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They that on glorious ancestors enlarge, Produce their debt instead of their discharge. Dorset ! let those who proudly boast their line, Like thee in worth hereditary shine.
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 i Wben, 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 gaol : 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! 'tis sad
How comes it, then, to pass, we see preside
What numbers here, through odd ambition, strive To seem the most transported things alive? As if by joy desert was understood, And all the fortunate were wise and good. Hence aching bosoms wear a visage gay, And stifled groans frequent the ball and play. Completely dress'd by Monteuil and grimace, They take their birth-day suit, and public face : Their smiles are only part of what they wear, Put off at night, with Lady Bristol's hair: What bodily fatigue is half so bad ? With anxious care they labour to be glad.
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, Without one sigh, the pleasures of a court. Courts can give nothing to the wise and good But scorn of pomp, and love of solitude. High stations túmult, but not bliss, create : None think the great unhappy but the great: Fools gaze, and 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 guilding of their woe. Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene, And guiltless heart, to range the silvan 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 bless'd; 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 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, And shake the clumsy bench with country wit; Vol. II.
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,
O fairest of creation ! last and best
NOR reigns ambition in bold man alone ;
Soft female hearts the rude invader own:
The sex we honour, though their faults we blame, Nay, thank their faults for such a fruitful theme : A theme fair! doubly kind to me, Since satirizing those is praising thee Who wouldst not bear, too modestly refin'd, A panegyric of a grosser kind.
Britannia's daughters, much more fair than nice, Too fond of admiration, lose their price; Worn in the public eye, give cheap delight To throngs, and tarnish to the sated sight : As unreserv'd and beauteous as the sun, Through every sign of vanity they run ; Assemblies, parks, course feasts io city-halls, Lectures and trials, plays, committees, balls; Wells, bedlams, executions, Smithfield-scenes, And fortune-tellers' caves and lions' dens; Taverns, Exchanges, Bridewells, drawing-rooms, Instalments, pillories, coronations, tombs, Tumblers and funeral, puppet-shows, reviews, Sales, races, rabbets (and, still stranger!) pews.
Clarinda's bosom burns, but burns for fame, And love lies vanquish'd in a nobler flame; Warm gleams of hope she now dispenses, then, Like April suns, dives into clouds again : With all her lustre now her lover warms, Then, out of ostentation, hides her charms. 'Tis next her pleasure sweetly to complain, And to be taken with a sudden pain; Then she starts up, all ecstasy and bliss, And is, sweet soul! just as sincere in this ; O how she rolls her charming eyes in spite! And looks delightfully with all her might! But, like our heroes, much more brave than wise, She conquers for the triumph, not the prize.
Zara resembles Ætna crown'd with snows, Without she freezes, and within she glows: Twice ere the sun descends, with zeal inspir'd, From the vain converse of the world retir'd. She reads the psalms and chapters for the day, IR
Cleopatra, or the last pew play.