1690 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Knightly Chetwood

Dr. Waldren "Epistle to Dr. Chetwood, on his refusing to take the Oaths," 1690 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 3:179.



Since at a tavern I can't meet you,
In a paper embassy I greet you;
T' advise you not to be so wary,
Touching King William and Queen Mary;
That, spight of fellowship and pupils,
You'll weigh you conscience out in scruples.

If (as ye Queen's-men must believe)
Two negs make one affirmative;
Why i'th name o' th' predicaments,
And all your analytic sense,
Will you deny two affirmations
In their turn too make negations?
This "postulatum" any pate
Will grant that's unprejudicate;
Nay th' argument, I will assure you,
To some appears "a fortiori."

"Hoc dato et concesso," thus I
In "baralypton" blunderbuss ye:
He that to two kings takes an oath
Is by the last absolv'd from both;
For, each oath being an affirmation,
Both (as was own'd) make a negation.
Thus, scientifically, you see,
The more you're bound, the more you're free;
As jugglers, when they knit one more,
Undo the knot they ty'd before.

I admire that your Smiglecian under-
-standing should make so strange a blunder,
As roundly to aver subjection
Weren't couzen-german to protection:
Nay more, they're relatives (unless ye
Mistake Tom Hobbes) "secundum esse"—
But I'm in hope you've fully taken
The oath elsewhere, to save your bacon:
As spark, by country-clap half undone,
Takes coach, and steals a cure at London.