Samuel Butler.

Hudibras; written in the time of the late wars; online

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Samuel Butler


Born 1 6 1 2 ?
Died 1680









at the University Press


C. F. CLAY, Manager.

Efipjig: F. A. j BROCKHAUS.


Bombau mtj Calcutta : MACMILLAN AND CO., Ltd.

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I i


THE first edition of the First Part of Samuel
Butler's Hudibras was ' Printed by J. G. for
Richard Marriot, under Saint Dunstans Church in
Fleet street. 1663.' It was published anonymously and
carries the ' Imprimatur' of ' Jo : Berkenhead. Novemb.
II. 1662.' The title runs thus: — HUDIBRAS. |
THE FIRST PART. | Written in the time of the late
Wars. |, followed by the design of a wreath. The
book measures 4-|- x 7 ins., contains 268 pages, and a few
errata are given at the foot of the last page. Though
dated 1663, it was on sale soon after the date of the
License, for Mr Pepys, who does not seem to have been
greatly attracted to the poem at his first reading,
records, under date December 26, 1662: 'To the
Wardrobe. Hither come Mr Battersby ; and we
falling into discourse of a new book of drollery in
use called Hudebras, I would needs go find it out, and
met with it at the Temple : cost me is. Gd. But when
I came to read it, it is so silly an abuse of the Presbyter
Knight going to the warrs, that I am ashamed of it ;
and by and by meeting at Mr Townsend's at dinner,
I sold it to him for 18^.' He appears, however, to
have repented of this rash act, for six weeks later
(February 6, 1 662-3) he writes: 'And so to a bookseller's
in the Strand, and there bought Hudibras again, it
being certainly some ill humour to be so against that
which all the world cries up to be an example of wit;


for which I am resolved once again to read him, and see
whether I can find it or no.' (Ed. Wheatley, 1893.)

The Second Part, ' By the Authour of the First,'
was ' Printed by T. R. for John Marty n^ and James
Allestry at the Bell in St Pauls Church Yard, 1664.'
A block on the title page contains the design of a bell
and the publishers' initials 'MA' interlaced. The
'Imprimatur' is signed 'Roger L'Estrange. Novemb. 5'''-
1663.' The book measures 4^^ x 7 ins., contains 216
pages and has a few errata noted at the foot of the last

These first editions of Parts I. and II. do not
contain either the ' Annotations ' or ' An Heroical
Epistle of Hudibras to Sidrophel,' which were added
later. Both parts were ' corrected and amended, with
several additions and annotations' in 1674. An issue
of the year 1678 forms the basis of the present edition,
and in the Appendix will be found the variations
between the issues of 1678 and the first editions of

' The Third and last Part. Written by the Author
of the First and Second Parts,' ' Printed for Simon
Miller^ at the sign of the Star at the West End of
St Pauls^' (4x7 ins.) was published in 1678 and reprinted
in 1679, from a copy of which later issue the present
text has been printed. A few trifling variations between
1678 and 1679 will be found noted in the Appendix
to the present edition, where also will be found a list
of errors in the three parts deemed to be misprints and
therefore altered in the present text.

Of the numerous editions which appeared after the
death of Butler, mention need only be made of the
elaborately annotated two volume edition of Zachary
Grey, LL.D., ' Adorn'd with a new Set of Cuts ' (by
Hogarth), published at Cambridge in 1744 and 'Printed



by J. Bentham, Printer to the University, for
W. Innys, A. Ward, Mess. J. and P. Knapton, D.
Browne, S. Bin, T. Longman, T. Woodward, C. Hitch,
J. Oswald, J. Shuckburgh, J. Hodges, E. Wicksteed,
Mess. Ward and Chandler, G. Hawkins, Mess. J. and
R. Tonson, M. Cooper, R. Wellington, and C. Bathurst, In
London.' Dr Grey gives the reading he prefers, when
confronted with earlier and later readings, and in other
respects his text is 'edited.' Its annotations are its
great merit.

The purchaser of early editions of Butler's Hudibras
may be warned against the spurious or pirated issues
that accompanied the first edition of Part I. ; the
particulars given above should suffice to identify the
first genuine impression. The matter is further com-
plicated by the existence of genuine texts in a smaller
state, concerning which Lowndes (ed. H. G. Bohn,
1862) states 'When the legitimate "author's edition,"
in small 8vo. came out in 1663, another smaller edition,
the size of the spurious one, appears to have been
published at the same time, and by the same publishers,
probably to compete in cheapness with its rival.'

I have taken the alternative readings of Parts L and
II. from the copy of the first genuine 8vo. state in the
Cambridge University Library (Syn. 7, 66, i^^^). Of the
various states of the first edition of Part III. particulars
are given in an interesting correspondence in Notes and
Queries, 6th ser., vi. pp. 108, 150, 276, 311, 370 and
454. The copies collated in the preparation of the present
text are those in the British Museum (G. 11450 and
1 1623. ^- ^3- (2-))- -^ useful bibliography of illustrated
editions of Hudibras, translations, spurious editions,
imitations, etc., will be found in Mr R. B. Johnson's
edition of the poetical works of Samuel Butler, Vol. i.,
1893, ^^"^ some interesting states of the early issues of


Parts I. and II. are described in Messrs Pickering
and Chatto's Book Lover's Leaflet, No. 137.

The method adopted in the editing of the present
text is the same as that adopted for the other volumes of
the Cambridge English Classics. Evident misprints
in punctuation have been corrected but all such cases
are set forth in the Appendix at the end. In all other
respects, what are now regarded as eccentricities of
punctuation have been left as originally printed, just as
inconsistencies of spelling have been left ' unedited.'
Even to students who have only acquired a slight
familiarity with the literature of two or three hundred
years ago, the ' pointing ' of those days is no more a
stumbling-block than the spelling ; it is no greater
hindrance to appreciation and understanding ; and it
gives to the general reader an added sense of nearness
to the actual form in which the author made his



16 December, 1904.



T'he First and Second T^arts,

Written in the Time of the

Late Wars.


Several Additions and Annotations.


Printed by 7". N. for John Martyn and Henry
Herringman^ at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-
yard, and at the Anchor in the Lower
Walk of the New Exchange^ 1678.


The Argument of the First

Sir Hudibras his passing worthy
The manner hoiv he sally'' d forth :
His Arms and Equipage are shown \
His Horse's Vertues^ and his own.
Th"" Adventure of the Bear and Fiddle
Is sung, but breaks off in the middle.


WHen civil fury first grew high,
And men fell out they knew not why,
When hard JVords.^ 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-Trutnpeter surrounded.
With long-ear'd rout to Battel sounded.
And Pulpit, Drum Ecclesiastick,
Was beat with fist, instead of a stick :
Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling.
And out he rode a Colonelling.

A 2


A Wight he was, whose very sight wou'd
Entitle him Mirror of Knighthood \
That never bent 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 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 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 difference 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, call'd a Fool.
And offer to lay wagers that
As Moioitaigyie 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 no such.
We grant, although he had much wit,
H' was very shie of using it,
As being loath 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 could speak Greek,
As naturally as Pigs squeek :
That Lotine was no more difficile,
Than to a Black-bird '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 th' arc found

To flourish most in barren ground,

He had such plenty as suffic'd

To make some think him circumcis'd :

And truely so perhaps, he was

'Tis many a Pious Christians case.

He was in Logick a great Critick,

Profoundly skill'd in Analytick.

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 Buzard is no Fowl,

And that a Lord may be an Owl,

A Calf an Alderman^ a Goose a yustice^

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 Rhetorick he could not ope
His mouth, but out there flew a Trope:
And when he hapned 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 Rhetoricians Rules,
Teach nothing but to name his l\)ols.
His ordinary Rate of Speech
In loftiness of sound was rich.


A Babylonhb dialeil,

Which learned Pedants much affe6l.

It was a parti-colour'd dress

Of patch'd and pyball'd Languages :

'Twas English cut on Greek and Lat'in^

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 Labo'rers 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 currant took 'em.

Fhat had the Orator who once,

Did fill his Mouth with Pibble 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 Errn Pater :
For he, by Geometr'ick scale,
Could take the size of Pots of Ak\
Resolve by Signs and Tangents streight.
If Bread or Butter wanted weight;
And wisely tell what hour o'th' day
The Clock doth strike, by Algebra.

Beside he was a shrewd Philosopher^
And had read every Text and gloss over:
What e'er the crabbcd'st Author hath
He understood b' implicit Faith,


What ever Sceptick could inquire for ;

For every 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 serv'd, 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 th' one

For th' other, as great Clerks have done.

He could reduce all things to Adls,

And knew their Natures by Abstra6ls,

Where Entity and Quiddity

The Ghosts of defunct Bodies flie;

Where Truth in Person does appear.

Like words congeal'd in Northern Air.

He knew whafs ivhat^ and that's as high

As Metaphysick Wit can fly,

In School Divifiity as able

As he that hight Irrefragable \

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.

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 lett unfurnished.

He could raise Scruples dark and nice,

And after solve 'em in a trice :

As if Divinity had catch 'd

The Itch, of purpose to be scratch'd ;

Or, like a Mountebank, did wound

And stab her self with doubts profound,

Only to shew with how small pain

The sores of faith are cur'd again ;

Although by woful proof we find,

They always leave a Scar behind.


He knew the Seat of Paradise,

Could tell in what degree it lies :

And as he was dispos'd, covild prove it,

B[e]low the Moon, or else above it.

What Adaffi dreamt of when his Bride

Came from her Closet in his side :

Whether the Devil tempted her

By a High Dutch Interpreter:

If either of them had a Navel;

Who first made Musick malleable:

Whether the Serpent at the fall

Had cloven Feet, or none at all.

All this without a Gloss or Comment,

He would unriddle in a moment :

In proper terms, such as men smatter

When they throw out and miss the matter.

For his Religion it was fit

To match his Learning and his Wit :

'Twas Presbyteriati true blew.

For he was of that stubborn Crew

Of Errant Saints, whom all men grant

To be the true Church Militant :

Such as do build their Faith upon

The holy Text of Pike and Gun-^

Decide all Controversies by

Infallible Artillery;

And prove their Dodrine Orthodox

By Apostolick Blows and Knocks;

Call Fire and Sword and Desolation,

A godly-thorough-Reformation,

Which always must be carry'd on,

And still be doing, never done:

As if Religion were intended

For nothing else but to be mended.

A Se6l, whose chief Devotion lies

In odd perverse Antipathies;

In falling out with that or this,

And finding somewhat still amiss :

More peevish, cross, and splenetick.


Than Dog distraft, or Monky sick.

That with more care keep Holy-day

The wrong, than others the right way :

Compound for Sins, they are inch'n'd to;

By damning those they have no mind to;

Still so perverse and opposite,

As if they worshipp'd God for spight,

The self-same thing they will abhor

One way, and long another for.

Free-will they one way disavow,

Another, nothing else allow.

All Piety consists therein

In them, in other Men all Sin.

Rather than fail, they will defie

That which they love most tenderly,

Quarrel with minc\l Pies^ and disparage

Their best and dearest friend. Plum-porridge ;

Fat Pig and Goose it self oppose.

And blaspheme Custard through the Nose.

Th' Apostles of this fierce Religion,

Like Mahomet's^ were Ass and Widgeon,

To whom our Knight, by fast instinft

Of Wit and Temper was so linkt,

As if Hipocrisie and Non-sence

Had got th' Advouson of his Conscience.

Thus was he gifted and accouter'd.
We mean on th' inside, not the outward :
That next of all we shall discuss ;
Then listen Sirs, it followeth thus :

His tawny Beard was th' equal grace
Both of his Wisdom and his Face ;
In Cut and Dy so like a Tile,
A sudden view it would beguile :
The upper part thereof was Whey,
The nether Orange mixt with Grey.
This hairy Meteor did denounce
The fall of Scepters and of Crowns ;
With grizly type did represent


Declining Age of Government ;

And tell with Hieroglyphick Spade,

Its own grave and the State's were made.

Like Sampson^ Heart-breakers, it grew

In time to make a Nation rue ;

Though it contributed its own fall,

To wait upon the publick downfall.

It was Canonick, and did grow

In Holy Orders by stridl: vow ;

Of Rule as sullen and severe,

As that of rigid Coydeliere :

'Twas bound to suffer Persecution

And Martyrdome with resolution ;

T' oppose it self against the hate

And vengeance of th' incensed State :

In whose defiance it was worn.

Still ready to be pull'd and torn,

With red-hot Irons to be tortur'd,

Revil'd, and spit upon, and martyr'd.

Maugre all which, 'twas to stand fast,

As long as Monarchy should last.

But when the State should hap to reel,

'Twas to submit to fatal Steel,

And fall, as it was consecrate

A Sacrifice to fall of State ;

Whose thred of life the fatal Sisters

Did twist together with its Whiskers,

And twine so close, that time should never.

In life or death, their fortunes sever ;

But with his rusty Sickle mow

Both down together at a blow.

So learned Taliacot'ius from
The brawny part of Porter's Bum,
Cut supplemental Noses, which
Would last as long as Parent breech :
But when the Date of Nock was out,
Off dropt the Sympathetick Snout.



His Back^ or rather Burthen show'd
As if it stoop'd with its own load.
For as Mneas bore his Sire,
Upon his S[h]oulders through the Fire :
Our Knight did bear no less a Pack
Of his own Buttocks on his Back :
Which now had almost got the Upper-
Hand of his Head, for want of Crupper.
To poize this equally, he bore
A Paunch of the same bulk before :
Which still he had a special care
To keep well cramm'd with thrifty fare ;
As White-pot, Butter-milk, and Curds,
Such as a Countrey house affords ;
W[i]th other Victual, which anon,
We further shall dilate upon.
When of his Hose we come to treat.
The Cub-bord where he kept his meat.

His Doublet was of sturdy Buff,

And though not Sword, yet Cudgel-proof;

Whereby 'twas fitter for his use.

That fear'd no blows but such as bruise.

His Breeches were of rugged Woollen,

And had been at the Siege of Bullen^

To old King Harr\ so well known.

Some Writers held they were his own.

Through they were lin'd with many a piece,

Of Ammunition-Bread and Cheese,

And fat Black-puddings, proper food

For Warriers that delight in Blood ;

For, as we said, he alway chose

To carry Vittle in his Hose.

That often tempted Rats, and Mice,

The Ammunition to surprize :

And when he put a Hand but in

The one or th' other Magazine,

They stoutly in defence on't stood

And from the wounded Foe drew bloud,



And till th' were storm'd and beaten out,

Ne'r left the fortifi'd Redoubt ;

And though Knights Errant, as some think,

Of old did neither eat nor drink,

Because when thorough Desarts vast

And Regions Desolate they past,

Where Belly-timber above ground

Or under was not to be found.

Unless they graz'd, there's not one word

Of their Provision on Record :

Which made some confidently write,

They had no stomachs but to fight,

'Tis false : for Arthur wore in Hall

Round Table like a Farthingal,

On which, with Shirt pull'd out behind,

And eke before his good Knights din'd.

Though 'twas no Table, some suppose,

But a huge pair of round Trunk-hose ;

In which he carry'd as much meat

As he and all his Knights could eat ;

When laying by their Swords and Truncheons,

They took their Breakfasts, or their Nuncheons ;

But let that pass at present, lest

We should forget where we digrest ;

As learned Authors use, to whom

We leave it, and to th' purpose come.

His Puissant Sword unto his side

Near his undaunted Heart was ty'd.

With Basket-hilt, that wou'd hold broth,

And serve for Fight, and Dinner both.

In it he melted Lead for Bullets,

To shoot at Foes, and sometimes Pullets ;

To whom he bore so fell a Grutch,

He ne'er gave quarter t' any such.

The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty,

For want of fighting was grown rusty.

And eat into it self, for lack

Of some body to hew and hack.

The peaceful Scabbard where it dwelt.

The Rancor of its Edge had felt :



For of the lower end two handful,

It had devoured 'twas so manful ;

And so much scorn'd to lurk in case,

As if it durst not shew its face.

In many desperate Attempts

Of Wars, Exigents, Contempts,

It had appear'd with Courage bolder

Than Sergeant Biim^ invading shoulder.

Oft had it ta'en possession.

And Pris'ners too, or made them run.

This Sword a Dagger had his Page.

But 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 or for drudging ;

When it had stab'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 shooes, 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.

They were upon hard Duty still.

And every night stood Sentinel,

To guard the Magazine i'th' Hose

From two legg'd and from four legg'd Foes.

Thus clad and fortifi'd. Sir Knight
From peaceful home set forth to fight.
But first with nimble a(^tive force



He got on th' outside of his Horse.
For having but one stirruM ty'd
T' his Saddle, on the further side,
It was so short, h' had much adoe
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 vigor, strength, and heat,
That he had almost tumbled over
With his own weight, but did recover.
By laying hold of Tail and Mane,
Which oft he us'd instead of Rein.

But now we talk of mounting Steed,

Before we f[ur]ther do proceed.

It doth behove us to say something.

Of that which bore our valiant Bmnkin.

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 most agree, though some say none.

He was well stay'd, and in his Gate

Preserv'd a grave majestick state.

At Spur or Switch no more he skipt,

Or mended pace, than Spaniard whipt :

And yet so fiery, he would bound,

As if he griev'd to touch the Ground :

That Ccesar's Horse, who, as Fame goes,

Had Corns upon his Feet and Toes,

Was not by half so tender-hooft,

Nor trode upon the ground so soft.

And as that Beast would kneel and stoop,

(Some write) to take his Rider up :

So Hudibras his ('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 strutting Ribs on both sides show'd
Like furrows he himself had plovv'd :
P'or underneath the skirt of Pannel,
'l^wixt every two there was a Channel.
His dragling Tail hung in the Dirt,
Which on his Rider he would flirt
Still as his tender side he prickt,
With arni'd heel or with unarm'd kickt:
For Hudibras wore but one Spur,
As wisely knowing, could he stir
To a6live trot one side of's Horse,
The other would not hang an Arse :

A Squire he had whose name was Ralph^

That in th' adventure went his half.

Though Writers (for more statelier tone)

Do call him Ralpho^ 'tis all one :

And when we can with Meeter safe,

We'll call him so, if not plain Ralph^

For Rhime the Rudder is of Verses,

With which like Ships they stear their courses.

An equal stock of Wit and Valour

He had laid in, by birth a Taylor.

The mighty Tyrian Queen that gain'd

With subtle shreds a Tra6l of Land,

Did leave it with a Castle fair

To his great Ancestor, her Heir :

From him descended cross-leg'd Knights,

Fam'd for their Faith and Warlike Fights

Against the bloudy Caniball,

Whom they destroy 'd both great and small.

This sturdy Squire had as well

As the bold Trojan Knight, seen hell.

Not with a counterfeited Pass

Of Golden Bough, but true Gold-lace.

His knowledge was not far behind

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