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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 of 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,
Nam'd Privolvans, with whom the others are
Perpetually in state of open war;

And now both armies, mortally enrag'd,
THE ELEPHANT IN THE MOON. Are in a fierce and bloody fight engag'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,
The sly surveyor 's said thave sunk a shire: To understand the swinging pendulum,
T'observe her country's climate, how 'twas planted, And to communicate, in all designs,
And what she most abounded with, or wanted;

With th eastern virtuosi mandarines ;]
And draw maps of her properest situations Apply'd an optic nerve, and half a nose,
For settling, and erecting new plantations, To th' end and centre of the engine close:
If ewr the society should incline

For he had very lately undertook To attempt so great and glorious a design": To vindicate, and publish in a book, (A task in vain, unless the German Kepler That men, whose native eyes are blind, or out, Had found out a discovery to people her,

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,

T observe the bloody formidable fight,
Til he appear'd; for which, some write, she sent Consider'd carefully, and then cry'd out,
Upon his tribe as strange a punishment.]

“ ”Tis true, the battle's desperately fought;
This was the only purpose of their meeting, The gallant Subvolvans begin to rally,
For which they chose a time and place most fitting, And from their trenches valiantly sally,
When, at the full, her equal shares of light To fall upon the stubborn enemy,
And influence were at their greatest height. Who fearfully begin to rout and fly.
And now the lofty telescope, the scale,

“ These paltry.domineering Privolvans By which they venture Heaven itself t' assail, Have, every summer-season, their campaigns,


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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,
Courageously to make a dreadful stand,

And every man, with diligence and care,
And boldly face their neighbours hand to hand, Perus’d and view'd of th' elephant his share,
Until the peaceful, long'd-for winter 's come, Proud of his equal interest in the glory
And then disband, and march in triumph home, Of so stupendous and renown'd a story;
And spend the rest of all the year in lies,

When one, who for his fame and excellence
And vapouring of their unknown victories. 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 t'harangue.
Whom nothing in the world could ever bring “ Most virtuous and incomparable friends,
Tendure 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
Though longer observation of the Moon,]

Home to the door of th' obstinatest star,
That understood the difference of her soils, And plant th' artillery of our optic tubes
And which produc'd the fairest genet-moyles, Against the proudest of their magnitudes;
[But for an unpaid weekly shilling's pension To stretch our future victories beyond
Had fin'd• for wit, and judgment, and invention,] The uttermost of planetary ground,
Who, after poring tedious and hard

And plant our warlike engines, and our ensigns,
['th' optic engine, gave a start, and star'd, Upon the fix'd stars' spacious dimensions,
And thus began—" A stranger sight appears To prove if they are other suns or not,
Than ever yet was seen in all the spheres !

As some philosophers have wisely thought;
A greater wonder, more unparallel'd

Or only windows in the Empyreum, Than ever mortal tube or eye beheld !

Through which those bright effluvias use to come; A mighty elephant from one of those

Which Archimede, so many years ago,
Two fighting armies is at length broke loose, Durst never venture but to wish to know.
And, with the desperate horrour of the fight Nor is this all that we have now achiev'd,
Appears amaz'd, and in a dreadful fright! But greater things!-benceforth to be belier'd,
Look quickly; lest the only sight of us

And have no more our best or worst desigus,
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 The Moon appears to be the fruitfuller.

Prove arguments again for coffee-houses; And since, of old, the mighty Pyrrhus brought [Nor little stories gain belief among Those living castles first of all, 'tis thought, Our criticallest judges, right or wrong :) Against the Roman army in the field,

Nor shall our new-invented chariots draw It may a valid argument be held,

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
Since, from the greatest orbs, down to the least, An elder-stick will render all the leather
All other globes of stars and constellations Of schoolboys' breeches proof against the rod,
Have cattle in them of all sorts and nations, Make all we undertake appear as odd.
And Heaven, like a northern Tartar's hord, This one discovery will prove enough
With numerous and mighty droves is stor'd: To take all past and future scandals off:
And, if the Moon can but produce by nature But since the world is so incredulous
A people of so large and vast a stature,

Of all our usual scrutinies and us,
'Tis more than probable she should bring forth And with a constant prejudice prevents
A greater breed of beasts too, than the Earth; Our best as well as worst experiments,
As, by the best accounts we have, appears

As if they were all destin'd to miscarry,
Of all our crediblest discoverers;

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 naturally 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, for the nation's general satisfaction,

And make this wonderful phenomenon
To print and own it in their next Transaction : (Were there no other) serve our turn alone
But while their ablest men were drawing up To vindicate the grand hypothesis,
The wonderful memoir o'th' telescope,

And prove the motion of the Earth from this." A member 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,
To all their grandees had been drawing up; Than if th' occasion never had fall'n out;
And every person was amaz'd anew,

Resolving to complete their narrative,
How such a strange surprisal should be true, And punctually insert this strange retrieve.
Or any beast perform so great a race,

But while their grandees were diverted all
So swift and rapid, in so short a space,

With nicely wording the memorial, Resolv'd, as suddenly, to make it good,

The footboys, for their own diversion, too,
Or render all as fairly as they could,

As having nothing, now, at all to do,
And rather chose their own eyes to condemn, And when they saw the telescope at leisure,
Than question what they had beheld with them. Turn'd virtuosi, only for their pleasure;

While every one was thus resolv'd, a man [With drills' and monkeys' ingenuity,
Of great esteem and credit thus began-

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 peep, 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,
For who can justify that Nature there

And now is gotten down so low and nigh,
Is ty'd to the same laws she acts by here? I have him here directly 'gainst mine eye.”
Nor is it probable she has infus'd,

This chancing to be overheard by one
Int' every species in the Moon produc'd,

Who was not yet so hugely overgrown The same efforts she uses to confer

In any philosophic observation,
Upon the very same productions here;

As to conclude with mere imagination,
Since those upon the Earth, of several nations, And yet he made immediately a guess
Are found t have such prodigious variations, At fully solving all appearances
And she affects so constantly to use

A plair er way, and more significant,
Variety in every thing she does.

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 From those with us upon the Earth below, To th’ optic engine, but immediately Both in his bulk, as well as force and speed,

He found a small field-mouse was gotten in
As being of a different kind and breed,

The hollow telescope, and, shut between
That, though 'tis true our own are but slow-pac'd, The two glass-windows, closely in restraint,
Theirs there, perhaps, may fly, or run as fast, Was magnify'd into an elephant,
And yet be very elephants, no less

And prov'd the happy virtuous occasion
Than those deriv'd from Indian families."

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 Upon 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, Do constantly move 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 desert'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 themselves 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 share, 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 prevail'd—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's 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 admirable 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; Beause, perhaps, it will not hold ont 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, Vor 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 beheid before was true, [For Truth is always too reserv'd and chaste, And damnd themselves they never would recant T endure to be, by all the town embracd; One syllable they ’ad seen of th' elephant; A solitary anchorite, that dwells,

Avow'd his shape and snout could be no mouse's, ketir'd from all the world, in obscure cells,] But a true natural elephant's proboscis. Distains 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
And proper for its genius and its wit;

The party of the elephant or mouse.
The world, that 's never found to set esteem Some held there was no way so orthodox,
On what things are, but what they appear and seem; As to refer it to the ballot-box,
And, if they are not wonderful and new,

And, like some other nation's patriots,
They ’re ne'er the better for their being true; To find it out, or make the truth, by votes:
[For what is truth, or knowledge, but a kind Others were of opinion 'twas more fit
Of wantonness and luxury o' th' inind,

Tunmount 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 gave 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 withont danger in 't,

This being discoverd, 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 gnats and flies, [By giving footboys leave to interpose,

And to mistake the feeble insects' swarms And disap point whatever we propose ;]

For sqnadeons 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 her, Or whether France or Holland yet,
To catch her with, and pull her out o' th' water. Or Germany, be in its debt?
But when, at last, they had unscrew'd the What wars and plagues in Christendom

Have happen'd since, and what to come?
To find out where the sly impostor was,

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 afflicted 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,
That learned men, who greedily pursue

Will furnish the next month's Gazettes ?
Things, that are rather wonderful than true, What pestilent contagion next,
And, in their nicest speculations, choose

And what part of the world, infects?
To make their own discoveries strange news,

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, In vain endeavour Nature to suborn,

Court, like Caligula, the Moon?
And, for their pains, are justly paid with scorn.

What is the natural cause why fish,
That always drink, do never piss ?
Or whether in their home, the deep,
By night or day they ever sleep?

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 magnetic cause (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, whey they appear;

Which other planets cannot do, * 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 bis 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, A mouse, whose martial value has so long

And keep a just pace with the ground,
Ago been try'd, and by old Homer sung,

Or loiter lazily behind,
And purchas'd him more everlasting glory
Than all his Grecian and his Trojan story,

And clog the air with gusts of wind ?
Though he appears unequal matcht, I grant,

Or whether crescents in the wane In bulk and stature by the elephant,

(For so an author has it plain) Yet frequently has been observ'd in battle To have reduc'd the proud and haughty cattle,

Whether he ever finished it, or the remainder of When, having boldly enter'd the redoubt,

it be lost, is uncertain: the fragment, howe er, And storm'd 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 have 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.

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