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Shall men, like figures, pass for high, or base,
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge,
Vain as false greatness is, the Muse must own We want not fools to buy that Bristol stone. Mean sons of earth, who on a South-sea tide Of full success, swam into wealth and pride, Knock with a purse of gold at Anstis' gate, And beg to be descended from the great.
When men of infamy to grandeur soar, They light a torch to show their shame the more. Those governments which curb not evils, cause ! And a rich knave 's a libel on our laws.
Belus with solid glory will be crown'd; He buys no phantom, no vain empty sound; But builds himself a name; and, to be great, Sinks in a quarry an immense estate ! In cost and grandeur, Chandos he 'll outdo; And Burlington, thy taste is not so true. The pile is finish'd ; every toil is past; And full perfection is arriv'd at last; When lo! my lord to some small corner runs, And leaves state-rooms to strangers and to duns.
The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay, Provides a home from which to run away. In Britain, what is many a lordly seat, But a discharge in full for an estate ?
In smaller compass lies Pygmalion's fame; Not domes, but antique statues, are his flame: Not Fountaine's self more Parian charms has known; Nor is good Pembroke more in love with stone. The bailiffs come (rude men, prophanely bold !) And bid him turn his Venus into gold. “ No, sirs,” he cries; “ I'll sooner rot in jail : Shall Grecian arts be truck'd for English bail ?” Such heads might make their very bustos laugh: His daughter starves; but Cleopatra 's safe. *
Men, overloaded with a large estate, May spill their treasure in a nice conceit: The rich may be polite ; but, oh! 't is sad To say you 're curious, when we swear you 're mad. By your revenue measure your expense; And to your funds and acres join your sense. No man is bless'd by accident or guess ; True wisdom is the price of happiness : Yet few without long discipline are sage ; And our youth only lays up sighs for age. But how, my Muse, canst thou resist so long The bright temptation of the courtly throng, Thy most inviting theme? The court affords Much food for satire ; - it abounds in lords. " What lords are those saluting with a grin ?" One is just out, and one as lately in. “ How comes it then to pass, we see preside On both their brows an equal share of pride ?" Pride, that impartial passion, reigns through all, Attends our glory, nor deserts our fall.
* A famous statue.
As in its home it triumphs in high place,
What numbers here, through odd ambition, strive
What numbers, here, would into fame advance, Conscious of merit, in the coxcomb's dance; The tavern! park ! assembly! mask! and play! Those dear destroyers of the tedious day! That wheel of fops! that saunter of the town! Call it diversion, and the pill goes down. Fonls grin on fools, and, stoic-like, supporto Without one sigh, the pleasures of a court.
* A famous tailor.
Courts can give nothing to the wise and good,
envy; envy darts a sting, Which makes a swain as wretched as a king.
I envy none their pageantry and show; I envy none the gilding of their woe. Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene, And guiltless heart, to range the sylvan scene; No splendid poverty, no smiling care, No well-bred hate, or servile grandeur, there : There pleasing objects useful thoughts suggest ; The sense is ravish'd, and the soul is blest ; On every thorn delightful wisdom grows; In every rill a sweet instruction flows. But some, untaught, o'erhear the whispering rill, In spite of sacred leisure, blockheads still ; Nor shoots up folly to a nobler bloom In her own native soil, the drawing-room.
The squire is proud to see his coursers strain, Or well-breath'd beagles sweep along the plain. Say, dear Hippolytus, (whose drink is ale, Whose erudition is a Christmas tale, Whose mistress is saluted with a smack, And friend receiv'd with thumps upon the back,) When thy sleek gelding nimbly leaps the mound, And Ringwood opens on the tainted ground, Is that thy praise? Let Ringwood's fame alone; Just Ringwood leaves each animal his own; Nor envies, when a gypsey you commit, And shake the clumsy bench with country wit ;
When you the dullest of dull things have said,
Here breathe, my Muse! and then thy task renew:
Is there a man of an eternal vein,
SATIRE II. My Muse, proceed, and reach thy destin'd end; Though toils and danger the bold task attend. Heroes and gods make other poems fine; Plain Satire calls for sense in every line: Then, to what swarms thy faults I dare expose ! All friends to vice and folly are thy foes. When such the foe, a war eternal wage; 'T is most ill-nature to repress thy rage : And if these strains some nobler Muse excite, I'll glory in the verse I did not write.