"the slaughter in those fields where Hudibrass and Trulla fought"

Hudibras is a 17th century mock heroic narrative poem by Samuel Butler.  It is set in the context of the English Civil War, and was published in three parts in 1663, 1664 and 1678.  Publication came only four years after King Charles II’s restoration – making it a very topical work.  The poem tells the story of Sir Hudibras, a knight errant who is conceited, arrogant, stupid, and driven by extreme religious fervour, but nonetheless heaped with immense, and ironic, praise.

Hudibras Vanquish'd by Trulla
Public DomainHudibras Vanquish'd by Trulla - Credit: William Hogarth
For his Religion, it was fit

To match his learning and his wit;

'Twas Presbyterian true blue;

For he was of that stubborn crew

Of errant saints, whom all men grant

To be the true Church Militant;

Such as do build their faith upon

The holy text of pike and gun;

Decide all controversies by

Infallible artillery;

And prove their doctrine orthodox

By apostolic blows and knocks

The poem is influenced by Cervantes’ Don Quixote, although Hudibras is a much less sympathetic character than Quixote.