Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

barrasses him with absurd distresses, he gives him so much sense and virtue as may preserve our esteem : wherever he is, or whatever he does, he is made by matchless dexterity commonly ridiculous, but never contemptible.

But for poor Hudibras, his poet had no tenderness: he chuses not that any pity should be shewn or respect paid him: he gives him up at once to laughter and contempt, without any quality that can dignify or protect him.

In forming the character of Hudibras, and describing his person and habiliments, the author seems to labour with a tumultuous confusion of dissimilar ideas. He had read the history of the mock knights errant; he knew the notions

and. and manners of a presbyterian magistrate, and tried to unite the absurdities of both, however diftant, in one personage. Thus he gives him that pedantick oftentation of knowledge which has no relation to chivalry, and loads him with martial encumbrances that can add nothing to his civil dignity.' He sends him out a colonelling, and yet never brings him within sight of war. ,

If Hudibras be considered as the representative of the Presbyterians, it is not easy to say why his weapons should be represented as ridiculous or useless; for, whatever judgement might be paffed upon their knowledge or their arguments, experience had sufficiently Town 0.2

that

that their swords were not to be despised.

The hero, thus compounded of swaggerer and pedant, of knight and justice, is led forth to action, with his squire Ralpho, an Independant enthusiast.

Of the contexture of events planned by the author, which is called the action of the poem, fince it is left imperfect, no judgement can be made. It is probable that the hero was to be led through many luckless adventures, which would give occasion, like his attack upon the bear and fiddle, to expose the ridiculous rigour of the sectaries; like his encounter with Sidrophel and Whacuin, to make superstition and cre. dulity contemptible; or, like his recourse

to

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

laft, ugh

that their swords were not to be despised.

The hero, thus compounded of swaggerer and pedant, of knight and justice, is led forth to action, with his squire Ralpho, an Independant enthusiast.

Of the contexture of events planned by the author, which is called the action of the poem, since it is left imperfect, no judgement can be made. It is probable that the hero was to be led through many luckless adventures, which would give occafion, like his attack upon the bear and fiddle, to expose the ridiculous rigour of the sectaries ; like his encounter with Sidrophel and Whacuin, to make superstition and credulity contemptible; or, like his recourse

to

« ПредишнаНапред »