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'Twas a strange riddle of a lady:
Not love, if any lov'd her: hey-day!
So cowards never use their might,
But against such as will not fight.
So some diseases have been found
Only to seize upon the sound.
He that gets her by heart, must say her
The back way, like a witch's prayer.
Meanwhile the knight had no small task,
To compass what he durst not ask:
He loves, but dares not make the motion;
Her ignorance is his devotion:
Like caitiff vile, that for misdeed
Rides with his face to rump of steed,
Or rowing scull, he's fain to love,
Look one way, and another move;
Or like a tumbler that does play
His game, and look another way,
Until he seize upon the coney,
Jus' so does he by matrimony.
But all in vain; her smbtle snout
Did quickly wind his meaning out;
Which she return'd with too much scorn,
To be by man of honour borne;
Yet much he bore, until the distress
He suffer'd from his spiteful mistress.
Did stir his stomach, and the pain,
He had endur'd from her disdain,
Turn'd to regret so resolute,
That he resolv'd to wave his suit,
And either to renounce her quite,
Or for a while play least in sight.
This resolution being put on,
He kept some months, and more had dome,
But being brought so nigh by Fate,
The victory he achiev'd so late
Did set his thoughts agog, and ope
A door to discontinued hope,
That seem'd to promise he might win
His dame too, now his hand was in;
And that his valour, and the honour
He 'ad newly gain'd, might work upon her:
These reasons made his mouth to water
With amorous longings to be at her.
Quoth he, unto himself, “Who knows
But this brave conquest o'er my foes
May reach her heart, and make that stoop,
As I but now have forc'd the troop
If nothing can oppugn love,
And virtue invious ways can prove,
What may not he confide to do,
That brings both love and virtue too 2
But thou bring'st valour too, and wit,
Two things that seldom fail to hit.
Valour's a mousetrap, wit a gin,
Which women oft are taken in :
Then, Hudibras, why should'st thou fear
To be, that art, a conqueror
Fortune the audacious doth juvare,
But lets the timidous miscarry:
Then, while the honour thou hast got
Is spick-and-span new, piping hot,
Strike her up bravely thou hadst best,
And trust thy fortune with the rest.”
Such thoughts as these the knight did keep,
More than his bangs, or fleas, from sleep;
And as an owl, that in a barn
Sees a mouse creeping in the corm,
Sits still, and shuts his round blue eyes,
As if he slept, until he spies

The little beast within his reach,
Then starts, and seizes on the wretch,
So from his couch the knight did start,
To seize upon the widow's heart,
Crying, with hasty tone, and hoarse,
“Ralpho, dispatch, to horse, to horse!”
And 'twas but time; for now the rout,
We left engag'd to seek him out,
By speedy marches were advanc'd
Up to the fort where he ensconc'd,
And all th’ avenues had possest,
About the place, from east to west.
That done, a while they made a halt
To view the ground, and where t' assault:
Then call'd a council, which was best,
By siege or onslaught, to invest
The enemy; and ’twas agreed

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To Ralpho call'd aloud to arm,
Not dreaming of approaching storm.
Whether dame Fortune, or the care
Of angel bad, or tutelar,
Did arm, or thrust him on a danger,
To which he was an utter stranger,
That foresight might, or might not, blot
The glory he had newly got,
Or to his shame it might be said,
They took him mapping in his bed,
To them we leave it to expound,
That deal in sciences profound.
His courser scarce he had bestrid,
And Ralpho that on which he rid,
When setting ope the postern gate,
Which they thought best to sally at,
The foe appeard, drawn up and drill’d,
Ready to charge them in the field.
This somewhat startled the bold knight.
Surpris'd with th' unexpected sight:
The bruises of his bones and flesh
He thought began to smert afresh:
Till, recollecting wonted courage,
His fear was soon converted to rage,
And thus he spoke: “The coward foe.
Whom we but now gave quarter to,
Look, yonder's rally'd, and appears
As if they had outrun their fears;
The glory we did lately get,

The Fates command us to repeat;

And to their wills we must succomb,
2uocumque trahunt, 'tis our doom.
This is the same numeric crew
Which we so lately did subdue ;
The self-same individuals that
Did run, as mice do from a cat,
When we courageously did wield
Our martial weapons in the field,
To tug for victory: and when
We shall our shining blades agen
Brandish in terrour o'er our heads,
They’ll straight resume their wonted dreads-
Fear is an ague, that forsakes
And haunts, by fits, those whom it takes;
And they'll opine they feel the pain
And blows they felt to-day again.
Then let us boldly charge them home,
And make no doubt to overcome.”

This said, his courage to inflame,

He call'd upon his mistress’ name,
His pistol next he cock'd anew, .
And out his nut-brown whinyard drew;
And, placing Ralpho in the front,
Reserv'd himself to bear the brunt,
As expert warriors use; then ply'd,
With iron heel, his courser's side,
Conveying sympathetic speed
From heel of knight to heel of steed.

Meanwhile the foe, with equal rage And speed, advancing to engage, Both parties now were drawn so close, Almost to come to handy blows, When Orsin first let fly a stone At Ralpho; not so huge a one As that which Diomed did maul freas on the bum withal ; Yet big enough, if rightly hurl’d, Thave sent him to another world, Whether above ground, or below, Which saints twice dipt are destin'd to. To danger startled the bold squire, And made him some few steps retire; But Hudibras advanc'd to 's aid, Androus'd his spirits, half dismay’d: He wisely doubting lest the shot oth enemy, now growing hot, Might at a distance gall, press'd close, To come pell-mell to handy-blows, And, that he might their aim decline, Advanc'd still in an oblique line; Bt prudently forebore to fire, Till breast to breast he had got nigher; As expert warriors use to do, When hand to hand they charge their foe. This order the adventurous knight, Most soldier-like, observed in fight, When Fortune (as she's wont) turn'd fickle, And for the foe began to stickle. The more shame for her goodyship To give so near a friend the slip. for Colon, choosing out a stone, lood so right, it thump'd upon His manly paunch with such a force, * almost beat him off his horse. He los'd his whinyard, and the rein, But laying fast hold on the mane, *tv'd his seat: and as a goose * leath contracts his talons close, So did the knight, and with one claw, The tricker of his pistol draw. The gun went off; and as it was Still fatal to stout Hudibras, * all his feats of arms, when least He dreamt of it, to prosper best, & now he far'd : the shot, let fly At random 'mong the enemy, *red Talgol's gabardine, and grazing lon his shoulder, in the passing lood in Magnano's brass habergeon, Woostraight, “A surgeon,” cry’d, “A surgeon.'” *tumbled down, and, as he fell, * “Murther, murther, murther p" yell. This startled their whole body so, * if the knight had not let go **ons, but been in warlike plight,

*** won (the second time) the fight;. of the squire had but fairnon, * had inevitably done.

But he, diverted with the care
Of Hudibras's hurt, forbare
To press th' advantage of his fortune,
While danger did the rest dishearten.
For he with Cerdon being engag’d
In close encounter, they both wag'd
The fight so well, 'twas hard to say
Which side was like to get the day.
And now the busy work of Death
Had tir'd them so, they 'greed to breathe,
Preparing to renew the fight,
When the disaster of the knight,
And th' other party, did divert
Their fell intent, and forc'd them part.
Ralpho press'd up to Hudibras,
And Cerdon where Magnano was,
Each striving to confirm his party
With stout encouragements and hearty.
Quoth Ralpho, “Courage, valiant sir,
And let revenge and honour stir
Your spirits up; once more fall on,
The shatter'd foe begins to run :
For if but half so well you knew
To use your victory, as subdue,
They durst not, after such a blow
As you have given them, face us now;
But, from so formidable a soldier,
Had fled like crows when they smell powder.
Thrice have they seen your sword aloft
Wav'd o'er their heads, and fled as oft;
But if you let them recollect
Their spirits, now dismay’d and checkt,
You'll have a harder game to play,
Than yet ye’ave had, to get the day.”
Thus spoke the stout squire, but was heard
By Hudibras with small regard.
His thoughts were fuller of the bang
He lately took, than Ralph's harangue;
To which he answer'd, “Cruel Fate
Tells me thy counsel comes too late.
The clotted blood within my hose,
That from my wounded body flows,
With mortal crisis doth portend
My days to appropinque an end.
I am for action now unfit,
Either of fortitude or wit.
Fortune, my foe, begins to frown,
Resolv'd to pull my stomach down.
I am not apt, upon a wound,
Or trivial basting, to despond;
Yet I'd be loth my days to curtail;
For if I thought my wounds not mortal,
Or that we 'ad time enough as yet
To make an honourable retreat,
"Twere the best course; but if they find
We fly, and leave our arms behind,
For them to seize on, the dishonour,
And danger too, is such, I'll sooner
Stand to it boldly, and take quarter,
To let them see I am no starter.
In all the trade of war no feat
Is nobler than a brave retreat:
For those that run away, and fly,
Take place at least o' th' enemy.”
This said, the squire, with active speed,
Dismounted from his bony steed,
To seize the arms, which, by mischance,
Fell from the bold knight in a trance:
These being found out, and restor'd
To Hudibras, their natural lord,

As a man may say, with might and main He hasted to get up again. Thrice he essay’d to mount aloft, But, by his weightv bum, as oft *He was pull'd back, till having found Th' advantage of the rising ground, Thither he led his warlike steed, And having plac'd him right, with speed Prepar'd again to scale the beast, When Orsin, who had newly drest The bloody scar upon the shoulder Of Talgol, with Promethean powder, And now was searching for the shot That laid Magnano on the spot, Beheld the sturdy squire aforesaid, Preparing to climb up his horse-side; He left his cure, and laying hold Upon his arms, with courage bold Cry’d out, “"Tis now no-time to dally, The enemy begin to rally; Let us that are unhurt and whole Fall on, and happy man be 's dole.” This said, like to a thunderbolt, He flew with fury to th' assault, Striving th' enemy to attack Before he reach'd his horse's back. Ralpho was mounted now, and gotten O'erthwart his beast with active vau'ting, Wriggling his body to recover His seat, and cast his right leg over; When Orsin, rushing in, bestow'd On horse and man so heavy a load, The beast was startled, and begun To kick and fling like mad, and run, Bearing the tough squire like a sack, Or stout king Richard, on his back; Till, stumbling, he threw him down, Sore bruis'd, and cast into a swoon. Meanwhile the knight began to rouse The sparkles of his wonted prowess: He thrust his hand into his hose, And found, both by his eyes and nose, 'Twas only choler, and not blood, That from his wounded body flow'd. This, with the hazard of the squire, Inflam'd him with despiteful ire; Courageously he fac'd about, And drew his other pistol out; And now had half way bent the cock, When Cerdon gave so fierce a shock, - With sturdy truncheon, thwart his arm, That down it fell, and did no harm; Then, stoutly pressing on with speed, Assay’d to pull him off his steed. The knight his sword had only left, With which he Cerdon's head had cleft, Or at the least crop'd off a limb, But Orsin came, and rescued him. He with his lance attack'd the knight Upon his quarters opposite: But as a bark, that in foul weather, Toss'd by two adverse winds together, Is bruis'd and beaten to and fro, And knows not which to turn him to; So far'd the knight between two foes, And knew not which of them to oppose; Till Orsin, charging with his lance At Hudibras, by spiteful chance Hit Cerdon such a bang, as stunn'd And laid him flat upon the ground.

At this the knight began to cheer up,
And, raising up himself on stirrup,
Cry'd out, “Victorial lie thou there,
And I shall straight dispatch another
To bear thee company in death;
out first I’ll halt a while, and breathe:”
As well he might; for Orsin, griev'd
At th' wound that Cerdon had receiv'd,
Ran to relieve him with his lore,
And cure the hurt he gave before.
Meanwhile the knight had wheel'd about
To breathe himself, and next find out
Th’ advantage of the ground, where best
He might the rufiled foe infest. -
This being resolv'd, he spurr'd his steed,
To run at Orsin with full speed,
While he was busy in the care
Of Cerdon's wound, and unaware;
But he was quick, and had already
Unto the part apply'd remedy;
And, seeing th' enemy prepar'd,
Drew up, and stood upon his guard:
Then, like a warrior right expert
And skilful in the martial art,
The subtle knight straight made a halt,
And judg'd it best to stay th'assault,
Until he had reliev'd the squire,
And them (in order) to retire;
Or, as occasion should invite,
With forces join'd renew the fight.
Ralpho, by this time disentranc'd,
Upon his bum himself advanc'd,
Though sorely bruis'd; his limbs all o'er
With ruthless bangs were stiff and sore:
Right fain he would have got upon
His feet again, to get him gone,
When Hudibras to aid him came.
Quoth he (and call'd him by his name)
“Courage, the day at length is ours,
And we once more, as conquerors,
Have both the field and honour won;
The foe is profligate and run:
I mean all such as can, for some
This hand hath sent to their long home;
And some lie sprawling on the ground,
With many a gash and bloody wound.
Caesar himself could never say
He got two victories in a day,
As I have done, that can say, twice I
In one day veni, vidi, vici.
The foe's so numerous, that we
Cannot so often vincere,
And they perire, and yet enow
Be left to strike an after-blow;
Then, lest they rally, and once more
Put us to fight the business o'er,
Get up, and mount thy steed; dispatch,
And let us both their motions watch.”
Quoth Ralph, “I should not, if I were
In case for action, now be here;
Nor have I turn'd my back, or hang'd
An arse, for fear of being bang'd.
It was for you I got these harms,
Adventuring to fetch off your arms.
The blows and drubs I have receiv'd
Have bruis'd my body, and bereav'd
My limbs of strength: unless you stoop,
And reach your hands to pull me up,
I shall lie here, and be a prey
To those who now are run away.”

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“That thou shalt not,” quoth Hudibras;
We read, the ancients held it was
More honourable far servare
Gren, than slay an adversary;
The one we oft to day have done,
The other shall dispatch anon:
And though thou'rt of a different church,
3 will not leave thee in the lurch.”
This said, he jogg’d his good steed nigher,
And steer'd him gently towards the squire,
Then, bowing down his body, stretch'd
His hand out, and at Ralpho reach'd;
When Trulla, whom he did not mind,
Charz'd him like lightening behind.
She had been long in search about
Magnano's wound, to find it out,
But rould find none, nor where the shot
That had so startled him was got:
But, having found the worst was past,
She fell to her own work at last,
The pillage of the prisoners,
Whi-h in all feats of arms was her's;
** now to plunder Ralph she flew,
When Hudibras's hard fate drew
To succour him; for as he bow’d
To help him up, she laid a load
of Skows so heavy, and plac'd so well,
on th' other side, that down he fell.
* Yield, scoundrel base,” quoth she, “or die;
Thy life is mine, and liberty;
But if thou think'st I took thee tardy,
Aid dar'st presume to be so hardy
To try thy fortune o'er afresh,
I'll wave my title to thy flesh,
Thy arms and baggage, now my right,
And, if thou hast the heart to try’t,
s's lend thee back thyself a while,
And once more, for that carcass vile,
Fisht upon tick.”—Quoth Hudibras,
“Thon offer'st nobly, valiant lass,
And I shall take thee at thy word.
First let me rise and take my sword;
That sword, which has so oft this day
Through squadrons of my foes made way,
And some to other worlds dispatcht,
Now with a feeble spinster matcht,
Will blush, with blood ignoble stain'd,
By which no honour’s to be gain'd:
Bot if thou 'It take m'advice in this,
Consider, whilst thou may'st, what 'tis
To interrupt a victor's course,
P’ opposing such a trivial force:
For if with conquest I come off,
(And that I shall do sure enough)
Quarter thou canst not have, nor grace,
By law of arms, in such a case;
Both which I now do offer freely.”
“I scorn,” quoth she, “thou coxcomb silly,
(Clapping her hand upon her breech,
To show how much she priz'd his speech)
Quarter or counsel from a foe;
If thou canst force me to it, do:
But lest it should again be said,
When I have once more won thy head,
I took thee napping, unprepar'd,
Arm, and betake thee to thy guard.”

This said, she to her tackle fell,
And on the knight let fall a peal
Of blows so fierce, and press'd so home,
That he retir’d, and follow'd 's bum. -

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More than the danger he was in,
The blows he felt, or was to feel,
Although th' already made him reel;
Honour, despight, revenge, and shame,
At once into his stomach came;
Which fir’d it so, he rais'd his arm
Above his head, and rain’d a storm
Of blows so terrible and thick,
As if he meant to hash her quick:
But she upon her truncheon took them,
And by oblique diversion broke them,
Waiting an opportunity
To pay all back with usury,
Which long she fail'd not of; for now
The knight with one dead-doing blow
Resolving to decide the fight,
And she with quick and cunning sleight
Avoiding it, the force and weight
He charg’d upon it was so great,
As almost sway’d him to the ground:
No sooner she th' advantage found,
But in she flew ; and seconding,
With home-made thrust, the heavy swing,
She laid him flat upon his side,
And, mounting on his trunk astride,
Quoth she, “I told thee what would come
Of all thy vapouring, base scum:
Say, will the law of arms allow
I may have grace and quarter now 2
Or wilt thou rather break thy word,
And stain thine honour, than thy sword 2
A man of war to damn his soul,
In basely breaking his parole;
And when before the fight, th’ had'st vow'd
To give no quarter in cold blood;
Now thou hast got me for a Tartar,
To make m' against my will take quarter,
Why dost not put me to the sword,
But cowardly fly from thy word *"
Quoth Hudibras, “The day's thine own;
Thou and thy stars have cast me down:
My laurels are transplanted now,
And flourish on thy conquering brow:
My loss of honour's great cnough,
Thou needst not brand it with a scoff:
Sarcasms may eclipse thine own,
But cannot blur my lost renown:
I am not now in Fortune's power,
He that is down can fall 'no lower.
The ancient heroes were illustrious
For being benign and not blustrous
Against a vanquish’d foe: their swords
Were sharp and trenchant, not their words;
And did in fight but cut work out
To employ their courtesies about.”
Quoth she, “Although thou hast deserv'd,
Base Slubberdegullion, to be serv'd
As thou didst vow to deal with me,
If thou hadst got the victory,
Yet I shall rather act a part
That suits my fame, than thy desert. .
Thy arms, thy liberty, beside
All that's on th’ outside of thy hide,
Are mine by military law,
Of which I will not bate one straw;
The rest, thy life and limbs, once more,
Though doubly forfeit, I restore.”

Quoth Hudibras, “It is too late, For me to treat or stipulate; What thou command'st I must obey; Yet those whom I expung'd to-day, Of thine own party, I let go, And gave them life and freedom too, Both dogs and bear, upon their parole, Whom I took prisoners in this quarrel.” Quoth Trulla, “Whether thou or they Let one another run away, Concerns not me; but was 't not thou That gave Crowdero quarter too : Crowdero whom, in irons bound, Thou basely threw'st into Lob's pound, Where still he lies, and with regret His generous bowels rage and fret: But now thy carcass shall redeem, And serve to be exchang'd for him.” This said, the knight did straight submit, And laid his weapons at her feet. Next he disrob'd his gabardine, And with it did himself resign. She took it, and, forthwith divesting The mantle that she wore, said jesting, “Take that, and wear it for my sake;” Then threw it o'er his sturdy back. And as the French, we conquer'd once, Now give us laws for pantaloons, The length of breeches, and the gathers, Port-cannons, periwigs, and feathers, Just so the proud insulting lass Array'd and dighted Hudibras. Meanwhile the other champions, yerst In hurry of the fight disperst, Arriv'd, when Trulla won the day, To share i' th' honour and the prey, And out of Hudibras's hide With vengeance to be satisfy'd; Which now they were about to pour Upon him in a wooden shower, But Trulla thrust herself between, And striding o'er his back again, She brandish'd o'er her head his sword, And vow'd they should not break her word; She 'ad giv'n him quarter, and her blood, Or theirs, should make that quarter good; For she was bound, by law of arms, Tos e him safe from further harms. In a ungeon deep Crowdero, cast By Hudibras, as yet lay fast, Where, to the hard and ruthless stones, His great heart made perpetual moans; Him she resolv'd that Hudibras Should ransom, and supply his place. This stopp'd their fury, and the basting Which towards Hudibras was hasting ; They thought it was but just and right That what she had achiev'd in fight She should dispose of how she pleas'd; Crowdero ought to be releas'd: Nor could that any way be done So well as this she pitch’d upon: For who a better could imagine? This therefore they resolv'd to engage in. The knight and squire first they made Rise from the ground where they were laid; Then, mounted both upon their horses, But with their faces to the arses, Orsin led Hudibras's beast, And Talgol that which Ralpho prest;

Whom stout Magnano, valiant Cerdon,
And Colon, waited as a guard on ;
All ushering Trulla in the rear,
With th' arms of either prisoner.
In this proud order and array
They put themselves upon their way,
Striving to reach th' enchanted castle,
Where stout Crowdero in durance lay still.
Thither, with greater speed than shows
And triumph over conquer'd foes
Do use t' allow, or than the bears,
Or pageants borne before lord-mayors,
Are wont to use, they soon arriv'd,
In order soldier-like contriv'd,
Still marching in a warlike posture,
As fit for battle as for muster.
The knight and squire they first unhorse,
And bending 'gainst the fort their force,
They all advanc'd, and round about
Begirt the magical redoubt.
Magman' led up in this adventure,
And made way for the rest to enter:
For he was skilful in black art,
No less than he that built the fort,
And with an iron mace laid flat
A breach, which straight all enter'd at,
And in the wooden dungeon found
Crowdero laid upon the ground:
Him they release from durance base,
Restor'd t” his fiddle and his case,
And liberty, his thirsty rage
With luscious vengeance to assuage;
For he no sooner was at large,
But Trulla straight brought on the charge,
And in the self-same limbo put
The knight and squire where he was shut;
Where leaving then in Hockley-i'-th'-hole,
Their bangs and durance to condole,
Confin'd and conjur'd into narrow
Enchanted mansion to know sorrow,
In the same order and array
which they advanc'd, they march'd away:
But Hudibras, who scorn'd to stoop
To Fortune, or be said to droop,
Cheer'd up himself with ends of verse,
And sayings of philosophers.
Quoth he, “Th’ one half of man, his mind,
Is sui juris, unconfin'd,
And cannot be laid by the heels,
Whate'er the other moiety feels.
'Tis not restraint, or liberty,
That makes men prisoners or free;
But perturbations that possess *
The mind, or equanimities.
The whole world was not half so wide
To Alexander, when he cry'd,
Because he had but one to subdue,
As was a paltry narrow tub to
Diogenes; who is not said
(For aught that ever I could read)
To whine, put finger i' th' eye, and sob,
Because he 'ad ne'er another tub.
The ancients make two several kinds
Of prowess in heroic minds,
The active and the passive val'ant,
Both which are pari libra gallant;
For both to give blows, and to carry
In fights are equi-necessary: -
But in defeats the passive stout
Are always found to stand it out

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