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TO ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.
Of the Use of Riches.
THAT it is known to few, most falling into one of the ex
tremes, avarice or profusion, v. 1, &c. The point discussed, whether the inveniion of money has been more commodious or pernicious to mankind, v. 21, to 77. That Riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries, v. 89, to 160. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose, v. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, v. 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 revelutions, v. 161, to 178. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable, v. 179. How a prodigal does the same, v, 199. The due medium and tiue use of Riches, v.219. The Man of Ross, v. 250. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death, v. 300, &c. The story of Sir Balaam, v. 339, to the end.
Ho shall decide, when doctors disagree, And sounded casuits doubt, like you and me ?
* This Epistle was written after a violent outcry against our author, on a supposition that he had ridiculed a worthy Nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justitied himself upon that article in a letter to the Earl 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 there"fore it may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will there.
You hold the word, from Jove to Momus giv'n, • That man was made the standing jest of Heav'n ; • And gold but sent to keep the fools in play, 5 • For some to heap, and some to throw away.'
But I, who think more highly of our kind, (And surely Heav'n and I are of a mind) Opine, that Nature, as in duty bound, Deep hid the shining mischief under ground; 10 But when by man's audacious labor won, Flam'd forth this rival too, its sire the sun, Then careful Heav'n supply'd two sorts of men, To squander, these, and those, to hide agen.
Like doctors thus, when much dispute has past, We find our tenets just the same at last :
16 Both fairly owning, Riches, in effect, No grace of Heav'n or token of th' elect; Giv'n to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil, To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the devil. 20 B. What nature wants commodious gold be
stows, 'Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.
P. But how unequal it bestows, observe ; 'Tis thus we riot, while who sow it, starve. What nature wants (a phrase I much distrust) 25 Extends to luxury, extends to lust :
"fore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their idols,
their groves, and their high places ; and change my sub ect • from their pride to their weanness, from thvir vaniliis to their
inis-ries, and as the unly certain way to aroiti bisconsiructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natured appliocations, I may probably, in my next, inake use of real names insicad of fictitious ones.'
Useful, I grant, it serves what life requires,
B. Trade it may help, society extend;
P. But bribes a senate, and the land's betray'd.
Old Cato is as great a rogue as you.' Blest paper-credit! last and best supply! That lends Corruption lighter wings to fly! 40 Gold imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things, Can pocket states, can fetch or carry kings ; A single leaf shall waft an army o'er, Or ship off senates to some distant shore: A leaf, like Sibyl's, scatter to and fro
45 Our fares and fortunes, as the winds shall blow ; Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unscen, And silent sells a king, or buys a queen.
Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see, Still, as of old, incumber'd villany!
50 Could France or Romc divert our brave designs, With all their brandies, or with all their wines ? What could they more than knights and 'squires
confound, Or water all the quorum ten miles round ?
A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil !
55 • Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil; • Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ; • A hundred Oxen at your levee roar.'
Poor Avarice one torment more would find, Nor could Profusion squander all in kind. 60 Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet, And Worldly crying coals from street to street, Whom with a wig so wild, and mien so maz’d, Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman craz’d. Had Colepepper's whole wealth been hops and hogs, Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ? 66 His grace
will game: to White's a bull be led, With spurning heels and with a butting head; To White's be carry'd, as to ancient games, Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames. 70 Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep, Bear home six whores, and make his lady weep? Or soft Adonis, so perfum’d and fine, Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine ? Oh filthy check on all industrious skill, 75 To spoil the nation's last great trade, Quadrille ! Since then, my Lord, on such a world we fall, What say you ? B. Say ? Why take it, gold and all.
P. What Riches give us, let us then enquire ; Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat,
clothes, and fire. Is this too little ? would you more than live ? Alas ! 'tis more than Turper finds they give;
Alas ! 'tis more than (all his visions past)
Perhaps you think the poor might have their
Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his heart;
100 The grave
Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule That ev'ry man in want is knave or fool. • God cannot love (says Blunt, with tearless eyes) • The wretch he starves--and piously denies; But the good Bishop, with a meeker air, 105 Admits, and leaves them, Providence's care.
Yet to be just to these poor men of pelf, Each does but hate his neighbor as himself: Damn'd to the mines, an equal fate betides The slave that digs it, and the slave that hides. 110