Hudibras/Part 1/Canto 2
PART I.CANTO II.
The catalogue and character
Of th' enemy's best men of war;
Whom, in a bold harangue, the Knight
Defies, and challenges to fight:
H' encounters Talgol, routs the Bear,
And takes the Fiddler prisoner;
Conveys him to enchanted castle,
There shuts him fast in wooden Bastile.
PART I.CANTO II.
HERE was an ancient sage philosopher
That had read Alexander Ross over,
And swore the world, as he could prove,
Was made of fighting, and of love.
Just so romances are, for what else 5
Is in them all but love and battles?
O' th' first of these w' have no great matter
To treat of, but a world o' th' latter:
In which to do the injured right,
We mean in what concerns just fight. 10
Certes, our Authors are to blame,
For to make some well-sounding name
A pattern fit for modern knights
To copy out in frays and fights,
Like those that do a whole street raze, 15
To build a palace in the place;
They never care how many others
They kill, without regard of mothers,
R. Cooper sculpr.
From a Print prefixed to his "View of all Religions" 1655
Or wives, or children, so they can
Make up some fierce, dead-doing man, 20
Composed of many ingredient valours,
Just like the manhood of nine tailors.
So a wild Tartar, when he spies
A man that's handsome, valiant, wise,
If he can kill him, thinks t' inherit 25
His wit, his beauty, and his spirit;
As if just so much he enjoy'd,
As in another is destroy'd:
For when a giant's slain in fight,
And mow'd o'erthwart, or cleft downright, 30
It is a heavy case, no doubt,
A man should have his brains beat out,
Because he's tall, and has large bones,
As men kill beavers for their stones.
But, as for our part, we shall tell35
The naked truth of what befell.
And as an equal friend to both
The Knight and Bear, but more to troth;
With neither faction shall take part.
But give to each his due desert, 40
And never coin a formal lie on't,
To make the Knight o'ercome the giant.
This b'ing profest, we've hopes enough,
And now go on where we left off.
They rode, but authors having not 45
Determin'd whether pace or trot,
That is to say, whether tollutation,
As they do term't, or succussation,
We leave it, and go on, as now
Suppose they did, no matter how; 50
Yet some, from subtle hints, have got
Mysterious light it was a trot:
But let that pass; they now begun
To spur their living engines on:
For as whipp'd tops and bandied balls,55
The learned hold, are animals;
So horses they affirm to be
Mere engines made by geometry;
And were invented first from engines,
As Indian Britons were from Penguins. 60
So let them be, and, as I was saying.
They their live engines plied, not staying
Until they reach' d the fatal champaign
Which th' enemy did then encamp on;
The dire Pharsalian plain, where battle 65
Was to be waged 'twixt puissant cattle,
And fierce auxiliary men,
That came to aid their brethren;
Who now began to take the field,
As knight from ridge of steed beheld. 70
For, as our modern wits behold,
Mounted a pick-back on the old,
Much further off; much further he
Rais'd on his aged beast, could see;
Yet not sufficient to descry 75
All postures of the enemy;
Wherefore he bids the squire ride further.
T' observe their numbers, and their order;
That when their motions he had known,
He might know how to fit his own. 80
Meanwhile he stopp'd his willing steed,
To fit himself for martial deed:
Both kinds of metal he prepared,
Either to give blows, or to ward;
Courage and steel, both of great force, 85
Prepared for better, or for worse.
His death-charged pistols he did fit well,
Drawn out from life-preserving vittle;
These being primed, with force he labour'd
To free's blade from retentive scabbard; 90
And after many a painful pluck,
From rusty durance he bail'd tuck:
Then shook himself, to see that prowess
In scabbard of his arms sat loose;
And, raised upon his desp'rate foot, 95
On stirrup-side he gazed about,
Portending blood, like blazing star,
The beacon of approaching war.
The Squire advanced with greater speed
Than could b' expected from his steed; 100
But far more in returning made;
For now the foe he had survey'd,
Ranged, as to him they did appear,
With van, main battle, wings, and rear.
I' th' head of all this warlike rabble, 105
Crowdero march'd, expert and able.
Instead of trumpet, and of drum,
That makes the warrior's stomach come,
Whose noise whets valour sharp, like beer
By thunder turn'd to vinegar; 110
For if a trumpet sound, or drum beat,
Who has not a month's mind to combat?
A squeaking engine he applied
Unto his neck, on north-east side,
Just where the hangman does dispose, 115
To special friends, the fatal noose:
For 'tis great grace, when statesmen straight
Despatch a friend, let others wait.
His warped ear hung o'er the strings,
Which was but souse to chitterlings: 120
For guts, some write, ere they are sodden,
Are fit for music, or for pudden;
From whence men borrow every kind
Of minstrelsy, by string or wind.
His grisly beard was long and thick, 125
With which he strung his fiddle-stick;
For he to horse-tail scorn'd to owe
For what on his own chin did grow.
Chiron, the four-legg'd bard, had both
A beard and tail of his own growth; 130
And yet by authors 'tis averr'd,
He made use only of his beard.
In Staffordshire, where virtuous worth
Does raise the minstrelsy, not birth:
"Where bulls do choose the boldest king  135
And ruler o'er the men of string;
As once in Persia, 'tis said,
Kings were proclaim'd b' a horse that neigh'd;
He, bravely vent'ring at a crown,
By chance of war was beaten down, 140
And wounded sore: his leg, then broke,
Had got a deputy of oak;
For when a shin in fight is cropt,
The knee with one of timber's propt,
Esteem'd more honourable than the other, 145
And takes place, tho' the younger brother.
Next march'd brave Orsin, famous for
Wise conduct, and success in war;
A skilful leader, stout, severe,
Now marshal to the champion bear. 150
With truncheon tipp'd with iron head,
The warrior to the lists he led;
With solemn march, and stately pace,
But far more grave and solemn face;
Grave as the Emperor of Pegu, 155
Or Spanish potentate, Don Diego.
This leader was of knowledge great,
Either for charge, or for retreat:
Knew when t' engage his bear pell-mell,
And when to bring him off as well. 160
So lawyers, lest the bear defendant,
And plaintiff dog, should make an end on't,
Do stave and tail with writs of error,
Reverse of judgment, and demurrer,
To let them breathe awhile, and then 165
Cry whoop, and set them on again.
As Romulus a wolf did rear,
So he was dry-nursed by a bear,
That fed him with the purchased prey
Of many a fierce and bloody fray; 170
Bred up, where discipline most rare is,
In military garden Paris:
For soldiers heretofore did grow
In gardens, just as weeds do now,
Until some splay-foot politicians 175
T' Apollo offer'd up petitions,
For licensing a new invention
They'd found out, of an antique engine
To root out all the weeds, that grow
In public gardens, at a blow, 180
And leave th' herbs standing. Quoth Sir Sun,
My friends, that is not to be done.
Not done? quoth Statesmen: Yes, an't please ye,
When 'tis once known you'll say 'tis easy.
Why then let's know it, quoth Apollo. 185
We'll beat a drum, and they'll all follow.
A drum! quoth Phœbus; Troth, that's true,
A pretty invention, quaint and new:
But tho' of voice and instrument
We are th' undoubted president, 190
We such loud music do not profess;
The devil's master of that office,
Where it must pass; if 't be a drum,
He'll sign it with Cler. Parl. Dom. Com.
To him apply yourselves, and he 195
Will soon despatch you for his fee.
They did so, but it proved so ill,
They'ad better let 'em grow there still.
But to resume what we discoursing
Were on before, that is, stout Orsin; 200
That which so oft by sundry writers,
Has been applied t' almost all fighters,
More justly may b' ascribed to this
Than any other warrior, viz.
None ever acted both parts bolder, 205
Both of a chieftain and a soldier.
He was of great descent, and high
For splendour and antiquity,
And from celestial origine,
Derived himself in a right line. 210
Not as the ancient heroes did,
Who, that their base births might be hid,
Knowing they were of doubtful gender,
And that they came in at a windore,
Made Jupiter himself, and others 215
O' th' gods, gallants to their own mothers,
To get on them a race of champions,
Of which old Homer first made lampoons.
Arctophylax, in northern sphere,
Was his undoubted ancestor; 220
From whom his great forefathers came,
And in all ages bore his name:
Learned he was in med'c'nal lore,
For by his side a pouch he wore,
Replete with strange hermetic powder, 225
That wounds nine miles point-blank would solder;
By skilful chymist, with great cost,
Extracted from a rotten post;
But of a heav'nlier influence
Than that which mountebanks dispense; 230
Tho' by Promethean fire made,
As they do quack that drive that trade.
For as when slovens do amiss
At others' doors, by stool or piss,
The learned write, a red-hot spit 235
Being prudently applied to it,
Will convey mischief from the dung
Unto the breech that did the wrong;
So this did healing, and as sure
As that did mischief, this would cure. 240
Thus virtuous Orsin was endued
With learning, conduct, fortitude
Incomparable; and as the prince
Of poets, Homer, sung long since,
A skilful leech is better far, 245
Than half a hundred men of war;
So he appear'd, and by his skill,
No less than dint of sword, could kill.
The gallant Bruin march' d next him,
With visage formidably grim, 250
And rugged as a Saracen,
Or Turk of Mahomet's own kin,
Clad in a mantle de la guerre
Of rough, impenetrable fur; 255
And in his nose, like Indian king,
He wore, for ornament, a ring;
About his neck a threefold gorget,
As rough as trebled leathern target;
Armed, as heralds cant, and langued,
Or, as the vulgar say, sharp-fanged: 260
For as the teeth in beasts of prey
Are swords, with which they fight in fray,
So swords, in men of war, are teeth,
Which they do eat their victual with.
He was by birth, some authors write, 265
A Russian, some a Muscovite,
And 'mong the Cossacks had been bred,
Of whom we in diurnals read.
That serve to fill up pages here,
As with their bodies ditches there. 270
Scrimansky was his cousin-german,
With whom he served, and fed on vermin;
R. Cooper sculpr.
From a Print prefixed to his Travels 1660
And, when these fail'd, he'd suck his claws,
And quarter himself upon his paws.
And tho' his countrymen, the Huns, 275
Did stew their meat between their bums
And th' horses' backs o'er which they straddle,
And every man ate up his saddle;
He was not half so nice as they,
But ate it raw when't came in's way. 280
He had traced countries far and near,
More than Le Blanc the traveller;
Who writes, he 'spoused in India,
Of noble house, a lady gay,
And got on her a race of worthies, 285
As stout as any upon earth is.
Full many a fight for him between
Talgol and Orsin oft had been.
Each striving to deserve the crown
Of a saved citizen; the one 290
To guard his bear, the other fought
To aid his dog; both made more stout
By sev'ral spurs of neighbourhood,
Church-fellow-membership, and blood;
But Talgol, mortal foe to cows, 295
Never got ought of him but blows;
Blows hard and heavy, such as he
Had lent, repaid with usury.
Yet Talgol was of courage stout,
And vanquish'd oft'ner than he fought; 300
Inured to labour, sweat, and toil,
And like a champion, shone with oil.
Right many a widow his keen blade,
And many fatherless, had made.
He many a boar and huge dun-cow 305
Did, like another Guy, o'erthrow;
But Guy, with him in fight compared,
Had like the boar or dun-cow fared.
With greater troops of sheep h' had fought
Than Ajax, or bold Don Quixote; 310
And many a serpent of fell kind,
With wings before, and stings behind,a
Subdued; as poets say, long agone,
Bold Sir George St George did the dragon.
Nor engine, nor device polemic, 315
Disease, nor doctor epidemic,
Tho' stored with deletery med'cines,
Which whosoever took is dead since,
E'er sent so vast a colony
To both the under worlds as he. 320
For he was of that noble trade
That demi-gods and heroes made,
Slaughter, and knocking on the head.
The trade to which they all were bred;
And is, like others, glorious when 325
'Tis great and large, but base, if mean:
The former rides in triumph for it,
The latter in a two-wheel'd chariot,
For daring to profane a thing
So sacred, with vile bungle-ing. 330
Next these the brave Magnano came,
Magnano, great in martial fame;
Yet, when with Orsin he waged fight,
'Tis sung he got but little by't:
Yet he was fierce as forest boar, 335
Whose spoils upon his back he wore,
As thick as Ajax' seven-fold shield,
"Which o'er his brazen arms he held;
But brass was feeble to resist
The fury of his armed fist; 340
Nor could the hardest iron hold out
Against his blows, but they would through't.
In magic he was deeply read.
As he that made the brazen head;
Profoundly skill'd in the black art, 345
As English Merlin, for his heart;
But far more skilful in the spheres,
Than he was at the sieve and shears.
He could transform himself to colour,
As like the devil as a collier; 350
As like as hypocrites in show
Are to true saints, or crow to crow.
Of warlike engines he was author,
Devised for quick despatch of slaughter:
The cannon, blunderbuss, and saker, 355
He was th' inventor of, and maker:
The trumpet and the kettle-drum
Did both from his invention come.
He was the first that e'er did teach
To make, and how to stop, a breach. 360
A lance he bore with iron pike,
Th' one half would thrust, the other strike;
And when their forces he had join'd,
He scorn'd to turn his parts behind.
He Trulla loved, Trulla, more bright 365
Than burnish'd armour of her knight;
A bold virago, stout, and tall,
As Joan of France, or English Mall.
R. Cooper sculpr.
MARY FRITH alias MALL CUTPURSE.
From a rare Print prefixed to her Life, 1662
Through perils both of wind and limb,
Through thick and thin she follow'd him 370
In every adventure h' undertook;
And never him, or it forsook.
At breach of wall, or hedge surprise,
She shared i' th' hazard, and the prize:
At beating quarters up, or forage, 375
Behaved herself with matchless courage;
And laid about in fight more busily
Than th' Amazonian Dame Penthesile.
And tho' some critics here cry Shame,
And say our authors are to blame, 380
That; spite of all philosophers,
Who hold no females stout but bears,
And heretofore did so abhor
That women should pretend to war,
They would not suffer the stout'st dame 385
To swear by Hercules his name;
Make feeble ladies, in their works,
To fight like termagants and Turks;
To lay their native arms aside,
Their modesty, and ride astride; 390
To run a-tilt at men, and wield
Their naked tools in open field;
As stout Armida, bold Thalestris,
And she that would have been the mistress
Of Gondibert, but he had grace, 395
And rather took a country lass:
They say 'tis false, without all sense
But of pernicious consequence
To government, which they suppose
Can never be upheld in prose; 400
Strip nature naked to the skin,
You'll find about her no such thing.
It may be so, yet what we tell
Of Trulla, that's improbable,
Shall be deposed by those have seen't, 405
Or, what's as good, produced in print;
And if they will not take our word,
We'll prove it true upon record.
The upright Cerdon next advanc't,
Of all his race the valiant'st; 410
Cerdon the Great, renown'd in song,
Like Herc'les, for repair of wrong:
He raised the low, and fortified
The weak against the strongest side.
R. Cooper sculpr.
SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT.
From a Print by William Faithorne prefixed to his Works 1673.
Ill has he read, that never hit 415
On him in muses' deathless writ.
He had a weapon keen and fierce,
That thro' a bull-hide shield would pierce,
And cut it in a thousand pieces,
Tho' tougher than the Knight of Greece his, 420
With whom his black-thumb'd ancestor
Was comrade in the ten years' war:
For when the restless Greeks sat down
So many years before Troy town,
And were renown'd, as Homer writes, 425
For well-soled boots no less than fights;
They owed that glory only to
His ancestor, that made them so.
Fast friend he was to Reformation,
Until 'twas worn quite out of fashion; 430
Next rectifier of wry law,
And would make three to cure one flaw.
Learned he was, and could take note,
Transcribe, collect, translate, and quote:
But preaching was his chiefest talent, 433
Or argument, in which being valiant,
He used to lay about, and stickle,
Like ram or bull at conventicle:
For disputants, like rams and bulls,
Do fight with arms that spring from skulls. 440
Last Colon came, bold man of war,
Destined to blows by fatal star;
Right expert in command of horse,
But cruel, and without remorse.
That which of Centaur long ago 445
Was said, and has been wrested to
Some other knights, was true of this:
He and his horse were of a piece.
One spirit did inform them both,
The self-same vigour, fury, wrath; 450
Yet he was much the rougher part,
And always had the harder heart,
Altho' his horse had been of those
That fed on man's flesh, as fame goes.
Strange food for horse! and yet, alas! 455
It may be true, for flesh is grass.
Sturdy he was, and no less able
Than Hercules to cleanse a stable;
As great a drover, and as great
A critic too, in hog or neat. 460
He ripp'd the womb up of his mother,
Dame Tellus, 'cause he wanted fother,
And provender, wherewith to feed
Himself and his less cruel steed.
It was a question, whether he, 465
Or's horse, were of a family
More worshipful; till antiquaries,
After they'd almost pored out their eyes,
Did very learnedly decide
The business on the horse's side; 470
And proved not only horse, but cows,
Nay pigs, were of the elder house:
For beasts, when man was but a piece
Of earth himself, did th' earth possess.
These worthies were the chief that led 475
The combatants, each in the head
Of his command, with arms and rage
Ready and longing to engage.
The numerous rabble was drawn out
Of several countries round about, 480
From villages remote, and shires,
Of east and western hemispheres.
From foreign parishes and regions,
Of different manners, speech, religions,
Came men and mastiffs; some to fight 485
For fame and honour, some for sight.
And now the field of death, the lists,
Were enter'd by antagonists.
And blood was ready to be broach'd,
When Hudibras in haste approach'd, 490
With Squire and weapons to attack 'em;
But first thus from his horse bespake 'em:
What rage, O Citizens! what fury
Doth you to these dire actions hurry?
"What œstrum, what phrenetic mood 495
Makes you thus lavish of your blood,
While the proud Vies your trophies boast,
And unrevenged walks ——— ghost?
What towns, what garrisons might you,
With hazard of this blood, subdue, 500
Which now ye're bent to throw away
In vain, untriumphable fray?
Shall saints in civil bloodshed wallow
Of saints, and let the Cause lie fallow?
The Cause, for which we fought and swore 505
So boldly, shall we now give o'er?
Then because quarrels still are seen
With oaths and swearings to begin.
The Solemn League and Covenant
Will seem a mere God-damme rant, 510
And we that took it, and have fought.
As lewd as drunkards that fall out.
For as we make war for the king
Against himself, the self-same thing
R. Cooper sculptt.
Sir William Waller
From a picture by Walker in the collection of the Earl of Harcourt.
Some will not stick to swear we do,515
For God and for religion too.
For if bear-baiting we allow,
What good can Eeformation do?
The blood and treasure that's laid out
Is thrown away, and goes for nought.520
Are these the fruits o' th' Protestation,
The prototype of Reformation,
Which all the saints, and some, since martyrs,
Wore in their hats like wedding-garters,
When 'twas resolved by their house,525
Six members' quarrel to espouse?
Did they for this draw down the rabble,
With zeal, and noises formidable;
And make all cries about the town
Join throats to cry the bishops down?530
Who having round begirt the palace,
As once a month they do the gallows,
As members gave the sign about,
Set up their throats, with hideous shout.
When tinkers bawl'd aloud, to settle535
Church-discipline, for patch1ng kettle.
No sow-gelder did blow his horn
To geld a cat, but cried Reform.
The oyster-women lock'd their fish up,
And trudged away to cry No Bishop:540
The mouse-trap men laid save-alls by,
And 'gainst Ev'l Counsellors did cry.
Botchers left old clothes in the lurch,
And fell to turn and patch the church
Some cried the Covenant, instead 545
Of pudding-pies and ginger-bread:
And some for brooms, old boots, and shoes,
Bawl'd out to purge the Commons' House:
Instead of kitchen-stuff, some cry
A Gospel-preaching ministry:550
And some for old suits, coats, or cloak,
No Surplices, nor Service-book.
A strange harmonious inclination
Of all degrees to Reformation:
And is this all? is this the end555
To which these carr'ings-on did tend?
Hath public faith, like a young heir,
For this tak'n up all sorts of ware,
And run int' every tradesman's book,
Till both turn'd bankrupts, and are broke?560
Did saints for this bring in their plate,
And crowd, as if they came too late?
For when they thought the Cause had need on't,
Happy was he that could be rid on't.
Did they coin piss-pots, bowls, and flagons,565
Int' officers of horse and dragoons;
And into pikes and musketeers
Stamp beakers, cups, and porringers?
R. Cooper sculpt.
Thomas Case, M.A.
From a portrait prefixed to the farewell sermons of the ejected ministers.
A thimble, bodkin, and a spoon,
Did start up living men, as soon570
As in the furnace they were thrown,
Just like the dragon's teeth b'ing sown.
Then was the Cause all gold and plate,
The brethren's off'rings consecrate.
Like th' Hebrew calf, and down before it575
The saints fell prostrate, to adore it.
So say the wicked—and will you
Make that sarcasmous scandal true,
By running after dogs and bears,
Beasts more unclean than calves or steers?580
Have pow'rful Preachers ply'd their tongues,
And laid themselves out, and their lungs;
Us'd all means, both direct and sinister,
I' th' power of gospel-preaching minister?
Have they invented tones, to win585
The women, and make them draw in
The men, as Indians with a female
Tame elephant inveigle the male?
Have they told Prov'dence what it must do,
Whom to avoid, and whom to trust to?590
Discover'd th' enemy's design,
And which way best to countermine?
Prescrib'd what ways he hath to work,
Or it will ne'er advance the Kirk?
Told it the news o' th' last express,595
And after good or bad success
Made prayers, not so like petitions,
As overtures and propositions,
Such as the army did present
To their creator, th' parliament; 600
In which they freely will confess,
They will not, cannot acquiesce,
Unless the work be carry 'd on
In the same way they have begun.
By setting Church and Common-weal 605
All on a flame, bright as their zeal.
On which the saints were all agog.
And all this for a bear and dog?
The parliament drew up petitions
To 'tself, and sent them, like commissions, 610
To well-affected persons, down
In every city and great town,
With pow'r to levy horse and men.
Only to bring them back agen?
For this did many, many a mile, 615
Ride manfully in rank and file,
R. Cooper sculpt.
From an unique print in the collection at Strawberry Hill.
With papers in their hats, that show'd
As if they to the pillory rode?
Have all these courses, these efforts,
Been try'd by people of all sorts,620
Velis et remis, omnibus nervis,
And all t' advance the Cause's service,
And shall all now be thrown away
In petulant intestine fray?
Shall we, that in the Cov'nant swore,625
Each man of us to run before
Another still in Reformation,
Give dogs and bears a dispensation?
How will dissenting brethren relish it?
What will Malignants say? videlicet,630
That each man swore to do his best,
To damn and perjure all the rest;
And bid the devil take the hin'most.
Which at this race is like to win most.
They'll say, our bus'ness to reform635
The Church and State is but a worm;
For to subscribe, unsight, unseen,
T' an unknown Church's discipline,
What is it else, but, before-hand,
T' engage, and after understand?640
For when we swore to carry on
The present Reformation,
According to the purest mode
Of Churches best reform'd abroad,
What did we else but make a vow645
To do, we knew not what, nor how?
For no three of us will agree
Where or what Churches these should be;
And is indeed the self-same case
With theirs that swore et cæteras;650
Or the French league, in which men vow'd
To fight to the last drop of blood.
These slanders will be thrown upon
The cause and work we carry on,
If we permit men to run headlong655
T' exorbitances fit for Bedlam,
Rather than gospel-walking times,
When slightest sins are greatest crimes.
But we the matter so shall handle,
As to remove that odious scandal.660
In name of king and parliament,
I charge ye all, no more foment
This feud, but keep the peace between
Your brethren and your countrymen;
And to those places straight repair665
Where your respective dwellings are:
But to that purpose first surrender
The fiddler, as the prime oftender,
Th' incendiary vile, that is chief
Author, and engineer of mischief;670
That makes division between friends,
For profane and malignant ends.
He and that engine of vile noise,
On which illegally he plays,
Shall, dictum factum, both be brought675
To condign punishment, as th' ought.
This must be done, and I would fain see
Mortal so sturdy as to gainsay:
For then I'll take another course,
And soon reduce you all by force.680
This said, he clapt his hand on sword,
To show he meant to keep his word.
But Talgol, who had long supprest
Inflamed wrath in glowing breast,
Which now began to rage and burn as685
Implacably as flame in furnace.
Thus answer'd him: Thou vermin wretched,
As e'er in measled pork was hatched;
Thou tail of worship, that dost grow
On rump of justice as of cow;690
How dar'st thou with that sullen luggage
O' th'self, old iron, and other baggage,
With which thy steed of bones and leather
Has broke his wind in halting hither;
How durst th', I say, adventure thus695
T' oppose thy lumber against us?
Could thine impertinence find out
No work t' employ itself about,
Where thou, secure from wooden blow,
Thy busy vanity might show?700
Was no dispute afoot between
The caterwauling bretheren?
No subtle question rais'd among
Those out-o'-their wits, and those i' th' wrong?
No prize between those combatants705
O' th' times, the land and water saints;
Where thou might'st stickle, without hazard
Of outrage to thy hide and mazzard,
And not, for want of bus'ness, come
To us to be thus troublesome,710
To interrupt our better sort
Of disputants, and spoil our sport?
Was there no felony, no bawd.
Cut-purse, nor burglary abroad?
No stolen pig, nor plunder'd goose,715
To tie thee up from breaking loose?
No ale unlicens'd, broken hedge,
For which thou statute might'st allege,
To keep thee busy from foul evil,
And shame due to thee from the devil?720
Did no committee sit, where he
Might cut out journey-work for thee;
And set th' a task, with subornation,
To stitch up sale and sequestration;
To cheat, with holiness and zeal,725
All parties and the common-weal?
Much better had it been for thee,
H' had kept thee where th' art us'd to be;
Or sent th' on business any whither,
So he had never brought thee hither.730
But if th' hast brain enough in skull
To keep itself in lodging whole,
And not provoke the rage of stones,
And cudgels, to thy hide and bones;
Tremble and vanish while thou may'st,735
Which I'll not promise if thou stay'st.
At this the Knight grew high in wroth,
And lifting hands and eyes up both,
Three times he smote on stomach stout,
From whence, at length, these words broke out:740
Was I for this entitled Sir,
And girt with trusty sword and spur,
For fame and honour to wage battle,
Thus to be brav'd by foe to cattle?
Not all the pride that makes thee swell745
As big as thou dost blown-up veal;
Nor all thy tricks and sleights to cheat,
And sell thy carrion for good meat;
Not all thy magic to repair
Decay'd old age, in tough lean ware,750
Make nat'ral death appear thy work,
And stop the gangrene in stale pork;
Not all the force that makes thee proud,
Because by bullock ne'er withstood:
Tho' arm'd with all thy cleavers, knives,755
And axes made to hew down lives,
Shall save, or help thee to evade
The hand of justice, or this blade,
Which I, her sword-bearer, do carry,
For civil deed and military.760
Nor shall these words of venom base,
Which thou hast from their native place,
Thy stomach, pump'd to fling on me,
Gro unreveng'd, though I am free:
Thou down the same throat shalt devour 'em765
Like tainted beef, and pay dear for 'em.
Nor shall it e'er be said, that wight
With gauntlet blue and bases white,
And round blunt dudgeon by his side,
So great a man at arms defy'd,770
With words far bitterer than wormwood,
That would in Job or Grizel stir mood.
Dogs with their tongues their wounds do heal;
But men with hands, as thou shalt feel.
This said, with hasty rage he snatch'd775
His gun-shot, that in holsters watch'd;
And bending cock, he levell'd full
Against th' outside of Talgol's skull;
Vowing that he should ne'er stir further,
Nor henceforth cow or bullock murther.780
But Pallas came in shape of rust,
And 'twixt the spring and hammer thrust
Her gorgon-shield, which made the cock
Stand stiff, as if 'twere turn'd t' a stock.
Meanwhile fierce Talgol gath'ring might,785
With rugged truncheon charg'd the Knight;
But he with petronel upheav'd,
Instead of shield, the blow receiv'd.
The gun recoil'd, as well it might,
Not us'd to such a kind of fight,790
And shrunk from its great master's gripe,
Knock'd down, and stunn'd, with mortal stripe:
Then Hudibras, with furious haste,
Drew out his sword; yet not so fast,
But Talgol first, with hardy thwack,795
Twice bruis'd his head, and twice his back;
But when his nut-brown sword was out,
Courageously he laid about,
Imprinting many a wound upon
His mortal foe, the truncheon.800
The trusty cudgel did oppose
Itself against dead-doing blows,
To guard its leader from fell bane,
And then reveng'd itself again:
And though the sword, some understood,805
In force had much the odds of wood,
'Twas nothing so; both sides were balanc't
So equal, none knew which was valian'st.
For wood with honour b'ing engag'd,
Is so implacably enrag'd,810
Though iron hew and mangle sore,
Wood wounds and bruises honour more.
And now both knights were out of breath,
Tir'd in the hot pursuit of death;
Whilst all the rest, amaz'd, stood still,815
Expecting which should take, or kill.
This Hudibras observ'd, and fretting
Conquest should be so long a-getting,
He drew up all his force into
One body, and that into one blow.820
But Talgol wisely avoided it
By cunning sleight; for had it hit
The upper part of him, the blow
Had slit, as sure as that below.
Meanwhile th' incomparable Colon,825
To aid his friend, began to fall on;
Him Ralph encounter'd, and straight grew
A dismal combat 'twixt them two:
Th' one arm'd with metal, th' other wood;
This fit for bruise, and that for blood.830
With many a stiff thwack, many a bang,
Hard crab-tree and old iron rang;
While none that saw them could divine
To which side conquest would incline:
Until Magnano, who did envy835
That two should with so many men vie,
By subtle stratagem of brain
Perform'd what force could ne'er attain;
For he, by foul hap, having found
Where thistles grew on barren ground,840
In haste he drew his weapon out,
And having cropp'd them from the root,
He clapp'd them under th' horse's tail,
With prickles sharper than a nail.
The angry beast did straight resent845
The wrong done to his fundament,
Began to kick, and fling, and wince,
As if h' had been beside his sense,
Striving to disengage from thistle,
That gall'd him sorely under his tail;850
Instead of which he threw the pack
Of Squire and baggage from his back,
And blund'ring still with smarting rump,
He gave the Knight's steed such a thump
As made him reel. The Knight did stoop,855
And sat on further side aslope.
This Talgol viewing, who had now,
By flight, escap'd the fatal blow,
He rally'd, and again fell to 't;
For catching foe by nearer foot,860
He lifted with such might and strength,
As would have hurl'd him thrice his length,
And dash'd his brains, if any, out:
But Mars, who still protects the stout,
In pudding-time came to his aid,865
And under him the bear convey'd;
The bear, upon whose soft fur-gown
The Knight, with all his weight, fell down.
The friendly rug preserv'd the ground,
And headlong Knight, from bruise or wound,870
Like feather-bed betwixt a wall,
And heavy brunt of cannon ball.
As Sancho on a blanket fell,
And had no hurt; ours far'd as well
In body, though his mighty spirit,875
B'ing heavy, did not so well bear it.
The bear was in a greater fright,
Beat down and worsted by the Knight.
He roar'd, and rag'd, and flung about,
To shake off bondage from his snout.880
His wrath inflam'd boil'd o'er, and from
His jaws of death he threw the foam;
Fury in stranger postures threw him,
And more, than ever herald drew him.
He tore the earth, which he had sav'd885
From squelch of Knight, and storm'd and rav'd;
And vex'd the more, because the harms
He felt were 'gainst the Law of arms;
For men he always took to be
His friends, and dogs the enemy,890
Who never so much hurt had done him
As his own side did falling on him.
It griev'd him to the guts, that they,
For whom h' had fought so many a fray,
And serv'd with loss of blood so long,895
Should offer such inhuman wrong;
Wrong of unsoldier-like condition;
For which he flung down his commission,
And laid about him, till his nose
From thrall of ring and cord broke loose.900
Soon as he felt himself enlarg'd,
Through thickest of his foes he charg'd,
And made way through th' amazed crew,
Some he o'erran, and some o'erthrew.
But took none; for, by hasty flight,905
He strove t' avoid the conquering Knight,
From whom he fled with as much haste
And dread as he the rabble chased.
In haste he fled, and so did they,
Each and his fear a several way.910
Crowdero only kept the field.
Not stirring from the place he held,
Though beaten down, and wounded sore,
I' th' fiddle, and a leg that bore
One side of him, not that of bone,915
But much its better, th' wooden one.
He spying Hudibras lie strow'd
Upon the ground, like log of wood,
With fright of fall, supposed wound,
And loss of urine, in a swound;920
In haste he snatch'd the wooden limb,
That hurt i' th' ankle lay by him,
And fitting it for sudden fight,
Straight drew it up t' attack the Knight;
For getting up on stump and huckle,925
He with the foe began to buckle,
Vowing to be reveng'd for breach
Of crowd and shin upon the wretch,
Sole author of all detriment
He and his fiddle underwent.930
But Ralpho, who had now begun
T' adventure resurrection
From heavy squelch, and had got up
Upon his legs, with sprained crup,
Looking about beheld the bard935
To charge the Knight entranc'd prepar'd,
He snatch'd his whinyard up, that fled
When he was falling off his steed,
As rats do from a falling house,
To hide itself from rage of blows;940
And wing'd with speed and fury, flew
To rescue Knight from black and blue.
Which ere he could achieve, his sconce
The leg encounter'd twice and once;
And now 'twas rais'd, to smite agen,945
When Ralpho thrust himself between;
He took the blow upon his arm,
To shield the Knight from further harm;
And joining wrath with force, bestow'd
O' th' wooden member such a load,950
That down it fell, and with it bore
Crowdero, whom it propp'd before.
To him the Squire right nimbly run,
And setting conqu'ring foot upon
His trunk, thus spoke: What desp'rate frenzy955
Made thee, thou whelp of sin, to fancy
Thyself, and all that coward rabble,
T' encounter us in battle able?
How durst th', I say, oppose thy curship
'Gainst arms, authority, and worship,960
And Hudibras or me provoke,
Though all thy limbs were heart of oak,
And th' other half of thee as good
To bear our blows as that of wood?
Could not the whipping-post prevail,965
With all its rhet'ric, nor the jail,
To keep from flaying scourge thy skin,
And ankle free from iron gin?
Which now thou shalt—but first our care
Must see how Hudibras doth fare.970
This said, he gently rais'd the Knight,
And set him on his bum upright:
To rouse him from lethargic dump,
He tweak'd his nose, with gentle thump
Knock'd on his breast, as if 't had been975
To raise the spirits lodg'd within.
They, waken'd with the noise, did fly
From inward room to window eye,
And gently op'ning lid, the casement,
Look'd out, but yet with some amazement.980
This gladded Ralpho much to see,
Who thus bespoke the Knight: quoth he,
Tweaking his nose. You are, great Sir,
A self-denying conqueror;
As high, victorious, and great,985
As e'er fought for the Churches yet,
If you will give yourself but leave
To make out what y' already have;
That's victory. The foe, for dread
Of your nine-worthiness, is fled,990
All, save Crowdero, for whose sake
You did th' espous'd Cause undertake;
And he lies pris'ner at your feet,
To be dispos'd as you think meet,
Either for life, or death, or sale, 995
The gallows, or perpetual jail;
For one wink of your pow'rful eye
Must sentence him to live or die.
His fiddle is your proper purchase,
Won in the service of the Churches;1000
And by your doom must be allow'd
To be, or be no more, a Crowd:
For tho' success did not confer
Just title on the conqueror;
Tho' dispensations were not strong1005
Conclusions, whether right or wrong;
Altho' out-goings did not confirm,
And owning were but a mere term;
Yet as the wicked have no right
To th' creature, tho' usurp'd by might,1010
The property is in the saint,
From whom th' injuriously detain't;
Of him they hold their luxuries,
Their dogs, their horses, whores, and dice.
Their riots, revels, masks, delights,1015
Pimps, buffoons, fiddlers, parasites;
All which the saints have title to,
And ought t' enjoy, if th' had their due.
What we take from them is no more
Than what was ours by right before;1020
For we are their true landlords still,
And they our tenants but at will.
At this the Knight began to rouse,
And by degrees grow valorous:
He star'd about, and seeing none1025
Of all his foes remain but one,
He snatch'd his weapon that lay near him,
And from the ground began to rear him,
Vowing to make Crowdero pay
For all the rest that ran away.1030
But Ralpho now, in colder blood,
His fury mildly thus withstood:
Great Sir, quoth he, your mighty spirit
Is rais'd too high; this slave does merit
To be the hangman's bus'ness, sooner1035
Than from your hand to have the honour
Of his destruction; I that am
A nothingness in deed and name,
Did scorn to hurt his forfeit carcase,
Or ill entreat his fiddle or case:1040
Will you, great Sir, that glory blot
In cold blood, which you gain'd in hot?
Will you employ your conqu'ring sword
To break a fiddle, and your word?
For tho' I fought and overcame,1045
And quarter gave, 'twas in your name:
For great commanders always own
What's prosp'rous by the soldier done.
To save, where you have pow'r to kill,
Argues your pow'r above your will;1050
And that your will and pow'r have less
Than both might have of selfishness.
This pow'r which, now alive, with dread
He trembles at, if he were dead.
Would no more keep the slave in awe,1055
Than if you were a knight of straw;
For death would then be his conqueror,
Not you, and free him from that terror.
If danger from his life accrue,
Or honour from his death to you,1060
'Twere policy, and honour too,
To do as you resolv'd to do:
But, Sir, 'twou'd wrong your valour much,
To say it needs, or fears a crutch.
Great conqu'rors greater glory gain1065
By foes in triumph led, than slain:
The laurels that adorn their brows
Are pull'd from living, not dead boughs,
And living foes: the greatest fame
Of cripple slain can be but lame:1070
One half of him's already slain.
The other is not worth your pain;
Th' honour can but on one side light,
As worship did, when y' were dubb'd Knight.
Wherefore I think it better far 1075
To keep him prisoner of war;
And let him fast in bonds abide,
At court of justice to be try'd;
Where, if h' appear so bold or crafty,
There may be danger in his safety:1080
If any member there dislike
His face, or to his beard have pike;
Or if his death will save, or yield
Revenge or fright, it is reveal'd;
Tho' he has quarter, ne'ertheless1085
T' have pow'r to hang him when you please.
This has been often done by some
Of our great conqu'rors, you know whom:
And has by most of us been held
Wise justice, and to some reveal'd:1090
For words and promises, that yoke
The conqueror, are quickly broke;
Like Samson's cuffs, tho' by his own
Directions and advice put on.
For if we should fight for the Cause1095
By rules of military laws,
And only do what they call just,
The Cause would quickly fall to dust.
This we among ourselves may speak;
But to the wicked or the weak1100
We must be cautious to declare
Perfection-truths, such as these are.
This said, the high outrageous mettle
Of Knight began to cool and settle.
He lik'd the Squire's advice, and soon1105
Resolv'd to see the bus'ness done;
And therefore charg'd him first to bind
Crowdero's hands on rump behind,
And to its former place, and use,
The wooden member to reduce;1110
But force it take an oath before,
Ne'er to bear arms against him more.
Ralpho dispatch'd with speedy haste,
And having ty'd Crowdero fast.
He gave Sir Knight the end of cord,1115
To lead the captive of his sword
In triumph, while the steeds he caught,
And them to further service brought.
The Squire, in state, rode on before,
And on his nut-brown whinyard bore1120
The trophy-fiddle and the case,
Leaning on shoulder like a mace.
The Knight himself did after ride,
Leading Crowdero by his side;
And tow'd him, if he lagg'd behind,1125
Like boat against the tide and wind.
Thus grave and solemn they march on,
Until quite thro' the town they'd gone:
At further end of which there stands
An ancient castle, that commands1130
Th' adjacent parts; in all the fabrick
You shall not see one stone nor a brick,
But all of wood, by pow'rful spell
Of magic made impregnable:
There's neither iron bar nor gate,1135
Portcullis, chain, nor bolt, nor grate;
And yet men durance there abide,
In dungeon scarce three inches wide;
With roof so low, that under it
They never stand, but lie or sit;1140
And yet so foul, that whoso is in,
Is to the middle-leg in prison;
In circle magical confin'd,
With walls of subtle air and wind,
Which none are able to break thorough,1145
Until they're freed by head of borough.
Thither arriv'd, the advent'rous Knight
And bold Squire from their steeds alight
At th' outward wall, near which there stands
A Bastile, built t' imprison hands1150
By strange enchantment made to fetter
The lesser parts, and free the greater:
Por tho' the body may creep through,
The hands in grate are fast enow:
And when a circle 'bout the wrist1155
Is made by beadle exorcist,
The body feels the spur and switch.
As if 't were ridden post by witch,
At twenty miles an hour pace,
And yet ne'er stirs out of the place.1160
On top of this there is a spire,
On which Sir Knight first bids the Squire
The fiddle, and its spoils, the case,
In manner of a trophy, place.
That done, they ope the trap-door gate,1165
And let Crowdero down thereat.
Crowdero making doleful face,
Like hermit poor in pensive place,
To dungeon they the wretch commit,
And the survivor of his feet;1170
But th' other, that had broke the peace,
And head of knighthood, they release,
Tho' a delinquent false and forged,
Yet b'ing a stranger he 's enlarged;
While his comrade, that did no hurt, 1175
Is clapp'd up fast in prison for't.
So justice, while she winks at crimes,
Stumbles on innocence sometimes.
- Butler's description of the combatants resembles the list of warriors in the Iliad and Æneid, and especially the laboured characters in the Theban war, both in Æschylus and Euripides. See Septem contra Thebas, v. 383; Supplices, v. 362; Phœnis. v. 1139.
- In the first edition this and the next two lines stand thus:To whom the Knight does make a Speech,
And they defie him: after whichHe fights with Talgol, routs the Bear,
- Empedocles, a Pythagorean philosopher and poet, held that, concord and discord were the two principles (one formative, the other destructive) which regulated the four elements that compose the universe. The great anachronism in these two celebrated lines increases the humour. Empedocles lived about 2100 years before Alexander Ross.
- Alexander Ross was a very voluminous writer, and chaplain to Charles the First. He wrote a "View of all Religions," which had a large sale; an answer to Sir Thomas Browne's Pseudoxia and Religio Medici; Commentaries on Hobbes; Mystagogus Poeticus, or the Muses' Interpreter; and many other works. Addison, in the Spectator, No. 60, says, he has heard these lines of Hudibras more frequently quoted than the finest pieces of wit in the whole poem, observing that the jingle of the double rhyme has something in it that tickles the ear.
- Mr Butler, in his MS. Common Place-book, says,
Love and fighting is the sum
Of all romances, from Tom Thumb
To Arthur, Gondibert, and Hudibras.
- Alluding, it is supposed, to the Protector Somerset, who, in the reign of Edward VI., pulled down two churches, part of St Paul's, and three bishops' houses, to build Somerset House in the Strand.
- In Carazan, a province of Tartary, Dr Heylin says, "they have an use, when any stranger comes into their houses of an handsome shape, to kill him in the night; that the soul of such a comely person might remain among them." See also Spectator, No. 126.
- Alluding probably to the case of Lord Capel and other brave cavaliers, whom the Independents "durst not let live."
- Their testes were supposed to furnish a medicinal drug of value. See Juvenal, Sat. xii. 1. 34. Browne's Vulgar Errors, III. 4.
- Tollutation is paring, or ambling, moving per latera, as Sir Thomas Browne says, that is, lifting both legs of one side together.
- Succussation, or trotting, is lifting one foot before, and the cross foot behind.
- Alluding to the atomic theory. Democritus, Epicurus, &c., and some of the moderns likewise, as Des Cartes, Hobbes, and others, deny that there is a vital principle in animals, and maintain that life and sensation are generated from the contexture of atoms, and are nothing but local motion and mechanism. By which argument tops and balls in motion are presumed to be as much animated as dogs and horses.
- This is meant to ridicule the opinion adopted by Selden, that America had formerly been discovered by the Britons or Welsh; inferred from the similarity of some words in the two languages, especially Penguin, the British name of a bird with a white head, which in America signifies a white rock. Butler implies, that it is just as likely horses were derived from engines, as that the Britons came from Penguins. Mr Selden, in his note on Drayton's Polyolbion, says, that Madoc, brother to David ap Owen, Prince of Wales, made a sea-voyage to Florida, about the year 1170, and Humphry Llwyd, in his history of Wales, reports, that one Madoc, son of Owen Gwynedd, Prince of Wales, some hundred years before Columbus discovered the West Indies, sailed into those parts, and planted a colony; an idea which Southey has beautifully developed in his "Madoc."
- That is, Hudibras and his Squire spurred their horses.
- Alluding to Pharsalia, where Julius Cæsar gained his signal victory over Pompey the Great, of which see Lucan's Pharsalia.
- Ridiculing the disputes formerly subsisting between the advocates for ancient and modern learning. Sir William Temple observes: that as to knowledge, the moderns must have more than the ancients, because they have the advantage both of theirs and their own: which is commonly illustrated by a dwarf standing upon a giant's shoulders, and therefore seeing more and further than the giant.
- These two lines, 85 and 86, were in the later editions altered to—Courage within and steel without,
To give and to receive a rout.
- The reader will remember how the holsters were furnished. See note at p. 19.
- Altered in later editions to—He cleared at length the rugged tuck.
- It will be seen at Canto i. line 407, that he had but one stirrup.
- Comets and Meteors were held to be portentous. See Spenser on Prodigies, 1658.
- In the original edition, these two lines were:—
Ralpho rode on with no less speed
Than Hugo in the forest did.
- The first two editions read:—
But with a great deal more return'd.
For now the foe he had discern'd.
- A nick-name, taken from the instrument he used: Crowde, a fiddle, from the Welsh crwth. The original of this character is supposed to be one Jackson a milliner, who lived in the New Exchange, in the Strand. He had lost a leg in the service of the Roundheads, and was reduced to the necessity of fiddling from one ale-house to another for his bread.
- Used ironically, for no very strong desire. It has been ingeniously conjectured that the term 'a month's mind' is derived from a woman's longing in her first month of gestation.
- It is difficult to say, why Butler calls the left the north-east side. Possibly it is a conceit suggested by the card of a mariner's compass; the north point, with its Fleur-de-lis representing Crowdero's head; and then the fiddle would be placed at the north-east, when played.
- The noose is usually placed under the left ear.
- Souse is the pig's ear, and chitterlings are the pig's guts; the former alludes to Crowdero's ear, which lay upon the fiddle; the latter to the strings of the fiddle, which are made of catgut.
- This whimsical notion is borrowed from a chapter 'de peditu,' in the Facetiæ Facetiarum, afterwards amplified in Dean Switft's Benefit of F—g explained, where Dr Blow is quoted as asserting in his 'Fundaments' of Music, that the first discovery of harmony was owing to persons of different sizes and sexes sounding different notes of music from their fundaments. An Essay equally whimsical, on the origin of wind-music, will be found in the Spectator, No. 361. An anonymous Essay on this subject is attributed to the Hon. C. J. Fox.
- Chiron the Centaur, who, besides being the most famous physician of his time, and teacher of Æsculapius, was an expert musician, and Apollo's governor. He now forms the Sagittarius of the Zodiac.
- The Minstrel's Charter and Ceremonies are given in Plott's Staffordshire, p. 436.
- This alludes to the custom of bull-running in the manor of Tutbury in Staffordshire, where was a charter granted by John of Gaunt, and confirmed by Henry VI., appointing a king of the minstrels, who was to have a bull for his property, which should be turned out by the prior of Tutbury, if his minstrels, or any one of them, could cut off a piece of his skin before he ran into Derbyshire; but if the bull got into that county sound and unhurt, the prior was to have his bull again. This custom, being productive of much mischief, was, at the request of the inhabitants and by order of the Duke of Devonshire, lord of the manor, discontinued about the year 1788.
- Darius, elected King of Persia, under the agreement of the seven princes, who met on horseback, that the crown should devolve on him whose horse neighed first. By the ingenious device of his groom, the horse of Darius was tho first to neigh, which secured the throne for his master. See the story at length in Herodotus, lib. iii.; and in Brand's Popular Antiquities (Bohn's Edit., vol. iii. p. 124).
- A person with a wooden leg generally puts that leg first in walking.
- Orsin is only a name for a bearward. See Ben Jonson's Masque of Augurs. The person intended is Joshua Gosling, who kept bears at Paris Garden, Southwark.
- See Purchas's Pilgrims, V. b. 5, c. 4, or Mandelso and Olearius's Travels.
- See Purchas's Pilgrims, also Lady's Travels into Spain (by the Countess D'Aunois) 2 vols. 12mo. London, 1722.
- In the original edition these lines were—
He knew when to fall on pell-mell,
To fall back and retreat as well.
- The comparison of a lawyer with a bearward is here kept up: the one parts his clients, and keeps them at bay by writ of error and demurrer, as the latter does the dogs and the bear, by interposing his staff or stave, and holding the dogs by the tails. The bitterness of the satire may be accounted for by the poet's having married a widow, whom he thought possessed of a great fortune; but being placed on bad security, perhaps through the unskilfulness or roguery of a lawyer, it was lost. In his MS. Common-place Book he says the lawyer never ends a suit, but prunes it, that it may grow the faster, and yield a greater increase of strife.
- That is, maintained by the profits derived by the exhibition of his bear. It probably alludes also, as Grey suggests, to Orson (in the story of Valentine and Orson), who was suckled by a bear.
- At Paris Garden, in Southwark, near the river-side, there was a circus, long noted for the entertainment of bear-baiting, which was forbidden in the time of the civil wars. The 'military garden' refers to a society instituted by James I., for training soldiers, who used to practise at Paris Garden.
- The whole passage, here a little inverted, by the satirist's humour, is taken from Boccalini's Advertisement from Parnassus, where the gardeners entreat Apollo, who had invented drums and trumpets by which princes could destroy their wild and rebellious subjects, to teach them some such easy method of destroying weeds.
- Apollo, after the fashion of chivalry, is here designated "Sir Sun." The expression is used by Sir Philip Sydney in Pembroke's Arcadia.
- During the civil wars, the Rump parliament granted patents for new inventions; these, and all other orders and ordinances, were signed by their clerk, with this addition to his name—Clerk of the Parliament House of Commons. Apollo sends the petitioners to that assembly, which he tells them is directed and governed by the devil, who will sanction the grant with the usual signature.
- The expedient of arming the discontented and unprincipled multitude is adventurous, and often proves fatal to the state.
- See Ion's address to his mother Creusa, when she had told him that he was son of Apollo. Euripides (Bohn's Transl. vol. ii. p. 121); also Spectator, p. 630.
- Wind-door is still the provincial term for "window."
- Butler makes the constellation Bootes—which lies in the rear of Ursa Major—the mythological ancestor of the bearward Orsin.
- Hermetic, i.e. chemical. The Hermetical philosophy was so called from Hermes Trismegistus.
- A banter on the famous sympathetic powder, which was to effect the cure of wounds at a distance, and was much in vogue in the reign of James the First. See Sir Kenelm Digby's "Discourse of the cure of wounds by the powder of sympathy." London, 1644.
- Useless powders in medicine are called powders of post.
- That is, heat of the sun. The story of Prometheus is very amusingly told by Dean Swift, in No. 14 of his 'Intelligencer'.
- Still ridiculing the sympathetic powder. See Sir K. Digby's treatise, where the poet's story of the spit is seriously told.
- Thus in the first edition; altered in the later ones to "part."
- See Homer's Iliad, b. xi. line 514. Leech is the old Saxon term for physician.
- Sandys, in his Travels, observes, that the Turks are generally well complexioned, of good stature, except Mahomet's kindred, who are the most ill-favoured people upon earth, branded, perhaps, by God for the sin of their seducing ancestor.
- The Cossacks are a people living near Poland, on the borders of the Don, whence the term "Don Cossack." Grey derives that name from Cosa, the Polish for a goat, to which they are compared for their extraordinary nimbleness and wandering habits.
- The story of the Russian soldiers marching into the ditch at the siege of Schweidnitz is well known. The Cossacks had, in Butler's time, recently put themselves under the protection of Russia.
- Some favourite bear perhaps; or a caricatured Russian name.
- This fact is related by Ammianus Marcellinus. With such fare did Azim Khan entertain Jenkinson, and other Englishmen, in their Travels to the Caspian Sea from the river Volga. See Busbequius' Letters, Ep. iv.
- Le Blanc tells the story of Aganda, a king's daughter, who married a bear.
- He, who saved the life of a Roman citizen, was entitled to a civic crown; and so, says our author, were Talgol and Orsin, who fought hard to save the lives of their dogs and bears.
- Talgol was, we are told by Sir Roger L'Estrange, a butcher in Newgate Market, who afterwards obtained a captain's commission for his rebellious bravery at Naseby.
- The greasiness of a butcher compared with that of the Greek and Roman wrestlers, who anointed themselves with oil to make their joints supple.
- Guy, Earl of Warwick, one of whose valiant exploits was overcoming the dun-cow at Dunsmore-heath, in Warwickshire.
- Ajax, when mad with rage for having failed to obtain the armour of Achilles, attacked and slew a flock of sheep, mistaking them for the Grecian princes who had decided against him. In like manner Don Quixote encountered a flock of sheep, and imagined they were the giant Alifanfaron of Taprobana.
- Meaning the flies, wasps, and hornets, which prey upon the butchers' meat, and were killed by the valiant Talgol.
- Sir George, because tradition makes him a soldier as well as a saint. All heroes in romance have the appellation of Sir, as Sir Belianis of Greece, Sir Palmerin, &c. But there was a real Sir George St George, who in February, 1643, was made commissioner for the government of Connaught; and it is not improbable that this coincidence of names might strike the playful imagination of Mr Butler. It is whimsical too, that General George Monk (afterwards Sir George), in a collection of loyal songs, is said to have slain a most cruel dragon, meaning the Rump parliament. Or perhaps the poet might mean to ridicule the presbyterians, who refused even to call the apostles Peter and Paul saints, but in mockery called them Sir Peter, Sir Paul, &c.
- There is humour in joining the epithet epidemic to the doctor as well as the disease, intimating that there is no condition of the air more dangerous than the vicinity of a quack.
- Virgil, in his sixth Æneid, describes both the Elysian Fields and Tartarus as below, and not far asunder.
- Satirizing those that pride themselves on their military achievements. The general who massacres thousands is called great and glorious; the assassin who kills a single man is hanged at Tyburn.
- Julius Cæsar is said to have fought fifty battles, and to have killed of the Gauls alone eleven hundred ninety-two thousand men, and as many more in his civil wars. In the inscription which Pompey placed in the temple of Minerva, he professed that he had slain, or vanquished and taken, two millions one hundred and eighty-three thousand men.
- Simon Wait, a tinker, as famous an Independent preacher as Burroughs, who with equal blasphemy would style Oliver Cromwell the archangel giving battle to the devil.
- Meaning his budget made of pig's skin.
- The device of the brazen head, which was to speak a prophecy at a certain time, had by some been imputed to Grosse-tête, Bishop of Lincoln, as appears from the poet Gower; by others to Albertus Magnus. But the generality of writers, and our poet among the rest, have ascribed it to Roger Bacon, whose great knowledge caused him to be reputed a magician. Some, however, believe the story of the head to be nothing more than a moral fable.
- William Lilly the astrologer, who adopted the title of Merlinus Anglicus in some of his publications.
- The literal sense would be, that he was skilful in the heavenly spheres; that is, astrology; but a sphere is anything round, and the tinker's skill lay in mending pots and kettles, which are commonly of that shape. There was a kind of divination practised by means of a sieve, which was put upon the point of a pair of shears, and expected to turn round when the person or thing inquired after was named. This silly method of applying for information is mentioned by Theocritus, as Coscinomancy. (See Bohn's Transl. p. 19.)
- Alluding to a common proverb, "Like will to like, as the devil said to the collier." Handbook of Proverbs, p. 111.
- Tinkers are said to mend one hole, and make two.
- Trull is a low profligate woman, that follows the camp, or takes up with a strolling tinker. Trulla signifies the same in Italian. The person here alluded to was a daughter of James Spencer, debauched by Magnano the tinker.
- Joan of Arc, celebrated as the Maid of Orleans. English Moll was famous about the year 1670. Her real name was Mary Carlton; but she was more commonly known as Kentish Moll, or the German princess. She was transported to Jamaica in 1671; and being soon after discovered at large, was hanged at Tyburn, January 22, 1672-3. So far Dr Grey. Bp Percy thinks it more probable that Butler alluded to the valorous Mary Ambree, celebrated in a ballad, contained in his 'Reliques,' 2nd ser. book ii. But it is more likely than either, that he meant Moll Cutpurse (Mary Frith), to whom Shakspeare, Twelfth Night, Act ii. s. 3, alludes. See a long note on the subject in Johnson and Steevens' Shakspeare, edited by Isaac Reed, 1803, vol. v. pages 254–56, where Dr Grey's notion is expressly corrected. The life of Moll Cutpurse was printed in 1662, with a portrait of her, copied in Caulfield's "Remarkable Persons."
- Queen of the Amazons, killed by Achilles. In the first editions it is printed Pen-thesile. See her story in any Classical Dictionary.
- Men and women, among the Romans, did not use the same oath, or swear by the same deity. According to Macrobius, the men did not swear by Castor, nor the women by Hercules; but Edepol, or swearing by Pollux, was common to both.
- The word termagant now signifies a noisy and troublesome female. In Chaucer's rhyme of Sire Thopas, it appears to be the name of a deity. And Hamlet says (Act iii. sc. 2), "I would have such a fellow whipp'd for o'erdoing Termagant, it out-herods Herod." Mr Tyrwhitt states that this Saracen deity is called Tervagan, in an old MS. romance in the Bodleian Library. Bishop Warburton observes, that this passage is a fine satire on the Italian epic poets, Ariosto, Tasso, and others; who have introduced their female warriors, and are followed in this absurdity by Spenser and Davenant.
- Camden says that Anne, wife of Richard II., daughter of the Emperor Charles IV., taught the English women the present mode of riding, about the year 1388; before which time they rode astride. And Gower, in a poem dated 1394, describing a company of ladies on horseback, says, "everich one ride on side."
- Two formidable women-at-arms, in romances, that were cudgelled into love by their gallants. See Classical Dictionary.
- It was the humble Birtha, daughter of the sage Astragon, who supplanted the princess Rhodalind in the affections of Gondibert.
- Butler loses no opportunity of rallying Sir William Davenant, who, in his preface to Gondibert, endeavours to show that government could not be upheld either by statesmen, divines, lawyers, or soldiers, without the aid of poetry.
- The vulgar imagine that everything which they see in print must be true.
- A one-eyed cobbler, and great reformer: there is an equivoque upon the word upright.
- Meaning that he supplied and pieced the heels, and strengthened a weak sole.
- That is, a sharp knife, with which he cut leather.
- The shield of Ajax. See Description of it in Iliad, v. 423 (Pope)
- According to the old distich:
The higher the plum-tree, the riper the plum;
The richer the cobbler, the blacker his thumb.
- "Well-greaved Achaeans: "the "greave" (κνημὶς) was armour for the legs, which Butler ludicrously calls boots. In allusion, no doubt, to a curious "Dissertation upon Boots "(in the Phœnix Britannicus, p. 268,) written in express ridicule of Col. Howson, and perhaps having in mind Alexander Ross, who says that Achilles was a shoemaker's boy in Greece, and had he not pawned his boots to Ulysses, would not have been pierced in the heel by Paris. In further illustration, the Shakspearian reader will remember Hotspur's punning reply to Owen Glendower's brag, "I sent thee bootless home," Henry IV. p. 1, Act iii. sc. 1.
- The encouragement of preaching by persons of every degree amongst the laity was one of the principal charges brought against the dominant party under the Commonwealth, by their opponents.
- Ned Perry, an ostler.
- The horses of Diomedes, king of Thrace, were said to have "been fed with human flesh, and that he himself was ultimately eaten by them, his dead body having been thrown to them by Hercules. The moral, perhaps, may be, that Diomedes was ruined by keeping his horses, as Actæon was said to be devoured by his dogs, because he was ruined by keeping them.
- A banter on the following passage in Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici: "All flesh is grass, not only metaphorically, but literally: for all those creatures we behold are but the herbs of the field digested into flesh in them, or more remotely carnified in ourselves," &c. See Works (Bohn's Edit. vol. ii. p. 317).
- Alluding to the fabulous story of Hercules, who cleansed the stables of Augeas, king of Elis, by turning the river Alpheus through them.
- This means no more than his ploughing the ground. A happy example of the magniloquence which belongs to mock epics.
- In a thanksgiving sermon preached before Parliament, on the taking of Chester, Mr Case said that there were no less than 180 new sects then in London, who propagated the "damnable doctrines of devils." And Mr Ford, in an assize sermon, stated "that in the little town of Reading, he was verily persuaded, if St Augustin's and Epiphanius's Catalogues of Heresies were lost, and all other modern and ancient records of the kind, yet it would be no hard matter to restore them, with considerable enlargements, from that place; that they have Anabaptism, Familism, Socinianism, Pelagianism, Ranting, and what not? and that the devil was served in heterodox assemblies, as frequently as God in theirs. And that one of the most eminent church-livings in that country was possessed by a blasphemer, in whose house he believed some of them could testify that the devil was as visibly familiar as any one of the family."
- Butler certainly had the following lines of Lucan in view (Phars. 1—8):
"What rage, citizens! has turned your swords
Against yourselves, and Latian blood affords
To envious foes?———"
- Œstrum is not only a Greek word for madness, but signifies also a gad-bee or horse-fly, which torments cattle in summer, and makes them run about as if they were mad.
- Vies, or Devizes, in Wiltshire. The blank should be filled up with Waller. This passage alludes to the defeat of Sir William Waller, by Wilmot, near that place, July 13, 1643. After the battle, Sir William was entirely neglected by his party. Clarendon calls it the battle of Roundway-down, and some in joke call it Runaway-down.
- The Romans never granted a triumph to the conqueror in a civil war.
- Walker, in his History of Independency, observes that all the cheating, ambitious, covetous persons of the land were united together under the title of 'the Godly,' 'the Saints,' and shared the fat of the land between them. He calls them "Saints who were canonized in the Devil's Calendar." The support of the discipline, or ecclesiastical regimen by presbyters, was called the Cause.
- "To secure the king's person from danger," says Lord Clarendon, "was an expression they were not ashamed always to use, when there was no danger that threatened, but what themselves contrived and designed against him." They not only declared that they fought for the king, but that the raising and maintaining of soldiers for their own army would be an acceptable service to the king, parliament, and kingdom. They insisted on a difference between the king's political and his natural person; and that his political must be, and was, with the Parliament, though his natural person was at war with them.
- The Protestation was drawn up, and taken in the House of Commons, May 3, 1641; and immediately printed, and dispersed over the nation, the people carrying it about on the points of their spears. It was the first attempt at a national combination against the establishment, and was harbinger of the Covenant.
- Those that were killed in the war.
- The protesters, when they came tumultuously to the parliament-house, Dec. 27, 1641, to demand justice on the Earl of Strafford, stuck printed copies of the Protestation in their hats, in token of their zeal.
- Charles I. ordered the following members, Lord Kimbolton, Pym, Hollis, Hampden, Haselrig, and Stroud, to be prosecuted, for plotting with the Scots, and stirring up sedition. The Commons voted against their arrest, upon which the king went to the house with his guards, to seize them; but they, having intelligence of his design, made their escape. This was one of the first acts of open violence which preceded the civil wars.
- It is fresh in memory, says the author of Lex Talionis, how this city sent forth its spurious scum in multitudes to cry down bishops, root and branch, with lying pamphlets, &c.,—so far, that a dog with a black-and-white face was commonly called a bishop.
- The executions at Tyburn were generally once a month.
- All these Cries, so humorously substituted for the common street-cries of the times, represent the popular demands urged by the Puritans, before and under the Long Parliament.
- For, that is, instead of.
- The Scots, in their large Declaration ( ), begin their petition against the Common Prayer-book thus:—We, men, women, children, and servants, having considered, &c.
- Zealous persons, on both sides, lent their plate, to raise money for recruiting the army. Even poor women brought a spoon, a thimble, or a bodkin. The king, or some one for the parliament, gave notes of hand to repay with interest. Several colleges at Oxford have notes to this day, for their plate delivered to the king: and many other notes of the same nature are st1ll in existence. Purchases were also made by both parties, on the "public faith," and large interest promised, but nothing ever paid.
- Alluding to the fable of Cadmus; Ovid's Metamorphoses, iii. 106 (Bohn's Translation, page 85).
- Exod. xxxii.
- Calamy, Case, and other Puritan preachers, exhorted their flocks, in the most moving terms and tones, to contribute their money towards the support of the parliament army, using such terms as "happy money that will purchase religion," "All ye that have contributed to the Parliament, come and take this sacrament to your comfort."
- Alluding to the profane familiarity which characterized the prayers of the most violent of the Presbyterian ministers and leaders. Grey says it was a common practice to inform God of the transactions of the times. And for those that were 'grown up in grace' it was thought comely enough to take a great chair at the end of the table, and sit with cocked hats on their heads, to say: "God, we thought it not amiss to call upon Thee this evening and let Thee know how affairs stand; we do somewhat long to hear from Thee, and if thou pleasest to give us such and such victories, we shall be good to Thee in something else when it lies in our way."
- The prayers of the Presbyterians, in those days, were very historical. Mr G. Swaithe, in his Prayers (pub. 1645), p. 12, says: "I bear the king hath set up his standard at York, against the parliament and the city of London. Look thou upon them; take their cause into thine own hand, appear thou in the cause of thy saints; the cause in hand."
"Tell them from the Holy Ghost," says Beech, "from the word of truth, that their destruction shall be terrible, it shall be timely, it shall be total.
"Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious, and his mercy endureth for ever.—Who remembered us at Naseby, for his mercy endureth for ever.
Who remembered us in Pembrokeshire, for his mercy, &c.
Who remembered us at Leicester, for bis mercy, &c.
Who remembered us at Taunton, for his mercy, &c.
Who remembered us at Bristol, for his mercy, &c."
- Alluding probably to their saucy expostulations with God from the pulpit, such as: "What dost thou mean, Lord, to fling us into a ditch and there to leave us?" Again, "Put the Lord out of countenance; put him, as you would say, to the blush, unless we be masters of our requests."
- It was customary for active members of parliament, having special objects in view, to draw up petitions "very modest and reasonable," and send them into the country to be signed, then substituting something more suitable to their purpose. The Hertfordshire petition, at the beginning of the war, took notice of things which had occurred in parliament only the night before its delivery, although it was signed by many thousands.
- That is, with all their might. See Bohn's Dictionary of Latin Quotations.
- This was a common phrase in those days, particularly with the zealous preachers, and is inserted in the Solemn League and Covenant.
- The name given to the king's party by the parliament.
- This refers to the haste with which the nation was made to "engage" in the Solemn League and Covenant, as the price of the assistance of the Scotch army on the parliament's side.
- The Presbyterians pretended to desire such a reformation as had taken place in the neighbouring Churches; the king offered to invite any Churches to a National Synod, and could not even obtain an answer to the proposal.
- A sly stroke of the poet's at his own party. By the convocation which pat in the beginning of 1640 all the clergy were required to take an oath in this form: "Nor will I ever give my consent to alter the government of this Church by archbishops, bishops, deans, archdeacons, et cætera." Dr Heylin, a member of the Convocation, endeavoured to make it appear that the et cætera was inserted by mistake. The absurdity of the oath is thus lashed by his brother satirist, Cleveland, p. 33:
"Who swears et cætera, swears more oaths at once
Than Cerberus, out of his triple sconce."
- The 'Holy League' entered into for the extirpation of Protestantism in France, 1576, was the original of the Scotch 'Solemn League and Covenant.' Nor did they differ much in their result. Both ended with the murder of two kings whom they had sworn to defend. This comparison has also been made, paragraph by paragraph, by Sir William Dugdale, in his 'Short View of the Troubles.'
- A cant phrase of the time.
- The Presbyterians made a distinction between the king's person politic, and his person natural: when they fought against the latter, it was in defence of the former, always inseparable from the parliament. The commission granted to the Earl of Essex was in the name of the king and parliament. But when the Independents got the upper hand, the name of the king was omitted, and the commission of Sir Thomas Fairfax ran only in the name of the parliament.
- Alluding to the fable of the trumpeter, who was put to death for setting people together by the ears without fighting himself. It is meant to ridicule the clamours made by parliament against supposed evil counsellors; by which Strafford, Laud, and others were sacrificed.
- The speech, though coarse, and becoming the mouth of a butcher (see Canto II. l. 295), is an excellent satire upon the justices of the peace in those days, who were often shoemakers, tailors, or common livery servants. Instead of making peace with their neighbours, they hunted impertinently for trifling offences, and severely punished them. "But it may be asked (says Grey) why Talgol was the first in answering the knight, when it seems more incumbent upon the bearward to make the defence? Probably Talgol might then be a Cavalier; for the character the poet has given him does not infer the contrary, and his answer carries strong indications to justify the conjecture."
- Meaning his sword and pistols.
- That is, the Presbyterians and Anabaptists.
- Face or head, see Wright's Provincial Dict., sub voce. Mazer is used for a head, seriously by Sylvester, and ludicrously in two old plays. From mazer comes mazzard, as from visor, vizard.
- Men formerly hung their purses, by a silken or leathern strap, to their belts, outside their garments. Hence the term cut-purse.
- In many counties certain persons appointed by the parliament to promote their interest, had power to raise money for their use, and to punish their opponents by tine and imprisonment: these persons were called a Committee. Walker, in his History of Independency, says that "to historialise at large the grievances of committees would require a volume as big as the Book of Martyrs, and that the people might as easily expect to find charity in hell, as justice in any committee."
- Free, that is, untouched by your accusations, as being free from what you charge me with. So Shakspeare, "We that have free souls," &c., Haml. III. 2.
- Meaning a butcher's blue sleeves and white apron. Gauntlets were gloves of plate-mail; bases were mantles which hung from the middle to about the knees or lower, worn by knights on horseback.
- The steel on which a butcher whets his knife, called humorously a
"dudgeon," or dagger. Some editions put truncheon.
- The patience of Grisel is celebrated by Chaucer in the Clerke's Tale. The story is taken from Petrarch's "Epistola de historia Griselidis," and was the subject of a popular English Chap-book in 1619, often reprinted.
- A banter upon Homer, Virgil, and other epic poets, who have always a deity at hand to protect their heroes. See also lines 864-5.
- A horseman's pistol.
- These lines were changed to the following in 1674, and restored in 1704.
And he his rusty pistol held.
To take the blow on, like a shield.
- "Rugged," in the first two editions; changed perhaps because the term is just previously applied to a truncheon. The description of the combat is a ludicrous imitation of the conflicts recorded in the old romances.
- Take, that is, take prisoner, as in line 905.
- The same trick was played upon Don Quixote's Rosinante and Sancho's dapple.
- Alluding to the protective measures recommended in old works on military fortification.
- Sancho's adventure at the inn, where he was toss'd in a blanket.
- Alluding to the remarkable and unnatural positions in which animals are conventionally portrayed in coats of arms.
- A ridicule on the petulant behaviour of the military men in the Civil Wars, it being common for those of either party, at a distressful juncture, to come to the king or parliament with some unreasonable demands; and if they were not complied with, to throw up their commissions, and go over to the opposite side: pretending, that they could not in honour serve any longer under such unsoldier-like indignities.
- That is, that which he feared.
- The twofold effect of the Knight's fear.
- Put here for "knee;" the word means "hip."
- A ridicule on the Sectaries who were fond of using Scripture phrases.
- Var.Looking about, beheld pernicion
Approaching Knight from fell musician.
- A ridicule of the poetical way of expressing numbers. It occurs in Shakspeare. Thus Justice Silence, in Henry IV. Act v. "Who, I? I have been merry twice and once ere now." And the witch in Macbeth, Act "Twice and once the hedge pig whined."
- "Out," is the usual reading; but the first edition has "our," which seems preferable.
- Compare this with the situation of Hector, who was stunned by a severe blow received from Ajax, and then comforted by Apollo.—Iliad xv. 240.
- Shakspeare represents Adonis attempting after this fashion to rouse Venus from her swoon—
"He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheek."
See also Beaumont and Fletcher, "The Nice Valour," Act iii.
- Ridiculing the Self-denying Ordinance, by which the members of both Houses, who were in the army, pledged themselves to renounce either their civil or their military appointments. Grey thinks that Butler here meant to sneer at Sir Samuel Luke, who, notwithstanding the Self-denying Ordinance, continued for 20 days to hold office as governor of Newport Pagnel.
- Thrice worthy is a common appellation in romances. This is borrowed from the History of the "Nine Worthies."
- The phrases bantered here, were popular amongst the Puritans.
- That is, acquisition by conquest; the original meaning of the word.
- Success was pleaded by the Presbyterians as a proof of the justice of their cause.
- So in the three first editions. But 1710 omits 'not.'
- Dispensations, out-goings, carryings-on, nothingness, ownings, &c., were cant words of the time. For others see Canto I. ver. 109.
- It was maintained by the Puritans of those days that all Dominion is founded in grace, and therefore if a man wanted grace, and was not a saintlike or godly man, he had no right to any lands, goods, or chattels; and that the Saints had a right to all, and might take it wherever they had power to do so.
- One of the cant terms of the times.
- Obviously a satire upon the parliament, who made no scruple at infringing articles of capitulation granted by their generals, if they found them too advantageous to the enemy.
- The conduct of Cromwell in the case of Lord Capel will explain this line. After pronouncing high encomiums on him, and when every one expected he would vote to save his life, he took the opposite course, because of his firm loyalty! See Clarendon.
- That is, pique.
- One of the most objectionable of all the cant religious phrases of the time, as it involved the pretence of supernatural instruction. In some cases, after the Rebels had taken a prisoner, upon the promise of quarter, they would say that it had since been revealed to such a one that he should die, whereupon they would hang him. Dr South observes of Harrison, the regicide, a butcher by profession and a preaching Colonel in the Parliament army, "That he was notable for having killed several after quarter given by others, using these words in doing it: 'Cursed be he who doeth the work of the Lord negligently.'"
- The arbitrary proceedings of the Long Parliament and the Committees appointed by it, in respect of the lives and property of royalists, and of any who had enemies to call them royalists, are here referred to. A contemporary MS. note in our copy of the first edition states that this line refers to Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, who were executed "after quarter given them by General Fairfax."
- Truths revealed only to the perfect, or the initiated in the higher mysteries; and here signifying esoteric doctrines in morals, such as were avowed by many of the Parliamentary leaders and advisers.
- The poet in making the wooden leg take an oath not to serve again against his captor, ridicules those who obliged their prisoners to take such oaths. The prisoners taken at Brentford were so sworn by the Royalists, but Dr Downing and Mr Marshall absolved them from this oath, and they immediately served again in the parliament army.
- Var.P'lac'd on his shoulder.
- The Stocks are here pictured as an enchanted castle, with infinite wit and humour, and in the true spirit of burlesque poetry.
- A description of the whipping-post; and a satire upon the great State-prison at Paris, of which there were many tales abroad, strange to English ears even in Star-chamber times.
- That is, its hide, skin, or covering; as in "spoils of the chase."
- This is the first line of a love-song, in great vogue about the year 1650. It is given entire in Walton's Angler (Bohn's edit. p. 159).
- This alludes to the case of Sir Bernard Gascoign, who was condemned at Colchester with Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, but respited from execution on account of his being a foreigner, and a person of some interest in his own country (Italy). See Clarendon's Rebellion.