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Hudibras Part II Canto 2



The Knight and Squire Delivered from Captivity
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------------------------------------------------- The Knight and Squire, in hot dispute, Within an ace of falling out, Are parted with a sudden fright Of strange alarm, and stranger sight; With which adventuring to stickle, They're sent away in nasty pickle. ------------------------------------------------- 'Tis strange how some mens' tempers suit (Like bawd and brandy) with dispute, That for their own opinions stand last Only to have them claw'd and canvast; That keep their consciences in cases, 5 As fiddlers do their crowds and bases, Ne'er to be us'd, but when they're bent To play a fit for argument; Make true and false, unjust and just, Of no use but to be discust; 10 Dispute, and set a paradox Like a straight boot upon the stocks, And stretch it more unmercifully Than HELMONT, MONTAIGN, WHITE, or TULLY, So th' ancient n Stoicks, in their porch, 15 With fierce dispute maintain'd their church; Beat out their brains in fight and study, To prove that Virtue is a Body; That o Bonum is an Animal, Made good with stout polemic brawl; 20 in which some hundreds on the place Were slain outright; and many a face Retrench'd of nose, and eyes, and beard, To maintain what their sect averr'd; All which the Knight and Squire, in wrath, 25 Had like t' have suffered for their faith, Each striving to make good his own, As by the sequel shall be shown. The Sun had long since, in the lap Of THETIS, taken out his nap, 30 And, like a lobster boil'd, the morn From black to red began to turn, When HUDIBRAS, whom thoughts and aking, 'Twixt sleeping kept all night and waking, Began to rub his drowsy eyes, 35 And from his couch prepar'd to rise, Resolving to dispatch the deed He vow'd to do with trusty speed. But first, with knocking loud, and bawling, He rouz'd the Squire, in truckle lolling; 40 And, after many circumstances, Which vulgar authors, in romances, Do use to spend their time and wits on, To make impertinent description, They got (with much ado) to horse, 45 And to the Castle bent their course, In which he to the Dame before To suffer whipping duly swore; Where now arriv'd, and half unharnest, To carry on the work in earnest, 50 He stopp'd, and paus'd upon the sudden, And with a serious forehead plodding, Sprung a new scruple his head, Which first he scratch'd, and after said -- Whether it be direct infringing 55 An oath, if I should wave this swingeing, And what I've sworn to bear, forbear, And so b' equivocation swear, Or whether it be a lesser sin To be forsworn than act the thing, 60 Are deep and subtle points, which must, T' inform my conscience, be discust; In which to err a tittle may To errors infinite make way; And therefore I desire to know 65 Thy judgment e'er we further go. Quoth Ralpho, Since you do enjoin't, I shall enlarge upon the point; And, for my own part, do not doubt Th' affirmative may be made out, 70 But first, to state the case aright, For best advantage of our light, And thus 'tis: Whether 't be a sin To claw and curry your own skin, Greater or less, than to forbear, 75 And that you are forsworn, forswear. But first, o' th' first: The inward man, And outward, like a clan and clan, Have always been at daggers-drawing, And one another clapper-clawing. 80 Not that they really cuff, or fence, But in a Spiritual Mystick sense; Which to mistake, and make 'em squabble In literal fray's abominable. 'Tis heathenish, in frequent use 85 With Pagans and apostate Jews, To offer sacrifice of bridewells, Like modern Indians to their idols; And mongrel Christians of our times, That expiate less with greater crimes, 90 And call the foul abomination, Contrition and mortification. Is 't not enough we're bruis'd and kicked With sinful members of the wicked, Our vessels, that are sanctify'd, 95 Prophan'd and curry'd back and side, But we must claw ourselves with shameful And heathen stripes, by their example; Which (were there nothing to forbid it) Is impious because they did it; 100 This, therefore, may be justly reckon'd A heinous sin. Now to the second That Saints may claim a dispensation To swear and forswear, on occasion, I doubt not but it will appear 105 With pregnant light: the point is clear. Oaths are but words, and words but wind; Too feeble implements to bind; And hold with deeds proportion so As shadows to a substance do. 110 Then when they strive for place, 'tis fit The weaker vessel should submit. Although your Church be opposite To ours as Black Friars are to White, In rule and order, yet I grant, 115 You are a Reformado Saint; And what the Saints do claim as due, You may pretend a title to: But Saints whom oaths and vows oblige, Know little of their privilege; 120 Further (I mean) than carrying on Some self-advantage of their own: For if the Dev'l, to serve his turn, Can tell troth, why the Saints should scorn, When it serves theirs, to swear and lye; 125 I think there's little reason why: Else h' has a greater pow'r than they, Which 't were impiety to say. W' are not commanded to forbear Indefinitely at all to swear; 130 But to swear idly, and in vain, Without self-interest or gain For breaking of an oath, and lying, Is but a kind of self-denying; A Saint-like virtue: and from hence 135 Some have broke oaths by Providence Some, to the glory of the Lord, Perjur'd themselves, and broke their word; And this the constant rule and practice Of all our late Apostles acts is. 140 Was not the cause at first begun With perjury, and carried on? Was there an oath the Godly took, But in due time and place they broke? Did we not bring our oaths in first, 145 Before our plate, to have them burst, And cast in fitter models for The present use of Church and War? Did not our Worthies of the House, Before they broke the peace, break vows? 150 For having freed us first from both Th' Allegiance and Supremacy Oath, Did they not next compel the Nation To take and break the Protestation? To swear, and after to recant 155 The solemn League and Covenant? To take th' Engagement, and disclaim it, Enforc'd by those who first did frame it Did they not swear, at first, to fight For the KING'S Safety and his Right, 160 And after march'd to find him out, And charg'd him home with horse and foot; But yet still had the confidence To swear it was in his defence Did they not swear to live and die 165 With Essex, and straight laid him by? If that were all, for some have swore As false as they, if th' did no more, Did they not swear to maintain Law, In which that swearing made a flaw? 170 For Protestant Religion vow, That did that vowing disallow? For Privilege of Parliament, In which that swearing made a rent? And since, of all the three, not one 175 Is left in being, 'tis well known. Did they not swear, in express words, To prop and back the House of Lords, And after turn'd out the whole House-full Of Peers, as dang'rous and unusefull? 180 So CROMWELL, with deep oaths and vows, Swore all the Commons out o' th' House; Vow'd that the red-coats would disband, Ay, marry wou'd they, at their command; And troll'd them on, and swore, and swore, 185 Till th' army turn'd them out of door. This tells us plainly what they thought, That oaths and swearing go for nought, And that by them th' were only meant To serve for an expedient. 190 What was the Public Faith found out for, But to slur men of what they fought for The Public Faith, which ev'ry one Is bound t' observe, yet kept by none; And if that go for nothing, why 195 Should Private Faith have such a tye? Oaths were not purpos'd more than law, To keep the good and just in awe, But to confine the bad and sinful, Like moral cattle, in a pinfold. 200 A Saint's of th' Heav'nly Realm a Peer; And as no Peer is bound to swear, But on the Gospel of his Honour, Of which he may dispose as owner, It follows, though the thing be forgery, 205 And false th' affirm, it is no perjury, But a mere ceremony, and a breach Of nothing, but a form of speech; And goes for no more when 'tis took, Than mere saluting of the book. 210 Suppose the Scriptures are of force, They're but commissions of course, And Saints have freedom to digress, And vary from 'em, as they please; Or mis-interpret them, by private 215 Instructions, to all aims they drive at. Then why should we ourselves abridge And curtail our own privilege? Quakers (that, like to lanthorns, bear Their light within 'em) will not swear 220 Their gospel is an accidence, By which they construe conscience, And hold no sin so deeply red, As that of breaking Priscian's head; (The head and founder of their order,) 225 That stirring Hat's held worse than murder. These thinking th' are oblig'd to troth In swearing, will not take an oath Like mules, who, if th' have not their will To keep their own pace, stand stock-still: 230 But they are weak, and little know What free-born consciences may do. 'Tis the temptation of the Devil That makes all human actions evil For Saints may do the same things by 235 The Spirit, in sincerity, Which other men are tempted to, And at the Devil's instance do And yet the actions be contrary, Just as the Saints and Wicked vary. 240 For as on land there is no beast, But in some fish at sea's exprest, So in the Wicked there's no Vice, Of which the Saints have not a spice; And yet that thing that's pious in 245 The one, in th' other is a sin. Is't not ridiculous, and nonsense, A Saint should be a slave to conscience, That ought to be above such fancies, As far as above ordinances? 250 She's of the wicked, as I guess, B' her looks, her language, and her dress: And though, like constables, we search, For false wares, one another's Church, Yet all of us hold this for true, 255 No Faith is to the wicked due; For truth is precious and divine; Too rich a pearl for carnal swine, Quoth HUDIBRAS, All this is true; 260 Yet 'tis not fit that all men knew, Those mysteries and revelations, And therefore topical evasions Of subtle turns and shifts of sense, Serve best with th' wicked for pretence, Such as the learned Jesuits use, 265 And Presbyterians for excuse Against the Protestants, when th' happen To find their Churches taken napping: As thus: A breach of oath is duple, And either way admits a scruple, 270 And may be, ex parte of the maker More criminal than th' injur'd taker; For he that strains too far a vow, Will break it, like an o'er-bent bow: And he that made, and forc'd it, broke it, 275 Not he that for convenience took it. A broken oath is, quatenus oath, As sound t' all purposes of troth, As broken laws are ne'er the worse; Nay, till th' are broken have no force. 280 What's justice to a man, or laws, That never comes within their claws They have no pow'r, but to admonish: Cannot controul, coerce, or punish, Until they're broken, and then touch 285 Those only that do make 'em such. Beside, no engagement is allow'd By men in prison made for good; For when they're set at liberty, They're from th' engagement too set free. 290 The rabbins write, when any Jew Did make to God, or man, a vow, Which afterward he found untoward, And stubborn to be kept, or too hard, Any three other Jews o' th' nation, 295 Might free him from the obligation And have not two saints pow'r to use A greater privilege than three Jews? The court of conscience, which in man Should be supreme and sovereign, 300 Is't fit should be subordinate To ev'ry petty court i' the state, And have less power than the lesser, To deal with perjury at pleasure? Have its proceedings disallow'd, or 305 Allow'd, at fancy of Pye-Powder? Tell all it does, or does not know, For swearing ex officio? Be forc'd t' impeach a broken hedge, And pigs unring'd at Vis. Franc. Pledge? 310 Discover thieves, and bawds, recusants, Priests, witches, eves-droppers, and nuisance: Tell who did play at games unlawful, And who fill'd pots of ale but half-full And have no pow'r at all, nor shift, 315 To help itself at a dead lift Why should not conscience have vacation As well as other courts o' th' nation Have equal power to adjourn, Appoint appearance and return; 320 And make as nice distinction serve To split a case, as those that carve, Invoking cuckolds' names, hit joints; Why should not tricks as slight do points Is not th' High-Court of Justice sworn 325 To judge that law that serves their turn, Make their own jealousies high-treason, And fix 'm whomsoe'er they please on? Cannot the learned counsel there Make laws in any shape appear? 330 Mould 'em as witches do their clay, When they make pictures to destroy And vex 'em into any form That fits their purpose to do harm? Rack 'em until they do confess, 335 Impeach of treason whom they please, And most perfidiously condemn Those that engag'd their lives for them? And yet do nothing in their own sense, But what they ought by oath and conscience? 340 Can they not juggle, and, with slight Conveyance, play with wrong and right; And sell their blasts of wind as dear As Lapland witches bottled air? Will not fear, favour, bribe and grudge 345 The same case sev'ral ways adjudge? As seamen, with the self-same gale, Will sev'ral different courses sail? As when the sea breaks o'er its bounds, And overflows the level grounds, 350 Those banks and dams, that, like a screen, Did keep it out, now keep it in; So when tyrannic usurpation Invades the freedom of a nation, The laws o' th' land, that were intended 355 To keep it out, are made defend it. Does not in chanc'ry ev'ry man swear What makes best for him in his answer? Is not the winding up witnesses And nicking more than half the bus'ness? 360 For witnesses, like watches, go Just as they're set, too fast or slow; And where in conscience they're strait-lac'd, 'Tis ten to one that side is cast. Do not your juries give their verdict 365 As if they felt the cause, not heard it? And as they please, make matter of fact Run all on one side, as they're pack't? Nature has made man's breast no windores, To publish what he does within doors, 370 Nor what dark secrets there inhabit, Unless his own rash folly blab it. If oaths can do a man no good In his own bus'ness, why they shou'd In other matters do him hurt, 375 I think there's little reason for't. He that imposes an oath, makes it, Not he that for convenience takes it: Then how can any man be said To break an oath he never made? 380 These reasons may, perhaps, look oddly To th' Wicked, though th' evince the Godly; But if they will not serve to clear My honour, I am ne'er the near. Honour is like that glassy bubble 385 That finds philosophers such trouble, Whose least part crack't, the whole does fly, And wits are crack'd to find out why. Quoth RALPHO, Honour's but a word To swear by only in a Lord: 390 In other men 'tis but a huff, To vapour with instead of proof; That, like a wen, looks big and swells, Is senseless, and just nothing else. Let it (quoth he) be what it will, 395 It has the world's opinion still. But as men are not wise that run The slightest hazard they may shun, There may a medium be found out To clear to all the world the doubt; 400 And that is, if a man may do't, By proxy whipt, or substitute. Though nice and dark the point appear, (Quoth RALPH) it may hold up and clear. That sinners may supply the place 405 Of suff'ring Saints is a plain case. Justice gives sentence many times On one man for another's crimes. Our brethren of NEW ENGLAND use Choice malefactors to excuse, 410 And hang the guiltless in their stead, Of whom the Churches have less need; As lately 't happen'd: In a town p There liv'd a cobler, and but one, That out of doctrine could cut use, 415 And mend men's lives as well as shoes, This precious brother having slain, In time of peace, an Indian, (Not out of malice, but mere zeal, Because he was an Infidel,) 420 The mighty TOTTIPOTTYMOY Sent to our elders an envoy, Complaining sorely of the breach Of league held forth by brother Patch Against the articles in force 425 Between both Churches, his and ours For which he crav'd the Saints to render Into his hands or hang th' offender But they maturely having weigh'd, They had no more but him o' th' trade, 430 (A man that serv'd them in a double Capacity, to teach and cobble,) Resolv'd to spare him; yet, to do The Indian Hoghgan Moghgan too Impartial justice, in his stead did 435 Hang an old Weaver, that was bed-rid. Then wherefore way not you be skipp'd, And in your room another whipp'd? For all Philosophers, but the Sceptick, Hold whipping may be sympathetick. 440 It is enough, quoth HUDIBRAS, Thou hast resolv'd and clear'd the case And canst, in conscience, not refuse From thy own doctrine to raise use. I know thou wilt not (for my sake) 445 Be tender-conscienc'd of thy back. Then strip thee off thy carnal jerking, And give thy outward-fellow a ferking; For when thy vessel is new hoop'd, All leaks of sinning will be stopp'd. 450 Quoth RALPHO, You mistake the matter; For in all scruples of this nature, No man includes himself, nor turns The point upon his own concerns. As no man of his own self catches 455 The itch, or amorous French aches So no man does himself convince, By his own doctrine, of his sins And though all cry down self, none means His ownself in a literal sense. 460 Beside, it is not only foppish, But vile, idolatrous and Popish, For one man, out of his own skin, To ferk and whip another's sin; As pedants out of school-boys' breeches 465 Do claw and curry their own itches. But in this case it is prophane, And sinful too, because in vain; For we must take our oaths upon it, You did the deed, when I have done it. 470 Quoth HUDIBRAS, That's answer'd soon Give us the whip, we'll lay it on. Quoth RALPHO, That we may swear true, 'Twere properer that I whipp'd you For when with your consent 'tis done, 475 The act is really your own. Quoth HUDIBRAS, It is in vain (I see) to argue 'gainst the grain; Or, like the stars, incline men to What they're averse themselves to do: 480 For when disputes are weary'd out, 'Tis interest still resolves the doubt But since no reason can confute ye, I'll try to force you to your duty For so it is, howe'er you mince it; 485 As ere we part, I shall evince it And curry (if you stand out) whether You will or no, your stubborn leather. Canst thou refuse to hear thy part I' th' publick work, base as thou art? 490 To higgle thus for a few blows, To gain thy Knight an op'lent spouse Whose wealth his bowels yearn to purchase, Merely for th' interest of the Churches; And when he has it in his claws, 495 Will not be hide-bound to the Cause? Nor shalt thou find him a Curmudgin, If thou dispatch it without grudging. If not, resolve, before we go, That you and I must pull a crow. 500 Y' had best (quoth RALPHO) as the ancients Say wisely, Have a care o' th' main chance, And look before you ere you leap; For as you sow, y' are like to reap: And were y' as good as George-a-Green, 505 I shall make bold to turn agen Nor am I doubtful of the issue In a just quarrel, and mine is so. Is't fitting for a man of honour To whip the Saints, like Bishop Bonner? 510 A Knight t' usurp the beadle's office, For which y' are like to raise brave trophies. But I advise you (not for fear, But for your own sake) to forbear; And for the Churches, which may chance, 515 From hence, to spring a variance; And raise among themselves new scruples, Whom common danger hardly couples. Remember how, in arms and politicks, We still have worsted all your holy tricks; 520 Trepann'd your party with intrigue, And took your grandees down a peg; New modell'd th' army, and cashier'd All that to legion SMEC adher'd; Made a mere utensil o' your Church, 525 And after left it in the lurch A scaffold to build up our own, And, when w' had done with't, pull'd it down Capoch'd your Rabbins of the Synod, And snap'd their Canons with a why-not; 530 (Grave Synod Men, that were rever'd For solid face and depth of beard;) Their classic model prov'd a maggot, Their direct'ry an Indian Pagod; And drown'd their discipline like a kitten, 535 On which they'd been so long a sitting; Decry'd it as a holy cheat, Grown out of date, and obsolete; And all the Saints of the first grass As casting foals of Balaam's ass. 540 At this the Knight grew high in chafe, And staring furiously on RALPH, He trembled, and look'd pale with ire Like ashes first, then red as fire. Have I (quoth he) been ta'en in fight, 545 And for so many moons lain by't, And, when all other means did fail, q Have been exchang'd for tubs of ale? Not but they thought me worth a ransome Much more consid'rable and handsome, 550 But for their own sakes, and for fear They were not safe when I was there Now to be baffled by a scoundrel, An upstart sect'ry, and a mungrel; Such as breed out of peccant humours, 555 Of our own Church, like wens or tumours, And, like a maggot in a sore, Would that which gave it life devour; It never shall be done or said; With that he seiz'd upon his blade; 560 And RALPHO too, as quick and bold, Upon his basket-hilt laid hold, With equal readiness prcpar'd To draw, and stand upon his guard; When both were parted on the sudden, 565 With hideous clamour, and a loud one As if all sorts of noise had been Contracted into one loud din; Or that some member to be chosen, Had got the odds above a thousand, 570 And by the greatness of its noise, Prov'd fittest for his country's choice. This strange surprisal put the Knight And wrathful Squire into a fright; And though they stood prepar'd, with fatal 575 Impetuous rancour to join battel, Both thought it was the wisest course To wave the fight and mount to horse, And to secure by swift retreating, Themselves from danger of worse beating. 580 Yet neither of them would disparage, By utt'ring of his mind, his courage, Which made them stoutly keep their ground, With horror and disdain wind-bound. And now the cause of all their fear 585 By slow degrees approach'd so near, They might distinguish different noise Of horns, and pans, and dogs, and boys, And kettle-drums, whose sullen dub Sounds like the hooping of a tub. 590 But when the sight appear'd in view, They found it was an antique show; A triumph, that, for pomp and state, Did proudest Romans emulate: For as the aldermen of Rome 595 Their foes at training overcome, And not enlarging territory, (As some mistaken write in Story,) Being mounted, in their best array, Upon a carr, and who but they! 600 And follow'd with a world of tall-lads, That merry ditties troll'd, and ballads, Did ride with many a good-morrow, Crying, Hey for our Town! through the Borough So when this triumph drew so nigh 605 They might particulars descry, They never saw two things so pat, In all respects, as this and that. First, he that led the cavalcade, Wore a sow-gelder's flagellate, 610 On which he blew as strong a levet As well-fee'd lawyer on his breviate, When over one another's heads They charge (three ranks at once) like Swedes, Next pans and kettle, of all keys, 615 From trebles down to double base; And after them, upon a nag, That might pass for a forehand stag, A cornet rode, and on his staff A smock display'd did proudly wave. 620 Then bagpipes of the loudest drones, With snuffling broken-winded tones, Whose blasts of air, in pockets shut Sound filthier than from the gut, And make a viler noise than swine 625 In windy weather, when they whine. Next one upon a pair of panniers, Full fraught with that which for good manners Shall here be nameless, mixt with grains, Which he dispens'd among the swains, 630 And busily upon the crowd At random round about bestow'd. Then, mounted on a horned horse, One bore a gauntlet and gilt spurs, Ty'd to the pummel of a long sword 635 He held reverst, the point turn'd downward, Next after, on a raw-bon'd steed, The conqueror's standard-bearer rid, And bore aloft before the champion A petticoat display'd, and rampant 640 Near whom the Amazon triumphant Bestrid her beast, and on the rump on't Sat face to tail, and bum to bum, The warrior whilom overcome; Arm'd with a spindle and a distaff, 645 Which, as he rode, she made him twist off; And when he loiter'd, o'er her shoulder Chastis'd the reformado soldier. Before the dame, and round about, March'd whifflers and staffiers on foot, 650 With lackies, grooms, valets, and pages, In fit and proper equipages; Of whom some torches bore, some links, Before the proud virago minx, That was both Madam and a Don, 655 Like NERO'S SPORUS, or POPE JOAN; And at fit periods the whole rout Set up their throats with clamorous shout. The Knight, transported, and the Squire, Put up their weapons, and their ire; 660 And HUDIBRAS, who us'd to ponder On such sights with judicious wonder, Could hold no longer to impart His animadversions, for his heart. Quoth he, In all my life, till now, 665 I ne'er saw so prophane a show. It is a Paganish invention, -- Which heathen writers often mention: And he who made it had read GOODWIN, Or Ross, or CAELIUS RHODOGINE, 670 With all the Grecians, SPEEDS and STOWS, That best describe those ancient shows; And has observ'd all fit decorums We find describ'd by old historians: For as the Roman conqueror, 675 That put an end to foreign war, Ent'ring the town in triumph for it, r Bore a slave with him, in his chariot; So this insulting female brave, Carries behind her here a slave: 680 And as the ancients long ago, When they in field defy'd the foe, s Hung out their mantles della guerre, So her proud standard-bearer here Waves on his spear, in dreadful manner, 685 A Tyrian-petticoat for banner: t Next links and torches, heretofore Still borne before the emperor. And as, in antique triumphs, eggs Were borne for mystical intrigues, 690 There's one with truncheon, like a ladle, That carries eggs too, fresh or addle; And still at random, as he goes, Among the rabble-rout bestows. Quoth Ralpho, You mistake the matter; 695 For all th' antiquity you smatter, Is but a riding, us'd of course When the grey mare's the better horse; When o'er the breeches greedy women Fight to extend their vast dominion; 700 And in the cause impatient Grizel Has drubb'd her Husband with bull's pizzle, And brought him under Covert-Baron, To turn her vassal with a murrain; When wives their sexes shift, like hares, 705 And ride their husbands like night-mares, And they in mortal battle vanquish'd, Are of their charter disenfranchis'd And by the right of war, like gills, Condemn'd to distaff, horns, and wheels: 710 For when men by their wives are cow'd, Their horns of course are understood Quoth HUDIBRAS thou still giv'st sentence Impertinently, and against sense. Tis not the least disparagement 715 To be defeated by th' event, Nor to be beaten by main force; That does not make a man the worse, Although his shoulders with battoon Be claw'd and cudgel'd to some tune. 720 A taylor's 'prentice has no hard Measure that's bang'd with a true yard: But to turn tail, or run away, And without blows give up the day, Or to surrender ere th' assault, 725 That's no man's fortune, but his fault, And renders men of honour less Than all th' adversity of success; And only unto such this shew Of horns and petticoats is due. 730 There is a lesser profanation, Like that the Romans call'd ovation: For as ovation was allow'd For conquest purchas'd without blood, So men decree these lesser shows 735 For victory gotten without blows, By dint of sharp hard words, which some Give battle with, and overcome. These mounted in a chair-curule, Which moderns call a cucking-stool, 740 March proudly to the river's side, And o'er the waves in triumph ride; Like Dukes of VENICE, who are said The Adriatick Sea to wed; And have a gentler wife than those 745 For whom the State decrees those shows, But both are heathenish, and come From th' whores of Babylon and Rome; And by the Saints should be withstood, As Antichristian and lewd; 750 And as such, should now contribute Our utmost struggling to prohibit. This said, they both advanc'd, and rode A dog-trot through the bawling crowd, T'attack the leader, and still prest, 755 Till they approach'd him breast to breast Then HUDIBRAS, with face and hand, Made signs for silence; which obtain'd, What means (quoth he) this Devil's precession With men of orthodox profession? 760 'Tis ethnic and idolatrous, From heathenism deriv'd to us, Does not the Whore of Babylon ride Upon her horned beast astride Like this proud dame, who either is 765 A type of her, or she of this? Are things of superstitious function Fit to be us'd in Gospel Sun-shine? It is an Antichristian opera, Much us'd in midnight times of Popery, 770 Of running after self-inventions Of wicked and profane intentions; To scandalize that sex for scolding, To whom the Saints are so beholden. Women, who were our first Apostles 775 Without whose aid we had been lost else; Women, that left no stone unturn'd In which the Cause might he concern'd; Brought in their children's' spoons and whistles, To purchase swords, carbines, and pistols; 780 Their husbands, cullies, and sweet-hearts, To take the Saints and Churches' parts; Drew several gifted Brethren in, That for the Bishops would have been, And fix'd 'em constant to the party, 785 With motives powerful and hearty; Their husbands robb'd, and made hard shifts T'administer unto their gifts All they cou'd rap, and rend, and pilfer, To scraps and ends of gold and silver; 790 Rubb'd down the Teachers, tir'd and spent With holding forth for Parliament, Pamper'd and edify'd their zeal With marrow-puddings many a meal; And led them, with store of meat, 795 On controverted points to eat; And cram'd 'em, till their guts did ake, With cawdle, custard, and plum-cake: What have they done, or what left undone, That might advance the Cause at London? 800 March'd rank and file, with drum and ensign, T'intrench the city for defence in Rais'd rampiers with their own soft hands, To put the enemy to stands; From ladies down to oyster-wenches, 805 Labour'd like pioneers in trenches; Fell to their pick-axes, and tools, And help'd the men to dig like moles? Have not the handmaids of the city Chose of their members a committee, 810 For raising of a common purse Out of their wages to raise horse? And do they not as triers sit, To judge what officers are fit Have they --? At that an egg let fly, 815 Hit him directly o'er the eye, And running down his cheek, besmear'd, With orange tawny slime, his beard; But beard and slime being of one hue, The wound the less appear'd in view. 820 Then he that on the panniers rode, Let fly on th' other side a load, And, quickly charg'd again, gave fully In RALPHO'S face another volley. The Knight was startled with the smell, 825 And for his sword began to feel; And RALPHO, smother'd with the stink, Grasp'd his; when one, that bore a link, O' th' sudden clapp'd his flaming cudgel, Like linstock, to the horse's touch-hole; 830 And straight another, with his flambeaux, Gave RALPHO'S o'er the eye a damn'd blow. The beasts began to kick and fling, And forc'd the rout to make a ring, Through which they quickly broke their way, 835 And brought them off from further fray; And though disorder'd in retreat, Each of them stoutly kept his seat For quitting both their swords and reins, They grasp'd with all their strength the manes, 840 And, to avoid the foe's pursuit, With spurring put their cattle to't; And till all four were out of wind, And danger too, ne'er look'd behind. After th' had paus'd a while, supplying 845 Their spirits, spent with fight and flying, And HUDIBRAS recruited force Of lungs, for action or discourse, Quoth he, That man is sure to lose That fouls his hands with dirty foes: 850 For where no honour's to be gain'd, 'Tis thrown away in b'ing maintain'd. 'Twas ill for us we had to do With so dishonourable a foe: For though the law of arms doth bar 855 The use of venom'd shot in war, Yet, by the nauseous smell, and noisome, Their case-shot savours strong of poison; And doubtless have been chew'd with teeth Of some that had a stinking breath; 860 Else, when we put it to the push, They have not giv'n us such a brush. But as those pultroons, that fling dirt, Do but defile, but cannot hurt, So all the honour they have won, 865 Or we have lost, is much as one, 'Twas well we made so resolute And brave retreat without pursuit; For if we had not, we had sped Much worse, to be in triumph led; 870 Than which the ancients held no state Of man's life more unfortunate. But if this bold adventure e'er Do chance to reach the widow's ear, It may, b'ing destin'd to assert 875 Her sex's honour, reach her heart: And as such homely treats (they say) Portend good fortune, so this may. u VESPASIAN being daub'd with dirt, Was destin'd to the empire for't; 880 And from a Scavenger did come To be a mighty Prince in Rome And why may not this foul address Presage in love the same success Then let us straight, to cleanse our wounds, 885 Advance in quest of nearest ponds, And after (as we first design'd) Swear I've perform'd what she enjoin'd.