PART I

CANTO II

Illustration:
After the Battle
Colour (147 Kb) Black & White (14 Kb)

THE ARGUMENT
------------------------------------------------- The catalogue and character Of th' enemies best men of war; Whom, in bold harangue, the Knight Defies, and challenges to fight. H' encounters Talgol, routs the Bear, And takes the Fiddler prisoner, Conveys him to enchanted castle; There shuts him fast in wooden bastile. ------------------------------------------------- THERE was an ancient sage philosopher, That had read ALEXANDER Ross over, And swore the world, as he cou'd prove, Was made of fighting and of love: Just so romances are; for what else 5 Is in them all, but love and battels? O' th' first of these we've no great matter To treat of, but a world o' th' latter; In which to do the injur'd right We mean, in what concerns just fight. 10 Certes our authors are to blame, For to make some well-sounding name A pattern fit for modern Knights To copy out in frays and fights; Like those that a whole street do raze 15 To build a palace in the place. They never care how many others They kill, without regard of mothers, Or wives, or children, so they can Make up some fierce, dead-doing man, 20 Compos'd of many ingredient valors, Just like the manhood of nine taylors. So a Wild Tartar, when he spies A man that's handsome, valiant, wise, If he can kill him, thinks t' inherit 25 His wit, his beauty, and his spirit As if just so much he enjoy'd As in another is destroy'd For when a giant's slain in fight, And mow'd o'erthwart, or cleft down right, 30 It is a heavy case, no doubt; A man should have his brains beat out Because he's tall, and has large bones; As men kill beavers for their stones. But as for our part, we shall tell 35 The naked truth of what befel; And as an equal friend to both The Knight and Bear, but more to troth, With neither faction shall take part, But give to each his due desert; 40 And never coin a formal lie on't, To make the Knight o'ercome the giant. This b'ing profest, we've hopes enough, And now go on where we left off. They rode; but authors having not 45 Determin'd whether pace or trot, (That is to say, whether x tollutation, As they do term't, or succussation,) We leave it, and go on, as now Suppose they did, no matter how; 50 Yet some from subtle hints have got Mysterious light, it was a trot: But let that pass: they now begun To spur their living-engines on. For as whipp'd tops, and bandy'd balls, 55 The learned hold, are animals; So horses they affirm to be Mere engines made by geometry; And were invented first from engines, As y Indian Britons were from Penguins. 60 So let them be; and, as I was saying, They their live engines ply'd, not staying Until they reach'd the fatal champain, Which th' enemy did then encamp on; The z dire Pharsalian plain, where battle 65 Was to be wag'd 'twixt puissant cattle And fierce auxiliary men, That came to aid their brethren, Who now began to take the field, As Knight from ridge of steed beheld. 70 For as our modern wits behold, Mounted a pick-back on the old, Much further oft; much further he, Rais'd on his aged beast cou'd see; Yet not sufficient to descry 75 All postures of the enemy; Wherefore he bids the Squire ride further, T' observe their numbers, and their order; That when their motions he had known He might know how to fit his own. 80 Meanwhile he stopp'd his willing steed, To fit himself for martial deed. Both kinds of metal he prepar'd, Either to give blows, or to ward: Courage and steel, both of great force, 85 Prepar'd for better, or for worse. His death-charg'd pistols he did fit well, Drawn out from life-preserving vittle. These being prim'd, with force he labour'd To free's sword from retentive scabbard 90 And, after many a painful pluck, From rusty durance he bail'd tuck. Then shook himself, to see that prowess In scabbard of his arms sat loose; And, rais'd upon his desp'rate foot, 95 On stirrup-side he gaz'd about, Portending blood, like blazing star, The beacon of approaching war. RALPHO rode on with no less speed Than Hugo in the forest did; 100 But far more in returning made; For now the foe he had survey'd, Rang'd as to him they did appear, With van, main battle, wings, and rear. I' the head of all this warlike rabble, 105 CROWDERO march'd, expert and able. Instead of trumpet and of drum, That makes the warrior's stomach come, Whose noise whets valour sharp, like beer By thunder turn'd to vinegar, 110 (For if a trumpet sound, or drum beat, Who has not a month's mind to combat?) A squeaking engine he apply'd Unto his neck, on north-east side, Just where the hangman does dispose, 115 To special friends, the knot of noose: For 'tis great grace, when statesmen straight Dispatch a friend, let others wait. His warped ear hung o'er the strings, Which was but souse to chitterlings: 120 For guts, some write, e'er they are sodden, Are fit for music, or for pudden; From whence men borrow ev'ry kind Of minstrelsy by string or wind. His grisly beard was long and thick, 125 With which he strung his fiddle-stick; For he to horse-tail scorn'd to owe, For what on his own chin did grow. Chiron, a the four-legg'd bard, had both A beard and tail of his own growth; 130 And yet by authors 'tis averr'd, He made use only of his beard. In b Staffordshire, where virtuous worth Does raise the minstrelsy, not birth; Where bulls do chuse the boldest king, 135 And ruler, o'er the men of string; (As once in Persia, 'tis said, Kings were proclaim'd by a horse that neigh'd;) He bravely venturing at a crown, By chance of war was beaten down, 140 And wounded sore. His leg then broke, Had got a deputy of oak: For when a shin in fight is cropp'd, The knee with one of timber's propp'd, Esteem'd more honourable than the other, 145 And takes place, though the younger brother. Next march'd brave ORSIN, famous for Wise conduct, and success in war: A skilful leader, stout, severe, Now marshal to the champion bear. 150 With truncheon, tipp'd with iron head, The warrior to the lists he led; With solemn march and stately pace, But far more grave and solemn face; Grave c as the Emperor of Pegu 155 Or Spanish potentate Don Diego. This leader was of knowledge great, Either for charge or for retreat. He knew when to fall on pell-mell; To fall back and retreat as well. 160 So lawyers, lest the bear defendant, And plaintiff dog, should make an end on't, Do stave and tail with writs of error, Reverse of judgment, and demurrer, To let them breathe a while, and then 165 Cry whoop, and set them on agen. As ROMULUS a wolf did rear, So he was dry-nurs'd by a bear, That fed him with the purchas'd prey Of many a fierce and bloody fray; 170 Bred up, where discipline most rare is, In military Garden Paris. d For soldiers heretofore did grow In gardens, just as weeds do now, Until some splay-foot politicians 175 T'APOLLO offer'd up petitions For licensing a new invention They'd found out of an antique engine, To root out all the weeds that grow In public gardens at a blow, 180 And leave th' herbs standing. Quoth Sir Sun, My friends, that is not to be done. Not done! quoth Statesmen; yes, an't please ye, When it's once known, you'll say 'tis easy. Why then let's know it, quoth Apollo. 185 We'll beat a drum, and they'll all follow. A drum! (quoth PHOEBUS;) troth, that's true; A pretty invention, quaint and new. But though of voice and instrument We are the undoubted president, 190 We such loud music don't profess: The Devil's master of that office, Where it must pass, if't be a drum; He'll sign it with Cler. Parl. Dom. Com. To him apply yourselves, and he 195 Will soon dispatch you for his fee. They did so; but it prov'd so ill, Th' had better let 'em grow there still. But to resume what we discoursing Were on before, that is, stout ORSIN: 200 That which so oft, by sundry writers, Has been applied t' almost all fighters, More justly may b' ascrib'd to this Than any other warrior, (viz.) None ever acted both parts bolder, 205 Both of a chieftain and a soldier. He was of great descent and high For splendour and antiquity; And from celestial origine Deriv'd himself in a right line. 210 Not as the ancient heroes did, Who, that their base-births might be hid, (Knowing they were of doubtful gender, And that they came in at a windore) Made Jupiter himself and others 215 O' th' gods, gallants to their own mothers, To get on them a race of champions, (Of which old Homer first made Lampoons.) ARCTOPHYLAX, in northern spheres Was his undoubted ancestor: 220 From him his great forefathers came, And in all ages bore his name. Learned he was in med'c'nal lore; For by his side a pouch he wore, Replete with strange Hermetic powder, 225 That wounds nine miles point-blank wou'd solder; By skilful chemist, with great cost, Extracted from a rotten post; But of a heav'nlier influence Than that which mountebanks dispense; 230 Tho' by Promethean fire made, e As they do quack that drive that trade. For as when slovens do amiss At others doors, by stool or piss, The learned write, a red-hot spit 235 B'ing prudently apply'd to it, Will convey mischief from the dung Unto the part that did the wrong, So this did healing; and as sure As that did mischief this would cure. 240 Thus virtuous ORSIN was endu'd With learning, conduct, fortitude, Incomparable: and as the prince Of poets, HOMER sung long since A skilful leech is better far 245 Than half an hundred men of war, So he appear'd; and by his skill, No less than dint of sword, cou'd kill The gallant BRUIN march'd next him, With visage formidably grim, 250 And rugged as a Saracen, Or Turk of Mahomet's own kin; Clad in a mantle della guerre Of rough impenetrable fur; And in his nose, like Indian King, 255 He wore, for ornament, a ring; About his neck a threefold gorget. As rough as trebled leathern target; Armed, as heralds cant, and langued; Or, as the vulgar say, sharp-fanged. 260 For as the teeth in beasts of prey Are swords, with which they fight in fray; So swords, in men of war, are teeth, Which they do eat their vittle with. He was by birth, some authors write, 265 A Russian; some, a Muscovite; And 'mong the Cossacks had been bred; f Of whom we in diurnals read, That serve to fill up pages here, As with their bodies ditches there. 270 SCRIMANSKY was his cousin-german, With whom he serv'd, and fed on vermin; And when these fail'd, he'd suck his claws, And quarter himself upon his paws. And tho' his countrymen, the Huns,g 275 Did stew their meat between their bums And th' horses backs o'er which they straddle, And ev'ry man eat up his saddle; He was not half so nice as they, But eat it raw when 't came in's way. 280 He had trac'd countries far and near, More than LE BLANC, the traveller; Who writes, he spous'd in India, h Of noble house, a lady gay, And got on her a race of worthies, 285 As stout as any upon earth is. Full many a fight for him between TALGOL and ORSIN oft had been Each striving to deserve the crown Of a sav'd citizen; the one 290 To guard his bear; the other fought To aid his dog; both made more stout By sev'ral spurs of neighbourhood, Church-fellow-membership, and blood But TALGOL, mortal foe to cows, 295 Never got aught of him but blows; Blows, hard and heavy, such as he Had lent, repaid with usury. Yet TALGOL was of courage stout, And vanquish'd oft'ner than he fought: 300 Inur'd to labour, sweat and toil, And like a champion shone with oil. Right many a widow his keen blade,. And many fatherless had made. He many a boar and huge dun-cow 305 Did, like another Guy, o'erthrow; But Guy with him in fight compar'd, Had like the boar or dun-cow far'd With greater troops of sheep h' had fought Than AJAX or bold DON QUIXOTE: 310 And many a serpent of fell kind, With wings before and stings behind, Subdu'd: as poets say, long agone Bold Sir GEORGE, St. GEORGE did the dragon. Nor engine, nor device polemic, 315 Disease, nor doctor epidemic, Tho' stor'd with deletory med'cines, (Which whosoever took is dead since,) E'er sent so vast a colony To both the underworlds as he: 320 For he was of that noble trade That demi-gods and heroes made, Slaughter and knocking on the head;. The trade to which they all were bred; And is, like others, glorious when 325 'Tis great and large, but base if mean. The former rides in triumph for it; The latter in a two-wheel'd chariot For daring to profane a thing So sacred with vile bungling. 330 Next these the brave MAGNANO came; MAGNANO, great in martial fame. Yet when with ORSIN he wag'd fight, 'Tis sung, he got but little by't. Yet he was fierce as forest boar, 335 Whose spoils upon his back he wore, As thick as AJAX' seven-fold shield, Which o'er his brazen arms he held: But brass was feeble to resist The fury of his armed fist: 340 Nor cou'd the hardest ir'n hold out Against his blows, but they wou'd through't. In MAGIC he was deeply read i As he that made the brazen head; Profoundly skill'd in the black art; 345 As ENGLISH MERLIN for his heart; But far more skilful in the spheres Than he was at the sieve and shears. He cou'd transform himself in colour As like the devil as a collier; 350 As like as hypocrites in show Are to true saints, or crow to crow. Of WARLIKE ENGINES he was author, Devis'd for quick dispatch of slaughter: The cannon, blunderbuss, and saker, 355 He was th' inventor of, and maker: The trumpet, and the kettle-drum, Did both from his invention come. He was the first that e'er did teach To make, and how to stop, a breach. 360 A lance he bore with iron pike; Th' one half wou'd thrust, the other strike; And when their forces he had join'd, He scorn'd to turn his parts behind. He TRULLA lov'd; TRULLA, more bright 365 Than burnish'd armour of her Knight: A bold virago, stout and tall, As k JOAN of FRANCE, or English MALL. Thro' perils both of wind and limb, Thro' thick and thin, she follow'd him, 370 In ev'ry adventure h' undertook, And never him or it forsook. At breach of wall, or hedge surprize, She shar'd i' th' hazard and the prize: At beating quarters up, or forage, 375 Behav'd herself with matchless courage; And laid about in fight more busily Than the l Amazonian dame Penthesile. And though some criticks here cry shame, And say our authors are to blame, 380 That (spite of all philosophers, Who hold no females stout, but bears; And heretofore did so abhor That women should pretend to war, 'They wou'd not suffer the stoutest dame 385 To swear m by HERCULES'S name) Make feeble ladies, in their works, To fight like termagants and Turks; To lay their native arms aside, Their modesty, and ride astride; 390 To run a-tilt at men, and wield Their naked tools in open field; As stout n ARMIDA, bold TRALESTRIS, And she that wou'd have been the mistress Of o GUNDIBERT; but he had grace, 395 And rather took a country lass; They say, 'tis false, without all sense, But of pernicious consequence To government, which they suppose Can never be upheld in prose; 400 Strip nature naked to the skin, You'll find about her no such thing. It may be so; yet what we tell Of TRULLA that's improbable, Shall be depos'd by those who've seen't, 405 Or, what's as good, produc'd in print: And if they will not take our word, We'll prove it true upon record. The upright CERDON next advanc't, Of all his race the valiant'st: 410 CERDON the Great, renown'd in song, Like HERC'LES, for repair of wrong: He rais'd the low, and fortify'd The weak against the strongest side: Ill has he read, that never hit 415 On him in Muses' deathless writ. He had a weapon keen and fierce, That through a bull-hide shield wou'd pierce, And cut it in a thousand pieces, 420 Tho' tougher than the Knight of Greece his, With whom his black-thumb'd ancestor Was comrade in the ten years war: For when the restless Greeks sat down So many years before Troy town, 425 And were renown'd, as HOMER writes, For well-soal'd boots no less than fights, They ow'd that glory only to His ancestor, that made them so. Fast friend he was to REFORMATION, 430 Until 'twas worn quite out of fashion. Next rectifier of wry LAW, And wou'd make three to cure one flaw. Learned he was, and could take note, Transcribe, collect, translate, and quote. 435 But PREACHING was his chiefest talent, Or argument, in which b'ing valiant, He us'd to lay about and stickle, Like ram or bull, at conventicle: For disputants, like rams and bulls, 440 Do fight with arms that spring from skulls. Last COLON came, bold man of war, Destin'd to blows by fatal star; Right expert in command of horse; But cruel, and without remorse. 445 That which of CENTAUR long ago Was said, and has been wrested to Some other knights, was true of this; He and his horse were of a piece. One spirit did inform them both; 450 The self-same vigour, fury, wroth: Yet he was much the rougher part, And always had a harder heart; Although his horse had been of those That fed on man's flesh, as fame goes. 455 Strange food for horse! and yet, alas! It may be true, for flesh is grass. Sturdy he was, and no less able Than HERCULES to clean a stable; As great a drover, and as great 460 A critic too, in hog or neat. He ripp'd the womb up of his mother, Dame Tellus, 'cause she wanted fother And provender wherewith to feed Himself, and his less cruel steed. 465 It was a question, whether he Or's horse were of a family More worshipful: 'till antiquaries (After th' had almost por'd out their eyes) Did very learnedly decide 470 The business on the horse's side; And prov'd not only horse, but cows, Nay, pigs, were of the elder house: For beasts, when man was but a piece Of earth himself, did th' earth possess. 475 These worthies were the chief that led The combatants, each in the head Of his command, with arms and rage, Ready and longing to engage. The numerous rabble was drawn out 480 Of sev'ral counties round about, From villages remote, and shires, Of east and western hemispheres From foreign parishes and regions, Of different manners, speech, religions, 485 Came men and mastiffs; some to fight For fame and honour, some for sight. And now the field of death, the lists, Were enter'd by antagonists, And blood was ready to be broach'd, 490 When HUDIBRAS in haste approach'd, With Squire and weapons, to attack 'em: But first thus from his horse bespake 'em: What rage, O citizens! what fury Doth you to these dire actions hurry? 495 What p oestrum, what phrenetic mood, Makes you thus lavish of your blood, While the proud Vies your trophies boast And unreveng'd walks -- ghost? What towns, what garrisons might you 500 With hazard of this blood subdue, Which now y'are bent to throw away In vain, untriumphable fray! Shall SAINTS in civil bloodshed wallow Of Saints, and let the CAUSE lie fallow? 505 The Cause for which we fought and swore So boldly, shall we now give o'er? Then, because quarrels still are seen With oaths and swearings to begin, The SOLEMN LEAGUE and COVENANT 510 Will seem a mere God-dam-me rant; And we, that took it, and have fought, As lewd as drunkards that fall out. For as we make war for the King Against himself the self-same thing, 515 Some will not stick to swear we do For God and for Religion too: For if bear-baiting we allow, What good can Reformation do? The blood and treasure that's laid out, 520 Is thrown away, and goes for nought. Are these the fruits o' th' PROTESTATION, The Prototype of Reformation, Which all the Saints, and some, since Martyrs, Wore q in their hats like wedding garters, 525 When 'twas r resolv'd by either house Six Members quarrel to espouse? Did they for this draw down the rabble, With zeal and noises formidable, And make all cries about the town 530 Join throats to cry the Bishops down? Who having round begirt the palace, (As once a month they do the gallows,) As members gave the sign about, Set up their throats with hideous shout. 535 When tinkers bawl'd aloud to settle Church discipline, for patching kettle: No sow-gelder did blow his horn To geld a cat, but cry'd, Reform. The oyster-women lock'd their fish up, 540 And trudg'd away, to cry, No Bishop. The mouse-trap men laid save-alls by, And 'gainst Ev'l Counsellors did cry. Botchers left old cloaths in the lurch, And fell to turn and patch the Church. 545 Some cry'd the Covenant instead Of pudding-pies and ginger-bread; And some for brooms, old boots and shoes, Bawl'd out to Purge the Commons House. Instead of kitchen-stuff, some cry, 550 A Gospel-preaching Ministry; And some, for old suits, coats, or cloak, No Surplices nor Service-Book. A strange harmonious inclination Of all degrees to Reformation. 555 And is this all? Is this the end To which these carr'ings on did tend? Hath public faith, like a young heir, For this ta'en up all sorts of ware, And run int' every tradesman's book, 560 'Till both turn'd bankrupts, and are broke? Did Saints for this bring in their plate, And crowd as if they came too late? For when they thought the Cause had need on't, Happy was he that could be rid on't. 565 Did they coin piss-pots, bowls, and flaggons, Int' officers of horse and dragoons; And into pikes and musquetteers Stamp beakers, cups, and porringers! A thimble, bodkin, and a spoon, 570 Did start up living men as soon As in the furnace they were thrown, Just like the dragon's teeth b'ing sown. Then was the Cause of gold and plate, The Brethren's off'rings, consecrate, 575 Like th' Hebrew calf, and down before it The Saints fell prostrate, to adore it So say the wicked -- and will you Make that s sarcasmus scandal true, By running after dogs and bears? 580 Beasts more unclean than calves or steers. Have pow'rful Preachers ply'd their tongues, And laid themselves out and their lungs; Us'd all means, both direct and sinister, I' th' pow'r of Gospel-preaching Minister? 585 Have they invented tones to win The women, and make them draw in The men, as Indians with a female Tame elephant inveigle the male? Have they told Prov'dence what it must do, 590 Whom to avoid, and whom to trust to? Discover'd th' enemy's design, And which way best to countermine? Prescrib'd what ways it hath to work, Or it will ne'er advance the Kirk? 595 Told it the news o' th' last express, And after good or bad success, Made prayers, not so like petitions, As overtures and propositions, (Such as the army did present 600 To their creator, th' Parliament,) In which they freely will confess They will not, cannot acquiesce, Unless the work be carry'd on In the same way they have begun, 605 By setting Church and Common-weal All on a flame, bright as their zeal, On which the Saints were all a-gog, And all this for a bear and dog? The parliament drew up petitions 610 To itself, and sent them, like commissions, To well-affected persons down, In ev'ry city and great town, With pow'r to levy horse and men, Only to bring them back agen: 615 For this did many, many a mile, Ride manfully in rank and file, With papers in their hats, that show'd As if they to the pillory rode. Have all these courses, these efforts, 620 Been try'd by people of all sorts, Velis & remis, omnibus nervis And all t'advance the Cause's service? And shall all now be thrown, away In petulant intestine fray? 625 Shall we that in the Cov'nant swore, Each man of us to run before Another, still in Reformation, Give dogs and bears a dispensation? How will Dissenting Brethren relish it? 630 What will malignants say? videlicet, That each man Swore to do his best, To damn and perjure all the rest! And bid the Devil take the hin'most, Which at this race is like to win most. 635 They'll say our bus'ness, to reform The Church and State, is but a worm; For to subscribe, unsight, unseen, To an unknown Church-discipline, What is it else, but before-hand 640 T'engage, and after understand? For when we swore to carry on The present Reformation, According to the purest mode Of Churches best reformed abroad, 645 What did we else, but make a vow To do we know not what, nor how? For no three of us will agree, Where or what Churches these should be; And is indeed t the self-same case 650 With theirs that swore et caeteras; Or the u French League, in which men vow'd To fight to the last drop of blood. These slanders will be thrown upon The Cause and Work we carry on, 655 If we permit men to run headlong T' exorbitances fit for Bedlam Rather than Gospel-walking times, When slightest sins are greatest crimes. But we the matter so shall handle, 660 As to remove that odious scandal. In name of King and parliament, I charge ye all; no more foment This feud, but keep the peace between Your brethren and your countrymen; 665 And to those places straight repair Where your respective dwellings are. But to that purpose first surrender The FIDDLER, as the prime offender, Th' incendiary vile, that is chief 670 Author and engineer of mischief; That makes division between friends, For profane and malignant ends. He, and that engine of vile noise, On which illegally he plays, 675 Shall (dictum factum) both be brought To condign punishment, as they ought. This must be done; and I would fain see Mortal so sturdy as to gain-say: For then I'll take another course, 680 And soon reduce you all by force. This said, he clapp'd his hand on sword, To shew he meant to keep his word. But TALGOL, who had long supprest Inflamed wrath in glowing, breast, 685 Which now began to rage and burn as Implacably as flame in furnace, Thus answer'd him: -- Thou vermin wretched As e'er in measled pork was hatched; Thou tail of worship, that dost grow 690 On rump of justice as of cow; How dar'st thou, with that sullen luggage O' th' self, old ir'n, and other baggage, With which thy steed of bones and leather Has broke his wind in halting hither; 695 How durst th', I say, adventure thus T' oppose thy lumber against us? Could thine impertinence find out To work t' employ itself about, Where thou, secure from wooden blow, 700 Thy busy vanity might'st show? Was no dispute a-foot between The caterwauling Brethren? No subtle question rais'd among 705 Those out-o-their wits, and those i' th' wrong; No prize between those combatants O' th' times, the Land and Water Saints; Where thou might'st stickle without hazard Of outrage to thy hide and mazzard; And not for want of bus'ness come 710 To us to be so troublesome, To interrupt our better sort Of disputants, and spoil our sport? Was there no felony, no bawd, Cut-purse, no burglary abroad; 715 No stolen pig, nor plunder'd goose, To tie thee up from breaking loose? No ale unlicens'd, broken hedge, For which thou statute might'st alledge, To keep thee busy from foul evil, 720 And shame due to thee from the Devil? Did no committee sit, where he Might cut out journey-work for thee? And set th' a task, with subornation, To stitch up sale and sequestration; 725 To cheat, with holiness and zeal, All parties, and the common-weal? Much better had it been for thee, H' had kept thee where th' art us'd to be; Or sent th' on bus'ness any whither, 730 So he had never brought thee hither. But if th' hast brain enough in skull To keep itself in lodging whole, And not provoke the rage of stones And cudgels to thy hide and bones 735 Tremble, and vanish, while thou may'st, Which I'll not promise if thou stay'st. At this the Knight grew high in wroth, And lifting hands and eyes up both, Three times he smote on stomach stout, 740 From whence at length these words broke out: Was I for this entitled SIR, And girt with trusty sword and spur, For fame and honor to wage battle, Thus to be brav'd by foe to cattle? 745 Not all that pride that makes thee swell As big as thou dost blown-up veal; Nor all thy tricks and sleights to cheat, And sell thy carrion for good meat; Not all thy magic to repair 750 Decay'd old age in tough lean ware; Make nat'ral appear thy work, And stop the gangrene in stale pork; Not all that force that makes thee proud, Because by bullock ne'er withstood; 755 Though arm'd with all thy cleavers, knives, And axes made to hew down lives, Shall save or help thee to evade The hand of Justice, or this blade, Which I, her sword-bearer, do carry, 760 For civil deed and military. Nor shall those words of venom base, Which thou hast from their native place, Thy stomach, pump'd to fling on me, Go unreveng'd, though I am free: 765 Thou down the same throat shalt devour 'em, Like tainted beef, and pay dear for 'em. Nor shall it e'er be said, that wight With gantlet blue, and bases white, And round blunt truncheon by his side, 770 So great a man at arms defy'd With words far bitterer than wormwood, That would in Job or Grizel stir mood. Dogs with their tongues their wounds do heal; But men with hands, as thou shalt feel. 775 This said, with hasty rage he snatch'd His gun-shot, that in holsters watch'd; And bending cock, he levell'd full Against th' outside of TALGOL'S skull; Vowing that he shou'd ne'er stir further, 780 Nor henceforth cow nor bullock murther. But PALLAS came in shape of rust, And 'twixt the spring and hammerthrust Her Gorgon shield, which made the cock Stand stiff, as t'were transform'd to stock. 785 Mean while fierce TALGOL, gath'ring might, With rugged truncheon charg'd the Knight; But he with petronel upheav'd, Instead of shield, the blow receiv'd. The gun recoil'd, as well it might, 790 Not us'd to such a kind of fight, And shrunk from its great master's gripe, Knock'd down and stunn'd by mortal stripe. Then HUDIBRAS, with furious haste, Drew out his sword; yet not so fast, 795 But TALGOL first, with hardy thwack, Twice bruis'd his head, and twice his back. But when his nut-brown sword was out, With stomach huge he laid about, Imprinting many a wound upon 800 His mortal foe, the truncheon. The trusty cudgel did oppose Itself against dead-doing blows, To guard its leader from fell bane, And then reveng'd itself again. 805 And though the sword (some understood) In force had much the odds of wood, 'Twas nothing so; both sides were ballanc't So equal, none knew which was valiant'st: For wood with Honour b'ing engag'd, 810 Is so implacably enrag'd, Though iron hew and mangle sore, Wood wounds and bruises Honour more. And now both Knights were out of breath, Tir'd in the hot pursuit of death; 815 While all the rest amaz'd stood still, Expecting which should take or kill. This HUDIBRAS observ'd; and fretting Conquest should be so long a getting, He drew up all his force into 820 One body, and that into one blow. But TALGOL wisely avoided it By cunning sleight; for had it hit, The upper part of him the blow Had slit as sure as that below. 825 Meanwhile th' incomparable COLON, To aid his friend, began to fall on. Him RALPH encounter'd, and straight grew A dismal combat 'twixt them two: Th' one arm'd with metal, th' other with wood; 830 This fit for bruise, and that for blood. With many a stiff thwack, many a bang, Hard crab-tree and old iron rang; While none that saw them cou'd divine To which side conquest would incline, 835 Until MAGNANO, who did envy That two should with so many men vie, By subtle stratagem of brain, Perform'd what force could ne'er attain; For he, by foul hap, having found 840 Where thistles grew on barren ground, In haste he drew his weapon out, And having cropp'd them from the root, He clapp'd them underneath the tail Of steed, with pricks as sharp as nail. 845 The angry beast did straight resent The wrong done to his fundament; Began to kick, and fling, and wince, As if h' had been beside his sense, Striving to disengage from thistle, 850 That gall'd him sorely under his tail: Instead of which, he threw the pack Of Squire and baggage from his back; And blund'ring still with smarting rump, He gave the Knight's steed such a thump 855 As made him reel. The Knight did stoop, And sat on further side aslope. This TALGOL viewing, who had now By sleight escap'd the fatal blow, He rally'd, and again fell to't; 860 For catching foe by nearer foot, He lifted with such might and strength, As would have hurl'd him thrice his length, And dash'd his brains (if any) out: But MARS, that still protects the stout, 865 In pudding-time came to his aid, And under him the Bear convey'd; The Bear, upon whose soft fur-gown The Knight with all his weight fell down. The friendly rug preserv'd the ground, 870 And headlong Knight, from bruise or wound; Like feather-bed betwixt a wall And heavy brunt of cannon-ball. As Sancho on a blanket fell, And had no hurt, our's far'd as well 875 In body; though his mighty spirit, B'ing heavy, did not so well bear it, The Bear was in a greater fright, Beat down and worsted by the Knight. He roar'd, and rak'd, and flung about, 880 To shake off bondage from his snout. His wrath inflam'd, boil'd o'er, and from His jaws of death he threw the foam: Fury in stranger postures threw him, And more than herald ever drew him. 885 He tore the earth which he had sav'd From squelch of Knight, and storm'd and rav'd, And vext the more because the harms He felt were 'gainst the law of arms: For men he always took to be 890 His friends, and dogs the enemy; Who never so much hurt had done him, As his own side did falling on him. It griev'd him to the guts that they For whom h' had fought so many a fray, 895 And serv'd with loss of blood so long, Shou'd offer such inhuman wrong; Wrong of unsoldier-like condition; For which he flung down his commission; And laid about him, till his nose 900 From thrall of ring and cord broke loose. Soon as he felt himself enlarg'd, Through thickest of his foes he charg'd, And made way through th' amazed crew; Some he o'erran, and some o'erthrew, 905 But took none; for by hasty flight He strove t' escape pursuit of Knight; From whom he fled with as much haste And dread as he the rabble chas'd. In haste he fled, and so did they; 910 Each and his fear a several way. CROWDERO only kept the field; Not stirring from the place he held; Though beaten down and wounded sore, I' th' fiddle, and a leg that bore 915 One side of him; not that of bone, But much it's better, th' wooden one. He spying HUDIBRAS lie strow'd Upon the ground, like log of wood, With fright of fall, supposed wound, 920 And loss of urine, in a swound, In haste he snatch'd the wooden limb, That hurt i' the ankle lay by him, And fitting it for sudden fight, Straight drew it up t' attack the Knight; 925 For getting up on stump and huckle, He with the foe began to buckle; Vowing to be reveng'd for breach Of crowd and skin upon the wretch, Sole author of all detriment 930 He and his fiddle underwent. But RALPHO (who had now begun T' adventure resurrection From heavy squelch, and had got up Upon his legs, with sprained crup) 935 Looking about, beheld pernicion Approaching Knight from fell musician. He snatch'd his whinyard up, that fled When he was falling off his steed, (As rats do from a falling house,) 940 To hide itself from rage of blows; And, wing'd with speed and fury, flew To rescue Knight from black and blew; Which, e'er he cou'd atchieve, his sconce The leg encounter'd twice and once; 945 And now 'twas rais'd to smite agen, When RALPHO thrust himself between. He took the blow upon his arm, To shield the Knight from further harm; And, joining wrath with force, bestow'd 950 On th' wooden member such a load, That down it fell, and with it bore CROWDERO, whom it propp'd before. To him the Squire right nimbly run, And setting conquering foot upon 955 His trunk, thus spoke: What desp'rate frenzy Made thee (thou whelp of Sin!) to fancy Thyself, and all that coward rabble, T' encounter us in battle able? How durst th', I say, oppose thy curship 960 'Gainst arms, authority, and worship? And HUDIBRAS or me provoke, Though all thy limbs, were heart of oke, And th' other half of thee as good To bear out blows, as that of wood? 965 Cou'd not the whipping-post prevail With all its rhet'ric, nor the jail, To keep from flaying scourge thy skin, And ankle free from iron gin? Which now thou shalt -- But first our care 970 Must see how HUDIBRAS doth fare. This said, he gently rais'd the Knight, And set him on his bum upright. To rouse him from lethargic dump, He tweak'd his nose; with gentle thump 975 Knock'd on his breast, as if 't had been To raise the spirits lodg'd within. They, waken'd with the noise, did fly From inward room to window eye, And gently op'ning lid, the casement, 980 Look'd out, but yet with some amazement. This gladded RALPHO much to see, Who thus bespoke the Knight: quoth he, Tweaking his nose, You are, great Sir, A self-denying conqueror; 985 As high, victorious, and great, As e'er fought for the Churches yet, If you will give yourself but leave To make out what y' already have; That's victory. The foe, for dread 990 Of your nine-worthiness, is fled: All, save CROWDERO, for whose sake You did th' espous'd Cause undertake; And he lies pris'ner at your feet, To be dispos'd as you think meet; 995 Either for life, or death, or sale, The gallows, or perpetual jail; For one wink of your powerful eye Must sentence him to live or die. His fiddle is your proper purchase, 1000 Won in the service of the Churches; And by your doom must be allow'd To be, or be no more, a crowd. For though success did not confer Just title on the conqueror; 1005 Though dispensations were not strong Conclusions, whether right or wrong, Although out-goings did confirm, And owning were but a mere term; Yet as the wicked have no right 1010 To th' creature, though usurp'd by might, The property is in the Saint, From whom th' injuriously detain 't; Of him they hold their luxuries, Their dogs, their horses, whores, and dice, 1015 Their riots, revels, masks, delights, Pimps, buffoons, fiddlers, parasites; All which the Saints have title to, And ought t' enjoy, if th' had their due. What we take from them is no more 1020 Than what was our's by right before; For we are their true landlords still, And they our tenants but at will. At this the Knight began to rouze, And by degrees grow valorous. 1025 He star'd about, and seeing none Of all his foes remain, but one, He snatch'd his weapon, that lay near him, And from the ground began to rear him; Vowing to make CROWDERO pay 1030 For all the rest that ran away. But RALPHO now, in colder blood, His fury mildly thus withstood: Great Sir, quoth he, your mighty spirit Is rais'd too high: this slave does merit 1035 To be the hangman's bus'ness, sooner Than from your hand to have the honour Of his destruction. I, that am A nothingness in deed and name Did scorn to hurt his forfeit carcase, 1040 Or ill intreat his fiddle or case: Will you, great Sir, that glory blot In cold blood which you gain'd in hot? Will you employ your conqu'ring sword To break a fiddle and your word? 1045 For though I fought, and overcame, And quarter gave, 'twas in your name. For great commanders only own What's prosperous by the soldier done. To save, where you have pow'r to kill, 1050 Argues your pow'r above your will; And that your will and pow'r have less Than both might have of selfishness. This pow'r which, now alive, with dread He trembles at, if he were dead, 1055 Wou'd no more keep the slave in awe, Than if you were a Knight of straw: For death would then be his conqueror; Not you, and free him from that terror. If danger from his life accrue; 1060 Or honour from his death, to you, 'Twere policy, and honour too, To do as you resolv'd to do: But, Sir, 'twou'd wrong your valour much, To say it needs or fears a crutch. 1065 Great conquerors greater glory gain By foes in triumph led, than slain: The laurels that adorn their brows Are pull'd from living not dead boughs, And living foes: the greatest fame 1070 Of cripple slain can be but lame. One half of him's already slain, The other is not worth your pain; Th' honour can but on one side light, As worship did, when y' were dubb'd Knight. 1075 Wherefore I think it better far To keep him prisoner of war; And let him fast in bonds abide, At court of Justice to be try'd; Where, if he appear so bold and crafty, 1080 There may be danger in his safety. If any member there dislike His face, or to his beard have pique; Or if his death will save or yield, Revenge or fright, it is reveal'd. 1085 Though he has quarter, ne'er the less Y' have power to hang him when you please. This has been often done by some Of our great conqu'rors, you know whom; And has by most of us been held 1090 Wise Justice, and to some reveal'd. For words and promises, that yoke The conqueror, are quickly broke; Like SAMPSON's cuffs, though by his own Direction and advice put on. 1095 For if we should fight for the CAUSE By rules of military laws, And only do what they call just, The Cause would quickly fall to dust. This we among ourselves may speak; 1100 But to the wicked, or the weak, We must be cautious to declare Perfection-truths, such as these are. This said, the high outrageous mettle Of Knight began to cool and settle. 1105 He lik'd the Squire's advice, and soon Resolv'd to see the business done And therefore charg'd him first to bind CROWDERO'S hands on rump behind, And to its former place and use, 1110 The wooden member to reduce But force it take an oath before, Ne'er to bear arms against him more. RALPHO dispatch'd with speedy haste, And having ty'd CROWDERO fast, 1115 He gave Sir Knight the end of cord, To lead the captive of his sword In triumph, whilst the steeds he caught, And them to further service brought. The Squire in state rode on before, 1120 And on his nut-brown whinyard bore The trophee-fiddle and the case, Leaning on shoulder like a mace. The Knight himself did after ride, Leading CROWDERO by his side; 1125 And tow'd him, if he lagg'd behind, Like boat against the tide and wind. Thus grave and solemn they march'd on, Until quite thro' the town th' had gone; At further end of which there stands 1130 An ancient castle, that commands Th' adjacent parts: in all the fabrick You shall not see one stone nor a brick; But all of wood; by pow'rful spell Of magic made impregnable. 1135 There's neither iron-bar nor gate, Portcullis, chain, nor bolt, nor grate, And yet men durance there abide, In dungeon scarce three inches wide; With roof so low, that under it 1140 They never stand, but lie or sit; And yet so foul, that whoso is in, Is to the middle-leg in prison; In circle magical conflu'd, With walls of subtile air and wind, 1145 Which none are able to break thorough, Until they're freed by head of borough. Thither arriv'd, th' advent'rous Knight And bold Squire from their steeds alight At th' outward wall, near which there stands 1150 A bastile, built to imprison hands; By strange enchantment made to fetter The lesser parts and free the greater; For though the body may creep through, The hands in grate are fast enough: 1155 And when a circle 'bout the wrist Is made by beadle exorcist, The body feels the spur and switch, As if 'twere ridden post by witch At twenty miles an hour pace, 1160 And yet ne'er stirs out of the place. On top of this there is a spire, On which Sir Knight first bids the Squire The fiddle and its spoils, the case, In manner of a trophee place. 1165 That done, they ope the trap-door gate, And let CROWDERO down thereat; CROWDERO making doleful face, Like hermit poor in pensive place. To dungeon they the wretch commit, 1170 And the survivor of his feet But th' other, that had broke the peace And head of Knighthood, they release; Though a delinquent false and forged, Yet be'ing a stranger, he's enlarged; 1175 While his comrade, that did no hurt, Is clapp'd up fast in prison for't. So Justice, while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.

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