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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 fo evident and clear

(Befides his white gloves) as his handkercher; Unfolds the niceft fcruple fo diftinct,

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 fojourn
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 falfe:
For, whether 'tis their want of conversation,
Inclines them to all forts of affectation;
Their fedentary life and melancholy,
The everlasting nurfery of folly;

Their poring upon black and white too subtly
Has turn'd the infides of their brains to motley;
Or fquandering of their wits and time upon
Too many things, has made them fit for none;
Their constant overftraining of the mind
Distorts the brain, as horfes break their wind;
Or rude confufions of the things they read
Get up, like noxious vapours, in the head,
Until they have their conftant wanes, and fulls,
And changes, in the infides of their sculls ;

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Or venturing beyond the reach of wit
Has render'd them for all things elfe 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 t' outgrow the body.
For pedantry is but a corn or wart,
Bred in the skin of judgment, fenfe, and art,
A ftupify'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 forts, and virtuofos,

To read all authors to him with their gloffes,
And made his lacquies, when he walk'd, bear folios
Of dictionaries, lexicons, and fcholias,

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 confonants and vowels
Had crackt his fcull, 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 t' improve a feeble gamefter's study,
That ventures at grammatic beaft, or noddy;
Had read out all the catalogues of wares,

That come in dry vats o'er from Francfort fairs,
Whose authors ufe t' articulate their furnames
With fcraps 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 defign'd, as if it fell of course;
And all this with a worfe fuccefs than Cardan,
Who bought both books and learning at a bargain,
When, lighting on a philofophic fpell,
Of which he never knew one fyllable,
Presto, be gone, h' unriddled all he read,
As if he had to nothing else been bred.


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Or barbarous, or inhumane,

But, if it lay the least pretence

To piety and godliness,

Or tender-hearted confcience,
And zeal for gospel-truths profess,
Does facred instantly commence;

And all that dare but question it, are strait
Pronounc'd th' uncircumcis'd and reprobate :


This and the two following compofitions are the only ones that our Author wrote in this meafure; which fome readers may, perhaps, think too grave and folemn for the fubject, and the turn of Butler's wit. It must, however, be allowed, that he falls no way fhort of his ufual depth and reach of thought, keenness of satire, and acuteness of expreflion.

As malefactors, that escape and fly


Into a fanctuary for defence,

Must not be brought to justice thence,

Although their crimes be ne'er fo great and high;
And he that dares presume to do 't,

Is fentenc'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 fame outgoings feem t' infpire

Our modern felf-will'd Edifier,

That, out of things as far from fenfe, and more,

Contrives new light and revelation,

The creatures of th' imagination,
To worship and fall down before;

Of which his crack'd delufions draw
As monstrous images and rude,
As ever Pagan, to believe in, hew'd,
Or madman in a vision faw;
Mistakes the feeble impotence,
And vain delufions of his mind,




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