Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The Pict no shelter now shall find

But thou, the war's and fortune's son, Within his parti-colour'd mind;

March indefatigably on ; But from this valour sad

And, for the last effect, Shrink underneath the plaid,

Still keep the sword erect. Happy, if in the tufted brake

Besides the force it has to fright The English hunter him mistake,

The spirits of the shady night, Nor lay his hounds in near

The same arts that did gain The Caledonian deer.

A power, must it maintain,

BUTLER-A. D. 1612-80.

CHARACTER OF HUDIBRAS AND

RALPHO.

When civil dudgeon first grew high, And men fell out, they knew not why; When bard words, jealousies, and fears, Set folks together by the ears, And made them fight, like mad or drunk, 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; And pulpit, drum ecclesiastic, 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 would Entitle him mirror of knighthood, That never bow'd his stubborn knee To any thing but chivalry, Nor put up blow, but that which laid Right worshipful on shoulder-blade; Chief of domestic knights and errant, Either for chartel or for warrant; Great on the bench, great in the saddle, That could as well bind o'er as swaddle; Mighty he was at both of these, And styl’d of war, as well as peace: (So some rats of amphibious nature Are either for the land or water) But here some authors make a doubt Whether he were more wise or stout; 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 Thar knaves do work with, called a fool : For’t has been held by many, that As Montaigne, playing with his cat, Complains she thought him but an ass, Much more she would Sir Hudibras ; (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 not such. We grant, although he had much wit, H’ was very shy of using it, As being loth to wear it out, And therefore bore it not about; Unless on holidays or so, As men their best apparel do. Beside, 'tis known he could speak Greek As naturally as pigs squeak;

That Latin was no more difficile
Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle:
Being rich in both, he never scanted
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,
He had such plenty as suffic'd
To make some think him circumcis'd;
And truly so he was perhaps,
Not as a proselyte, but for claps.

He was in logic a great critic,
Profoundly skill'd in 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:
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,
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.
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 shew why,
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.
But, when he pleas'd to shew't, his speech,
In loftiness of sound, was rich;
A Babylonish dialect,
Which learned pedants much affect;
It was a party-coloured dress
Of patch'd and piebald 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;
Which made some think, when he did gabble,
Th' had heard three labourers of Babel,
Or Cerberus himself pronounce
A leash of languages at once.
This he as volubly would vent,
As if his stock would ne'er be spent:

N

And truly, to support that charge,

Only to shew with how small pain He had supplies as vast and large;

The sores of Faith are cur'd again; For he could coin or counterfeit

Although by woful proof we find New words, with little or no wit;

They always leave a scar behind. Words so debas'd and hard, no stone

He knew the seat of Paradise, Was hard enough to touch them on;

Could tell in what degree it lies, And when with hasty noise he spoke 'em,

And, as he was dispos’d, could prove it The ignorant for current took 'em;

Below the moon, or else above it; That had the orator, who once

What Adam dreamt of, wben his bride Did fill his mouth with pebble stones

Came from her closet in his side; When he harangu’d, but known his phrase, Whether the devil tempted her He would have used no other ways.

By a high Dutch interpreter; In mathematics he was greater

If either of them had a navel; Than Tycho Brahe or Erra Pater;

Who first made music malleable: For he, by geometric scale,

Whether the serpent, at the fall, Could take the size of pots of ale;

Had cloven feet, or none at all : Resolve by sines and tangents straight

All this, without a gloss or comment, If bread or butter wanted weight;

He could unriddle in a moment, And wisely tell what hour o'th' day

In

proper terms, such as men smatter, The clock does strike, by algebra.

When they throw out, and miss the matter. Beside, he was a shrewd philosopher,

For his religion, it was fit And had read ev'ry text and gloss over;

To match his learning and his wit; Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath,

'Twas Presbyterian true blue; He understood b'implicit faith :

For he was of that stubborn crew Whatever sceptic could enquire for,

Of errant saints, whom all men grant For ev'ry why he had a wherefore;

To be the true church militant; Knew more than forty of them do,

Such as do build their faith upon As far as words and terms could go;

The holy text of pike and gun; All which he understood by rote,

Decide all controversies by And, as occasion serv’d, would quote;

Infallible artillery; No matter whether right or wrong;

And prove their doctrine orthodox They might be either said or sung.

By apostolic blows and knocks ; His notions fitted things so well,

Call fire and sword, and desolation, That which was which he could not tell,

A godly thorough Reformation, But oftentimes mistook the one

Which always must be carry'd on, For th' other, as great clerks have done.

And still be doing, never done ; He could reduce all things to acts,

As if religion were intended And knew their natures by abstracts;

For nothing else but to be mended: Where Entity and Quiddity,

A sect whose chief devotion lies The ghosts of defunct bodies, fly;

In odd perverse antipathies; Where truth in person does appear,

In falling out with that or this, Like words congeal'd in northern air.

And finding somewhat still amiss ; He knew what's what, and that's as high

More peevish, cross, and splenetic, As metaphysic wit can fly:

Than dog distract or monkey sick; In school-divinity as able

That with more care kept holiday As he that hight Irrefragable;

The wrong, than others the right way; A second Thomas; or, at once

Compound for sins they are inclined to, To name them all, another Dunce:

By damning those they have no mind to: Profound in all the Nominal

Still so perverse and opposite, And Real ways beyond them all:

As if they worshipp'd God for spite: For he a rope of sand could twist

The self-same thing they will abhor As tough as learned Sarbonist,

One way, and long another for: And weave fine cobwebs, fit for scull

Free-will they one way disavow, That's empty when the moon is full;

Another, nothing else allow: Such as take lodgings in a head

All piety consists therein That's to be let unfurnished.

In them, in other men all sin : He could raise scruples dark and nice,

Rather than fail, they will defy And after solve 'em in a trice;

That which they love most tenderly; As if Divinity had catch'd

Quarrel with mince pies, and disparage The itch, on purpose to be scratch'd;

Their best and dearest friend, plum porridge;
Or, like a mountebank, did wound,
And stab herself with doubts profound,

Fat pig and goose itself oppose,
And blaspheme custard through the nose.

Th’ apostles of this fierce religion,

Which now had almost got the upperLike Mahomet's, were ass and widgeon,

Hand of his head for want of crupper : To whom our knight, by fast instinct

To poise this equally, he bore Of wit and temper, was so linkt,

A paunch of the same bulk before, As if hypocrisy and nonsense

Which still he had a special care Had got th' advowson of his conscience.

To keep well cramm'd with thrifty fare ; Thus was he gifted and accouter'd,

As white-pot, butter-milk, and curds, We mean on th' inside, not the outward:

Such as a country house affords ; That next of all we shall discuss;

With other victual, which anon Then listen, sirs, it follows thus:

We farther shall dilate upon, His tawny beard was th' equal grace

When of his hose we come to treat, Both of his wisdom and his face ;

The cupboard where he kept his meat. In cut and die so like a tile,

His doublet was of sturdy buff, A sudden view it would beguile;

And though not sword, yet cudgel-proof, The upper part whereof was whey,

Whereby 'twas fitter for his use, The nether orange, mix'd with grey.

Who fear'd no blows but such as bruise. This hairy meteor did denounce

His breeches were of rugged woollen, The fall of sceptres and of crowns;

And had been at the seige of Bullen ; With grisly type did represent

To old King Harry so well known, Declining age of government,

Some writers held they were his own : And tell, with hieroglyphic spade,

Through they were lined with many a piece It's own grave and the state's were made:

Of ammunition bread and cheese, Like Sampson's heart-breakers, it grew

And fat black-puddings, proper food In time to make a nation rue;

For warriors that delight in blood : Though it contributed its own fall

For, as we said, he always chose To wait upon the public downfall;

To carry victual in his hose, It was monastic, and did grow

That often tempted rats and mice In holy orders by strict vow;

The ammunition to surprise ; Of rule as sullen and severe,

And when he put a hand but in As that of rigid Cordelier:

The one or t’ other magazine, 'Twas bound to suffer persecution,

They stoutly on defence on't stood, And martyrdom, with resolution ;

And from the wounded foe drew blood, T'oppose itself against the hate

And till they were storm’d and beaten out, And vengeance of th' incensed state,

Ne'er left the fortify'd redoubt : In whose defiance it was worn,

And though knights errant, as some think, Still ready to be pulld and torn,

Of old did neither eat nor drink, With red-hot irons to be tortur’d,

Because when thorough deserts vast, Revil'd, and spit upon, and martyr'd;

And regions desolate, they past, Maugre all which 'twas to stand fast

Where belly-timber above ground, As long as monarchy should last :

Or under, was not to be found, But when the state should hap to reel,

Unless they grazed, there's not one word 'Twas to submit to fatal steel,

Of their provision on record ; And fall, as it was consecrate,

Which made some confidently write, A sacrifice to fall of state,

They had no stomachs but to fight. Whose thread of life the Fatal Sisters

'Tis false; for Arthur wore in hall Did twist together with its whiskers,

Round table like a farthingal,
And twine so close, that Time should never, On which, with shirt pull'd out behind,
In life or death, their fortunes sever,

And eke before, his good knights dined;
But with his rusty sickle mow

Though 'twas no table some suppose Both down together at a blow:

But a huge pair of round trunk hose, So learned Taliacotius, from

In which he carry'd as much meat The brawny part of Porter's bum,

As he and all the knights could eat, Cut supplemental noses, which

When laying by their swords and truncheons, Would last as long as parent breech,

They took their breakfasts, or their luncheons. Bat when the date of Nock was out,

But let that pass at present, lest Off dropt the sympathetic snout.

We should forget where we digrest, His back, or rather burthen, shew'd

As learned authors use, to whom As if it stoop'd with its own load :

We leave it, and to the purpose come. For as Æneas bore his sire

His puissant sword unto his side, l'pon his shoulders through the fire,

Near his undaunted heart was ty'd, Our knight did bear no less a pack

With basket hilt that would hold broth, Of his own buttocks on his back ;

And served for fight and dinner both ;

3

In it he melted lead for bullets

By laying hold on tail and mane, To shoot at foes, and sometimes pullets,

Which oft he used instead of rein. To whom he bore so fell a grutch,

But now we talk of mounting steed, He ne'er gave quarter to any such.

Before we further do proceed, The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty,

It doth behove us to say something For want of fighting was grown rusty,

Of that which bore our valiant Bumkin. And ate into itself, for lack

The beast was sturdy, large, and tall, Of somebody to hew and back:

With mouth of meal, and eyes of wall The peaceful scabbard, where it dwelt,

I wou'd say eye ; for h' had but one, The rancour of its edge had felt;

As most agree, though some say none. For of the lower end two handful

He was well stay'd, and in his gait It had devour'd, 'twas so manful,

Preserv'd a grave, majestic state ; And so much scorn'd to lurk in case,

At spur or switch no more he skipt, As if it durst not shew its face.

Or mended pace,

than Spaniard whipt; In many desperate attempts

And yet so fiery, he would bound Of warrants, exigents, contempts,

As if he griev'd to touch the ground; It had appear'd with courage bolder

That Cæsar's horse, who, as fame goes, Than Serjeant Bam invading shoulder :

Had corns upon his feet and toes, Oft had it ta’en possession,

Was not by half so tender-hooft, And pris'ners too, or made them run.

Nor trod upon the ground so soft ; This sword a dagger had, his page,

And as that beast would kneel and stoop That was but little for his age,

(Some write) to take his rider up; And therefore waited on him so,

So Hudibras his ('tis well known) As dwarfs upon knights errant do:

Would often do to set him down. It was a serviceable dudgeon,

We shall not need to say what lack Either for fighting or for drudging:

Of leather was upon his back ; When it had stabb’d, or broke a head,

For that was hidden under pad, It would scrape trenchers, or chip bread;

And breech of Knight gall’d full as bad: Toast cheese or bacon, though it were

His strutting ribs on both sides shew'd To bait a mouse-trap, 'twould not care ;

Like furrows he himself had plough'd; 'Twould make clean shoes, and in the earth

For underneath the skirt of panel, Set leeks and onions, 'and so forth:

'Twixt ev'ry two there was a channel : It had been 'prentice to a brewer,

His draggling tail hung in the dirt, Where this and more it did endure,

Which on his rider he would flirt, But left the trade, as many more

Still as his tender side he prickt, Have lately done on the same score.

With arı'd heel, or with unarm'd, kickt; In th' holsters, at his saddle-bow,

For Hudibras wore but one spur, Two aged pistols he did stow,

As wisely knowing, could he stir Among the surplus of such meat

To active trot one side of 's horse, As in his hose he could not get :

The other would not hang an arse. These would inveigle rats with th' scent,

A squire he had, whose name was Ralph, To forage when the cocks were bent,

That in th' adventure went his half, And sometimes catch 'em with a snap,

Though writers, for more stately tone, As cleverly as the ablest trap :

Do call him Ralpho, 'tis all one; They were upon hard duty still,

And when we can, with metre safe, And ev'ry night stood centinel,

We'll call him so ; if pot, plain Ralph; To guard the magazive i’ th' hose

(For rhyme the rudder is of verses, From two-legg'd and from four-legg'd foes.

With which, like ships, they steer their courses). Thus clad and fortify'd, Sir Knight,

An equal stock of wit and valour From peaceful home, set forth to fight :

He had laid in, by birth a tailor. But first, with nimble active force,

The mighty Tyrian queen, that gain'd, He got on th' outside of his horse !

With subtle shreds, a tract of land, For having but one stirrup ty'd

Did leave it with a castle fair T' his saddle on the further side,

To his great ancestor, her heir; It was so short h' had much ado

From him descended cross-legg'd knights, To reach it with his desp’rate toe ;

Famed for their faith and warlike fights But after many strains and heaves,

Against the bloody Cannibal, He got up to the saddle-eaves,

Whom they destroy'd both great and small. From whence he vaulted into th' seat

This sturdy squire he had as well With so much vigour, strength, and heat,

As the bold Trojan Knight, seen hell, That he had almost tumbled over

Not with a counterfeited pass With his own weight, but did recover,

Of golden bough, but true gold lace;

« AnteriorContinuar »