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generally read and perpetually quoted. The wit of Butler has still preserved many lines; but Hudibras now attracts comparatively few readers. The eulogies of Johnson' seem rather adapted to what he remembered to have been the fame of Butler than to the feelings of the surrounding generation; and since his time new sources of amusement have sprung up, and writers of a more intelligible pleasantry have superseded those of the seventeenth century.
2. In the fiction of Hudibras there was never much to divert the reader, and there is still less left at present. But what has been censured as a fault — the length of dialogue, which puts the fiction out of sight-is, in fact, the source of all the pleasure that the work affords. The sense of Butler is masculine, his wit inexhaustible, and it is supplied from every source of reading and observation. But these sources are often so unknown to the reader that the wit loses its effect through the obscurity of its allusions, and he yields to the bane of wit-a purblind, molelike pedantry. His versification is sometimes spirited, and his rhymes humorous; yet he wants that ease and flow which we require in light poetry.
1“The poem of Hudibras is one of those compositions of which a nation may justly boast; as the images which it exhibits are domestic, the sentiments unborrowed and unexpected, and the strain of diction original and peculiar. ... If inexhaustible wit could give perpetual pleasure, no eye could ever leave half read the work of Butler; for what poet has ever brought so many remote images so happily together? It is scarcely possible to peruse a page without finding some association of images never found before. By the first paragraph the reader is amused, by the next he is delighted, and by a few more, strained to astonishment.”—DR. JOHNSON : Lives of the Poets.
EXTRACTS FROM HUDIBRAS. [INTRODUCTION.—Hudibras is a political satire, written in the mock-heroic vein, its aim being to ridicule the Puritans. There is, properly speaking, no plot in the poem. Sir Hudibras and his squire go forth to stop the amusements of the common people, against which the Rump Parliament has passed some severe laws. “It is,” says Angus, “in the description of the scenes in which they mingle, in the sketches of character, and in the most humorous dialogue in which the two heroes indulge that the power of the book consists."
The meter is iambic tetrameter-that is, the octosyllabic line of the legends of the Round Table and of the old Norman romances--and is scanned thus :
When civ'- 1 il dud'. I geon first' I grew high'.]
1.-ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF HUDIBRAS.
Notes. — Line 1. dudgeon, fury. By 2. they knew not why. This is, of course, “civil dudgeon” is meant the
L a royalist view; the stern Puricivil war which broke out in tans thought they knew pretty England in 1642, between Par well “why" they “fell out.” liament and Charles I. The 3. hard words. The reference is to the parliamentarians, in general, bei uncouth religious terms emlonged to the Puritan or Presby ployed by the Presbyterians. terian sect; while the royalists, 5. gospel-trumpeter. The reference is who called themselves Cava to the Puritan preachers, who, liers, were Episcopalians. The by their denunciations of royalconduct of the war on the side ty and episcopacy, did so much of Parliament soon fell into the to bring about the state of things hands of Oliver Cromwell, who that precipitated the civil war. carried it to a successful issue. 6. long-eared rout. “Rout” = crew, Charles I. was executed in 1649, set. The Puritans were called, and Cromwell became Lord in derision, Roundheads, on acProtector of England; but the count of their practice of crophouse of Stuart was restored in ping their hair short--a fashion 1660 in the person of Charles which “made their ears appear II.
to greater advantage."
LITERARY ANALYSIS. — 1-10. When civil ... a-colonelling. What kind of sentence is this rhetorically ?-What effect is gained by employing the term “dudgeon," a word belonging to the diction of burlesque?
And pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
A wight* he was, whose very sight would
We grant, although he had much wit,
7. drum ecclesiastie. Alluding to the colonel in the Parliamentary
vehement action of the Presby. | army.
he knelt to the king when he 9, 10. Sir Knight ... a-colonelling. “Sir knighted him, but on no other
Knight" is Sir Hudibras, the occasion.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—7. drum ecclesiastic. What figure is “drum ?" (See Def. 20.)–Observe the mock-majesty of placing the epithet after the noun.
7, 8. ecclesiastic ... a stick. It will be noted that each of these lines contains a redundant syllable; or, in the language of prosody, they are hypermeters. The speaking of "a stick” as one word with the stress upon a heightens the burlesque effect.
11. wight. Does this word belong to the grave or the burlesque style ? What term would probably be used in the grave style?
13. stubborn knee. Why “stubborn?”
19. to wear it out. Observe how the image suggested by this phrase is carried out in the simile in the last part of the sentence.
Besides, 'tis known he could speak Greek
25. difficile (pronounced diffic'ile), diffi generic nature and special prop. cult.
erties : this is called the method 30. had not one word: that is, did not of resolution," - DR. WATTS :
know one word of Greck or Logic.
33, 34. He could ... south - west side. 32. analytic. “Analytic method takes The reference is to the subtle
the whole compound as it finds distinctions made by the class
LITERARY ANALYSIS.--23-26. Besides ... whistle. Point out the two ludicrous comparisons in this sentence.-How is the ridiculous effect heightened by the rhymes ?
34. A hair 'twixt south, etc. What term, expressing the idea in this sentence, do we often apply to a person who makes needlessly fine distinctions ?
40. a lord may be an owl. What is the figure of speech? (See Def. 20.) What is the effect intended? (See Def. 27.)
A calf an alderman, a goose a justice,
12. committee-men. During the English 146. In mood and figure. “Mood” and
civil war there were formed, in “ figure” have reference to the several counties siding with Par nature and the order of the liament, committees composed three propositions in a sylloof such men as were for the gism.
"good cause," as it was called. 47. ope = open. 44. ratiocination, formal reasoning. 48. trope, a certain class of figures of 45. syllogism, the regular logical form speech, as metaphor, synecdo
of every argument, consisting che, etc.
fusion of tongues.
LITERARY ANALYSIS. - 41, 42. A call... trustees. Supply the ellipsis in these lines.
47-56. What two passages in this sentence are familiar quotations? Is it true that the rules of sound rhetoric teach one “nothing but to name his tools ?” Do they not also teach how to handle these tools ?
59. dialect. What is the grammatical construction of “dialect?"