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Asleep and naked as an Indian lay, An honest factor stole a gem away;

He pledg'd it to the Knight, the Knight had wit, So kept the di'mond, and the rogue was bit. Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought, 'I'll now give sixpence 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 ply'd; Stocks and subscriptions pour on ev'ry side, Till all the dæmon makes his full descent In one abundant show'r 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, 375 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 compting-house employ'd the Sunday morn: Seldom at church, ('twas such a busy life) But duly sent his family and wife.


There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas-tide
My good old lady catch'd a cold and dy'd.

A nymph of quality admires our Knight; 385 He marries, bows at court, and grows polite; Leaves the dull Cits, and joins (to please the fair) The well-bred cuckolds in St. James's air:

First for his son a gay commission buys,

Who drinks, whores, fights, and in a duel dies: 390


His daughter flaunts a Viscount's tawdry wife`;
She bears a coronet and p-x for life.
In Britain's senate he a seat obtains,
And one more pensioner St. Stephen gains.
My lady falls to play; so bad her chance,
He must repair it; takes a bribe from France:
The house impeach him: Coningsby harangues;
The Court forsake him, and Sir Balaam hangs.
Wife, son, and daughter, Satan! are thy own,
His wealth, yet dearer, forfeit to the crown:
The devil and the king divide the prize,
And sad Sir Balaam curses God and dies.



Of the use of Riches.

The Argument,

THE vanity of expence in people of wealth and quality. The abuse of the word Taste, v. 13. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is good sense, v. 40. 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, v. 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 burdensome and ridiculous, v. 65, to 92. A description of the false taste of magnificence: the first grand error of which is to imagine, that greatness consists in the size and dimensions, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole, v. 97; and the second, either in joining together parts incoherent, or too mi Autely resembling, or, in the repetition of the same, too frequently,v.105,&c. Aword or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer; and lastly, in entertainments, v. 133, &c, yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered is this manner, since it is dispersed to the poor and laborious part of mankind, v. 169. [Recurring to what is laid down in the First Book, Ep. ii. and in the Epistle preceding this, v. 159, &c.] What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expence of great men, v. 177, &c. and finally, the great and public works which become a Prince, v. 191, to the end.


Is 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 chuse his pictures, music, meats:
He buys for Topham drawings and designs ;
For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins;
Rare monkish manuscripts for Hearne alone,
And books for Mead, and butterflies for Sloan. 10
Think we all these are for himself? no more
Than his fine wife, alas! or finer whore.

For what has Virro painted, built, and planted?
Only to show how many tastes he wanted.
What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste?
Some dæmon whisper'd, 'Visto! have a taste.' 16
Heav'n visits with a taste the wealthy fool,
And needs no rod but Ripley with a rule.
See! sportive Fate, to punish awkward pride,
Bids Bubo build, and sends him such a guide : 20
A standing sermon at each year's expence,
That never coxcomb reach'd magnificence !

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, 26 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, ek'd with ends of wall;
Then clap four slices of pilaster on't,

That lac'd 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,
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is more needful than expense,
And something previous ev'n to taste—'tis sense;
Good sense, which only is the gift of Heav'n,
And though no science, fairly worth the sev'n;
A light which in yourself you must perceive; 45
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 swell the terrace, or to sink the groat, In all let Nature never be forgot ; But treat the goddess like the modest fair, Nor overdress, 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, 55 Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds.

Consult the genius of the place in all,

That tells the waters or to rise or fall;

Or helps th' ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,


Scoops in circling theatres the vale;

Calls in the country, catches op'ning glades,


Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades; Now breaks, or now directs, th' intending lines, Paints as you plant, and as you work designs.

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