Hudibras, by Samuel Butler


Canto I.

The Argument.

The Knight and Squire resolve, at once,

The one the other to renounce.

They both approach the Lady’s Bower;

The Squire t’inform, the Knight to woo her.

She treats them with a Masquerade,

By Furies and Hobgoblins made;

From which the Squire conveys the Knight,

And steals him from himself, by Night.

’Tis true, no lover has that pow’r

T’ enforce a desperate amour,

As he that has two strings t’ his bow,

And burns for love and money too;

For then he’s brave and resolute,

Disdains to render in his suit,

Has all his flames and raptures double,

And hangs or drowns with half the trouble,

While those who sillily pursue,

The simple, downright way, and true,

Make as unlucky applications,

And steer against the stream their passions.

Some forge their mistresses of stars,

And when the ladies prove averse,

And 1 more untoward to be won

Than by CALIGULA the Moon,

Cry out upon the stars, for doing

Ill offices to cross their wooing;

When only by themselves they’re hindred,

For trusting those they made her kindred;

And still, the harsher and hide-bounder

The damsels prove, become the fonder.

For what mad lover ever dy’d

To gain a soft and gentle bride?

Or for a lady tender-hearted,

In purling streams or hemp departed?

Leap’d headlong int’ Elysium,

Through th’ windows of a dazzling room?

But for some cross, ill-natur’d dame,

The am’rous fly burnt in his flame.

This to the Knight could be no news,

With all mankind so much in use;

Who therefore took the wiser course,

To make the most of his amours,

Resolv’d to try all sorts of ways,

As follows in due time and place

No sooner was the bloody fight,

Between the Wizard, and the Knight,

With all th’ appurtenances, over,

But he relaps’d again t’ a lover;

As he was always wont to do,

When h’ had discomfited a foe

And us’d the only antique 2 philters,

Deriv’d from old heroic tilters.

But now triumphant, and victorious,

He held th’ atchievement was too glorious

For such a conqueror to meddle

With petty constable or beadle,

Or fly for refuge to the Hostess

Of th’ Inns of Court and Chancery, Justice,

Who might, perhaps reduce his cause

To th’ 3ordeal trial of the laws,

Where none escape, but such as branded

With red-hot irons have past bare-handed;

And, if they cannot read one verse

I’ th’ Psalms, must sing it, and that’s worse.

He therefore judging it below him,

To tempt a shame the Devil might owe him,

Resolv’d to leave the Squire for bail

And mainprize for him to the gaol,

To answer, with his vessel, all,

That might disastrously befall;

And thought it now the fittest juncture

To give the Lady a rencounter,

T’ acquaint her ‘with his expedition,

And conquest o’er the fierce Magician;

Describe the manner of the fray,

And show the spoils he brought away,

His bloody scourging aggravate,

The number of his blows, and weight,

All which might probably succeed,

And gain belief h’ had done the deed,

Which he resolv’d t’ enforce, and spare

No pawning of his soul to swear,

But, rather than produce his back,

To set his conscience on the rack,

And in pursuance of his urging

Of articles perform’d and scourging,

And all things else, his part,

Demand deliv’ry of her heart,

Her goods, and chattels, and good graces,

And person up to his embraces.

Thought he, the ancient errant knights

Won all their ladies hearts in fights;

And cut whole giants into fritters,

To put them into amorous twitters

Whose stubborn bowels scorn’d to yield

Until their gallants were half kill’d

But when their bones were drub’d so sore

They durst not woo one combat more,

The ladies hearts began to melt,

Subdu’d by blows their lovers felt.

So 4 Spanish heroes, with their lances,

At once wound bulls and ladies’ fancies;

And he acquires the noblest spouse

That widows greatest herds of cows:

Then what may I expect to do,

Wh’ have quell’d so vast a buffalo?

Mean while, the Squire was on his way

The Knight’s late orders to obey;

Who sent him for a strong detachment

Of beadles, constables, and watchmen,

T’ attack the cunning-man fur plunder,

Committed falsely on his lumber;

When he, who had so lately sack’d

The enemy, had done the fact;

Had rifled all his pokes and fobs

Of gimcracks, whims, and jiggumbobs,

When he, by hook or crook, had gather’d,

And for his own inventions father’d

And when they should, at gaol delivery,

Unriddle one another’s thievery,

Both might have evidence enough,

To render neither halter proof.

He thought it desperate to tarry,

And venture to be accessary

But rather wisely slip his fetters,

And leave them for the Knight, his betters.

He call’d to mind th’ unjust, foul play

He wou’d have offer’d him that day,

To make him curry his own hide,

Which no beast ever did beside,

Without all possible evasion,

But of the riding dispensation;

And therefore much about the hour

The Knight (for reasons told before)

Resolv’d to leave them to the fury

Of Justice, and an unpack’d Jury,

The Squire concurr’d t’ abandon him,

And serve him in the self-same trim;

T’ acquaint the Lady what h’ had done,

And what he meant to carry on;

What project ’twas he went about,

When SIDROPHEL and he fell out;

His firm and stedfast Resolution,

To swear her to an execution;

To pawn his 5 inward ears to marry her,

And bribe the Devil himself to carry her;

In which both dealt, as if they meant

Their Party–Saints to represent,

Who never fail’d upon their sharing

In any prosperous arms-bearing

To lay themselves out to supplant

Each other Cousin–German Saint.

But, ere the Knight could do his part,

The Squire had got so much the start,

H’ had to the Lady done his errand,

And told her all his tricks afore-hand.

Just as he finish’d his report,

The Knight alighted in the court;

And having ty’d his beast t’ a pale,

And taking time for both to stale,

He put his band and beard in order,

The sprucer to accost and board her;

And now began t’ approach the door,

When she, wh’ had spy’d him out before

Convey’d th’ informer out of sight,

And went to entertain the Knight

With whom encount’ring, after longees

Of humble and submissive congees,

And all due ceremonies paid,

He strok’d his beard, and thus he said:

Madam, I do, as is my duty,

Honour the shadow of your shoe-tye;

And now am come to bring your ear

A present you’ll be glad to hear:

At least I hope so: the thing’s done,

Or may I never see the sun;

For which I humbly now demand

Performance at your gentle hand

And that you’d please to do your part,

As I have done mine, to my smart.

With that he shrugg’d his sturdy back

As if he felt his shoulders ake.

But she, who well enough knew what

(Before he spoke) he would be at,

Pretended not to apprehend

The mystery of what he mean’d;.

And therefore wish’d him to expound

His dark expressions, less profound.

Madam, quoth he, I come to prove

How much I’ve suffer’d for your love,

Which (like your votary) to win,

I have not spar’d my tatter’d skin

And for those meritorious lashes,

To claim your favour and good graces.

Quoth she, I do remember once

I freed you from th’ inchanted sconce;

And that you promis’d, for that favour,

To bind your back to good behaviour,

And, for my sake and service, vow’d

To lay upon’t a heavy load,

And what ‘twould bear t’ a scruple prove,

As other Knights do oft make love

Which, whether you have done or no,

Concerns yourself, not me, to know.

But if you have, I shall confess,

Y’ are honester than I could guess.

Quoth he, if you suspect my troth,

I cannot prove it but by oath;

And if you make a question on’t,

I’ll pawn my soul that I have done’t;

And he that makes his soul his surety,

I think, does give the best security.

Quoth she, Some say, the soul’s secure

Against distress and forfeiture

Is free from action, and exempt

From execution and contempt;

And to be summon’d to appear

In th’ other world’s illegal here;

And therefore few make any account

Int’ what incumbrances they run’t

For most men carry things so even

Between this World, and Hell, and Heaven,

Without the least offence to either,

They freely deal in all together;

And equally abhor to quit

This world for both or both for it;

And when they pawn and damn their souls,

They are but pris’ners on paroles.

For that (quoth he) ’tis rational,

Th’ may be accountable in all:

For when there is that intercourse

Between divine and human pow’rs,

That all that we determine here

Commands obedience every where,

When penalties may be commuted

For fines or ears, and executed

It follows, nothing binds so fast

As souls in pawn and mortgage past

For oaths are th’ only tests and seals

Of right and wrong, and true and false,

And there’s no other way to try

The doubts of law and justice by.

(Quoth she) What is it you would swear

There’s no believing till I hear

For, till they’re understood all tales

(Like nonsense) are not true nor false.

(Quoth he) When I resolv’d t’ obey

What you commanded th’ other day,

And to perform my exercise,

(As schools are wont) for your fair eyes,

T’ avoid all scruples in the case,

I went to do’t upon the place.

But as the Castle is inchanted

By SIDROPHEL the Witch and haunted

By evil spirits, as you know,

Who took my Squire and me for two,

Before I’d hardly time to lay

My weapons by, and disarray

I heard a formidable noise,

Loud as the 6 Stentrophonick voice,

That roar’d far off, Dispatch and strip,

I’m ready with th’ infernal whip,

That shall divest thy ribs from skin,

To expiate thy ling’ring sin.

Th’ hast broken perfidiously thy oath,

And not perform’d thy plighted troth;

But spar’d thy renegado back,

Where th’ hadst so great a prize at stake;

Which now the fates have order’d me

For penance and revenge to flea,

Unless thou presently make haste:

Time is, time was: And there it ceas’d.

With which, though startled, I confess,

Yet th’ horror of the thing was less

Than th’ other dismal apprehension

Of interruption or prevention;

And therefore, snatching up the rod,

I laid upon my back a load;

Resolv’d to spare no flesh and blood,

To make my word and honour good;

Till tir’d, and making truce at length,

For new recruits of breath and strength,

I felt the blows still ply’d as fast

As th’ had been by 7 lovers plac’d,

In raptures of platonick lashing,

And chaste contemplative bardashing;

When facing hastily about,

To stand upon my guard and scout,

I found th’ infernal Cunning-man,

And th’ under-witch, his CALIBAN,

With scourges (like the Furies) arm’d,

That on my outward quarters storm’d.

In haste I snatch’d my weapon up,

And gave their hellish rage a stop;

Call’d thrice upon your name, and fell

Courageously on SIDROPHEL;

Who, now transform’d himself a bear,

Began to roar aloud, and tear;

When I as furiously press’d on,

My weapon down his throat to run;

Laid hold on him; but he broke loose,

And turn’d himself into a goose;

Div’d under water, in a pond,

To hide himself from being found.

In vain I sought him; but, as soon

As I perceiv’d him fled and gone,

Prepar’d with equal haste and rage,

His Under-sorcerer t’ engage.

But bravely scorning to defile

My sword with feeble blood and vile,

I judg’d it better from a quick-Set hedge to cut a knotted stick,

With which I furiously laid on

Till, in a harsh and doleful tone,

It roar’d, O hold for pity, Sir

I am too great a sufferer,

Abus’d, as you have been, b’ a witch,

But conjur’d into a worse caprich;

Who sends me out on many a jaunt,

Old houses in the night to haunt,

For opportunities t’ improve

Designs of thievery or love;

With drugs convey’d in drink or meat,

All teats of witches counterfeit;

Kill pigs and geese with powder’d glass,

And make it for enchantment pass;

With cow-itch meazle like a leper,

And choak with fumes of guiney pepper;

Make leachers and their punks with dewtry,

Commit fantastical advowtry;

Bewitch 8 Hermetick-men to run

Stark staring mad with manicon;

Believe mechanick Virtuosi

Can raise ’em mountains in 9 POTOSI;

And, sillier than the antick fools,

Take treasure for a heap of coals:

Seek out for plants with signatures,

To quack of universal cures:

With figures ground on panes of glass

Make people on their heads to pass;

And mighty heaps of coin increase,

Reflected from a single piece,

To draw in fools, whose nat’ral itches

Incline perpetually to witches;

And keep me in continual fears,

And danger of my neck and ears;

When less delinquents have been scourg’d,

And hemp on wooden anvil forg’d,

Which others for cravats have worn

About their necks, and took a turn.

I pity’d the sad punishment

The wretched caitiff underwent,

And left my drubbing of his bones,

Too great an honour for pultrones;

For Knights are bound to feel no blows

From paultry and unequal foes,

Who, when they slash, and cut to pieces,

Do all with civilest addresses:

Their horses never give a blow,

But when they make a leg, and bow.

I therefore spar’d his flesh, and prest him

About the witch with many a. question.

Quoth he, For many years he drove

A kind of broking-trade in love;

Employ’d in all th’ intrigues, and trust

Of feeble, speculative lust:

Procurer to th’ extravagancy,

And crazy ribaldry of fancy,

By those the Devil had forsook,

As things below him to provoke.

But b’ing a virtuoso, able

To smatter, quack, and cant, and dabble,

He held his talent most adroit

For any mystical exploit;

As others of his tribe had done,

And rais’d their prices three to one:

For one predicting pimp has th’ odds

Of chauldrons of plain downright bawds.

But as an elf (the Devil’s valet)

Is not so slight a thing to get;

For those that do his bus’ness best,

In hell are us’d the ruggedest;

Before so meriting a person

Cou’d get a grant, but in reversion,

He serv’d two prenticeships, and longer,

I’ th’ myst’ry of a lady-monger.

For (as some write) a witch’s ghost,

As soon as from the body loos’d,

Becomes a puney-imp itself

And is another witch’s elf.

He, after searching far and near,

At length found one in LANCASHIRE

With whom he bargain’d before-hand,

And, after hanging, entertained;

Since which h’ has play’d a thousand feats,

And practis’d all mechanick cheats,

Transform’d himself to th’ ugly shapes

Of wolves and bears, baboons and apes,

Which he has vary’d more than witches,

Or Pharaoh’s wizards cou’d their switches;

And all with whom h’ has had to do,

Turn’d to as monstrous figures too.

Witness myself, whom h’ has abus’d,

And to this beastly shape reduc’d,

By feeding me on beans and pease,

He crams in nasty crevices,

And turns to comfits by his arts,

To make me relish for disserts,

And one by one, with shame and fear,

Lick up the candy’d provender.

Beside — But as h’ was running on,

To tell what other feats h’ had done,

The Lady stopt his full career,

And told him now ’twas time to hear

If half those things (said she) be true —

They’re all, (quoth he,) I swear by you.

Why then (said she,) That SIDROPHEL

Has damn’d himself to th’ pit of Hell;

Who, mounted on a broom, the nag

And hackney of a Lapland hag,

In quest of you came hither post,

Within an hour (I’m sure) at most;

Who told me all you swear and say,

Quite contrary another way;

Vow’d that you came to him to know

If you should carry me or no;

And would have hir’d him, and his imps,

To be your match-makers and pimps,

T’ engage the Devil on. your side,

And steal (like PROSERPINE) your bride.

But he, disdaining to embrace.

So filthy a design and base,

You fell to vapouring and huffing

And drew upon him like a ruffin;

Surpriz’d him meanly, unprepar’d,

Before h’ had time to mount his guard;

And left him dead upon the ground,

With many a bruise and desperate wound:

Swore you had broke and robb’d his house,

And stole his talismanique louse,

And all his new-found old inventions;.

With flat felonious intentions;

Which he could bring out where he had,

And what he bought them for, and paid.

His flea, his morpion, and punese,

H’ had gotten for his proper ease,

And all perfect minutes made,

By th’ ablest artist of the trade;

Which (he could prove it) since he lost,

He has been eaten up almost;

And all together might amount

To many hundreds on account;

For which h’ had got sufficient warrant

To seize the malefactors errant,

Without capacity of bail,

But of a cart’s or horse’s tail;

And did not doubt to bring the wretches

To serve for pendulums to watches;

Which, modern virtuosos say,

Incline to hanging every way.

Beside, he swore, and swore ’twas true,

That, e’re he went in quest of you,

He set a figure to discover

If you were fled to RYE or DOVER;

And found it clear, that, to betray

Yourselves and me, you fled this way;

And that he was upon pursuit,

To take you somewhere hereabout.

He vow’ d he had intelligence

Of all that past before and since;

And found that, e’er you came to him,.

Y’ had been engaging life and limb

About a case of tender conscience,

Where both abounded in your own sense:

Till RALPHO, by his light and grace,

Had clear’d all scruples in the case;

And prov’d that you might swear and own

Whatever’s by the wicked done,

For which, most basely to requite

The service of his gifts and light,

You strove to oblige him, by main force,

To scourge his ribs instead of yours;

But that he stood upon his guard,

And all your vapouring out-dar’d;

For which, between you both, the feat

Has never been perform’d as yet.

While thus the Lady talk’d, the Knight

Turn’d th’ outside of his eyes to white;

(As men of inward light are wont

To turn their opticks in upon ‘t)

He wonder’d how she came to know

What he had done, and meant to do;

Held up his affidavit-hand,

As if h’ had been to be arraign’d;

Cast t’wards the door a look,

In dread of SIDROPHEL, and spoke:

Madam, if but one word be true

Of all the Wizard has told you,

Or but one single circumstance

In all th’ apocryphal romance,

May dreadful earthquakes swallow down

This vessel, that is all your own;

Or may the heavens fall, and cover

These reliques of your constant lover.

You have provided well, quoth she,

(I thank you) for yourself and me,

And shown your presbyterian wits

Jump punctual with the Jesuits;

A most compendious way, and civil,

At once to cheat the world, the Devil,

And Heaven and Hell, yourselves, and those

On whom you vainly think t’ impose.

Why then (quoth he) may Hell surprize —

That trick (said she) will not pass twice:

I’ve learn’d how far I’m to believe

Your pinning oaths upon your sleeve.

But there’s a better way of clearing

What you would prove than downright swearing:

For if you have perform’d the feat,

The blows are visible as yet,

Enough to serve for satisfaction

Of nicest scruples in the action:

And if you can produce those knobs,

Although they’re but the witch’s drubs,

I’ll pass them all upon account,

As if your natural self had done’t

Provided that they pass th’ opinion

Of able juries of old women

Who, us’d to judge all matter of facts

For bellies, may do so for backs,

Madam, (quoth he,) your love’s a million;

To do is less than to be willing,

As I am, were it in my power,

T’ obey, what you command, and more:

But for performing what you bid,

I thank you as much as if I did.

You know I ought to have a care

To keep my wounds from taking air:

For wounds in those that are all heart,

Are dangerous in any part.

I find (quoth she) my goods and chattels

Are like to prove but mere drawn battels;

For still the longer we contend,

We are but farther off the end.

But granting now we should agree,

What is it you expect from me?

Your plighted faith (quoth he) and word

You past in heaven on record,

Where all contracts, to have and t’ hold,

Are everlastingly enroll’d:

And if ’tis counted treason here

To raze records, ’tis much more there.

Quoth she, There are no bargains driv’n,

Or marriages clapp’d up, in Heav’n,

And that’s the reason, as some guess,

There is no heav’n in marriages;

Two things that naturally press

Too narrowly to be at ease.

Their bus’ness there is only love,

Which marriage is not like t’ improve:

Love, that’s too generous to abide

To be against its nature ty’d;

Or where ’tis of itself inclin’d,

It breaks loose when it is confin’d;

And like the soul, it’s harbourer.

Debarr’d the freedom of the air,

Disdains against its will to stay,

But struggles out, and flies away;

And therefore never can comply

To endure the matrimonial tie,

That binds the female and the male,

Where th’ one is but the other’s bail;

Like Roman gaolers, when they slept,

Chain’d to the prisoners they kept

Of which the true and faithfull’st lover

Gives best security to suffer.

Marriage is but a beast, some say,

That carries double in foul way;

And therefore ’tis not to b’ admir’d,

It should so suddenly be tir’d;

A bargain at a venture made,

Between two partners in a trade;

(For what’s inferr’d by t’ have and t’ hold,

But something past away, and sold?)

That as it makes but one of two,

Reduces all things else as low;

And, at the best, is but a mart

Between the one and th’ other part,

That on the marriage-day is paid,

Or hour of death, the bet is laid;

And all the rest of better or worse,

Both are but losers out of purse.

For when upon their ungot heirs

Th’ entail themselves, and all that’s theirs,

What blinder bargain e’er was driv’n,

Or wager laid at six and seven?

To pass themselves away, and turn

Their childrens’ tenants e’re they’re born?

Beg one another idiot

To guardians, e’er they are begot;

Or ever shall, perhaps, by th’ one,

Who’s bound to vouch ’em for his own,

Though got b’ implicit generation,

And gen’ral club of all the nation;

For which she’s fortify’d no less

Than all the island, with four seas;

Exacts the tribute of her dower,

in ready insolence and power;

And makes him pass away to have

And hold, to her, himself, her slave,

More wretched than an ancient villain,10

Condemn’d to drudgery and tilling;

While all he does upon the by,

She is not bound to justify,

Nor at her proper cost and charge

Maintain the feats he does at large.

Such hideous sots were those obedient

Old vassals to their ladies regent;

To give the cheats the eldest hand

In foul play by the laws o’ th’ land;

For which so many a legal cuckold

Has been run down in courts and truckeld:

A law that most unjustly yokes

All Johns of Stiles to Joans of Nokes,

Without distinction of degree,

Condition, age, or quality:

Admits no power of revocation,

Nor valuable consideration,

Nor writ of error, nor reverse

Of Judgment past, for better or worse:

Will not allow the priviledges

That beggars challenge under hedges,

Who, when they’re griev’d, can make dead horses

Their spiritual judges of divorces;

While nothing else but Rem in Re

Can set the proudest wretches free;

A slavery beyond enduring,

But that ’tis of their own procuring.

As spiders never seek the fly,

But leave him, of himself, t’ apply

So men are by themselves employ’d,

To quit the freedom they enjoy’d,

And run their necks into a noose,

They’d break ’em after, to break loose;

As some whom Death would not depart,

Have done the feat themselves by art;

Like 11 Indian widows, gone to bed

In flaming curtains to the dead;

And men as often dangled for’t,

And yet will never leave the sport.

Nor do the ladies want excuse

For all the stratagems they use

To gain the advantage of the set,

And lurch the amorous rook and cheat

For as the 12 Pythagorean soul

Runs through all beasts, and fish and fowl,

And has a smack of ev’ry one,

So love does, and has ever done;

And therefore, though ’tis ne’er so fond,

Takes strangely to the vagabond.

’Tis but an ague that’s reverst,

Whose hot fit takes the patient first,

That after burns with cold as much

As ir’n in GREENLAND does the touch;

Melts in the furnace of desire

Like glass, that’s but the ice of fire;

And when his heat of fancy’s over,

Becomes as hard and frail a lover.

For when he’s with love-powder laden,

And prim’d and cock’d by Miss or Madam,

The smallest sparkle of an eye

Gives fire to his artillery;

And off the loud oaths go; but while

They’re in the very act, recoil.

Hence ’tis so few dare take their chance

Without a sep’rate maintenance;

And widows, who have try’d one lover,

Trust none again, ‘till th’ have made over;

Or if they do, before they marry,

The foxes weigh the geese they carry;

And e’re they venture o’er a stream,

Know how to size themselves and them;

Whence wittiest ladies always choose

To undertake the heaviest goose

For now the world is grown so wary,

That few of either sex dare marry,

But rather trust on tick t’ amours,

The cross and pile for better or worse;

A mode that is held honourable,

As well as French, and fashionable:

For when it falls out for the best,

Where both are incommoded least,

In soul and body two unite,

To make up one hermaphrodite,

Still amorous, and fond, and billing,

Like PHILIP and MARY on a shilling,

Th’ have more punctilios and capriches

Between the petticoat and breeches,

More petulant extravagances,

Than poets make ’em in romances.

Though when their heroes ‘spouse the dames,

We hear no more charms and flames:

For then their late attracts decline,

And turn as eager as prick’d wine;

And all their catterwauling tricks,

In earnest to as jealous piques;

Which the ancients wisely signify’d,

By th’ yellow mantos of the bride:

For jealousy is but a kind

Of clap and grincam of the mind,

The natural effects of love,

As other flames and aches prove;

But all the mischief is, the doubt

On whose account they first broke out.

For though 13 Chineses go to bed,

And lie in, in their ladies stead,

And for the pains they took before,

Are nurs’d and pamper’d to do more

Our green men do it worse, when th’ hap

To fail in labour of a clap

Both lay the child to one another:

But who’s the father, who the mother,

’Tis hard to say in multitudes,

Or who imported the French goods.

But health and sickness b’ing all one,

Which both engag’d before to own,

And are not with their bodies bound

To worship, only when they’re sound,

Both give and take their equal shares

Of all they suffer by false wares:

A fate no lover can divert

With all his caution, wit, and art.

For ’tis in vain to think to guess

At women by appearances,

That paint and patch their imperfections

Of intellectual complexions,

And daub their tempers o’er with washes

As artificial as their faces;

Wear under vizard-masks their talents

And mother-wits before their gallants,

Until they’re hamper’d in the noose,

Too fast to dream of breaking loose;

When all the flaws they strove to hide

Are made unready with the bride,

That with her wedding-clothes undresses

Her complaisance and gentilesses,

Tries all her arts to take upon her

The government from th’ easy owner;

Until the wretch is glad to wave

His lawful right, and turn her slave;

Find all his having, and his holding,

Reduc’d t’ eternal noise and scolding;

The conjugal petard, that tears

Down all portcullises of ears,

And make the volley of one tongue

For all their leathern shields too strong

When only arm’d with noise and nails,

The female silk-worms ride the males,

Transform ’em into rams and goats,14

Like Sirens, with their charming notes;

Sweet as a screech-owl’s serenade,

Or those enchanting murmurs made

By th’ husband 15 mandrake and the wife,

Both bury’d (like themselves) alive.

Quoth he, These reasons are but strains

Of wanton, over-heated brains

Which ralliers, in their wit, or drink,

Do rather wheedle with than think

Man was not man in paradise,

Until he was created twice,

And had his better half, his bride,

Carv’d from the original, his side,

T’ amend his natural defects,

And perfect his recruited sex;

Inlarge his breed at once, and lessen

The pains and labour of increasing,

By changing them for other cares,

As by his dry’d-up paps appears.

His body, that stupendous frame,

Of all the world the anagram

Is of two equal parts compact,

In shape and symmetry exact,

Of which the left and female side

Is to the manly right a bride;

Both join’d together with such art,

That nothing else but death can part.

Those heav’nly attracts of yours, your eyes,

And face, that all the world surprize,

That dazzle all that look upon ye,

And scorch all other ladies tawny,

Those ravishing and charming graces

Are all made up of two half faces,

That in a mathematick line,

Like those in other heavens, join,

Of which if either grew alone,

T’ would fright as much to look upon:

And so would that sweet bud your lip,

Without the other’s fellowship.

Our noblest senses act by pairs;

Two eyes to see; to hear, two ears;

Th’ intelligencers of the mind,

To wait upon the soul design’d,

But those that serve the body alone,

Are single, and confin’d to one.

The 16 world is but two parts, that meet

And close at th’ equinoctial fit;

And so are all the works of nature,

Stamp’d with her signature on matter,

Which all her creatures, to a leaf,

Or smallest blade of grass receive;

All which sufficiently declare,

How entirely marriage is her care,

The only method that she uses

In all the wonders she produces:

And those that take their rules from her,

Can never be deceiv’d, nor err.

For what secures the civil life,

But pawns of children, and a wife?

That lie like hostages at stake,

To pay for all men undertake;

To whom it is as necessary

As to be born and breathe, to marry;

So universal all mankind,

In nothing else, is of one mind.

For in what stupid age, or nation,

Was marriage ever out of fashion?

Unless among the 17 Amazons,

Or cloister’d friars, and vestal nuns;

Or Stoicks, who to bar the freaks

And loose excesses of the sex,

Prepost’rously wou’d have all women

Turn’d up to all the world in common.

Though men would find such mortal feuds,

In sharing of their publick goods,

‘Twould put them to more charge of lives,

Than they’re supply’d with now by wives;

Until they graze, and wear their clothes,

As beasts do, of their native growths:

For simple wearing of their horns

Will not suffice to serve their turns.

For what can we pretend t’ inherit,

Unless the marriage-deed will bear it?

Could claim no right, to lands or rents,

But for our parents’ settlements;

Had been but younger sons o’ th’ earth,

Debarr’d it all, but for our birth.

What honours or estates of peers,

Cou’d be preserv’d but by their heirs

And what security maintains

Their right and title, but the banes?

What crowns could be hereditary,

If greatest monarchs did not marry.

And with their consorts consummate

Their weightiest interests of state?

For all the amours of princes are

But guarantees of peace or war,

Or what but marriage has a charm

The rage of empires to disarm,

Make blood and desolation cease,

And fire and sword unite in peace,

When all their fierce contest for forage

Conclude in articles of marriage?

Nor does the genial bed provide

Less for the int’rests of the bride;

Who else had not the least pretence

T’ as much as due benevolence;

Could no more title take upon her

To virtue, quality, and honour.

Than ladies-errant, unconfin’d,

And feme-coverts t’ all mankind

All women would be of one piece,

The virtuous matron and the miss;

The nymphs of chaste 18 Diana’s train,

The same with those in 19 LEWKNER’s Lane;

But for the difference marriage makes

‘Twixt wives and ladies of the lakes;

Besides the joys of place and birth,

The sex’s paradise on earth;

A privilege so sacred held,

That none will to their mothers yield;

But rather than not go before,

Abandon Heaven at the door.

And if th’ indulgent law allows

A greater freedom to the spouse,

The 20 reason is, because the wife

Runs greater hazards of her life;

Is trusted with the form and matter

Of all mankind by careful nature;

Where man brings nothing but the stuff

She frames the wond’rous fabric of;

Who therefore, in a streight, may freely

Demand the clergy of her belly,

And make it save her the same way

It seldom misses to betray;

Unless both parties wisely enter

Into the liturgy indenture,

And though some fits of small contest

Sometimes fall out among the best,

That is no more than ev’ry lover

Does from his hackney-lady suffer;

That makes no breach of faith and love,

But rather (sometimes) serves t’ improve.

For as in running, ev’ry pace

Is but between two legs a race,

In which both do their uttermost

To get before, and win the post,

Yet when they’re at their race’s ends,

They’re still as kind and constant friends,

And, to relieve their weariness,

By turns give one another ease;

So all those false alarms of strife

Between the husband and the wife,

And little quarrels, often prove

To be but new recruits of love;

When those wh’ are always kind or coy,

In time must either tire or cloy.

Nor are their loudest clamours more,

Than as they’re relish’d, sweet or sour;

Like musick, that proves bad or good;

According as ’tis understood.

In all amours, a lover burns

With frowns as well as smiles by turns;

And hearts have been as aft with sullen

As charming looks surpriz’d and stolen.

Then why should more bewitching clamour

Some lovers not as much enamour?

For discords make the sweetest airs

And curses are a kind of pray’rs;

Too slight alloys for all those grand

Felicities by marriage gain’d.

For nothing else has pow’r to settle

Th’ interests of love perpetual;

An act and deed, that that makes one heart

Becomes another’s counter-part,

And passes fines on faith and love,

Inroll’d and register’d above,

To seal the slippery knots of vows,

Which nothing else but death can loose.

And what security’s too strong,

To guard that gentle heart from wrong,

That to its friend is glad to pass

Itself away, and all it has;

And, like an anchorite, gives over

This world for th’ heaven of lover?

I grant (quoth she) there are some few

Who take that course, and find it true

But millions whom the same does sentence

To heav’n b’ another way — repentance.

Love’s arrows are but shot at rovers;

Though all they hit, they turn to lovers;

And all the weighty consequents

Depend upon more blind events,

Than gamesters, when they play a set

With greatest cunning at piquet,

Put out with caution, but take in

They know not what, unsight, unseen,

For what do lovers, when they’re fast

In one another’s arms embrac’t,

But strive to plunder, and convey

Each other, like a prize, away?

To change the property of selves,

As sucking children are by elves?

And if they use their persons so,

What will they to their fortunes do?

Their fortunes! the perpetual aims

Of all their extasies and flames.

For when the money’s on the book,

And, All my worldly goods — but spoke,

(The formal livery and seisin

That puts a lover in possession,)

To that alone the bridegroom’s wedded;

The bride a flam, that’s superseded.

To that their faith is still made good,

And all the oaths to us they vow’d:

For when we once resign our pow’rs,

W’ have nothing left we can call ours:

Our money’s now become the Miss

Of all your lives and services;

And we forsaken, and postpon’d;

But bawds to what before we own’d;

Which, as it made y’ at first gallant us,

So now hires others to supplant us,

Until ’tis all turn’d out of doors,

(As we had been) for new amours;

For what did ever heiress yet

By being born to lordships get?

When the more lady sh’ is of manours,

She’s but expos’d to more trepanners,

Pays for their projects and designs,

And for her own destruction fines;

And does but tempt them with her riches,

To use her as the Dev’l does witches;

Who takes it for a special grace

To be their cully for a space,

That when the time’s expir’d, the drazels

For ever may become his vassals:

So she, bewitch’d by rooks and spirits,

Betrays herself, and all sh’ inherits;

Is bought and sold, like stolen goods,

By pimps, and match-makers, and bawds,

Until they force her to convey,

And steal the thief himself away.

These are the everlasting fruits

Of all your passionate love-suits,

Th’ effects of all your amorous fancies

To portions and inheritances;

Your love-sick rapture for fruition

Of dowry, jointure, and tuition;

To which you make address and courtship;

Ad with your bodies strive to worship,

That th’ infants’ fortunes may partake

Of love too, for the mother’s sake.

For these you play at purposes,

And love your love’s with A’s and B’s:

For these at Beste and L’Ombre woo,

And play for love and money too;

Strive who shall be the ablest man

At right gallanting of a fan;

And who the most genteelly bred

At sucking of a vizard-head;

How best t’ accost us in all quarters;

T’ our question — and — command new Garters

And solidly discourse upon

All sorts of dresses, Pro and Con.

For there’s no mystery nor trade,

But in the art of love is made:

And when you have more debts to pay

Than Michaelmas and Lady–Day,

And no way possible to do’t,

But love and oaths, and restless suit,

To us y’ apply to pay the scores

Of all your cully’d, past amours;

Act o’er your flames and darts again,

And charge us with your wounds and pain;

Which others influences long since

Have charm’d your noses with and shins;

For which the surgeon is unpaid,

And like to be, without our aid.

Lord! what an am’rous thing is want!

How debts and mortgages inchant!

What graces must that lady have

That can from executions save!

What charms that can reverse extent,

And null decree and exigent!

What magical attracts and graces,

That can redeem from Scire facias!

From bonds and statutes can discharge,

And from contempts of courts enlarge!

These are the highest excellencies

Of all your true or false pretences:

And you would damn yourselves, and swear

As much t’ an hostess dowager,

Grown fat and pursy by retail

Of pots of beer and bottled ale;

And find her fitter for your turn;

For fat is wondrous apt to burn;

Who at your flames would soon take fire,

Relent, and melt to your desire,

And like a candle in the socket,

Dissolve her graces int’ your pocket.

By this time ’twas grown dark and late,

When they heard a knocking at the gate,

Laid on in haste with such a powder,

The blows grew louder still and louder;

Which HUDIBRAS, as if th’ had been

Bestow’d as freely on his skin,

Expounding, by his inward light,

Or rather more prophetick fright,

To be the Wizard, come to search,

And take him napping in the lurch

Turn’d pale as ashes or a clout;

But why or wherefore is a doubt

For men will tremble, and turn paler,

With too much or too little valour.

His heart laid on, as if it try’d

To force a passage through his side,

Impatient (as he vow’d) to wait ’em,

But in a fury to fly at ’em;

And therefore beat, and laid about,

To find a cranny to creep out.

But she, who saw in what a taking

The Knight was by his furious quaking,

Undaunted cry’d, Courage, Sir Knight;

Know, I’m resolv’d to break no rite

Of hospitality t’ a stranger;

But, to secure you out of danger,

Will here myself stand sentinel,

To guard this pass ‘gainst SIDROPHEL.

Women, you know, do seldom fail

To make the stoutest men turn tail;

And bravely scorn to turn their backs

Upon the desp’ratest attacks.

At this the Knight grew resolute


His fortitude began to rally,

And out he cry’d aloud to sally.

But she besought him to convey

His courage rather out o’ th’ way,

And lodge in ambush on the floor,

Or fortify’d behind a door;

That if the enemy shou’d enter,

He might relieve her in th’ adventure.

Mean while they knock’d against the door

As fierce as at the gate before,

Which made the Renegado Knight

Relapse again t’ his former fright.

He thought it desperate to stay

Till th’ enemy had forc’d his way,

But rather post himself, to serve

The lady, for a fresh reserve

His duty was not to dispute,

But what sh’ had order’d execute;

Which he resolv’d in haste t’ obey,

And therefore stoutly march’d away;

And all h’ encounter’d fell upon,

Though in the dark, and all alone;

Till fear, that braver feats performs

Than ever courage dar’d in arms,

Had drawn him up before a pass

To stand upon his guard, and face:

This he courageously invaded,

And having enter’d, barricado’d,

Insconc’d himself as formidable

As could be underneath a table,

Where he lay down in ambush close,

T’ expect th’ arrival of his foes.

Few minutes he had lain perdue,

To guard his desp’rate avenue,

Before he heard a dreadful shout,

As loud as putting to the rout,

With which impatiently alarm’d,

He fancy’d th’ enemy had storm’d,

And, after ent’ring, SIDROPHEL

Was fall’n upon the guards pell-mell

He therefore sent out all his senses,

To bring him in intelligences,

Which vulgars, out of ignorance,

Mistake for falling in a trance;

But those that trade in geomancy,

Affirm to be the strength of fancy;

In which the 22 Lapland Magi deal,

And things incredible reveal.

Mean while the foe beat up his quarters,

And storm’d the out-works of his fortress:

And as another, of the same

Degree and party, in arms and fame,

That in the same cause had engag’d,

At war with equal conduct wag’d,

By vent’ring only but to thrust

His head a span beyond his post,

B’ a gen’ral of the cavaliers

Was dragg’d thro’ a window by th’ ears;

So he was serv’d in his redoubt,

And by the other end pull’d out.

Soon as they had him at their mercy,

They put him to the cudgel fiercely,

As if they’d scorn’d to trade or barter,

By giving or by taking quarter:

They stoutly on his quarters laid,

Until his scouts came in t’ his aid.

For when a man is past his sense,

There’s no way to reduce him thence,

But twinging him by th’ ears or nose,

Or laying on of heavy blows;

And if that will not do the deed,

To 23 burning with hot irons proceed.

No sooner was he come t’ himself,

But on his neck a sturdy elf

Clapp’d, in a trice, his cloven hoof,

And thus attack’d him with reproof;

Mortal, thou art betray’d to us

B’ our friend, thy Evil Genius,

Who, for thy horrid perjuries,

Thy breach of faith, and turning lies,

The Brethren’s privilege (against

The wicked) on themselves, the Saints,

Has here thy wretched carcase sent

For just revenge and punishment;

Which thou hast now no way to lessen,

But by an open, free confession;

For if we catch thee failing once,

’Twill fall the heavier on thy bones.

What made thee venture to betray,

And filch the lady’s heart away?

To Spirit her to matrimony? —

That which contracts all matches — money.

It was th’ inchantment oft her riches

That made m’ apply t’ your croney witches,

That, in return, wou’d pay th’ expence,

The wear and tear of conscience;

Which I cou’d have patch’d up, and turn’d,

For the hundredth part of what I earn’d.

Didst thou not love her then? Speak true.

No more (quoth he) than I love you. —

How would’st th’ have us’d her, and her money? —

First turn’d her up to alimony;

And laid her dowry out in law,

To null her jointure with a flaw,

Which I before-hand had agreed

T’ have put, on purpose in the deed;

And bar her widow’s making over

T’ a friend in trust, or private lover.

What made thee pick and chuse her out,

T’ employ their sorceries about? —

That which makes gamesters play with those

Who have least wit, and most to lose.

But didst thou scourge thy vessel thus,

As thou hast damn’d thyself to us?

I see you take me for an ass:

’Tis true, I thought the trick wou’d pass

Upon a woman well enough,

As ‘t has been often found by proof,

Whose humours are not to be won,

But when they are impos’d upon.

For love approves of all they do

That stand for candidates, and woo.

Why didst thou forge those shameful lies

Of bears and witches in disguise?

That is no more than authors give

The rabble credit to believe:

A trick of following their leaders,

To entertain their gentle readers;

And we have now no other way

Of passing all we do or say

Which, when ’tis natural and true,

Will be believ’d b’ a very few,

Beside the danger of offence,

The fatal enemy of sense.

Why did thou chuse that cursed sin,

Hypocrisy, to set up in?

Because it is in the thriving’st calling,

The only Saints-bell that rings all in;

In which all churches are concern’d,

And is the easiest to be learn’d:

For no degrees, unless th’ employ’t,

Can ever gain much, or enjoy’t:

A gift that is not only able

To domineer among the rabble,

But by the laws impower’d to rout,

And awe the greatest that stand out;

Which few hold forth against, for fear

Their hands should slip, and come too near;

For no sin else among the Saints

Is taught so tenderly against.

What made thee break thy plighted vows? —

That which makes others break a house,

And hang, and scorn ye all, before

Endure the plague of being poor.

Quoth he, I see you have more tricks

Than all your doating politicks,

That are grown old, and out of fashion,

Compar’d with your New Reformation;

That we must come to school to you,

To learn your more refin’d, and new.

Quoth he, If you will give me leave

To tell you what I now perceive,

You’ll find yourself an arrant chouse,

If y’ were but at a Meeting–House. —

’Tis true, quoth he, we ne’er come there,

Because, w’ have let ’em out by th’ year.

Truly, quoth he, you can’t imagine

What wond’rous things they will engage in

That as your fellow-fiends in Hell

Were angels all before they fell,

So are you like to be agen,

Compar’d with th’ angels of us men.

Quoth he, I am resolv’d to be

Thy scholar in this mystery;

And therefore first desire to know

Some principles on which you go.

What makes a knave a child of God,

And one of us? — A livelihood.

What renders beating out of brains,

And murder, godliness? — Great gains.

What’s tender conscience? — ’Tis a botch,

That will not bear the gentlest touch;

But breaking out, dispatches more

Than th’ epidemical’st plague-sore.

What makes y’ encroach upon our trade,

And damn all others? — To be paid.

What’s orthodox, and true, believing

Against a conscience? — A good living.

What makes rebelling against Kings

A Good Old Cause? — Administrings.

What makes all doctrines plain and clear? —

About two hundred pounds a year.

And that which was prov’d true before,

Prove false again? — Two hundred more.

What makes the breaking of all oaths

A holy duty? — Food and cloaths.

What laws and freedom, persecution? —

B’ing out of pow’r, and contribution.

What makes a church a den of thieves? —

A dean and chapter, and white sleeves.

Ad what would serve, if those were gone,

To make it orthodox? — Our own.

What makes morality a crime,

The most notorious of the time;

Morality, which both the Saints,

And wicked too, cry out against? —

Cause grace and virtue are within

Prohibited degrees of kin

And therefore no true Saint allows,

They shall be suffer’d to espouse;

For Saints can need no conscience,

That with morality dispense;

As virtue’s impious, when ’tis rooted

In nature only, and not imputed

But why the wicked should do so,

We neither know, or care to do.

What’s liberty of conscience,

I’ th’ natural and genuine sense?

’Tis to restore, with more security,

Rebellion to its ancient purity;

And christian liberty reduce

To th’ elder practice of the Jews.

For a large conscience is all one,

And signifies the same with none.

It is enough (quoth he) for once,

And has repriev’d thy forfeit bones:

NICK MACHIAVEL had ne’er a trick,

(Though he gave his name to our Old Nick,)

But was below the least of these,

That pass i’ th’ world for holiness.

This said, the furies and the light

In th’ instant vanish’d out of sight,

And left him in the dark alone,

With stinks of brimstone and his own.

The 24 Queen of Night, whose large command

Rules all the sea, and half the land,

And over moist and crazy brains,

In high spring-tides, at midnight reigns,

Was now declining to the west,

To go to bed, and take her rest;

When HUDIBRAS, whose stubborn blows

Deny’d his bones that soft repose,

Lay still expecting worse and more,

Stretch’d out at length upon the floor;

And though he shut his eyes as fast

As if h’ had been to sleep his last,

Saw all the shapes that fear or wizards

Do make the Devil wear for vizards,

And pricking up his ears, to hark

If he cou’d hear too in the dark,

Was first invaded with a groan

And after in a feeble tone,

These trembling words: Unhappy wretch!

What hast thou gotten by this fetch;

For all thy tricks, in this new trade,

Thy holy brotherhood o’ th’ blade?

By sauntring still on some adventure,

And growing to thy horse a 25 Centaure?

To stuff thy skin with swelling knobs

Of cruel and hard-wooded drubs?

For still th’ hast had the worst on’t yet,

As well in conquest as defeat.

Night is the sabbath of mankind,

To rest the body and the mind,

Which now thou art deny’d to keep,

And cure thy labour’d corpse with sleep.

The Knight, who heard the words, explain’d,

As meant to him, this reprimand,

Because the character did hit

Point-blank upon his case so fit;

Believ’d it was some drolling spright,

That staid upon the guard that night,

And one of those h’ had seen, and felt

The drubs he had so freely dealt;

When, after a short pause and groan,

The doleful Spirit thus went on:

This ’tis t’ engage with dogs and bears

Pell-mell together by the ears,

And, after painful bangs and knocks,

To lie in limbo in the stocks,

And from the pinnacle of glory

Fall headlong into purgatory.

(Thought he, this devil’s full of malice,

That in my late disasters rallies:)

Condemn’d to whipping, but declin’d it,

By being more heroic-minded:

And at a riding handled worse,

With treats more slovenly and coarse:

Engag’d with fiends in stubborn wars,

And hot disputes with conjurers;

And when th’ hadst bravely won the day,

Wast fain to steal thyself away.

(I see, thought he, this shameless elf

Wou’d fain steal me too from myself,

That impudently dares to own

What I have suffer’d for and done,)

And now but vent’ring to betray,

Hast met with vengeance the same way.

Thought he, how does the Devil know

What ’twas that I design’d to do?

His office of intelligence,

His oracles, are ceas’d long since;

And he knows nothing of the Saints,

But what some treacherous spy acquaints.

This is some pettifogging fiend,

Some under door-keeper’s friend’s friend,

That undertakes to understand,

And juggles at the second-hand;

And now would pass for Spirit Po,

And all mens’ dark concerns foreknow.

I think I need not fear him for’t;

These rallying devils do no hurt.

With that he rouz’d his drooping heart,

And hastily cry’d out, What art?

A wretch (quoth he) whom want of grace

Has brought to this unhappy place.

I do believe thee, quoth the Knight;

Thus far I’m sure th’ art in the right;

And know what ’tis that troubles thee,

Better than thou hast guess’d of me.

Thou art some paultry, black-guard spright,

Condemn’d to drudg’ry in the night

Thou hast no work to do in th’ house

Nor half-penny to drop in shoes;

Without the raising of which sum,

You dare not be so troublesome,

To pinch the slatterns black and blue,

For leaving you their work to do.

This is your bus’ness good Pug–Robin;

And your diversion dull dry-bobbing,

T’ entice fanaticks in the dirt,

And wash them clean in ditches for’t;

Of which conceit you are so proud,

At ev’ry jest you laugh aloud,

As now you wou’d have done by me,

But that I barr’d your raillery.

Sir (quoth the voice) y’are no such 26 Sophi

As you would have the world judge of ye.

If you design to weigh our talents

I’ the standard of your own false balance,

Or think it possible to know

Us ghosts as well as we do you;

We, who have been the everlasting

Companions of your drubs and basting,

And never left you in contest,

With male or female, man or beast,

But prov’d as true t’ ye, and entire,

In all adventures, as your Squire.

Quoth he, That may be said as true

By the idlest pug of all your crew:

For none cou’d have betray’d us worse

Than those allies of ours and yours.

But I have sent him for a token

To your Low–Country HOGEN-MOGEN,

To whose infernal shores I hope

He’ll swing like skippers in a rope.

And, if y’ have been more just to me

(As I am apt to think) than he,

I am afraid it is as true,

What th’ ill-affected say of you:

Y’ have spous’d the Covenant and Cause,

By holding up your cloven paws.

Sir, quoth the voice, ’tis true, I grant,

We made and took the Covenant;

But that no more concerns the Cause

Than other perj’ries do the laws,

Which when they’re prov’d in open court,

Wear wooden 27 peccadillo’s for’t:

And that’s the reason Cov’nanters

Hold up their hands like rogues at bars.

I see, quoth HUDIBRAS, from whence

These scandals of the Saints commence,

That are but natural effects

Of Satan’s malice, and his sects,

Those Spider–Saints, that hang by threads,

Spun out o’ th’ intrails of their heads.

Sir, quoth the voice, that may as true

And properly be said of you,

Whose talents may compare with either,

Or both the other put together.

For all the Independents do,

Is only what you forc’d ’em to;

You, who are not content alone

With tricks to put the Devil down,

But must have armies rais’d to back

The gospel-work you undertake;

As if artillery, and edge-tools,

Were the only engines to save souls;

While he, poor devil, has no pow’r

By force to run down and devour;

Has ne’er a Classis; cannot sentence

To stools or poundage of repentance;

Is ty’d up only to design,

T’ entice, and tempt, and undermine,

In which you all his arts out-do,

And prove yourselves his betters too.

Hence ’tis 28 possessions do less evil

Than mere temptations of the Devil,

Which, all the horrid’st actions done,

Are charg’d in courts of law upon;

Because unless they help the elf,

He can do little of himself;

And therefore where he’s best possess’d

Acts most against his interest;

Surprizes none, but those wh’ have priests

To turn him out, and exorcists,

Supply’d with spiritual provision,

And magazines of ammunition

With crosses, relicks, crucifixes,

Beads, pictures, rosaries, and pixes;

The tools of working our salvation

By mere mechanick operation;

With holy water, like a sluice,

To overflow all avenues.

But those wh’ are utterly unarm’d

T’ oppose his entrance, if he storm’d,

He never offers to surprize,

Although his falsest enemies;

But is content to be their drudge,

And on their errands glad to trudge

For where are all your forfeitures

Entrusted in safe hands but ours?

Who are but jailors of the holes,

And dungeons where you clap up souls;

Like under-keepers, turn the keys,

T’ your mittimus anathemas;

And never boggle to restore

The members you deliver o’re

Upon demand, with fairer justice

Than all your covenanting Trustees;

Unless to punish them the worse,

You put them in the secular pow’rs,

And pass their souls, as some demise

The same estate in mortgage twice;

When to a legal 29 Utlegation

You turn your excommunication,

And for a groat unpaid, that’s due,

Distrain on soul and body too.30

Thought he, ’tis no mean part of civil

State prudence to cajole the Devil

And not to handle him too rough,

When h’ has us in his cloven hoof.

T’ is true, quoth he, that intercourse

Has pass’d between your friends and ours;

That as you trust us, in our way,

To raise your members, and to lay,

We send you others of our own,

Denounc’d to hang themselves or drown;

Or, frighted with our oratory,

To leap down headlong many a story

Have us’d all means to propagate

Your mighty interests of state;

Laid out our spiritual gifts to further

Your great designs of rage and murther.

For if the Saints are nam’d from blood,

We only have made that title good;

And if it were but in our power,

We should not scruple to do more,

And not be half a soul behind

Of all dissenters of mankind.

Right, quoth the voice, and as I scorn

To be ungrateful, in return

Of all those kind good offices,

I’ll free you out of this distress,

And set you down in safety, where

It is no time to tell you here.

The cock crows, and the morn grows on,

When ’tis decreed I must be gone;

And if I leave you here till day,

You’ll find it hard to get away.

With that the Spirit grop’d about,

To find th’ inchanted hero out,

And try’d with haste to lift him up;

But found his forlorn hope, his crup,

Unserviceable with kicks and blows,

Receiv’d from harden’d-hearted foes.

He thought to drag him by the heels,

Like Gresham carts, with legs for wheels;

But fear, that soonest cures those sores

In danger of relapse to worse,

Came in t’ assist him with it’s aid

And up his sinking vessel weigh’d.

No sooner was he fit to trudge,

But both made ready to dislodge.

The Spirit hors’d him like a sack

Upon the vehicle his back;

And bore him headlong into th’ hall,

With some few rubs against the wall

Where finding out the postern lock’d,

And th’ avenues as strongly block’d,

H’ attack’d the window, storm’d the glass,

And in a moment gain’d the pass;

Thro’ which he dragg’d the worsted souldier’s

Fore-quarters out by the head and shoulders;

And cautiously began to scout,

To find their fellow-cattle out.

Nor was it half a minute’s quest,

E’re he retriev’d the champion’s beast,

Ty’d to a pale, instead of rack;

But ne’er a saddle on his back,

Nor pistols at the saddle-bow,

Convey’d away the Lord knows how,

He thought it was no time to stay,

And let the night too steal away;

But in a trice advanc’d the Knight

Upon the bare ridge, bolt upright:

And groping out for RALPHO’s jade,

He found the saddle too was stray’d,

And in the place a lump of soap,

On which he speedily leap’d up;

And turning to the gate the rein,

He kick’d and cudgell’d on amain.

While HUDIBRAS, with equal haste,

On both sides laid about as fast,

And spurr’d as jockies use to break,

Or padders to secure, a neck

Where let us leave ’em for a time,

And to their Churches turn our rhyme;

To hold forth their declining state,

Which now come near an even rate.

1 And more, &c.] Caligula was one of the Emperors of Rome, son of Germanicus and Agrippina. He would needs pass for a god, and had the heads of the ancient statues of the gods taken off; and his own placed on in their stead; and used to stand between the statues of Castor and Pollux to be worshipped; and often bragged of lying with the Moon.

2 And us’d &c.] Philters were love potions, reported to be much in request in former ages; but our true Knight–Errant Hero made use of no other but what his noble atchievements by his sword produced.

3 To th’ Ordeal, &c.] Ordeal trials were, when supposed criminals, to discover their innocence, went over several red-hot coulter irons. These were generally such whose chastity was suspected, as the vestal virgins, &c.

4 So Spanish Heroes, &c.] The young Spaniards signalize their valour before the Spanish ladies at bull feasts, which often prove very hazardous, and sometimes fatal to them. It is performed by attacking of a wild bull, kept on purpose, and let loose at the combatant; and he that kills most, carries the laurel, and dwells highest in the ladies’ favour.

5 To pawn, &c.] His exterior ears were gone before, and so out of danger; but by inward ears is here meant his conscience.

6 Loud as, &c.] Stentrophon: A speaking trumpet, by which the voice may be heard at a great distance, very useful at sea.

7 As if th’ had, &c.] This alludes to some abject letchers, who used to be disciplined with amorous lashes by their mistresses.

8 Bewitch Hermetick Men, &c.] Hermes Trismegistus, an Egyptian Philosopher, and said to have lived Anno Mundi 2076, in the reign of Ninus, after Moses. He was a wonderful philosopher and proved that there was but one God, the creator of all things; and was the author of several most excellent and useful inventions. But those Hermetick Men here mentioned, though the pretended sectators of this great man, are nothing else but a wild and extravagant sort of enthusiasts, who make a hodge-podge of Religion and Philosophy, and produce nothing but what is the object of every considering person’s contempt.

9 Potosi.] Potosi is a city of Peru, the mountains whereof afford great quantities of the finest silver in all the Indies.

10 More wretched, &c.] Villainage was an antient tenure, by which the tenants were obliged to perform the most abject and slavish services for their lords.

11 Like Indian Widows, &c.] The Indian women, richly attired, are carried in a splendid and pompous machine to the funeral pile where the bodies of their deceased husbands are to be consumed, and there voluntarily throw themselves into it, and expire; and such as refuse, their virtue is ever after suspected, and they live in the utmost contempt.

12 For as the Pythagorean, &c.] It was the opinion of Pythogoras and his followers, that, the soul transmigrated (as they termed it) into all the diverse species of animals; and so was differently disposed and affected, according to their different natures and constitutions.

13 For tho’ Chineses, &c.] The Chinese men of quality, when their wives are brought to bed, are nursed and tended with as much care as women here, and are supplied with the best strengthening and nourishing diet, in order to qualify them for future services.

14 Transform them into Rams, &c.] The Sirens according to the poets, were three sea-monsters, half women and half fish: their names were Parthenope, Lignea and Leucosia. Their usual residence was about the island of Sicily, where, by the charming melody of their voices, they used to detain those that heard them, and then transform them into some sort of brute animals.

15 By the Husband Mandrake, &c.] Naturalists report, that if a male and female Mandrake lie near each other, there will often be heard a sort of murmuring noise.

16 The World is but two Parts, &c.] The equinoctial divides the globe into North and South.

17 Unless among the Amazons, &c.] The Amazons were women of Scythia, of heroick and great atchievements. They suffered no men to live among them; but once every year used to have conversation with men, of the neighbouring countries, by which if they had a male child, they presently either killed or crippled it; but if a female, they brought it up to the use of arms, and burnt off one breast, leaving the other to suckle girls.

18 The Nymphs of chaste Diana’s &c.] Diana’s Nymphs, all of whom vowed perpetual virginity, and were much celebrated for the exact observation of their vow.

19 Lewkner’s Lane.] Some years ago swarmed with notoriously lascivious and profligate strumpets.

20 The Reason of it is &c.] Demanding the clergy of her belly, which, for the reasons aforesaid, is pleaded in excuse by those who take the liberty to oblige themselves and friends.

21 As IRONSIDE or HARDIKNUTE, &c.] Two famous and valiant princes of this country; the one a Saxon, the other a Dane.

22 But those that trade in Geomancy, &c.] The Lapland Magi. The Laplanders are an idolatrous people, far North: and it is very credibly reported, by authors and persons that have travelled in their country, that they do perform things incredible by what is vulgarly called Magick.

23 To burning with, &c.] An allusion to cauterizing in apoplexies, &c.

24 The Queen of Night, &c.] The moon influences the tides, and predominates over all humid bodies; and persons distempered in mind are called Lunaticks.

25 And growing to thy Horse, &c.] The Centaurs were a people of Thessaly, and supposed to be the first managers of horses; and the neighbouring inhabitants never having seen any such thing before, fabulously reported them monsters, half men and half horses.

26 Sir (quoth the Voice) &c.] Sophi is at present the name of the kings of Persia, not superadded, as Pharaoh was to the kings of Egypt, but the name of the family itself, and religion of Hali; whose descendants by Fatimas, Mahomet’s daughter, took the name of Sophi.

27 Wear wooden Peccadillos &c.] Peccadillos were stiff pieces that went about the neck; and round about the shoulders, to pin the band, worn by persons nice in dressing; his wooden one is a pillory.

28 Hence ’tis Possessions, &c.] Criminals, in their indictments, are charged with not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being led by the instigation of the Devil.

29 When to a legal Utlegation, &c.] When they return the excommunication into the Chancery, there is issued out a writ against the person.

30 Distrain on Soul, &c.] Excommunication, which deprives men from being Members of the visible church, and formally delivers them up to the Devil.

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