Hudibras/Part 1/Canto 3

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Hudibras, 1859 - Illustration - v1 p85.png


The scatter'd rout return and rally,
Surround the place; the Knight does sally,
And is made pris'ner: then they seize
Th' enchanted fort by storm, release
Crowdero, and put the Squire in's place:
I should have first said Hudibras.



AY me! what perils do environ
The man that meddles with cold iron![2]
What plaguy mischiefs and mishaps
Do dog him still with afterclaps!
For tho' dame Fortune seem to smile,5
And leer upon him for a while,
She'll after show him, in the nick
Of all his glories, a dog-trick.
This any man may sing or say
I' th' ditty call'd, "What if a day?[3]10
For Hudibras, who thought he'd won
The field as certain as a gun,[4]
And having routed the whole troop,
With victory was cock-a-hoop;[5]

Thinking he'd done enough to purchase 15
Thanksgiving-day among the churches,[6]
Wherein his metal and brave worth
Might be explain'd by holder-forth,
And register'd by fame eternal,
In deathless pages of diurnal;[7]20
Found in few minutes, to his cost,
He did but count without his host:[8]
And that a turn-stile is more certain
Than, in events of war, Dame Fortune.
For now the late faint-hearted rout.25
O'erthrown and scatter'd round about,
Chas'd by the horror of their fear,
From bloody fray of Knight and Bear,
All but the dogs, who, in pursuit
Of the Knight's victory, stood to 't30
And most ignobly sought[9] to get
The honour of his blood and sweat,[10]
Seeing the coast was free and clear
O' the conquer'd and the conqueror,
Took heart of grace,[11] and fac'd about,35
As if they meant to stand it out:
For now the half defeated bear,[12]
Attack'd by th' enemy i' th' rear.
Finding their number grew too great
For him to make a safe retreat,40
Like a bold chieftain fac'd about;
But wisely doubting to hold out,
Grave way to fortune, and with haste
Fac'd the proud foe, and fled, and fac'd,

Retiring still, until he found45
He'd got th' advantage of the ground;
And then as valiantly made head
To check the foe, and forthwith fled,
Leaving no art untry'd, nor trick
Of warrior stout and politick;50
Until, in spite of hot pursuit,
He gain'd a pass, to hold dispute
On better terms, and stop the course
Of the proud foe. With all his force
He bravely charg'd, and for a while 55
Forc'd their whole body to recoil;
But still their numbers so increas'd,
He found himself at length oppress'd,
And all evasions so uncertain,
To save himself for better fortune,60
That he resolv'd, rather than yield,
To die with honour in the field.
And sell his hide and carcase at
A price as high and desperate
As e'er he could. This resolution65
He forthwith put in execution,
And bravely threw himself among
Th' enemy i' th' greatest throng;
But what could single valour do
Against so numerous a foe? 70
Yet much he did, indeed too much
To be believ'd, where th' odds were such;
But one against a multitude
Is more than mortal can make good:
For while one party he oppos'd,75
His rear was suddenly enclos'd.
And no room left him for retreat,
Or fight against a foe so great.
For now the mastiffs, charging home,
To blows and handy-gripes were come;80
While manfully himself he bore,
And, setting his right foot before,
He rais'd himself, to show how tall
His person was, above them all.

This equal shame and envy stirr'd85
In th' enemy, that one should beard
So many warriors, and so stout,
As he had done, and stav'd it. out,
Disdaining to lay down his arms,
And yield on honourable terms.90
Enraged thus, some in the rear
Attack'd him, and some ev'rywhere,
Till down he fell; yet falling fought,
And, being down, still laid about;
As Widdrington, in doleful dumps, 95
Is said to fight upon his stumps.[13]
But all, alas! had been in vain,
And he inevitably slain,
lf Trulla and Cerdon, in the nick,
To rescue him had not been quick: 100
For Trulla, who was light of foot,
As shafts which long-field Parthians shoot:[14]
But not so light as to be borne
Upon the ears of standing corn,[15]
Or trip it o'er the water quicker105
Than witches, when their states they liquor,[16]
As some report, was got among
The foremost of the martial throng;
Where pitying the vanquish'd bear,
She call'd to Cerdon, who stood near,110
Viewing the bloody fight; to whom,
Shall we, quoth she, stand still hum-drum,
And see stout Bruin, all alone,
By numbers basely overthrown?

Such feats already he 'as achiev'd,115
In story not to be believ'd,
And 'twould to us be shame enough,
Not to attempt to fetch him off.
I would, quoth he, venture a limb
To second thee, and rescue him;120
But then we must about it straight,
Or else our aid will come too late;
Quarter he scorns, he is so stout,
And therefore cannot long hold out.
This said, they wav'd their weapons round125
About their heads, to clear the ground;
And joining forces, laid about
So fiercely, that th' amazed rout
Turn'd tail again, and straight begun,
As if the devil drove, to run.130
Meanwhile th' approach'd th' place where Bruin
Was now engag'd to mortal ruin:
The conqu'ring foe they soon assail'd;
First Trulla stav'd, and Cerdon tail'd,[17]
Until the mastiffs loos'd their hold:135
And yet, alas! do what they could,
The worsted bear came off with store
Of bloody wounds, but all before:[18]
For as Achilles, dipt in pond,
Was anabaptiz'd free from wound,140
Made proof against dead-doing steel
All over, but the pagan heel;[19]

So did our champion's arms defend
All of him but the other end,
His head and ears, which in the martial145
Encounter lost a leathern parcel;
For as an Austrian archduke once
Had one ear, which in ducatoons
Is half the coin, in battle par'd
Close to his head,[20] so Bruin far'd;150
But tugg'd and pull'd on th' other side,
Like scriv'ner newly crucify'd;[21]
Or like the late-corrected leathern
Ears of the circumcised brethren.[22]
But gentle Trulla into th' ring155
He wore in's nose convey'd a string.
With which she march'd before, and led
The warrior to a grassy bed,
As authors write, in a cool shade,[23]
Which eglantine and roses made;160
Close by a softly murm'ring stream,
Where lovers use to loll and dream:
There leaving him to his repose,
Secured from pursuit of foes,

And wanting nothing but a song,[24]165
And a well-tuned theorbo[25] hung
Upon a bough, to ease the pain
His tugg'd ears suffer'd, with a strain.[26]
They both drew up, to march in quest
Of his great leader, and the rest.170
For Orsin, who was more renown'd
For stout maintaining of his ground
In standing fights, than for pursuit,
As being not so quick of foot,
Was not long able to keep pace175
With others that pursu'd the chase,
But found himself left far behind,
Both out of heart and out of wind;
Griev'd to behold his bear pursu'd
So basely by a multitude, 180
And like to fall, not by the prowess,
But numbers, of his coward foes.
He rag'd, and kept as heavy a coil as
Stout Hercules for loss of Hylas;[27]
Forcing the vallies to repeat185
The accents of his sad regret:
He beat his breast, and tore his hair,
For loss of his dear crony bear;
That Echo, from the hollow ground,[28]
His doleful wailings did resound190

More wistfully, by many times.
Than in small poets' splay-foot rhymes,[29]
That make her, in their ruthful stories,
To answer to inter'gatories.
And most unconscionably depose195
To things of which she nothing knows;
And when she has said all she can say,
'Tis wrested to the lover's fancy.
Quoth he, O whither, wicked Bruin,
Art thou fled to my—Echo, ruin.200
I thought th' hadst scorn'd to budge a step,
For fear. Quoth Echo, Marry guep.[30]
Am not I here to take thy part?
Then what has quail'd thy stubborn heart?
Have these bones rattled, and this head205
So often in thy quarrel bled?
Nor did I ever wince or grudge it,
For thy dear sake. Quoth she, Mum budget.[31]
Thinks't thou 'twill not be laid i' th' dish[32]
Thou turn'dst thy back? Quoth Echo, Pish.210
To run from those th' hadst overcome
Thus cowardly? Quoth Echo, Mum.
But what a-vengeance makes thee fly
From me too, as thine enemy?

Or, if thou hast no thought of me,215
Nor what I have endur'd for thee,
Yet shame and honour might prevail
To keep thee thus from turning tail:
For who would grutch to spend his blood in
His honour's cause? Quoth she, a Puddin.220
This said, his grief to anger turn'd,
Which in his manly stomach burn'd;
Thirst of revenge, and wrath, in place
Of sorrow, now began to blaze.
He vow'd the authors of his woe225
Should equal vengeance undergo;
And with their bones and flesh pay dear
For what he suffer'd and his bear.
This b'ing resolv'd, with equal speed
And rage, he hasted to proceed230
To action straight, and giving o'er
To search for Bruin any more.
He went in quest of Hudibras,
To find him out, where'er he was;
And if he were above ground, vow'd235
He'd ferret him, lurk where he wou'd.
But scarce had he a furlong on
This resolute adventure gone,
When he encounter'd with that crew
Whom Hudibras did late subdue.240
Honour, revenge, contempt, and shame,
Did equally their breasts inflame.
'Mong these the fierce Magnano was,
And Talgol, foe to Hudibras;
Cerdon and Colon, warriors stout,245
And resolute, as ever fought;
Whom furious Orsin thus bespoke:
Shall we, quoth he, thus basely brook
The vile affront that paltry ass,
And feeble scoundrel, Hudibras,250
With that more paltry ragamuffin,
Ralpho, with vapouring and huffing,
Have put upon us, like tame cattle,
As if th' had routed us in battle?

For my part, it shall ne'er be said255
I for the washing gave my head:[33]
Nor did I turn my back for fear
O' th' rascals, but loss of my bear,[34]
Which now I'm like to undergo;
For whether these fell wounds, or no,260
He has received in fight, are mortal,
Is more than all my skill can foretel;
Nor do I know what is become
Of him, more than the Pope of Rome,[35]
But if I can but find them out265
That caused it, as I shall no doubt,
Where'er th' in hugger-mugger lurk,[36]
I'll make them rue their handiwork,
And wish that they had rather dar'd
To pull the devil by the beard.[37]270
Quoth Cerdon, noble Orsin, th' hast
Great reason to do as thou say'st,
And so has ev'rybody here,
As well as thou hast, or thy bear:
Others may do as they see good;275
But if this twig be made of wood
That will hold tack, I'll make the fur
Fly 'bout the ears of the old cur,

And th' other mongrel vermin, Ralph,
That brav'd us all in his behalf.280
Thy bear is safe, and out of peril,
Tho' lugg'd indeed, and wounded very ill;
Myself and Trulla made a shift
To help him out at a dead lift;
And having brought him bravely off,285
Have left him where he's safe enough:
There let him rest; for if we stay,
The slaves may hap to get away.
This said, they all engag'd to join
Their forces in the same design,290
And forthwith put themselves, in search
Of Hudibras, upon their march:
Where leave we them awhile, to tell
What the victorious Knight befell;
For such, Crowdero being fast295
In dungeon shut, we left him last.
Triumphant laurels seem'd to grow
Nowhere so green as on his brow;
Laden with Avhich, as well as tir'd
With conqu'ring toil, he now retir'd300
Unto a neighb'ring castle by,
To rest his body, and apply
Fit med'cines to each glorious bruise
He got in fight, reds, blacks, and blues;
To mollify th' uneasy pang305
Of ev'ry honourable bang.
Which b'ing by skilful midwife drest,
He laid him down to take his rest.
But all in vain: he 'ad got a hurt
O' th' inside, of a deadlier sort,310
By Cupid made, who took his stand
Upon a widow's jointure-land,[38]

For he, in all h is am'rous battles,
No 'dvantage finds like goods and chattels,
Drew home his bow, and aiming right,315
Let fly an arrow at the Knight;
The shaft against a rib did glance,
And gall him in the purtenance;[39]
But time had somewhat 'swaged his pain,
After he had found his suit in vain:320
For that proud dame, for whom his soul
Was burnt in 's belly like a coal,
That belly that so oft did ake.
And suffer griping for her sake,
Till purging comfits and ant's eggs[40]325
Had almost brought him off his legs,—
Us'd him so like a base rascallion,
That old Pyg—what d' y' call him—malion,
That cut his mistress out of stone,[41]
Had not so hard a hearted one.330
She had a thousand jadish tricks,
Worse than a mule that flings and kicks;
'Mong which one cross-grain'd freak she had,
As insolent as strange and mad;
She could love none but only such335
As scorn'd and hated her as much.[42]
'Twas a strange riddle of a lady;
Not love, if any lov'd her? hey-day![43]
So cowards never use their might.
But against such as will not fight.340

So some diseases have been found
Only to seize upon the sound.[44]
He that gets her by heart, must say her
The back-way, like a witch's prayer.[45]
Meanwhile the Knight had no small task345
To compass what he durst not ask:
He loves, but dares not make the motion;
Her ignorance is his devotion:[46]
Like caitiff vile, that for misdeed
Hides with his face to rump of steed;[47]350
Or rowing scull, he 's fain to love,
Look one way and another move;
Or like a tumbler that does play
His game, and look another way,[48]
Until he seize upon the coney;355
Just so does he by matrimony.

But all in vain: her subtle snout
Did quickly wind his meaning out;
Which she return'd with too much scorn,
To be by man of honour borne;360
Yet much he bore, until the distress
He suffer'd from his spightful mistress
Did stir his stomach, and the pain
He had endur'd from her disdain
Turn'd to regret so resolute,365
That he resolv'd to wave his suit,
And either to renounce her quite,
Or for a while play least in sight.
This resolution b'ing put on,
He kept some months, and more had done,370
But being brought so nigh by fate,
The vict'ry he achiev'd so late
Did set his thoughts agog, and ope
A door to discontinu'd hope,[49]
That seem'd to promise he might win375
His dame too, now his hand was in;
And that his valour, and the honour
He 'ad newly gain'd, might work upon her:
These reasons made his mouth to water,
With am'rous longings to be at her.380
Thought he unto himself, who knows
But this brave conquest o'er my foes
May reach her heart, and make that stoop,
As I but now have forc'd the troop?
If nothing can oppugne love,[50]385
And virtue invious[51] ways can prove.
What may not he confide to do
That brings both love and virtue too?
But thou bring'st valour too, and wit,
Two things that seldom fail to hit.390
Valour's a mouse-trap, wit a gin,
Which women oft are taken in:[52]

Then, Hudibras, why should'st thou fear
To be, that art a conqueror?
Fortune the audacious doth juvare,[53]395
But lets the timidous[54] miscarry:
Then, while the honour thou hast got
Is spick and span new, piping hot,[55]
Strike her up bravely thou hadst best,
And trust thy fortune with the rest.400
Such thoughts as these the Knight did keep
More than his bangs, or fleas, from sleep;
And as an owl, that in a barn
Sees a mouse creeping in the corn,
Sits still, and shuts his round blue eyes,405
As if he slept, until he spies
The little beast within his reach,
Then starts, and seizes on the wretch;
So from his couch the Knight did start,
To seize upon the widow's heart;410
Crying, with hasty tone and hoarse,
Ralpho, dispatch, to horse, to horse!
And 'twas but time; for now the rout,
We left engag'd to seek him out,
By speedy marches were advanc'd415
Up to the fort where he ensconc'd,
And all the avenues possest
About the place, from east to west.
That done, awhile they made a halt,
To view the ground, and where t' assault:420
Then call'd a council, which was best,
By siege, or onslaught, to invest
The enemy; and 'twas agreed
By storm and onslaught to proceed.
This b'ing resolv'd, in comely sort425
They now drew up t' attack the fort;

When Hudibras, about to enter
Upon anothergates adventure,[56]
To Ralpho call'd aloud to arm,
Not dreaming of approaching storm.430
Whether dame Fortune, or the care
Of angel bad, or tutelar,
Did arm, or thrust him on a danger,
To which he was an utter stranger,
That foresight might, or might not, blot435
The glory he had newly got;
Or to his shame it might be said,
They took him napping in his bed:
To them we leave it to expound,
That deal in sciences profound.440
His courser scarce he had bestrid,
And Ralpho that on which he rid,
When setting ope the postern gate,
Which they thought best to sally at,[57]
The foe appear'd, drawn up and drill'd445
Ready to charge them in the field.
This somewhat startled the bold Knight,
Surpris'd with th' unexpected sight:
The bruises of his bones and flesh
He thought began to smart afresh;450
Till recollecting wonted courage,
His fear was soon converted to rage,
And thus he spoke: The coward foe,
Whom we but now gave quarter to.
Look, yonder's rally'd, and appears455
As if they had outrun their fears;
The glory we did lately get,
The Fates command us to repeat;[58]

And to their wills we must succumb,
Quocunque trahunt, 'tis our doom.460
This is the same numeric crew
Which we so lately did subdue;
The self-same individuals that
Did run, as mice do from a cat,
When we courageously did wield465
Our martial weapons in the field,
To tug for victory: and when
We shall our shining blades agen
Brandish in terror o'er our heads,
They 'll straight resume their wonted dreads.470
Fear is an ague, that forsakes
And haunts, by fits, those whom it takes;[59]
And they'll opine they feel the pain
And blows they felt to-day, again.
Then let us boldly charge them home,475
And make no doubt to overcome.
This said, his courage to inflame,
He call'd upon his mistress' name;[60]
His pistol next he cock'd anew,
And out his nut-brown whinyard drew;[61]480
And placing Ralpho in the front,
Reserv'd himself to bear the brunt,
As expert warriors use; then ply'd,
With iron heel, his courser's side,
Conveying sympathetic speed485
From heel of Knight to heel of steed.
Meanwhile the foe, with equal rage
And speed, advancing to engage.
Both parties now were drawn so close,
Almost to come to handy-blows:490
When Orsin first let fly a stone
At Ralpho; not so huge a one

As that which Diomed did maul
Æneas on the bum withal;[62]
Yet big enough, if rightly hurl'd,495
T' have sent him to another world,
Wliether above ground, or below,
Which saints, twice dipt, are destin'd to.[63]
The danger startled the bold Squire,
And made him some few steps retire; 500
But lludibras advanc'd to's aid,
And rous'd his spirits half dismay'd.
He n'isely doubting lest the shot
O' th' enemy, now growing hot,
Might at a distance gall, press'd close505
To come, pell-mell, to handy-blows,
And that he might their aim decline,
Advanc'd still in an oblique line;
But prudently forbore to fire,
Till breast to breast he had got nigher;[64] 510
As expert warriors use to do,
When hand to hand they charge their foe.
This order the advent'rous Knight,
Most soldier-like, observ'd in fight,
When Fortune, as she's wont, turn'd fickle,515
And for the foe began to stickle.
The more shame for her Goodyship
To give so near a friend the slip.
For Colon, choosing out a stone,
Levell'd so right, it thump'd upon520
His manly paunch, with such a force,
As almost beat him oft' his horse,
He loos'd his whinyard,[65] and the rein.
But laying fast hold on the mane,
Preserv'd his seat: and, as a goose 525
In death contracts his taloua close,

So did the Knight, and with one claw
The trigger of his pistol draw.
The gun went off; and as it was
Still fatal to stout Hudibras,530
In all his feats of arms, when least
He dreamt of it, to prosper best;
So now he far'd: the shot let fly,
At random, 'mong the enemy,
Pierced Talgol's gaberdine,[66] and grazing 535
Upon his shoulder, in the passing
Lodg'd in Magnano's brass habergeon,[67]
Who straight, A surgeon! cried—a surgeon!
He tumbled down, and, as he fell.
Did murder! murder! murder! yell.540
This startled their whole body so,
That if the Knight had not let go
His arms, but been in warlike plight,
H' had won, the second time, the fight;
As, if the Squire had but fall'n on,545
He had inevitably done.
But he, diverted with the care
Of Hudibras his wound,[68] forbare
To press th' advantage of his fortune,
While danger did the rest dishearten.550
For he with Cerdon b'ing engag'd
In close encounter, they both wag'd
The fight so well, 'twas hard to say
Which side was like to get the day.
And now the busy work of death 555
Had tir'd them so, they 'greed to breathe,
Preparing to renew the fight,
When th' hard disaster of the knight,
And th' other party, did divert
Their fell intent, and forc'd them part.[69]560
Ralpho press'd up to Hudibras,
And Cerdon where Magnano was,

Each striving to confirm his party
With stout encouragements and hearty.
Quoth Ralpho, Courage, valiant Sir,565
And let revenge and honour stir
Your spirits up; once more fall on,
The shatter'd foe begins to run:
For if but half so well you knew
To use your vict'ry as subdue,[70]570
They durst not, after such a blow
As you have giv'n them, face us now;
But from so formidable a soldier,
Had fled like crows when they smell powder.[71]
Thrice have they seen your sword aloft575
Wav'd o'er their heads, and fled as oft:
But if you let them recollect
Their spirits, now dismay'd and check'd,
You 'll have a harder game to play
Than yet y' have had, to get the day.580
Thus spoke the stout Squire; but was heard
By Hudibras with small regard.
His thoughts were fuller of the bang
He lately took, than Ralph's harangue;
To which he answer'd, Cruel fate,585
Tells me thy counsel comes too late,
The clotted blood[72] within my hose,
That from my wounded body flows,
With mortal crisis doth portend
My days to appropinque an end.[73]590
I am for action now unfit,
Either of fortitude or wit;
Fortune, my foe, begins to frown,
Resolv'd to pull my stomach down.

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Shall serve thy turn.—This stirr'd his spleen
More than the danger he was in,830
The blows he felt, or was to feel,
Although th' already made him reel.
Honour, despight, revenge, and shame,
At once into his stomach came;
Which fir'd it so, he rais'd his arm835
Above his head, and rain'd a storm
Of blows so terrible and thick,
As if he meant to hash her quick.
But she upon her truncheon took them,
And by oblique diversion broke them;840
Waiting an opportunity
To pay all back with usury,
Which long she fail'd not of; for now
The Knight, with one dead-doing blow,
Resolving to decide the fight,845
And she with quick and cunning slight
Avoiding it, the force and weight
He charg'd upon it was so great,
As almost sway'd him to the ground:
Ko sooner she th' advantage found,850
But in she flew; and seconding,
With home-made thrust, the heavy swing,
She laid him flat upon his side,
And mounting on his trunk astride,
Quoth she, I told thee what would come855
Of all thy vapouring, base scum.
Say, will the law of arms allow[74]
I may have grace, and quarter now?
Or wilt thou rather break thy word,
And stain thine honour, than thy sword?860
A man of war to damn his soul,
In basely breaking his parole.

And when before the fight, th' hadst vow'd
To give no quarter in cold blood;
Now thou hast got me for a Tartar,[75]865
To make m' against my will take quarter;
Why dost not put me to the sword,
But cowardly fly from thy word?
Quoth Hudibras, The day 's thine own;
Thou and thy stars have cast me down:870
My laurels are transplanted now,
And flourish on thy conqu'ring brow:
My loss of honour 's great enough,
Thou need'st not brand it with a scoff:
Sarcasms may eclipse thine own,875
But cannot blur my lost renown:
I am not now in fortune's power,
He that is down can fall no lower.[76]
The ancient heroes were illustr'ous
For being benign, and not blust'rous 880
Against a vanquish'd foe: their swords
Where sharp and trenchant, not their words;
And did in tight but cut work out
T' employ their courtesies about.[77]
Quoth she, Altho' thou hast deserv'd,885
Base Slubberdegullion,[78] to be serv'd
As thou didst vow to deal with me,
If thou hadst got the victory;
Yet I should rather act a part
That suits my fame, than thy desert.890

Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/193 Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/194 Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/195 Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/196 Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/197 Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/198 \Vherc saints themselves are brought to stake '

For gospel-light, and conscience-sake;

Expos'd to scribes and presbyters,

Instead of mastifi' dogs and cars;

Than whom th' have less humanity, 1115 For thew at souls of men will fly.

This to the prophet did appear,

""110 in a vision saw a bear,

Prefiguring the beastly rage

Of church-rule, in this latter age: '1 1120 As is demonstrated at full

By him that baited the pope's bulb"

Bears naturally are beasts of prey,

That. live by rapine; so do they.

"i hat are their orders, constitutions, 1:25 Clmrch-censures. curses, absolutions,

But sev'ral mystic chains they make,

To tie poor Christians to the stake?

And then set heathen oflicers,

Instead of dogs, about their cars. 1130 For to prohibit and dislwnse,

To find out. or to make oll'cuce;

Of hell and heav'n to dispose. ' To play with souls at: fast and loose;

To set what characters they please, 1135 And outlets on sin or godliness:

Reduce the church to gospel-order,

By rapine, saerilege, and murder;

To make. prtsliytery supreme,

And kings themselves submit. to them;' 11m

' The Presbyterians, when in power, by means of their synods, asstlll' blics. classes, scribes, preshylers. triers, orders. celburcc. curses. kc. (Vex. persecuted the ministers, lwth ot' the Independent.» and of the Church of England, with \'iulellve and vmelty little short while [In nisition.

'-' Daniel rii. 5. " .'tnd behold another beast, a at't'tilltl. him to a bear; and it raised up itself on one side; and it had three rihs in the mouth of it, he. tlwcltn the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, .tn'se, devour much I L': I."

a The Haitian-r; of the Pope's llnll was the title of a polemic lmlaphlet written against the Pope, by Henry Burton, rector ul'St Matthew, Fridaysmart. Londnn, 1627.

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A creature of amphibious nature,
On land a beast, a fish in water:1230
That always preys on grace or sin;
A sheep without, a wolf within.
This fierce inquisitor has chief
Dominion over men's belief
And manners; can pronounce a saint1235
Idolatrous, or ignorant,
When superciliously he sifts,
Through coarsest bolter, others' gifts.[79]
For all men live and judge amiss,
Whose talents jump not just with his.1240
He'll lay on gifts with hand, and place
On dullest noddle light and grace.
The manufacture of the kirk.
Whose pastors are but th' handiwork
Of his mechanic paws, instilling1245
Divinity in them by feeling.
From whence they start up chosen vessels,
Made by contact, as men get measles.
So cardinals, they say, do grope
At th' other end the new-made pope.[80]1250
Hold, hold, quoth Hudibras, soft fire,
They say, does make sweet malt. Good Squire,
Festina lente, not too fast;
For haste, the proverb says, makes waste.
The quirks and cavils thou dost make 1255
Are false, and built upon mistake:
And I shall bring you, with your pack
Of fallacies, t' Elenchi back;[81]
And put your arguments in mood
And figure to be understood.1260
I'll force you by right ratiocination
To leave your vitilitigation.[82]

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Thy other arguments are all
Supposures hypothetical,
That do but beg; and we may chuse
Either to grant them, or refuse.
Much thou hast said, which I know when,1325
And where thou stol'st from other men;
Whereby 'tis plain thy light and gifts
Are all but plagiary shifts;
And is the same that Ranter said.
Who, arguing with me, broke my head,[83]1330
And tore a handful of my beard:
The self-same cavils then I heard,
When b'ing in hot dispute about
This controversy, we fell out;
And what thou know'st I answer'd then 1335
Will serve to answer thee agen.
Quoth Ralpho, Nothing but th' abuse
Of human learning you produce;
Learning, that cobweb of the brain.
Profane, erroneous, and vain;[84]1340

A trade of knowledge as replete,
As others are with fraud and cheat;
An art t' incumber gifts and wit,
And render both for nothing fit;
Makes light unactive, dull and troubled,1345
Like little David in Saul's doublet:[85]
A cheat that scholars put upon
Other men's reason and their own;
A fort of error to ensconce
Absurdity and ignorance,1350
That renders all the avenues
To truth impervious, and abstruse,
By making plain things, in debate,
By art perplex'd, and intricate:
For nothing goes for sense or light 1355
That will not with old rules jump right,
As if rules were not in the schools
Deriv'd from truth, but truth from rules.[86]
This pagan, heathenish invention
Is good for nothing but contention.1360
For as in sword-and-buckler fight.
All blows do on the target light;
So when men argue, the greatest part
O' th' contest falls on terms of art.
Until the fustian stuff be spent,1365
And then they fall to th' argument.
Quoth Hudibras, Friend Ralph, thou hast
Out-run the constable at last;
For thou art fallen on a new
Dispute, as senseless as untrue,1370
But to the former opposite,
And contrary as black to white;

Mere disparata,[87] that concerning
Presbytery, this human learning;
Two things's' averse, they never yet,1375
But in thy rambling fancy, met.[88]
But I shall take a fit occasion
T' evince thee by ratiocination,
Some other time, in place more proper
Than this w' are in: therefore let's stop here,1380
And rest our weary'd bones awhile,
Already tir'd with other toil.

  1. The Author follows the example of Spenser, and the Italian poets, in the division of his work into parts and cantos. Spenser contents himself with a quatrain at the head of each canto; Butler more fully informs his readers what they are to expect, by an argument in the same style with the poem; and shows that he knew how to enliven so dry a thing as a summary.
  2. A parody on Spenser's verses:
    Ay me, how many perils do enfold
    The virtuous man to make him daily fall.
    Fairy Queen: Book i. canto 8.
    These two lines are become a kind of proverbial expression, partly owing to the moral reflection, and partly to the jingle of the double rhyme: they are applied sometimes to a man mortally wounded with a sword, and sometimes to a lady who pricks her finger with a needle. It was humorously applied by the Cambridge wits to Jeffreys, on the publication of Lord Byron's "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers." Butler, in his MS. Common Place-book, on this passage, observes: "Cold iron in Greenland burns as grievously as hot." Some editions read "Ah me."
  3. An old ballad, which begins:
    What if a day, or a month, or a year
    Crown thy delights,
    With a thousand wish't contentings!
    Cannot the chance of a night or an hour,
    Cross thy delights,
    With as many sad tormentings?
  4. The first edition reads: Suer as a gun.
  5. That is, crowing or rejoicing. Handbook of Proverbs, p. 154.
  6. The parliament was accustomed to order a day of public Thanksgiving, on occasion of every advantage gained over the Royalists, however trifling. And at these seasons the valour and worthiness of the leader, who had gained the victory, were lauded and enlarged upon.
  7. The gazettes or newspapers, on the side of the parliament, were published daily, and called Diurnals.
  8. Handbook of Proverbs, p. 542.
  9. Var. Fought.
  10. An allusion to the complaint of the Presbyterian commanders against the Independents, when the Self-denying Ordinance had excluded them.
  11. Altered in subsequent editions to "took heart again."
  12. The first editions read: For by this time the routed bear.
  13. So in the famous song of Chevy Chase:
    For Witherington needs must I wail,
    As one of the doleful dumps,
    For when his legs were smitten off
    He fought upon his stumps
  14. Long-field is a term of archery, and a long-fielder is a hero at a cricket match.
  15. A satirical stroke at the character of Camilla, whose speed is hyperbolically described by Virgil, at the end of the seventh book of the Æneid.
  16. Witches are said to ride upon broomsticks, and to liquor, or grease them, that they may go faster. See Lucan, vi. 572.
  17. Trulla interposed her staff between the dogs and the bear, in order to part them; and Cerdon drew the dogs away by their tails. Staving and tailing are technical terms used in the bear-garden, but are sometimes applied metaphorically to higher pursuits, as law, divinity, &c.
  18. That is, honourable wounds. The reader familiar with Shakspeare will remember Old Siward, in the last scene of Macbeth:
    Siw.————Had he his hurts before?
    Ross.Aye, in the front.
    Why then God's soldier is he!
    Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
    I would not wish them to a fairer death.
    And so his knell is knoll'd.
  19. The Anabaptists insisted upon the necessity of immersion in baptism; so Butler uses the word "anabaptized" as equivalent to "dipt": but as the vulnerable heel was not dipt, he calls it "pagan."
  20. Albert, archduke of Austria, brother to the emperor Rodolph the Second, had one of his ears grazed by a spear, when he had taken off his helmet, and was endeavouring to rally his soldiers, in an engagement with Prince Maurice of Nassau, ann. 1598. A ducatoon is half a ducat.
  21. In those days lawyers or scriveners, guilty of dishonest practice, were sentenced to lose their ears.
  22. Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, who were placed in the pillory, and had their ears cut off, by order of the Star-chamber, in 1637, for writing seditious libels. They were banished into remote parts of the kingdom; but recalled by the parliament in 1640. At their return the populace received them with enthusiasm. They were met, near London, by ten thousand persons, carrying boughs and flowers; and the members of the Star-chamber, concerned in punishing them, were fined £4000 for each.
  23. The passage which commences with this line is an admirable satire on the romance writers of those days; who imitated the well-known passages in Homer and Virgil, which represented the care taken by the deities of their favourites, after combats. "In this passage (says Ramsay) the burlesque is maintained with great skill, the imagery is descriptive, and the verse smooth; showing that the author might, had he chosen, have produced something in a very different strain to 'Hudibras'; though of less excellence, he perhaps knew the true bent of his genius, and probably felt a contempt for the easy smoothness and pretty feebleness of his contemporaries, of whom Waller and Denham were the two most striking examples."
  24. The ancients believed that Music had the power of curing haemorrhages, gout, sciatica, and all sorts of sprains, when once the patient found himself capable of listening to it. Thus Homer, Odyssey, book xix. line 531 of Pope.
  25. A large lute for playing a thorough bass, used by the Italians.
  26. In Grey's edition it is thus pointed;
    His tugg'd ears suffer'd; with a strain
    They both drew up—
    But the poet probably meant a well-tuned theorbo, to ease the pain with a strain, that is, with music and a song.
  27. Hercules, when he bewails the loss of Hylas. See Val. Flac. Aegon. iii. 593, and Theocritus, Idyl. xiii. 58.
  28. A fine satire (says Grey) on that false kind of wit which makes an Echo talk sensibly, and give rational answers. Echoes were frequently introduced by the ancient poets (Ovid. Metam. iii. 379; Anthol. Gr. iii. 6, &c.), and had become a fashion in England from the Elizabethan era to the time when Butler wrote. Addison, see Spectator 59, reproves this, as he calls it, "silly kind of device," and cites Erasmus's Dialogues, where an Echo is made to answer in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. But all the ancient Echoes are outdone by the Irish Echo, which in answer to "How do you do, Paddy Blake?" echoed, "Pretty well, thank you."
  29. Supposed to he a sneer at Sir Philip Sidney, who in his Arcadia has a long poem between the speaker and Echo.
  30. An exclamation or small oath, having no particular import, apparently the origin of our Marry come up. It is used by Taylor the Water Poet, Ben Jonson, and Gayton in his Translation of Don Quixote.
  31. That is, "be silent," in allusion to what Shakspeare puts into the mouth of Master Slander: "I come to her in white, ancl cry mum; she cries budget; and by that we know one another."—Merry Wives, Act v. sc. 2.
  32. To lay in one's dish, to make an accusation against one, to lay a charge at one's door.
    Last night you lay it, madam, in our dish,
    How that a maid of ours (whom we must check)
    Had broke your bitches leg.
    Sir John Harrington, Epigr. i. 27.
  33. That is, behaved cowardly, or surrendered at discretion: jeering obliquely perhaps at the anabaptistical notions of Ralpho. Hooker, or Vowler, in his description of Exeter, written about 1584, speaking of the parson of St Thomas, who was hanged during the siege, says, "he was a stout man, who would not give his head for the polling, nor his beard for the washing." Grey gives the following quotation from Beaumont and Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge, Act iv. "1st Citizen. It holds, he dies this morning. 2nd Citizen. Then happy man be his fortune. 1st Citizen. And so am I and forty more good fellows, that will not give their heads for the washing."
  34. Var. Of them, but losing of my bear. In all editions between 1674 and 1704.
  35. This common saying is a sneer at the Pope's infallibility.
  36. The confusion or want of order occasioned by haste and secrecy.
    ——and we have done but greenly
    In hugger-mugger to inter him.
    Hamlet, iv. 5. See also Wright's Glossary.
  37. A proverbial expression used for any bold or daring enterprise: so we say, To take a lion by the beard. The Spaniards deemed it the most unpardonable of affronts to be pulled by the beard, and would resent it at the hazard of life.
  38. The widow is presumed by Grey to be Mrs Tomson, who had a jointure of £200 a year. The courtship appears to be a fact dressed up by Butler's humour (although the editor of 1819 thinks it apocryphal) from Walker's History of Independency, i. p. 170. We learn tbat Sir Samuel Luke, to repair his decayed estate, sighed for the widow's jointure, but met with fatal obstacles in his suit, for she was a mere coquet, and, what was worse as regarded her suitor's principles, she was a royalist. Her inexorableness, says Mr Walker, was eventually the cause of the knight's death.
  39. A ludicrous name for the knight's heart: taken from a calf's head and purtenance, as it is vulgarly called, instead of appurtenance (or pluck), which, among other entrails, contains the heart. The word is used in the same sense in the Bible. See Exodus xii. 9.
  40. Ants' eggs were formerly supposed, by some, to be antaphrodisiacs, or antidotes to love passions. See Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft, b. vi. ch. 7.
  41. Pygmalion, as the mythologists say, fell in love with a statue of his own carving; which Venus, to gratify him, turned into a living woman. See Ovid's Metamorphoses, lib. x. l. 247.
  42. Such capricious kind of love is described by Horace: Satires, book i. ii. 105.
  43. So in the edition of 1678, in others it is ha-day, but either may stand, as they both signify a mark of admiration. See Skinner and Junius.
  44. "It is common for horses, as well as men, to be afflicted with sciatica, or rheumatism, to a great degree, for weeks together, and when they once get clear of the fit, never perhaps hear any more of it while they live: for these distempers, with some others, called salutary distempers, seldom or never seize upon an unsound body." Bracken's Farriery Improved, ii. 46. The meaning then, from ver. 338, is this: As the widow loved none that were disposed to love her, so cowards fight with none that are disposed to fight with them: so some diseases seize upon none that are already distempered, but upon those only who, through the firmness of their constitution, seem least liable to such attacks.
  45. That is, the Lord's Prayer read backwards. The Spectator, No. 61, speaking of an epigram called the Witch's Prayer, says, it fell into verse whether read backwards or forwards, excepting only that it cursed one way and blessed the other." See Spectator, No. 110, 117, upon Witchcraft.
  46. A banter on the Papists, who, denying to the laity the use of the Bible or Prayer-book in the vulgar tongue, are charged with asserting, that "ignorance is the mother of devotion." The wit here is in making the widow's ignorance of his love the cause of the Knight's devotion.
  47. * Dr Grey supposes this may allude to five members of the army, who, on the 6th of March, 1648, were forced to ride in New Palace yard with their faces towards their horses' tails, had their swords broken over their heads, and were cashiered, for petitioning the Rump for relief of the oppressed commonwealth.
  48. A dog, called by the Latins Vertagus, that rolls himself in a heap, and tumbles over, disguising his shape and motion, till he is near enough to his object to seize it by a sudden spring. The tumbler was generally used in hunting rabbits. See Caius de Canibus Britannicis (Kay, on Englishe Dogges, sin. 4to, Lond. 1576), and Martial, lib. xiv. Epig. 200.
  49. One of the canting phrases used by the sectaries, when they entered on any new mischief.
  50. Read oppugné, as three syllables, to make the line of sufficient length.
  51. That is, impassable. See Horace, III. 2.
  52. Assuming that women are often captivated by a red coat or a copy of verses.
  53. Alluding to the familiar quotation, Fortes Fortuna adjuvat, "Fortune favours the bold,"
  54. Timidous, from timidus; the hero being in a latinizing humour.
  55. Spick and span is derived by Dr Grey from spike, which signifies a nail of iron, as well as a nail in measure, and span, which is a measure of nine inches, or quarter of a yard. This applied to a new suit means that it has just been measured by the nail and span. Ray gives a different derivation; see Bohn's Handbook of Proverbs, page 178.
  56. That is, an adventure of another kind; so Sanderson, p. 47, third sermon ad elerum. "If we be of the spirituality, there should be in us anothergates manifestation of the spirit." The Americans, in conformity with a prevailing form, might read it "another guess."
  57. Variation in editions 1674 to 1704—
    To take the field and sally at.
  58. This is exactly in the style of victorious leaders. Thus Hannibal encouraged his men: "These are the same Romans whom you have beaten so often." And Octavius addressed his soldiers at Actium: "It is the same Antony whom you once drove out of the field before Mutina: Be, as you have been, conquerors." And so, too, Napoleon on several occasions.
  59. Var. Haunts by turns, in the editions of 1663.
  60. A hit at the old Romances of Knight-errantry. In like manner Cervantes makes Don Quixote invoke his Dulcinca upon almost every occasion.
  61. Whinyard signifies a sword; it is chiefly used in contempt or banter. Johnson derives it from whin, furze; so whinniard, the short scythe or instrument with which country people cut whins.
  62. See Iliad v. 304. Virgil. Æn. I. 101. Juvenal. Sat. xv. 65.
  63. Meaning the Anabaptists, who thought they obtained a higher degree sanctification by being re-baptized.
  64. Alluding to Cromwell's prudent conduct in this respect, who seldom suffered his soldiers to fire till they were near enough to the enemy to be sure of doing execution.
  65. Var. He lost his whinyard.
  66. A coarse robe or mantle; the term is used by Shylock in the Merchant of Venice, Act I. sc. 3.
  67. Habergeon, a diminutive of the French word hauberg, a little coat of mail. But here it signifies the tinker's budget.
  68. Var. Hudibras, his hurt.
  69. Var. And force their sullen rage to part.
  70. This perhaps has some reference to Prince Rupert, who, at Marston Moor, and on some other occasions, was successful at his first onset by charging with great fury, but lost his advantage by too long a pursuit. See Echard, vol. ii. p. 480.
  71. This belief still prevails in all rural districts. Plot, in his Natural History of Oxfordshire, says: "If the crows towards harvest-time are mischievous, the farmers dig holes near the corn, and fill them with cinders and gunpowder, sticking crow feathers about them, which they find successful."
  72. Var. The knotted blood.
  73. One of the knight's hard words, signifying to approach, or draw near.
  74. Instead of this and the nine following lines (857 to 866), these four stood in the two first editions of 1663.
    Shall I have quarter now, you ruflin?
    Or wilt thou be worse than thy hufling?
    Thou said'st th' wouldst kill me, marry wouldst thou:
    Why dost thou not, thou Jack-a-nods thou?
  75. The Tartars (says Purchas, in his Pilgrimes, p. 478) would rather die than yield, which makes them fight with desperate energy; whence the proverb, Thou hast caught a Tartar.—A man catches a Tartar when he falls into his own trap, or having a design upon another, is caught himself. "Help, help, cries one, I have caught a Tartar. Bring him along, answers his comrade. He will not come, says he. Then come without him, quoth the other. But he will not let me, says the Tartar-catcher."
  76. A literal translation of the proverb: Qui jacet in terrâ non habet unde cadat.
  77. See Cleveland, in his letter to the Protector. "The most renowned heroes have ever with such tenderness cherished their captives, that their swords did but cut out work for their courtesies."
  78. That is, a drivelling fool: to slubber, in British, is to drivel; and gul, or its diminutive gullion, a fool, or person easily imposed upon. The word is used by Taylor the Water Poet, in his "Laugh and grow fat."
  79. A bolter is a coarse sieve for separating bran from flour.
  80. This alludes to the stereorary chair, used at the installations of some of the popes, and which, being perforated at the bottom, has given rise to the assertion that, to prevent the recurrence of a Pope Joan, the Pontiff elect is always examined through it by the youngest deacon.
  81. Elenchi are arguments which deceive under an appearance of truth. The Elenchus, says Aldrich, is properly a syllogism which refutes an opponent by establishing that which contradicts his opinion.
  82. That is, a perverse humour of wrangling, or, "contentious litigation."
  83. The Ranters were a vile sect, that denied all the doctrines of religion, natural and revealed, and believed sin and vice to be the whole duty of man. They held, says Alexander Ross, that God, Devil, Angels, Heaven, and Hell, were fictions; that Moses, John the Baptist, and Christ, were impostors, and that preaching was but public lying. With one of these the knight had entered into a dispute, and at last came to blows. Whitelocke says that the soldiers in the parliament army were frequently punished for being Ranters.
  84. Independents and Anabaptists were great enemies to all human learning, the thought that preaching, and everything else, was to come by inspiration. Dr South says: "Latin unto them was a mortal crime, and Greek looked upon as a sin against the Holy Ghost. All learning was then cried down, so that with them the best preachers were such as could not read, and the ablest divines such as could not write. In all their preachments they so highly pretended to the spirit, that they hardly could spell the letter." We are told in the Mercurius Rusticus, that the tinkers and tailors who governed Chelmsford at the beginning of the Rebellion, asserted "that learning had always been an enemy to the gospel, and that it would be a happy state if there were no universities, and all books were burnt except the Bible." Their enmity to learning is well satirized by Shakspeare, who makes Jack Cade say when he ordered Lord Say's head to be struck off: "I am the besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou has most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm, in erecting a grammar school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books, but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face, that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb; and such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear." Henry VI. Part II. Act iv. sc. 7.
  85. See 1 Samuel xvii. 38.
  86. Bishop Warburton, in a note on these lines, says: "This observation is just, the logicians have run into strange absurdities of this kind: Peter Ramus, the best of them, in his Logic, rejects a very just argument of Cicero's as sophistical, because it did not jump right with his rules."
  87. Things so different from each other, that they cannot be compared.
  88. The Presbytery of those times had little learning among them, though many made pretences to it; but, seeing all their boasted arguments and doctrines, wherever they differed from the Church of England, controverted and battled by the learned divines of that Church, they found that without more learning they should not maintain their ground. Therefore, about the time of the Revolution, they began to think it very necessary, instead of Calvin's Institutes, and a Dutch System or two, to help them to arguments against Episcopacy, to study more polite books. It is certain that dissenting ministers, since that time, have both preached and written more learnedly and politely.