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101

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 neighbour as himself: Damn'd to the Mines, an equal fate betides The Slave that digs it, and the Slave that hides. 110

B. Who suffer thus, mere Charity should own, Must act on motives pow'rful, tho' unknown.

P. Some War, some Plague, or Famine they foresee, Some Revelation hid from and

you

me.

endeavour the relief of those unhappy sufferers, and three of the managers, who were members of the house, were expelled. By the report of the Committee, appointed to enquire into that iniquitous affair, it appears, that when it was objected to the intended removal of the office, that the Poor, for whose use it was erected, would be hurt by it, Bond, one of the Directors, replied, Damn the Poor. That “ God hates the poor," and, « That every man in want is knave or fool,” etc. were the genuine apopthegms of some of the persons here mentioned.

VER. 102. That ev'ry man in want is knave or fool:] None are more subject to be deluded by this vain mistake, that prue dence does all in human affairs, than those who have been most befriended by Fortune. The reason is, that, in this fituation Prudence has never been brought to the test, nor Vanity ever mortified. So that Prudence will be always ready to take to herself what fortune encourages Vanity to call her due. And then want of success will of course be imputed to want of wit.

Why Shylock wants a meal, the cause is found, 115
He thinks a Loaf will rise to fifty pound.
What made Directors cheat in South-sea year?
To live on Ven'fon when it sold so dear.
Ask you why Phryne the whole Auction buys ?
Phryne foresees a general Excise.
Why she and Sappho raise that monstrous sum?
Alas! they fear a man will cost a plum.

Wise Peter fees the World's respect for Gold,
And therefore hopes this Nation may be fold:
Glorious Ambition ! Peter, swell thy store,

125 And be what Rome's great Didius was before.

I 20

Ver. 118. To live on VenSon] In the extravagance and luxury of the South-sea year, the price of a haunch of Venison was from three to five pounds.

Ver. 120. - general Excise.] Many people about the year 1733, had a conceit that such a thing was intended, of which it is not improbable this lady might have some intimation.

VER. 123. Wife Peter] Peter WALTER, a person not only eminent in the wisdom of his profession, as a dextrous attorney, but allowed to be a good, if not a safe, conveyancer; extremely respected by the Nobility of this land, tho’ free from all manner of luxury and oftentation : his Wealth was never seen, and his bounty never heard of, except to his own son, for whom he procured an employment of considerable profit, of which he gave him as much as was necesary. Therefore the taxing this gentleman with any Ambition, is certainly a great

wrong to him.

Ver. 126. Rome's great Didius] A Roman Lawyer, so rich as to purchase the Empire when it was set to sale upon the death of Pertinax,

The Crown of Poland, venal twice an age, To just three millions stinted modeft Gage. But nobler scenes Maria's dreams unfold, Hereditary Realms, and worlds of Gold.

130 Congenial souls ! whose life one Av'rice joins, And one fate buries in th' Afturian Mines.

Much injur'd Blunt ! why bears he Britain's hate? A wizard told him in these words our fate : “ At length Corruption, like a gen'ral flood, 135

(So long by watchful Ministers withstood)

66

Ver. 127. The Crown of Poland, etc.] The two persons here mentioned were of Quality, each of whom in the Millifippi despis’d to realize above three hundred thousand pounds; the Gentleman with a view to the purchase of the Crown of Poland,

Lady on a vision of the like royal nature. They since retired into Spain, where they are still in search of gold in the mines of the Asturies.

VER. 133. Much injur'd Blunt !] Sir John BLUNT, originally a scrivener, was one of the first projectors of the South-sea company, and afterwards one of the directors and chief managers of the famous scheme in 1720. He was also one of those who suffer's most severely by the bill of pains and penalties on the said directors. He was a Difienter of a most religious deportment, and profess’d to be a great believer. Whether he did really credit the prophecy here mentioned is not certain, but it was constantly in this very style he declaimed against the corruption and luxury of the age, the partiality of Parliaments, and the misery of party-spirit. He was particulary eloquent against Avarice in great and noble persons, of which he had indeed lived to see many miserable examples. He died in the

Fear 1732

" Shall deluge all; and Av'rice creeping on,

Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the Sun; “ Statesman and Patriot ply alike the stocks, « Peeress and Butler share alike the Box, 140 « And Judges job, and Bishops bite the town, " And mighty Dukes pack cards for half a crown. " See Britain funk in lucre's sordid charms, And France reveng’d of Anne's and Edward's

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Twas no Court-badge, great Scriv'ner fir'd thy brain,
Nor lordly Luxury, nor City Gain :

146
No, 'twas thy righteous end, alham'd to see
Senates degen 'rate, Patriots disagree,
And nobly wishing Party-rage to cease,
To buy both sides, and give thy Country peace. 150

“ All this is madness,” cries a sober sage:
But who, my friend, has reason in his rage?
« The ruling Paffion, be it what it will,
“ The ruling Passion conquers Reason ftill.”
Lefs mad the wildest whimsey we can frame, 155
Than ev'n that Passion, if it has no Aim;
For tho’ fuch motives Folly you may call,
The Folly's greater to have none at all.
Hear then the truth: “ 'Tis Heavin each Passion

sends,
« And diff'rent men directs to dif'rent ends.

160
« Extremes in Nature equal good produce,
« Extremes in Man concur to gen’ral use."

1

Ask we what makes one keep, and one beftow ?
That Pow'r who bids the Ocean ebb and flow,
Bids seed-time, harvest, equal course maintain, 165
Thro' reconcil'd extremes of drought and rain,
Builds Life on Death, on Change Duration founds,
And gives th' eternal wheels to know their rounds.

Riches, like insects, when conceal'd they lie,
Wait but for wings, and in their season fly. 170
Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store,
Sees but a backward steward for the Poor
This year a Reservoir, to keep and spare;
The next, a Fountain, spouting thro' his Heir,
In lavish streams to quench a Country's thirst, 175
And men and dogs shall drink him 'till they burst.

Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth,
Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth :
What tho' (the use of barb'rous spits forgot)
His kitchen vy'd in coolness with his grot?

180
His court with nettles, moats with cresses ftorid,
With foups unbought and sallads blefs d his board ?
If Cotta liv’d on pulse, it was no more
Than Bramins, Saints, and Sages did before ;
To cram the rich was prodigal expence, 185
And who would take the Poor from Providence ?

IMITATIONS. VER. 182. With soups unbought]

dapibus mensas onerabat inemptis.

Virg.

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