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Pregnant with thousands * Aits the scrap unseen,
« Not one of
my works” (said Pope to Mr. Spence) was more laboured than my cpistle on the Use of Riches.” It does indeed abound in knowledge of life, and in the justest satire. The lines above quoted have also the additional merit of touching on a subject that never occurred to former satirists. And though it was difficult to say any thing new about avarice, “ a vice that has been fo pelted (says CowLEY) with good sentences,” yet has our author done it so successfully, that this cpiftle, together with Lord Bacon's thirtythird Ejay, contains almost all that can be said on the use and abuse of riches, and the absurd extremes of avarice and profufion. But our poet has enlivened his precepts with so many various characters, pictures, and images, as may entitle him to claim the preference over all that have
• The word flits heightens the fatire, by giving us the trong idea of an obscene and ill-oņened bird. + Oíche use of Riches, V. 39.
treated on this tempting subject, down from the time of the Plutus of Aristophaness That very lively and amiablc old nobleman, the late Lord BATHURS.T; told me, he was much surprized to see what he had with repeated pleasure so often read as an spistle addressed to himself, in this edition converted into a dialogue ; in which,” said he, “ I perceive I really make but a Shabby and indifferent figure, and contribute very little to the Spirit of the dialogue, if it muft be a dialogue ; and I hope I had generally more to say for myself in the
charm. ing conversations I used to hold with Pope and Swift, and
my old poetical friends." 28. A Statesman's Numbers how this speech would spoil!
« Sir, Spain bas sent a thousand jars of oil ,
NOTHING can exceed this ridicule of the many inconveniences that would have encumbered villainy, by bribing and by paying in kind. The following examples
carry the fatire still higher, and can hardly be thought to be excelled by any strokes of irony and humour in the bost parts of Horace, Juvenal, or Boileau.
His Grace will game; to White's a bull be led,
'We can only lament that our author did aot live long enough to be a witness of the midnight (or morning) orgies of the gamesters at Brooks's. What a subject for the severity of his fatire! Perhaps we might have seen men,
Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throno,
• As a consecrated boas to a facrifice ; and alluding Virgil, with much pleasantry,
Jam corna petat, & pedibus qui fpargat arenam. + Alluding to the prizes that Achilles beftows in the games of Homer. Viad. 23. b. Ver. 67.
For surely that vice deserves the keencle invective, which, more than any other, has a natural and invincible tendency to narrow and to harden the heart, by impresing and keeping up babits of Selfifonefs. I foresee, (said MONTESQUIEU to a friend visiting him at La Brede) that gaming will, one day, be the ruin of Europe. During play, the body is in a state of indolence, and the mind in a state of vicious activity.".
19. Damn'd to the mines, an equal fate betides
The lave that digs it, and the dave that bides
4 This is plainly taken from the causes of the decay of Christian Piety. "It has 'always been held, says this excellent writer, the severest treatment of llaves and malefactors, damnare ad metalla, to force them to dig in the mines : now this is the covetous man's lot, from which he is acver to expect a release.” And the character of Helluo the glutton, who exclaimed even
. Ver. 109.
+ See the Adventurer, No 63, published 1753. The reflection with which CHARTKES's epitaph, in this epiftle, concludes, is from La BRUYERS.
in his last agonies (at the end of the first of these epistles)
then bring the jowl !
is clearly borrowed from the conclufion of One of the tales of LA FONTAINE :
Puis qu'il faut que je meure
So true is that candid acknowledgment which our author makes in his sensible preface, " I fairly confess that I have served myself all I could by reading.” But the noble paffage I shall next quote, he has not borrowed from any writera It is in- . tended to illustrate the usefulness, in the hands of a gracious Providence, that results from the extremes of avarice and profusion; and it recurs to the leading principle of our author's philosophy, namely, that contrarieties and varieties, and excesses, in the moral as well as the natural world, by counter-poizing and counter-working each Vol. II.