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In vain may heroes fight and patriots rave,
If secret gold sap on from knave to knave.
Once, we confess, beneath the patriot's cloak,
From the crack'd bag the dropping guinea spoke,
And jingling down the back-stairs, told the crew,
« Old Cato is as great a rogue as you.”
Blest paper-credit! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly!
Gold imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Can pocket states, can fetch or carry kings ;
A single leaf shall waft an army o’er,
Or ship off senates to some distant shore;
A leaf, like Sibyl's, scatter to and fro
Our fates and fortunes as the winds shall blow;
Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen,
And silent sells a king or buys a queen.

Oh that such bulky bribes as all might see,
Still, as of old, incumber'd villany!
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 slumbers how this speech would spoil! “Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil ; Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door; A hundred oxen at your levee roar.”

2 This is said to have happened to Sir Christopher Musgrave, as he was coming out at the back door, after having been closeted with King William II.

Poor avarice one torment more would find, Nor could profusion squander all in kind: Astride 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 Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ? [hogs, His Grace will game: to White's a bull be led, With spurning heels and with a butting head: To White's be carried, as to ancient games, Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames. Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep, Bear home six whores, and make his lady weep? Or soft Adonis, so perfum'd and fine, Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine ? Oh filthy check on all industrious skill, 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 clothes. B. What more? P. Meat,

clothes, and fire. Is this too little ? would you more than live? Alas ! 'tis more than Turner* finds they give.

8 Sir William Colepepper, Bart., who ruined himself at the gaming-table.

4 A person who, possessing hundred thousand pounds, laid down his coach, because interest was reduced from five to four per cent.

Alas ! 'tis more than (all his visions past)
Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last !
What can they give? To dying Hopkins heirs ?
To Chartres vigor? 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 plaster'd at thy tail ?
They might (were Harpax not too wise to spend)
Give Harpax'self the blessing of a friend ;
Or find some doctor that would save the life
Of wretched Shylock, spite of Shylock's wife.
But thousands die without or this or that,
Die, and endow a college or a cat."
To some indeed Heaven grants the happier fate
T'enrich a bastard, or a son they hate.
Perhaps you think the poor might have their

[heart. Bond' damns the poor, and hates them from his

6 See the character of this nobleman, in the first of these Epistles, p. 100.

6 A citizen, known by the name of Vulture Hopkins, on account of his rapacity. He left his very large fortune so as not to be inherited till after the second generation ; but the Chancery set aside his will, and gave it to the heir at law.

7 See note 4, p. 75.

8 Japhet Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger, lost his ears for having forged a conveyance of an estate to himself.

9 The Duchess of Richmond (La Belle Stuart of Gram. mont) left legacies and annuities for the maintenance of her


1 “Damn the poor!” was the exclamation of Bond, one of the Directors of the Charitable Corporation established to lend money to the poor upon pledges. That “God hates the poor,” and “that every man in want is either knave or fool,” &c. were the genuine apophthegms of some of the persons here mentioned.

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,
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.

B. Who suffer thus, mere charity should own, Must act on motives powerful though unknown.

P. Some war, some plague or famine, they foreSome revelation hid from you and me. [see, Why Shylock wants a meal the cause is found; He thinks a loaf will rise to fifty pound. What made directors cheat in South-sea year? To live on venison, when it sold so dear. Ask you why Phrynè the whole auction buys? Phrynè foresees a general excise. Why she and Sappho raise that monstrous sum ? Alas ! they fear a man will cost a plum.

Wise Petersees the world's respect for gold, And therefore hopes this nation may be sold.

2 Peter Walter, an attorney, who acquired an immense fortune, and purchased Stalbridge Park, near Sherborne.

Glorious ambition ! Peter, swell thy store,
And be what Rome's great Didius was before.

The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
To just three millions stinted modest Gage.
But nobler scenes Maria's dreams unfold,
Hereditary realms, and worlds of gold.
Congenial souls ! 8 whose life one avarice joins,
And one fate buries in th’ Asturian 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 general flood, (So long by watchful ministers withstood) Shall deluge all; and avarice, 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, And judges job, and bishops bite the town, And mighty dukes pack cards for half a crown:

8“ The two persons here mentioned,” says Pope in a note,

“ were of quality, each of whom in the Mississippi despised to realize above three hundred thousand pounds; the Gentleman, with a view to the purchase of the crown of Poland, the 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 Asturias." They were Mr. Gage, and Lady Mary Herbert, daughter of the Marquis of Powis.

4 Sir John Blunt, one of the first projectors of the South Sea Company, and one of the chief directors of the famous scheme of 1720. He was a Dissenter of a very religious deportment, and used to declaim against avarice in the great.

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