Item of the Day: Hudibras (Grey edition, 1772)

Full Title: Hudibras, In Three Parts; Written in the Time of the Late Wars: Corrected and Amended. With large annotations and a preface by Zachary Grey, LL.D.  Adorn’d with a new Set of Cuts.  The third edition. Vol. I. London: Printed for C. Bathurst, W. Strahan, B. White, T. Davies, W. Johnston, L. Hawes and Co. T. Longman, T. Becket, E. Johnson, C. Corbett, T. Caslon, E. and C. Dilly, T. Lowndes, T. Cadell, W. Nichol, B. Tovey, S. Bladon, and R. Baldwin.  MDCCLXXII.

 

HUDIBRAS.  

The Argument of

The First Canto.  Sir Hudibras his passing Worth,

The Manner how he sally’d forth;

His Arms and Equipage are shown;

His Horses Virtues, and his own.

Th’ Adventure of the Bear and Fiddle

Is sung, but breaks off in the middle. 

 

 

Canto I.  

When Civil Dudgeon 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

For Dame Religion, as for Punk,

Whose Honesty they all durst swear for,

Tho’ not a Man of them knew wherefore:

When Gospel-Trumpeter, surrounded

With long-ear’d Rout, to Battle sounded;

And Pulpit, Drum Ecclesiastick,

Was beat with a 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, Mirrour 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 Domestick Knights and Errant,

Either for Chartel, or for Warrant:

Great on the Bench, Great in the Saddle,

That cou'd 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 our 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

That 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 and Ass,

Much more she wou'd 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, altho' 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 Holy-days, or so,

As Men their best Apparel do.

Beside 'tis known he cou'd 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

His bounty unto such as wanted,

But much of either wou'd afford

To many, that had not one Word.

For Hebrew Roots, altho' they are found

To flourish most in barren Ground,

He had such plenty, as suffic'd

To make some think him circumcis'd:

He truly so he was, perhaps,

Not as a Proselyte, but for Claps.

 

 

He was in Logick a great Critick,

Profoundly skill'd in Analytick;

He cou'd distinguish, and divide

A Hair 'twixt South and South-west side;

On either which he wou'd 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 and 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 wou'd do.

For Rhetorick, he cou'd not ope

His mouth, but out there flew a Trope:

And when he happen'd to break off

In'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's, his Speech

In Loftiness of Sound was rich;

A Babylonish Dialect,

Which learned Pedants much affect;

It was a party-colour'd Dress

Of patch'd and py-ball'd Languages:

'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin,

Like Fustian heretofore on Sattin.

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;

And truly, to support that Charge,

He had Supplies as vast and large:

For he could coin or counterfeit

New Words, with little or no Wit;

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 Orator, who once

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 Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater:

For he, by Geometrick 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

The Clock does strike, by Algebra.

Beside, he was a shrewd Philosopher,

And had read ev'ry...

 

 

 

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Filed under 1660's, Poetry, Posted by Matthew Williams, Satire

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