Imágenes de páginas




And so much scorn'd to lurk in case,
As if it durit not show its face.
In many desperate attempts
Of warrants, exigents, contempts,
It had appear'd with courage bolder
Than Serjeant Bum invading thoulder :
Oft had it ta'en possession,
And prisoners too, or made them run.

This sword a dagger had, his page,
That was but little for his age,
And therefore waited on him so,
As dwarfs upon knights-errant do ;
It was a serviceable dudgeon,
Either for fighting op for drudging :
When it had stabb’d, or broke a head,
It would scrape trenchers, or chip bread;
Toast cheese or bacon ; though it were
To bait a mouse-trap, 'twould not care :
'Twould make clean shoes, and in the earth
Set leeks and onions, and so forth :
It had been 'prentice to a brewer,
Where this, and more it did endure,
But left the trade, as many more
Have lately done on the same score..

In th' holsters,' at his saddle-bow,
Two aged pistols he did stow,
Among the surplus of such meat
As in his hose he could not get :
These would inveigle, rats with th’ scent,
To forage when the cocks were bent,




[ocr errors]





And sometimes catch them with a snap,
As cleverly as th' ableft trap:
They were upon hard duty still,
And every night stood centinel,
To guard the magazine i' th' hose
From two-legg'd and from four-legg'd foes.

Thus clad and fortify’d, Sir Knight,
From peaceful home, set forth to fight.
But first with niinble active force
He got on th' outside of his horse:
For having but one stirrup ty'd
T'his saddle on the further side,
It was so short, h’had much ado
To reach it with his desperate toe;
But after many strains and heaves,
He got up to the saddle-eaves,
From whence he vaulted into th' seat
With so much vigour, strength, and heat,
That he had almost tumbled over
With his own weight, but did recover,
By laying hold on tail and mane,
Which oft he us'd instead of rein.

But now we talk of mounting steed,
Before we further do proceed,
It doth behove us to say something
Of that which bore our valiant bumkin.
The beast was sturdy, large, and tall,
With mouth of meal, and eyes of wall;
I would say eye, for h' had but one,
As moft agree, though some say none.





He was well stay'd, and in his gait
Preserv'd a grave, majestic state;
At spur or switch no more he skipt,
Or mended pace, than Spaniard whipt;

And yet fo fiery, he would bound
As if he griev'd to touch the ground;
That Cæsar's horse, who, as fame goes,
Had corns upon his feet and toes,
Was not by half so tender-hooft,

435 Nor trod upon the ground so soft; And as that beast would kneel and stoop (Some write) to take his rider up; So Hudibras's ('tis well known) Would often do to set him down. We shall not need to say what lack Of leather was upon his back; For that was hidden under pad, And breech of Knight gall'd full as bad : His ftrutting ribs on both sides show'd

445 Like furrows he himself had plow'd; For underneath the skirt of pannel, 'Twixt every two there was a channel : His draggling tail hung in the dirt, Which on his rider he would furt, Still as his tender side he prickt, With arm'd heel, or with unarm’d, kickt; For Hudibras wore but one fpur, As wisely knowing could he stir To active trot one side of 's horse,

455 The other would not hang an arse.

A Squirs



A Squire he had whose name was Ralph,
That in th' adventure went his half,
Though writers, for more stately tone,
Do call him Ralpho, 'tis all one;
And when we can, with metre safe,
We'll call him so; if not, plain Raph ;
(For rhyme thę rudder is of verses,
With which, like ships, they steer their courses.)
An equal stock of wit and valour
He had laid in, by birth a tailor.
The mighty Tyrian queen, that gain'd
With subtle shreds, a tract of land,
Did leave it with a castle fair
To his great ancestor, her heir ;
From him descended cross-legg'd knights,
Fam'd for their faith and warlike fights
Against the bloody Cannibal,
Whom they destroy'd both great and small.
This sturdy Squire he had, as well
As the bold Trojan knight, seen hell,
Not with a counterfeited pass
Of golden bough, but true gold-lace:




Ver. 457.] Şir Roger L'Etrange (Key to Hudibras). fays, This famous Squire was one Isaac Robinson, a zealous butcher in Moor-fields, who was always contriving some new querpo cut in church government: but, in a Key at the end of a burlesque poem of Mr. Butler's, 1706, in folio, p. 12. it is observed, “ That “ Hudibras's Squire was one Pemble a tailor, and one « of the Committee of Sequestrators.”



His knowledge was not far behind
The Knight's, but of another kind,
And he another way came by't ;
Some call it Gifts, and some New-light;
A liberal art, that costs no pains
Of study, industry, or brains.
His wit was sent him for a token,
But in the carriage crack'd and broken ;
Like commendation nine-pence crookt
With—“ To and from my love”-it lookt.
He ne'er confider'd it, as loth
To look a gift-horse in the mouth,
And very wilėly would lay forth
No more upon it than 'twas worth;
But, as he got it freely, so
He spent it frank and freely too :
For saints themselves will sometimes be,
Of gifts that cost them nothing, free.
By means of this, with hem and cough,
Prolongers to enlighten'd stuff,




Ver. 485.) His wits were fent bim, in all editions to 1704 inclusive.

Ver. 487.488.) Until the year 1696, when all money, not milled, was called in, a ninepenny piece of filver was as common as fixpences or shillings, and these ninepences were usually bent as fixpences commonly are now, which bending was called, “ To my love, and From my love ;” and such ninepences the ordinary fellows gave or sent to their sweethearts as tokens of love.

« AnteriorContinuar »