Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/51

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


When civil dudgeon[1] first grew high,
And men fell out they knew not why?[2]
When hard words[3], jealousies, and fears,[4]
Set folks together by the ears,
And made them fight, like mad or drunk, 5
For dame Religion, as for Punk;
Whose honesty they all durst swear for,
Tho' not a man of them knew wherefore:
When Gospel-Trumpeter, surrounded[5]
With long-ear'd[6] rout, to battle sounded, 10

  1. To take in dudgeon is inwardly to resent some injury or affront, a sort of grumbling in the gizzard (as Tom Hood has said), and what is previous to actual fury. It was altered by Mr Butler, in his edition of 1674, to civil fury, and so stood until 1700. But the original word was restored in 1704, and has been adopted, with two or three recent exceptions, ever since; and it unquestionably is most in keeping with the character of the poem. Dudgeon in its primitive sense is a dagger, and is so used towards the close of the present canto.
  2. It may be justly said they knew not why, since, as Lord Clarendon observes, "The like peace and plenty, and universal tranquillity, was never enjoyed by any nation for ten years together, before those unhappy troubles began."
  3. The jargon and cant-words used by the Presbyterians and other sectaries, such as gospel-walking-times, soul-saving, carnal-minded, carryings-on, workings-out, committee-dom, &c. They called themselves the elect, the saints, the predestinated, and their opponents Papists, Prelatists, reprobates, &c. &c. They set the people against the Common-prayer, which they asserted was the mass-book in English, and nicknamed it Porridge; and enraged them against the surplice, calling it a rag of Popery, the whore of Babylon's smock, and the smock of the whore of Rome.
  4. Jealousies and fears were words bandied between Charles I. and the parliament in all their papers, before the absolute breaking out of the war. They were used by the parliament to the king, in their petition for the militia, March 1, 1641–2; and by the king in his answer. "You speak of jealousies and fears; lay your hands to your hearts and ask yourselves, whether I may not be disturbed with jealousies and fears."
  5. The Presbyterians (many of whom before the war had got into parish churches) preached the people info rebellion, incited them to take up arms and fight the Lord's battles, and destroy the Amalekites, root and branch, hip and thigh. They told them also to bind their kings in chains, and their nobles in links of iron. And Dr South has recorded that many of the regicides were drawn into the grand rebellion by the direful imprecations of seditious preachers from the pulpit. See Spectator, Nos. 60 and 153.
  6. The Puritans had a custom of putting their hands behind their ears, at sermons, and bending them forward, under pretence of hearing the bet-

B 2