Place in all; That tells the Waters or to rife, or fall; Or helps th' ambitious Hill the heav'ns to scale, Or fcoops in circling theatres the Vale; Calls in the country, catches op'ning glades, Joins willing woods, and varies fhades from shades; Now breaks, or now directs, th' intending Lines; Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs. Still follow Sense, of ev'ry art the foul, Parts anfw'ring parts shall slide into a whole, Spontaneous beauties all around advance, Start ev'n from Difficulty, ftrike from Chence; Nature fhall join you; Time fhall make it grow A work to wonder at-perhaps a Srow.

Without it, proud Verfailles! thy glory falls; And Nero's Terraces defert their walls:

The vaft Parterres a thousand hands fhall make,
Lo! COBHAM comes, and floats them with a Lake:
Or cut wide views thro' mountains to the Plain,
You'll with your hill or fhelter'd feat again.
Ev'n in an ornament its place remark,
Nor in an Hermitage fet Dr. Clarke.

Behold Villario's ten years toil complete;
His Quincunx darkens, his Efpaliers meet;
The Wood supports the Plain, the parts unite,
And ftrength of fhade contends with ftrength of Light;
A waving Glow the bloomy beds display,
Blufhing in bright diverfities of day,

With filver quiv'ring rills meander'd o'er-
Enjoy them, you! Villario, can no more;
Tir'd of the fcene Parterres and Fountains yield,
He finds at last he better likes a Field.

[ocr errors]

Thro' his young Woods how pleas'd Sabinus ftray'd, Or fate delighted in the thick'ning fhade, With annual joy the red'ning fhoots to greet, Or fee the stretching branches long to meet! His Son's fine taste an op'ner Vista loves, Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves; One boundless Green, or flourish'd carpet views, With all the mournful family of Yews; The thriving plants, ignoble broomstics made, Now sweep thofe Alleys they were born to fhade. At Timon's Villa let us pafs a day, Where all cry out. What fums are thrown away!" So proud, fo grand; of that stupendous air, Soft and Agreeable come never there,

« PreviousContinue »