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Retard a cause, and give a judge the spleen.
Sick with the love of fame, what throngs pour in,
Aid me, great Homer! with thy epic rules,
Begin. Who first the catalogue shall grace?
Let high birth triumph! What can be more great? Nothing—but merit in
low estate. To virtue's humblest son let none prefer
Vice, though descended from the conqueror.
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, swarm 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 ! ev'ry 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 profanely 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 busto's 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! 'tis 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. 6. 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.
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. Fools grin on fools, and, stoic-like, support,
1 A famous tailor.
Without one sigh, the pleasures of a court.
I envy none their pageantry and show ;
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 thought 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 whisp’ring 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 Hippolitus (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 gipsy you commit,