Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/50

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THE ARGUMENT

Sir Hudibras[1]his passing worth,
The manner how he sallied forth;
His arms and equipage are shown;
His horse's virtues, and his own.
Th' adventure of the bear and fiddle
Is sung, but breaks off in the middle.[2]


  1. Butler probably took the name of Hudibras from Spencer's Fairy Queen, B. ii. C. ii. St. 17.

    He that made love unto the eldest dame
    Was hight Sir Hudibras, an hardy man;
    Yet not so good of deeds, as great of name,
    Which he by many rash adventures wan,
    Since errant arms to sew he first began.

    Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions a British king of this name, as living about the time of Solomon, and reigning 39 years. He is said to have composed all the dissensions among his people. Others have supposed it derived from the French, Hugo, or Hu de Bras, signifying Hugh with the strong arm: thus Fortinbras, Firebras.

    In the Grub-street Journal, Col. Rolls, a Devonshire gentleman, is said to be satirized under the character of Hudibras; and it is asserted, that Hugh de Bras was the name of the old tutelar saint of that county; Dr Grey had been informed, on credible authority, that the person intended was Sir Henry Rosewell, of Ford Abbey, Devonshire; but it is idle to look for personal reflections in a poem designed for a general satire on hypocrisy, enthusiasm, and false learning. There is no doubt, however, that Sir Samuel Luke, of Bedfordshire, is the likeliest hero. See lines 15 and 902.

  2. A ridicule on Ronsard's Franciade, and Sir William Davenant's Gondibert, both unfinished.