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Whilst all the best and soberest things he does,
Are when he coughs, or spits, or blows his nose ;
Handles no point so evident and clear
(Besides his white gloves) as his handkercher;
Unfolds the nicest scruple so distinct,
As if his talent had been wrapt up in 't
Unthriftily, and now he went about
Henceforward to improve and put it out.

THE pedants are a mongrel breed, that sojourn Among the ancient writers and the modern; And, while their studies are between the one And th' other spent, have nothing of their own ; Like spunges, are both plants and animals, And equally to both their natures false : For, whether 'tis their want of conversation, Inclines them to all sorts of affectation; Their sedentary life and melancholy, The everlasting nursery of folly ; Their poring upon black and white too fubtly Has turn'd the insides of their brains to motley ; Or squandering of their wits and time upon Too many things, has made them fit for none; Their conitant overstraining of the mind Distorts the brain, as horfes break their wind; Or rude confusions of the things they read Get up, like noxious vapours, in the head, Until they have their constant wanes, and fulls, And changes, in the insides of their sculls ;

Or venturing beyond the reach of wit
Has render'd them for all things else unfit;
But never bring the world and books together,
And therefore never rightly judge of either ;
Whence multitudes of reverend men and critics
Have got a kind of intellectual rickets,
And, by th' immoderate excess of study,
Have found the fickly head toutgrow the body.

For pedantry is but a corn or wart,
Bred in the skin of judgment, sense, and art,
A stupify'd excrescence, like a wen,
Fed by the peccant humours of learn'd men,
That never grows from natural defects
Of downright and untutor’d intellects,
But from the over-curious and vain
Distempers of an artificial brain-

So he that once ftood for the learned ft man,
Had read out Little-Britain and Duck-Lane ;
Worn out his reason, and reduc'd his body
And brain to nothing with perpetual study ;
Kept tutors of all sorts, and virtuosos,
To read all authors to him with their glosses,
And made his lacquies, when he walk’d, bear folios
Of dictionaries, lexicons, and scholias,
To be read to him every way the wind
Should chance to fit, before him or behind ;
Had read out all th’ imaginary duels
That had been fought by consonants and vowels ;
Had crackt his scull, to find out proper places
To lay up all memoirs of things in cases;


And practis'd all the tricks upon the charts,
To play with packs of sciences and arts,
That serve & improve a feeble gamester's study,
That ventures at grammatic beast, or noddy ;
Had read out all the catalogues of wares,
That come in dry vats o'er from Francfort fairs,
Whose authors use t' articulate their surnames
With scraps of Greek more learned than the Germans;
Was wont to scatter books in every room,
Where they might best be seen by all that come,
And lay a train that naturally should force
What he design'd, as if it fell of course ;
And all this with a worse success than Cardan,
Who bought both books and learning at a bargain,
When, lighting on a philofophic spell,
Of which he never knew one syllable,
Presto, be gone, h' unriddled all he read,
As if he had to nothing else been bred.


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HERE's nothing so absurd, or vain,

Or barbarous, or inhumane,
But, if it lay the least pretence
To piety and godliness,
Or tender-hearted conscience,
And zeal for gospel-truths profess,
Does sacred instantly commence;
And all that dare but question it, are strait
Pronounc'd th' uncircumcis'd and reprobate :

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This and the two following compositions are the only ones that our Author wrote in this measure; which some readers may, perhaps, think too grave and folemn for the subject, and the turn of Butler's wit. It muít, however, be allowed, that he falls no way short of his usual depth and reach of thought, keenness of satire, and acuteness of expression.


As malefactors, that escape and fly
Into a sanctuary for defence,
Must not be brought to justice thence,
Although their crimes be ne'er so great and high ;
And he that dares presume to do it,
Is sentenc'd and deliver'd-up

To Satan, that engag'd him to 't,
For venturing wickedly to put a stop
To his immunities and free affairs,
Or meddle faucily with theirs
That are employ’d by him, while he and they
Proceed in a religious and a holy way.



And, as the Pagans heretofore
Did their own handyworks adore,
And made their stone and timber deities,
Their temples and their altars, of one piece ;
The same outgoings seem t' inspire
Our modern self-willid Edifier,
That, out of things as far from sense, and more,
Contrives new light and revelation,
The creatures of th' imagination,
To worship and fall down before ;
Of which his crack'd delusions draw
As monstrous images and rude,
As ever Pagan, to believe in, hew'd,
Or madman in a vision saw ;
Mistakes the feeble impotence,
And vain delusions of his mind,




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