Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HUDIBRAS: PART 2, by SAMUEL BUTLER (1612-1680)



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HUDIBRAS: PART 2, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The knight by damnable magician
Last Line: For sport of boys, and rabble-wit.
Subject(s): Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658); Magic; Presbyterianism


CANTO I


THE ARGUMENT.

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The Knight by damnable Magician,
Being cast illegally in prison,
Love brings his Action on the Case.
And lays it upon Hudibras.

How he receives the Lady's Visit,
And cunningly solicits his Suite,
Which she defers; yet on Parole
Redeems him from th' inchanted Hole.
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But now, t'observe a romantic method,
Let bloody steel a while be sheathed,
And all those harsh and rugged sounds
Of bastinadoes, cuts, and wounds,
Exchang'd to Love's more gentle stile
To let our reader breathe a while;
In which, that we may be as brief as
Is possible, by way of preface,
Is't not enough to make one strange,
That some men's fancies should ne'er change
But make all people do and say
The same things still the self-same way
Some writers make all ladies purloin'd,
And knights pursuing like a whirlwind
Others make all their knights, in fits
Of jealousy, to lose their wits;
Till drawing blood o'th' dames, like witches,
Th' are forthwith cur'd of their capriches.
Some always thrive in their amours
By pulling plaisters off their sores;
As cripples do to get an alms,
Just so do they, and win their dames.
Some force whole regions, in despight
O' geography, to change their site;
Make former times shake hands with latter
And that which was before, come after.
But those that write in rhime, still make
The one verse for the other's sake;
For, one for sense, and one for rhime,
I think's sufficient at one time.

But we forget in what sad plight
We whilom left the captiv'd Knight
And pensive Squire, both bruis'd in body,
And conjur'd into safe custody.
Tir'd with dispute and speaking Latin
As well as basting and bear-baiting,
And desperate of any course,
To free himself by wit or force,
His only solace was, that now
His dog-bolt fortune was so low
That either it must quickly end
Or turn about again, and mend;
In which he found th' event, no less
Than other times beside his guess.

There is a tall long sided dame
(But wond'rous light,) ycleped Fame
That, like a thin camelion, boards
Herself on air, and eats her words;
Upon her shoulders wings she wears
Like hanging-sleeves, lin'd through with ears
And eyes, and tongues, as poets list,
Made good by deep mythologist,
With these she through the welkin flies,
And sometimes carries truth, oft lies
With letters hung like eastern pigeons
And Mercuries of furthest regions;
Diurnals writ for regulation
Of lying, to inform the nation;
And by their public use to bring down
The rate of whetstones in the kingdom.
About her neck a pacquet-male,
Fraught with advice, some fresh, some stale,
Of men that walk'd when they were dead,
And cows of monsters brought to bed;
Of hail-stones big as pullets eggs
And puppies whelp'd with twice two legs;
A blazing star seen in the west,
By six or seven men at least.
Two trumpets she does sound at once,
But both of clean contrary tones;
But whether both with the same wind,
Or one before, and one behind,
We know not; only this can tell,
The one sounds vilely, th' other well;
And therefore vulgar authors name
Th' one Good, the other Evil, Fame.

This tattling gossip knew too well
What mischief HUDIBRAS befell.
And straight the spiteful tidings bears
Of all to th' unkind widow's ears.
DEMOCRITUS ne'er laugh'd so loud
To see bawds carted through the crowd,
Or funerals with stately pomp
March slowly on in solemn dump,
As she laugh'd out, until her back
As well as sides, was like to crack.
She vow'd she would go see the sight,
And visit the distressed Knight;
To do the office of a neighbour,
And be a gossip at his labour;
And from his wooden jail, the stocks,
To set at large his fetter-locks;
And, by exchange, parole, or ransom,
To free him from th' enchanted mansion.
This b'ing resolv'd, she call'd for hood
And usher, implements abroad
Which ladies wear, beside a slender
Young waiting damsel to attend her;
All which appearing, on she went,
To find the Knight in limbo pent.
And 'twas not long before she found
Him, and the stout Squire, in the pound;
Both coupled in enchanted tether,
By further leg behind together
For as he sat upon his rump
His head like one in doleful dump,
Between his knees, his hands apply'd
Unto his ears on either side;
And by him, in another hole,
Afflicted RALPHO, cheek by jowl;
She came upon him in his wooden
Magician's circle on the sudden,
As spirits do t' a conjurer,
When in their dreadful shapes th' appear.

No sooner did the Knight perceive her
But straight he fell into a fever,
Inflam'd all over with disgrace,
To be seen by her in such a place;
Which made him hang his head, and scoul,
And wink, and goggle like an owl.
He felt his brains begin to swim,
When thus the dame accosted him:

This place (quoth she) they say's enchanted,
And with delinquent spirits haunted,
That here are ty'd in chains, and scourg'd
Until their guilty crimes be purg'd.
Look, there are two of them appear,
Like persons I have seen somewhere.
Some have mistaken blocks and posts
For spectres, apparitions, ghosts
With saucer eyes, and horns; and some
Have heard the Devil beat a drum:
But if our eyes are not false glasses,
That give a wrong account of faces,
That beard and I should be acquainted
Before 'twas conjur'd or enchanted;
For though it be disfigur'd somewhat,
As if 't had lately been in combat,
It did belong to a worthy Knight
Howe'er this goblin has come by't.

When HUDIBRAS the Lady heard
Discoursing thus upon his beard,
And speak with such respect and honour,
Both of the beard and the beard's owner,
He thought it best to set as good
A face upon it as he cou'd,
And thus he spoke: Lady, your bright
And radiant eyes are in the right:
The beard's th' identic beard you knew,
The same numerically true:
Nor is it worn by fiend or elf,
But its proprietor himself.

O, heavens! quoth she, can that be true?
I do begin to fear 'tis you:
Not by your individual whiskers
But by your dialect and discourse,
That never spoke to man or beast
In notions vulgarly exprest.
But what malignant star, alas
Has brought you both to this sad pass?

Quoth he, The fortune of the war,
Which I am less afflicted for,
Than to be seen with beard and face,
By you in such a homely case.
Quoth she, Those need not he asham'd
For being honorably maim'd,
If he that is in battle conquer'd,
Have any title to his own beard;
Though yours be sorely lugg'd and torn,
It does your visage more adorn
Than if 'twere prun'd, and starch'd, and lander'd,
And cut square by the Russian standard.
A torn beard's like a tatter'd ensign,
That's bravest which there are most rents in.
That petticoat about your shoulders
Does not so well become a souldier's;
And I'm afraid they are worse handled
Although i' th' rear; your beard the van led;
And those uneasy bruises make
My heart for company to ake
To see so worshipful a friend
I' th' pillory set, at the wrong end.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, This thing call'd pain
Is (as the learned Stoicks maintain)
Not bad simpliciter, nor good
But merely as 'tis understood.
Sense is deceitful, and may feign,
As well in counterfeiting pain
As other gross phenomenas,
In which it oft mistakes the case.
But since the immortal intellect
(That's free from error and defect,
Whose objects still persist the same)
Is free from outward bruise and maim,
Which nought external can expose
To gross material bangs or blows,
It follows, we can ne'er be sure,
Whether we pain or not endure;
And just so far are sore and griev'd,
As by the fancy is believ'd.
Some have been wounded with conceit,
And dy'd of mere opinion straight;
Others, tho' wounded sore in reason,
Felt no contusion, nor discretion.
A Saxon Duke did grow so fat
That mice (as histories relate)
Eat grots and labyrinths to dwell in
His postick parts without his feeling:
Then how is't possible a kick
Should e'er reach that way to the quick?

Quoth she, I grant it is in vain.
For one that's basted to feel pain,
Because the pangs his bones endure
Contribute nothing to the cure:
Yet honor hurt, is wont to rage
With pain no med'cine can asswage.

Quoth he, That honour's very squeamish
That takes a basting for a blemish;
For what's more hon'rable than scars,
Or skin to tatters rent in wars?
Some have been beaten till they know
What wood a cudgel's of by th' blow;
Some kick'd until they can feel whether
A shoe be Spanish or neat's leather;
And yet have met, after long running
With some whom they have taught that cunning.
The furthest way about t' o'ercome,
In the end does prove the nearest home.
By laws of learned duellists,
They that are bruis'd with wood or fists
And think one beating may for once
Suffice, are cowards and pultroons:
But if they dare engage t' a second,
They're stout and gallant fellows reckon'd.

Th' old Romans freedom did bestow
Our princes worship, with a blow.
King PYRRHUS cur'd his splenetic
And testy courtiers with a kick.
The NEGUS, when some mighty lord
Or potentate's to be restor'd
And pardon'd for some great offence,
With which be's willing to dispense,
First has him laid upon his belly,
Then beaten back and side to a jelly;
That done, he rises, humbly bows
And gives thanks for the princely blows;
Departs not meanly proud, and boasting
Of this magnificent rib-roasting.
The beaten soldier proves most manful,
That, like his sword, endures the anvil
And justly's held more formidable,
The more his valour's malleable:
But he that fears a bastinado
Will run away from his own shadow:
And though I'm now in durance fast
By our own party basely cast,
Ransom, exchange, parole refus'd,
And worse than by the enemy us'd;
In close catasta shut, past hope
Of wit or valour to elope;
As beards the nearer that they tend
To th' earth still grow more reverend;
And cannons shoot the higher pitches,
The lower we let down their breeches;
I'll make this low dejected fate
Advance me to a greater height.

Quoth she, Y' have almost made me in love
With that which did my pity move.
Great wits and valours, like great states,
Do sometimes sink with their own weights:
Th' extremes of glory and of shame
Like East and West, become the same:
No Indian Prince has to his palace
More foll'wers than a thief to th' gallows,
But if a beating seem so brave
What glories must a whipping have
Such great atchievements cannot fail
To cast salt on a woman's tail:
For if I thought your nat'ral talent
Of passive courage were so gallant
As you strain hard to have it thought,
I could grow amorous, and dote.

When HUDIBRAS this language heard,
He prick'd up's ears and strok'd his beard;
Thought he, this is the lucky hour;
Wines work when vines are in the flow'r;
This crisis then I'll set my rest on,
And put her boldly to the question.


Madam, what you wou'd seem to doubt,
Shall be to all the world made out
How I've been drubb'd, and with what spirit
And magnanimity I bear it;
And if you doubt it to be true,
I'll stake myself down against you:
And if I fail in love or troth
Be you the winner, and take both.

Quoth she, I've beard old cunning stagers
Say, fools for arguments use wagers;
And though I prais'd your valour, yet
I did not mean to baulk your wit;
Which, if you have, you must needs know
What I have told you before now,
And you b' experiment have prov'd,
I cannot love where I'm belov'd.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, 'tis a caprich
Beyond th' infliction of a witch;
So cheats to play with those still aim
That do not understand the game.
Love in your heart as icily burns
As fire in antique Roman urns
To warm the dead, and vainly light
Those only that see nothing by't.
Have you not power to entertain,
And render love for love again;
As no man can draw in his breath
At once, and force out air beneath?
Or do you love yourself so much,
To bear all rivals else a grutch?
What fate can lay a greater curse
Than you upon yourself would force?
For wedlock without love, some say,
Is but a lock without a key.
It is a kind of rape to marry
One that neglects, or cares not for ye:
For what does make it ravishment
But b'ing against the mind's consent?
A rape that is the more inhuman
For being acted by a woman.
Why are you fair, but to entice us
To love you, that you may despise us?
But though you cannot Love, you say,
Out of your own fanatick way,
Why should you not at least allow
Those that love you to do so too?
For, as you fly me, and pursue
Love more averse, so I do you;
And am by your own doctrine taught
To practise what you call a fau't.

Quoth she, If what you say is true,
You must fly me as I do you;
But 'tis not what we do, but say,
In love and preaching, that must sway.

Quoth he, To bid me not to love,
Is to forbid my pulse to move,
My beard to grow, my ears to prick up
Or (when I'm in a fit) to hickup:
Command me to piss out the moon,
And 'twill as easily be done:
Love's power's too great to be withstood
By feeble human flesh and blood.
'Twas he that brought upon his knees
The hect'ring, kill-cow HERCULES;
Transform'd his leager-lion's skin
T' a petticoat, and made him spin;
Seiz'd on his club, and made it dwindle
T' a feeble distaff, and a spindle.
'Twas he that made emperors gallants
To their own sisters and their aunts;
Set popes and cardinals agog,
To play with pages at leap-frog.
'Twas he that gave our Senate purges,
And flux'd the House of many a burgess;
Made those that represent the nation
Submit, and suffer amputation;
And all the Grandees o' the Cabal
Adjourn to tubs at Spring and Fall.
He mounted Synod-Men, and rode 'em
To Dirty-Lane and Little Sodom;
Made 'em curvet like Spanish jenets,
And take the ring at Madam [Bennet's]
'Twas he that made Saint FRANCIS do
More than the Devil could tempt him to,
In cold and frosty weather, grow
Enamour'd of a wife of snow;
And though she were of rigid temper
With melting flames accost and tempt her;
Which after in enjoyment quenching,
He hung a garland on his engine

Quoth she, If Love have these effects,
Why is it not forbid our sex?
Why is't not damn'd and interdicted,
For diabolical and wicked?
And sung, as out of tune, against,
As Turk and Pope are by the Saints?
I find I've greater reason for it
Than I believ'd before t' abhor it.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, These sad effects
Spring from your Heathenish neglects
Of Love's great pow'r, which he returns
Upon yourselves with equal scorns;
And those who worthy lovers slight,
Plagues with prepost'rous appetite.
This made the beauteous Queen of Crete
To take a town-bull for her sweet,
And from her greatness stoop so low
To be the rival of a cow:
Others to prostitute their great hearts,
To he baboons' and monkeys' sweet-hearts;
Some with the Dev'l himself in league grow,
By's representative a Negro.
'Twas this made vestal-maids love-sick,
And venture to be bury'd quick:
Some by their fathers, and their brothers,
To be made mistresses and mothers.
'Tis this that proudest dames enamours
On lacquies and valets des chambres;
Their haughty stomachs overcomes,
And makes 'em stoop to dirty grooms;
To slight the world, and to disparage
Claps, issue, infamy, and marriage.

Quoth she, These judgments are severe,
Yet such as I should rather bear,
Than trust men with their oaths, or prove
Their faith and secresy in love,

Says he, There is as weighty reason
For secresy in love as treason.
Love is a burglarer, a felon,
That at the windore-eyes does steal in
To rob the heart, and with his prey
Steals out again a closer way
Which whosoever can discover,
He's sure (as he deserves) to suffer.
Love is a fire, that burns and sparkles
In men as nat'rally as in charcoals,
Which sooty chymists stop in holes
When out of wood they extract coals:
So lovers should their passions choak,
That, tho' they burn, they may not smoak.
'Tis like that sturdy thief that stole
And dragg'd beasts backwards into's hole:
So Love does lovers, and us men
Draws by the tails into his den,
That no impression may discover,
And trace t' his cave, the wary lover,
But if you doubt I should reveal
What you entrust me under seal.
I'll prove myself as close and virtuous
As your own secretary ALBERTUS.

Quoth she, I grant you may be close
In hiding what your aims propose.
Love-passions are like parables,
By which men still mean something else,
Though love be all the world's pretence,
Money's the mythologick sense;

The real substance of the shadow
Which all address and courtship's made to.

Thought he, I understand your play,
And how to quit you your own way:
He that will win his dame, must do
As Love does when he bends his bow;
With one hand thrust the lady from,
And with the other pull her home.
I grant, quoth he, wealth is a great
Provocative to am'rous heat.
It is all philters, and high diet
That makes love rampant, and to fly out:
'Tis beauty always in the flower,
That buds and blossoms at fourscore:
'Tis that by which the sun and moon
At their own weapons are out-done:
That makes Knights-Errant fall in trances,
And lay about 'em in romances:
'Tis virtue, wit, and worth, and all
That men divine and sacred call:
For what is worth in any thing
But so much money as 'twill bring?
Or what, but riches is there known,
Which man can solely call his own
In which no creature goes his half;
Unless it be to squint and laugh?
I do confess, with goods and land,
I'd have a wife at second-hand;
And such you are. Nor is 't your person
My stomach's set so sharp and fierce on;
But 'tis (your better part) your riches
That my enamour'd heart bewitches.
Let me your fortune but possess,
And settle your person how you please:
Or make it o'er in trust to th' Devil;
You'll find me reasonable and civil.

Quoth she, I like this plainness better
Than false mock-passion, speech, or letter,
Or any feat of qualm or sowning,
But hanging of yourself, or drowning.
Your only way with me to break
Your mind, is breaking of your neck;
For as when merchants break, o'erthrown,
Like nine-pins they strike others down,
So that would break my heart; which done,
My tempting fortune is your own
These are but trifles: ev'ry lover
Will damn himself over and over,
And greater matters undertake
For a less worthy mistress' sake:
Yet th' are the only ways to prove
Th' unfeign'd realities of love:
For he that hangs, or beats out's brains,
The Devil's in him if he feigns.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, This way's too rough
For mere experiment and proof:
It is no jesting, trivial matter,
To swing t' th' air, or douce in Water,
And, like a water-witch, try love;
That's to destroy, and not to prove;
As if a man should be dissected
To find what part is disaffected.
Your better way is to make over,
In trust, your fortune to your lover.
Trust is a trial; if it break,
'Tis not so desp'rate as a neck.
Beside, th' experiment's more certain;
Men venture necks to gain a fortune:
The soldier does it ev'ry day.
(Eight to the week) for sixpence pay:
Your pettifoggers damn their souls
To share with knaves in cheating fools:
And merchants, vent'ring through the main,
Slight pirates, rocks, and horns, for gain.
This is the way I advise you to:
Trust me, and see what I will do.


Quoth she, I should be loth to run
Myself all th' hazard, and you none;
Which must be done, unless some deed
Of your's aforesaid do precede.
Give but yourself one gentle swing
For trial, and I'll cut the string:
Or give that rev'rend head a maul,
Or two, or three, against a wall,
To shew you are a man of mettle,
And I'll engage myself to settle.

Quoth he, My head's not made of brass,
As Friar BACON'S noodle was;
Nor (like the Indian's skull) so tough
That, authors say, 'twas musket-proof,
As yet on any new adventure
As it had need to be, to enter.
You see what bangs it has endur'd,
That would, before new feats, be cur'd.
But if that's all you stand upon,
Here, strike me luck, it shall be done.

Quoth she, The matter's not so far gone
As you suppose: Two words t' a bargain:
That may be done, and time enough,
When you have given downright proof;
And yet 'tis no fantastic pique
I have to love, nor coy dislike:
'Tis no implicit, nice aversion
T' your conversation, mein, or person,
But a just fear, lest you should prove
False and perfidious in love:
For if I thought you could be true,
I could love twice as much as you.

Quoth he, My faith as adamanatine,
As chains of destiny, I'll maintain:
True as APOLLO ever spoke
Or Oracle from heart of oak;
And if you'll give my flame but vent,
Now in close hugger-mugger pent,
And shine upon me but benignly,
With that one, and that other pigsney
The sun and day shall sooner part,
Than love or you shake off my heart;
The sun, that shall no more dispense
His own but your bright influence.
I'll carve your name on barks of trees
With true-loves-knots and flourishes,
That shall infuse eternal spring,
And everlasting flourishing:
Drink ev'ry letter on't in stum,
And make it brisk champaign become;
Where-e'er you tread, your foot shall set
The primrose and the violet:
All spices, perfumes, and sweet powders,
Shall borrow from your breath their odours:
Nature her charter shall renew
And take all lives of things from you;
The world depend upon your eye,
And when you frown upon it, die:
Only our loves shall still survive,
New worlds and natures to out-live:
And, like to heralds' moons, remain
All crescents, without change or wane.

Hold, hold, quoth she; no more of this,
Sir Knight; you take your aim amiss:
For you will find it a hard chapter
To catch me with poetic rapture,
In which your mastery of art
Doth shew itself, and not your heart:
Nor will you raise in mine combustion
By dint of high heroic fustian.
She that with poetry is won,
Is but a desk to write upon;
And what men say of her, they mean
No more than on the thing they lean.
Some with Arabian spices strive
T' embalm her cruelly alive;
Or season her, as French cooks use
Their haut-gousts, bouillies, or ragousts:
Use her so barbarously ill,
To grind her lips upon a mill
Until the facet doublet doth
Fit their rhimes rather than her mouth:
Her mouth compar'd to an oyster's, with
A row of pearl in't—stead of teeth.
Others make posies of her cheeks
Where red and whitest colours mix;
In which the lily, and the rose,
For Indian lake and ceruse goes.
The sun and moon by her bright eyes
Eclips'd, and darken'd in the skies
Are but black patches, that she wears,
Cut into suns, and moons, and stars:
By which astrologers as well,
As those in Heav'n above, can tell
What strange events they do foreshow
Unto her under-world below.
Her voice, the music of the spheres,
So loud, it deafens mortals ears;
As wise philosophers have thought;
And that's the cause we hear it not.
This has been done by some, who those
Th' ador'd in rhime, would kick in prose;
And in those ribbons would have hung
On which melodiously they sung;
That have the hard fate to write best
Of those still that deserve it least;
It matters not how false, or forc'd:
So the best things be said o' th' worst:
It goes for nothing when 'tis said;
Only the arrow's drawn to th' bead
Whether it be a swan or goose
They level at: So shepherds use
To set the same mark on the hip
Both of their sound and rotten sheep:
For wits, that carry low or wide
Must be aim'd higher, or beside
The mark, which else they ne'er come nigh,
But when they take their aim awry.
But I do wonder you should choose
This way t' attack me with your Muse
As one cut out to pass your tricks on,
With fulhams of poetic fiction:
I rather hop'd I should no more
Hear from you o' th' gallanting score:
For hard dry-bastings us'd to prove
The readiest remedies of love;
Next a dry-diet: but if those fail,
Yet this uneasy loop-hol'd jail,
In which ye are hamper'd by the fetlock,
Cannot but put y' in mind of wedlock;
Wedlock, that's worse than any hole here,
If that may serve you for a cooler,
T' allay your mettle, all agog
Upon a wife, the heavi'r clog:
Or rather thank your gentler fate
That for a bruis'd or broken pate,
Has freed you from those knobs that grow
Much harder on the marry'd brow:
But if no dread can cool your courage,
From vent'ring on that dragon, marriage
Yet give me quarter, and advance
To nobler aims your puissance:
Level at beauty and at wit;
The fairest mark is easiest hit.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, I'm beforehand
In that already, with your command
For where does beauty and high wit
But in your constellation meet?

Quoth she, What does a match imply,
But likeness and equality?
I know you cannot think me fit
To be th' yoke-fellow of your wit;
Nor take one of so mean deserts,
To be the partner of your parts;
A grace which, if I cou'd believe
I've not the conscience to receive.

That conscience, quoth HUDIBRAS,

Is mis-inform'd: I'll state the case
A man may be a legal donor,
Of any thing whereof he's owner
And may confer it where he lists,
I' th' judgment of all casuists,
Then wit, and parts, and valour, may
Be ali'nated, and made away,
By those that are proprietors
As I may give or sell my horse.

Quoth she, I grant the case is true
And proper 'twixt your horse and you;
But whether I may take as well
As you may give away or sell?
Buyers you know are bid beware;
And worse than thieves receivers are.
How shall I answer hue and cry,
For a roan gelding, twelve hands high,
All spurr'd and switch'd, a lock on's hoof
A sorrel mane? Can I bring proof
Where, when, by whom, and what y' were sold for,
And in the open market toll'd for?
Or should I take you for a stray,
You must be kept a year and day
(Ere I can own you) here i' the pound,
Where, if y' are sought, you may be found
And in the mean time I must pay
For all your provender and hay.

Quoth he, It stands me much upon
T' enervate this objection,
And prove myself; by topic clear
No gelding, as you would infer.
Loss of virility's averr'd
To be the cause of loss of beard
That does (like embryo in the womb)
Abortive on the chin become.
This first a woman did invent,
In envy of man's ornament;
SEMIRAMIS, of Babylon
Who first of all cut men o' th' stone,
To mar their beards, and lay foundation
Of sow-geldering operation.
Look on this beard, and tell me whether
Eunuchs wear such, or geldings either?
Next it appears I am no horse;
That I can argue and discourse
Have but two legs, and ne'er a tail.

Quoth she, That nothing will avail
For some philosophers of late here
Write, men have four legs by nature,

And that 'tis custom makes them go
Erron'ously upon but two;
As 'twas in Germany made good
B' a boy that lost himself in a wood
And growing down to a man, was wont
With wolves upon all four to hunt.
As for your reasons drawn from tails,
We cannot say they're true or false,
Till you explain yourself, and show
B' experiment, 'tis so or no.

Quoth he, If you'll join issue on't,
I'll give you satisfactory account;
So you will promise, if you lose,
To settle all, and be my spouse.

That never shall be done (quoth she)
To one that wants a tail, by me
For tails by nature sure were meant,
As well as beards, for ornament:
And though the vulgar count them homely
In men or beast they are so comely,
So gentee, alamode, and handsome,
I'll never marry man that wants one;
And till you can demonstrate plain,
You have one equal to your mane
I'll be torn piece-meal by a horse,
Ere I'll take you for better or worse.
The Prince of CAMBAY's daily food
Is asp, and basilisk, and toad;
Which makes him have so strong a breath
Each night he stinks a queen to death;
Yet I shall rather lie in's arms
Than yours, on any other terms.

Quoth he, What nature can afford,
I shall produce, upon my word;
And if she ever gave that boon
To man, I'll prove that I have one
I mean by postulate illation,

When you shall offer just occasion:
But since y' have yet deny'd to give
My heart, your pris'ner, a reprieve,
But made it sink down to my heel,
Let that at least your pity feel;
And, for the sufferings of your martyr,
Give its poor entertainer quarter;
And, by discharge or main-prize, grant
Deliv'ry from this base restraint.

Quoth she, I grieve to see your leg
Stuck in a hole here like a peg;
And if I knew which way to do't
(Your honour safe) I'd let you out.
That Dames by jail-delivery
Of Errant-Knights have been set free,
When by enchantment they have been,
And sometimes for it too, laid in
Is that which Knights are bound to do
By order, oath, and honour too:
For what are they renown'd, and famous else,
But aiding of distressed damosels?
But for a Lady no ways errant
To free a Knight, we have no warrant
In any authentical romance,
Or classic author, yet of France;
And I'd be loth to have you break
An ancient custom for a freak
Or innovation introduce
In place of things of antique use;
To free your heels by any course,
That might b' unwholesome to your spurs;
Which, if I should consent unto
It is not in my pow'r to do;
For 'tis a service must be done ye
With solemn previous ceremony;
Which always has been us'd t' untie
The charms of those who here do lie
For as the ancients heretofore
To Honour's Temple had no door,
But that which thorough Virtue's lay,
So from this dungeon there's no way
To honour'd freedom, but by passing
That other virtuous school of lashing,
Where Knights are kept in narrow lists,
With wooden lockets 'bout their wrists;
In which they for a while are tenants,
And for their Ladies suffer penance:
Whipping, that's Virtue's governess,
Tutress of arts and sciences;
That mends the gross mistakes of Nature,
And puts new life into dull matter;
That lays foundation for renown
And all the honours of the gown.
This suffer'd, they are set at large,
And freed with hon'rable discharge.
Then in their robes the penitentials
Are straight presented with credentials
And in their way attended on
By magistrates of ev'ry town;
And, all respect and charges paid,
They're to their ancient seats convey'd.
Now if you'll venture, for my sake
To try the toughness of your back,
And suffer (as the rest have done)
The laying of a whipping on,
(And may you prosper in your suit,
As you with equal vigour do't,)
I here engage myself to loose ye,
And free your heels from Caperdewsie.
But since our sex's modesty
Will not allow I should be by,
Bring me, on oath, a fair account
And honour too, when you have done't,
And I'll admit you to the place
You claim as due in my good grace.
If matrimony and hanging go
By dest'ny, why not whipping too?
What med'cine else can cure the fits
Of lovers when they lose their wits?
Love is a boy by poets stil'd;
Then spare the rod and spoil the child.
A Persian emp'ror whipp'd his grannam
The sea, his mother VENUS came on;
And hence some rev'rend men approve
Of rosemary in making love.
As skilful coopers hoop their tubs
With Lydian and with Phrygian dubs
Why may not whipping have as good
A grace, perform'd in time and mood,
With comely movement, and by art,
Raise passion in a lady's heart?
It is an easier way to make
Love by, than that which many take.
Who would not rather suffer whipping,
Than swallow toasts of bits of ribbon?
Make wicked verses, treats, and faces,
And spell names over with beer-glasses
Be under vows to hang and die
Love's sacrifice, and all a lie?
With china-oranges and tarts
And whinning plays, lay baits for hearts?
Bribe chamber-maids with love and money
To break no roguish jests upon ye?
For lilies limn'd on cheeks, and roses,
With painted perfumes, hazard noses?
Or, vent'ring to be brisk and wanton,
Do penance in a paper lanthorn?
All this you may compound for now,
By suffering what I offer you;

Which is no more than has been done
By Knights for Ladies long agone.
Did not the great LA MANCHA do so
For the INFANTA DEL TOBOSO?
Did not th' illustrious Bassa make
Himself a slave for Misse's sake?
And with bull's pizzle, for her love,
Was taw 'd as gentle as a glove?
Was not young FLORIO sent (to cool
His flame for BIANCAFIORE) to school,
Where pedant made his pathic bum
For her sake suffer martyrdom?
Did not a certain lady whip
Of late her husband's own Lordship?
And though a grandee of the House,
Claw'd him with fundamental blows
Ty'd him stark naked to a bed-post,
And firk'd his hide, as if sh' had rid post
And after, in the sessions-court,
Where whipping's judg'd, had honour for't?
This swear you will perform, and then
I'll set you from th' inchanted den,
And the magician's circle clear.

Quoth he, I do profess and swear,
And will perform what you enjoin,
Or may I never see you mine.
Amen, (quoth she;) then turn'd about,
And bid her Esquire let him out.
But ere an artist could be found
T' undo the charms another bound,
The sun grew low, and left the skies,
Put down (some write) by ladies eyes,
The moon pull'd off her veil of light
That hides her face by day from sight,
(Mysterious veil, of brightness made,
That's both her lustre and her shade,)
And in the lanthorn of the night
With shining horns hung out her light;
For darkness is the proper sphere,
Where all false glories use t' appear.
The twinkling stars began to muster,
And glitter with their borrow'd lustre,
While sleep the weary 'd world reliev'd
By counterfeiting death reviv'd;
His whipping penance till the morn
Our vot'ry thought it best t' adjourn,
And not to carry on a work
Of such importance in the dark
With erring haste, but rather stay,
And do't in th' open face of day;
And in the mean time go in quest
Of next retreat to take his rest.



CANTO II


THE ARGUMENT.


-------------------------------------------------
The Knight and Squire, in hot dispute,
Within an ace of falling out,
Are parted with a sudden fright
Of strange alarm, and stranger sight;
With which adventuring to stickle,
They're sent away in nasty pickle.
-------------------------------------------------


'Tis strange how some mens' tempers suit
(Like bawd and brandy) with dispute,
That for their own opinions stand last
Only to have them claw'd and canvast;
That keep their consciences in cases
As fiddlers do their crowds and bases,
Ne'er to be us'd, but when they're bent
To play a fit for argument;
Make true and false, unjust and just,
Of no use but to be discust;
Dispute, and set a paradox
Like a straight boot upon the stocks,
And stretch it more unmercifully
Than HELMONT, MONTAIGN, WHITE, or TULLY,
So th' ancient Stoicks, in their porch
With fierce dispute maintain'd their church;
Beat out their brains in fight and study,
To prove that Virtue is a Body;
That Bonum is an Animal,
Made good with stout polemic brawl;
in which some hundreds on the place
Were slain outright; and many a face
Retrench'd of nose, and eyes, and beard,
To maintain what their sect averr'd;

All which the Knight and Squire, in wrath
Had like t' have suffered for their faith,
Each striving to make good his own,
As by the sequel shall be shown.

The Sun had long since, in the lap
Of THETIS, taken out his nap
And, like a lobster boil'd, the morn
From black to red began to turn,
When HUDIBRAS, whom thoughts and aking,
'Twixt sleeping kept all night and waking,
Began to rub his drowsy eyes
And from his couch prepar'd to rise,
Resolving to dispatch the deed
He vow'd to do with trusty speed.
But first, with knocking loud, and bawling,
He rouz'd the Squire, in truckle lolling;
And, after many circumstances,
Which vulgar authors, in romances,
Do use to spend their time and wits on,
To make impertinent description,
They got (with much ado) to horse
And to the Castle bent their course,
In which he to the Dame before
To suffer whipping duly swore;
Where now arriv'd, and half unharnest,
To carry on the work in earnest
He stopp'd, and paus'd upon the sudden,
And with a serious forehead plodding,
Sprung a new scruple his head,
Which first he scratch'd, and after said --
Whether it be direct infringing
An oath, if I should wave this swingeing,
And what I've sworn to bear, forbear,
And so b' equivocation swear,
Or whether it be a lesser sin
To be forsworn than act the thing
Are deep and subtle points, which must,
T' inform my conscience, be discust;
In which to err a tittle may
To errors infinite make way;
And therefore I desire to know
Thy judgment e'er we further go.

Quoth Ralpho, Since you do enjoin't,
I shall enlarge upon the point;
And, for my own part, do not doubt
Th' affirmative may be made out
But first, to state the case aright,
For best advantage of our light,
And thus 'tis: Whether 't be a sin
To claw and curry your own skin,
Greater or less, than to forbear
And that you are forsworn, forswear.
But first, o' th' first: The inward man,
And outward, like a clan and clan,
Have always been at daggers-drawing,
And one another clapper-clawing.
Not that they really cuff, or fence,
But in a Spiritual Mystick sense;
Which to mistake, and make 'em squabble
In literal fray's abominable.
'Tis heathenish, in frequent use
With Pagans and apostate Jews,
To offer sacrifice of bridewells,
Like modern Indians to their idols;
And mongrel Christians of our times,
That expiate less with greater crimes
And call the foul abomination,
Contrition and mortification.
Is 't not enough we're bruis'd and kicked
With sinful members of the wicked,
Our vessels, that are sanctify'd
Prophan'd and curry'd back and side,
But we must claw ourselves with shameful
And heathen stripes, by their example;
Which (were there nothing to forbid it)
Is impious because they did it;
This, therefore, may be justly reckon'd
A heinous sin. Now to the second
That Saints may claim a dispensation
To swear and forswear, on occasion,
I doubt not but it will appear
With pregnant light: the point is clear.
Oaths are but words, and words but wind;
Too feeble implements to bind;
And hold with deeds proportion so
As shadows to a substance do.
Then when they strive for place, 'tis fit
The weaker vessel should submit.
Although your Church be opposite
To ours as Black Friars are to White,
In rule and order, yet I grant
You are a Reformado Saint;
And what the Saints do claim as due,
You may pretend a title to:
But Saints whom oaths and vows oblige,
Know little of their privilege;
Further (I mean) than carrying on
Some self-advantage of their own:
For if the Dev'l, to serve his turn,
Can tell troth, why the Saints should scorn,
When it serves theirs, to swear and lye;
I think there's little reason why:
Else h' has a greater pow'r than they,
Which 't were impiety to say.
W' are not commanded to forbear
Indefinitely at all to swear;
But to swear idly, and in vain,
Without self-interest or gain
For breaking of an oath, and lying,
Is but a kind of self-denying;
A Saint-like virtue: and from hence
Some have broke oaths by Providence
Some, to the glory of the Lord,
Perjur'd themselves, and broke their word;
And this the constant rule and practice
Of all our late Apostles acts is.
Was not the cause at first begun
With perjury, and carried on?
Was there an oath the Godly took,
But in due time and place they broke?
Did we not bring our oaths in first
Before our plate, to have them burst,
And cast in fitter models for
The present use of Church and War?
Did not our Worthies of the House,
Before they broke the peace, break vows?
For having freed us first from both
Th' Allegiance and Supremacy Oath,
Did they not next compel the Nation
To take and break the Protestation?
To swear, and after to recant
The solemn League and Covenant?
To take th' Engagement, and disclaim it,
Enforc'd by those who first did frame it
Did they not swear, at first, to fight
For the KING'S Safety and his Right
And after march'd to find him out,
And charg'd him home with horse and foot;
But yet still had the confidence
To swear it was in his defence
Did they not swear to live and die
With Essex, and straight laid him by?

If that were all, for some have swore
As false as they, if th' did no more,
Did they not swear to maintain Law,
In which that swearing made a flaw?
For Protestant Religion vow,
That did that vowing disallow?
For Privilege of Parliament,
In which that swearing made a rent?
And since, of all the three, not one
Is left in being, 'tis well known.
Did they not swear, in express words,
To prop and back the House of Lords,
And after turn'd out the whole House-full
Of Peers, as dang'rous and unusefull?
So CROMWELL, with deep oaths and vows,
Swore all the Commons out o' th' House;
Vow'd that the red-coats would disband,
Ay, marry wou'd they, at their command;
And troll'd them on, and swore, and swore
Till th' army turn'd them out of door.
This tells us plainly what they thought,
That oaths and swearing go for nought,
And that by them th' were only meant
To serve for an expedient.
What was the Public Faith found out for,
But to slur men of what they fought for
The Public Faith, which ev'ry one
Is bound t' observe, yet kept by none;
And if that go for nothing, why
Should Private Faith have such a tye?
Oaths were not purpos'd more than law,
To keep the good and just in awe,
But to confine the bad and sinful,
Like moral cattle, in a pinfold.
A Saint's of th' Heav'nly Realm a Peer;
And as no Peer is bound to swear,
But on the Gospel of his Honour,
Of which he may dispose as owner,
It follows, though the thing be forgery
And false th' affirm, it is no perjury,
But a mere ceremony, and a breach
Of nothing, but a form of speech;
And goes for no more when 'tis took,
Than mere saluting of the book.
Suppose the Scriptures are of force,
They're but commissions of course,
And Saints have freedom to digress,
And vary from 'em, as they please;
Or mis-interpret them, by private
Instructions, to all aims they drive at.
Then why should we ourselves abridge
And curtail our own privilege?
Quakers (that, like to lanthorns, bear
Their light within 'em) will not swear
Their gospel is an accidence,
By which they construe conscience,
And hold no sin so deeply red,
As that of breaking Priscian's head;
(The head and founder of their order,)
That stirring Hat's held worse than murder.
These thinking th' are oblig'd to troth
In swearing, will not take an oath
Like mules, who, if th' have not their will
To keep their own pace, stand stock-still:
But they are weak, and little know
What free-born consciences may do.
'Tis the temptation of the Devil
That makes all human actions evil
For Saints may do the same things by
The Spirit, in sincerity,
Which other men are tempted to,
And at the Devil's instance do
And yet the actions be contrary,
Just as the Saints and Wicked vary.
For as on land there is no beast,
But in some fish at sea's exprest,
So in the Wicked there's no Vice,
Of which the Saints have not a spice;
And yet that thing that's pious in
The one, in th' other is a sin.
Is't not ridiculous, and nonsense,
A Saint should be a slave to conscience,
That ought to be above such fancies,
As far as above ordinances?
She's of the wicked, as I guess,
B' her looks, her language, and her dress:
And though, like constables, we search,
For false wares, one another's Church,
Yet all of us hold this for true
No Faith is to the wicked due;
For truth is precious and divine;
Too rich a pearl for carnal swine,

Quoth HUDIBRAS, All this is true;
Yet 'tis not fit that all men knew,
Those mysteries and revelations,
And therefore topical evasions
Of subtle turns and shifts of sense,
Serve best with th' wicked for pretence,
Such as the learned Jesuits use
And Presbyterians for excuse
Against the Protestants, when th' happen
To find their Churches taken napping:
As thus: A breach of oath is duple,
And either way admits a scruple
And may be, ex parte of the maker
More criminal than th' injur'd taker;
For he that strains too far a vow,
Will break it, like an o'er-bent bow:
And he that made, and forc'd it, broke it
Not he that for convenience took it.
A broken oath is, quatenus oath,
As sound t' all purposes of troth,
As broken laws are ne'er the worse;
Nay, till th' are broken have no force.
What's justice to a man, or laws,
That never comes within their claws
They have no pow'r, but to admonish:
Cannot controul, coerce, or punish,
Until they're broken, and then touch
Those only that do make 'em such.

Beside, no engagement is allow'd
By men in prison made for good;
For when they're set at liberty,
They're from th' engagement too set free.
The rabbins write, when any Jew
Did make to God, or man, a vow,
Which afterward he found untoward,
And stubborn to be kept, or too hard,
Any three other Jews o' th' nation
Might free him from the obligation
And have not two saints pow'r to use
A greater privilege than three Jews?
The court of conscience, which in man
Should be supreme and sovereign
Is't fit should be subordinate
To ev'ry petty court i' the state,
And have less power than the lesser,
To deal with perjury at pleasure?
Have its proceedings disallow'd, or
Allow'd, at fancy of Pye-Powder?
Tell all it does, or does not know,
For swearing ex officio?
Be forc'd t' impeach a broken hedge,
And pigs unring'd at Vis. Franc. Pledge?
Discover thieves, and bawds, recusants,
Priests, witches, eves-droppers, and nuisance:
Tell who did play at games unlawful,
And who fill'd pots of ale but half-full
And have no pow'r at all, nor shift
To help itself at a dead lift
Why should not conscience have vacation
As well as other courts o' th' nation
Have equal power to adjourn,
Appoint appearance and return;
And make as nice distinction serve
To split a case, as those that carve,
Invoking cuckolds' names, hit joints;
Why should not tricks as slight do points
Is not th' High-Court of Justice sworn
To judge that law that serves their turn,
Make their own jealousies high-treason,
And fix 'm whomsoe'er they please on?
Cannot the learned counsel there
Make laws in any shape appear?
Mould 'em as witches do their clay,
When they make pictures to destroy
And vex 'em into any form
That fits their purpose to do harm?
Rack 'em until they do confess
Impeach of treason whom they please,
And most perfidiously condemn
Those that engag'd their lives for them?
And yet do nothing in their own sense,
But what they ought by oath and conscience?
Can they not juggle, and, with slight
Conveyance, play with wrong and right;
And sell their blasts of wind as dear
As Lapland witches bottled air?
Will not fear, favour, bribe and grudge
The same case sev'ral ways adjudge?
As seamen, with the self-same gale,
Will sev'ral different courses sail?
As when the sea breaks o'er its bounds,
And overflows the level grounds
Those banks and dams, that, like a screen,
Did keep it out, now keep it in;
So when tyrannic usurpation
Invades the freedom of a nation,
The laws o' th' land, that were intended
To keep it out, are made defend it.
Does not in chanc'ry ev'ry man swear
What makes best for him in his answer?
Is not the winding up witnesses
And nicking more than half the bus'ness?
For witnesses, like watches, go
Just as they're set, too fast or slow;
And where in conscience they're strait-lac'd,
'Tis ten to one that side is cast.
Do not your juries give their verdict
As if they felt the cause, not heard it?
And as they please, make matter of fact
Run all on one side, as they're pack't?
Nature has made man's breast no windores,
To publish what he does within doors
Nor what dark secrets there inhabit,
Unless his own rash folly blab it.
If oaths can do a man no good
In his own bus'ness, why they shou'd
In other matters do him hurt
I think there's little reason for't.
He that imposes an oath, makes it,
Not he that for convenience takes it:
Then how can any man be said
To break an oath he never made?
These reasons may, perhaps, look oddly

To th' Wicked, though th' evince the Godly;
But if they will not serve to clear
My honour, I am ne'er the near.
Honour is like that glassy bubble
That finds philosophers such trouble,
Whose least part crack't, the whole does fly,
And wits are crack'd to find out why.

Quoth RALPHO, Honour's but a word
To swear by only in a Lord:
In other men 'tis but a huff,
To vapour with instead of proof;
That, like a wen, looks big and swells,
Is senseless, and just nothing else.

Let it (quoth he) be what it will
It has the world's opinion still.
But as men are not wise that run
The slightest hazard they may shun,
There may a medium be found out
To clear to all the world the doubt;
And that is, if a man may do't,
By proxy whipt, or substitute.

Though nice and dark the point appear,
(Quoth RALPH) it may hold up and clear.
That sinners may supply the place
Of suff'ring Saints is a plain case.
Justice gives sentence many times
On one man for another's crimes.

Our brethren of NEW ENGLAND use
Choice malefactors to excuse
And hang the guiltless in their stead,
Of whom the Churches have less need;
As lately 't happen'd: In a town
There liv'd a cobler, and but one,
That out of doctrine could cut use
And mend men's lives as well as shoes,
This precious brother having slain,
In time of peace, an Indian,
(Not out of malice, but mere zeal,
Because he was an Infidel,)
The mighty TOTTIPOTTYMOY
Sent to our elders an envoy,
Complaining sorely of the breach
Of league held forth by brother Patch
Against the articles in force
Between both Churches, his and ours
For which he crav'd the Saints to render
Into his hands or hang th' offender
But they maturely having weigh'd,
They had no more but him o' th' trade
(A man that serv'd them in a double
Capacity, to teach and cobble,)
Resolv'd to spare him; yet, to do
The Indian Hoghgan Moghgan too
Impartial justice, in his stead did
Hang an old Weaver, that was bed-rid.
Then wherefore way not you be skipp'd,
And in your room another whipp'd?
For all Philosophers, but the Sceptick,
Hold whipping may be sympathetick.

It is enough, quoth HUDIBRAS,
Thou hast resolv'd and clear'd the case
And canst, in conscience, not refuse
From thy own doctrine to raise use.
I know thou wilt not (for my sake)
Be tender-conscienc'd of thy back.
Then strip thee off thy carnal jerking,

And give thy outward-fellow a ferking;
For when thy vessel is new hoop'd,
All leaks of sinning will be stopp'd.

Quoth RALPHO, You mistake the matter;
For in all scruples of this nature,
No man includes himself, nor turns
The point upon his own concerns.
As no man of his own self catches
The itch, or amorous French aches
So no man does himself convince,
By his own doctrine, of his sins
And though all cry down self, none means
His ownself in a literal sense.
Beside, it is not only foppish,
But vile, idolatrous and Popish,
For one man, out of his own skin,
To ferk and whip another's sin;
As pedants out of school-boys' breeches
Do claw and curry their own itches.
But in this case it is prophane,
And sinful too, because in vain;
For we must take our oaths upon it,
You did the deed, when I have done it.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, That's answer'd soon
Give us the whip, we'll lay it on.

Quoth RALPHO, That we may swear true,
'Twere properer that I whipp'd you
For when with your consent 'tis done
The act is really your own.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, It is in vain
(I see) to argue 'gainst the grain;
Or, like the stars, incline men to
What they're averse themselves to do:
For when disputes are weary'd out,
'Tis interest still resolves the doubt
But since no reason can confute ye,
I'll try to force you to your duty
For so it is, howe'er you mince it;
As ere we part, I shall evince it
And curry (if you stand out) whether
You will or no, your stubborn leather.
Canst thou refuse to hear thy part
I' th' publick work, base as thou art?
To higgle thus for a few blows,
To gain thy Knight an op'lent spouse
Whose wealth his bowels yearn to purchase,
Merely for th' interest of the Churches;
And when he has it in his claws
Will not be hide-bound to the Cause?
Nor shalt thou find him a Curmudgin,
If thou dispatch it without grudging.
If not, resolve, before we go,
That you and I must pull a crow.

Y' had best (quoth RALPHO) as the ancients
Say wisely, Have a care o' th' main chance,
And look before you ere you leap;
For as you sow, y' are like to reap:
And were y' as good as George-a-Green
I shall make bold to turn agen
Nor am I doubtful of the issue
In a just quarrel, and mine is so.
Is't fitting for a man of honour
To whip the Saints, like Bishop Bonner?
A Knight t' usurp the beadle's office,
For which y' are like to raise brave trophies.
But I advise you (not for fear,
But for your own sake) to forbear;
And for the Churches, which may chance
From hence, to spring a variance;
And raise among themselves new scruples,
Whom common danger hardly couples.
Remember how, in arms and politicks,
We still have worsted all your holy tricks;
Trepann'd your party with intrigue,
And took your grandees down a peg;
New modell'd th' army, and cashier'd
All that to legion SMEC adher'd;
Made a mere utensil o' your Church
And after left it in the lurch
A scaffold to build up our own,
And, when w' had done with't, pull'd it down
Capoch'd your Rabbins of the Synod,
And snap'd their Canons with a why-not;
(Grave Synod Men, that were rever'd
For solid face and depth of beard;)
Their classic model prov'd a maggot,
Their direct'ry an Indian Pagod;
And drown'd their discipline like a kitten
On which they'd been so long a sitting;
Decry'd it as a holy cheat,
Grown out of date, and obsolete;
And all the Saints of the first grass
As casting foals of Balaam's ass.

At this the Knight grew high in chafe,
And staring furiously on RALPH,
He trembled, and look'd pale with ire
Like ashes first, then red as fire.
Have I (quoth he) been ta'en in fight
And for so many moons lain by't,
And, when all other means did fail,
Have been exchang'd for tubs of ale?
Not but they thought me worth a ransome
Much more consid'rable and handsome
But for their own sakes, and for fear
They were not safe when I was there
Now to be baffled by a scoundrel,
An upstart sect'ry, and a mungrel;
Such as breed out of peccant humours
Of our own Church, like wens or tumours,
And, like a maggot in a sore,
Would that which gave it life devour;
It never shall be done or said;
With that he seiz'd upon his blade;
And RALPHO too, as quick and bold,
Upon his basket-hilt laid hold,
With equal readiness prcpar'd
To draw, and stand upon his guard;
When both were parted on the sudden
With hideous clamour, and a loud one
As if all sorts of noise had been
Contracted into one loud din;
Or that some member to be chosen,
Had got the odds above a thousand
And by the greatness of its noise,
Prov'd fittest for his country's choice.
This strange surprisal put the Knight
And wrathful Squire into a fright;
And though they stood prepar'd, with fatal
Impetuous rancour to join battel,
Both thought it was the wisest course
To wave the fight and mount to horse,
And to secure by swift retreating,
Themselves from danger of worse beating.
Yet neither of them would disparage,
By utt'ring of his mind, his courage,
Which made them stoutly keep their ground,
With horror and disdain wind-bound.

And now the cause of all their fear
By slow degrees approach'd so near,
They might distinguish different noise
Of horns, and pans, and dogs, and boys,
And kettle-drums, whose sullen dub
Sounds like the hooping of a tub.
But when the sight appear'd in view,
They found it was an antique show;
A triumph, that, for pomp and state,
Did proudest Romans emulate:
For as the aldermen of Rome
Their foes at training overcome,
And not enlarging territory,
(As some mistaken write in Story,)
Being mounted, in their best array,
Upon a carr, and who but they!
And follow'd with a world of tall-lads,
That merry ditties troll'd, and ballads,
Did ride with many a good-morrow,
Crying, Hey for our Town! through the Borough
So when this triumph drew so nigh
They might particulars descry,
They never saw two things so pat,
In all respects, as this and that.
First, he that led the cavalcade,
Wore a sow-gelder's flagellate
On which he blew as strong a levet
As well-fee'd lawyer on his breviate,
When over one another's heads
They charge (three ranks at once) like Swedes,
Next pans and kettle, of all keys
From trebles down to double base;
And after them, upon a nag,
That might pass for a forehand stag,
A cornet rode, and on his staff
A smock display'd did proudly wave.
Then bagpipes of the loudest drones,
With snuffling broken-winded tones,
Whose blasts of air, in pockets shut
Sound filthier than from the gut,
And make a viler noise than swine
In windy weather, when they whine.

Next one upon a pair of panniers,
Full fraught with that which for good manners
Shall here be nameless, mixt with grains,
Which he dispens'd among the swains
And busily upon the crowd
At random round about bestow'd.
Then, mounted on a horned horse,
One bore a gauntlet and gilt spurs,
Ty'd to the pummel of a long sword
He held reverst, the point turn'd downward,
Next after, on a raw-bon'd steed,
The conqueror's standard-bearer rid,
And bore aloft before the champion
A petticoat display'd, and rampant
Near whom the Amazon triumphant
Bestrid her beast, and on the rump on't
Sat face to tail, and bum to bum,
The warrior whilom overcome;
Arm'd with a spindle and a distaff
Which, as he rode, she made him twist off;
And when he loiter'd, o'er her shoulder
Chastis'd the reformado soldier.
Before the dame, and round about,
March'd whifflers and staffiers on foot
With lackies, grooms, valets, and pages,
In fit and proper equipages;
Of whom some torches bore, some links,
Before the proud virago minx,
That was both Madam and a Don
Like NERO'S SPORUS, or POPE JOAN;
And at fit periods the whole rout
Set up their throats with clamorous shout.
The Knight, transported, and the Squire,
Put up their weapons, and their ire;
And HUDIBRAS, who us'd to ponder
On such sights with judicious wonder,
Could hold no longer to impart
His animadversions, for his heart.

Quoth he, In all my life, till now
I ne'er saw so prophane a show.
It is a Paganish invention, --
Which heathen writers often mention:
And he who made it had read GOODWIN,
Or Ross, or CAELIUS RHODOGINE
With all the Grecians, SPEEDS and STOWS,
That best describe those ancient shows;
And has observ'd all fit decorums
We find describ'd by old historians:
For as the Roman conqueror
That put an end to foreign war,
Ent'ring the town in triumph for it,
Bore a slave with him, in his chariot;
So this insulting female brave,
Carries behind her here a slave:
And as the ancients long ago,
When they in field defy'd the foe,
Hung out their mantles della guerre,
So her proud standard-bearer here
Waves on his spear, in dreadful manner
A Tyrian-petticoat for banner:
Next links and torches, heretofore
Still borne before the emperor.
And as, in antique triumphs, eggs
Were borne for mystical intrigues
There's one with truncheon, like a ladle,
That carries eggs too, fresh or addle;
And still at random, as he goes,
Among the rabble-rout bestows.

Quoth Ralpho, You mistake the matter;
For all th' antiquity you smatter,
Is but a riding, us'd of course
When the grey mare's the better horse;

When o'er the breeches greedy women
Fight to extend their vast dominion;
And in the cause impatient Grizel
Has drubb'd her Husband with bull's pizzle,
And brought him under Covert-Baron,
To turn her vassal with a murrain;
When wives their sexes shift, like hares
And ride their husbands like night-mares,
And they in mortal battle vanquish'd,
Are of their charter disenfranchis'd
And by the right of war, like gills,
Condemn'd to distaff, horns, and wheels:
For when men by their wives are cow'd,
Their horns of course are understood

Quoth HUDIBRAS thou still giv'st sentence
Impertinently, and against sense.
Tis not the least disparagement
To be defeated by th' event,
Nor to be beaten by main force;
That does not make a man the worse,
Although his shoulders with battoon
Be claw'd and cudgel'd to some tune.
A taylor's 'prentice has no hard
Measure that's bang'd with a true yard:
But to turn tail, or run away,
And without blows give up the day,
Or to surrender ere th' assault
That's no man's fortune, but his fault,
And renders men of honour less
Than all th' adversity of success;
And only unto such this shew
Of horns and petticoats is due.
There is a lesser profanation,
Like that the Romans call'd ovation:
For as ovation was allow'd
For conquest purchas'd without blood,
So men decree these lesser shows
For victory gotten without blows,
By dint of sharp hard words, which some
Give battle with, and overcome.
These mounted in a chair-curule,
Which moderns call a cucking-stool
March proudly to the river's side,
And o'er the waves in triumph ride;
Like Dukes of VENICE, who are said
The Adriatick Sea to wed;
And have a gentler wife than those
For whom the State decrees those shows,
But both are heathenish, and come
From th' whores of Babylon and Rome;
And by the Saints should be withstood,
As Antichristian and lewd;
And as such, should now contribute
Our utmost struggling to prohibit.


This said, they both advanc'd, and rode
A dog-trot through the bawling crowd,
T'attack the leader, and still prest
Till they approach'd him breast to breast
Then HUDIBRAS, with face and hand,
Made signs for silence; which obtain'd,
What means (quoth he) this Devil's precession
With men of orthodox profession?
'Tis ethnic and idolatrous,
From heathenism deriv'd to us,
Does not the Whore of Babylon ride
Upon her horned beast astride
Like this proud dame, who either is
A type of her, or she of this?
Are things of superstitious function
Fit to be us'd in Gospel Sun-shine?
It is an Antichristian opera,
Much us'd in midnight times of Popery
Of running after self-inventions
Of wicked and profane intentions;
To scandalize that sex for scolding,
To whom the Saints are so beholden.
Women, who were our first Apostles
Without whose aid we had been lost else;
Women, that left no stone unturn'd
In which the Cause might he concern'd;
Brought in their children's' spoons and whistles,
To purchase swords, carbines, and pistols;
Their husbands, cullies, and sweet-hearts,
To take the Saints and Churches' parts;
Drew several gifted Brethren in,
That for the Bishops would have been,
And fix'd 'em constant to the party
With motives powerful and hearty;
Their husbands robb'd, and made hard shifts
T'administer unto their gifts
All they cou'd rap, and rend, and pilfer,
To scraps and ends of gold and silver;
Rubb'd down the Teachers, tir'd and spent
With holding forth for Parliament,
Pamper'd and edify'd their zeal
With marrow-puddings many a meal;
And led them, with store of meat
On controverted points to eat;
And cram'd 'em, till their guts did ake,
With cawdle, custard, and plum-cake:
What have they done, or what left undone,
That might advance the Cause at London?
March'd rank and file, with drum and ensign,
T'intrench the city for defence in
Rais'd rampiers with their own soft hands,
To put the enemy to stands;
From ladies down to oyster-wenches
Labour'd like pioneers in trenches;
Fell to their pick-axes, and tools,
And help'd the men to dig like moles?
Have not the handmaids of the city
Chose of their members a committee
For raising of a common purse
Out of their wages to raise horse?
And do they not as triers sit,
To judge what officers are fit
Have they --? At that an egg let fly
Hit him directly o'er the eye,
And running down his cheek, besmear'd,
With orange tawny slime, his beard;
But beard and slime being of one hue,
The wound the less appear'd in view.
Then he that on the panniers rode,
Let fly on th' other side a load,
And, quickly charg'd again, gave fully
In RALPHO'S face another volley.
The Knight was startled with the smell
And for his sword began to feel;
And RALPHO, smother'd with the stink,
Grasp'd his; when one, that bore a link,
O' th' sudden clapp'd his flaming cudgel,
Like linstock, to the horse's touch-hole;
And straight another, with his flambeaux,
Gave RALPHO'S o'er the eye a damn'd blow.
The beasts began to kick and fling,
And forc'd the rout to make a ring,
Through which they quickly broke their way
And brought them off from further fray;
And though disorder'd in retreat,
Each of them stoutly kept his seat
For quitting both their swords and reins,
They grasp'd with all their strength the manes,
And, to avoid the foe's pursuit,
With spurring put their cattle to't;
And till all four were out of wind,
And danger too, ne'er look'd behind.
After th' had paus'd a while, supplying
Their spirits, spent with fight and flying,
And HUDIBRAS recruited force
Of lungs, for action or discourse,

Quoth he, That man is sure to lose
That fouls his hands with dirty foes:
For where no honour's to be gain'd,
'Tis thrown away in b'ing maintain'd.
'Twas ill for us we had to do
With so dishonourable a foe:
For though the law of arms doth bar
The use of venom'd shot in war,
Yet, by the nauseous smell, and noisome,
Their case-shot savours strong of poison;
And doubtless have been chew'd with teeth
Of some that had a stinking breath;
Else, when we put it to the push,
They have not giv'n us such a brush.
But as those pultroons, that fling dirt,
Do but defile, but cannot hurt,
So all the honour they have won
Or we have lost, is much as one,
'Twas well we made so resolute
And brave retreat without pursuit;
For if we had not, we had sped
Much worse, to be in triumph led;
Than which the ancients held no state
Of man's life more unfortunate.
But if this bold adventure e'er
Do chance to reach the widow's ear,
It may, b'ing destin'd to assert
Her sex's honour, reach her heart:
And as such homely treats (they say)
Portend good fortune, so this may.
VESPASIAN being daub'd with dirt,
Was destin'd to the empire for't;
And from a Scavenger did come
To be a mighty Prince in Rome
And why may not this foul address
Presage in love the same success
Then let us straight, to cleanse our wounds
Advance in quest of nearest ponds,
And after (as we first design'd)
Swear I've perform'd what she enjoin'd.





CANTO III.


THE ARGUMENT

-------------------------------------------------
The Knight, with various Doubts possest,
To win the Lady goes in quest
Of Sidrophel, the Rosy-Crucian,
To know the Dest'nies' Resolution;
With whom being met, they both chop Logick
About the Science Astrologick,
Till falling from Dispute to Fight,
The Conj'rer's worsted by the Knight.
-------------------------------------------------


Doubtless the pleasure is as great
Of being cheated as to cheat;
As lookers-on feel most delight,
That least perceive a jugler's slight;
And still the less they understand
The more th' admire his slight of hand.

Some with a noise, and greasy light,
Are snapt, as men catch larks by night;
Ensnar'd and hamper'd by the soul,
As nooses by their legs catch fowl l
Some with a med'cine, and receipt,
Are drawn to nibble at the bait;
And tho' it be a two-foot trout,
'Tis with a single hair pull'd out.

Others believe no voice t' an organ
So sweet as lawyer's in his bar-gown,
Until with subtle cobweb-cheats
Th'are catch'd in knotted law, like nets;
In which, when once they are imbrangled,
The more they stir, the more they're tangled;
And while their purses can dispute,
There's no end of th' immortal suit.

Others still gape t' anticipate
The cabinet-designs of fate;
Apply to wizards, to foresee
What shall and what shall never be;
And, as those vultures do forebode,
Believe events prove bad or good:
A flam more senseless than the roguery
Of old aruspicy and aug'ry.
That out of garbages of cattle
Presag'd th' events of truce or battle;
From flight of birds, or chickens pecking,
Success of great'st attempts would reckon:
Though cheats, yet more intelligible
Than those that with the stars do fribble.
This HUDIBRAS by proof found true,
As in due time and place we'll shew:
For he, with beard and face made clean,
B'ing mounted on his steed agen
(And RALPHO got a cock-horse too
Upon his beast, with much ado)
Advanc'd on for the Widow's house,
To acquit himself, and pay his vows;
When various thoughts began to bustle
And with his inward man to justle
He thought what danger might accrue
If she should find he swore untrue;
Or if his squire or he should fail,
And not be punctual in their tale:
It might at once the ruin prove
Both of his honour, faith, and love.
But if he should forbear to go,
She might conclude h'had broke his vow;
And that he durst not now for-shame
Appear in court to try his claim.
This was the pen'worth of his thought,
To pass time and uneasy trot.

Quoth he, In all my past adventures
I ne'er was set so on the tenters;
Or taken tardy with dilemma,
That ev'ry way I turn does hem me,
And with inextricable doubt
Besets my puzzled wits about:
For tho' the dame has been my bail
To free me from enchanted jail,
Yet as a dog, committed close
For some offence, by chance breaks loose,
And quits his clog, but all in vain,
He still draws after him his chain;
So, though my ankle she has quitted,
My heart continues still committed;
And like a bail'd and main-priz'd lover,
Altho' at large, I am bound over;
And when I shall appear in court
To plead my cause, and answer for't,
Unless the judge do partial prove,
What will become of me and love?
For if in our account we vary,
Or but in circumstance miscarry;
Or if she put me to strict proof,
And make me pull my doublet off,
To shew, by evident record
Writ on my skin, I've kept my Word;
How can I e'er expect to have her
Having demurr'd onto her favour?
But faith, and love, and honour lost,.
Shall be reduc'd t' a Knight o' th' Post.

Beside, that stripping may prevent
What I'm to prove by argument
And justify I have a tail
And that way, too, my proof may fail.
Oh that I cou'd enucleate,
And solve the problems of my fate
Or find, by necromantick art
How far the dest'nies take my part
For if I were not more than certain
To win and wear her, and her fortune,
I'd go no farther in his courtship,
To hazard soul, estate, and worship
For though an oath obliges not
Where any thing is to be got,
(As thou last prov'd) yet 'tis profane,
And sinful, when men swear in vain.

Quoth RALPH, Not far from hence doth dwell
A cunning man, hight SIDROPHEL,
That deals in destiny's dark counsels,
And sage opinions of the Moon sells;
To whom all people, far and near,
On deep importances repair;
When brass and pewter hap to stray,
And linen slinks out of the way;
When geese and pullen are seduc'd,
And sows of sucking-pigs are chows'd;
When cattle feel indisposition
And need th' opinion of physician;
When murrain reigns in hogs or sheep.
And chickens languish of the pip;
When yeast and outward means do fail,
And have no pow'r to work on ale:
When butter does refuse to come,
And love proves cross and humoursome:
To him with questions, and with urine,
They for discov'ry flock, or curing.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, This SIDROPHEL
I've heard of, and should like it well,
If thou canst prove the Saints have freedom
To go to Sorc'rers when they need 'em.

Says RALPHO, There's no doubt of that
Whose principles I quoted late
Prove that the Godly may alledge
For any thing their Privilege;
And to the Dev'l himself may go,
If they have motives thereunto.
For, as there is a war between
The Dev'l and them, it is no sin,
If they by subtle stratagem
Make use of him, as he does them.
Has not this present Parliament
A Ledger to the Devil sent
Fully impowr'd to treat about
Finding revolted witches out
And has not he, within a year,
Hang'd threescore of 'em in one shire?
Some only for not being drown'd
And some for sitting above ground,
Whole days and nights, upon their breeches,
And feeling pain, were hang'd for witches.
And some for putting knavish tricks
Upon green geese and turky-chicks
And pigs, that suddenly deceast
Of griefs unnat'ral, as he guest;
Who after prov'd himself a witch
And made a rod for his own breech.
Did not the Devil appear to MARTIN
LUTHER in Germany for certain;
And wou'd have gull'd him with a trick,
But Martin was too politick?
Did he not help the Dutch to purge
At ANTWERP their Cathedral Church?
Sing catches to the Saints at MASCON,
And tell them all they came to ask him
Appear'd in divers shapes to KELLY,
And speak i' th' Nun of LOUDON's belly?
Meet with the Parliament's Committee
At WOODSTOCK on a pers'nal treaty?
At SARUM take a cavalier
I' th' Cause's service prisoner
As WITHERS, in immortal rhime,
Has register'd to after-time!
Do not nor great Reformers use
This SIDROPHEL to forebode news?
To write of victories next year,
And castles taken yet i' th' air
Of battles fought at sea, and ships
Sank two years hence, the last eclipse?
A total overthrow giv'n the King
In Cornwall, horse and foot, next Spring!
And has not he point-blank foretold
Whats'e'er the Close Committee would?
Made Mars and Saturn for the Cause
The moon for Fundamental Laws?
The Ram, the Bull, and Goat declare
Against the Book of Common-Pray'r?
The Scorpion take the Protestation
And Bear engage for Reformation?
Made all the Royal Stars recant,
Compound and take the Covenant?

Quoth HUDIBRAS, The case is clear,
The Saints may 'mploy a Conjurer
As thou hast prov'd it by their practice;
No argument like matter of fact is;
And we are best of all led to
Men's principles by what they do.
Then let us straight advance in quest
Of this profound Gymnosophist
And as the Fates and he advise,

Pursue or wave this enterprise,

This said, he turn'd about his steed,
And eftsoons on th' adventure rid;
Where leave we him and RALPH a while,
And to the Conjurer turn our stile,
To let our reader understand
What's useful of him before-hand.

He had been long t'wards mathematicks
Optics, philosophy, and staticks,
Magick, horoscopy, astrology,
And was old dog at physiology
But as a dog that turns the spit
Bestirs himself, and plies his feet
To climb the wheel, but all in vain,
His own weight brings him down again,
And still he's in the self-same place
Where at his setting out h was
So in the circle of the arts
Did he advance his nat'ral parts,
Till falling back still, for retreat,
He fell to juggle, cant, and cheat:
For as those fowls that live in water
Are never wet, he did but smatter:
Whate'er he labour'd to appear,
His understanding still was clear
Yet none a deeper knowledge boasted,
Since old HODGE-BACON and BOB GROSTED.
Th' Intelligible World he knew
And all men dream on't to be true;
That in this world there's not a wart
That has not there a counterpart;
Nor can there on the face of ground
An individual beard be found
That has not, in that foreign nation,
A fellow of the self-same fashion
So cut, so colour'd, and so curl'd,
As those are in th' Inferior World.
H' had read DEE's Prefaces before
The DEV'L, and EUCLID, o'er and o'er;
And all the intrigues 'twixt him and KELLY,
LESCUS and th' EMPEROR, wou'd tell ye;
But with the Moon was more familiar
Than e'er was almanack well-willer;
Her secrets understood so clear,
That some believ'd he had been there;
Knew when she was in the fittest mood
For cutting corns, or letting blood;
When for anointing scabs or itches
Or to the bum applying leeches;
When sows and bitches may be spay'd,
And in what sign best cyder's made:
Whether the wane be, or increase,
Best to set garlick, or sow pease:
Who first found out the Man i' th' Moon,
That to the ancients was unknown;
How many dukes, and earls, and peers,
Are in the planetary spheres;
Their airy empire and command
Their sev'ral strengths by sea and land;
What factions th' have, and what they drive at
In public vogue, or what in private;
With what designs and interests
Each party manages contests.
He made an instrument to know
If the Moon shine at full or no;
That wou'd as soon as e'er she shone, straight
Whether 'twere day or night demonstrate;
Tell what her d'meter t' an inch is
And prove that she's not made of green cheese.
It wou'd demonstrate, that the Man in
The Moon's a Sea Mediterranean;
And that it is no dog nor bitch,
That stands behind him at his breech
But a huge Caspian Sea, or lake,
With arms, which men for legs mistake;
How large a gulph his tail composes,
And what a goodly bay his nose is;
How many German leagues by th' scale
Cape Snout's from Promontory Tail.
He made a planetary gin,
Which rats would run their own heads in,
And cause on purpose to be taken,
Without th' expence of cheese or bacon.
With lute-strings he would counterfeit
Maggots that crawl on dish of meat:
Quote moles and spots on any place
O' th' body, by the index face:
Detect lost maiden-heads by sneezing
Or breaking wind of dames, or pissing;
Cure warts and corns with application
Of med'cines to th' imagination;
Fright agues into dogs, and scare
With rhimes the tooth-ach and catarrh;
Chace evil spirits away by dint
Of cickle, horse-shoe, hollow-flint;
Spit fire out of a walnut-shell,
Which made the Roman slaves rebel;
And fire a mine in China here
With sympathetic gunpowder.
He knew whats'ever's to be known,
But much more than he knew would own;
What med'cine 'twas that PARACELSUS
Could make a man with, as he tells us;
What figur'd slates are best to make
On watry surface duck or drake;
What bowling-stones, in running race
Upon a board, have swiftest pace;
Whether a pulse beat in the black
List of a dappled louse's back;
If systole or diastole move
Quickest when he's in wrath or love
When two of them do run a race,
Whether they gallop, trot, or pace:
How many scores a flea will jump,
Of his own length, from head to rump;
Which SOCRATES and CHAEREPHON,
In vain, assay'd so long agon;
Whether his snout a perfect nose is
And not an elephant's proboscis
How many diff'rent specieses
Of maggots breed in rotten cheese
And which are next of kin to those
Engender'd in a chandler's nose;
Or those not seen, but understood,
That live in vinegar and wood.

A paultry wretch he had, half-starv'd,
That him in place of Zany serv'd.
Hight WHACHUM, bred to dash and draw
Not wine, but more unwholesome law
To make 'twixt words and lines huge gaps,
Wide as meridians in maps;
To squander paper, and spare ink,
And cheat men of their words, some think.
From this, by merited degrees,
He'd to more high advancement rise;
To be an under-conjurer,
A journeyman astrologer.
His business was to pump and wheedle
And men with their own keys unriddle;
And make them to themselves give answers,
For which they pay the necromancers;
To fetch and carry intelligence,
Of whom, and what, and where, and whence
And all discoveries disperse
Among th' whole pack of conjurers
What cut-purses have left with them
For the right owners to redeem;
And what they dare not vent find out
To gain themselves and th' art repute;
Draw figures, schemes, and horoscopes,
Of Newgate, Bridewell, brokers' shops,
Of thieves ascendant in the cart;
And find out all by rules of art;
Which way a serving-man, that's run
With cloaths or money away, is gone:
Who pick'd a fob at holding forth;
And where a watch, for half the worth,

May be redeem'd; or stolen plate
Restor'd at conscionable rate.
Beside all this, he serv'd his master
In quality of poetaster;
And rhimes appropriate could make
To ev'ry month i' th almanack
What terms begin and end could tell,
With their returns, in doggerel;
When the exchequer opes and shuts,
And sowgelder with safety cuts
When men may eat and drink their fill
And when be temp'rate, if they will;
When use and when abstain from vice,
Figs, grapes, phlebotomy, and spice.
And as in prison mean rogues beat
Hemp for the service of the great
So WHACHUM beats his dirty brains,
T' advance his master's fame and gains
And, like the Devil's oracles,
Put into doggrel rhimes his spells,
Which, over ev'ry month's blank page
I' th' almanack, strange bilks presage.
He would an elegy compose
On maggots squeez'd out of his nose;
In lyrick numbers write an ode on
His mistress, eating a black-pudden:
And when imprison'd air escap'd her,
It puft him with poetic rapture.
His sonnets charm'd th' attentive crowd,
By wide-mouth'd mortal troll'd aloud,
That 'circl'd with his long-ear'd guests
Like ORPHEUS look'd among the beasts.
A carman's horse could not pass by,
But stood ty'd up to poetry:
No porter's burthen pass'd along,
But serv'd for burthen to his song:
Each window like a pill'ry appears,
With heads thrust through, nail'd by the ears
All trades run in as to the sight
Of monsters, or their dear delight
The gallow tree, when cutting purse
Breeds bus'ness for heroic verse,
Which none does hear, but would have hung
T' have been the theme of such a song.

Those two together long had liv'd,
In mansion prudently contriv'd;
Where neither tree nor house could bar
The free detection of a star
And nigh an ancient obelisk
Was rais'd by him, found out by FISK,
On which was a written not in words
But hieroglyphic mute of birds,
Many rare pithy saws concerning
The worth of astrologic learning.
From top of this there hung a rope,
To a which he fasten'd telescope;
The spectacles with which the stars
He reads in smallest characters.
It happen'd as a boy, one night,
Did fly his tarsel of a kite,
The strangest long-wing'd hawk that flies
That, like a bird of Paradise,
Or herald's martlet, has no legs,
Nor hatches young ones, nor lays eggs;
His train was six yards long, milk-white,
At th' end of which there hung a light,


Inclos'd in lanthorn, made of paper,
That far off like a star did appear.
This SIDROPHEL by chance espy'd,
And with amazement staring wide,
Bless us! quoth he, what dreadful wonder
Is that appears in heaven yonder?
A comet, and without a beard!
Or star that ne'er before appear'd!
I'm certain 'tis not in the scrowl
Of all those beasts, and fish, and fowl
With which, like Indian plantations,
The learned stock the constellations
Nor those that draw for signs have bin
To th' houses where the planets inn.
It must be supernatural
Unless it be that cannon-ball
That, shot i' th' air point-blank upright,
Was borne to that prodigious height,
That learn'd Philosophers maintain,
It ne'er came backwards down again;
But in the airy region yet
Hangs like the body of MAHOMET
For if it be above the shade
That by the earth's round bulk is made,
'Tis probable it may from far
Appear no bullet, but a star.

This said, he to his engine flew,
Plac'd near at hand, in open view,
And rais'd it 'till it levell'd right
Against the glow-worm tail of kite
Then peeping thro', Bless us! (quoth he)
It is a planet, now I see
And, if I err not, by his proper
Figure, that's like tobacco-stopper,
It should be Saturn. Yes, 'tis clear
'Tis Saturn; but what makes him there?
He's got between the Dragon's Tail
And farther Leg behind o' th' Whale.
Pray heav'n divert the fatal omen,
For 'tis a prodigy not common;
And can no less than the world's end,
Or Nature's funeral, portend.

With that he fell again to pry.
Thro' perspective more wistfully,
When by mischance the fatal string
That kept the tow'ring fowl on wing,
Breaking, down fell the star. Well shot,
Quoth WHACHUM, who right wisely thought
H' had levell'd at a star, and hit it
But SIDROPHEL, more subtle-witted
Cry'd out, What horrible and fearful
Portent is this, to see a star fall?
It threatens nature, and the doom
Will not be long before it come
When stars do fail, 'tis plain enough
The day of judgment's not far off;
As lately 'twas reveal'd to SEDGWICK,
And some of us find out by magick.
Then since the time we have to live
In this world's shorten'd, let us strive
To make our best advantage of it,
And pay our losses with our profit.

This feat fell out not long before
The Knight, upon the forenam'd score,
In quest of SIDROPHEL advancing
Was now in prospect of the mansion
Whom he discov'ring, turn'd his glass,
And found far off, 'twas HUDIBRAS.

WHACHUM, (quoth he), look yonder, some
To try or use our art are come
The one's the learned Knight: seek out,
And pump 'em what they come about.
WHACHUM advanc'd, with all submissness,
T' accost em, but much more their bus'ness.
He held a stirrup, while the Knight
From leathern bare-bones did alight
And taking from his hand the bridle,
Approach'd the dark Squire to unriddle.
He gave him first the time o' th' day,
And welcom'd him, as he might say:
He ask'd him whence he came, and whither
Their bus'ness lay? Quoth RALPHO, Hither.
Did you not lose? Quoth RALPHO, Nay.
Quoth WHACHUM, Sir, I meant your way!
Your Knight—Quoth RALPHO, Is a lover
And pains intolerable doth suffer:
For lovers' hearts are not their own hearts,
Nor lights, nor lungs, and so forth downwards.
What time, (quoth RALPHO), Sir?—Too long
Three years it off and on has hung.—
Quoth he, I meant what time o'the day 'tis. --
Quoth RALPHO, Between seven and eight 'tis.
Why then, (quoth Whachum) my small art
Tells me, the dame has a hard heart,
Or great estate.—Quoth RALPH, A jointer
Which makes him have so hot a mind t'her.
Mean while the Knight was making water,
Before he fell upon the matter;
Which having done, the Wizard steps in,
To give him suitable reception
But kept his bus'ness at a bay
Till WHACHUM put him in the way;
Who having now, by RALPHO's light.
Expounded th' errand of the Knight,
And what he came to know, drew near
To whisper in the Conj'rer's ear,
Which he prevented thus: What was't,
Quoth he, that I was saying last,
Before these gentlemen arriv'd?
Quoth WHACHUM, Venus you retriev'd
In opposition with Mars,
And no benigne friendly stars
T' allay the effect.—Quoth Wizard, So
In Virgo? Ha!—Quoth WHACHUM, No.
Has Saturn nothing to do in it?
One-tenth of's circle to a minute.
'Tis well, quoth he.—Sir, you'll excuse
This rudeness I am forc'd to use
It is a scheme and face of Heaven,
As the aspects are dispos'd this even
I was contemplating upon
When you arriv'd; but now I've done,

Quoth HUDIBRAS, If I appear
Unseasonable in coming here
At such a tone, to interrupt
Your speculations, which I hop'd
Assistance from, and come to use,
'T is fit that I ask your excuse.
By no means, Sir, quoth SIDROPHEL;
The stars your coming did foretel:
I did expect you here, and knew,
Before you spake, your bus'ness too.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, Make that appear,
And I shall credit whatsoe'er
You tell me after on your word
Howe'er unlikely, or absurd.

You are in love, Sir, with a widow,

Quoth he, that does not greatly heed you,
And for three years has rid your wit
And passion without drawing bit:
And now your bus'ness is to know,
If you shall carry her or no.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, You're in the right;
But how the Devil you came by't
I can't imagine; for the Stars
I'm sure, can tell no more than a horse;
Nor can their aspects (though you pore
Your eyes out on 'em) tell you more
Than th' oracle of sieve and sheers,
That turns as certain as the spheres:
But if the Devil's of your counsel,
Much may be done my noble Donzel;
And 'tis on his account I come,
To know from you my fatal doom.

Quoth SIDROPHEL, If you Suppose
Sir Knight, that I am one of those,
I might suspect, and take the alarm,
Your bus'ness is but to inform;
But if it be, 'tis ne'er the near;
You have a wrong sow by the ear;
For I assure you, for my part,
I only deal by rules of art,
Such as are lawful, and judge by
Conclusions of Astrology:
But for the Dev'l, know nothing by him;
But only this, that I defy him.

Quoth he, Whatever others deem ye,
I understand your metonymy:
Your words of second-hand intention,
When things by wrongful names you mention;
The mystick sense of all your terms,
That are, indeed, but magick charms
To raise the Devil, and mean one thing,
And that is down-right conjuring;
And in itself more warrantable
Than cheat, or canting to a rabble,
Or putting tricks upon the Moon,
Which by confed'racy are done.
Your ancient conjurers were wont
To make her from her sphere dismount.
And to their incantations stoop:
They scorn'd to pore thro' telescope,
Or idly play at bo-peep with her,
To find out cloudy or fair weather,
Which ev'ry almanack can tell
Perhaps, as learnedly and well,
As you yourself—Then, friend, I doubt
You go the furthest way about.
Your modern Indian magician
Makes but a hole in th' earth to piss in
And straight resolves all questions by't,
And seldom fails to be i'th' right.
The Rosy-Crucian way's more sure
To bring the Devil to the lure;
Each of 'em has a sev'ral gin
To catch intelligences in.
Some by the nose with fumes trepan 'em,
As DUNSTAN did the Devil's grannam;
Others, with characters and words,
Catch 'em, as men in nets do birds;
And some with symbols, signs, and tricks,
Engrav'd with planetary nicks,
With their own influences will fetch 'em
Down from their orbs, arrest, and catch 'em;
Make 'em depose and answer to
All questions e're they let them go.
BUMBASTUS kept a Devil's bird
Shut in the pummel of his sword,
That taught him all the cunning pranks
Of past and future mountebanks.
KELLY did all his feats upon
The Devil's looking-glass, a stone;
Where playing with him at bo-peep,
He solv'd all problems ne'er so deep.
AGRIPPA kept a Stygian pug
I' th' garb and habit of a dog,
That was his tutor, and the cur
Read to th' occult philosopher,
And taught him subt'ly to maintain
All other sciences are vain.

To this, quoth SIDROPHELLO, Sir,
AGRIPPA was no conjurer,
Nor PARACELSUS, no, nor BEHMEN;
Nor was the dog a Cacodaemon,
But a true dog, that would shew tricks
For th' emperor, and leap o'er sticks;
Would fetch and carry; was more civil
Than other dogs, but yet no Devil;
And whatsoe'er he's said to do,
He went the self-same way we go.
As for the Rosy-Cross Philosophers,
Whom you will have to be but sorcerers,
What they pretend to is no more,
Than TRISMEGISTUS did before,
PYTHAGORAS, old ZOROASTER
And APOLLONIUS their master;
To whom they do confess they owe
All that they do, and all they know.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, Alas! what is't t' us,
Whether 'twas said by TRISMEGISTUS
If it be nonsense, false, or mystick,
Or not intelligible, or sophistick?
'Tis not antiquity, nor author,
That makes Truth Truth, altho' Times daughter;
'Twas he that put her in the pit
Before he pull'd her out of it;
And as he eats his sons, just so
He feeds upon his daughters too.
Nor does it follow, 'cause a herald,
Can make a gentleman, scarce a year old
To be descended of a race
Of ancient kings in a small space,
That we should all opinions hold
Authentic that we can make old.

Quoth SIDROPHEL, It is no part
Of prudence to cry down an art,
And what it may perform deny,
Because you understand not why
(As AVERHOIS play'd but a mean trick
To damn our whole art for eccentrick:)
For Who knows all that knowledge contains
Men dwell not on the tops of mountains,
But on their sides, or rising's seat
So 'tis with knowledge's vast height.
Do not the hist'ries of all ages
Relate miraculous presages,
Of strange turns in the world's affairs,
Foreseen b' Astrologers, Soothsayers,
Chaldeans, learn'd Genethliacks,
And some that have writ almanacks?
The MEDIA N emp'ror dreamt his daughter
Had pist all ASIA under water,
And that a vine, sprung from her haunches,
O'erspread his empire with its branches:
And did not soothsayers expound it
As after by th' event he found it?
When CAESAR in the senate fell,
Did not the sun eclips'd foretel,
And, in resentment of his slaughter,
Look'd pale for almost a year after?
AUGUSTUS having, b' oversight,
Put on his left shoe 'fore his right,
Had like to have been slain that day
By soldiers mutin'ing for pay.
Are there not myriads of this sort
Which stories of all times report?
Is it not ominous in all countries
When crows and ravens croak upon trees?
The Roman senate, when within
The city walls an owl was seen
Did cause their clergy, with lustrations,
(Our Synod calls humiliations),
The round-fac'd prodigy t'avert
From doing town or country hurt
And if an owl have so much pow'r
Why should not planets have much more,
That in a region far above
Inferior fowls of the air move,
And should see further, and foreknow
More than their augury below?
Though that once serv'd the polity
Of mighty states to govern by
And this is what we take in hand
By pow'rful art to understand
Which, how we have perform'd, all ages
Can speak th' events of our presages
Have we not lately, in the Moon,
Found a New World, to the Old unknown?
Discover'd sea and land, COLUMBUS
And MAGELLAN cou'd never compass?
Made mountains with our tubes appear,
And cattle grazing on 'em there?

Quoth HUDIBRAS, You lie so ope,
That I, without a telescope,
Can mind your tricks out, and descry
Where you tell truth, and where you lye:
For ANAXAGORAS, long agon,
Saw hills, as well as you, i' th' Moon;
And held the Sun was but a piece
Of red-hot ir'n, as big as Greece;
Believ'd the Heav'ns were made of stone,
Because the Sun had voided one;
And, rather than he would recant
Th' opinion, suffer'd banishment.

But what, alas! is it to us
Whether i' th' Moon men thus or thus
Do eat their Porridge, cut their corns,
Or whether they have tails or horns?
What trade from thence can you advance,
But what we nearer have from France?
What can our travellers bring home,
That is not to be learnt at Rome?
What politicks, or strange opinions,
That are not in our own dominions?
What science can he brought from thence
In which we do not here commence?
What revelations, or religions,
That are not in our native regions?
Are sweating lanthorns, or screen-fans,
Made better there than th' are in France?
Or do they teach to sing and play
O' th' gittar there a newer way?
Can they make plays there, that shall fit
The public humour, with less wit?
Write wittier dances, quainter shows
Or fight with more ingenious blows?
Or does the man i' th' moon look big,
And wear a huger perriwig,
Shew in his gait or face more tricks,
Than our own native lunaticks?
And if w' out-do him here at home,
What good of your design can come?
As wind i' th' hypocondries pent,
Is but a blast if downward sent,
But if it upward chance to fly
Becomes new Light and Prophecy
So when your speculations tend
Above their just and useful end,
Although they promise strange and great
Discoveries of things far set
They are but idle dreams and fancies,
And savour strongly of the ganzas.
Tell me but what's the natural cause,
Why on a sign no painter draws
The full moon ever, but the half;
Resolve that with your JACOB's staff;
Or why wolves raise a hubbub at her,
And dogs howl when she shines in water;
And I shall freely give my vote,
You may know something more remote.

At this deep SIDROPHEL look'd wise,
And staring round with owl-like eyes,
He put his face into a posture
Of sapience, and began to bluster:
For having three times shook his head
To stir his wit up, thus he said
Art has no mortal enemies,
Next ignorance, but owls and geese;
Those consecrated geese in orders,
That to the Capitol were warders;
And being then upon patrol,
With noise alone beat off the Gaul:
Or those Athenian Sceptic owls,
That will not credit their own souls;
Or any science understand
Beyond the reach of eye or hand;
But meas'ring all things by their own
Knowledge, hold nothing's to be known
Those wholesale criticks, that in coffee-
Houses cry down all philosophy
And will not know upon what ground
In nature we our doctrine found,
Altho' with pregnant evidence
We can demonstrate it to sense,
As I just now have done to you
Foretelling what you came to know.
Were the stars only made to light
Robbers and burglarers by night?
To wait on drunkards, thieves, gold-finders,
And lovers solacing behind doors
Or giving one another pledges
Of matrimony under hedges?
Or witches simpling, and on gibbets
Cutting from malefactors snippets?
Or from the pillory tips of ears
Of Rebel-Saints and perjurers?
Only to stand by, and look on,
But not know what is said or done?
Is there a constellation there,
That was not born and bred up here?
And therefore cannot be to learn
In any inferior concern.
Were they not, during all their lives,
Most of 'em pirates, whores and thieves;
And is it like they have not still
In their old practices some skill
Is there a planet that by birth
Does not derive its house from earth?
And therefore probably must know,
What is and hath been done below.
Who made the Balance, or whence came
The Bull, the Lion, and the Ram?
Did not we here the Argo rig,
Make BERENICE's periwig?
Whose liv'ry does the Coachman wear?
Or who made Cassiopeia's chair?
And therefore, as they came from hence,
With us may hold intelligence.
PLATO deny'd the world can be
Govern'd without geometree
(For money b'ing the common scale
Of things by measure, weight, and tale,
In all th' affairs of Church and State,
'Tis both the balance and the weight;)
Then much less can it be without
Divine Astrology made out;
That puts the other down in worth,
As far as Heav'n's above the earth.

These reasons (quoth the Knight) I grant
Are something more significant
Than any that the learned use
Upon this subject to produce;
And yet th' are far from satisfactory,
T' establish and keep up your factory.
Th' Egyptians say, the Sun has twice
Shifted his setting and his rise
Twice has he risen in the west,
As many times set in the east;
But whether that be true or no,
The Dev'l any of you know.
Some hold the heavens like a top,
And kept by circulation. up;
And, were't not for their wheeling round,
They'd instantly fall to the ground:
As sage EMPEDOCLES of old,
And from him modern authors hold.
PLATO believ'd the Sun and Moon
Below all other Planets run.
Some MERCURY, some VENUS, seat
Above the Sun himself in height.
The learned SCALIGER complain'd
Gainst what COPERNICUS maintain'd,
That, in twelve hundred years and odd,
The Sun had left its ancient road,
And nearer to time earth is come
'Bove fifty thousand miles from home:
Swore 'twas a most notorious flam;
And he that had so little shame
To vent such fopperies abroad,
Deserv'd to have his rump well claw'd;
Which Monsieur BODIN hearing, swore
That he deserv'd the rod much more,
That durst upon a truth give doom;
He knew less than the Pope of Rome.
CARDAN believ'd great states depend
Upon the tip o' th' Bear's tail's end;
That, as she whisk'd it t'wards the Sun,
Strow'd mighty empires up and down;
Which others say must needs be false,
Because your true bears have no tails.
Some say the Zodiack Constellations
Have long since chang'd their antique stations
Above a sign, and prove the same
In Taurus now once in the Ram;
Affirm the trigons chop'd and chang'd,
The wat'ry with the fiery rang'd:
Then how can their effects still hold
To be the same they were of old?
This, though the art were true, would make
Our modern soothsayers mistake:
And in one cause they tell more lies,
In figures and nativities,
Than th' old Chaldean conjurers
In so many hundred thousand years
Beside their nonsense in translating
For want of accidence and Latin,
Like Idus, and Calendae, Englisht
The quarter-days by skilful linguist;
And yet with canting, sleight and, cheat,
'Twill serve their turn to do the feat;
Make fools believe in their foreseeing
Of things before they are in being
To swallow gudgeons ere th' are catch'd;
And count their chickens ere th' are hatch'd
Make them the constellations prompt
And give 'em back their own accompt
But still the best to him that gives
The best price for't, or best believes.
Some towns and cities, some, for brevity,
Have cast the 'versal world's nativity
And made the infant-stars confess,
Like fools or children, what they please.
Some calculate the hidden fates
Of monkeys, puppy-dogs, and cats
Some running-nags and fighting cocks
Some love, trade, law-suits, and the pox;
Some take a measure of the lives
Of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives;
Make opposition, trine, and quartile,
Tell who is barren, and who fertile;
As if the planet's first aspect
The tender infant did infect
In soul and body, and instill
All future good, and future ill;
Which, in their dark fatalities lurking
At destin'd periods fall a working;
And break out, like the hidden seeds
Of long diseases, into deeds,
In friendships, enmities, and strife,
And all the emergencies of life.
No sooner does he peep into
The world, but he has done his do;
Catch'd all diseases, took all physick
That cures or kills a man that is sick;
Marry'd his punctual dose of wives;
Is cuckolded, and breaks or thrives.
There's but the twinkling of a star
Between a man of peace and war;
A thief and justice, fool and knave,
A huffing officer and a slave;
A crafty lawyer and a pick-pocket,
A great philosopher and a blockhead;
A formal preacher and a player,
A learn'd physician and manslayer.
As if men from the stars did suck
Old age, diseases, and ill-luck,
Wit, folly, honour, virtue, vice,
Trade, travel, women, claps, and dice;
And draw, with the first air they breathe,
Battle and murder, sudden death.
Are not these fine commodities
To be imported from the skies,
And vended here amongst the rabble,
For staple goods and warrantable?
Like money by the Druids borrow'd
In th' other world to be restor'd?

Quoth SIDROPHEL, To let you know
You wrong the art, and artists too,
Since arguments are lost on those
That do our principles oppose
I will (although I've done't before)
Demonstrate to your sense once more,
And draw a figure, that shall tell you
What you, perhaps, forget befel you,
By way of horary inspection
Which some account our worst erection.
With that he circles draws, and squares,
With cyphers, astral characters;
Then looks 'em o'er, to und'erstand 'em,
Although set down hob-nab, at random.
Quoth he, This scheme of th' heavens set,
Discovers how in fight you met
At Kingston with a may-pole idol,
And that y' were bang'd both back and side well;
And though you overcame the bear
The dogs beat you at Brentford fair;
Where sturdy butchers broke your noddle,
And handled you like a fop-doodle.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, I now perceive
You are no conj'rer, by your leave;
That paultry story is untrue,
And forg'd to cheat such gulls as you.

Not true? quoth he; howe'er you vapour,
I can what I affirm make appear.
WHACHUM shall justify't t' your face
And prove he was upon the place.
He play'd the Saltinbancho's part,
Transform'd t' a Frenchman by my art
He stole your cloak, and pick'd your pocket,
Chows'd and caldes'd ye like a blockhead:
And what you lost I can produce,
If you deny it, here i' th' house.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, I do believe
That argument's demonstrative.
RALPHO, bear witness; and go fetch us
A constable to seize the wretches
For though th' are both false knaves and cheats,
Impostors, jugglers, counterfeits,
I'll make them serve for perpendiculars
As true as e'er were us'd by bricklayers.
They're guilty, by their own confessions,
Of felony, and at the sessions,
Upon the bench, I will so handle 'em,
That the vibration of this pendulum
Shalt make all taylors yards of one
Unanimous opinion,
A thing he long has vapour'd of,
But now shall wake it out of proof.

Quoth SIDROPHEL, I do not doubt
To find friends that will bear me out
Nor have I hazarded my art,
And neck, so long on the state's part,
To be expos'd i' th' end to suffer
By such a braggadocio huffer.

Huffer! quoth HUDIBRAS: this sword
Shall down thy false throat craw that word.
RALPHO, make haste, and call an officer,
To apprehend this Stygian sophister,
Meanwhile I'll hold 'em at a bay,
Lest he and WHACHUM run away.

But SIDROPHEL who, from the aspect
Of HUDIBRAS did now erect
A figure worse portenting far
Than that of a malignant star,
Believ'd it now the fittest moment
To shun the danger that might come on't,
While HUDIBRAS was all alone,
And he and WHACHUM, two to one.
This being resolv'd, he spy'd, by chance,
Behind the door, an iron lance
That many a sturdy limb had gor'd,
And legs, and loins, and shoulders bor'd:
He snatch'd it up, and made a pass,
To make his way through HUDIBRAS.
WHACHUM had got a fire-fork
With which he vow'd to do his work.
But HUDIBRAS was well prepar'd,
And stoutly stood upon his guard:
He put by SIDROPHELLO'S thrust,
And in right manfully he rusht; l
The weapon from his gripe he wrung,
And laid him on the earth along.
WHACHUM his sea-coal prong threw by,
And basely turn'd his back to fly
But HUDIBRAS gave him a twitch
As quick as light'ning in the breech,
Just in the place where honour's lodg'd,
As wise philosophers have judg'd;
Because a kick in that place more
Hurts honour than deep wounds before.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, The stars determine
You are my prisoners, base vermine!
Could they not tell you so as well
As what I came to know foretell?
By this what cheats you are we find
That in your own concerns are blind.
Your lives are now at my dispose,
To be redeem'd by fine or blows:
But who his honour wou'd defile,
To take or sell two lives so vile?
I'll give you quarter; but your pillage,
The conq'ring warrior's crop and tillage,
Which with his sword he reaps and plows,
That's mine, the law of arms allows.

This said, in haste, in haste he fell
To rummaging of SIDROPHEL.
First, he expounded both his pockets,
And found a watch, with rings and lockets,
Which had been left with him t' erect
A figure for, and so detect;
A copper-plate, with almanacks
Engrav'd upon't; with other knacks,
Of BOOKER's LILLY's, SARAH JIMMERS',
And blank-schemes to discover nimmers;
A moon-dial, with Napier's bones
And sev'ral constellation stones,
Engrav'd in planetary hours,
That over mortals had strange powers
To make 'em thrive in law or trade,
And stab or poison to evade;
In wit or wisdom to improve,
And be victorious in love,
WHACHUM had neither cross nor pile;
His plunder was not worth the while;
All which the conq'rer did discompt
To pay for curing of his rump.
But SIDROPHEL, as full of tricks
As Rota-men of politicks,
Straight cast about to over-reach
Th' unwary conqu'ror with a fetch
And make him clad (at least) to quit
His victory, and fly the pit,
Before the Secular Prince of Darkness
Arriv'd to seize upon his carcass?
And as a fox, with hot pursuit
Chac'd thro' a warren, casts about
To save his credit, and among
Dead vermin on a gallows hung,
And while the dogs run underneath,
Escap'd (by counterfeiting death)
Not out of cunning, but a train
Of atoms justling in his brain,
As learn'd philosophers give out,
So SIDROPHELLO cast about,
And fell to's wonted trade again
To feign himself in earnest slain:
First stretch'd out one leg, than another,
And seeming in his breath to smother
A broken sigh; quoth he, Where am I,
Alive or dead? or which way came I
Through so immense a space so soon
But now I thought myself in th' Moon
And that a monster with huge whiskers,
More formidable than a Switzer's,
My body through and through had drill'd
And WHACHUM by my side had kill'd:
Had cross-examin'd both our hose,
And plunder'd all we had to lose.
Look, there he is; I see him now,
And feel the place I am run through:
And there lies WHACHUM by my side
Stone dead, and in his own blood dy'd.
Oh! Oh! with that he fetch'd a groan,
And fell again into a swoon;
Shut both his eyes, and stopp'd his breath
And to the life out-acted death;
That HUDIBRAS, to all appearing,
Believ'd him to be dead as herring.
He held it now no longer safe
To tarry the return of RALPH
But rather leave him in the lurch:
Thought he, he has abus'd our Church,
Refus'd to give himself one firk
To carry on the publick work;
Despis'd our Synod-men like dirt
And made their discipline his sport;
Divulg'd the secrets of their classes,
And their conventions prov'd high places;
Disparag'd their tythe-pigs as Pagan,
And set at nought their cheese and bacon;
Rail'd at their Covenant, and jeer'd
Their rev'rend parsons to my beard:
For all which scandals, to be quit
At once, this juncture falls out fit,
I'll make him henceforth to beware
And tempt my fury, if he dare.
He must at least hold up his hand,
By twelve freeholders to be scann'd;
Who, by their skill in palmistry,
Will quickly read his destiny;
And make him glad to read his lesson,
Or take a turn for it at the session;
Unless his Light and Gifts prove truer
Then ever yet they did, I'm sure;
For if he scape with whipping now
'Tis more than he can hope to do;
And that will disengage my conscience
Of th' obligation in his own sense,
I'll make him now by force abide
What he by gentle means deny'd
To give my honour satisfaction,
And right the Brethren in the action.
This being resolv'd, with equal speed
And conduct he approach'd his steed,
And with activity unwont
Assay'd the lofty beast to mount;
Which once atchiev'd, he spurr'd his palfrey,
To get from th' enemy, and RALPH, free
Left dangers, fears, and foes behind,
And beat, at least three lengths, the wind.




AN HEROICAL EPISTLE OF HUDIBRAS TO SIDROPHEL


WELL! SIDROPHEL, though 'tis in vain
To tamper with your crazy brain,
Without trepanning of your skull
As often as the moon's at full
'Tis not amiss, e're y' are giv'n o'er
To try one desp'rate med'cine more
For where your case can be no worse,
The desp'rat'st is the wisest course.
Is't possible that you, whose ears
Are of the tribe of Issachar's
And might (with equal reason) either,
For merit, or extent of leather,
With WILLIAM PRYN'S, before they were
Retrench'd and crucify'd, compare,
Shou'd yet be deaf against a noise
So roaring as the publick voice
That speaks your virtues free, and loud,
And openly, in ev'ry crowd,
As, loud as one that sings his part
T' a wheel-barrow or turnip-cart
Or your new nick-nam'd old invention
To cry green-hastings with an engine;
(As if the vehemence had stunn'd,
And turn your drum-heads with the sound;)
And 'cause your folly's now no news
But overgrown, and out of use,
Persuade yourself there's no such matter,
But that 'tis vanish'd out of nature;
When folly, as it grows in years,
The more extravagant appears;
For who but you could be possest
With so much ignorance, and beast,
That neither all mens' scorn and hate,
Nor being laugh'd and pointed at,
Nor bray'd so often in a mortar
Can teach you wholesome sense and nurture;
But (like a reprobate) what course
Soever's us'd, grow worse and worse
Can no transfusion of the blood,
That makes fools cattle, do you good?
Nor putting pigs t' a bitch to nurse,
To turn 'em into mungrel-curs,
Put you into a way, at least,
To make yourself a better beast?
Can all your critical intrigues
Of trying sound from rotten eggs;
Your several new-found remedies
Of curing wounds and scabs in trees;
Your arts of flexing them for claps,
And purging their infected saps;
Recov'ring shankers, crystallines,
And nodes and botches in their rinds,
Have no effect to operate
Upon that duller block, your pate?
But still it must be lewdly bent
To tempt your own due punishment;
And, like your whymsy'd chariots, draw,
The boys to course you without law;
As if the art you have so long
Profess'd, of making old dogs young
In you had virtue to renew
Not only youth, but childhood too.
Can you that understand all books,
By judging only with your looks,
Resolve all problems with your face
As others do with B's and A's;
Unriddle all that mankind knows
With solid bending of your brows;
All arts and sciences advance,
With screwing of your countenance
And, with a penetrating eye,
Into th' abstrusest learning pry?
Know more of any trade b' a hint;
Than those that have been bred up in't;
And yet have no art, true or false
To help your own bad naturals;
But still, the more you strive t' appear,
Are found to be the wretcheder
For fools are known by looking wise,
As men find woodcocks by their eyes.
Hence 'tis that 'cause y' have gain'd o' th' college
A quarter share (at most) of knowledge,
And brought in none, but spent repute,
Y' assume a pow'r as absolute
To judge, and censure, and controll
As if you were the sole Sir Poll;
And saucily pretend to know
More than your dividend comes to.
You'll find the thing will not be done
With ignorance and face alone
No, though y' have purchas'd to your name,
In history, so great a fame;
That now your talents, so well
For having all belief out-grown,
That ev'ry strange prodigious tale
Is measur'd by your German scale;
By which the virtuosi try
The magnitude of ev'ry lye,
Cast up to what it does amount,
And place the bigg'st to your account?
That all those stories that are laid
Too truly to you, and those made,
Are now still charg'd upon your score,
And lesser authors nam'd no more.
Alas! that faculty betrays
Those soonest it designs to raise;
And all your vain renown will spoil,
As guns o'ercharg'd the more recoil.
Though he that has but impudence,
To all things has a fair pretence;
And put among his wants but shame,
To all the world may lay his claim:
Though you have try'd that nothing's borne
With greater ease than public scorn,
That all affronts do still give place
To your impenetrable face,
That makes your way through all affairs,
As pigs through hedges creep with theirs;
Yet as 'tis counterfeit, and brass,
You must not think 'twill always pass;
For all impostors, when they're known,
Are past their labour, and undone.
And all the best that can befal
An artificial natural,
Is that which madmen find as soon
As once they're broke loose from the moon,
And, proof against her influence,
Relapse to e'er so little sense,
To turn stark fools, and subjects fit
For sport of boys, and rabble-wit.







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