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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 happened to break off
I'th' middle of his speech, or cough,+
H' had hard words, ready to show why,
And tell what rules he did it by;
Else, when with greatest art he spoke,
You'd think he talked like other folk.
For all a rhetorician's rules
Teach nothing but to name his tools.
But, when he pleased to show't, his speech
In loftiness of sound was rich;
A Babylonish dialect,
Which learnèd pedants much affect.
It was a parti-coloured dress
Of patched and piebald languages;

Chelmsford is said, at the beginning of the wars, to have been governed by a tinker, two cobblers, two tailors, and two pedlars. Out of these unpromising materials, nevertheless, important results were achieved.

* Committees were formed in many parts of the country under the authority of Parliament, with plenary local powers.

+ Coughing and hemming were cultivated as graces by the popular preachers, to give effect to particular passages ; and when they printed their sermons it was not unusual to mark in the margin, somewhat after the manner of stage directions, the places where these embellishments were to be introduced.

'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin,
Like fustian heretofore on satin ;*
It had an old promiscuous tone
As if h' had talked 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;t
Words so debased 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 harangued, but known his phrase,
He would have used no other ways.

* The fashion of slashed doublets belongs to the Vandyke period, and was introduced in the time of Charles I. The doublet of the Cavaliers was generally of silk, satin, or velvet, with large loose sleeves, slashed up the front. The description in the text of the fustian, slashed or cut to admit of the satin being seen through it, seems to apply to a fashion which had then gone out; but no such fashion ex

anterior to Charles I. During the Civil Wars, there was as much confusion and difference of opinion in the matter of costume, as in politics and religion.

† Alluding to the singular phrases invented by the Presbyterians such as out-goings, carryings-on, workings-out, nothingness, &c.--thus, says Addison, converting our whole language into a jargon of enthusiasm. Some of these phrases, however, have taken root, and are now colloquially used.

These four lines were not in the first edition, but were added in the edition of 1674. Amongst Butler's posthumous MSS., the first draught of the lines appears to be contained in the following fragment:

That had the greatest orator
Of all the Greeks, who heretofore

In mathematics he was greater Than Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater :* For he, by geometric scale, Could take the size of pots of ale; Resolve, by sines and tangents straight, If bread or butter wanted weight;t And wisely tell what hour oth' day The clock does strike, by Algebra.

Beside, he was a shrewd philosopher, And had read ev'ry text and gloss over; Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath, He understood b’implicit faith: Whatever sceptic could inquire for, For ev'ry why he had a wherefore; Knew more than forty of them do, As far as words and terms could go. All which he understood by rote, And, as occasion served, would quote; No matter whether right or wrong, They might be either said or sung. His notions fitted things so well, That which was which he could not tell; But oftentimes mistook the one For th’ other, as great clerks have done.ş

Did fill his mouth with pebble stones,
To learn the better to pronounce,
But known his harder rhetoric,

He would have used no other trick. * Erra Pater seems to be intended for Lilly, the astrologer. The nickname appears to have been previously applied in a similar way to other pretenders to the occult sciences; it was also a common name for the prophetic almanac. Tycho Brahe, the famous Danish astronomer, and author of the system which bears his name, was born 19th December, 1546, and died at Prague, 24th October, 1601.

+ The insinuation against the officious justice is that he made a great show of knowledge and authority in hunting-up small offences, and in making seizures and inflicting fines.

t This couplet was first inserted in the edition of 1674

$ This is a satire, says Warburton, against those philosophers who took their ideas of substances to be the combination of nature, and not the arbitrary workmanship of the human mind; and that the essence

He could reduce all things to acts,
And knew their natures by abstracts;
Where entity and quiddity,
The ghost of defunct bodies fly;
Where truth in person does appear,
Like words congealed in northern air.*
He knew what's what, and that's as high
As metaphysic wit can fly.
In school-divinity as able
As he that hight Irrefragable;
A second Thomas, or, at once
To name them all, another Duns ;t
Profound in all the Nominal
And Real ways, beyond them all:
And, with as delicate a hand,
Could twist as tough a rope of sand;

of each sort is more than the abstract idea. It is more probable that the meaning is, as suggested by Dr. Nash, that Hudibras had a jumble of many confused notions in his head, which he could not apply to any useful purpose, or, rather, which frequently led him into mistakes. The whole passage shows Butler's familiarity with metaphysical studies.

* The notion of this pleasantry of frozen words occurs in Rabelais, b. iv. ch. 56.

† This couplet, which appeared in the first edition, was afterwards omitted by Butler. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar, born in 1224, died at the early age of 50, and was canonized. His labours upon school-divinity acquired for him the titles of Angelic Doctor and Eagle of Divines. Johannes Dunscotus, a man of great learning, flourished towards the close of the thirteenth century, and died at Cologne in 1308. He was a strong opponent of the doctrines of Thomas Aquinas, and acquired by his logical acuteness the title of the Subtle Doctor. The Irrefragable alluded to in a previous line was Alexander Hales, who lived about the middle of the thirteenth century. His high reputation in school-divinity is marked by the title applied to him of Doctor Irrefragable, or Invincible Doctor.

William Occham was the founder of the Nominals-Johannes Dun. scotus of the Reals. This couplet was introduced in the edition of 1674. $ This couplet stood originally

For he a rope of sand could twist

As tough as learned Sorbonist. The alteration was made in the edition of 1674.


And weave fine cobwebs, fit for skull
That's empty when the moon is full ;*
Such as take lodgings in a head
That’s to be let unfurnished.
He could raise scruples dark and nice,
And after solve 'em in a trice;
As if Divinity had catched
The itch, on purpose to be scratched;
Or, like a mountebank, did wound
And stab herself with doubts profound,
Only to show with how small pain
The sores of Faith are cured again;
Although by woful proof we find,
They always leave a scar behind.
He knew the seat of Paradise, t
Could tell in what degree it lies;
And, as he was disposed, could prove it,
Below the moon, or else above it:
What Adami dreamt of, when his bride
Came from her closet in his side:
Whether the devil tempted her
By an High Dutch interpreter;
If either of them had a navel :
Who first made music malleable :$
Whether the serpent, at the fall,
Had cloven feet, or none at all. ||

* Alluding to the vulgar notion of the influence of the moon on the brain. Hence the term lunatics.

† The geographical position of Paradise was an inquiry upon which much grave discussion was at one period expended by men of unquestionable erudition.

It had long been held to be a great absurdity to suppose that Adam and Eve, who were not born, but created, had navels. The physical reasons assigned for this opinion were sanctioned by respectable rity; amongst others that of Bishop Cumberland. See Brown's Vulgar Errors.

§ Pythagoras is said to have made the discovery of music upon passing a blacksmith's shop, and noting the different sounds produced on the anvil by the hammers, according to their different weights.

# The conjecture that the serpent must have had feet originally arises

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