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Hudibras Part III Canto 3



The Mouse and the Trap
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------------------------------------------------- The Knight and squire's prodigious Flight To quit th' inchanted Bow'r by Night. He plods to turn his amorous Suit T' a Plea in Law, and prosecute Repairs to Counsel, to advise 'Bout managing the Enterprise; But first resolves to try by Letter, And one more fair Address, to get her. ------------------------------------------------- WHO wou'd believe what strange bugbears Mankind creates itself of fears That spring like fern, that insect weed, Equivocally, without seed; And have no possible foundation, 5 But merely in th' imagination; And yet can do more dreadful feats Than hags, with all their q imps and teats Make more bewitch and haunt themselves Than all their nurseries of elves? 10 For fear does things so like a witch, 'Tis hard t' unriddle which is which: Sets up Communities of senses, To chop and change intelligences; As r Rosicrucian virtuosos 15 Can see with ears, and hear with noses; And when they neither see nor hear, Have more than both supply'd by fear That makes 'em in the dark see visions, And hag themselves with apparitions; 20 And when their eyes discover least, Discern the subtlest objects best Do things not contrary, alone, To th' course of nature, but its own; The courage of the bravest daunt, 25 And turn poltroons as valiant: For men as resolute appear With too much as too little fear And when they're out of hopes of flying, Will run away from death by dying; 30 Or turn again to stand it out, And those they fled, like lions, rout. This HUDIBRAS had prov'd too true, Who, by the furies left perdue, And haunted with detachments, sent 35 From s Marshal Legion's regiment, Was by a fiend, as counterfeit, Reliev'd and rescu'd with a cheat; When nothing but himself, and fear, Was both the imp and conjurer; 40 As, by the rules o' th' virtuosi, It follows in due form of poesie. Disguis'd in all the masks of night, We left our champion on his flight, At blind man's buff, to grope his way, 45 In equal fear of night and day, Who took his dark and desp'rate course, He knew no better than his horse; And, by an unknown Devil led, (He knew as little whither,) fled. 50 He never was in greater need, Nor less capacity, of speed; Disabled, both in man and beast, To fly and run away his best; To keep the enemy, and fear, 55 From equal falling on his rear. And though with kicks and bangs he ply'd The further and the nearer side, (As seamen ride with all their force, And tug as if they row'd the horse, 60 And when the hackney sails most swift, Believe they lag, or run a-drift,) So, though he posted e'er so fast, His fear was greater than his haste: For fear, though fleeter than the wind, 65 Believes 'tis always left behind. But when the morn began t' appear, And shift t' another scene his fear, He found his new officious shade, That came so timely to his aid, 70 And forc'd him from the foe t' escape, Had turn'd itself to RALPHO's shape; So like in person, garb, and pitch, 'Twas hard t' interpret which was which. For RALPHO had no sooner told 75 The Lady all he had t' unfold, But she convey'd him out of sight, To entertain the approaching Knight; And, while he gave himself diversion, T' accommodate his beast and person, 80 And put his beard into a posture At best advantage to accost her, She order'd th' anti-masquerade (For his reception) aforesaid: But when the ceremony was done, 85 The lights put out, and furies gone, And HUDIBRAS, among the rest, Convey'd away, as RALPHO guess'd, The wretched caitiff, all alone, (As he believ'd) began to moan, 90 And tell his story to himself, The Knight mistook him for an elf; And did so still till he began To scruple at RALPH's Outward Man; And thought, because they oft agreed 95 T' appear in one another's stead, And act the Saint's and Devil's part With undistinguishable art, They might have done so now, perhaps, And put on one another's shapes 100 And therefore, to resolve the doubt, He star'd upon him, and cry'd out, What art? My 'Squire, or that bold Sprite That took his place and shape to-night? Some busy indepenent pug, 105 Retainer to his Synagogue? Alas! quoth he, I'm none of those, Your bosom friends, as you suppose; But RALPH himself, your trusty 'Squire, Wh' has dragg'd your Dunship out o' th' mire, 110 And from th' inchantments of a widow, Wh' had turn'd you int' a beast, have freed you; And, though a prisoner of war, Have brought you safe where you now are; Which you would gratefully repay 115 Your constant Presbyterian way. That's stranger (quoth the Knight) and stranger. Who gave thee notice of my danger? Quoth he, Th' infernal Conjurer Pursu'd and took me prisoner; 120 And knowing you were hereabout, Brought me along to find you out; Where I, in hugger-mugger hid, Have noted all they said or did: And though they lay to him the pageant, 125 I did not see him, nor his agent; Who play'd their sorceries out of sight, T' avoid a fiercer second fight. But didst thou see no Devils then? Not one (quoth he) but carnal men, 130 A little worse than fiends in hell, And that She-Devil Jezebel, That laugh'd and tee-he'd with derision, To see them take your deposition. What then (quoth HUDIBRAS) was he 135 That play'd the Dev'l to examine me? A rallying weaver in the town, That did it in a parson's gown; Whom all the parish take for gifted; But, for my part, I ne'er believ'd it: 140 In which you told them all your feats, Your conscientious frauds and cheats; Deny'd your whipping, and confest The naked truth of all the rest, More plainly than the t Rev'rend Writer, 145 That to our Churches veil'd his Mitre; All which they took in black and white, And cudgell'd me to under-write. What made thee, when they all were gone, And none but thou and I alone, 150 To act the Devil, and forbear To rid me of my hellish fear? Quoth he, I knew your constant rate And frame of sp'rit too obstinate To be by me prevail'd upon 155 With any motives of my own; And therefore strove to counterfeit The Dev'l a-while, to nick your wit; The Devil, that is your constant crony, That only can prevail upon ye; 160 Else we might still have been disputing, And they with weighty drubs confuting. The Knight who now began to find Th' had left the enemy behind, And saw no farther harm remain, 165 But feeble weariness and pain; Perceiv'd, by losing of their way, Th' had gain'd th' advantage of the day; And, by declining of the road, They had, by chance, their rear made good; 170 He ventur'd to dismiss his fear, That parting's wont to rent and tear, And give the desperat'st attack To danger still behind its back. For having paus'd to recollect, 175 And on his past success reflect, T' examine and consider why, And whence, and how, they came to fly, And when no Devil had appear'd, What else, it cou'd be said, he fear'd; 180 It put him in so fierce a rage, He once resolv'd to re-engage; Toss'd like a foot-ball back again, With shame and vengeance, and disdain. Quoth he, it was thy cowardice 185 That made me from this leaguer rise And when I'd half reduc'd the place, To quit it infamously base Was better cover'd by the new Arriv'd detachment then I knew; 190 To slight my new acquests, and run Victoriously from battles won; And reck'ning all I gain'd or lost, To sell them cheaper than they cost; To make me put myself to flight, 195 And conqu'ring run away by night To drag me out, which th' haughty foe Durst never have presum'd to do To mount me in the dark, by force, Upon the bare ridge of my horse; 200 Expos'd in querpo to their rage, Without my arms and equipage; Lest, if they ventur'd to pursue, I might th' unequal fight renew; And, to preserve thy Outward Man, 205 Assum'd my place, and led the van. All this quoth RALPH, I did, 'tis true, Not to preserve my self, but you; You, who were damn'd to baser drubs Than wretches feel in powd'ring tubs. 210 To mount two-wheel'd carroches, worse Than managing a wooden-horse Dragg'd out through straiter holes by th' ears, Eras'd or coup'd for perjurers; Who, though th' attempt had prov'd in vain, 215 Had had no reason to complain: But since it prosper'd, 'tis unhandsome To blame the hand that paid our ransome, And rescu'd your obnoxious bones From unavoidable battoons. 220 The enemy was reinforc'd, And we disabled, and unhors'd, Disarm'd, unqualify'd for fight, And no way left but hasty flight, Which though as desp'rate in th' attempt, 225 Has giv'n you freedom to condemn't. But were our bones in fit condition To reinforce the expedition, 'Tis now unseasonable, and vain, To think of falling on again. 230 No martial project to surprize Can ever be attempted twice; Nor cast design serve afterwards, As gamesters tear their losing-cards, Beside, our bangs of man and beast 235 Are fit for nothing now but rest; And for a-while will not be able To rally, and prove serviceable; And therefore I, with reason, chose This stratagem t' amuse our foes; 240 To make an honourable retreat, And wave a total sure defeat; For those that fly may fight again, Which he can never do that's slain. Hence timely running's no mean part 245 Of conduct in the martial art; By which some glorious feats atchieve, As citizens by breaking thrive; And cannons conquer armies, while They seem to draw off and recoil; 250 Is held the gallantest course, and bravest To great exploits, as well as safest; That spares th' expence of time and pains, And dangerous beating out of brains; And in the end prevails as certain 255 As those that never trust to fortune; But make their fear do execution Beyond the stoutest resolution; As earthquakes kill without a blow, And, only trembling, overthrow, 260 If u th' ancients crown'd their bravest men That only sav'd a citizen, What victory could e'er be won, If ev'ry one would save but one Or fight endanger'd to be lost, 265 Where all resolve to save the most? By this means, when a battle's won, The war's as far from being done; For those that save themselves, and fly, Go halves, at least, i' th' victory; 270 And sometimes, when the loss is small, And danger great, they challenge all; Print new additions to their feats, And emendations in Gazettes; And when, for furious haste to run, 275 They durst not stay to fire a gun, Have done't with bonfires, and at home Made squibs and crackers overcome; To set the rabble on a flame, And keep their governors from blame; 280 Disperse the news the pulpit tells, Confirm'd with fire-works and with bells; And though reduc'd to that extream, They have been forc'd to sing Te Deum; Yet, with religious blasphemy, 285 By flattering Heaven with a lie And for their beating giving thanks, Th' have rais'd recruits, and fill'd their banks; For those who run from th' enemy, Engage them equally to fly; 290 And when the fight becomes a chace, Those win the day that win the race And that which would not pass in fights, Has done the feat with easy flights; Recover'd many a desp'rate campaign 295 With Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champaign; Restor'd the fainting high and mighty With brandy-wine and aqua-vitae; And made 'em stoutly overcome With bachrach, hoccamore, and mum; 300 Whom the uncontroul'd decrees of fate To victory necessitate; With which, although they run or burn They unavoidably return: Or else their w sultan populaces 305 Still strangle all their routed Bassas. Quoth HUDIBRAS, I understand What fights thou mean'st at sea and land, And who those were that run away, And yet gave out th' had won the day; 310 Although the rabble sous'd them for't, O'er head and ears in mud and dirt. 'Tis true, our modern way of war Is grown more politick by far, But not so resolute, and bold, 315 Nor ty'd to honour, as the old. For now they laugh at giving battle, Unless it be to herds of cattle; Or fighting convoys of provision, The whole design o' the expedition: 320 And not with downright blows to rout The enemy, but eat them out: As fighting, in all beasts of prey, And eating, are perform'd one way, To give defiance to their teeth 325 And fight their stubborn guts to death; And those atchieve the high'st renown, That bring the others' stomachs down, There's now no fear of wounds, nor maiming; All dangers are reduc'd to famine; 330 And feats of arms, to plot, design, Surprize, and stratagem, and mine; But have no need nor use of courage, Unless it be for glory or forage: For if they fight, 'tis but by chance, 335 When one side vent'ring to advance, And come uncivilly too near, Are charg'd unmercifully i' th' rear; And forc'd with terrible resistance, To keep hereafter at a distance; 340 To pick out ground to incamp upon, Where store of largest rivers run, That serve, instead of peaceful barriers, To part th' engagements of their warriors; Where both from side to side may skip, 345 And only encounter at bo-peep: For men are found the stouter-hearted, The certainer th' are to be parted, And therefore post themselves in bogs, As th' ancient x mice attack'd the frogs, 350 And made their mortal enemy, The water-rat, their strict ally. For 'tis not now, who's stout and bold, But who bears hunger best, and cold; And he's approv'd the most deserving, 355 Who longest can hold out at starving; And he that routs most pigs and cows, The formidablest man of prowess. So th' emperor CALIGULA, That triumph'd o'er the British Sea, 360 Took crabs and oysters prisoners, Lobsters, 'stead of cuirasiers, Engag'd his legions in fierce bustles With periwinkles, prawns, and muscles; And led his troops with furious gallops, 365 To charge whole regiments of scallops Not like their ancient way of war, To wait on his triumphal carr But when he went to dine or sup More bravely eat his captives up; 370 And left all war, by his example, Reduc'd to vict'ling of a camp well. Quoth RALPH, By all that you have said, And twice as much that I cou'd add, 'Tis plain you cannot now do worse, 375 Than take this out-of-fashion'd course; To hope, by stratagem, to woo her, Or waging battle to subdue her Though some have done it in romances, And bang'd them into amorous fancies; 380 As those who won the AMAZONS, By wanton drubbing of their bones; And stout y Rinaldo gain'd his bride, By courting of her back and side. But since those times and feats are over, 385 They are not for a modern lover, When mistresses are too cross-grain'd By such addresses to be gain'd; And if they were, wou'd have it out With many another kind of bout. 390 Therefore I hold no course s' infeasible, As this of force to win the JEZEBEL; To storm her heart, by th' antick charms Of ladies errant, force of arms; But rather strive by law to win her, 395 And try the title you have in her. Your case is clear; you have her word, And me to witness the accord Besides two more of her retinue To testify what pass'd between you; 400 More probable, and like to hold, Than hand, or seal, or breaking gold; For which so many, that renounc'd Their plighted contracts, have been trounc'd And bills upon record been found, 405 That forc'd the ladies to compound; And that, unless I miss the matter, Is all the bus'ness you look after. Besides, encounters at the bar Are braver now than those in war, 410 In which the law does execution With less disorder and confusion Has more of honour in't, some hold Not like the new way, but the old When those the pen had drawn together, 415 Decided quarrels with the feather, And winged arrows kill'd as dead, And more than bullets now of lead. So all their combats now, as then, Are manag'd chiefly by the pen; 420 That does the feat with braver vigours, In words at length, as well as figures; Is judge of all the world performs In voluntary feats of arms And whatsoe'er's atchiev'd in fight, 425 Determines which is wrong or right: For whether you prevail, or lose All must be try'd there in the close; And therefore 'tis not wise to shun What you must trust to ere y' have done. 430 The law, that settles all you do, And marries where you did but woo; That makes the most perfidious lover A lady, that's as false, recover; And if it judge upon your side, 435 Will soon extend her for your bride; And put her person, goods, or lands, Or which you like best int' your hands. For law's the wisdom of all ages, And manag'd by the ablest sages; 440 Who, though their bus'ness at the bar Be but a kind of civil war, In which th' engage with fiercer dudgeons Than e'er the GRECIANS did and TROJANS, They never manage the contest 445 T' impair their public interest; Or by their controversies lessen The dignity of their profession: Not like us Brethren, who divide Our Commonwealth, the Cause, and Side; 450 And though w' are all as near of kindred As th' outward man is to the inward, We agree in nothing, but to wrangle About the slightest fingle-fangle; While lawyers have more sober sense 455 Than t' argue at their own expence, But make their best advantages Of others' quarrels, like the Swiss; And, out of foreign controversies, By aiding both sides, fill their purses; 460 But have no int'rest in the cause For which th' engage, and wage the laws; Nor further prospect than their pay, Whether they lose or win the day: And though th' abounded in all ages, 465 With sundry learned clerks and sages, Though all their business be dispute, Which way they canvass ev'ry suit, Th' have no disputes about their art, Nor in Polemicks controvert: 470 While all professions else are found With nothing but disputes t' abound Divines of all sorts, and physicians, Philosophers, mathematicians: The Galenist and Paracelsian 475 Condemn the way each other deals in: Anatomists dissect and mangle, To cut themselves out work to wrangle Astrologers dispute their dreams, That in their sleeps they talk of schemes: 480 And heralds stickle, who got who So many hundred years ago. But lawyers are too wise a nation T' expose their trade to disputation; Or make the busy rabble judges 485 Of all their secret piques and grudges; In which whoever wins the day, The whole profession's sure to pay. Beside, no mountebanks, nor cheats, Dare undertake to do their feats, 490 When in all other sciences They swarm, like insects, and increase. For what bigot durst ever draw, By inward light, a deed in law? Or could hold forth, by revelation, 495 An answer to a declaration? For those that meddle with their tools Will cut their fingers, if they're fools; And if you follow their advice, In bills, and answers, and replies, 500 They'll write a love-letter in chancery, Shall bring her upon oath to answer ye, And soon reduce her to b' your wife, Or make her weary of her life. The Knight, who us'd with tricks and shifts 505 To edify by RALPHO's Gifts, But in appearance cry'd him down, To make them better seem his own, (All Plagiaries' constant course Of sinking when they take a purse), 510 Resolv'd to follow his advice, But kept it from him by disguise; And, after stubborn contradiction, To counterfeit his own conviction, And by transition fall upon 515 The resolution as his own. Quoth he, This gambol thou advisest Is of all others the unwisest; For if I think by law to gain her, There's nothing sillier or vainer 520 'Tis but to hazard my pretence, Where nothing's certain, but th' expence; To act against myself, and traverse My suit and title, to her favours And if she shou'd (which Heav'n forbid) 525 O'erthrow me, as the fidler did, What aftercourse have I to take, 'Gainst losing all I have at stake? He that with injury is griev'd, And goes to law to be reliev'd, 530 Is sillier than a sottish chowse, Who, when thief has robb'd his house, Applies himself to cunning men, To help him to his goods agen; When all he can expect to gain, 535 Is but to squander more in vain; And yet I have no other way But is as difficult to play. For to reduce her by main force, Is now in vain; by fair means, worse; 540 But worst of all, to give her over, 'Till she's as desp'rate to recover For bad games are thrown up too soon, Until th' are never to be won. But since I have no other course, 545 But is as bad t' attempt, or worse, He that complies against his will, Is of his own opinion still; Which he may adhere to, yet disown, For reasons to himself best known: 550 But 'tis not to b' avoided now, For SIDROPHEL resolves to sue; Whom I must answer, or begin Inevitably first with him. For I've receiv'd advertisement, 555 By times enough, of his intent; And knowing he that first complains Th' advantage of the business gains; For Courts of Justice understand The plaintiff to be eldest hand; 560 Who what he pleases may aver; The other, nothing, till he swear; Is freely admitted to all grace, And lawful favour, by his place; And, for his bringing custom in, 565 Has all advantages to win. I, who resolve to oversee No lucky opportunity, Will go to council, to advise Which way t' encounter, or surprize, 570 And, after long consideration, Have found out one to fit th' occasion; Most apt for what I have to do, As counsellor and justice too. And truly so, no doubt, he was, 575 A lawyer fit for such a case. An z old dull sot, who told the clock For many years at Bridewell-dock, At Westminster, and Hicks's-Hall, And Hiccius Doctius play'd in all; 580 Where, in all governments and times, H' had been both friend and foe to crimes, And us'd two equal ways of gaining By hind'ring justice or maintaining; To many a whore gave priviledge, 585 And whipp'd for want of quarteridge: Cart-loads of bawds to prison sent For b'ing behind a fortnight's rent And many a trusty pimp and croney To a Puddle-dock for want of money; 590 Engag'd the constable to seize All those that would not break the peace, Nor give him back his own foul words, Though sometimes Commoners or Lords, And kept 'em prisoners of course, 595 For being sober at ill hours; That in the morning he might free Or bind 'em over for his fee; Made b monsters fine, and puppet-plays, For leave to practise in their ways; 600 Farm'd out all cheats, and went a share With th' headborough and scavenger; And made the dirt i' th' streets compound For taking up the publick ground; The kennel, and the King's highway, 605 For being unmolested, pay; Let out the stocks, and whipping-post, And cage, to those that gave him most; Impos'd a tax on bakers' ears, And for false weights on chandelers; 610 Made victuallers and vintners fine For arbitrary ale and wine; But was a kind and constant friend To all that regularly offend; As residentiary bawds, 615 And brokers that receive stol'n goods; That cheat in lawful mysteries, And pay church duties and his fees; But was implacable, and awkward, To all that interlop'd and hawker'd. 620 To this brave man the Knight repairs For council in his law-affairs And found him mounted in his pew, With books and money plac'd for shew, Like nest-eggs to make clients lay, 625 And for his false opinion pay To whom the knight, with comely grace, Put off his hat to put his case Which he as proudly entertain'd As th' other courteously strain'd; 630 And, to assure him 't was not that He look'd for, bid him put on's hat. Quoth he, There is one SIDROPHEL, Whom I have cudgell'd -- Very well. And now he brags t' have beaten me. -- 635 Better and better still, quoth he. -- And vows to stick me to a wall Where-e'er he meets me -- Best of all. 'Tis true, the knave has taken's oath That I robb'd him -- Well done, in troth 640 When h' has confess'd he stole my cloak, And pick'd my fob, and what he took; Which was the cause that made me bang him, And take my goods again -- Marry hang him. Now whether I should before-hand, 645 Swear he robb'd me? -- I understand. Or bring my action of conversion And trover for my goods? -- Ah, Whoreson! Or if 'tis better to indite, And bring him to his trial? -- Right. 650 Prevent what he designs to do, And swear for th' State against him? -- True. Or whether he that is defendant In this case has the better end on't; Who, putting in a new cross-bill, 655 May traverse th' action? -- Better still. Then there's a Lady too -- Aye, marry That's easily prov'd accessary; A widow, who, by solemn vows Contracted to me for my spouse, 660 Combin'd with him to break her word, And has abetted all. -- Good Lord Suborn'd th' aforesaid SIDROPHEL To tamper with the Dev'l of Hell; Who put m' into a horrid fear, 665 Fear of my life. -- Make that appear. Made an assault with fiends and men Upon my body. -- Good agen, And kept me in a deadly fright, And false imprisonment, all night 670 Mean while they robb'd me, and my horse, And stole my saddle. -- Worse and worse. And made me mount upon the bare ridge, T' avoid a wretcheder miscarriage. Sir, quoth the Lawyer, not to flatter ye, 675 You have as good and fair a battery As heart can wish, and need not shame The proudest man alive to claim. For if th' have us'd you as you say; Marry, quoth I, God give you joy. 680 I wou'd it were my case, I'd give More than I'll say, or you'll believe. I would so trounce her, and her purse; I'd make her kneel for better or worse; For matrimony and hanging here 685 Both go by destiny so clear, That you as sure may pick and choose, As Cross, I win; and, Pile, you lose; And, if I durst, I would advance As much in ready maintenance, 690 As upon any case I've known, But we that practise dare not own. The law severely contrabands Our taking bus'ness off men's hands; 'Tis common barratry, that bears 695 Point-blank an action 'gainst our ears And crops them till there is not leather To stick a pin in left of either; For which some do the Summer-sault, And o'er the bar, like tumblers, vault, 700 But you may swear, at any rate, Things not in nature, for the State; For in all courts of justice here A witness is not said to swear, But make oath; that is, in plain terms, 705 To forge whatever he affirms. (I thank you, quoth the Knight, for that, Because 'tis to my purpose pat -- ) For Justice, though she's painted blind, Is to the weaker Side inclin'd, 710 Like Charity; else right and wrong Could never hold it out so long, And, like blind Fortune, with a slight Convey mens' interest and right From c Stiles's pocket into Nokes's, 715 As easily as Hocus Pocus; Play fast and loose; make men obnoxious, And clear again, like Hiccius Doctius. Then whether you wou'd take her life, Or but recover her for your wife, 720 Or be content with what she has, And let all other matters pass, The bus'ness to the law's alone, The proof is all it looks upon: And you can want no witnesses 725 To swear to any thing you please, That hardly get their mere expences By th' labour of their consciences; Or letting out to hire their ears To affidavit customers, 730 At inconsiderable values, To serve for jury-men or tallies, Although retain'd in th' hardest matters, Of trustees and administrators. For that, quoth he, let me alone; 735 W' have store of such, and all our own; Bred up and tutor'd by our teachers, The ablest of conscience-stretchers. That's well, quoth he; but I should guess, By weighing all advantages, 740 Your surest way is first to pitch On d BONGEY for a water-witch; And when y' have hang'd the conjurer, Y' have time enough to deal with her. In th' int'rim, spare for no trepans 745 To draw her neck into the bans Ply her with love-letters and billets, And bait 'em well, for quirks and quillets With trains t' inveigle, and surprize, Her heedless answers and replies; 750 And if she miss the mouse-trap lines, They'll serve for other by-designs; And make an artist understand To copy out her seal or hand; Or find void places in the paper 755 To steal in something to intrap her Till, with her worldly goods and body, Spight of her heart, she has endow'd ye, Retain all sorts of witnesses, That ply i' th' Temple under trees; 760 Or walk the round, with knights o' th' posts, About the cross-legg'd knights, their hosts; Or wait for customers between The pillars-rows in Lincoln's-Inn Where vouchers, forgers, common-bail, 765 And affidavit-men, ne'er fail T' expose to sale all sorts of oaths, According to their ears and cloaths, Their only necessary tools, Besides the Gospel and their souls; 770 And when y' are furnish'd with all purveys, I shall be ready at your service. I would not give, quoth HUDIBRAS, A straw to understand a case, Without the admirable skill 775 To wind and manage it at will; To vere, and tack, and steer a cause Against the weather-gage of laws; And ring the changes upon cases As plain as noses upon faces, 780 As you have well instructed me, For which you've earn'd (here 'tis) your fee. I long to practise your advice, And try the subtle artifice; To bait a letter, as you bid; 785 As not long after, thus he did For having pump'd up all his wit, And humm'd upon it, thus he writ.