When industry with judgment joins,
And chaste frugality combines,
Dame Fortune is not in the case,
The man is sure to thrive apace.
He'll quickly feather well his nest,
Deposit of his future rest.
But should a parson come about,
And slily pluck the feathers out,
The ruin'd family may roam,
And starve for ages yet to come.
We'll first unfold the art of gaining,
Then that develop of retaining.
Whoe'er in trade shall money find,
Acquires a pleasure to his mind;
More joy by far he'll have in heaping,
Than either spending or in keeping.
The saving man never looks duller
Because his bag's a little fuller;
Yet were it always in one state
It could not keep the mind elate;
But, when it's lighter by a crown,
It certainly will let him down.
That pleasure which is most endearing,
The florists say consists in rearing.
But Great Moguls would cause no flame,
Should they continue just the same.
What gardener refrains from sighing,
His Emperor of Morocco dying?
What mother can a smile refrain,
When Tommy shall his feet attain;
But when young master's walk'd awhile,
It never more excites a smile.
Man's a free agent, we think still,
Who must be guided by his will.
If you to drive him have begun,
Just like a pig he'll backwards run.
Should he by chance but step aside,
A silken cord may prove a guide.
This rectifies the milder breast,
And justice comes to drive the rest.
Compulsion us'd in any case
Sits ill upon the human race.
A Christian church for ever itches
After accumulating riches.
And pray what Church could ever rest,
Except with wealth compleatlv bless'd?
Her loving sons, of godly mould,
Are vastly full of power and gold;
For well they know, if gold they find,
Delicious power won't lag behind.
They're watchful early, watchful late,
To lay their thumb on your estate.
They far behind leave in the lurch
The founders of the Christian church.
The twelve Apostles seem as naught
For all their wealth was scarce a groat.
Among a dozen men divine
Did not a single mitre shine.
They barely could afford to eat,
And in their journeys us'd their feet:
But, though their feet were full in use,
Could not procure a pair of shoes.
If but one shirt to each betide,
Must lie in bed till that was dried;
While their successors smiling pray,
'And fare most sumptuous ev'ry day;'
Appear in mitre, robe, and rocket,
And show a swelling in the pocket.
Adorn'd with purple and fine linen,
Are oft the gilded chariot seen in;
Wear shoes as if they meant to tread,
Though scarce more needful than in bed:
For, being drawn along the street,
Have little need for shoes or feet.
What though the twelve were poor indeed,
Their Sons have taught the Church to feed.
But modern gratitude appears
To apostolic characters,
For forming a religion that on
The grave Divine can soon grow fat on.
For men who could not spare a vest
Are now in solid silver dress'd;
And further is display'd each saint
In copper plate and costly paint.
For self-denial Parsons hallow them;
But where's the man attempts to follow them?
Thus industry.--A thriving chest
The cravings of a hungry priest.
These three points settled, we shan't fail
To tell you--'thereby hangs a tale,'
Which we'll apply to what's before,
And therefore moralize no more.
While I the faithful tale rehearse,
A Grocer shall adorn my verse.
Christopher Stephens now we'll view,
The hero of a tale that's true;
Who sold tobacco; gain'd renown;
Was resident in Reading town.
From small beginnings could create,
In length of time, a good estate.
Shew'd in what point the road might lie,
Which other folks might walk and buy.
He daily kept a steady line;
Was never found asleep at nine.
He some commercial maxims chose;
Could well repeat them though in prose:
''Tis not from trade the man is made;
No, 'tis the man that makes the trade.
Small profits if you once combine,
Compose a mass that soon will shine.
The goods well bought are then half sold;
Their profits may be doubly told.
The man who pays upon the nail
Commands the market and the sale.
Exonerate the debts you owe,
Then what you're worth you'll quickly know.
Get money fast, and spend it slow,
Your fortune rapidly will grow.
A growing fortune will impart
A growing pleasure to the heart.'
No wonder, by these rules surrounded,
Gold often on his counter sounded;
Would lovely to the eye appear,
And sound delightful in the ear.
And should three pounds the till contain,
He sent back two to buy again.
His mode of living we'll survey;
Milk-porridge usher'd in the day.
'Twas wholesome--to the body kind;
'Twas cheap--which satisfy'd the mind.
And as he eat his breakfast soon,
Like his fore-fathers din'd at noon.
If he weigh'd plums, it was for gain;
He chose to eat his pudding plain,
Because he this conclusion drew--
'The price of one would furnish two.'
At ev'ning, when at supper sat,
Regal'd upon a frugal treat,
Fragments of dinner--cheese and beer,
With true content brought up the rear.
Of all his food he wasted none,
But scrap'd his crumbs as he went on.
The supper done, he did not fail
T'enjoy another full regale;
A cup of home-brew'd always us'd,
And o'er his pipe and profits mus'd.
Not that he ever seem'd unwilling,
When interest serv'd, to spend a shilling.
But this was rather with a view
That he might probably gain two.
On Sunday he enlarg'd his treat,
'Twas broth and pudding, roots and meat,
Nor was his entertainment spoil'd,
For he eat roast as well as boil'd.
Thus life pass'd on, he watch'd, he slept,
And regular one tenor kept.
He strove to get; he made no waste;
Enjoy'd a station to his taste;
From which he drew that happiness
Which few experience, many guess.
His fortune swell'd on either hand;
His hobby-horse was buying land;
Could in that jockyship excel,
For all allow he rode him well.
Old Time observ'd him full three score,
And bad age rap hard at his door,
And say, 'his work was nearly done,
His game was up, his stake was won.'
THE SECOND PART
II you heap wealth upon your back,
Be watchful of a thing in black;
For if that thing once gets command,
'Tis gone, as 'twere by slight of hand.
We're travellers upon the road,
Yet act as if 'twas our abode.
This we find blam'd by our divines,
But here, I think, our conduct shines;
For, if neglected our affairs,
We hurt ourselves, and hurt our heirs.
The farmer, when he sows his wheat,
Is not quite sure he'll live to eat.
Then if into neglect he'll give,
Can the next generation live?
Kind Heaven will this care preserve,
Or we should make the future starve.
And if such evils come apace,
They'll quickly thin the human race.
Our hero now his day had run;
'Twas drawing to'ards the setting sun;
And yet through life no issue made
To heir his fortune and his trade.
One nephew had, he'd often say,
Residing in America.
'This youth he'd back to Reading call,
And constitute him heir of all.'
'Tis done--the favour'd youth drew nigh,
To act beneath his uncle's eye.
Schemes are more apt to bring vexation,
Than they to answer expectation.
The youth elate, his fortune made,
And master of a prosperous trade,
His morning rose supremely bright;
He never thought it could be night;
Liv'd gaily; spent his money quick;
And seem'd to gallop to Old Nick;
Promis'd the fortune to o'er-whelm:
His uncle could not guide the helm.
The parish priest an opening spies
For parish priests have keenish eyes.
He ponder'd deeply in his mind
Whether he could a profit find?
But he knew well that men grown old
Were rather stubborn stuff to mould;
Yet, not o'er-stock'd with self-denial,
Saw no great loss in making trial;
To Mr. Stephens mov'd his hat,
And enter'd into common chat;
Then by-and-by a visit made;
The priest was master of his trade.
The way once found, he fairly seated,
His visit frequently repeated.
The ale was good, tobacco mild,
The story clever, they both smil'd.
Thus the sly priest perform'd his part,
And crept into Kit Stephens' heart.
The man who has a point to gain
Attacks in a religious strain.
That antient cloak is hack'd about,
From age to age, yet not worn out.
'Sir,' says the priest, with easy air,
'Kind Providence has bless'd your care.
To your affairs you paid regard,
And thousands are your just reward.
He who succeeds in honest ways
Is worthy of the highest praise;
But when by care he's riches won,
He's only half his duty done.
Simply to gain is an abuse,
Unless applied to proper use;
For riches, it is understood,
Are granted for promoting good.
But 'tis observ'd by all the town
Your fair-got fortune's melting down.
Your nephew will the whole undo,
And ruin soul and body too.
Fair prudence might, ere 'tis too late,
Prevent the waste of your estate;
To distant times record your name,
And save a falling youth from shame.
Your whole estate deposit free
Into the lap of Charity.
This, like your bread, on waters cast,
Returns when many days are past;
And the best charity we know
Is to support the church below:
For there the man is taught to rise
And place his hopes beyond the skies.
The pulpit plants that heavenly tree,
Which springs up to eternity.
What blessings then on them await
Who aid the Church in this fall'n state!'
Stephens was silent as a door;
His eyes fix'd on the parlour floor;
His elbow on the table rest;
One hand below the cheek-bone press'd;
The other hand, with steady gripe,
Within his mouth retain'd the pipe.
He loos'd it with a closing puff;
His face looked sorrowful enough;
For can a human face look gay,
His lands just wing'd to fly away?
Lands which had been his dear delight
Two different ways were taking flight.
'Your sentiments I much admire,
They're full of heav'nly desire;
Those sentiments are, to a hair,
True pulpit doctrine, worn thread-bare.
To heaven our thoughts the parson brings,
But sets his own on earthly things.
If to the church we give our lands,
You say for charity it stands;
But can you, Sir, one instance name
Of any priest, when money came,
Becoming better--preaching more
Than ever he had done before?
But I could some before you lay
Where priests are idle--people stray.
What minister his flock will heed
When he in luxury can feed?
If they don't preach, nor better live,
Can it be charity to give?
Land, too, applied to sacred use,
Becomes a general abuse.
No staple owner--fields grow poor;
Their produce is but half the store.
These may be fairly call'd dead lands,
Which ne'er return to private hands.
When a long race of devotees
Have lodg'd in holy hands their fees;
Religion then, at their command,
Wholly consists in Holy land;
And property accumulating,
Acquires a power there's no combating.
Man would be taught not to fear God,
But only fear the Church's rod;
'Till an Eighth Henry rise once more,
And rob the Church as heretofore.
Though Hal,'tis said, went to the devil,
Much good we find came out of evil.
Besides, you know, Sir, I presume,
That charity begins at home.
A man's relations, when he's dead,
Have just the right that he once had.
Should I give you what I get rent of,
Then one sin more I have t' repent of.
My nephew, I allow, is wild,
By youthful follies nearly spoil'd;
But, should I cut him off by will,
'Twould tend to make him wilder still;
Besides, his money must run scant;
The more he spends, the more he'll want.
But not more pleasure can he find,
In spending what I leave behind,
Than has already been my lot
In getting fairly what I've got.
For pipe and beer I thought you came
Nor were you grudg'd the humble claim;
But when a deep-laid scheme is brewing,
To bring a family to ruin,
Prudence should drag that scheme to light,
And firmness overturn it quite.
I'm not the man to act your farce on,
And so your humble servant, Parson.'
Unhappy is that city's lot
When she between two fires has got.
The smoaky tempest hides the land
Distruction lies on either hand:
This was Kit Stephens' case, in fact;
Prudence was needful for each act.
The nephew storms, and makes a gap;
The priest approaches him by sap;
But he, by firmness, could oblige
One enemy to raise the siege.
Not many days past in rotation
Before this curious conversation
The nephew fully understood:
It mov'd his ire, it chill'd his blood.
More hard he could not be beset,
If he a surly ghost had met.
He sought his uncle full of fears,
Dissolv'd in penitential tears.
Pure gratitude had fill'd his breast;
'Without a pardon could not rest:
Told him his wish should be his choice,
He never more would follow vice.'
Drawn by the silken cords of love,
From virtue's paths he did not rove;
But shunn'd the selfish priest with dread,
Who tried to feed upon his bread.
Accus'd the brotherhood of blame;
Thought ev'ry priest would do the same:
And when a man in black he met,
Look'd sour, and never touch'd his hat.