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Whachum advanc'd, with all submiss'ness
T'accost 'em, but much more their business :
He held the stirrup, while the knight

From leathern bare-bones did alight;
And, taking from his hand the bridle,
Approach'd the dark squire to unriddle.
He gave him first the time o'th' day,
And welcom'd him, as he might say:
He ask'd him whence they came, and whither
Their business lay ?-Quoth Ralpho, hither.
Did you not lose ?—Quoth Ralpho, nay.
Quoth Whachum, Sir, I meant your way?
Your knight, quoth Ralpho, is a lover,
And pains intol’rable doth suffer ;
For lovers' hearts are not their own hearts,
Nor lights, nor lungs, and so forth downwards.
What time-quoth Ralpho, sir, too long,
Three years it off and on has hung-



Quoth he, I meant what time o' the day 'tis.
Quoth Ralpho, between seven and eight 'tis.
Why then, quoth Whachum, my small art
Tells me the dame has a hard heart,
Or great estate.—Quoth Ralph, a jointure, 515
Which makes him have fo hot a mind t'her.
Mean-while the knight was making water,
Before he fell upon the matter ;
Which having done, the wizard steps in,
To give him a suitable reception ;
But kept his business at a bay,
Till Whachum put him in the way;
Who having now, by Ralpho's light,
Expounded th’ errand of the knight,
And what he came to know, drew near ;
To whisper in the conj'rer's ear,
Which he prevented thus : what was ’t,
Quoth he, that I was saying last,


525 530


Before these gentlemen arriv'd ?
Quoth Whachum, Venus you retriev'd,
In opposition with Mars,
And no benign friendly stars
Tallay the effect. Quoth wizard, so:
In Virgo? Ha! quoth Whachum, no:
Has Saturn nothing to do in it,
One tenth of's circle to a minute ?
'Tis well, quoth he—Sir you'll excuse
This rudeness I am forc'd to use ;
It is a scheme, and face of heaven,
As th' aspects are dispos'd this even,
I was contemplating upon
When you arriv'd; but now I've done.

Quoth Hudibras, if I appear
Unseasonable in coming here
At such a time, to interrupt
Your speculations, which I hop'd


545 550


Assistance from, and come to use,
'Tis fit that I ask your excuse.

By no means, sir, quoth Sidrophel,
The stars your coming did foretel ;
I did expect you here, and knew,
Before you spake, your business too.

Quoth Hudibras, make that appear,
And I shall credit whatsoe'er
You tell me after, on your word,
Howe'er unlikely, or absurd.

You are in love, sir, with a widow,
Quoth he, that does not greatly heed you,
And for three years has rid your wit
And passion, without drawing bit ;
And now your business is to know
If you shall carry her, or no.

Quoth Hudibras, you're in the right,
But how the devil you come by't


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I can't imagine; for the stars,
I'm sure, can tell no more than a horse :
Nor can their aspects, tho' you pore
eyes '

out on ’em, tell you more
Than th'oracle of fieve and sheers,
That turns as certain as the spheres :
But if the dev'l's of your counsel,
Much may be done, my noble Donzel;
And 'tis on this account I come,
To know from you my fatal doom.

Quoth Sidrophel, if you suppose,
Sir knight, that I am one of those,
I might suspect, and take the alarm,
Your business is but to inform :
But if it be, 'tis ne'er the near,
You have a wrong fow by the ear;
For I assure you, for my part,
I only deal by rules of art;



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