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Which we must manage at a rate
In northern climé a valrous knight at 1434 !
He oft in such attempts as these
This said, as yerst the Phrygian knight,
But from his empty stomach groan'd,!: 5.618 !
*V.1. When civil dudgeon, &c.] To take in dudgeon is inwardly to resent some injury or affront, and what is previous to actual fury. Butler here alludes to the temper of the nation previous to the actual breaking out of the great rebellion.
V. 2. And men fell out they knew not why.] It may justly be said they knew not why, since, as Lord Clarendon observes in his History of the Rebellion, “ the like peace and plenty, and universal tranquillity, was never enjoyed by any nation for ten years together, before those unhappy troubles began.” ' V. 3. When hard words, &c. By hard words Butler probably means the cant phrases used by the Presbyterians and sectaries of those times; such as gospel walking, gospel preaching, soul saving, elect, saints, the godly, the predestinate, and the like, which they applied to their own preachers and themselves; and such words, as papists, prelatists, malignants; reprobates, wicked, ungodly, and carnal minded, which they applied to all loyal persons, who were desirous of maintaining the established constitution in church and state,: by which they infused strange fears and jealousies into the heads of the people, and made them believe there was a formal design in the king and his ministers to deprive them of their religion and liberty. The licentiousness of the demagogues in parliament soon produced a corresponding sentiment among the people out of doors. They first raised mobs to drive the king out of his palace, and then raised regular forces to fight, as they falsely and wickedly pretended, for their religion. Among other expedients they used
to inflame the minds of the people, they set them against the Common Prayer, which they made them believe was the mass book in English, and nick-named it Porridge. They enraged them likewise against the surplice, calling it a rag of popedom, the whore of Babylon's smock, and the smock of the whore of Rome.
V. 6. As for a punk.] Sir Joho Suckling has expressed this thought a little more decently in the tragedy of Brennoralt:
“ Religion now is a young mistress here,
For which each man will fight and die at least;
Content to live with it in quietness." V. 8. Tho' not a man of them knew wherefore.] The greatest bigots are usually persons of the shallowest judgment, as was the case in those seditious and fanatical times, when women and the mcanest mechanics became zealous sticklers for controversies which none of them could be supposed to understand. An ingenious Italian, in Queen Elizabeth's days, gave this character of the Disciplinarians, who were the Puritans' predecessors, “ that the common people were wiser than the wisest of his nation; for here the very women and shopkeepers were better able to judge of predestination, and what laws were fit to be made concerning church government, than what were fit to be obeyed or demolished, that they were more able (or at least thought theniselves so) to raise and determine perplexed cases of conscience, than the most learned colleges in Italy; that men of slightest learning, or at least the most ignorant of the common people, were mad for a new, or a super or re-formation of religion. And in this they appeared like that man who would never leave to whet and whet his knife till there was no steel left to make it useful.”
V.9. When gospel trumpeter, surrounded.] Many of the Puritan soldiers were preachers, as well as military men; and in their discourses used to incite the people to rebellion, to fight, as they called it, the lord's battles, and to destroy the Amalekites root and branch, hip and thigh. By the Amalekites must be understood all that loved the king, the bishops, and the common prayer. After the civil war actually broke out, some of their preachers told them, that they should bind their kings in chains, and their nobles