Page:Hudibras - Volume 1 (Butler, Nash, Bohn; 1859).djvu/52

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4

HUDIBRAS.

[PART I.

And pulpit, drum ecclesiastick,
Was beat with fist, instead of a stick;[1]
Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling.
And out he rode a colonelling.[2]
A Wight he was, whose very sight would 15
Entitle him Mirror of Knighthood;
That never bow'd his stubborn knee[3]
To anything but chivalry;
Nor put up blow, but that which laid
Right Worshipful on shoulder-blade:[4] 20
Chief of domestic knights, and errant,
Either for chartel[5] or for warrant:
Great on the bench, great in the saddle,
That could as well bind o'er, as swaddle:[6]

    better. Five hundred or a thousand large ears were sometimes pricked up in this fashion as soon as the text was named, and as they wore their hair very short (whence they were called round-heads), they were the more prominent. Dryden alludes to this in his line:
    "And pricks up his predestinating ears."

  1. Ridiculing their vehement action in the pulpit, and their beating it with their fists, as if they were beating a drum.
  2. Sir Samuel Luke, of Bedfordshire, is no doubt the type of our hero. This has hitherto been merely surmised, first by Grey, and since by all his successors, including Nash; but the present editor possesses a copy of the original edition, 1663, in which a MS. Key, evidently of the same date, gives the name of Sir Samuel Luke, without any question. Sir Samuel was a rigid Presbyterian, high in the favour of Cromwell, justice of the peace, chairman of the quarter sessions, a colonel in the parliament army, a committee-man of his own county, and scout-master-general in the counties of Bedford and Surrey. Butler was for a time in the service of Sir Samuel, probably as secretary; and though in the centre of Puritan meetings, was at heart a Royalist and a Churchman.
  3. Alluding to the Presbyterians, who refused to kneel at the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and insisted upon receiving it in a sitting or standing posture. In some of the kirks in Scotland, the pews arc so made, that it is very difficult for any one to kneel.
  4. That is, did not kneel or submit to a blow, except when the King dubbed him a knight. Sir Konelm Digby tells us, that when King James I., who had an antipathy to a sword, dubbed him knight, had not the Duke of Buckingham guided his hand aright, in lieu of touching his shoulder, he had certainly run the point of it into his eye.
  5. A challenge; also an agreement in writing between parties or armies which are enemies. MS. Key.
  6. Swaddle.—This word has two opposite meanings, one to beat or cudgel, the other to bind up or swathe, hence swaddling clothes. See Johnson, Webster, &c.