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With roof so low, that under it
1150 By strange inchantment made to fetter The lesser parts and free the greater; For tho’ the body may creep through, The hands in grate are fast enow: And when a circle 'bout the wrist
(1155 Is made by beàdle exorcist, The body feels the spur and switch, As if 't were ridden post by witch, At twenty miles an hour pace, And yet ne’er stirs out of the place. 1160 On top of this there is a spire, On which Sir Knight first bids the Squire,
The Fiddle, and its spoils, the case,
HISTORICAL, CRITICAL, AND EXPLANATORY.
PART I. CANTO II.
Argument, V. 8. Then shuts him fast in wooden bastile.] There is no particular in which Butler is more remarkable, than for the propriety and happiness of his allusions. To call a pair of stocks a pair of stocks, would have been a great degradation of the dignity of his hero; and therefore he got over the difficulty by bestowing on them the epithet of wooden bastile, borrowed from the French bastile, then the most celebrated state prison in Europe, and which it is too well known here to be related, was destroyed at the commencement of the French revolution, in 1789.
V. 2. That had read Alexander Ross over.) Alexander Ross was a Scotch divine, and one of the chaplains to Charles I. He wrote a book entitled ' A View of all Religions in the World, from the Creation to his own Time.' In naming him our poet probably had nothing more in view than to ridicule those compilers who, without any portion of taste or judgment, and with very little learning, esteem themselves capable of treating of the most abstruse subjects. V. 5-6. Just as romances are, for what else
". Is in them all than love and battles?] This is a satire on romances, where the chief incidents are made up of love-adventures, or quarrels. V. 15-6. Like those who a whole street do raze,
To build a palace in the place.] Our poet probably here alludes to the building of Somerset-house in the Strand, for which one parish church, and three episcopal houses in the Strand, were