Ex-Classics Home Page

Hudibras Part I Canto 1



Hudibras Sets forth
Colour (147 Kb) Black & White (14 Kb)

------------------------------------------------- Sir Hudibras his passing worth, The manner how he sallied forth; His arms and equipage are shown; His horse's virtues, and his own. Th' adventure of the bear and fiddle Is sung, but breaks off in the middle. ------------------------------------------------- When civil dudgeon a first grew high, And men fell out they knew not why? When hard words, jealousies, and fears, Set folks together by the ears, And made them fight, like mad or drunk, 5 For Dame Religion, as for punk; Whose honesty they all durst swear for, Though not a man of them knew wherefore: When Gospel-Trumpeter, surrounded With long-ear'd rout, to battle sounded, 10 And pulpit, drum ecclesiastick, Was beat with fist, instead of a stick; Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling, And out he rode a colonelling. A wight he was, whose very sight wou'd 15 Entitle him Mirror of Knighthood; That never bent his stubborn knee To any thing but Chivalry; Nor put up blow, but that which laid Right worshipful on shoulder-blade; 20 Chief of domestic knights and errant, Either for cartel or for warrant; Great on the bench, great in the saddle, That b could as well bind o'er, as swaddle; Mighty he was at both of these, 25 And styl'd of war, as well as peace. (So some rats, of amphibious nature, Are either for the land or water). But here our authors make a doubt Whether he were more wise, or stout: 30 Some hold the one, and some the other; But howsoe'er they make a pother, The diff'rence was so small, his brain Outweigh'd his rage but half a grain; Which made some take him for a tool 35 That knaves do work with, call'd a fool, And offer to lay wagers that As MONTAIGNE, c playing with his cat, Complains she thought him but an ass, Much more she wou'd Sir HUDIBRAS; 40 (For that's the name our valiant knight To all his challenges did write). But they're mistaken very much, 'Tis plain enough he was no such; We grant, although he had much wit, 45 H' was very shy of using it; As being loth to wear it out, And therefore bore it not about, Unless on holy-days, or so, As men their best apparel do. 50 Beside, 'tis known he could speak GREEK As naturally as pigs squeek; That LATIN was no more difficile, Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle: Being rich in both, he never scanted 55 His bounty unto such as wanted; But much of either would afford To many, that had not one word. For Hebrew roots, although they're found To flourish most in barren ground, 60 He had such plenty, as suffic'd To make some d think him circumcis'd; And truly so, he was, perhaps, Not as a proselyte, but for claps. He was in LOGIC a great critic, 65 Profoundly skill'd in e analytic; He could distinguish, and divide A hair 'twixt south, and south-west side: On either which he would dispute, Confute, change hands, and still confute, 70 He'd undertake to prove, by force Of argument, a man's no horse; He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl, And that a lord may be an owl, A calf an alderman, a goose a justice, 75 And rooks Committee-men and Trustees. He'd run in debt by disputation, And pay with ratiocination. All this by syllogism, true In mood and figure, he would do. 80 For RHETORIC, he could not ope His mouth, but out there flew a trope; And when he happen'd to break off I' th' middle of his speech, or cough, H' had hard words,ready to show why, 85 And tell what rules he did it by; Else, when with greatest art he spoke, You'd think he talk'd like other folk, For all a rhetorician's rules Teach nothing but to name his tools. 90 His ordinary rate of speech In loftiness of sound was rich; A Babylonish fdialect, Which learned pedants much affect. It was a parti-colour'd dress 95 Of patch'd and pie-bald languages; 'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin, Like fustian heretofore on satin; It had an odd promiscuous tone, As if h' had talk'd three parts in one; 100 Which made some think, when he did gabble, Th' had heard three labourers of Babel; Or g CERBERUS himself pronounce A leash of languages at once. This he as volubly would vent 105 As if his stock would ne'er be spent: And truly, to support that charge, He had supplies as vast and large; For he cou'd coin, or counterfeit New words, with little or no wit: 110 Words so debas'd and hard, no stone Was hard enough to touch them on; And when with hasty noise he spoke 'em, The ignorant for current took 'em; That had the h orator, who once 115 Did fill his mouth with pebble stones When he harangu'd, but known his phrase He would have us'd no other ways. In MATHEMATICKS he was greater Than i TYCHO BRAHE, or ERRA PATER: 120 For he, by geometric scale, Could take the size of pots of ale; Resolve, by sines and tangents straight, If bread or butter wanted weight, And wisely tell what hour o' th' day 125 The clock does strike by algebra. Beside, he was a shrewd PHILOSOPHER, And had read ev'ry text and gloss over; Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath, He understood b' implicit faith: 130 Whatever k sceptic could inquire for, For ev'ry why he had a wherefore; Knew more than forty of them do, As far as words and terms cou'd go. All which he understood by rote, 135 And, as occasion serv'd, would quote; No matter whether right or wrong, They might be either said or sung. His notions fitted things so well, That which was which he could not tell; 140 But oftentimes mistook th' one For th' other, as great clerks have done. He could l reduce all things to acts, And knew their natures by abstracts; Where entity and quiddity, 145 The ghosts of defunct bodies fly; Where m truth in person does appear, Like words n congeal'd in northern air. He knew what's what, and that's as high As metaphysic wit can fly; 150 In school-divinity as able As o he that hight, Irrefragable; A second p THOMAS, or, at once, To name them all, another DUNCE: Profound in all the Nominal 155 And Real ways, beyond them all: For he a rope of sand cou'd twist As q tough as learned SORBONIST; And weave fine cobwebs, fit for skull That's empty when the moon is full; 160 Such as take lodgings in a head That's to be let unfurnished. He could raise scruples dark and nice, And after solve 'em in a trice; As if Divinity had catch'd 165 The itch, on purpose to be scratch'd; Or, like a mountebank, did wound And stab herself with doubts profound, Only to show with how small pain The sores of Faith are cur'd again; 170 Although by woeful proof we find, They always leave a scar behind. He knew r the seat of Paradise, Could tell in what degree it lies; And, as he was dispos'd, could prove it, 175 Below the moon, or else above it. What Adam dreamt of, when his bride Came from her closet in his side: Whether the devil tempted her By a s High Dutch interpreter; 180 If either of them t had a navel: Who first u made music malleable: Whether the serpent, at the fall, Had cloven feet, or none at all. All this, without a gloss, or comment, 185 He could unriddle in a moment, In proper terms, such as men smatter When they throw out, and miss the matter. For his Religion, it was fit To match his learning and his wit; 190 'Twas Presbyterian true blue; For he was of that stubborn crew Of errant saints, whom all men grant To be the true Church Militant; Such as do build their faith upon 195 The holy text of pike and gun; Decide all controversies by Infallible artillery; And prove their doctrine orthodox By apostolic blows and knocks; 200 Call fire and sword and desolation, A godly thorough reformation, Which always must be carried on, And still be doing, never done; As if religion were intended 205 For nothing else but to be mended. A sect, whose chief devotion lies In odd perverse antipathies; In falling out with that or this, And finding somewhat still amiss; 210 More peevish, cross, and splenetick, Than dog distract, or monkey sick. That with more care keep holy-day The wrong, than others the right way; Compound for sins they are inclin'd to, 215 By damning those they have no mind to: Still so perverse and opposite, As if they worshipp'd God for spite. The self-same thing they will abhor One way, and long another for. 220 Free-will they one way disavow, Another, nothing else allow: All piety consists therein In them, in other men all sin: Rather than fail, they will defy 225 That which they love most tenderly; Quarrel with minc'd-pies, and disparage Their best and dearest friend, plum-porridge; Fat pig and goose itself oppose, And blaspheme custard through the nose. 230 Th' apostles of this fierce religion, Like MAHOMET'S, w were ass and pidgeon, To whom our knight, by fast instinct Of wit and temper, was so linkt, As if hypocrisy and nonsense 235 Had got th' advowson of his conscience. Thus was he gifted and accouter'd; We mean on th' inside, not the outward; That next of all we shall discuss: Then listen, Sirs, it follows thus 240 His tawny beard was th' equal grace Both of his wisdom and his face; In cut and dye so like a tile, A sudden view it would beguile: The upper part thereof was whey; 245 The nether, orange mix'd with grey. This hairy meteor did denounce The fall of scepters and of crowns; With grisly type did represent Declining age of government; 250 And tell with hieroglyphick spade, Its own grave and the state's were made. Like SAMPSON'S heart-breakers, it grew In time to make a nation rue; Tho' it contributed its own fall, 255 To wait upon the publick downfal, It was x monastick, and did grow In holy orders by strict vow; Of rule as sullen and severe As that of rigid Cordeliere. 260 'Twas bound to suffer persecution And martyrdom with resolution; T' oppose itself against the hate And vengeance of th' incensed state; In whose defiance it was worn, 265 Still ready to be pull'd and torn; With red-hot irons to be tortur'd; Revil'd, and spit upon, and martyr'd. Maugre all which, 'twas to stand fast As long as monarchy shou'd last; 270 But when the state should hap to reel, 'Twas to submit to fatal steel, And fall, as it was consecrate, A sacrifice to fall of state; Whose thread of life the fatal sisters 275 Did twist together with its whiskers, And twine so close, that time should never, In life or death, their fortunes sever; But with his rusty sickle mow Both down together at a blow. 280 So learned TALIACOTIUS y from The brawny part of porter's bum Cut supplemental noses, which Wou'd last as long as parent breech; But when the date of NOCK was out, 285 Off drop'd the sympathetic snout. His back, or rather burthen, show'd, As if it stoop'd with its own load: For as AENEAS zbore his sire Upon his shoulders thro' the fire, 290 Our Knight did bear no less a pack Of his own buttocks on his back; Which now had almost got the upper- Hand of his head, for want of crupper. To poise this equally, he bore 295 A paunch of the same bulk before; Which still he had a special care To keep well-cramm'd with thrifty fare; As white-pot, butter-milk, and curds, Such as a country-house affords; 300 With other vittle, which anon We farther shall dilate upon, When of his hose we come to treat, The cupboard where he kept his meat. His doublet was of sturdy buff, 305 And tho' not sword, yet cudgel-proof; Whereby 'twas fitter for his use, Who fear'd no blows, but such as bruise. His breeches were of rugged woollen, And had been at the siege of Bullen; 310 To old King HARRY so well known, Some writers held they were his own. Thro' they were lin'd with many a piece Of ammunition bread and cheese, And fat black-puddings, proper food 315 For warriors that delight in blood. For, as we said, he always chose To carry vittle in his hose, That often tempted rats and mice The ammunition to surprise: 320 And when he put a hand but in The one or t' other magazine, They stoutly in defence on't stood, And from the wounded foe drew blood; And 'till th' were storm'd and beaten out, 325 Ne'er left the fortify'd redoubt. And tho' Knights Errant, as some think, Of old did neither eat nor drink, Because, when thorough desarts vast, And regions desolate, they past, 330 Where belly-timber above ground, Or under, was not to be found, Unless they graz'd, there's not one word Of their provision on record; Which made some confidently write, 335 They had no stomachs, but to fight. 'Tis false: for a ARTHUR wore in hall Round table like a farthingal, On which with shirt pull'd out behind, And eke before, his good Knights din'd. 340 Though 'twas no table, some suppose, But a huge pair of round trunk hose; In which he carry'd as much meat As he and all the Knights cou'd eat, When, laying by their swords and truncheons, 345 They took their breakfasts, or their nuncheons. But let that pass at present, lest We should forget where we digrest, As learned authors use, to whom We leave it, and to th' purpose come, 350 His puissant sword unto his side, Near his undaunted heart, was ty'd; With basket-hilt, that wou'd hold broth, And serve for fight and dinner both. In it he melted lead for bullets, 355 To shoot at foes, and sometimes pullets, To whom he bore so fell a grutch, He ne'er gave quarter t' any such. The trenchant blade, b Toledo trusty, For want of fighting, was grown rusty, 360 And ate unto itself, for lack Of somebody to hew and hack. The peaceful scabbard where it dwelt The rancour of its edge had felt; For of the lower end two handful 365 It had devour'd, 'twas so manful; And so much scorn'd to lurk in case, As if it durst not shew its face. In many desperate attempts, Of warrants, exigents, contempts, 370 It had appear'd with courage bolder Than Serjeant BUM invading shoulder. Oft had it ta'en possession, And pris'ners too, or made them run. This sword a dagger had t' his page, 375 That was but little for his age; And therefore waited on him so, As dwarfs upon Knights Errant do. It was a serviceable dudgeon, Either for fighting or for drudging. 380 When it had stabb'd, or broke a head, It would scrape trenchers, or chip bread; Toast cheese or bacon; tho' it were To bait a mouse-trap, 'twould not care. 'Twould make clean shoes; and in the earth 385 Set leeks and onions, and so forth. It had been 'prentice to a brewer, Where this and more it did endure; But left the trade, c as many more Have lately done on the same score. 390 In th' holsters, at his saddle-bow, Two aged pistols he did stow, Among the surplus of such meat As in his hose he cou'd not get. These wou'd inveigle rats with th' scent, 395 To forage when the cocks were bent; And sometimes catch 'em with a snap As cleverly as th' ablest trap. They were upon hard duty still, And ev'ry night stood centinel, 400 To guard the magazine i' th' hose From two-legg'd and from four-legg'd foes. Thus clad and fortify'd, Sir Knight From peaceful home set forth to fight. But first with nimble, active force 405 He got on th' outside of his horse; For having but one stirrup ty'd T' his saddle, on the further side, It was so short, h' had much ado To reach it with his desp'rate toe: 410 But, after many strains and heaves, He got up to the saddle-eaves, From whence he vaulted into th' seat, With so much vigour, strength and heat, That he had almost tumbled over 415 With his own weight, but did recover, By laying hold on tail and main, Which oft he us'd instead of rein. But now we talk of mounting steed, Before we further do proceed, 420 It doth behoves us to say something Of that which bore our valiant bumkin. The beast was sturdy, large, and tall, With mouth of meal, and eyes of wall. I wou'd say eye; for h' had but one, 425 As most agree; tho' some say none. He was well stay'd; and in his gait Preserv'd a grave, majestick state. At spur or switch no more he skipt, Or mended pace, than Spaniard whipt; 430 And yet so fiery, he wou'd bound As if he griev'd to touch the ground: That CAESAR's horse d, who, as fame goes Had corns upon his feet and toes, Was not by half so tender hooft, 435 Nor trod upon the ground so soft. And as that beast would kneel and stoop (Some write) to take his rider up, So HUDIBRAS his ('tis well known) Wou'd often do to set him down. 440 We shall not need to say what lack Of leather was upon his back; For that was hidden under pad, And breech of Knight, gall'd full as bad. His strutting ribs on both sides show'd 445 Like furrows he himself had plow'd; For underneath the skirt of pannel, 'Twixt ev'ry two there was a channel His draggling tail hung in the dirt, Which on his rider he wou'd flurt, 450 Still as his tender side he prick'd, With arm'd heel, or with unarm'd kick'd: For HUDIBRAS wore but one spur; As wisely knowing, cou'd he stir To active trot one side of's horse, 455 The other wou'd not hang an arse. A squire he had, whose name was RALPH, That in th' adventure went his half: Though writers, for more stately tone, Do call him RALPHO; 'tis all one; 460 And when we can with metre safe, We'll call him so; if not, plain RALPH: (For rhyme the rudder is of verses, With which like ships they steer their courses.) An equal stock of wit and valour 465 He had laid in; by birth a taylor. The mighty Tyrian Queen, e that gain'd With subtle shreds a tract of land, Did leave it with a castle fair To his great ancestor, her heir. 470 From him descended cross-legg'd Knights, Fam'd for their faith, and warlike fights Against the bloody cannibal, Whom they destroy'd both great and small. This sturdy Squire, he had, as well 475 As the f bold Trojan Knight, seen Hell; Not with a counterfeited pass Of golden bough, but true gold-lace. His knowledge was not far behind The Knight's, but of another kind, 480 And he another way came by 't: Some call it GIFTS, and some NEW-LIGHT; A liberal art, that costs no pains Of study, industry, or brains. His wit was sent him for a token, 485 But in the carriage crack'd and broken. Like commendation nine-pence crook'd, With -- To and from my love -- it look'd. He ne'er consider'd it, as loth To look a gift-horse in the mouth; 490 And very wisely wou'd lay forth No more upon it than 'twas worth. But as he got it freely, so He spent it frank and freely too. For Saints themselves will sometimes be 495 Of gifts, that cost them nothing, free. By means of this, with hem and cough, Prolongers to enlighten'd stuff, He cou'd deep mysteries unriddle As easily as thread a needle. 500 For as of vagabonds we say, That they are ne'er beside their way; Whate'er men speak by this New Light, Still they are sure to be i' th' right. 'Tis a dark-lanthorn of the Spirit, 505 Which none see by but those that bear it: A light that falls down from on high, For spiritual trades to cozen by An Ignis Fatuus, that bewitches And leads men into pools and ditches, 510 To make them dip themselves, and sound For Christendom in dirty pond To dive like wild-fowl for salvation, And fish to catch regeneration. This light inspires and plays upon 515 The nose of Saint like bag-pipe drone, And speaks through hollow empty soul, As through a trunk, or whisp'ring hole, Such language as no mortal ear But spirit'al eaves-droppers can hear: 520 So PHOEBUS, or some friendly muse, Into small poets song infuse, Which they at second-hand rehearse, Thro' reed or bag-pipe, verse for verse. Thus RALPH became infallible 525 As g three or four-legg'd oracle, The ancient cup, or modern chair; Spoke truth point-blank, tho' unaware. For MYSTICK LEARNING, wond'rous able In h magick Talisman and Cabal, 530 Whose primitive tradition reaches As far i as ADAM'S first green breeches: Deep-sighted in intelligences, Ideas, atoms, influences; And much of Terra Incognita, j 535 Th' intelligible world, cou'd say: A deep OCCULT PHILOSOPHER, As learn'd k as the wild Irish are, Or Sir AGRIPPA l; for profound And solid lying much renown'd. 540 He m ANTHROPOSOPHUS, and FLOUD, And JACOB BEHMEN understood: Knew many an amulet and charm, That wou'd do neither good nor harm: In ROSY-CRUCIAN n lore as learned, 545 As he that Vere adeptus earned. He understood the speech of birds As well as they themselves do words; Cou'd tell what subtlest parrots mean, That speak, and think contrary clean: 550 What Member 'tis of whom they talk, When they cry, Rope, and walk, knave, walk. He'd extract numbers out of matter, And keep them in a glass, like water; Of sov'reign pow'r to make men wise; 555 For drop'd in blear thick-sighted eyes, They'd make them see in darkest night Like owls, tho' purblind in the light. By help of these (as he profess'd) He had First Matter seen undress'd: 560 He took her naked all alone, Before one rag of form was on. The Chaos too he had descry'd, And seen quite thro', or else he ly'd: Not that of paste-board which men shew 565 For groats, at fair of Barthol'mew; But its great grandsire, first o' the name, Whence that and REFORMATION came; Both cousin-germans, and right able T' inveigle and draw in the rabble. 570 But Reformation was, some say, O' th' younger house to Puppet-play. He cou'd foretel whats'ever was By consequence to come to pass; As death of great men, alterations, 575 Diseases, battles, inundations. All this, without th' eclipse o' th' sun, Or dreadful comet, he hath done, By inward light; away as good, And easy to be understood; 580 But with more lucky hit than those That use to make the stars depose, Like Knights o' th' post, and falsely charge Upon themselves what others forge: As if they were consenting to 585 All mischiefs in the world men do: Or, like the Devil, did tempt and sway 'em To rogueries, and then betray 'em. They'll search a planet's house, to know Who broke and robb'd a house below: 590 Examine VENUS, and the MOON, Who stole a thimble or a spoon; And tho' they nothing will confess, Yet by their very looks can guess, And tell what guilty aspect bodes, 595 Who stole, and who receiv'd the goods. They'll question MARS, and, by his look, Detect who 'twas that nimm'd a cloke: Make MERCURY confess, and 'peach Those thieves which he himself did teach. 600 They'll find, i' th' physiognomies O' th' planets, all men's destinies.; Like him that took the doctor's bill, And swallow'd it instead o' th' pill Cast the nativity o' th' question, 605 And from positions to be guess'd on, As sure as it' they knew the moment Of natives birth, tell what will come on't. They'll feel the pulses of the stars, To find out agues, coughs, catarrhs; 610 And tell what crisis does divine The rot in sheep, or mange in swine In men, what gives or cures the itch; What makes them cuckolds, poor or rich; What gains or loses, hangs or saves; 615 What makes men great, what fools or knaves, But not what wise; for only of those The stars (they say) cannot dispose, No more than can the Astrologians. There they say right, and like true Trojans. This RALPHO knew, and therefore took 620 The other course, of which we spoke. Thus was the accomplish'd Squire endu'd With gifts and knowledge, per'lous shrew'd. Never did trusty Squire with Knight, Or Knight with Squire, e'er jump more right. 625 Their arms and equipage did fit, As well as virtues, parts, and wit. Their valours too were of a rate; And out they sally'd at the gate. 630 Few miles on horseback had they jogged, But Fortune unto them turn'd dogged; For they a sad adventure met, Of which anon we mean to treat; But ere we venture to unfold 635 Atchievements so resolv'd and bold, We shou'd as learned poets use, Invoke th' assistance of some muse: However, criticks count it sillier Than jugglers talking to familiar. 640 We think 'tis no great matter which They're all alike; yet we shall pitch On one that fits our purpose most Whom therefore thus do we accost: Thou that with ale, or viler liquors, 645 Did'st inspire WITHERS, PRYN o, and VICKARS, And force them, tho' it was in spite Of nature and their stars, to write; Who, as we find in sullen writs, And cross-grain'd works of modern wits, 650 With vanity, opinion, want, The wonder of the ignorant, The praises of the author, penn'd B' himself, or wit-insuring friend; The itch of picture in the front, 655 With bays and wicked rhyme upon't; All that is left o' th' forked hill, To make men scribble without skill; Canst make a poet spite of fate, And teach all people to translate, 660 Tho' out of languages in which They understand no part of speech; Assist me but this once, I 'mplore, And I shall trouble thee no more. In western clime there is a town, 665 To those that dwell therein well known; Therefore there needs no more be said here, We unto them refer our reader; For brevity is very good, When w' are, or are not, understood. 670 To this town people did repair, On days of market, or of fair, And, to crack'd fiddle, and hoarse tabor, In merriment did drudge and labor. But now a sport more formidable 675 Had rak'd together village rabble: 'Twas an old way of recreating, Which learned butchers call bear-baiting: A bold advent'rous exercise, With ancient heroes in high prize: 680 For authors do affirm it came From Isthmian or Nemean game: Others derive it from the bear That's fix'd in northern hemisphere, And round about the pole does make 685 A circle like a bear at stake, That at the chain's end wheels about, And overturns the rabble-rout. For after solemn proclamation, In the bear's name, (as is the fashion, 690 According to the law of arms, To keep men from inglorious harms,) That none presume to come so near As forty foot of stake of bear, If any yet be so fool-hardy, 695 T' expose themselves to vain jeopardy, If they come wounded off, and lame, No honour's got by such a maim; Altho' the bear gain much, b'ing bound In honour to make good his ground, 700 When he's engag'd, and takes no notice, If any press upon him, who 'tis; But let's them know, at their own cost, That he intends to keep his post. This to prevent, and other harms, 705 Which always wait on feats of arms, (For in the hurry of a fray 'Tis hard to keep out of harm's way,) Thither the Knight his course did steer, To keep the peace 'twixt dog and bear; 710 As he believ'd he was bound to do In conscience, and commission too; And therefore thus bespoke the Squire. We that p are wisely mounted higher Than constables in curule wit, When on tribunal bench we sit, Like speculators shou'd foresee, From Pharos of authority, Portended mischiefs farther then Low Proletarian tything-men: 720 And therefore being inform'd by bruit, That dog and bear are to dispute; For so of late men fighting name, Because they often prove the same; (For where the first does hap to be, 725 The last does coincidere;) Quantum in nobis, have thought good, To save th' expence of Christian blood, And try if we, by mediation Of treaty and accommodation, 730 Can end the quarrel and compose The bloody duel without blows. Are not our liberties, our lives, The laws, religion and our wives, Enough at once to lie at stake 735 For Cov'nant and the Cause's sake? But in that quarrel dogs and bears, As well as we must venture theirs This feud, by Jesuits invented, By evil counsel is fomented: 740 There is a MACHIAVILIAN plot, (Tho' ev'ry Nare olfact is not,) A deep design in't, to divide The well-affected that confide, By setting brother against brother, 745 To claw and curry one another. Have we not enemies plus satis, That Cane & Angue pejus hate us? And shall we turn our fangs and claws Upon our own selves, without cause? 750 That some occult design doth lie In bloody q cynarctomachy, Is plain enough to him that knows How Saints lead brothers by the nose. I wish myself a pseudo-prophet, 755 But sure some mischief will come of it; Unless by providential wit, Or force, we r averruncate it. For what design, what interest, Can beast have to encounter beast? 760 They fight for no espoused cause, Frail privilege, fundamental laws, Not for a thorough reformation, Nor covenant, nor protestation, Nor liberty of consciences, 765 Nor Lords and Commons ordinances; Nor for the church, nor for church-lands, To get them in their own no hands; Nor evil counsellors to bring To justice that seduce the King; 770 Nor for the worship of us men, Though we have done as much for them. Th' AEgyptians worshipp'd dogs, and for Their faith made internecine war. Others ador'd a rat, and some 775 For that church suffer'd martyrdom. The s Indians fought for the truth Of th' elephant and monkey's tooth, And many, to defend that faith, Fought it out mordicus to death. 780 But no beast ever was so slight, For man, as for his God, to fight. They have more wit, alas! and know Themselves and us better than so. But we, who only do infuse 785 The rage in them like t Boute-feus; 'Tis our example that instils In them th' infection of our ills. For, as some late philosophers. Have well observ'd, beasts, that converse 790 With man, take after him, as hogs Get pigs all the year, and bitches dogs. Just so, by our example, cattle Learn to give one another battle. We read, in NERO's time, the heathen, 795 When they destroy'd the Christian brethren, Did sew them in the skins of bears, And then set dogs about their ears: From thence, no doubt, th' invention came Of this lewd antichristian game. 800 To this, quoth RALPHO, Verily The point seems very plain to me. It is an antichristian game, Unlawful both in thing and name. First, for the name: the word, bear-baiting 805 Is carnal, and of man's creating: For certainly there's no such word In all the scripture on record; Therefore unlawful, and a sin; And so is (secondly) the thing. 810 A vile assembly 'tis, that can No more be prov'd by scripture than Provincial, classic, national; Mere human-creature cobwebs all. Thirdly, it is idolatrous; 815 For when men run a whoring thus With their inventions, whatsoe'er The thing be, whether dog or bear, It is idolatrous and pagan, No less than worshipping of DAGON. 820 Quoth HUDIBRAS, I smell a rat; RALPHO, thou dost prevaricate: For though the thesis which thou lay'st Be true ad amussim, as thou say'st; (For that bear-baiting should appear 825 Jure divino lawfuller Than synods are, thou dost deny, Totidem verbis; so do I;) Yet there's a fallacy in this; For if by sly HOMAEOSIS, 830 Tussis pro crepitu, an art Under a cough to slur a f--t Thou wou'dst sophistically imply, Both are unlawful, I deny. And I (quoth RALPHO) do not doubt 835 But bear-baiting may be made out, In gospel-times, as lawful as is Provincial or parochial classis; And that both are so near of kin, And like in all, as well as sin, 840 That put them in a bag, and shake 'em, Yourself o' th' sudden would mistake 'em, And not know which is which, unless You measure by their wickedness: For 'tis not hard t'imagine whether 845 O' th' two is worst; tho' I name neither. Quoth HUDIBRAS, Thou offer'st much, But art not able to keep touch. Mira de lente, as 'tis i' th' adage, Id est, to make a leek a cabbage; 850 Thou'lt be at best but such a bull, Or shear-swine, all cry, and no wool; For what can synods have at all With bear that's analogical? Or what relation has debating 855 Of church-affairs with bear-baiting? A just comparison still is Of things ejusdem generis; And then what genus rightly doth Include and comprehend them both? 860 If animal both of us may As justly pass for bears as they; For we are animals no less, Altho' of different specieses. But, RALPHO, this is not fit place 865 Nor time to argue out the case: For now the field is not far off, Where we must give the world a proof Of deeds, not words, and such as suit Another manner of dispute; 870 A controversy that affords Actions for arguments, not words; Which we must manage at a rate Of prowess and conduct adequate To what our place and fame doth promise, 875 And all the godly expect from us, Nor shall they be deceiv'd, unless We're slurr'd and outed by success; Success, the mark no mortal wit, Or surest hand can always hit: 880 For whatsoe'er we perpetrate, We do but row, we're steer'd by Fate, Which in success oft disinherits, For spurious causes, noblest merits. Great actions are not always true sons 885 Of great and mighty resolutions; Nor do th' boldest attempts bring forth Events still equal to their worth; But sometimes fail, and, in their stead, Fortune and cowardice succeed. 890 Yet we have no great cause to doubt; Our actions still have borne us out; Which tho' they're known to be so ample, We need not copy from example. We're not the only persons durst 895 Attempt this province, nor the first. In northern clime a val'rous Knight Did whilom kill his bear in fght, And wound a fiddler; we have both Of these the objects of our wroth, 900 And equal fame and glory from Th' attempt of victory to come. 'Tis sung, there is a valiant u Mamaluke In foreign land, yclep'd -- To whom we have been oft compar'd 905 For person, parts; address, and beard; Both equally reputed stout, And in the same cause both have fought: He oft in such attempts as these Came off with glory and success; 910 Nor will we fail in th' execution, For want of equal resolution. Honour is like a w widow, won With brisk attempt and putting on; With ent'ring manfully, and urging; 915 Not slow approaches, like a virgin. 'Tis said, as yerst the Phrygian Knight, So ours with rusty steel did smite His Trojan horse, and just as much He mended pace upon the touch; 920 But from his empty stomach groan'd Just as that hollow beast did sound, And angry answer'd from behind, With brandish'd tail and blast of wind. So have I seen, with armed heel, 925 A wight bestride a Common-weal; While still the more he kick'd and spurr'd, The less the sullen jade has stirr'd.