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For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look ;
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call : A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall ; The rich buffet well-colourd serpents grace, And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face. Is this a dinner? this a genial room? No, 'tis a temple and a hecatomb; A solemn sacrifice perform'd in state; You drink by measure, and to minutes eat. So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear Sancho's dread doctor and his wand were there. Between each act the trembling salvers ring, From soup to sweet wine, and God bless the king. In plenty starving, tantaliz’d in state, And complaisantly help'd to all I hate, Treated, caress’d, and tir’d, I take my leave, Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve; I curse such lavish cost and little skill, And swear no day was ever pass'd so ill.
Yet hence the poor are cloth’d, the hungry fed; Health to himself, and to his infants bread The labourer bears; what his hard heart denies, His charitable vanity supplies. Another
shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre, Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann’d, And laughing Ceres reassume the land.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle. 'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense, And splendour borrows all her rays from sense.
His father's acres who enjoys in peace, Or makes his neighbours glad if he increase; Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil, Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil ; Whose ample lawns are not asham’d to feed The milky heifer and deserving steed; Whose rising forests, not for pride or show, But future buildings, future navies, grow: Let his plantations stretch from down to down, First shade a country, and then raise a town.
You, too, proceed! make falling arts your care, Erect new wonders, and the old repair; Jones and Palladio to themselves restore And be whate'er Vitruvius was before, Till kings call forth th' ideas of your mind, (Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd) Bid harbours open, public ways extend, Bid temples, worthier of the God, ascend,
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain, The mole projected break the roaring main, Back to his bounds their subject sea command, And roll obedient rivers through the land. These honours, peace to happy Britain brings; These are imperial works, and worthy kings.
EPISTLE TO MR. ADDISON.
OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS.
See the wild waste of all-devouring years!
Ambition sigh’d: she found it vain to trust The faithless column and the crumbling bust ; Huge moles, whose shadow stretch'd from shore
to shore, Their ruins perish’d, and their place no more!
Convinc’d, she now contracts her vast design,
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears each form and
In one short view subjected to our eye,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine:
1 See the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, ch. ii.