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GOLDSMITH, NEAR TEMPLE BAR;
Occasioned by his buying and selling the third South
Sea Subscriptions, taken in by the Directors at One
Thousand per cent.*
Disdain pot, Snow, my humble verse to hear,
Stick thy black pen awhile behiod thy ear.
Whether thy counter shine with sums untold,
And thy wide-grasping hand grows black with gold;
Whether thy mien erect, and sable locks,
In crowds of brokers overawe the stocks ;
Suspend the worldly business of the day,
And, to enrich thy mind, attend my lay.
O thou, whose penetrative wisdom found
The South Sea rocks and shelves, where thousands
When credit sunk, and commerce gaspiog lay,
Thou stood'st : no bill was sent unpaid away.
* In the year 1720, the South Sea company, under pretence of paying the public debt, obtained an act of parliament for enlarging their capital, by taking into it all the debts of the nation, incurred before the year 1716, amounting to 31,664,5511. Part of this sum was subscribed into their capital at three subscriptions: the first at 300l. per cent. the second at 4001. and a third at 1000l. Such was the infatuation of the time, that these subscriptions were bought and sold at exorbitant premiums ; so that 100l. South Sea stock, subscribed at 10001, was sold for 12001. in Exchange alley. H.
When not a guinea chink'd on Martin's* boards,
And Atwill's* self was drain'd of all his hoards,
Thou stood'st ; an Indian king in size and hue !
Thy unexhausted shop was our Peru.
Why did 'Change alley waste thy precious hours
Among the fools who gap'd for golden show’rs ?
No wonder, if we find some poets there,
Who live on fancy, and can feed on air ;
No wonder, they were caught by South Sea schemes,
Who ne’er enjoy’d a guinea, but in dreams;
No wonder, they their third subscriptions sold
For millions of imaginary gold ;
No wonder that their faucies wild can frame
Strange reasons, that a thing is still the same,
Tho'chang’d throughout in substance and in name.
But you (whose judgment scorns poetic flights)
With contracts furnish boys for paper kites.
Let vulture Hopkins stretch bis rusty throat,
Who ruios thousands for a single groat :
I know thou scorn’st his niean, his sordid mind;
Nor with ideal debts wouldst plague mankind.
Madmen alone their empty dreams pursue,
And still believe the fleeting vision true ?
They sell the treasures which their slumbers get,
Then wake, and fancy all the world in debt.
If to instruct thee all my reasons fail,
Yet be diverted by this moral tale.
Througb fam'd Moorfields extends a spacious seat,
Where mortals of exalted wit retreat ;
Where, wrapt in contemplation and in straw,
The wiser few from the mad world withdraw.
There in full opulence a banker dwelt,
Who all the joys apd pan
of riches felt :
Names of eminent goldsmiths. H.
His sideboard glitter'd with imagin’d plate,
And his proud fancy held a vast estate.
As on a time he pass'd the vacant hours
In raising piles of straw and twisted bow'rs,
A poet enter'd, of the neighbouring cell,
And with fix'd eye observ'd the structure well :
A sharpen'd skew'r 'cross his bare shoulders bound
A tatter'd rug, which dragg'd upon the ground.
The banker cried, “Behold my castle walls,
My statues, gardens, fountains, and sanals,
With land of more than twenty acres round !
All these I sell thee for ten thousand pound.”
The bard with wonder the cheap purchase saw,
So sign'd the contract (as ordains the law.)
The banker's brain was cool'd : the mist grew clear ;
The visionary scene was lost in air.
He now the vanish'd prospect understood,
And fear'd the fancied bargain was not good:
Yet loth the sum entire should be destroy'd,
"Give me a penny, and thy contract's void.”
The startled bard with eye indignant frown'd:
"Shall I, ye gods,” he cries," my debts compound !"
So saying, from his rug the skew'r he takes,
And on the stick ten equal notches makes;
With just resentment flings it on the ground ;
There, take my tally of teu thousand pound."*
* Charles II, having borrowed a considerable sum, gave tallies, as a security for the repayment; but, soon after shutting up the Exchequer, these tallies were as much reduced from their original value, as, the South Sea bad exceeded it. H.
WHEN, as Corruption hence did go,
And left the nation free ;
When Ay said Ay, and No said No,
Without a place or fee:
Then Satan, thinking things went ill,
Sent forth his spirit, call’d Quadrille,
Quadrille, Quadrille, &c.
Kings, queens, and knaves made up his pack,
And four fair suits he wore:
His troops they are with red and black
All blotch'd and spotted o'er :
And ev'ry house go where you will,
Is haunted by the imp Quadrille, &c.
III. Sure cards he has for ev'ry thing,
Which well court-cards they name :
And, statesmen like, calls in the king,
To help out a bad game:
But, if the parties manage ill,
The king is forc'd to loose Codille, &c.
When two and two were met of old,
Though they ne'er meant to marry,
* On the subject of this ballad, see a letter from Dr. Arbutbnot to Dean Swift, dated Nov. 8, 1726. N.
They were in Cupid's books enroll'd,
And call'd a party quarree :
But now, meet when and where you will
A party quarree is Quadrille, &c.
The commoner, and knight, the peer,
Men of all ranks and same,
Leave to their wives the only care,
To propagate their name;
And well that duty they fulfil,
When the good husband's at Quadrille, &c.
When patients lie in piteous case,
In comes th’ apothecary ;
And to the doctor cries, alas !
Non debes quadrillare.
The patient dies without a pill,
For why ? the doctor's at Quadrille, &c.
Should France and Spain again grow loud,
The Muscovite grow louder ;
Britain, to curb her neighbours proud,
Would want both ball and powder;
Must want both sword and gun to kill;
For why ? the gen’ral's at Quadrille, &c.
The king of late drew forth his sword
(Thank God 'twas not in wrath) And made of many a 'squire and lord
An unwash'd knight of Bath : What are their feats of arms and skill They're but aine parties at Quadrille, &c.