Sunday, December 08, 2013


Roar Out "Claudius!"

Roger Bull, Grobianus; or, The Compleat Booby. An Ironical Poem. In Three Books. Done into English, from the Original Latin of Friderick Dedekindus (London: T. Cooper, 1739), pp. 17-18:
When Air imprison'd labours for a Vent,
That you shou'd belch, I give my free Consent:
Nor belch to Halves—but of the Clangor proud,
Like some substantial Burgo-master, belch aloud.
Check not the rising Belch, lest, hapless, you,
Experience, late, how many Ills ensue:
Perhaps the too, too long imprison'd Wind,
Which in the Stomach's Cavern lies confin'd,
May taint thee with some fatal, foul Disease;
And Pain and Anguish thy whole Body seize.
Or all thy Body o'er diffuse a Stench,
Rank as the Armpits of a red-hair'd Wench.
If Wind ascend, which with just Cause we dread,
Whims, Freaks, and Megrims dire affect the Head:
Or downwards, without legal Notice, come
Forth from the treach'rous Passage of the Bum,
A horrid Fume shall straight your Crime proclaim
To ev'ry Nose; nor aught conceal your Shame.
Wou'd you these Ills by prudent Care prevent,
Nor, like a Fox, be follow'd by the Scent?
Then give to ev'ry Belch a timely Vent.
Id., p 28:
If the digested Meals of Yesterday
Demand a Vent, 'tis troublesome to stay.
Of Breeches, Shoes, and Stocking take good Care;
And dread besides to taint the ambient Air:
Get up in haste—and answer in a Word,
Shou'd any ask your Business, 'tis a T—.
Id., p 40:
The Bowels now b'ing cramm'd with splendid Fare,
Far off be banish'd, that Intruder, Care.
The Stomach sickens when the Mind's unblest,
Nor in due Order can its Food digest;
From thence Diseases numberless arise,
O! shun all anxious Labour, and be wise.
Believe me, Sir! 'tis wholesomer by much,
To rest, when Dinner's ended, on the Couch;
Till Supper one continu'd Slumber take,
When Supper calls, 'tis Time enough to wake.
Unreprehended there, supine, you lie,
And many a fragrant *Bum-gut-shot let flie:
Tell each nice Critick, that you want the Art,
To curb, that active Principle—a Fart.

* Bumgutshot, a Word of Rabelais.
Id., p. 50:
When Wind, that pains the Belly, wou'd repair
Forth from a narrow Gut to open Air,
Your Pris'ner, in what Way you please, dismiss;
What Nature bids, can never be amiss.
Whenever such Behaviour gives Offence,
This Answer vindicates your Innocence;
"From Wind, which long within the Belly* lies;
"Vertigo, Cholick, Spasm, and Dropsy rise.
"This Rule each learned Son of Galen gives,
"A Rule by which the Man of Manners lives.
Claudius, lest Sickness shou'd ensue, decreed,†
That all Men fart and belch in Time of Need;
His Edict serves to justify your Ways,
Nor only bare Forgiveness gains, but Praise.

* This Distich is a Quotation from the Schola Salernitana; to which Book I refer the Reader.
† This Edict of Claudius (here specified) is recorded by several Classick Authors: Wherefore it is no uncommon Thing with Fellows of Colleges, when they fart in Company, to strike their Paws upon the Table, and roar out CLAUDIUS.
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