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Stand stiff, as 'twere turned to a stock. 785 Meanwhile fierce Talgol gathering might,

With rugged truncheon charged the knight,
But he, with petronel upheaved,
Instead of shield, the blow received ;
The gun recoiled as well it might,
Not used to such a kind of fight,
And shrunk from its great master's gripe,
Knocked down, and stunned, with mortal stripe :
Then Hudibras, with furious haste,

Drew out his sword; yet not so fast, 795 But Talgol first, with hardy thwack,

Twice bruised his head, and twice his back;
But when his nut-brown sword was out,
Courageously he laid about,

Imprinting many a wound upon 80. His mortal foe, the truncheon.

The trusty cudgel did oppose
Itself against dead-doing blows,
To guard his leader from fell bane,

And then revenged itself again :
Bos And though the sword, some understood,

In force, had much the odds of wood,
'Twas nothing so; both sides were balanc't
So equal, none knew which was valant'st :

For wood, with honour b’ing engaged, 810 Is so implacably enraged,

Though iron hew, and mangle sore,
Wood wounds and bruises honour more,
And now both knights were out of breath,
Tired in the hot pursuit of death;
Whilst all the rest, amazed, stood still,
Expecting which should take, or kill.
This Hudibras observed; and fretting

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Conquest should be so long a-getting,

He drew up all his force into
820 One body, and that into one blow ;

But Talgol wisely avoided it
By cunning sleight; for had it hit,
The upper part of him the blow
Had slit, as sure as that below.

Meanwhile the incomparable Colon,
To aid his friend, began to fall on;
Him Ralph encountered, and straight grew
A dismal combat 'twixt them two;

Th' one armed with metal, th' other with wood ; 830 This fit for bruise, and that for blood.

With many a stiff thwack, many a bang,
Hard crab-tree, and old iron rang;
While none that saw them could divine

To which side conquest would incline, 835 Until Magnano, who did envy

That two should with so many men vie,
By subtle stratagem of brain
Performed what force could ne'er attain,

For he, by foul hap, having found
840 Where thistles grew on barren ground,

In haste he drew his weapon out,
And having cropped them from the root,
He clapped them under the horse's tail,

With prickles sharper than a nail, 845 The angry beast did straight resent

The wrong done to his fundament,
Began to kick, and fling, and wince,
As if h' had been beside his sense,

Striving to disengage from thistle,
850 That galled him sorely under his tail ;

Instead of which he threw the pack

Of squire and baggage from his back;
And blundering still with smarting rump,

He gave the knight's steed such a thump 855 As made him reel. The knight did stoop,

And sat on further side aslope.
This Talgol viewing, who had now,
By sleight, escaped the fatal blow,

He rallied, and again fell to't; 360 For catching foe by nearer foot,

He lifted with such might and strength
As would have hurled him thrice his length,
And dashed his brains, if any, out;

But Mars, who still protects the stout, 885 In pudding-time came to his aid,

And under him the bear conveyed;
The bear, upon whose soft fur-gown
The knight with all his weight fell down.

The friendly rug preserved the ground, 870 And headlong knight, from bruise or wound:

Like feather-bed betwixt a wall,
And heavy brunt of cannon-ball.
As Sancho on a blanket fell,

And had no hurt; ours fared as well 875 In body, though his mighty spirit,

B’ing heavy, did not so well bear it.
The bear was in a greater fright,
Beat down, and worsted by the knight;

He roared, and raged, and flung about, 880 To shake off bondage from his snout.

His wrath inflamed, boiled o’er, and from
His jaws of death he threw the foam ;
Fury in stranger postures threw him,

And more, than ever herald drew him, 885 He tore the earth, which he had saved

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From squelch of knight, and stormed and raved;
And vexed the more, because the harms
He felt were 'gainst the law of arms :

For men he always took to be
890 His friends, and dogs the enemy,

Who never so much hurt had done him
As his own side did falling on him.
It grieved him to the guts, that they,

For whom h' had fought so many a fray, 895 And served with loss of blood so long,

Should offer such inhuman wrong;
Wrong of unsoldier-like condition ;
For which he flung down his commission,
And laid about him, till his nose
From thrall of ring and cord broke loose.
Soon as he felt himself enlarged,
Through thickest of his foes he charged,
And made way through th' amazed crew,
Some he o'er-ran, and some o'erthrew,
But took none; for, by hasty flight,
He strove t escape pursuit of knight,
From whom he fled with as much haste
And dread, as he the rabble chased.
In haste he fled, and so did they,
Each and his fear a several way.

Crowdero only kept the field,
Not stirring from the place he held,
Though beaten down, and wounded sore,
I th' fiddle, and the leg that bore
One side of him, not that of bone,
But much its better, th' wooden one.
He spying Hudibras lie strewed
Upon the ground, like log of wood,
In haste he snatched the wooden limb,

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That hurt i' th' ankle lay by him,
And fitting it for sudden fight,

Straight drew it up, t' attack the knight, 925 For getting up on stump and huckle,

He with the foe began to buckle,
Vowing to be revenged for breach
Of crowd and skin, upon the wretch,
Sole author of all detriment
He and his fiddle underwent,

But Ralpho, who had now begun
T adventure resurrection
From heavy squelch, and had got up

Upon his legs, with sprained crup, 935 Looking about, beheld the bard

To charge the knight entranced prepared,
He snatched his whinyard up, that fled
When he was falling off his steed,
As rats do from a falling house,
To hide itself from rage of blows ;
And winged with speed and fury, flew
To rescue knight from black and blue.
Which ere he could achieve, his sconce
The leg encountered twice and once ;
And now 'twas raised to smite again,
When Ralpho thrust himself between ;
He took the blow

upon

his

arm,
To shield the knight from further harm;
And, joining wrath with force, bestowed
O'th' wooden member such a load,
That down it fell, and with it bore
Crowdero, whom it propped before.
To him the squire right nimbly run,

And setting conquering foot upon 955 His trunk, thus spoke : What desperate frenzy

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