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This being discover'd, put them all
Was rais'd, and planted full against the Moon, Into a fresh and fiercer brawl,
And all the rest stood ready to fall on, Asham'd that men so grave and wise
Impatient who should bear away the honour Should be chaldes'd by gnats and flies,
To plant an ensign, first of all, upon her. And take the feeble insects swarms
When one, who for his solid deep belief For mighty troops of men at arms;
Was chosen virtuoso then in chief, As vain as those who, when the Moon
Had been approv'd the most profound and wise Bright in a crystal river shone,
At solving all impossibilities, Threw casting nets as subtly at her,
With gravity advancing, to apply To catch and pull her out o' th' water.
To th’ optic glass his penetrating eye, But when they had unscrew'd the glass,
Cry'd out, “O strange !”--then reinforc'd his sight To find out where th' impostor was,
Against the Moon with all his art and might, And saw the mouse, that, by mishap,
And bent the muscles of his pensive brow, Had made the telescope a trap,
As if he meant to stare and gaze her through; Amaz'd, confounded, and amicted,
While all the rest began as much t'admire, To be so openly convicted,
And, like a powder train, from him took fire, Immediately they get them gone,
Surpris'd with dull amazement beforehand, With this discovery alone:
At what they would, but could not understand, That those who greedily pursue
And grew impatient to discover what Things wonderful instead of true,
The matter was they so much wonder'd at. That in their speculations choose
Quoth he, “ The old inhabitants o' th' Moon, To make discoveries strange news,'
Who, when the Sun shines hottest about noon, And natural history a Gazette
Are wont to live in cellars under ground, Of tales stupendous and far-fet,
Of eight miles deep, and more than eighty round, Hold no truth worthy to be known,
In which at once they use to fortify That is not huge and overgrown,
Against the sunbeams and the enemy, And explicate appearances,
Are counted borough-towns and cities there, Not as they are, but as they please,
Because th' inhabitants are civiller = In vain strive Nature to suborn,
Than those rude country peasants, that are found, And, for their pains, are paid with scorn.
Like mountaineers, to live on th' upper ground,
And now both armies, mortally enrag'd,
And many fall on both sides kill'd and slain,
As by the telescope 'tis clear and plain, A virtuous, learn’d society, of late,
Look in it quickly then, that every one The pride and glory of a foreign state,
May see his share before the battle 's done." Made an agreement, on a summer's night,
At this a famous great philosopher, To search the Moon at full by her own light; Admir'd, and celebrated, far and near, To take a perfect inventory of all
As one of wondrous singular invention, Her real fortunes, or her personal ;
And equal universal comprehension ; And make a geometrical survey
[By which he had compos'd a pedlar's jargon, Of all ber lands, and how her country lay, For all the world to learn, and use in bargain, As accurate as that of Ireland, where
An universal canting idiom,
For he had very lately undertook
May by more admirable art be brought And stock her country with inhabitants
To see with empty holes, as well and plain Of military men and elephants :
As if their eyes had been put in again. For th' ancients only took her for a piece
This great man, therefore, having fix'd his sight Of red-hot iron as big as Peloponnese,
Ty observe the bloody formidable fight,
“ 'Tis true, the battle's desperately fought;
“ These paltry.domineering Privolvans By which they venture Heaven itself t assail, Have, every summer-season, their campaigns,
IN LONG VERSE.
· This and the following verses, to the end of tion; and are distinguished, as well as the rest of be paragraph, are not in the foregoing composi- the same kind, by being printed with brackets.
And muster, like the military sons
And that those vast and monstrous creatures there Of Rawhead and victorious Bloodybones,
Are not such far-fet rarities as here." As great and numerous as Soland geese
Meanwhile th' assembly now had had a sight l'th' summer-islands of the Orcades,
Of all distinct particulars o'th' fight,
And every man, with diligence and care,
When one, who for his fame and excellence
In heightening of words and shadowing sense, From th' old Arcadians they have been believ'd And magnifying all he ever writ To be, before the Moon herself, deriv'd,
With delicate and microscopic wit, And, when her orb was first of all created, Had long been magnify'd himself no less To be from thence to people her translated : In foreign and domestic colleges, For, as those people had been long reputed, Began, at last (transported with the twang Of all the Peloponnesians, the most stupid, Of his own elocution) thus tharangue. Whom nothing in the world could ever bring “ Most virtuous and incomparable friends, T'endure the civil life, but fiddling,
This great discovery fully makes amends They ever since retain the antique course
For all our former unsuccessful pains, And native frenzy of their ancestors,
And lost expenses of our time and brains : And always use to sing and fiddle to
For, by this admirable phenomenon, Things of the most important weight they do." We now have gotten ground upon the Moon, While thus the virtuoso entertains
And gaind a pass, t'engage and hold dispute The whole assembly with the Privolvans,
With all the other planets that stand out; Another sophist, but of less renown,
And carry on this brave and virtuous war
Home to the door of th’ obstinatest star,
And plant our warlike engines, and our ensigns,
Or only windows in the Empyreum, Than ever mortal tube or eye beheld!
Through which tbose bright effluvias use to come; A mighty elephant from one of those
Which Archimede, so many years ago,
But greater things !--benceforth to be believ'd, Look quickly; lest the only sight of us
And have no more our best or worst designs, Should cause the startled creature to imboss. Because they 're ours, suspected for ill signs. It is a large one, and appears more great
T" out-throw, and maguify, and to enlarge, Than ever was produc'd in Afric yet;
Shall, henceforth, be no more laid to our charge; From which we confidently may infer,
Nor shall our best and ablest virtuosis
Prove arguments again for coffee-houses;
Nor shall our new-invented chariots draw
The boys to course us in them without law; (The same Arcadia being but a piece,
(Make chips of elms produce the largest trees, As his dominions were, of antique Greece)
Or sowing saw-dust furnish nurseries : To vindicate what this illustrious person
No more our heading darts (a swinging one!) Has made so learn'd and noble a discourse on, With butter only harden'd in the sun : And given us ample satisfaction all
Or men that use to whistle loud enough Of th' ancient Privolvans' original.
To be heard by others plainly five miles off, “ That elephants are really in the Moon, 'Cause all the rest, we own and have a vow'd, Although our fortune had discover'd none,
To be believ'd as desperately loud.] Is easily made plain, and manifest,
Nor shall our future speculations, whether
Of all our usual scrutinies and us,
As well in consort try'd as solitary,
And that th' assembly is uncertain when
Their several axes, the rapidity Such great discoveries will occur again,
Of both their motions cannot fail to be 'Tis reasonable we should, at least, contrive So violent, and naturaliy fast, To draw up as exact a narrative
That larger distances may well be past Of that which every man of us can swear
In less time than the elephant has gone, Our eyes themselves have plainly seen appear, Although he had no motion of his own; That, when 'tis fit to publish the account,
Which we on Earth can take no measure of, We all may take our several oaths upon 't." As you have made it evident by proof.
This said, the whole assembly gave consent This granted, we may confidently hence To drawing up th' authentic instrument,
Claim title to another inference,
And make this wonderful phenomenon
And prove the motion of the Earth from this.” A meinber peeping in the tube by chance,
This said, th' assembly now were satisfy'da Beheld the elephant begin t'advance,
As men are soon upon the bias'd side; That from the west-by-north side of the Moon With great applause receiv'd th' admir'd dispute, To th' east-by-south was in a moment gone. And grew more gay, and brisk, and resolute, This being related, gave a sudden stop
By having (right or wrong) remov'd all doubt,
Resolving to complete their narrative,
But while their grandees were diverted all
With nicely wording the memorial, Resolv'd, as suddenly, to make it good,
The footboys, for their own diversion, too,
As having nothing, now, at all to do,
While every one was thus resolv'd, a man (With drills' and monkeys' ingenuity,
That take delight to practise all they see,] " 'Tis strange, I grant! but who, alas! can say Began to stare and gaze upon the Moon, What cannot be, or justly can, and may ?
As those they waited on before had done : Especially at so hugely wide and vast
When one, whose turn it was by chance to perp, A distance as this miracle is plac'd,
Saw something in the lofty engine creep, Where the least errour of the glass, or sight, And, viewing carefully, discover'd more May render things amiss, but never right? Than all their masters hit upon before. Nor can we try them, when they 're so far off, Quoth he, “ () strange! a little thing is slunk By any equal sublunary proof:
On th' inside of the long star-gazing trunk,
And now is gotten down so low and nigh,
This chancing to be overheard by one
Who was not yet so hugely overgrown The same efforts she uses to confer
In any philosophic observation,
As to conclude with mere imagination,
A plair er way, and more significant,
Than all their hints had prov'd o' th' elephant; From hence may be inferr'd, that, though I grant And quickly found, upon a second view, We have beheld i'th' Moon an elephant,
His own conjecture, probably, most true; That elephant may chance to differ so
For he no sooner had apply'd his eve
To th’ optic engine, but immediately
The hollow telescope, and, shut between
And prov'd the happy virtuous occasion
Of all this deep and learned dissertation. This said, another member of great worth, And, as a mighty mountain, heretofore, Fam'd for the learned works he had put forth, Is said t' have been got with child, and bore Tin which the mannerly and modest author A silly mouse, this captive mouse, as strange, Quotes the right worshipful his elder brother,] Produc'd another mountain in exchange. Look'd wise a while, then said—“ All this is true, Meanwhile the grandees, long in consultation, And very learnedly observ'd by you ;
Had finish'd the miraculous narration, But there 's another nobler reason for 't,
And set their hands, and seals, and sense, and wit, That, rightly observ'd, will fall but little short T attest and vouch the truth of all they 'ad writ, Of solid mathematic demonstration,
When this unfortunate phenomenon (pon a full and perfect calculation;
Confounded all they had declar'd and done: And that is only this-As th’ Earth and Moon For 'twas no sooner told and hinted at, Du constantly more contrary upon
But all the rest were in a tumult strait, VOL. VIII.
More hot and furiously enrag'd by far,
(For which they have deserr'd to run the risks Than both the hosts that in the Moon made war, Of elder-sticks, and penitential frisks.] To find so rare and admirable a hint,
How much, then, ought we have a special care, When they had all agreed and sworn t' have seen’t, That none presume to know above his share, And had engag'd theinselves to make it out, Nor take upon him t' understand, henceforth, Obstructed with a wretched paltry doubt.
More than his weekly contribution 's worth? When one, whose only task was to determine That all those that have purchas'd of the college And solve the worst appearances of vermin, A half, or but a quarter sbare, of knowledge, Who oft had made profound discoveries
And brought none in themselves, but spent repute, In frogs and toads, as well as rats and mice, Should never be admitted to dispute, (Though not so curious and exact, 'tis true, Nor any member undertake to know As many an exquisite rat-catcher knew)
More than his equal dividend comes to ? After he had a while with signs made way
For partners have perpetually been known For something pertinent he had to say,
T'impose upon their public interest prone; At last prevailid Quoth he, “ This disquisition And, if we have not greater care of ours, Is, the one half of it, in my discission ;
It will be sure to run the self-same course." For though 'tis true the elephant, as beast,
This said, the whole society allow'd Belongs, of natural right, to all the rest,
The doctrine to be orthodox and good, The mouse, that is but a paltry vermin, none And, from the apparent truth of what they 'ad heard, Can claim a title to but I alone;
Resolv'd, henceforth, to give truth no regard, And therefore humbly hope I may be heard, But what was for their interests to vouch, In my own province, freely, with regard.
And either find it out, or make it such: “ It is no wonder that we are cry'd down, That 'twas more adınirable to create And made the table-talk of all the town,
Inventions, like truth, out of strong conceit, That rants and vapours still, for all our great Than with vexatious study, pains, and doubt, Designs and projects, we 've done nothing yet, To find, or but suppose t' have found, it out. If every one have liberty to doubt,
This being resolv'd, th' assembly, one by one, When some great secret's more than half made out, Review'd the tube, the elephant, and Moon; Because, perhaps, it will not hold out true, But still the more and curiouser they pry'd, And put a stop to all w' attempt to do.
They but became the more unsatisfy'd; As no great action ever has been done,
In no one thing they gaz'd upon agreeing, Nor ever 's like to be, by truth alone,
As if they 'ad different principles of seeing. If nothing else but only truth w' allow,
Some boldly swore, upon a second view, "Tis no great matter what w' intend to do: That all they 'ad beheld before was true, [For Truth is always too reserv'd and chaste, And damn'd themselves they never would recant T endure to be, by all the town embrac'd; One syllable they ’ad seen of th' elephant; A solitary anchorite, that dwells,
Avow'd his shape and snout could be no mouse'in ketir'd from all the world, in obscure cells,] But a true natural elephant's proboscis. Disdains all great assemblies, and defies
Others began to doubt as much and waver, The press and crowd of mix'd societies,
Uncertain which to disallow or favour; That use to deal in novelty and change,
(Until they had as many cross resolves, Not of things true, but great, and rare, and strange, As Irishmen that have been tum'd to wolves,] To entertain the world with what is fit
And grew distracted, whether to espouse
The party of the elephant or mouse.
And, like some other nation's patriots,
T' unmount the telescope, and open it, A greediness and gluttony o'th' brain,
And, for their own and all men's satisfaction, That lougs to eat forbidden fruit again,
To search and re-examine the transaction. And grows more desperate, like the worst diseases, And afterward to explicate the rest, Upon the nobler part (the mind) it seizes ? ] As they should see occasion, for the best. And what has mankind ever gain'd by knowing To this, at length, as th' only expedient, His little truth, unless his own undoing,
The whole assembly freely gare consent; That prudently by Nature had been hidden, But, ere the optic tube was half let down, And, only for his greater good, forbidden ?
Their own eyes clear'd the first phenomenon: And therefore with as great discretion does For at the upper end, prodigious swarms The world endeavour still to keep it close;
Of busy flies and gnats, like men in arms, For if the secrets of all truths were known,
Had all past muster in the glass by chance, Who would not, once more, be as much undone? For both the Peri- and the Subvolvans. For truth is never without danger in 't,
This being discover'd, once more put them all As here it has depriv'd us of a hint
Into a worse and desperater brawl; The whole assembly had agreed upon,
Surpris'd with shame, that men so grave and wise Aud utterly defeated all we 'ad done,
Should be trepann'd by paltry guats and flies, [By giving footboys leave to interpose,
And to mistake the feeble insects' swarms And disappoint whatever we propose ;]
For squadrons and reserves of men in arms: For nothing but to cut out work for Stubs,
As politic as those who, when the Moon And all the busy academic clubs,
As bright and glorious in a river shone,
Threw casting-nets with equal cunning, at ber, Or whether France or Holland yet,
Have happen'd since, and what to come?
What kings are dead, how many queens And saw 'twas but a mouse ?, that by mishap And princesses are poison'd since? Had catch'd himself, and them, in th' optic trap, And who shall next of all by turn Amaz’d, with shame confounded, and afficted Make courts wear black, and tradesmen mourn? To find themselves so openly convicted,
What parties next of foot or horse, Immediately made haste to get them gone, Will rout, or routed be, of course? With none but this discovery alone:
What German marches, and retreats,
Will furnish the next month's Gazettes ?
And what part of the world, infects?
What dreadful meteor, and where, And natural history rather a Gazette
Shall in the heavens next appear? Of rarities stupendous and far-fet;
And when again shall lay embargo Believe no truths are worthy to be known,
Upon the admiral, the good ship Argo? That are not strongly vast and overgrown,
Why currents turn in seas of ice And strive to explicate appearances,
Some thrice a day, and some but twice? Not as they 're probable, but as they please;
And why the tides, at night and noon,
Court, like Caligula, the Moon?
That always drink, do never piss ?
If grass be green, or snow be white,
But only as they take the light?
Whether possessions of the Devil,
Or mere temptations, do most evil? A LEARNED man, whom once a week
What is 't that makes all fountains still A hundred virtuosi seek,
Within the Earth to run up hill, And like an oracle apply to,
But on the outside down again, To ask questions, and admire, and lie to;
As if th' attempt had been in vain ? Who entertaind them all of course,
Or what 's the strange ma E (As men take wives for better or worse)
The steel or loadstone 's drawn, or draws And past them all for men of parts,
The star the needle, which the stone Though some but sceptics in their hearts;
Has only been but touch'd upon? For, when they 're cast into a lump,
Whether the north-star's influence Their talents equally must jump:
With both does hold intelligence ? As metals mixt, the rich and base
(For red-hot ir'n, held tow'rds the pole, Do both at equal values pass.
Turns of itself to 't when 'tis cool: With these the ordinary debate
Or whether male and female screws Was after news, and things of state,
In th' iron and stone th' effect produce? Which way the dreadful comet went
What makes the body of the Sun, In sixty-four, and what it meant ?
That such a rapid course does run, What nations yet are to bewail
To draw no tail behind through th' air, The operation of its tail?
As comets do, when they appear;
Which other planets cannot do, 2 Butler, to compliment his mouse for affording Because they do not burn, but glow? him an opportunity of indulging his satirical turn, Whether the Moon be sea or land, and displaying his wit upon this occasion, has, to Or charcoal, or a quench'd firebrand ? the end of this poem, subjoined the following epi- Or if the dark holes that appear, grammatical note:
Are only pores, not cities there?
Whether the atmosphere turn round,
And keep a just pace with the ground,
Or loiter lazily behind, Than all his Grecian and his Trojan story,
And clog the air with gusts of wind ?
Or whether crescents in the wane
(For so an author has it plain)
Whether he ever finished it, or the remainder of When, having boldly enter'd the redoubt,
it be lost, is uncertain: the fragment, howerer, And stormd the dreadful outwork of his snout, The little vermin, like an errant-knight,
that is preserved, may not improperly be added in Has slain the huge gigantic beast in fight.
this place, as in some sort explanatory of the pre
ceding poem : and, I am persuaded, that those 3 Butler formed a design of writing another who bave a taste for Butler's turn and humour will satire upon the Royal Society, part of which I find think this too curious a fragment to be lost, though amongst his papers, fairly and correctly transcribed. perhaps too imperfect to be formally published.