Hudibras, by Samuel Butler

Canto III.

The Argument

The scatter’d rout return and rally,

Surround the place; the Knight does sally,

And is made pris’ner: Then they seize

Th’ inchanted fort by storm; release

Crowdero, and put the Squire in’s place;

I should have first said Hudibras.

Ah me! what perils do environ

The man that meddles with cold iron!

What plaguy mischiefs and mishaps

Do dog him still with after-claps!

For though dame Fortune seem to smile

And leer upon him for a while,

She’ll after shew him, in the nick

Of all his glories, a dog-trick.

This any man may sing or say,

I’ th’ ditty call’d, What if a Day?

For HUDIBRAS, who thought h’ had won

The field, as certain as a gun;

And having routed the whole troop,

With victory was cock a-hoop;

Thinking h’ had done enough to purchase

Thanksgiving-day among the Churches,

Wherein his mettle, and brave worth,

Might be explain’d by Holder-forth,

And register’d, by fame eternal,

In deathless pages of diurnal;

Found in few minutes, to his cost,

He did but count without his host;

And that a turn-stile is more certain

Than, in events of war, dame Fortune.

For now the late faint-hearted rout,

O’erthrown, and scatter’d round about,

Chas’d by the horror of their fear

From bloody fray of Knight and Bear,

(All but the dogs, who, in pursuit

Of the Knight’s victory, stood to’t,

And most ignobly fought to get

The honour of his blood and sweat,)

Seeing the coast was free and clear

O’ th’ conquer’d and the conqueror,

Took heart again, and fac’d about,

As if they meant to stand it out:

For by this time the routed Bear,

Attack’d by th’ enemy i’ th’ rear,

Finding their number grew too great

For him to make a safe retreat,

Like a bold chieftain, fac’d about;

But wisely doubting to hold out,

Gave way to Fortune, and with haste

Fac’d the proud foe, and fled, and fac’d;

Retiring still, until he found

H’ had got the advantage of the ground;

And then as valiantly made head

To check the foe, and forthwith fled;

Leaving no art untry’d, nor trick

Of warrior stout and politick,

Until, in spite of hot pursuit,

He gain’d a pass to hold dispute

On better terms, and stop the course

Of the proud foe. With all his force

He bravely charg’d, and for a while

Forc’d their whole body to recoil;

But still their numbers so increas’d,

He found himself at length oppress’d,

And all evasions, so uncertain,

To save himself for better fortune,

That he resolv’d, rather than yield,

To die with honour in the field,

And sell his hide and carcase at

A price as high and desperate

As e’er he could. This resolution

He forthwith put in execution,

And bravely threw himself among

The enemy i’ th’ greatest throng.

But what cou’d single valour do

Against so numerous a foe?

Yet much he did indeed, too much

To be believ’d, where th’ odds were such.

But one against a multitude

Is more than mortal can make good.

For while one party he oppos’d,

His rear was suddenly inclos’d;

And no room left him for retreat,

Or fight against a foe so great.

For now the mastives, charging home,

To blows and handy gripes were come:

While manfully himself he bore,

And setting his right-foot before,

He rais’d himself, to shew how tall

His person was above them all.

This equal shame and envy stirr’d

In th’ enemy, that one should beard

So many warriors, and so stout,

As he had done, and stav’d it out,

Disdaining to lay down his arms,

And yield on honourable terms.

Enraged thus, some in the rear

Attack’d him, and some ev’ry where,

Till down he fell; yet falling fought,

And, being down, still laid about;

As WIDDRINGTON, in doleful dumps,

Is said to light upon his stumps.

But all, alas! had been in vain,

And he inevitably slain,

If TRULLA and CERDON, in the nick,

To rescue him had not been quick;

For TRULLA, who was light of foot

As shafts which long-field Parthians shoot,

(But not so light as to be borne

Upon the ears of standing corn,

Or trip it o’er the water quicker

Than witches, when their staves they liquor,

As some report,) was got among

The foremost of the martial throng;

There pitying the vanquish’d Bear,

She call’d to CERDON, who stood near,

Viewing the bloody fight; to whom,

Shall we (quoth she) stand still hum-drum,

And see stout Bruin all alone,

By numbers basely overthrown?

Such feats already h’ has atchiev’d,

In story not to be believ’d;

And ‘twould to us be shame enough,

Not to attempt to fetch him off.

I would (quoth he) venture a limb

To second thee, and rescue him:

But then we must about it straight,

Or else our aid will come too late.

Quarter he scorns, he is so stout,

And therefore cannot long hold out.

This said, they wav’d their weapons round

About their heads, to clear the ground;

And joining forces, laid about

So fiercely, that th’ amazed rout

Turn’d tale again, and straight begun,

As if the Devil drove, to run.

Meanwhile th’ approach’d th’ place where Bruin

Was now engag’d to mortal ruin.

The conqu’ring foe they soon assail’d;

First TRULLA 1 stav’d, and CERDON tail’d,

Until their mastives loos’d their hold:

And yet, alas! do what they could,

The worsted Bear came off with store

Of bloody wounds, but all before:

For as ACHILLES, dipt in pond,

Was ANABAPTIZ’D free from wound,

Made proof against dead-doing steel

All over, but the Pagan heel;

So did our champion’s arms defend

All of him, but the other end,

His head and ears, which, in the martial

Encounter, lost a leathern parcel

For as an Austrian Archduke once

Had one ear (which in ducatoons

Is half the coin) in battle par’d

Close to his head, so Bruin far’d;

But tugg’d and pull’d on th’ other side,

Like scriv’ner newly crucify’d;

Or like the late 2 corrected leathern

Ears of the Circumcised Brethren.

But gentle TRULLA into th’ ring

He wore in’s nose convey’d a string,

With which she march’d before, and led

The warrior to a grassy bed,

As authors write, in a cool shade,

Which eglantine and roses made;

Close by a softly murm’ring stream,

Where lovers us’d to loll and dream.

There leaving him to his repose,

Secured from pursuit of foes,

And wanting nothing but a song,

And a well-tun’d theorbo hung

Upon a bough, to ease the pain

His tugg’d ears suffer’d, with a strain,

They both drew up, to march in quest

Of his great leader and the rest.

For ORSIN (who was more renown’d

For stout maintaining of his ground

In standing fight, than for pursuit,

As being not so quick of foot)

Was not long able to keep pace

With others that pursu’d the chace;

But found himself left far behind,

Both out of heart and out of wind:

Griev’d to behold his Bear pursu’d

So basely by a multitude;

And like to fall, not by the prowess,

But numbers of his coward foes.

He rag’d, and kept as heavy a coil as

Stout HERCULES for loss of HYLAS;

Forcing the vallies to repeat

The accents of his sad regret.

He beat his breast, and tore his hair,

For loss of his dear Crony Bear;

That Eccho, from the hollow ground,

His doleful wailings did resound

More wistfully, by many times,

Than in small poets splay-foot rhimes

That make her, in their rueful stories

To answer to int’rogatories,

And most unconscionably depose

To things of which she nothing knows;

And when she has said all she can say,

’Tis wrested to the lover’s fancy.

Quoth he, O whither, wicked Bruin

Art thou fled to my — Eccho, Ruin?

I thought th’ hadst scorn’d to budge a step

For fear. (Quoth Eccho) Marry guep.

Am not I here to take thy part?

Then what has quelled thy stubborn heart?

Have these bones rattled, and this head

So often in thy quarrel bled?

Nor did I ever winch or grudge it,

For thy dear sake. (Quoth she) Mum budget

Think’st thou ’twill not be laid i’ th’ dish

Thou turn’dst thy back? Quoth Eccho, Fish.

To run from those t’hast overcome

Thus cowardly? Quoth Eccho, Mum.

But what a vengeance makes thee fly

From me too, as thine enemy?

Or if thou hast no thought of me,

Nor what I have endur’d for thee,

Yet shame and honour might prevail

To keep thee thus from turning tail:

For who would grudge to spend his blood in

His honour’s cause? Quoth she, A puddin.

This said, his grief to anger turn’d,

Which in his manly stomach burn’d;

Thirst of revenge, and wrath, in place

Of sorrow, now began to blaze.

He vow’d the authors of his woe

Should equal vengeance undergo;

And with their bones and flesh pay dear

For what he suffer’d, and his Bear.

This b’ing resolv’d, with equal speed

And rage he hasted to proceed

To action straight, and giving o’er

To search for Bruin any more,

He went in quest of HUDIBRAS,

To find him out where-e’er he was;

And, if he were above ground, vow’d

He’d ferret him, lurk where be wou’d.

But scarce had he a furlong on

This resolute adventure gone,

When he encounter’d with that crew

Whom HUDIBRAS did late subdue.

Honour, revenge, contempt, and shame,

Did equally their breasts inflame.

‘Mong these the fierce MAGNANO was,


CERDON and COLON, warriors stout,

As resolute, as ever fought;

Whom furious ORSIN thus bespoke:

Shall we (quoth be) thus basely brook

The vile affront that paltry ass,

And feeble scoundrel, HUDIBRAS,

With that more paltry ragamuffin,

RALPHO, with vapouring and huffing,

Have put upon us like tame cattle,

As if th’ had routed us in battle?

For my part, it shall ne’er be said,

I for the washing gave my bead:

Nor did I turn my back for fear

O’ th’ rascals, but loss of my Bear,

Which now I’m like to undergo;

For whether those fell wounds, or no

He has receiv’d in fight, are mortal,

Is more than all my skill can foretell

Nor do I know what is become

Of him, more than the Pope of Rome.

But if I can but find them out

That caus’d it (as I shall, no doubt,

Where-e’er th’ in hugger-mugger lurk)

I’ll make them rue their handy-work;

And wish that they had rather dar’d

To pull the Devil by the beard.

Quoth CERD0N, Noble ORSIN, th’ hast

Great reason to do as thou say’st,

And so has ev’ry body here,

As well as thou hast, or thy Bear.

Others may do as they see good;

But if this twig be made of wood

That will hold tack, I’ll make the fur

Fly ‘bout the ears of that old cur;

And the other mungrel vermin, RALPH,

That brav’d us all in his behalf.

Thy Bear is safe, and out of peril,

Though lugg’d indeed, and wounded very ill;

Myself and TRULLA made a shift

To help him out at a dead lift;

And, having brought him bravely off,

Have left him where he’s safe enough:

There let him rest; for if we stay,

The slaves may hap to get away.

This said, they all engag’d to join

Their forces in the same design;

And forthwith put themselves in search

Of HUDIBRAS upon their march.

Where leave we awhile, to tell

What the victorious knight befel.

For such, CROWDERO being fast

In dungeon shut, we left him last.

Triumphant laurels seem’d to grow

No where so green as on his brow;

Laden with which, as well as tir’d

With conquering toil, he now retir’d

Unto a neighb’ring castle by,

To rest his body, and apply

Fit med’cines to each glorious bruise

He got in fight, reds, blacks, and blues,

To mollify th’ uneasy pang

Of ev’ry honourable bang,

Which b’ing by skilful midwife drest,

He laid him down to take his rest.

But all in vain. H’ had got a hurt

O’ th’ inside, of a deadlier sort,

By CUPID made, who took his stand

Upon a Widow’s jointure land,

(For he, in all his am’rous battels,

No ‘dvantage finds like goods and chattels,)

Drew home his bow, and, aiming right,

Let fly an arrow at the Knight:

The shaft against a rib did glance,

And gall’d him in the purtenance.

But time had somewhat ‘swag’d his pain,

After he found his suit in vain.

For that proud dame, for whom his soul

Was burnt in’s belly like a coal,

(That belly which so oft did ake

And suffer griping for her sake,

Till purging comfits and ants-eggs

Had almost brought him off his legs,)

Us’d him so like a base rascallion,

That 3 old Pyg — (what d’y’ call him) malion,

That cut his mistress out of stone,

Had not so hard a-hearted one.

She had a thousand jadish tricks,

Worse than a mule that flings and kicks;

‘Mong which one cross-grain’d freak she had,

As insolent as strange and mad;

She could love none, but only such

As scorn’d and hated her as much.

’Twas a strange riddle of a lady:

Not love, if any lov’d her! Hey dey!

So cowards never use their might,

But against such as will not fight;

So some diseases have been found

Only to seize upon the sound.

He that gets her by heart, must say her

The back way, like a witch’s prayer.

Mean while the Knight had no small task

To compass what he durst not ask.

He loves, but dares not make the motion;

Her ignorance is his devotion:

Like caitiff vile, that, for misdeed,

Rides with his face to rump of steed,

Or rowing scull, he’s fain to love,

Look one way, and another move;

Or like a tumbler, that does play

His game, and look another way,

Until he seize upon the cony;

Just so he does by matrimony:

But all in vain; her subtle snout

Did quickly wind his meaning out;

Which she return’d with too much scorn

To be by man of honour borne:

Yet much he bore, until the distress

He suffer’d from his spightful mistress

Did stir his stomach; and the pain

He had endur’d from her disdain,

Turn’d to regret so resolute,

That he resolv’d to wave his suit,

And either to renounce her quite,

Or for a while play least in sight.

This resolution b’ing put on,

He kept some months, and more had done;

But being brought so nigh by Fate,

The victory he atchiev’d so late

Did set his thoughts agog, and ope

A door to discontinu’d hope,

That seem’d to promise he might win

His dame too, now his hand was in;

And that his valour, and the honour

H’ had newly gain’d, might work upon her.

These reasons made his mouth to water

With am’rous longings to be at her.

Quoth he, unto himself, Who knows,

But this brave conquest o’er my foes

May reach her heart, and make that stoop,

As I but now have forc’d the troop?

If nothing can oppugn love,

And virtue invious ways can prove,

What may he not confide to do

That brings both love and virtue too?

But thou bring’st valour too and wit;

Two things that seldom fail to hit.

Valour’s a mouse-trap, wit a gin,

Which women oft are taken in.

Then, HUDIBRAS, why should’st thou fear

To be, that art a conqueror?

Fortune th’ audacious doth juvare,

But lets the timidous miscarry.

Then while the honour thou hast got

Is spick and span new, piping hot,

Strike her up bravely, thou hadst best,

And trust thy fortune with the rest.

Such thoughts as these the Knight did keep,

More than his bangs or fleas, from sleep.

And as an owl, that in a barn

Sees a mouse creeping in the corn,

Sits still, and shuts his round blue eyes,

As if he slept, until he spies

The little beast within his reach,

Then starts, and seizes on the wretch;

So from his couch the Knight did start

To seize upon the widow’s heart;

Crying with hasty tone, and hoarse,

RALPHO, dispatch; To Horse, To Horse.

And ’twas but time; for now the rout,

We left engag’d to seek him out,

By speedy marches, were advanc’d

Up to the fort, where he ensconc’d;

And all th’ avenues had possest

About the place, from east to west.

That done, a while they made a halt,

To view the ground, and where t’ assault:

Then call’d a council, which was best,

By siege or onslaught, to invest

The enemy; and ’twas agreed,

By storm and onslaught to proceed.

This b’ing resolv’d, in comely sort

They now drew up t’ attack the fort;

When HUDIBRAS, about to enter

Upon another-gates adventure,

To RALPHO call’d aloud to arm,

Not dreaming of approaching storm.

Whether Dame Fortune, or the care

Of Angel bad or tutelar,

Did arm, or thrust him on a danger

To which he was an utter stranger;

That foresight might, or might not, blot

The glory he had newly got;

For to his shame it might be said,

They took him napping in his bed;

To them we leave it to expound,

That deal in sciences profound.

His courser scarce he had bestrid,

And RALPHO that on which he rid,

When setting ope the postern gate,

Which they thought best to sally at,

The foe appear’d, drawn up and drill’d,

Ready to charge them in the field.

This somewhat startled the bold Knight,

Surpriz’d with th’ unexpected sight.

The bruises of his bones and flesh

The thought began to smart afresh;

Till recollecting wonted courage,

His fear was soon converted to rage,

And thus he spoke: The coward foe,

Whom we but now gave quarter to,

Look, yonder’s rally’d, and appears

As if they had out-run their fears.

The glory we did lately get,

The Fates command us to repeat;

And to their wills we must succumb,

Quocunque trahunt, ’tis our doom.

This is the same numeric crew

Which we so lately did subdue;

The self-same individuals that

Did run as mice do from a cat,

When we courageously did wield

Our martial weapons in the field

To tug for victory; and when

We shall our shining blades agen

Brandish in terror o’er our heads,

They’ll straight resume their wonted dreads.

Fear is an ague, that forsakes

And haunts by fits those whom it takes:

And they’ll opine they feel the pain

And blows they felt today again.

Then let us boldly charge them home,

And make no doubt to overcome.

This said, his courage to inflame,

He call’d upon his mistress’ name.

His pistol next he cock’d a-new,

And out his nut-brown whinyard drew;

And, placing RALPHO in the front,

Reserv’d himself to bear the brunt,

As expert warriors use: then ply’d

With iron heel his courser’s side,

Conveying sympathetic speed

From heel of Knight to heel of Steed.

Mean while the foe, with equal rage

And speed, advancing to engage,

Both parties now were drawn so close,

Almost to come to handy-blows;

When ORSIN first let fly a stone

At RALPHO: not so huge a one

As that which DIOMED did maul

AENEAS on the bum withal

Yet big enough if rightly hurl’d,

T’ have sent him to another world,

Whether above-ground, or below,

Which Saints Twice Dipt are destin’d to.

The danger startled the bold Squire,

And made him some few steps retire.

But HUDIBRAS advanc’d to’s aid,

And rouz’d his spirits, half dismay’d.

He wisely doubting lest the shot

Of th’ enemy, now growing hot,

Might at a distance gall, press’d close,

To come pell-mell to handy-blows,

And, that he might their aim decline,

Advanc’d still in an oblique line;

But prudently forbore to fire,

Till breast to breast he had got nigher,

As expert warriors use to do

When hand to hand they charge their foe.

This order the advent’rous Knight,

Most soldier-like, observ’d in fight,

When fortune (as she’s wont) turn’d fickle,

And for the foe began to stickle.

The more shame for her Goody-ship,

To give so near a friend the slip.

For COLON, choosing out a stone,

Levell’d so right, it thump’d upon

His manly paunch with such a force,

As almost beat him off his horse.

He lost his whinyard, and the rein;

But, laying fast hold of the mane,

Preserv’d his seat; and as a goose

In death contracts his talons close,

So did the Knight, and with one claw

The trigger of his pistol draw.

The gun went off: and as it was

Still fatal to stout HUDIBRAS,

In all his feats of arms, when least

He dreamt of it, to prosper best,

So now he far’d: the shot, let fly

At random ‘mong the enemy,

Pierc’d TALGOL’s gaberdine, and grazing

Upon his shoulder, in the passing,

Lodg’d in MAGNANO’s brass habergeon,

Who straight, A Surgeon, cry’d, A Surgeon.

He tumbled down, and, as he fell,

Did Murther, Murther, Murther, yell.

This startled their whole body so,

That if the Knight had not let go

His arms, but been in warlike plight,

H’ had won (the second time) the fight;

As, if the Squire had but fall’n on,

He had inevitably done:

But he, diverted with the care

Or HUDIBRAS his hurt, forbare

To press th’ advantage of his fortune

While danger did the rest dishearten:

For he with CERDON b’ing engag’d

In close encounter, they both wag’d

The fight so well, ’twas hard to say

Which side was like to get the day.

And now the busy work of death

Had tir’d them so, th’ agreed to breath,

Preparing to renew the fight,

When the disaster of the Knight,

And th’ other party, did divert

Their fell intent, and forc’d them part.

RALPHO press’d up to HUDIBRAS,

And CERDON where MAGNANO was;

Each striving to confirm his party

With stout encouragements, and hearty.

Quoth RALIHO, Courage, valiant Sir,

And let revenge and honour stir

Your spirits up: once we fall on,

The shatter’d foe begins to run:

For if but half so well you knew

To use your victory as subdue,

They durst not, after such a blow

As you have given them, face us now;

But from so formidable a soldier

Had fled like crows when they smell powder.

Thrice have they seen your sword aloft

Wav’d o’er their heads, and fled as oft.

But if you let them recollect

Their spirits, now dismay’d and checkt,

You’ll have a harder game to play

Than yet y’ have had to get the day.

Thus spoke the stout Squire; but was heard

By HUDIBRAS with small regard.

His thoughts were fuller of the bang

Be lately took than RALPH’S harangue;

To which he answer’d, Cruel Fate

Tells me thy counsel comes too late.

The knotted blood within my hose,

That from my wounded body flows,

With mortal crisis doth portend

My days to appropinque an end.

I am for action now unfit,

Either of fortitude or wit:

Fortune, my foe, begins to frown,

Resolv’d to pull my stomach down.

I am not apt, upon a wound,

Or trivial basting, to despond:

Yet I’d be loth my days to curtail:

For if I thought my wounds not mortal,

Or that we’d time enough as yet,

To make an hon’rable retreat,

’Twere the best course: but if they find

We fly, and leave our arms behind

For them to seize on, the dishonour,

And danger too, is such, I’ll sooner

Stand to it boldly, and take quarter,

To let them see I am no starter.

In all the trade of war, no feat

Is nobler than a brave retreat:

For those that run away, and fly,

Take place at least of th’ enemy.

This said, the Squire, with active speed

Dismounted from his bonny steed,

To seize the arms, which, by mischance,

Fell from the bold Knight in a trance.

These being found out, and restor’d

To HUDIBRAS their natural lord,

As a man may say, with might and main,

He hasted to get up again.

Thrice he assay’d to mount aloft,

But, by his weighty bum, as oft

He was pull’d back, till having found

Th’ advantage of the rising ground,

Thither he led his warlike steed,

And having plac’d him right, with speed

Prepar’d again to scale the beast,

When ORSIN, who had newly drest

The bloody scar upon the shoulder

Of TALGOL with Promethean powder,

And now was searching for the shot

That laid MAGNANO on the spot,

Beheld the sturdy Squire aforesaid

Preparing to climb up his horse side.

He left his cure, and laying hold

Upon his arms, with courage bold,

Cry’d out, ’Tis now no time to dally,

The enemy begin to rally:

Let us, that are unhurt and whole,

Fall on, and happy man be’s dole.

This said, like to a thunderbolt,

He flew with fury to th’ assault,

Striving the enemy to attack

Before he reach’d his horse’s back.

RALPHO was mounted now, and gotten

O’erthwart his beast with active vau’ting,

Wrigling his body to recover

His seat, and cast his right leg over,

When ORSIN, rushing in, bestow’d

On horse and man so heavy a load,

The beast was startled, and begun

To kick and fling like mad, and run,

Bearing the tough Squire like a sack,

Or stout king RICHARD, on his back,

‘Till stumbling, he threw him down,

Sore bruis’d, and cast into a swoon.

Meanwhile the Knight began to rouze

The sparkles of his wonted prowess.

He thrust his hand into his hose,

And found, both by his eyes and nose,

’Twas only choler, and not blood,

That from his wounded body flow’d.

This, with the hazard of the Squire,

Inflam’d him with despightful ire.

Courageously he fac’d about.

And drew his other pistol out,

And now had half way bent the cock,

When CERDON gave so fierce a shock,

With sturdy truncheon, thwart his arm,

That down it fell, and did no harm;

Then stoutly pressing on with speed,

Assay’d to pull him off his steed.

The Knight his sword had only left,

With which he CERDON’S head had cleft,

Or at the least cropt off a limb,

But ORSIN came, and rescu’d him.

He, with his lance, attack’d the Knight

Upon his quarters opposite.

But as a barque, that in foul weather,

Toss’d by two adverse winds together,

Is bruis’d, and beaten to and fro,

And knows not which to turn him to;

So far’d the Knight between two foes,

And knew not which of them t’oppose;

Till ORSIN, charging with his lance

At HUDIBRAS, by spightful chance,

Hit CERDON such a bang, as stunn’d

And laid him flat upon the ground.

At this the Knight began to chear up,

And, raising up himself on stirrup,

Cry’d out, Victoria! Lie thou there,

And I shall straight dispatch another,

To bear thee company in death:

But first I’ll halt a while, and breath:

As well he might; for ORSIN, griev’d

At th’ wound that CERDON had receiv’d,

Ran to relieve him with his lore,

And cure the hurt he gave before.

Mean while the Knight had wheel’d about,

To breathe himself, and next find out

Th’ advantage of the ground, where best

He might the ruffled foe infest.

This b’ing resolv’d, he spurr’d his steed,

To run at ORSIN with full speed,

While he was busy in the care

Of CERDON’S wound, and unaware:

But he was quick, and had already

Unto the part apply’d remedy:

And, seeing th’ enemy prepar’d,

Drew up, and stood upon his guard.

Then, like a warrior right expert

And skilful in the martial art,

The subtle Knight straight made a halt,

And judg’d it best to stay th’ assault,

Until he had reliev’d the Squire,

And then in order to retire;

Or, as occasion should invite,

With forces join’d renew the fight.

RALPHO, by this time disentranc’d,

Upon his bum himself advanc’d,

Though sorely bruis’d; his limbs all o’er

With ruthless bangs were stiff and sore.

Right fain he would have got upon

His feet again, to get him gone;

When HUDIBRAS to aid him came:

Quoth he (and call’d him by his name,)

Courage! the day at length is ours;

And we once more, as conquerors,

Have both the field and honour won:

The foe is profligate, and run.

I mean all such as can; for some

This hand hath sent to their long home;

And some lie sprawling on the ground,

With many a gash and bloody wound.

CAESAR himself could never say

He got two victories in a day,

As I have done, that can say, Twice I

In one day, Veni, Vidi, Vici.

The foe’s so numerous, that we

Cannot so often vincere

As they perire, and yet enow

Be left to strike an after-blow;

Then, lest they rally, and once more

Put us to fight the bus’ness o’er,

Get up, and mount thy steed: Dispatch,

And let us both their motions watch.

Quoth RALPH, I should not, if I were

In case for action, now be here:

Nor have I turn’d my back, or hang’d

An arse, for fear of being bang’d.

It was for you I got these harms,

Advent’ring to fetch off your arms.

The blows and drubs I have receiv’d

Have bruis’d my body, and bereav’d

My limbs of strength. Unless you stoop,

And reach your hand to pull me up,

I shall lie here, and be a prey

To those who now are run away.

That thou shalt not, (quoth HUDIBRAS;)

We read, the ancients held it was

More honourable far, servare

Civem, than slay an adversary:

The one we oft today have done,

The other shall dispatch anon:

And though th’ art of a diff’rent Church

I will not leave thee in the lurch.

This said, he jogg’d his good steed nigher,

And steer’d him gently toward the Squire;

Then bowing down his body, stretch’d

His hand out, and at RALPHO reach’d;

When TRULLA, whom he did not mind,

Charg’d him like lightening behind.

She had been long in search about

MAGNANO’S wound, to find it out;

But could find none, nor where the shot,

That had so startled him, was got

But having found the worst was past,

She fell to her own work at last,

The pillage of the prisoners,

Which in all feats of arms was hers;

And now to plunder RALPH she flew,

When HUDIBRAS his hard fate drew

To succour him; for, as he bow’d

To help him up, she laid a load

Of blows so heavy, and plac’d so well,

On t’other side, that down he fell.

Yield, scoundrel base, (quoth she,) or die:

Thy life is mine and liberty:

But if thou think’st I took thee tardy,

And dar’st presume to be so hardy,

To try thy fortune o’er a-fresh,

I’ll wave my title to thy flesh,

Thy arms and baggage, now my right;

And if thou hast the heart to try’t,

I’ll lend thee back thyself a while,

And once more, for that carcass vile,

Fight upon tick. — Quoth HUDIBRAS,

Thou offer’st nobly, valiant lass,

And I shall take thee at thy word.

First let me rise and take my sword.

That sword which has so oft this day

Through squadrons of my foes made way,

And some to other worlds dispatch’d,

Now with a feeble spinster match’d,

Will blush with blood ignoble stain’d,

By which no honour’s to be gain’d.

But if thou’lt take m’ advice in this,

Consider whilst thou may’st, what ’tis

To interrupt a victor’s course,

B’ opposing such a trivial force:

For if with conquest I come off,

(And that I shall do sure enough,)

Quarter thou canst not have, nor grace,

By law of arms, in such a case;

Both which I now do offer freely.

I scorn (quoth she) thou coxcomb silly,

(Clapping her hand upon her breech,

To shew how much she priz’d his speech,)

Quarter or counsel from a foe

If thou can’st force me to it, do.

But lest it should again be said,

When I have once more won thy head,

I took thee napping, unprepar’d,

Arm, and betake thee to thy guard.

This said, she to her tackle fell,

And on the Knight let fall a peal

Of blows so fierce, and press’d so home,

That he retir’d, and follow’d’s bum.

Stand to’t (quoth she) or yield to mercy

It is not fighting arsie-versie

Shall serve thy turn. — This stirr’d his spleen

More than the danger he was in,

The blows he felt, or was to feel,

Although th’ already made him reel.

Honour, despight; revenge and shame,

At once into his stomach came,

Which fir’d it so, he rais’d his arm

Above his head, and rain’d a storm

Of blows so terrible and thick,

As if he meant to hash her quick.

But she upon her truncheon took them,

And by oblique diversion broke them,

Waiting an opportunity

To pay all back with usury;

Which long she fail’d not of; for now

The Knight with one dead-doing blow

Resolving to decide the fight,

And she, with quick and cunning slight,

Avoiding it, the force and weight

He charged upon it was so great,

As almost sway’d him to the ground.

No sooner she th’ advantage found,

But in she flew; and seconding

With home-made thrust the heavy swing,

She laid him flat upon his side;

And mounting on his trunk a-stride,

Quoth she, I told thee what would come

Of all thy vapouring, base scum.

Say, will the law of arms allow

I may have grace and quarter now?

Or wilt thou rather break thy word,

And stain thine honour than thy sword?

A man of war to damn his soul,

In basely breaking his parole

And when, before the fight, th’ had’st vow’d

To give no quarter in cold blood

Now thou hast got me for a Tartar,

To make me ‘gainst my will take quarter;

Why dost not put me to the sword,

But cowardly fly from thy word?

Quoth HUDIBRAS, The day’s thine own:

Thou and thy Stars have cast me down:

My laurels are transplanted now,

And flourish on thy conqu’ring brow:

My loss of honour’s great enough,

Thou need’st not brand it with a scoff:

Sarcasms may eclipse thine own,

But cannot blur my lost renown.

I am not now in Fortune’s power;

He that is down can fall no lower.

The ancient heroes were illustrious

For being benign, and not blustrous,

Against a vanquish’d foe: their swords

Were sharp and trenchant, not their words;

And did in fight but cut work out

To employ their courtesies about.

Quoth she, Although thou hast deserv’d

Base slubberdegullion, to be serv’d

As thou did’st vow to deal with me,

If thou had’st got the victory

Yet I shall rather act a part

That suits my fame than thy desert.

Thy arms, thy liberty, beside

All that’s on th’ outside of thy hide,

Are mine by military law,

Of which I will not hate one straw:

The rest, thy life and limbs, once more,

Though doubly forfeit, I restore,

Quoth HUDIBRAS, It is too late

For me to treat or stipulate

What thou command’st, I must obey:

Yet those whom I expugn’d today

Of thine own party, I let go,

And gave them life and freedom too:

Both dogs and bear, upon their parole,

Whom I took pris’ners in this quarrel.

Quoth TRULLA, Whether thou or they

Let one another run away,

Concerns not me; but was’t not thou

That gave CROWDERO quarter too?

CROWDERO, whom, in irons bound,

Thou basely threw’st into LOB’S Pound,

Where still he lies, and with regret

His gen’rous bowels rage and fret.

But now thy carcass shall redeem,

And serve to be exchang’d for him.

This said, the Knight did straight submit,

And laid his weapons at her feet.

Next he disrob’d his gaberdine,

And with it did himself resign.

She took it, and forthwith divesting

The mantle that she wore, said jesting,

Take that, and wear it for my sake

Then threw it o’er his sturdy back,

And as 4 the FRENCH, we conquer’d once,

Now give us laws for pantaloons,

The length of breeches, and the gathers,

Port-cannons, perriwigs, and feathers;

Just so the proud insulting lass

Array’d and dighted HUDIBRAS.

Mean while the other champions, yerst

In hurry of the fight disperst,

Arriv’d, when TRULLA won the day,

To share in th’ honour and the prey,

And out of HUDIBRAS his hide

With vengeance to be satisfy’d;

Which now they were about to pour

Upon him in a wooden show’r;

But TRULLA thrust herself between,

And striding o’er his back agen,

She brandish’d o’er her head his sword,

And vow’d they should not break her word;

Sh’ had giv’n him quarter, and her blood

Or theirs should make that quarter good;

For she was bound by law of arms

To see him safe from further harms.

In dungeon deep CROWDERO, cast

By HUDIBRAS, as yet lay fast;

Where, to the hard and ruthless stones,

His great heart made perpetual moans:

Him she resolv’d that HUDIBRAS

Should ransom, and supply his place.

This stopt their fury, and the basting

Which toward HUDIBRAS was hasting.

They thought it was but just and right,

That what she had atchiev’d in fight,

She should dispose of how she pleas’d.

CROWDERO ought to be releas’d;

Nor could that any way be done

So well as this she pitch’d upon

For who a better could imagine

This therefore they resolv’d t’engage in.

The Knight and Squire first they made

Rise from the ground, where they were laid

Then mounted both upon their horses,

But with their faces to the arses,

ORSIN led HUDIBRAS’s beast,

And TALGOL that which RALPHO prest,

Whom stout MAGNANO, valiant CERDON,

And COLON, waited as a guard on;

All ush’ring TRULLA in the rear,

With th’ arms of either prisoner.

In this proud order and array

They put themselves upon their way,

Striving to reach th’ enchanted castle,

Where stout CROWDERO in durance lay still.

Thither with greater speed than shows

And triumph over conquer’d foes

Do use t’ allow, or than the bears

Or pageants borne before Lord–Mayors

Are wont to use, they soon arriv’d

In order, soldier-like contriv’d;

Still marching in a warlike posture,

As fit for battle as for muster.

The Knight and Squire they first unhorse,

And bending ‘gainst the fort their force,

They all advanc’d, and round about

Begirt the magical redoubt.

MAGNAN led up in this adventure,

And made way for the rest to enter;

For he was skilful in black art.

No less than he that built the fort;

And with an iron mace laid flat

A breach, which straight all enter’d at,

And in the wooden dungeon found

CROWDERO laid upon the ground.

Him they release from durance base,

Restor’d t’ his fiddle and his case,

And liberty, his thirsty rage

With luscious vengeance to asswage:

For he no sooner was at large,

But TRULLA straight brought on the charge,

And in the self-same limbo put

The Knight and Squire where he was shut;

Where leaving them in Hockley i’ th’ Hole,

Their bangs and durance to condole,

Confin’d and conjur’d into narrow

Enchanted mansion to know sorrow,

In the same order and array

Which they advanc’d, they march’d away.

But HUDIBRAS who scorn’d to stoop

To Fortune, or be said to droop,

Chear’d up himself with ends of verse,

And sayings of philosophers.

Quoth he, Th’ one half of man, his mind,

Is, sui juris, unconfin’d,

And cannot be laid by the heels,

Whate’er the other moiety feels.

’Tis not restraint or liberty

That makes men prisoners or free;

But perturbations that possess

The mind, or aequanimities.

The whole world was not half so wide

To ALEXANDER, when he cry’d,

Because he had but one to subdue,

As was a paltry narrow tub to

DIOGENES; who is not said

(For aught that ever I could read)

To whine, put finger i’ th’ eye, and sob,

Because h’ had ne’er another tub.

The ancients make two sev’ral kinds

Of prowess in heroic minds;

The active, and the passive valiant;

Both which are pari libra gallant:

For both to give blows, and to carry,

In fights are equinecessary

But in defeats, the passive stout

Are always found to stand it out

Most desp’rately, and to out-do

The active ‘gainst the conqu’ring foe.

Tho’ we with blacks and blues are suggill’d,

Or, as the vulgar say, are cudgell’d;

He that is valiant, and dares fight,

Though drubb’d, can lose no honour by’t.

Honour’s a lease for lives to come,

And cannot be extended from

The legal tenant: ’tis a chattel

Not to be forfeited in battel.

If he that in the field is slain,

Be in the bed of Honour lain,

He that is beaten, may be said

To lie in Honour’s truckle-bed.

For as we see th’ eclipsed sun

By mortals is more gaz’d upon,

Than when, adorn’d with all his light,

He shines in serene sky most bright:

So valour, in a low estate,

Is most admir’d and wonder’d at.

Quoth RALPH, How great I do not know

We may by being beaten grow;

But none, that see how here we sit,

Will judge us overgrown with wit.

As gifted brethren, preaching by

A carnal hour-glass, do imply,

Illumination can convey

Into them what they have to say,

But not how much; so well enough

Know you to charge, but not draw off:

For who, without a cap and bauble,

Having subdu’d a bear and rabble,

And might with honour have come off

Would put it to a second proof?

A politic exploit, right fit

For Presbyterian zeal and wit.

Quoth HUDIBRAS, That cuckow’s tone,

RALPHO, thou always harp’st upon.

When thou at any thing would’st rail,

Thou mak’st Presbytery the scale

To take the height on’t, and explain

To what degree it is prophane

Whats’ever will not with (thy what d’ye call)

Thy light jump right, thou call’st synodical;

As if Presbytery were the standard

To size whats’ever’s to he slander’d.

Dost not remember how this day,

Thou to my beard wast bold to say,

That thou coud’st prove bear-baiting equal

With synods orthodox and legal?

Do if thou canst; for I deny’t,

And dare thee to ‘t with all thy light.

Quoth RALPHO, Truly that is no

Hard matter for a man to do,

That has but any guts in ‘s brains,

And cou’d believe it worth his pains;

But since you dare and urge me to it,

You’ll find I’ve light enough to do it.

Synods are mystical bear-gardens,

Where elders, deputies, church-wardens,

And other members of the court,

Manage the Babylonish sport;

For prolocutor, scribe, and bear-ward,

Do differ only in a mere word;

Both are but sev’ral synagogues

Of carnal men, and bears, and dogs:

Both antichristian assemblies,

To mischief bent far as in them lies:

Both stave and tail with fierce contests;

The one with men, the other beasts.

The diff’rence is, the one fights with

The tongue, the other with the teeth;

And that they bait but bears in this,

In th’ other, souls and consciences;

Where Saints themselves are brought to stake

For gospel-light, and conscience sake;

Expos’d to Scribes and Presbyters,

Instead of mastive dogs and curs,

Than whom th’ have less humanity;

For these at souls of men will fly.

This to the prophet did appear,

Who in a vision saw a bear,

Prefiguring the beastly rage

Of Church-rule in this latter age;

As is demonstrated at full

By him that baited the 5 Pope’s Bull.

Bears nat’rally are beasts of prey,

That live by rapine; so do they.

What are their orders, constitutions,

Church-censures, curses, absolutions,

But’ sev’ral mystic chains they make,

To tie poor Christians to the stake,

And then set heathen officers,

Instead of dogs, about their ears?

For to prohibit and dispense;

To find out or to make offence;

Of Hell and Heaven to dispose;

To play with souls at fast and loose;

To set what characters they please,

And mulcts on sin or godliness;

Reduce the Church to gospel-order,

By rapine, sacrilege, and murder;

To make Presbytery supreme,

And Kings themselves submit to them;

And force all people, though against

Their consciences, to turn Saints;

Must prove a pretty thriving trade,

When Saints monopolists are made;

When pious frauds, and holy shifts,

Are dispensations and gifts,

Their godliness becomes mere ware,

And ev’ry Synod but a fair.

Synods are whelps of th’ Inquisition,

A mungrel breed of like pernicion,

And growing up, became the sires

Of scribes, commissioners, and triers;

Whose bus’ness is, by cunning slight,

To cast a figure for mens’ light;

To find, in lines of beard and face,

The physiognomy of grace;

And by the sound and twang of nose,

If all be sound within disclose,

Free from a crack or flaw of sinning,

As men try pipkins by the ringing;

By black caps underlaid with white,

Give certain guess at inward light.

Which serjeants at the gospel wear,

To make the spiritual calling clear;

The handkerchief about the neck

(Canonical cravat of 6 SMECK,

From whom the institution came,

When Church and State they set on flame,

And worn by them as badges then

Of spiritual warfaring men)

Judge rightly if regeneration

Be of the newest cut in fashion.

Sure ’tis an orthodox opinion,

That grace is founded in dominion.

Great piety consists in pride;

To rule is to be sanctified:

To domineer, and to controul,

Both o’er the body and the soul,

Is the most perfect discipline

Of church-rule, and by right-divine.

Bell and the Dragon’s chaplains were

More moderate than these by far:

For they (poor knaves) were glad to cheat,

To get their wives and children meat;

But these will not be fobb’d off so;

They must have wealth and power too,

Or else with blood and desolation

They’ll tear it out o’ th’ heart o’ th’ nation.

Sure these themselves from primitive

And Heathen Priesthood do derive,

When butchers were the only Clerks,

Elders and Presbyters of Kirks;

Whose directory was to kill;

And some believe it is so still.

The only diff’rence is, that then

They slaughter’d only beasts, now men.

For then to sacrifice a bullock,

Or now and then a child to Moloch,

They count a vile abomination,

But not to slaughter a whole nation.

Presbytery does but translate

The Papacy to a free state;

A commonwealth of Popery,

Where ev’ry village is a See

As well as Rome, and must maintain

A Tithe-pig Metropolitan;

Where ev’ry Presbyter and Deacon

Commands the keys for cheese and bacon;

And ev’ry hamlet’s governed

By’s Holiness, the Church’s Head;

More haughty and severe in’s place,


Such Church must (surely) be a monster

With many heads: for if we conster

What in th’ Apocalypse we find,

According to th’ Apostle’s mind,

’Tis that the Whore of Babylon

With many heads did ride upon;

Which heads denote the sinful tribe

Of Deacon, Priest, Lay–Elder, Scribe.

Lay–Elder, SIMEON to LEVI,

Whose little finger is as heavy

As loins of patriarchs, prince-prelate,

And bishop-secular. This zealot

Is of a mungrel, diverse kind;

Cleric before, and lay behind;

A lawless linsie-woolsie brother,

Half of one order, half another;

A creature of amphibious nature;

On land a beast, a fish in water;

That always preys on grace or sin;

A sheep without, a wolf within.

This fierce inquisitor has chief

Dominion over men’s belief

And manners: can pronounce a Saint

Idolatrous or ignorant,

When superciliously he sifts

Through coarsest boulter others’ gifts;

For all men live and judge amiss,

Whose talents jump not just with his.

He’ll lay on gifts with hands, and place

On dullest noddle Light and Grace,

The manufacture of the Kirk.

Those pastors are but th’ handy-work

Of his mechanic paws, instilling

Divinity in them by feeling;

From whence they start up Chosen Vessels,

Made by contact, as men get meazles.

So Cardinals, they say, do grope7

At th’ other end the new-made Pope.

Hold, hold, quoth HUDIBRAS; soft fire,

They say, does make sweet malt. Good Squire,

Festina lente, not too fast;

For haste (the proverb says) makes waste.

The quirks and cavils thou dost make

Are false, and built upon mistake:

And I shall bring you, with your pack

Of fallacies, t’ elenchi back;

And put your arguments in mood

And figure to be understood.

I’ll force you, by right ratiocination,

To leave your 8 vitilitigation,

And make you keep to th’ question close,

And argue dialecticos.

The question then, to state it first,

Is, Which is better, or which worst,

Synods or Bears? Bears I avow

To be the worst, and Synods thou.

But, to make good th’ assertion,

Thou say’st th’ are really all one.

If so, not worst; for if th’ are idem

Why then, tantundem dat tantidem.

For if they are the same, by course,

Neither is better, neither worse.

But I deny they are the same,

More than a maggot and I am.

That both are animalia

I grant, but not rationalia:

For though they do agree in kind,

Specific difference we find;

And can no more make bears of these,

Than prove my horse is SOCRATES.

That Synods are bear-gardens too,

Thou dost affirm; but I say no:

And thus I prove it in a word;

Whats’ver assembly’s not impow’r’d

To censure, curse, absolve, and ordain,

Can be no Synod: but bear-garden

Has no such pow’r; ergo, ’tis none:

And so thy sophistry’s o’erthrown.

But yet we are beside the question

Which thou didst raise the first contest on;

For that was, Whether Bears are better

Than Synod-men? I say, Negatur.

That bears are beasts, and synods men,

Is held by all: they’re better then:

For bears and dogs on four legs go,

As beasts, but Synod-men on two.

’Tis true, they all have teeth and nails;

But prove that Synod-men have tails;

Or that a rugged, shaggy fur

Grows o’er the hide of Presbyter;

Or that his snout and spacious ears

Do hold proportion with a bear’s.

A bears a savage beast, of all

Most ugly and unnatural

Whelp’d without form, until the dam

Has lick’d it into shape and frame:

But all thy light can ne’er evict,

That ever Synod-man was lick’d;

Or brought to any other fashion,

Than his own will and inclination.

But thou dost further yet in this

Oppugn thyself and sense; that is,

Thou would’st have Presbyters to go

For bears and dogs, and bearwards too;

A strange chimera of beasts and men,

Made up of pieces heterogene;

Such as in nature never met

In eodem subjecto yet.

Thy other arguments are all

Supposures, hypothetical,

That do but beg, and we may chose

Either to grant them, or refuse.

Much thou hast said, which I know when

And where thou stol’st from other men,

Whereby ’tis plain thy Light and Gifts

Are all but plagiary shifts;

And is the same that Ranter said,

Who, arguing with me, broke my head,

And tore a handful of my beard:

The self-same cavils then I heard,

When, b’ing in hot dispute about

This controversy, we fell out

And what thou know’st I answer’d then,

Will serve to answer thee agen.

Quoth RALPHO, Nothing but th’ abuse

Of human learning you produce;

Learning, that cobweb of the brain,

Profane, erroneous, and vain;

A trade of knowledge, as replete

As others are with fraud and cheat;

An art t’incumber gifts and wit,

And render both for nothing fit;

Makes Light unactive, dull, and troubled,

Like little DAVID in SAUL’s doublet;

A cheat that scholars put upon

Other mens’ reason and their own;

A fort of error, to ensconce

Absurdity and ignorance,

That renders all the avenues

To truth impervious and abstruse,

By making plain things, in debate,

By art, perplex’d, and intricate

For nothing goes for sense or light

That will not with old rules jump right:

As if rules were not in the schools

Deriv’d from truth, but truth from rules.

This pagan, heathenish invention

Is good for nothing but contention.

For as, in sword-and-buckler fight,

All blows do on the target light;

So when men argue, the great’st part

O’ th’ contests falls on terms of art,

Until the fustian stuff be spent,

And then they fall to th’ argument.

Quoth HUDIBRAS Friend RALPH, thou hast

Out-run the constable at last:

For thou art fallen on a new

Dispute, as senseless as untrue,

But to the former opposite

And contrary as black to white;

Mere 9 disparata; that concerning

Presbytery; this, human learning;

Two things s’averse, they never yet

But in thy rambling fancy met.

But I shall take a fit occasion

T’ evince thee by ratiocination,

Some other time, in place more proper

Than this we’re in; therefore let’s stop here,

And rest our weary’d bones a-while,

Already tir’d with other toil.

1 First TRULLA stav’d, &c.] Staving and Tailing are terms of art used in the Bear–Garden, and signify there only the parting of dogs and bears: Though they are used metaphorically in several other professions, for moderating; as law, divinity, hectoring, &c.


Or like the late corrected leathern

  Ears of the Circumcised Brethren.

Pryn, Bastwick, and Burton, who laid down their ears as proxies for their profession of the godly party, not long after maintained their right and title to the pillory to be as good and lawful as theirs who first of all took possession of it in their names.

3 That old, &c.] Pygmalion, king of Tyre, was the son of Margenus, or Mechres, whom he succeeded, and lived 56 years, wherof he reigned 47. Dido, his sister, was to have governed with him, but it was pretended the subjects thought it not convenient. She married Sichaeus, who was the king’s uncle, and very rich; wherefore he put him to death; and Dido soon after departed the kingdom. Poets say, Pygmalion was punished for the hatred he bore to women with the love he had to a statue.


And as the FRENCH we conquer’d once,

  Now give us Laws for PANTALOONS, &c.

Pantaloons and Port–Cannons were some of the fantastick fashions wherein we aped the French.

At quisquis Insula satus Britannica

Sic patria insolens fastidiet suam,

Ut more simiae laboret fingere,

Et aemulari Gallicas ineptias,

Et omni Gallo ego hunc opinor ebrium;

Ergo ex Britanno, ut Gallus esse nititur,

Sic Dii jubete, fiat ex Galle Capus.


Gallus is a river in Phrygia; rising out of the mountains of Celenae, and discharging itself into the river Sanger, the water of which is of that admirable quality, that, being moderately drank, it purges the brain, and cures madness; but largely drank, it makes men frantick. Pliny, Horatius.

5 A learned divine in King James’s time wrote a polemick work against the Pope, and gave it that unlucky nick-name of The Pope’s Bull baited.

6 Canonical Cravat, &c.] Smectymnuus was a club of five parlimentary holders-forth; the characters of whose names and talents were by themselves expressed in that senseless and insignificant word. They wore handkerchiefs about their necks for a mark of distinction (as the Officers of the Parliament Army then did) which afterwards degenerated into carnal cravats. About the beginning of the long Parliament, in the year 1641, these five wrote a book against Episcopacy and the Common Prayer, to which they all subscribed their names; being Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow, and from thence they and their followers were called Smectymnians. They are remarkable for another pious book, which they wrote some time after that, intitled, The Kings Cabinet unlocked, wherein all the chaste and endearing expressions, in the letters that passed betwixt his Majesty King Charles I. and his Royal Consort are by these painful labourers in the Devil’s vineyard turned into burlesque and ridicule. Their books were answered with as much calmness and genteelness of expression, and as much learning and honesty, b. the Rev. Mr. Symonds, then a deprived clergyman, as theirs was stuffed with malice, spleen, and rascally invectives.


So Cardinals they say do grope

   At t’other end the new-made Pope.

This relates to the story of Pope Joan, who was called John VIII. Platina saith she was of English extraction, but born at Mentz; who, having disguised herself like a man, travelled with her paramour to Athens, where she made such progress in learning, that coming to Rome, she met with few that could equal her; so that, on the death of Pope Leo IV. she was chosen to succeed him; but being got with child by one of her domesticks, her travail came upon her between the Colossian Theatre and St. Clement’s, as she was going to the Lateran Church, and died upon the place, having sat two years, one month, and four days, and was buried there without any pomp. He owns that, for the shame of this, the Popes decline going through this street to the Lateran; and that, to avoid the like error, when any Pope is placed in the Porphyry Chair, his genitals are felt by the youngest deacon, through a hole made for that purpose; but he supposes the reason of that to be, to put him in mind that he is a man, and obnoxious to the necessities of nature; whence he will have the seat to be called, Sedes Stercoraria.

8 To leave your Vitiligation, &c.] Vitilitigation is a word the Knight was passionately in love with, and never failed to use it upon all occasions; and therefore to omit it, when it fell in the way, had argued too great a neglect of his learning and parts; though it means no more than a perverse humour of wrangling.

9 Mere Disparata, &c.] Disparata are things separate and unlike, from the Latin word Disparo.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:51