HUDIBRAS PART II CANTO IСэмюэл БатлерГУДИБРАС ЧАСТЬ 2 ПЕСНЬ 1
- The Knight by damnable Magician, Being cast illegally in prison, Love brings his Action on the Case. And lays it upon Hudibras. How he receives the Lady's Visit, And cunningly solicits his Suite, Which she defers; yet on Parole Redeems him from th' inchanted Hole. -
But now, t'observe a romantic method, Let bloody steel a while be sheathed, And all those harsh and rugged sounds Of bastinadoes, cuts, and wounds, Exchang'd to Love's more gentle stile, 5 To let our reader breathe a while; In which, that we may be as brief as Is possible, by way of preface, Is't not enough to make one strange, That some men's fancies should ne'er change, 10 But make all people do and say The same things still the self-same way Some writers make all ladies purloin'd, And knights pursuing like a whirlwind Others make all their knights, in fits 15 Of jealousy, to lose their wits; Till drawing blood o'th' dames, like witches, Th' are forthwith cur'd of their capriches. Some always thrive in their amours By pulling plaisters off their sores; 20 As cripples do to get an alms, Just so do they, and win their dames. Some force whole regions, in despight O' geography, to change their site; Make former times shake hands with latter, 25 And that which was before, come after. But those that write in rhime, still make The one verse for the other's sake; For, one for sense, and one for rhime, I think's sufficient at one time. 30
But we forget in what sad plight We whilom left the captiv'd Knight And pensive Squire, both bruis'd in body, And conjur'd into safe custody. Tir'd with dispute and speaking Latin, 35 As well as basting and bear-baiting, And desperate of any course, To free himself by wit or force, His only solace was, that now His dog-bolt fortune was so low, 40 That either it must quickly end Or turn about again, and mend; In which he found th' event, no less Than other times beside his guess.
There is a tall long sided dame 45 (But wond'rous light,) ycleped Fame That, like a thin camelion, boards Herself on air, and eats her words; Upon her shoulders wings she wears Like hanging-sleeves, lin'd through with ears, 50 And eyes, and tongues, as poets list, Made good by deep mythologist, With these she through the welkin flies, And sometimes carries truth, oft lies With letters hung like eastern pigeons, 55 And Mercuries of furthest regions; Diurnals writ for regulation Of lying, to inform the nation; And by their public use to bring down The rate of whetstones in the kingdom. 60 About her neck a pacquet-male, Fraught with advice, some fresh, some stale, Of men that walk'd when they were dead, And cows of monsters brought to bed; Of hail-stones big as pullets eggs, 65 And puppies whelp'd with twice two legs; A blazing star seen in the west, By six or seven men at least. Two trumpets she does sound at once, But both of clean contrary tones; 70 But whether both with the same wind, Or one before, and one behind, We know not; only this can tell, The one sounds vilely, th' other well; And therefore vulgar authors name 75 Th' one Good, the other Evil, Fame.
This tattling gossip knew too well What mischief HUDIBRAS befell. And straight the spiteful tidings bears Of all to th' unkind widow's ears. 80 DEMOCRITUS ne'er laugh'd so loud To see bawds carted through the crowd, Or funerals with stately pomp March slowly on in solemn dump, As she laugh'd out, until her back, 85 As well as sides, was like to crack. She vow'd she would go see the sight, And visit the distressed Knight; To do the office of a neighbour, And be a gossip at his labour; 90 And from his wooden jail, the stocks, To set at large his fetter-locks; And, by exchange, parole, or ransom, To free him from th' enchanted mansion. This b'ing resolv'd, she call'd for hood 95 And usher, implements abroad Which ladies wear, beside a slender Young waiting damsel to attend her; All which appearing, on she went, To find the Knight in limbo pent. 100 And 'twas not long before she found Him, and the stout Squire, in the pound; Both coupled in enchanted tether, By further leg behind together For as he sat upon his rump, 105 His head like one in doleful dump, Between his knees, his hands apply'd Unto his ears on either side; And by him, in another hole, Afflicted RALPHO, cheek by jowl; 110 She came upon him in his wooden Magician's circle on the sudden, As spirits do t' a conjurer, When in their dreadful shapes th' appear.
No sooner did the Knight perceive her, 115 But straight he fell into a fever, Inflam'd all over with disgrace, To be seen by her in such a place; Which made him hang his head, and scoul, And wink, and goggle like an owl. 120 He felt his brains begin to swim, When thus the dame accosted him:
This place (quoth she) they say's enchanted, And with delinquent spirits haunted, That here are ty'd in chains, and scourg'd, 125 Until their guilty crimes be purg'd. Look, there are two of them appear, Like persons I have seen somewhere. Some have mistaken blocks and posts For spectres, apparitions, ghosts, 130 With saucer eyes, and horns; and some Have heard the Devil beat a drum: But if our eyes are not false glasses, That give a wrong account of faces, That beard and I should be acquainted, 135 Before 'twas conjur'd or enchanted; For though it be disfigur'd somewhat, As if 't had lately been in combat, It did belong to a worthy Knight Howe'er this goblin has come by't. 140
When HUDIBRAS the Lady heard Discoursing thus upon his beard, And speak with such respect and honour, Both of the beard and the beard's owner, He thought it best to set as good 145 A face upon it as he cou'd, And thus he spoke: Lady, your bright And radiant eyes are in the right: The beard's th' identic beard you knew, The same numerically true: 150 Nor is it worn by fiend or elf, But its proprietor himself.
O, heavens! quoth she, can that be true? I do begin to fear 'tis you: Not by your individual whiskers, 155 But by your dialect and discourse, That never spoke to man or beast In notions vulgarly exprest. But what malignant star, alas Has brought you both to this sad pass? 160
Quoth he, The fortune of the war, Which I am less afflicted for, Than to be seen with beard and face, By you in such a homely case. Quoth she, Those need not he asham'd 165 For being honorably maim'd, If he that is in battle conquer'd, Have any title to his own beard; Though yours be sorely lugg'd and torn, It does your visage more adorn 170 Than if 'twere prun'd, and starch'd, and lander'd, And cut square by the Russian standard. A torn beard's like a tatter'd ensign, That's bravest which there are most rents in. That petticoat about your shoulders 175 Does not so well become a souldier's; And I'm afraid they are worse handled Although i' th' rear; your beard the van led; And those uneasy bruises make My heart for company to ake, 180 To see so worshipful a friend I' th' pillory set, at the wrong end.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, This thing call'd pain Is (as the learned Stoicks maintain) Not bad simpliciter, nor good, 185 But merely as 'tis understood. Sense is deceitful, and may feign, As well in counterfeiting pain As other gross phenomenas, In which it oft mistakes the case. 190 But since the immortal intellect (That's free from error and defect, Whose objects still persist the same) Is free from outward bruise and maim, Which nought external can expose 195 To gross material bangs or blows, It follows, we can ne'er be sure, Whether we pain or not endure; And just so far are sore and griev'd, As by the fancy is believ'd. 200 Some have been wounded with conceit, And dy'd of mere opinion straight; Others, tho' wounded sore in reason, Felt no contusion, nor discretion. A Saxon Duke did grow so fat, 205 That mice (as histories relate) Eat grots and labyrinths to dwell in His postick parts without his feeling: Then how is't possible a kick Should e'er reach that way to the quick? 210
Quoth she, I grant it is in vain. For one that's basted to feel pain, Because the pangs his bones endure Contribute nothing to the cure: Yet honor hurt, is wont to rage 215 With pain no med'cine can asswage.
Quoth he, That honour's very squeamish That takes a basting for a blemish; For what's more hon'rable than scars, Or skin to tatters rent in wars? 220 Some have been beaten till they know What wood a cudgel's of by th' blow; Some kick'd until they can feel whether A shoe be Spanish or neat's leather; And yet have met, after long running, 225 With some whom they have taught that cunning. The furthest way about t' o'ercome, In the end does prove the nearest home. By laws of learned duellists, They that are bruis'd with wood or fists, 230 And think one beating may for once Suffice, are cowards and pultroons: But if they dare engage t' a second, They're stout and gallant fellows reckon'd.
Th' old Romans freedom did bestow, 235 Our princes worship, with a blow. King PYRRHUS cur'd his splenetic And testy courtiers with a kick. The NEGUS, when some mighty lord Or potentate's to be restor'd 240 And pardon'd for some great offence, With which be's willing to dispense, First has him laid upon his belly, Then beaten back and side to a jelly; That done, he rises, humbly bows, 245 And gives thanks for the princely blows; Departs not meanly proud, and boasting Of this magnificent rib-roasting. The beaten soldier proves most manful, That, like his sword, endures the anvil, 250 And justly's held more formidable, The more his valour's malleable: But he that fears a bastinado Will run away from his own shadow: And though I'm now in durance fast, 255 By our own party basely cast, Ransom, exchange, parole refus'd, And worse than by the enemy us'd; In close catasta shut, past hope Of wit or valour to elope; 260 As beards the nearer that they tend To th' earth still grow more reverend; And cannons shoot the higher pitches, The lower we let down their breeches; I'll make this low dejected fate 265 Advance me to a greater height.
Quoth she, Y' have almost made me in love With that which did my pity move. Great wits and valours, like great states, Do sometimes sink with their own weights: Th' extremes of glory and of shame, 270 Like East and West, become the same: No Indian Prince has to his palace More foll'wers than a thief to th' gallows, But if a beating seem so brave, 275 What glories must a whipping have Such great atchievements cannot fail To cast salt on a woman's tail: For if I thought your nat'ral talent Of passive courage were so gallant, 280 As you strain hard to have it thought, I could grow amorous, and dote.
When HUDIBRAS this language heard, He prick'd up's ears and strok'd his beard; Thought he, this is the lucky hour; 285 Wines work when vines are in the flow'r; This crisis then I'll set my rest on, And put her boldly to the question.
Madam, what you wou'd seem to doubt, Shall be to all the world made out, 290 How I've been drubb'd, and with what spirit And magnanimity I bear it; And if you doubt it to be true, I'll stake myself down against you: And if I fail in love or troth, 295 Be you the winner, and take both.
Quoth she, I've beard old cunning stagers Say, fools for arguments use wagers; And though I prais'd your valour, yet I did not mean to baulk your wit; 300 Which, if you have, you must needs know What I have told you before now, And you b' experiment have prov'd, I cannot love where I'm belov'd.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, 'tis a caprich 305 Beyond th' infliction of a witch; So cheats to play with those still aim That do not understand the game. Love in your heart as icily burns As fire in antique Roman urns, 310 To warm the dead, and vainly light Those only that see nothing by't. Have you not power to entertain, And render love for love again; As no man can draw in his breath 315 At once, and force out air beneath? Or do you love yourself so much, To bear all rivals else a grutch? What fate can lay a greater curse Than you upon yourself would force? 320 For wedlock without love, some say, Is but a lock without a key. It is a kind of rape to marry One that neglects, or cares not for ye: For what does make it ravishment, 325 But b'ing against the mind's consent? A rape that is the more inhuman For being acted by a woman. Why are you fair, but to entice us To love you, that you may despise us? 330 But though you cannot Love, you say, Out of your own fanatick way, Why should you not at least allow Those that love you to do so too? For, as you fly me, and pursue 330 Love more averse, so I do you; And am by your own doctrine taught To practise what you call a fau't.
Quoth she, If what you say is true, You must fly me as I do you; 340 But 'tis not what we do, but say, In love and preaching, that must sway.
Quoth he, To bid me not to love, Is to forbid my pulse to move, My beard to grow, my ears to prick up, 345 Or (when I'm in a fit) to hickup: Command me to piss out the moon, And 'twill as easily be done: Love's power's too great to be withstood By feeble human flesh and blood. 350 'Twas he that brought upon his knees The hect'ring, kill-cow HERCULES; Transform'd his leager-lion's skin T' a petticoat, and made him spin; Seiz'd on his club, and made it dwindle 355 T' a feeble distaff, and a spindle. 'Twas he that made emperors gallants To their own sisters and their aunts; Set popes and cardinals agog, To play with pages at leap-frog. 360 'Twas he that gave our Senate purges, And flux'd the House of many a burgess; Made those that represent the nation Submit, and suffer amputation; And all the Grandees o' the Cabal 365 Adjourn to tubs at Spring and Fall. He mounted Synod-Men, and rode 'em To Dirty-Lane and Little Sodom; Made 'em curvet like Spanish jenets, And take the ring at Madam [Bennet's] 370 'Twas he that made Saint FRANCIS do More than the Devil could tempt him to, In cold and frosty weather, grow Enamour'd of a wife of snow; And though she were of rigid temper, 375 With melting flames accost and tempt her; Which after in enjoyment quenching, He hung a garland on his engine
Quoth she, If Love have these effects, Why is it not forbid our sex? 380 Why is't not damn'd and interdicted, For diabolical and wicked? And sung, as out of tune, against, As Turk and Pope are by the Saints? I find I've greater reason for it, 385 Than I believ'd before t' abhor it.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, These sad effects Spring from your Heathenish neglects Of Love's great pow'r, which he returns Upon yourselves with equal scorns; 390 And those who worthy lovers slight, Plagues with prepost'rous appetite. This made the beauteous Queen of Crete To take a town-bull for her sweet, And from her greatness stoop so low, 395 To be the rival of a cow: Others to prostitute their great hearts, To he baboons' and monkeys' sweet-hearts; Some with the Dev'l himself in league grow, By's representative a Negro. 400 'Twas this made vestal-maids love-sick, And venture to be bury'd quick: Some by their fathers, and their brothers, To be made mistresses and mothers. 'Tis this that proudest dames enamours 405 On lacquies and valets des chambres; Their haughty stomachs overcomes, And makes 'em stoop to dirty grooms; To slight the world, and to disparage Claps, issue, infamy, and marriage. 410
Quoth she, These judgments are severe, Yet such as I should rather bear, Than trust men with their oaths, or prove Their faith and secresy in love,
Says he, There is as weighty reason 415 For secresy in love as treason. Love is a burglarer, a felon, That at the windore-eyes does steal in To rob the heart, and with his prey Steals out again a closer way, 420 Which whosoever can discover, He's sure (as he deserves) to suffer. Love is a fire, that burns and sparkles In men as nat'rally as in charcoals, Which sooty chymists stop in holes 425 When out of wood they extract coals: So lovers should their passions choak, That, tho' they burn, they may not smoak. 'Tis like that sturdy thief that stole And dragg'd beasts backwards into's hole: 430 So Love does lovers, and us men Draws by the tails into his den, That no impression may discover, And trace t' his cave, the wary lover, But if you doubt I should reveal 435 What you entrust me under seal. I'll prove myself as close and virtuous As your own secretary ALBERTUS.
Quoth she, I grant you may be close In hiding what your aims propose. 440 Love-passions are like parables, By which men still mean something else, Though love be all the world's pretence, Money's the mythologick sense; The real substance of the shadow, 445 Which all address and courtship's made to.
Thought he, I understand your play, And how to quit you your own way: He that will win his dame, must do As Love does when he bends his bow; 450 With one hand thrust the lady from, And with the other pull her home. I grant, quoth he, wealth is a great Provocative to am'rous heat. It is all philters, and high diet, 455 That makes love rampant, and to fly out: 'Tis beauty always in the flower, That buds and blossoms at fourscore: 'Tis that by which the sun and moon At their own weapons are out-done: 460 That makes Knights-Errant fall in trances, And lay about 'em in romances: 'Tis virtue, wit, and worth, and all That men divine and sacred call: For what is worth in any thing, 465 But so much money as 'twill bring? Or what, but riches is there known, Which man can solely call his own In which no creature goes his half; Unless it be to squint and laugh? 470 I do confess, with goods and land, I'd have a wife at second-hand; And such you are. Nor is 't your person My stomach's set so sharp and fierce on; But 'tis (your better part) your riches, 475 That my enamour'd heart bewitches. Let me your fortune but possess, And settle your person how you please: Or make it o'er in trust to th' Devil; You'll find me reasonable and civil. 480
Quoth she, I like this plainness better Than false mock-passion, speech, or letter, Or any feat of qualm or sowning, But hanging of yourself, or drowning. Your only way with me to break 485 Your mind, is breaking of your neck; For as when merchants break, o'erthrown, Like nine-pins they strike others down, So that would break my heart; which done, My tempting fortune is your own, 490 These are but trifles: ev'ry lover Will damn himself over and over, And greater matters undertake For a less worthy mistress' sake: Yet th' are the only ways to prove 495 Th' unfeign'd realities of love: For he that hangs, or beats out's brains, The Devil's in him if he feigns.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, This way's too rough For mere experiment and proof: 500 It is no jesting, trivial matter, To swing t' th' air, or douce in Water, And, like a water-witch, try love; That's to destroy, and not to prove; As if a man should be dissected 505 To find what part is disaffected. Your better way is to make over, In trust, your fortune to your lover. Trust is a trial; if it break, 'Tis not so desp'rate as a neck. 510 Beside, th' experiment's more certain; Men venture necks to gain a fortune: The soldier does it ev'ry day. (Eight to the week) for sixpence pay: Your pettifoggers damn their souls, 515 To share with knaves in cheating fools: And merchants, vent'ring through the main, Slight pirates, rocks, and horns, for gain. This is the way I advise you to: Trust me, and see what I will do. 520
Quoth she, I should be loth to run Myself all th' hazard, and you none; Which must be done, unless some deed Of your's aforesaid do precede. Give but yourself one gentle swing 525 For trial, and I'll cut the string: Or give that rev'rend head a maul, Or two, or three, against a wall, To shew you are a man of mettle, And I'll engage myself to settle. 530
Quoth he, My head's not made of brass, As Friar BACON'S noodle was; Nor (like the Indian's skull) so tough That, authors say, 'twas musket-proof, As yet on any new adventure, 535 As it had need to be, to enter. You see what bangs it has endur'd, That would, before new feats, be cur'd. But if that's all you stand upon, Here, strike me luck, it shall be done. 540
Quoth she, The matter's not so far gone As you suppose: Two words t' a bargain: That may be done, and time enough, When you have given downright proof; And yet 'tis no fantastic pique 545 I have to love, nor coy dislike: 'Tis no implicit, nice aversion T' your conversation, mein, or person, But a just fear, lest you should prove False and perfidious in love:, 550 For if I thought you could be true, I could love twice as much as you.
Quoth he, My faith as adamanatine, As chains of destiny, I'll maintain: True as APOLLO ever spoke, 555 Or Oracle from heart of oak; And if you'll give my flame but vent, Now in close hugger-mugger pent, And shine upon me but benignly, With that one, and that other pigsney, 560 The sun and day shall sooner part, Than love or you shake off my heart; The sun, that shall no more dispense His own but your bright influence. I'll carve your name on barks of trees, 565 With true-loves-knots and flourishes, That shall infuse eternal spring, And everlasting flourishing: Drink ev'ry letter on't in stum, And make it brisk champaign become; 570 Where-e'er you tread, your foot shall set The primrose and the violet: All spices, perfumes, and sweet powders, Shall borrow from your breath their odours: Nature her charter shall renew, 575 And take all lives of things from you; The world depend upon your eye, And when you frown upon it, die: Only our loves shall still survive, New worlds and natures to out-live: 580 And, like to heralds' moons, remain All crescents, without change or wane.
Hold, hold, quoth she; no more of this, Sir Knight; you take your aim amiss: For you will find it a hard chapter 585 To catch me with poetic rapture, In which your mastery of art Doth shew itself, and not your heart: Nor will you raise in mine combustion By dint of high heroic fustian. 590 She that with poetry is won, Is but a desk to write upon; And what men say of her, they mean No more than on the thing they lean. Some with Arabian spices strive 595 T' embalm her cruelly alive; Or season her, as French cooks use Their haut-gousts, bouillies, or ragousts: Use her so barbarously ill, To grind her lips upon a mill, 600 Until the facet doublet doth Fit their rhimes rather than her mouth: Her mouth compar'd to an oyster's, with A row of pearl in't - stead of teeth. Others make posies of her cheeks, 605 Where red and whitest colours mix; In which the lily, and the rose, For Indian lake and ceruse goes. The sun and moon by her bright eyes Eclips'd, and darken'd in the skies, 610 Are but black patches, that she wears, Cut into suns, and moons, and stars: By which astrologers as well, As those in Heav'n above, can tell What strange events they do foreshow 615 Unto her under-world below. Her voice, the music of the spheres, So loud, it deafens mortals ears; As wise philosophers have thought; And that's the cause we hear it not. 620 This has been done by some, who those Th' ador'd in rhime, would kick in prose; And in those ribbons would have hung On which melodiously they sung; That have the hard fate to write best 625 Of those still that deserve it least; It matters not how false, or forc'd: So the best things be said o' th' worst: It goes for nothing when 'tis said; Only the arrow's drawn to th' bead, 630 Whether it be a swan or goose They level at: So shepherds use To set the same mark on the hip Both of their sound and rotten sheep: For wits, that carry low or wide, 635 Must be aim'd higher, or beside The mark, which else they ne'er come nigh, But when they take their aim awry. But I do wonder you should choose This way t' attack me with your Muse, 640 As one cut out to pass your tricks on, With fulhams of poetic fiction: I rather hop'd I should no more Hear from you o' th' gallanting score: For hard dry-bastings us'd to prove 645 The readiest remedies of love; Next a dry-diet: but if those fail, Yet this uneasy loop-hol'd jail, In which ye are hamper'd by the fetlock, Cannot but put y' in mind of wedlock; 650 Wedlock, that's worse than any hole here, If that may serve you for a cooler, T' allay your mettle, all agog Upon a wife, the heavi'r clog: Or rather thank your gentler fate, 655 That for a bruis'd or broken pate, Has freed you from those knobs that grow Much harder on the marry'd brow: But if no dread can cool your courage, From vent'ring on that dragon, marriage, 660 Yet give me quarter, and advance To nobler aims your puissance: Level at beauty and at wit; The fairest mark is easiest hit.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, I'm beforehand 665 In that already, with your command For where does beauty and high wit But in your constellation meet?
Quoth she, What does a match imply, But likeness and equality? 670 I know you cannot think me fit To be th' yoke-fellow of your wit; Nor take one of so mean deserts, To be the partner of your parts; A grace which, if I cou'd believe, 675 I've not the conscience to receive.
That conscience, quoth HUDIBRAS, Is mis-inform'd: I'll state the case A man may be a legal donor, Of any thing whereof he's owner, 680 And may confer it where he lists, I' th' judgment of all casuists, Then wit, and parts, and valour, may Be ali'nated, and made away, By those that are proprietors, 685 As I may give or sell my horse.
Quoth she, I grant the case is true And proper 'twixt your horse and you; But whether I may take as well As you may give away or sell? 690 Buyers you know are bid beware; And worse than thieves receivers are. How shall I answer hue and cry, For a roan gelding, twelve hands high, All spurr'd and switch'd, a lock on's hoof, 695 A sorrel mane? Can I bring proof Where, when, by whom, and what y' were sold for, And in the open market toll'd for? Or should I take you for a stray, You must be kept a year and day 700 (Ere I can own you) here i' the pound, Where, if y' are sought, you may be found And in the mean time I must pay For all your provender and hay.
Quoth he, It stands me much upon 705 T' enervate this objection, And prove myself; by topic clear No gelding, as you would infer. Loss of virility's averr'd To be the cause of loss of beard, 710 That does (like embryo in the womb) Abortive on the chin become. This first a woman did invent, In envy of man's ornament; SEMIRAMIS, of Babylon, 715 Who first of all cut men o' th' stone, To mar their beards, and lay foundation Of sow-geldering operation. Look on this beard, and tell me whether Eunuchs wear such, or geldings either? 720 Next it appears I am no horse; That I can argue and discourse Have but two legs, and ne'er a tail.
Quoth she, That nothing will avail For some philosophers of late here, 725 Write, men have four legs by nature, And that 'tis custom makes them go Erron'ously upon but two; As 'twas in Germany made good B' a boy that lost himself in a wood, 730 And growing down to a man, was wont With wolves upon all four to hunt. As for your reasons drawn from tails, We cannot say they're true or false, Till you explain yourself, and show, 735 B' experiment, 'tis so or no.
Quoth he, If you'll join issue on't, I'll give you satisfactory account; So you will promise, if you lose, To settle all, and be my spouse. 740
That never shall be done (quoth she) To one that wants a tail, by me For tails by nature sure were meant, As well as beards, for ornament: And though the vulgar count them homely, 745 In men or beast they are so comely, So gentee, alamode, and handsome, I'll never marry man that wants one; And till you can demonstrate plain, You have one equal to your mane, 750 I'll be torn piece-meal by a horse, Ere I'll take you for better or worse. The Prince of CAMBAY's daily food Is asp, and basilisk, and toad; Which makes him have so strong a breath, 755 Each night he stinks a queen to death; Yet I shall rather lie in's arms Than yours, on any other terms.
Quoth he, What nature can afford, I shall produce, upon my word; 760 And if she ever gave that boon To man, I'll prove that I have one I mean by postulate illation, When you shall offer just occasion: But since y' have yet deny'd to give 765 My heart, your pris'ner, a reprieve, But made it sink down to my heel, Let that at least your pity feel; And, for the sufferings of your martyr, Give its poor entertainer quarter; 770 And, by discharge or main-prize, grant Deliv'ry from this base restraint.
Quoth she, I grieve to see your leg Stuck in a hole here like a peg; And if I knew which way to do't 775 (Your honour safe) I'd let you out. That Dames by jail-delivery Of Errant-Knights have been set free, When by enchantment they have been, And sometimes for it too, laid in, 780 Is that which Knights are bound to do By order, oath, and honour too: For what are they renown'd, and famous else, But aiding of distressed damosels? But for a Lady no ways errant, 785 To free a Knight, we have no warrant In any authentical romance, Or classic author, yet of France; And I'd be loth to have you break An ancient custom for a freak, 790 Or innovation introduce In place of things of antique use; To free your heels by any course, That might b' unwholesome to your spurs; Which, if I should consent unto, 795 It is not in my pow'r to do; For 'tis a service must be done ye With solemn previous ceremony; Which always has been us'd t' untie The charms of those who here do lie 800 For as the ancients heretofore To Honour's Temple had no door, But that which thorough Virtue's lay, So from this dungeon there's no way To honour'd freedom, but by passing 805 That other virtuous school of lashing, Where Knights are kept in narrow lists, With wooden lockets 'bout their wrists; In which they for a while are tenants, And for their Ladies suffer penance: 810 Whipping, that's Virtue's governess, Tutress of arts and sciences; That mends the gross mistakes of Nature, And puts new life into dull matter; That lays foundation for renown, 815 And all the honours of the gown. This suffer'd, they are set at large, And freed with hon'rable discharge. Then in their robes the penitentials Are straight presented with credentials, 820 And in their way attended on By magistrates of ev'ry town; And, all respect and charges paid, They're to their ancient seats convey'd. Now if you'll venture, for my sake, 825 To try the toughness of your back, And suffer (as the rest have done) The laying of a whipping on, (And may you prosper in your suit, As you with equal vigour do't,) 830 I here engage myself to loose ye, And free your heels from Caperdewsie. But since our sex's modesty Will not allow I should be by, Bring me, on oath, a fair account, 835 And honour too, when you have done't, And I'll admit you to the place You claim as due in my good grace. If matrimony and hanging go By dest'ny, why not whipping too? 840 What med'cine else can cure the fits Of lovers when they lose their wits? Love is a boy by poets stil'd; Then spare the rod and spoil the child. A Persian emp'ror whipp'd his grannam 845 The sea, his mother VENUS came on; And hence some rev'rend men approve Of rosemary in making love. As skilful coopers hoop their tubs With Lydian and with Phrygian dubs, 850 Why may not whipping have as good A grace, perform'd in time and mood, With comely movement, and by art, Raise passion in a lady's heart? It is an easier way to make 855 Love by, than that which many take. Who would not rather suffer whipping, Than swallow toasts of bits of ribbon? Make wicked verses, treats, and faces, And spell names over with beer-glasses 860 Be under vows to hang and die Love's sacrifice, and all a lie? With china-oranges and tarts And whinning plays, lay baits for hearts? Bribe chamber-maids with love and money, 865 To break no roguish jests upon ye? For lilies limn'd on cheeks, and roses, With painted perfumes, hazard noses? Or, vent'ring to be brisk and wanton, Do penance in a paper lanthorn? 870 All this you may compound for now, By suffering what I offer you; Which is no more than has been done By Knights for Ladies long agone. Did not the great LA MANCHA do so 875 For the INFANTA DEL TOBOSO? Did not th' illustrious Bassa make Himself a slave for Misse's sake? And with bull's pizzle, for her love, Was taw 'd as gentle as a glove? 880 Was not young FLORIO sent (to cool His flame for BIANCAFIORE) to school, Where pedant made his pathic bum For her sake suffer martyrdom? Did not a certain lady whip 885 Of late her husband's own Lordship? And though a grandee of the House, Claw'd him with fundamental blows Ty'd him stark naked to a bed-post, And firk'd his hide, as if sh' had rid post 890 And after, in the sessions-court, Where whipping's judg'd, had honour for't? This swear you will perform, and then I'll set you from th' inchanted den, And the magician's circle clear. 895
Quoth he, I do profess and swear, And will perform what you enjoin, Or may I never see you mine. Amen, (quoth she;) then turn'd about, And bid her Esquire let him out. 900 But ere an artist could be found T' undo the charms another bound, The sun grew low, and left the skies, Put down (some write) by ladies eyes, The moon pull'd off her veil of light 905 That hides her face by day from sight, (Mysterious veil, of brightness made, That's both her lustre and her shade,) And in the lanthorn of the night With shining horns hung out her light; 910 For darkness is the proper sphere, Where all false glories use t' appear. The twinkling stars began to muster, And glitter with their borrow'd lustre, While sleep the weary 'd world reliev'd, 915 By counterfeiting death reviv'd; His whipping penance till the morn Our vot'ry thought it best t' adjourn, And not to carry on a work Of such importance in the dark, 920 With erring haste, but rather stay, And do't in th' open face of day; And in the mean time go in quest Of next retreat to take his rest.
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