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E P I S T L E III.
THIS Epistle was written after a violent outcry against
our Author, ori a supposition that he had ridiculed a worthy nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justified 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 therefore it
may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will “ therefore leave my betters in the quiet possession of “ their idols, their groves, and their high-places ; “ and change my subject from their pride to their “ meanness, from their vanities to their miseries; “ and as the only certain way to avoid misconstruc“ tions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill“ natured applications, I may probably in my next, “ make use of real names instead of fictitious ones."
P. W ho fall decide, when Doctors disagree,
And foundest Casuists doubt, like you and me?
But I, who think more highly of our kind,
But when, by Man's audacious labour won,
Like Doctors thus, when much dispute has past.
To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the Devil. 20 B. What Nature wants, commodious Gold bestows,
'Tis thus we eat the bread another sows. P. But how unequal it bestows, observe ;
'Tis thus we riot, while, who sow it, starve :
But dreadful too, the dark Assassin hires :
In vain may Heroes fight, and Patriots rave;
Gold, imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Oh! that such bulky Bribes as all might see, Still, as of old, incumber'd Villainy! Could France or Rome 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 Numbers 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 Profufion squander all in kind.
60 Aftride 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 hog's, 65
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 inquire ? Meat, Fire, and Cloaths. B. What more? P. Meat, Cloaths, and Fire.
80 Is this too little ? would you more than live? Alas! 'tis more than Turner finds they give. Alas! 'tis more than (all his visions past) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last ! What can they give ? to dying Hopkins, Heirs ;
85 To Chartres, Vigour; Japhet, Nose and Ears ? Can they, in gems bid pallid Hippia glow, In Fulvia's buckle ease the throbs below; Or heal, old Narses, thy obscener ail, With all th’ embroidery plaister'd at thy tail? 90
Well then, since with the world we stand or fall,
They might (were Harpax not too wise to spend)
Perhaps you think the Poor might have their part, Bond damns the Poor, and hates them from his heart ; The grave
Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule That every 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,
B. Who suffer thus, mere Charity should own,
P. Some War, fome Plague, or Famine, they foresee, Some Revelation hid from you and me. Why Shylock wants a meal, the cause is found, 115 He thinks a Loaf will rise to fifty pound. What made Directors cheat in 'Scuth-sea year? To live on Venison when it fold so dear. Ask you why Phrine the whole Auction buys? Phryne foresees a general Excise.