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Or like a tumbler, that does play
His and look another way,
game,
Until he seize upon the coney:

355

Just so does he by matrimony.

But all in vain; her subtle snout

Did quickly wind his meaning out;

Which she return'd with too much scorn,
To be by man of honour born :

360

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,

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Or for a while play least in sight.

This resolution b'ing put on,

He kept some months, and more had done;
But being brought so nigh by fate,

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The victory he achiev'd so late
Did set his thoughts agog, and ope
A door to discontinu'd hope,
That seem'd to promise he might win
His dame too, now his hand was in:
And that his valour, and the honour

H' had newly gain'd, might work upon her:
These reasons made his mouth to water

With am'rous longings to be at her.

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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?
But thou bringst valour too and wit,
Two things that seldom fail to hit.
Valour's a mouse-trap wit a gin,
Which women oft are taken in.

Then, Hudibras, why shouldst thou fear
To be, that art a conqueror?

Fortune th' 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.

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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 corn,

Sits still, and shuts his round blue eyes,

405

As if he slept, until he spies

403. For the owl and the mouse vide figs. 7 and 4,

ante.

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 esconc'd;
And all th' avenues had possest
About the place, from east to west.

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That done, a while they made a halt,
To view the ground, and where t'assault: 420
Then call'd a council, which was best,
By siege or onslaught, to invest
The enemy; and 'twas agreed,
By storm and onslaught to proceed.
This b'ing resolv'd, in comely sort
They now drew up t'attack the fort;
When Hudibras, about to enter
Upon another-gate's adventure,

To Ralpho call'd aloud to arm,
Not dreaming of approaching storm.

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;

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The glory we did lately get,
The fates command us to repeat;
And to their wills we must succumb,
Quocunque 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 terror o'er our heads,

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They'll straight resume their wonted dreads:
Fear is an ague, that forsakes

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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.

475

464. The figure of a cat may be seen in the moon, as formed out of the streaks of light that cross Hudibras's person; her whiskered face on his shoulder, and open talons extended down his arm, just over the rat and mouse which are drawn in figure 4, ante; besides which there are other resemblances to mice there, just by those last mentioned, and one in particular just under the paw of the cat.

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:

480

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.
Mean while 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
Eneas on the bum withal;
Yet big enough, if rightly hurl'd,
T'have sent him to another world,
Whether above ground, or below,
Which saints twice dipt are destin'd to.
The danger startled the bold squire,
And made him some few steps retire.

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491. Observe, in the moon, the apparent action of the prototype of Orsin, who is drawn above in figure 15.

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