PART I

CANTO III

Illustration:
Hudibras in Captivity
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THE ARGUMENT
------------------------------------------------- The scatter'd rout return and rally, Surround the place; the Knight does sally, And is made pris'ner: Then they seize Th' inchanted fort by storm; release Crowdero, and put the Squire in's place; I should have first said Hudibras. ------------------------------------------------- Ah me! what perils do environ The man that meddles with cold iron! What plaguy mischiefs and mishaps Do dog him still with after-claps! For though dame Fortune seem to smile 5 And leer upon him for a while, She'll after shew him, in the nick Of all his glories, a dog-trick. This any man may sing or say, I' th' ditty call'd, What if a Day? 10 For HUDIBRAS, who thought h' had won The field, as certain as a gun; And having routed the whole troop, With victory was cock a-hoop; Thinking h' had done enough to purchase 15 Thanksgiving-day among the Churches, Wherein his mettle, and brave worth, Might be explain'd by Holder-forth, And register'd, by fame eternal, In deathless pages of diurnal; 20 Found in few minutes, to his cost, He did but count without his host; And that a turn-stile is more certain Than, in events of war, dame Fortune. For now the late faint-hearted rout, 25 O'erthrown, and scatter'd round about, Chas'd by the horror of their fear From bloody fray of Knight and Bear, (All but the dogs, who, in pursuit Of the Knight's victory, stood to't, 30 And most ignobly fought to get The honour of his blood and sweat,) Seeing the coast was free and clear O' th' conquer'd and the conqueror, Took heart again, and fac'd about, 35 As if they meant to stand it out: For by this time the routed Bear, Attack'd by th' enemy i' th' rear, Finding their number grew too great For him to make a safe retreat, 40 Like a bold chieftain, fac'd about; But wisely doubting to hold out, Gave way to Fortune, and with haste Fac'd the proud foe, and fled, and fac'd; Retiring still, until he found 45 H' had got the advantage of the ground; And then as valiantly made head To check the foe, and forthwith fled; Leaving no art untry'd, nor trick Of warrior stout and politick, 50 Until, in spite of hot pursuit, He gain'd a pass to hold dispute On better terms, and stop the course Of the proud foe. With all his force He bravely charg'd, and for a while 55 Forc'd their whole body to recoil; But still their numbers so increas'd, He found himself at length oppress'd, And all evasions, so uncertain, To save himself for better fortune, 60 That he resolv'd, rather than yield, To die with honour in the field, And sell his hide and carcase at A price as high and desperate As e'er he could. This resolution 65 He forthwith put in execution, And bravely threw himself among The enemy i' th' greatest throng. But what cou'd single valour do Against so numerous a foe? 70 Yet much he did indeed, too much To be believ'd, where th' odds were such. But one against a multitude Is more than mortal can make good. For while one party he oppos'd, 75 His rear was suddenly inclos'd; And no room left him for retreat, Or fight against a foe so great. For now the mastives, charging home, To blows and handy gripes were come: 80 While manfully himself he bore, And setting his right-foot before, He rais'd himself, to shew how tall His person was above them all. This equal shame and envy stirr'd 85 In th' enemy, that one should beard So many warriors, and so stout, As he had done, and stav'd it out, Disdaining to lay down his arms, And yield on honourable terms. 90 Enraged thus, some in the rear Attack'd him, and some ev'ry where, Till down he fell; yet falling fought, And, being down, still laid about; As WIDDRINGTON, in doleful dumps, 95 Is said to light upon his stumps. But all, alas! had been in vain, And he inevitably slain, If TRULLA and CERDON, in the nick, To rescue him had not been quick; 100 For TRULLA, who was light of foot As shafts which long-field Parthians shoot, (But not so light as to be borne Upon the ears of standing corn, Or trip it o'er the water quicker 105 Than witches, when their staves they liquor, As some report,) was got among The foremost of the martial throng; There pitying the vanquish'd Bear, She call'd to CERDON, who stood near, 110 Viewing the bloody fight; to whom, Shall we (quoth she) stand still hum-drum, And see stout Bruin all alone, By numbers basely overthrown? Such feats already h' has atchiev'd, 115 In story not to be believ'd; And 'twould to us be shame enough, Not to attempt to fetch him off. I would (quoth he) venture a limb To second thee, and rescue him: 120 But then we must about it straight, Or else our aid will come too late. Quarter he scorns, he is so stout, And therefore cannot long hold out. This said, they wav'd their weapons round 125 About their heads, to clear the ground; And joining forces, laid about So fiercely, that th' amazed rout Turn'd tale again, and straight begun, As if the Devil drove, to run. 130 Meanwhile th' approach'd th' place where Bruin Was now engag'd to mortal ruin. The conqu'ring foe they soon assail'd; First TRULLA p stav'd, and CERDON tail'd, Until their mastives loos'd their hold: 135 And yet, alas! do what they could, The worsted Bear came off with store Of bloody wounds, but all before: For as ACHILLES, dipt in pond, Was ANABAPTIZ'D free from wound, 140 Made proof against dead-doing steel All over, but the Pagan heel; So did our champion's arms defend All of him, but the other end, His head and ears, which, in the martial 145 Encounter, lost a leathern parcel For as an Austrian Archduke once Had one ear (which in ducatoons Is half the coin) in battle par'd Close to his head, so Bruin far'd; 150 But tugg'd and pull'd on th' other side, Like scriv'ner newly crucify'd; Or like the late q corrected leathern Ears of the Circumcised Brethren. But gentle TRULLA into th' ring 155 He wore in's nose convey'd a string, With which she march'd before, and led The warrior to a grassy bed, As authors write, in a cool shade, Which eglantine and roses made; 160 Close by a softly murm'ring stream, Where lovers us'd to loll and dream. There leaving him to his repose, Secured from pursuit of foes, And wanting nothing but a song, 165 And a well-tun'd theorbo hung Upon a bough, to ease the pain His tugg'd ears suffer'd, with a strain, They both drew up, to march in quest Of his great leader and the rest. 170 For ORSIN (who was more renown'd For stout maintaining of his ground In standing fight, than for pursuit, As being not so quick of foot) Was not long able to keep pace 175 With others that pursu'd the chace; But found himself left far behind, Both out of heart and out of wind: Griev'd to behold his Bear pursu'd So basely by a multitude; 180 And like to fall, not by the prowess, But numbers of his coward foes. He rag'd, and kept as heavy a coil as Stout HERCULES for loss of HYLAS; Forcing the vallies to repeat 185 The accents of his sad regret. He beat his breast, and tore his hair, For loss of his dear Crony Bear; That Eccho, from the hollow ground, His doleful wailings did resound 190 More wistfully, by many times, Than in small poets splay-foot rhimes That make her, in their rueful stories To answer to int'rogatories, And most unconscionably depose 195 To things of which she nothing knows; And when she has said all she can say, 'Tis wrested to the lover's fancy. Quoth he, O whither, wicked Bruin Art thou fled to my -- Eccho, Ruin? 200 I thought th' hadst scorn'd to budge a step For fear. (Quoth Eccho) Marry guep. Am not I here to take thy part? Then what has quelled thy stubborn heart? Have these bones rattled, and this head 205 So often in thy quarrel bled? Nor did I ever winch or grudge it, For thy dear sake. (Quoth she) Mum budget Think'st thou 'twill not be laid i' th' dish Thou turn'dst thy back? Quoth Eccho, Fish. 210 To run from those t'hast overcome Thus cowardly? Quoth Eccho, Mum. But what a vengeance makes thee fly From me too, as thine enemy? Or if thou hast no thought of me, 215 Nor what I have endur'd for thee, Yet shame and honour might prevail To keep thee thus from turning tail: For who would grudge to spend his blood in His honour's cause? Quoth she, A puddin. 220 This said, his grief to anger turn'd, Which in his manly stomach burn'd; Thirst of revenge, and wrath, in place Of sorrow, now began to blaze. He vow'd the authors of his woe 225 Should equal vengeance undergo; And with their bones and flesh pay dear For what he suffer'd, and his Bear. This b'ing resolv'd, with equal speed And rage he hasted to proceed 230 To action straight, and giving o'er To search for Bruin any more, He went in quest of HUDIBRAS, To find him out where-e'er he was; And, if he were above ground, vow'd 235 He'd ferret him, lurk where be wou'd. But scarce had he a furlong on This resolute adventure gone, When he encounter'd with that crew Whom HUDIBRAS did late subdue. 240 Honour, revenge, contempt, and shame, Did equally their breasts inflame. 'Mong these the fierce MAGNANO was, And TALGOL, foe to HUDIBRAS; CERDON and COLON, warriors stout, 245 As resolute, as ever fought; Whom furious ORSIN thus bespoke: Shall we (quoth be) thus basely brook The vile affront that paltry ass, And feeble scoundrel, HUDIBRAS, 250 With that more paltry ragamuffin, RALPHO, with vapouring and huffing, Have put upon us like tame cattle, As if th' had routed us in battle? For my part, it shall ne'er be said, 255 I for the washing gave my bead: Nor did I turn my back for fear O' th' rascals, but loss of my Bear, Which now I'm like to undergo; For whether those fell wounds, or no 260 He has receiv'd in fight, are mortal, Is more than all my skill can foretell Nor do I know what is become Of him, more than the Pope of Rome. But if I can but find them out 265 That caus'd it (as I shall, no doubt, Where-e'er th' in hugger-mugger lurk) I'll make them rue their handy-work; And wish that they had rather dar'd To pull the Devil by the beard. 270 Quoth CERD0N, Noble ORSIN, th' hast Great reason to do as thou say'st, And so has ev'ry body here, As well as thou hast, or thy Bear. Others may do as they see good; 275 But if this twig be made of wood That will hold tack, I'll make the fur Fly 'bout the ears of that old cur; And the other mungrel vermin, RALPH, That brav'd us all in his behalf. 280 Thy Bear is safe, and out of peril, Though lugg'd indeed, and wounded very ill; Myself and TRULLA made a shift To help him out at a dead lift; And, having brought him bravely off, 285 Have left him where he's safe enough: There let him rest; for if we stay, The slaves may hap to get away. This said, they all engag'd to join Their forces in the same design; 290 And forthwith put themselves in search Of HUDIBRAS upon their march. Where leave we awhile, to tell What the victorious knight befel. For such, CROWDERO being fast 295 In dungeon shut, we left him last. Triumphant laurels seem'd to grow No where so green as on his brow; Laden with which, as well as tir'd With conquering toil, he now retir'd 300 Unto a neighb'ring castle by, To rest his body, and apply Fit med'cines to each glorious bruise He got in fight, reds, blacks, and blues, To mollify th' uneasy pang 305 Of ev'ry honourable bang, Which b'ing by skilful midwife drest, He laid him down to take his rest. But all in vain. H' had got a hurt O' th' inside, of a deadlier sort, 310 By CUPID made, who took his stand Upon a Widow's jointure land, (For he, in all his am'rous battels, No 'dvantage finds like goods and chattels,) Drew home his bow, and, aiming right, 315 Let fly an arrow at the Knight: The shaft against a rib did glance, And gall'd him in the purtenance. But time had somewhat 'swag'd his pain, After he found his suit in vain. 320 For that proud dame, for whom his soul Was burnt in's belly like a coal, (That belly which so oft did ake And suffer griping for her sake, Till purging comfits and ants-eggs 325 Had almost brought him off his legs,) Us'd him so like a base rascallion, That r old Pyg -- (what d'y' call him) malion, That cut his mistress out of stone, Had not so hard a-hearted one. 330 She had a thousand jadish tricks, Worse than a mule that flings and kicks; 'Mong which one cross-grain'd freak she had, As insolent as strange and mad; She could love none, but only such 335 As scorn'd and hated her as much. 'Twas a strange riddle of a lady: Not love, if any lov'd her! Hey dey! So cowards never use their might, But against such as will not fight; 340 So some diseases have been found Only to seize upon the sound. He that gets her by heart, must say her The back way, like a witch's prayer. Mean while the Knight had no small task 345 To compass what he durst not ask. He loves, but dares not make the motion; Her ignorance is his devotion: Like caitiff vile, that, for misdeed, Rides with his face to rump of steed, 350 Or rowing scull, he's fain to love, Look one way, and another move; Or like a tumbler, that does play His game, and look another way, Until he seize upon the cony; 355 Just so he does by matrimony: But all in vain; her subtle snout Did quickly wind his meaning out; Which she return'd with too much scorn To be by man of honour borne: 360 Yet much he bore, until the distress He suffer'd from his spightful mistress Did stir his stomach; and the pain He had endur'd from her disdain, Turn'd to regret so resolute, 365 That he resolv'd to wave his suit, And either to renounce her quite, Or for a while play least in sight. This resolution b'ing put on, He kept some months, and more had done; 370 But being brought so nigh by Fate, The victory he atchiev'd so late Did set his thoughts agog, and ope A door to discontinu'd hope, That seem'd to promise he might win 375 His dame too, now his hand was in; And that his valour, and the honour H' had newly gain'd, might work upon her. These reasons made his mouth to water With am'rous longings to be at her. 380 Quoth he, unto himself, Who knows, But this brave conquest o'er my foes May reach her heart, and make that stoop, As I but now have forc'd the troop? If nothing can oppugn love, 385 And virtue invious ways can prove, What may he not confide to do That brings both love and virtue too? But thou bring'st valour too and wit; Two things that seldom fail to hit. 390 Valour's a mouse-trap, wit a gin, Which women oft are taken in. Then, HUDIBRAS, why should'st thou fear To be, that art a conqueror? Fortune th' audacious doth juvare, 395 But lets the timidous miscarry. Then while the honour thou hast got Is spick and span new, piping hot, Strike her up bravely, thou hadst best, And trust thy fortune with the rest. 400 Such thoughts as these the Knight did keep, More than his bangs or fleas, from sleep. And as an owl, that in a barn Sees a mouse creeping in the corn, Sits still, and shuts his round blue eyes, 405 As if he slept, until he spies The little beast within his reach, Then starts, and seizes on the wretch; So from his couch the Knight did start To seize upon the widow's heart; 410 Crying with hasty tone, and hoarse, RALPHO, dispatch; To Horse, To Horse. And 'twas but time; for now the rout, We left engag'd to seek him out, By speedy marches, were advanc'd 415 Up to the fort, where he ensconc'd; And all th' avenues had possest About the place, from east to west. That done, a while they made a halt, To view the ground, and where t' assault: 420 Then call'd a council, which was best, By siege or onslaught, to invest The enemy; and 'twas agreed, By storm and onslaught to proceed. This b'ing resolv'd, in comely sort 425 They now drew up t' attack the fort; When HUDIBRAS, about to enter Upon another-gates adventure, To RALPHO call'd aloud to arm, Not dreaming of approaching storm. 430 Whether Dame Fortune, or the care Of Angel bad or tutelar, Did arm, or thrust him on a danger To which he was an utter stranger; That foresight might, or might not, blot 435 The glory he had newly got; For to his shame it might be said, They took him napping in his bed; To them we leave it to expound, That deal in sciences profound. 440 His courser scarce he had bestrid, And RALPHO that on which he rid, When setting ope the postern gate, Which they thought best to sally at, The foe appear'd, drawn up and drill'd, 445 Ready to charge them in the field. This somewhat startled the bold Knight, Surpriz'd with th' unexpected sight. The bruises of his bones and flesh The thought began to smart afresh; 450 Till recollecting wonted courage, His fear was soon converted to rage, And thus he spoke: The coward foe, Whom we but now gave quarter to, Look, yonder's rally'd, and appears 455 As if they had out-run their fears. The glory we did lately get, The Fates command us to repeat; And to their wills we must succumb, Quocunque trahunt, 'tis our doom. 460 This is the same numeric crew Which we so lately did subdue; The self-same individuals that Did run as mice do from a cat, When we courageously did wield 465 Our martial weapons in the field To tug for victory; and when We shall our shining blades agen Brandish in terror o'er our heads, They'll straight resume their wonted dreads. 470 Fear is an ague, that forsakes And haunts by fits those whom it takes: And they'll opine they feel the pain And blows they felt to-day again. Then let us boldly charge them home, 475 And make no doubt to overcome. This said, his courage to inflame, He call'd upon his mistress' name. His pistol next he cock'd a-new, And out his nut-brown whinyard drew; 480 And, placing RALPHO in the front, Reserv'd himself to bear the brunt, As expert warriors use: then ply'd With iron heel his courser's side, Conveying sympathetic speed 485 From heel of Knight to heel of Steed. Mean while the foe, with equal rage And speed, advancing to engage, Both parties now were drawn so close, Almost to come to handy-blows; 490 When ORSIN first let fly a stone At RALPHO: not so huge a one As that which DIOMED did maul AENEAS on the bum withal Yet big enough if rightly hurl'd, 495 T' have sent him to another world, Whether above-ground, or below, Which Saints Twice Dipt are destin'd to. The danger startled the bold Squire, And made him some few steps retire. 500 But HUDIBRAS advanc'd to's aid, And rouz'd his spirits, half dismay'd. He wisely doubting lest the shot Of th' enemy, now growing hot, Might at a distance gall, press'd close, 505 To come pell-mell to handy-blows, And, that he might their aim decline, Advanc'd still in an oblique line; But prudently forbore to fire, Till breast to breast he had got nigher, 510 As expert warriors use to do When hand to hand they charge their foe. This order the advent'rous Knight, Most soldier-like, observ'd in fight, When fortune (as she's wont) turn'd fickle, 515 And for the foe began to stickle. The more shame for her Goody-ship, To give so near a friend the slip. For COLON, choosing out a stone, Levell'd so right, it thump'd upon 520 His manly paunch with such a force, As almost beat him off his horse. He lost his whinyard, and the rein; But, laying fast hold of the mane, Preserv'd his seat; and as a goose 525 In death contracts his talons close, So did the Knight, and with one claw The trigger of his pistol draw. The gun went off: and as it was Still fatal to stout HUDIBRAS, 530 In all his feats of arms, when least He dreamt of it, to prosper best, So now he far'd: the shot, let fly At random 'mong the enemy, Pierc'd TALGOL's gaberdine, and grazing 535 Upon his shoulder, in the passing, Lodg'd in MAGNANO's brass habergeon, Who straight, A Surgeon, cry'd, A Surgeon. He tumbled down, and, as he fell, Did Murther, Murther, Murther, yell. 540 This startled their whole body so, That if the Knight had not let go His arms, but been in warlike plight, H' had won (the second time) the fight; As, if the Squire had but fall'n on, 545 He had inevitably done: But he, diverted with the care Or HUDIBRAS his hurt, forbare To press th' advantage of his fortune While danger did the rest dishearten: 550 For he with CERDON b'ing engag'd In close encounter, they both wag'd The fight so well, 'twas hard to say Which side was like to get the day. And now the busy work of death 555 Had tir'd them so, th' agreed to breath, Preparing to renew the fight, When the disaster of the Knight, And th' other party, did divert Their fell intent, and forc'd them part. 560 RALPHO press'd up to HUDIBRAS, And CERDON where MAGNANO was; Each striving to confirm his party With stout encouragements, and hearty. Quoth RALIHO, Courage, valiant Sir, 565 And let revenge and honour stir Your spirits up: once we fall on, The shatter'd foe begins to run: For if but half so well you knew To use your victory as subdue, 570 They durst not, after such a blow As you have given them, face us now; But from so formidable a soldier Had fled like crows when they smell powder. Thrice have they seen your sword aloft 575 Wav'd o'er their heads, and fled as oft. But if you let them recollect Their spirits, now dismay'd and checkt, You'll have a harder game to play Than yet y' have had to get the day. 580 Thus spoke the stout Squire; but was heard By HUDIBRAS with small regard. His thoughts were fuller of the bang Be lately took than RALPH'S harangue; To which he answer'd, Cruel Fate 585 Tells me thy counsel comes too late. The knotted blood within my hose, That from my wounded body flows, With mortal crisis doth portend My days to appropinque an end. 590 I am for action now unfit, Either of fortitude or wit: Fortune, my foe, begins to frown, Resolv'd to pull my stomach down. I am not apt, upon a wound, 595 Or trivial basting, to despond: Yet I'd be loth my days to curtail: For if I thought my wounds not mortal, Or that we'd time enough as yet, To make an hon'rable retreat, 600 'Twere the best course: but if they find We fly, and leave our arms behind For them to seize on, the dishonour, And danger too, is such, I'll sooner Stand to it boldly, and take quarter, 605 To let them see I am no starter. In all the trade of war, no feat Is nobler than a brave retreat: For those that run away, and fly, Take place at least of th' enemy. 610 This said, the Squire, with active speed Dismounted from his bonny steed, To seize the arms, which, by mischance, Fell from the bold Knight in a trance. These being found out, and restor'd 615 To HUDIBRAS their natural lord, As a man may say, with might and main, He hasted to get up again. Thrice he assay'd to mount aloft, But, by his weighty bum, as oft 620 He was pull'd back, till having found Th' advantage of the rising ground, Thither he led his warlike steed, And having plac'd him right, with speed Prepar'd again to scale the beast, 625 When ORSIN, who had newly drest The bloody scar upon the shoulder Of TALGOL with Promethean powder, And now was searching for the shot That laid MAGNANO on the spot, 630 Beheld the sturdy Squire aforesaid Preparing to climb up his horse side. He left his cure, and laying hold Upon his arms, with courage bold, Cry'd out, 'Tis now no time to dally, 635 The enemy begin to rally: Let us, that are unhurt and whole, Fall on, and happy man be's dole. This said, like to a thunderbolt, He flew with fury to th' assault, 640 Striving the enemy to attack Before he reach'd his horse's back. RALPHO was mounted now, and gotten O'erthwart his beast with active vau'ting, Wrigling his body to recover 645 His seat, and cast his right leg over, When ORSIN, rushing in, bestow'd On horse and man so heavy a load, The beast was startled, and begun To kick and fling like mad, and run, 650 Bearing the tough Squire like a sack, Or stout king RICHARD, on his back, 'Till stumbling, he threw him down, Sore bruis'd, and cast into a swoon. Meanwhile the Knight began to rouze 655 The sparkles of his wonted prowess. He thrust his hand into his hose, And found, both by his eyes and nose, 'Twas only choler, and not blood, That from his wounded body flow'd. 660 This, with the hazard of the Squire, Inflam'd him with despightful ire. Courageously he fac'd about. And drew his other pistol out, And now had half way bent the cock, 665 When CERDON gave so fierce a shock, With sturdy truncheon, thwart his arm, That down it fell, and did no harm; Then stoutly pressing on with speed, Assay'd to pull him off his steed. 670 The Knight his sword had only left, With which he CERDON'S head had cleft, Or at the least cropt off a limb, But ORSIN came, and rescu'd him. He, with his lance, attack'd the Knight 675 Upon his quarters opposite. But as a barque, that in foul weather, Toss'd by two adverse winds together, Is bruis'd, and beaten to and fro, And knows not which to turn him to; 680 So far'd the Knight between two foes, And knew not which of them t'oppose; Till ORSIN, charging with his lance At HUDIBRAS, by spightful chance, Hit CERDON such a bang, as stunn'd 685 And laid him flat upon the ground. At this the Knight began to chear up, And, raising up himself on stirrup, Cry'd out, Victoria! Lie thou there, And I shall straight dispatch another, 690 To bear thee company in death: But first I'll halt a while, and breath: As well he might; for ORSIN, griev'd At th' wound that CERDON had receiv'd, Ran to relieve him with his lore, 695 And cure the hurt he gave before. Mean while the Knight had wheel'd about, To breathe himself, and next find out Th' advantage of the ground, where best He might the ruffled foe infest. 700 This b'ing resolv'd, he spurr'd his steed, To run at ORSIN with full speed, While he was busy in the care Of CERDON'S wound, and unaware: But he was quick, and had already 705 Unto the part apply'd remedy: And, seeing th' enemy prepar'd, Drew up, and stood upon his guard. Then, like a warrior right expert And skilful in the martial art, 710 The subtle Knight straight made a halt, And judg'd it best to stay th' assault, Until he had reliev'd the Squire, And then in order to retire; Or, as occasion should invite, 715 With forces join'd renew the fight. RALPHO, by this time disentranc'd, Upon his bum himself advanc'd, Though sorely bruis'd; his limbs all o'er With ruthless bangs were stiff and sore. 720 Right fain he would have got upon His feet again, to get him gone; When HUDIBRAS to aid him came: Quoth he (and call'd him by his name,) Courage! the day at length is ours; 725 And we once more, as conquerors, Have both the field and honour won: The foe is profligate, and run. I mean all such as can; for some This hand hath sent to their long home; 730 And some lie sprawling on the ground, With many a gash and bloody wound. CAESAR himself could never say He got two victories in a day, As I have done, that can say, Twice I 735 In one day, Veni, Vidi, Vici. The foe's so numerous, that we Cannot so often vincere As they perire, and yet enow Be left to strike an after-blow; 740 Then, lest they rally, and once more Put us to fight the bus'ness o'er, Get up, and mount thy steed: Dispatch, And let us both their motions watch. Quoth RALPH, I should not, if I were 745 In case for action, now be here: Nor have I turn'd my back, or hang'd An arse, for fear of being bang'd. It was for you I got these harms, Advent'ring to fetch off your arms. 750 The blows and drubs I have receiv'd Have bruis'd my body, and bereav'd My limbs of strength. Unless you stoop, And reach your hand to pull me up, I shall lie here, and be a prey 755 To those who now are run away. That thou shalt not, (quoth HUDIBRAS;) We read, the ancients held it was More honourable far, servare Civem, than slay an adversary: 760 The one we oft to-day have done, The other shall dispatch anon: And though th' art of a diff'rent Church I will not leave thee in the lurch. This said, he jogg'd his good steed nigher, 765 And steer'd him gently toward the Squire; Then bowing down his body, stretch'd His hand out, and at RALPHO reach'd; When TRULLA, whom he did not mind, Charg'd him like lightening behind. 770 She had been long in search about MAGNANO'S wound, to find it out; But could find none, nor where the shot, That had so startled him, was got But having found the worst was past, 775 She fell to her own work at last, The pillage of the prisoners, Which in all feats of arms was hers; And now to plunder RALPH she flew, When HUDIBRAS his hard fate drew 780 To succour him; for, as he bow'd To help him up, she laid a load Of blows so heavy, and plac'd so well, On t'other side, that down he fell. Yield, scoundrel base, (quoth she,) or die: 785 Thy life is mine and liberty: But if thou think'st I took thee tardy, And dar'st presume to be so hardy, To try thy fortune o'er a-fresh, I'll wave my title to thy flesh, 790 Thy arms and baggage, now my right; And if thou hast the heart to try't, I'll lend thee back thyself a while, And once more, for that carcass vile, Fight upon tick. -- Quoth HUDIBRAS, 795 Thou offer'st nobly, valiant lass, And I shall take thee at thy word. First let me rise and take my sword. That sword which has so oft this day Through squadrons of my foes made way, 800 And some to other worlds dispatch'd, Now with a feeble spinster match'd, Will blush with blood ignoble stain'd, By which no honour's to be gain'd. But if thou'lt take m' advice in this, 805 Consider whilst thou may'st, what 'tis To interrupt a victor's course, B' opposing such a trivial force: For if with conquest I come off, (And that I shall do sure enough,) 810 Quarter thou canst not have, nor grace, By law of arms, in such a case; Both which I now do offer freely. I scorn (quoth she) thou coxcomb silly, (Clapping her hand upon her breech, 815 To shew how much she priz'd his speech,) Quarter or counsel from a foe If thou can'st force me to it, do. But lest it should again be said, When I have once more won thy head, 820 I took thee napping, unprepar'd, Arm, and betake thee to thy guard. This said, she to her tackle fell, And on the Knight let fall a peal Of blows so fierce, and press'd so home, 825 That he retir'd, and follow'd's bum. Stand to't (quoth she) or yield to mercy It is not fighting arsie-versie Shall serve thy turn. -- This stirr'd his spleen More than the danger he was in, 830 The blows he felt, or was to feel, Although th' already made him reel. Honour, despight; revenge and shame, At once into his stomach came, Which fir'd it so, he rais'd his arm 835 Above his head, and rain'd a storm Of blows so terrible and thick, As if he meant to hash her quick. But she upon her truncheon took them, And by oblique diversion broke them, 840 Waiting an opportunity To pay all back with usury; Which long she fail'd not of; for now The Knight with one dead-doing blow Resolving to decide the fight, 845 And she, with quick and cunning slight, Avoiding it, the force and weight He charged upon it was so great, As almost sway'd him to the ground. No sooner she th' advantage found, 850 But in she flew; and seconding With home-made thrust the heavy swing, She laid him flat upon his side; And mounting on his trunk a-stride, Quoth she, I told thee what would come 855 Of all thy vapouring, base scum. Say, will the law of arms allow I may have grace and quarter now? Or wilt thou rather break thy word, And stain thine honour than thy sword? 860 A man of war to damn his soul, In basely breaking his parole And when, before the fight, th' had'st vow'd To give no quarter in cold blood Now thou hast got me for a Tartar, 865 To make me 'gainst my will take quarter; Why dost not put me to the sword, But cowardly fly from thy word? Quoth HUDIBRAS, The day's thine own: Thou and thy Stars have cast me down: 870 My laurels are transplanted now, And flourish on thy conqu'ring brow: My loss of honour's great enough, Thou need'st not brand it with a scoff: Sarcasms may eclipse thine own, 875 But cannot blur my lost renown. I am not now in Fortune's power; He that is down can fall no lower. The ancient heroes were illustrious For being benign, and not blustrous, 880 Against a vanquish'd foe: their swords Were sharp and trenchant, not their words; And did in fight but cut work out To employ their courtesies about. Quoth she, Although thou hast deserv'd 885 Base slubberdegullion, to be serv'd As thou did'st vow to deal with me, If thou had'st got the victory Yet I shall rather act a part That suits my fame than thy desert. 890 Thy arms, thy liberty, beside All that's on th' outside of thy hide, Are mine by military law, Of which I will not hate one straw: The rest, thy life and limbs, once more, 895 Though doubly forfeit, I restore, Quoth HUDIBRAS, It is too late For me to treat or stipulate What thou command'st, I must obey: Yet those whom I expugn'd to-day 900 Of thine own party, I let go, And gave them life and freedom too: Both dogs and bear, upon their parole, Whom I took pris'ners in this quarrel. Quoth TRULLA, Whether thou or they 905 Let one another run away, Concerns not me; but was't not thou That gave CROWDERO quarter too? CROWDERO, whom, in irons bound, Thou basely threw'st into LOB'S Pound, 910 Where still he lies, and with regret His gen'rous bowels rage and fret. But now thy carcass shall redeem, And serve to be exchang'd for him. This said, the Knight did straight submit, 915 And laid his weapons at her feet. Next he disrob'd his gaberdine, And with it did himself resign. She took it, and forthwith divesting The mantle that she wore, said jesting, 920 Take that, and wear it for my sake Then threw it o'er his sturdy back, And as s the FRENCH, we conquer'd once, Now give us laws for pantaloons, The length of breeches, and the gathers, 925 Port-cannons, perriwigs, and feathers; Just so the proud insulting lass Array'd and dighted HUDIBRAS. Mean while the other champions, yerst In hurry of the fight disperst, 930 Arriv'd, when TRULLA won the day, To share in th' honour and the prey, And out of HUDIBRAS his hide With vengeance to be satisfy'd; Which now they were about to pour 935 Upon him in a wooden show'r; But TRULLA thrust herself between, And striding o'er his back agen, She brandish'd o'er her head his sword, And vow'd they should not break her word; 940 Sh' had giv'n him quarter, and her blood Or theirs should make that quarter good; For she was bound by law of arms To see him safe from further harms. In dungeon deep CROWDERO, cast 945 By HUDIBRAS, as yet lay fast; Where, to the hard and ruthless stones, His great heart made perpetual moans: Him she resolv'd that HUDIBRAS Should ransom, and supply his place. 950 This stopt their fury, and the basting Which toward HUDIBRAS was hasting. They thought it was but just and right, That what she had atchiev'd in fight, She should dispose of how she pleas'd. 955 CROWDERO ought to be releas'd; Nor could that any way be done So well as this she pitch'd upon For who a better could imagine This therefore they resolv'd t'engage in. 960 The Knight and Squire first they made Rise from the ground, where they were laid Then mounted both upon their horses, But with their faces to the arses, ORSIN led HUDIBRAS's beast, 965 And TALGOL that which RALPHO prest, Whom stout MAGNANO, valiant CERDON, And COLON, waited as a guard on; All ush'ring TRULLA in the rear, With th' arms of either prisoner. 970 In this proud order and array They put themselves upon their way, Striving to reach th' enchanted castle, Where stout CROWDERO in durance lay still. Thither with greater speed than shows 975 And triumph over conquer'd foes Do use t' allow, or than the bears Or pageants borne before Lord-Mayors Are wont to use, they soon arriv'd In order, soldier-like contriv'd; 980 Still marching in a warlike posture, As fit for battle as for muster. The Knight and Squire they first unhorse, And bending 'gainst the fort their force, They all advanc'd, and round about 985 Begirt the magical redoubt. MAGNAN led up in this adventure, And made way for the rest to enter; For he was skilful in black art. No less than he that built the fort; 990 And with an iron mace laid flat A breach, which straight all enter'd at, And in the wooden dungeon found CROWDERO laid upon the ground. Him they release from durance base, 995 Restor'd t' his fiddle and his case, And liberty, his thirsty rage With luscious vengeance to asswage: For he no sooner was at large, But TRULLA straight brought on the charge, 1000 And in the self-same limbo put The Knight and Squire where he was shut; Where leaving them in Hockley i' th' Hole, Their bangs and durance to condole, Confin'd and conjur'd into narrow 1005 Enchanted mansion to know sorrow, In the same order and array Which they advanc'd, they march'd away. But HUDIBRAS who scorn'd to stoop To Fortune, or be said to droop, 1010 Chear'd up himself with ends of verse, And sayings of philosophers. Quoth he, Th' one half of man, his mind, Is, sui juris, unconfin'd, And cannot be laid by the heels, 1015 Whate'er the other moiety feels. 'Tis not restraint or liberty That makes men prisoners or free; But perturbations that possess The mind, or aequanimities. 1020 The whole world was not half so wide To ALEXANDER, when he cry'd, Because he had but one to subdue, As was a paltry narrow tub to DIOGENES; who is not said 1025 (For aught that ever I could read) To whine, put finger i' th' eye, and sob, Because h' had ne'er another tub. The ancients make two sev'ral kinds Of prowess in heroic minds; 1030 The active, and the passive valiant; Both which are pari libra gallant: For both to give blows, and to carry, In fights are equinecessary But in defeats, the passive stout 1035 Are always found to stand it out Most desp'rately, and to out-do The active 'gainst the conqu'ring foe. Tho' we with blacks and blues are suggill'd, Or, as the vulgar say, are cudgell'd; 1040 He that is valiant, and dares fight, Though drubb'd, can lose no honour by't. Honour's a lease for lives to come, And cannot be extended from The legal tenant: 'tis a chattel 1045 Not to be forfeited in battel. If he that in the field is slain, Be in the bed of Honour lain, He that is beaten, may be said To lie in Honour's truckle-bed. 1050 For as we see th' eclipsed sun By mortals is more gaz'd upon, Than when, adorn'd with all his light, He shines in serene sky most bright: So valour, in a low estate, 1055 Is most admir'd and wonder'd at. Quoth RALPH, How great I do not know We may by being beaten grow; But none, that see how here we sit, Will judge us overgrown with wit. 1060 As gifted brethren, preaching by A carnal hour-glass, do imply, Illumination can convey Into them what they have to say, But not how much; so well enough 1065 Know you to charge, but not draw off: For who, without a cap and bauble, Having subdu'd a bear and rabble, And might with honour have come off Would put it to a second proof? 1070 A politic exploit, right fit For Presbyterian zeal and wit. Quoth HUDIBRAS, That cuckow's tone, RALPHO, thou always harp'st upon. When thou at any thing would'st rail, 1075 Thou mak'st Presbytery the scale To take the height on't, and explain To what degree it is prophane Whats'ever will not with (thy what d'ye call) Thy light jump right, thou call'st synodical; 1080 As if Presbytery were the standard To size whats'ever's to he slander'd. Dost not remember how this day, Thou to my beard wast bold to say, That thou coud'st prove bear-baiting equal 1085 With synods orthodox and legal? Do if thou canst; for I deny't, And dare thee to 't with all thy light. Quoth RALPHO, Truly that is no Hard matter for a man to do, 1090 That has but any guts in 's brains, And cou'd believe it worth his pains; But since you dare and urge me to it, You'll find I've light enough to do it. Synods are mystical bear-gardens, 1095 Where elders, deputies, church-wardens, And other members of the court, Manage the Babylonish sport; For prolocutor, scribe, and bear-ward, Do differ only in a mere word; 1100 Both are but sev'ral synagogues Of carnal men, and bears, and dogs: Both antichristian assemblies, To mischief bent far as in them lies: Both stave and tail with fierce contests; 1105 The one with men, the other beasts. The diff'rence is, the one fights with The tongue, the other with the teeth; And that they bait but bears in this, In th' other, souls and consciences; 1110 Where Saints themselves are brought to stake For gospel-light, and conscience sake; Expos'd to Scribes and Presbyters, Instead of mastive dogs and curs, Than whom th' have less humanity; 1115 For these at souls of men will fly. This to the prophet did appear, Who in a vision saw a bear, Prefiguring the beastly rage Of Church-rule in this latter age; 1120 As is demonstrated at full By him that baited the t Pope's Bull. Bears nat'rally are beasts of prey, That live by rapine; so do they. What are their orders, constitutions, 1125 Church-censures, curses, absolutions, But' sev'ral mystic chains they make, To tie poor Christians to the stake, And then set heathen officers, Instead of dogs, about their ears? 1130 For to prohibit and dispense; To find out or to make offence; Of Hell and Heaven to dispose; To play with souls at fast and loose; To set what characters they please, 1135 And mulcts on sin or godliness; Reduce the Church to gospel-order, By rapine, sacrilege, and murder; To make Presbytery supreme, And Kings themselves submit to them; 1140 And force all people, though against Their consciences, to turn Saints; Must prove a pretty thriving trade, When Saints monopolists are made; When pious frauds, and holy shifts, 1145 Are dispensations and gifts, Their godliness becomes mere ware, And ev'ry Synod but a fair. Synods are whelps of th' Inquisition, A mungrel breed of like pernicion, 1150 And growing up, became the sires Of scribes, commissioners, and triers; Whose bus'ness is, by cunning slight, To cast a figure for mens' light; To find, in lines of beard and face, 1155 The physiognomy of grace; And by the sound and twang of nose, If all be sound within disclose, Free from a crack or flaw of sinning, As men try pipkins by the ringing; 1160 By black caps underlaid with white, Give certain guess at inward light. Which serjeants at the gospel wear, To make the spiritual calling clear; The handkerchief about the neck 1165 (Canonical cravat of u SMECK, From whom the institution came, When Church and State they set on flame, And worn by them as badges then Of spiritual warfaring men) 1170 Judge rightly if regeneration Be of the newest cut in fashion. Sure 'tis an orthodox opinion, That grace is founded in dominion. Great piety consists in pride; 1175 To rule is to be sanctified: To domineer, and to controul, Both o'er the body and the soul, Is the most perfect discipline Of church-rule, and by right-divine. 1180 Bell and the Dragon's chaplains were More moderate than these by far: For they (poor knaves) were glad to cheat, To get their wives and children meat; But these will not be fobb'd off so; 1185 They must have wealth and power too, Or else with blood and desolation They'll tear it out o' th' heart o' th' nation. Sure these themselves from primitive And Heathen Priesthood do derive, 1190 When butchers were the only Clerks, Elders and Presbyters of Kirks; Whose directory was to kill; And some believe it is so still. The only diff'rence is, that then 1195 They slaughter'd only beasts, now men. For then to sacrifice a bullock, Or now and then a child to Moloch, They count a vile abomination, But not to slaughter a whole nation. 1200 Presbytery does but translate The Papacy to a free state; A commonwealth of Popery, Where ev'ry village is a See As well as Rome, and must maintain 1205 A Tithe-pig Metropolitan; Where ev'ry Presbyter and Deacon Commands the keys for cheese and bacon; And ev'ry hamlet's governed By's Holiness, the Church's Head; 1210 More haughty and severe in's place, Than GREGORY or BONIFACE. Such Church must (surely) be a monster With many heads: for if we conster What in th' Apocalypse we find, 1215 According to th' Apostle's mind, 'Tis that the Whore of Babylon With many heads did ride upon; Which heads denote the sinful tribe Of Deacon, Priest, Lay-Elder, Scribe. 1220 Lay-Elder, SIMEON to LEVI, Whose little finger is as heavy As loins of patriarchs, prince-prelate, And bishop-secular. This zealot Is of a mungrel, diverse kind; 1225 Cleric before, and lay behind; A lawless linsie-woolsie brother, Half of one order, half another; A creature of amphibious nature; On land a beast, a fish in water; 1230 That always preys on grace or sin; A sheep without, a wolf within. This fierce inquisitor has chief Dominion over men's belief And manners: can pronounce a Saint 1235 Idolatrous or ignorant, When superciliously he sifts Through coarsest boulter others' gifts; For all men live and judge amiss, Whose talents jump not just with his. 1240 He'll lay on gifts with hands, and place On dullest noddle Light and Grace, The manufacture of the Kirk. Those pastors are but th' handy-work Of his mechanic paws, instilling 1245 Divinity in them by feeling; From whence they start up Chosen Vessels, Made by contact, as men get meazles. x So Cardinals, they say, do grope At th' other end the new-made Pope. 1250 Hold, hold, quoth HUDIBRAS; soft fire, They say, does make sweet malt. Good Squire, Festina lente, not too fast; For haste (the proverb says) makes waste. The quirks and cavils thou dost make 1255 Are false, and built upon mistake: And I shall bring you, with your pack Of fallacies, t' elenchi back; And put your arguments in mood And figure to be understood. 1260 I'll force you, by right ratiocination, To leave your y vitilitigation, And make you keep to th' question close, And argue dialecticos. The question then, to state it first, 1265 Is, Which is better, or which worst, Synods or Bears? Bears I avow To be the worst, and Synods thou. But, to make good th' assertion, Thou say'st th' are really all one. 1270 If so, not worst; for if th' are idem Why then, tantundem dat tantidem. For if they are the same, by course, Neither is better, neither worse. But I deny they are the same, 1275 More than a maggot and I am. That both are animalia I grant, but not rationalia: For though they do agree in kind, Specific difference we find; 1280 And can no more make bears of these, Than prove my horse is SOCRATES. That Synods are bear-gardens too, Thou dost affirm; but I say no: And thus I prove it in a word; 1285 Whats'ver assembly's not impow'r'd To censure, curse, absolve, and ordain, Can be no Synod: but bear-garden Has no such pow'r; ergo, 'tis none: And so thy sophistry's o'erthrown. 1290 But yet we are beside the question Which thou didst raise the first contest on; For that was, Whether Bears are better Than Synod-men? I say, Negatur. That bears are beasts, and synods men, 1295 Is held by all: they're better then: For bears and dogs on four legs go, As beasts, but Synod-men on two. 'Tis true, they all have teeth and nails; But prove that Synod-men have tails; 1300 Or that a rugged, shaggy fur Grows o'er the hide of Presbyter; Or that his snout and spacious ears Do hold proportion with a bear's. A bears a savage beast, of all 1305 Most ugly and unnatural Whelp'd without form, until the dam Has lick'd it into shape and frame: But all thy light can ne'er evict, That ever Synod-man was lick'd; 1310 Or brought to any other fashion, Than his own will and inclination. But thou dost further yet in this Oppugn thyself and sense; that is, Thou would'st have Presbyters to go 1315 For bears and dogs, and bearwards too; A strange chimera of beasts and men, Made up of pieces heterogene; Such as in nature never met In eodem subjecto yet. 1320 Thy other arguments are all Supposures, hypothetical, That do but beg, and we may chose Either to grant them, or refuse. Much thou hast said, which I know when 1325 And where thou stol'st from other men, Whereby 'tis plain thy Light and Gifts Are all but plagiary shifts; And is the same that Ranter said, Who, arguing with me, broke my head, 1330 And tore a handful of my beard: The self-same cavils then I heard, When, b'ing in hot dispute about This controversy, we fell out And what thou know'st I answer'd then, 1335 Will serve to answer thee agen. Quoth RALPHO, Nothing but th' abuse Of human learning you produce; Learning, that cobweb of the brain, Profane, erroneous, and vain; 1340 A trade of knowledge, as replete As others are with fraud and cheat; An art t'incumber gifts and wit, And render both for nothing fit; Makes Light unactive, dull, and troubled, 1345 Like little DAVID in SAUL's doublet; A cheat that scholars put upon Other mens' reason and their own; A fort of error, to ensconce Absurdity and ignorance, 1350 That renders all the avenues To truth impervious and abstruse, By making plain things, in debate, By art, perplex'd, and intricate For nothing goes for sense or light 1355 That will not with old rules jump right: As if rules were not in the schools Deriv'd from truth, but truth from rules. This pagan, heathenish invention Is good for nothing but contention. 1360 For as, in sword-and-buckler fight, All blows do on the target light; So when men argue, the great'st part O' th' contests falls on terms of art, Until the fustian stuff be spent, 1365 And then they fall to th' argument. Quoth HUDIBRAS Friend RALPH, thou hast Out-run the constable at last: For thou art fallen on a new Dispute, as senseless as untrue, 1370 But to the former opposite And contrary as black to white; Mere z disparata; that concerning Presbytery; this, human learning; Two things s'averse, they never yet 1375 But in thy rambling fancy met. But I shall take a fit occasion T' evince thee by ratiocination, Some other time, in place more proper Than this we're in; therefore let's stop here, 1380 And rest our weary'd bones a-while, Already tir'd with other toil.

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