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Notes to Hudibras Part I Canto II


47 x That is to say, whether Tollulation,
As they do term't, or Succussation.
Tollulation and succussation are only Latin words for ambling and trotting; though I believe both were natural amongst the old Romans; since I never read they made use of the trammel, or any other art, to pace their horses.Back

60 y As Indian Britons, &c.] The American Indians call a great bird they have, with a white head, a penguin, which signifies the same thing in the British tongue: from whence (with other words of the same kind) some authors have endeavoured to prove, that the Americans are originally derived from the Britons.Back

65 z The dire, &c.] Pharsalia is a city of Thessaly, famous for the battle won by Julius Caesar against Pompey the Great, in the neighbouring plains, in the 607th year of Rome, of which read Lucan's Pharsalia.Back

129 a Chiron, the &c.] Chiron, a Centaur, son to Saturn and Phillyris, living in the mountains, where, being much given to hunting, he became very knowing in the virtues of plants and one of the most famous physicians of his time. He imparted his skill to AEsculapius and was afterwards Apollo's governor, until being wounded by Hercules, and desiring to die, Jupiter placed him in heaven, where he forms the sign of Sagittarius or the Archer.Back

133 b In Staffordshire, where virtuous Worth
Does raise the Minstrelsy, not Birth, &c.
The whole history of this ancient ceremony you may read at large in Dr. Plot's History of Staffordshire, under the town Tutbury.Back

155 c Grave as, &c.] For the history of Pegu, read Mandelsa and Olearius's Travels.Back

172 d In military, &c.] Paris Garden, in Southwark, took its name from the possessor.Back

231 e Though by, &c.] Promethean fire. Prometheus was the son of Iapetus, and brother of Atlas, concerning whom the poets have feigned, that having first formed men of the earth and water, he stole fire from heaven to put life into them; and that having thereby displeased Jupiter, he commanded Vulcan to tie him to mount Caucasus with iron chains, and that a vulture should prey upon his liver continually: but the truth of the story is, that Prometheus was an astrologer, and constant in observing the stars upon that mountain; and, that, among other things, he found the art of making fire, either by the means of a flint, or by contracting the sun-beams in a glass. Bochart will have Magog, in the Scripture, to be the Prometheus of the Pagans.
He here and before sarcastically derides those who were great admirers of the sympathetic powder and weapon salve, which were in great repute in those days, and much promoted by the great Sir Kenelm Digby, who wrote a treatise ex professo [of his own knowledge] on that subject, and, I believe, thought what he wrote to be true, which since has been almost exploded out of the world.Back

267 f And 'mong, &c.] Cossacks are a people that live near Poland. This name was given them for their extraordinary nimbleness; for cosa, or kosa, in the Polish tongue, signifies a goat. He that would know more of them, may read Le Laboreur and ThuldenusBack

275 g And tho', &c.] This custom of the Huns is described by Ammianus Marcellinus, Hunni semicruda cujusvis Pecoris carne vescuntur, quasi inter femora sua & equorum terga subsertam, calefacient brevi. P. 686. [The Huns stoutheartedly eat half-raw meat, which is warned briefly by being hedl between their thighs and their hoeses' backs.] Back

283 h he spous'd in India,
Of noble House, a Lady gay.
The Story in Le Blanc, of a bear that married a king's daughter, is no more strange than many others, in most travellers, that pass with allowance; for if they should write nothing but what is possible, or probable, they might appear to have lost their labour, and observed nothing but what they might have done as well at home.Back

343 i In MAGIC he was deeply read,
As he that made the Brazen-Head;
Profoundly skill'd in the Black Art;
As ENGLISH MERLIN for his Heart.
Roger Bacon and Merlin. See Collier's Dictionary.Back

368 k As JOAN, &c.] Two notorious women; the last was known here by the name of Moll Cutpurse.Back

378 l Than the Amazonian, &c.] Penthesile, Queen of the Amazons, succeeded Orythia. She carried succours to the Trojans, and after having given noble proofs of her bravery, was killed by Achilles. Pliny saith, it was she that invented the battle-ax. If any one desire to know more of the Amazons, let him read Mr. Sanson.Back

385 m They wou'd not suffer the stout'st Dame
To swear by HERCULES's Name.
The old Romans had particular oaths for men and women to swear by, and therefore Macrobius says, Viri per Castorum non jurabant antiquitus, nec Mulieres per Herculem; AEdepol autem juramentum erat tum mulieribus, quam viris commune, &c. [Men did not swear by Castor in ancient times, nor women by Hercules; however women swore by AEdepol as much as men did.]Back

393 n As stout, &c.] Two formidable women at arms, in romances, that were cudgelled into love by their gallants.Back

395 o Of GUNDIBERT &c.] Gundibert is a feigned name, made use of by Sir William d' Avenant in his famous epic poem, so called; wherein you may find also that of his mistress. This poem was designed by the author to be an imitation of the English Drama: it being divided into five books, as the other is into five acts; the Cantos to be parallel of the scenes, with this difference, that this is delivered narratively, the other dialoguewise. It was ushered into the world by a large preface, written by Mr. Hobbes, and by the pens of two of our best poets, viz. Mr. Waller and Mr. Cowley, which one would have thought might have proved a sufficient defence and protection against snarling critics. Notwithstanding which, four eminent wits of that age (two of which were Sir John Denham and Mr. Donne) published several copies of verses to Sir William's discredit, under this title, Certain Verses written by several of the Author's Friends, to be reprinted with the second Edition of Gundibert in 8vo. Lond. 1653. These verses were as wittily answered by the author, under this title, The incomparable Poem of Gundibert vindicated from the Wit Combat of four Esquires, Clinias, Damoetas, Sancho, and Jack-Pudding; printed in 8vo. Lond. 1665, Vide Langbain's Account of Dramatic Poets.Back

496 p What OEstrum, &c.] OEstrum is not only a Greek word for madness, but signifies also a gad-bee or horse-fly, that torments cattle in the summer, and makes them run about as if they were mad.Back

525 q Wore in their Hats, &c.] Some few days after the King had accus'd the five Members of Treason in the House of Commons, great Crowds of the rabble came down to Westminster-Hall, with printed copies of the Protestation tied in their hats like favours.Back

526 r When 'twas resolv'd by either House
Six Members Quarrel to espouse.
The six Members were the Lord Kimbolton, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hollis, Mr. Hampden, Sir Arthur Haslerig, and Mr. Stroud, whom the King ordered to be apprehended, and their papers seized; charging them of plotting with the Scots, and favouring the late tumults; but the House voted against the arrest of their persons or papers; whereupon the King having preferred articles against those Members, he went with his guard to the House to demand them; but they, having notice, withdrew.Back

578 s Make that, &c.] Abusive or insulting had been better; but our Knight believed the learned language more convenient to understand in than his own Mother-tongue.Back

650 t And is indeed the self same Case
With theirs that swore t' Et caeteras.
The Convocation, in one of the short Parliaments, that ushered in the long one, (as dwarfs are wont to do knights-errant,) made an oath to be taken by the clergy for observing canonical obedience; in which they enjoined their brethren, out of the abundance of their consciences, to swear to articles with, &c.Back

652 u Or the French League, in which men vow'd
To fight to the last Drop of Blood.
The Holy League in France, designed and made for the extirpation of the Protestant Religion, was the original out of which the Solemn League and Covenant here was (with the difference only of circumstances) most faithfully transcribed. Nor did the success of both differ more than the intent and purpose; for after the destruction of vast numbers of people of all sorts, both ended with the murder of two Kings, whom they had both sworn to defend: And as our Covenanters swore every man to run one before another in the way of Reformation, so did the French, in the Holy League, to fight to the last drop of blood.Back