Censure of the Parliament Fart  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Censure of the Parliament Fart" is the title of a libel that circulated in manuscript in various versions for years after the incident of the Great Parliament Fart of 4 March of 1607, when Henry Ludlow, member of England's House of Commons, loudly broke wind in response to Sir John Croke's message from the Lords during a debate on the naturalisation of the Scots (the Union of the Crowns under King James had taken place in 1603). Ben Jonson alludes to the Parliament Fart in The Alchemist (1610), a play which opens with a fart ("I fart at thee").

Excerpts:

Downe came grave auntient Sir John Crooke
And redd his message in his booke.
Fearie well, Quoth Sir William Morris, Soe:
But Henry Ludlowes Tayle cry’d Noe.
Up starts one fuller of devotion
Then Eloquence; and said a very ill motion
Not soe neither quoth Sir Henry Jenkin
The Motion was good; but for the stincking
Well quoth Sir Henry Poole it was a bold tricke
To Fart in the nose of the bodie pollitique
Never was bestowed such art
Upon the tuning of a Fart.
Downe came grave auntient Sir John Crooke
And redd his message in his booke.
Fearie well, Quoth Sir William Morris, Soe:
But Henry Ludlowes Tayle cry'd Noe.

Full text (from Source. Bodleian MS Malone 23, pp. 2-10)

Never was bestowed such art Upon the tuning of a Fart. Downe came grave auntient Sir John Crooke And redd his message in his booke. Fearie well, Quoth Sir William Morris, Soe: But Henry Ludlowes Tayle cry’d Noe. Up starts one fuller of devotion Then Eloquence; and said a very ill motion Not soe neither quoth Sir Henry Jenkin The Motion was good; but for the stincking Well quoth Sir Henry Poole it was a bold tricke To Fart in the nose of the bodie pollitique Indeed I must confesse quoth Sir Edward Grevill The matter of it selfe was somewhat uncivill Thanke God quoth Sir Edward Hungerford That this Fart proved not a Turdd Quoth Sir Jerome the lesse there was noe such abuse Ever offer’d in Poland, or Spruce Downe came grave auntient Sir John Crooke

Quoth Sir Jerome in folio, I sweare by the Masse This Fart was enough to have brooke all my Glasse Indeed quoth Sir John Trevor it gave a fowle knocke As it lanched forth from his stincking Docke. I (quoth another) it once soe chanced That a great Man farted as hee danced. Well then, quoth Sir William Lower This fart is noe Ordinance fitt for the Tower. Quoth Sir Richard Houghton noe Justice of Quorum But would take it in snuffe to have a fart lett before him. If it would beare an action quoth Sir Thomas Holcrofte I would make of this fart a bolt, or a shafte. Quoth Sir Walter Cope ’twas a fart rarely lett I would ’tweere sweet enough for my Cabinett. Such a Fart was never seene Quoth the Learned Councell of the Queene. Noe (quoth Mr Pecke I have a President in store That his Father farted the Session before Nay then quoth Noy ’twas lawfully done For this fart was entail’d from father to sonne Quoth Mr Recorder a word for the cittie To cutt of the aldermens right weere great pittie. Well quoth Kitt Brookes wee give you a reason Though he has right by discent he had not livery & seizin Ha ha quoth Mr Evans I smell a fee I’ts a private motion heere’s something for mee Well saith Mr Moore letts this motion repeale Whats good for the private is oft ill for comonweale A good yeare on this fart, quoth gentle Sir Harry He has caus’d such an Earthquake that my colepitts miscarry ’Tis hard to recall a fart when its out

Quoth with a loude shoote Yes quoth Lawrence Hyde that wee may come by it Weele make a Proviso tyme it, and tye it. Quoth Harry the hardie looke well to each clause As well Englands liberties as lawes Nowe then, so? the knightly Doctor protestes This fart shalbe brought into the court of requests Nay rather saith Sir Edwyn I’le make a digression And fart him a Project shall last him a Session Quoth Sir William Wade you may doe as you please For it hath broken allreadie out of little ease, Then swore Sir John Hollis by the Masse Such a fart would not I lett passe Nor willingly make such a vacuitie Without some reward or hope of gratuitie For from the belly to the britch to make such a transition Is a thriftles example of a frugall position. Then start upp a fatt one call’d Sir Thomas Shurley Saying how durst hee crack soe being noe Burley Quoth Sir John Fortescue this fart was lett fall Not without great presumption doeing it withall Quoth Sir John Sheffield in my opinion ’Tweere better leave this fart and fall to the union Nay quoth Sir Hugh Beeston and swore by the Masse Its rather the braying of some Puritain Asse Tushe quoth Ned Hobbie whatso’ere it bee From Rome or Geneva ’tis all one to mee. Swooks quoth Sir John Lee is your arse in dottage Could you not have kept this breath to have cool’d your pottage Why (quoth Sir Roger Owen) if books be noe lyers I knewe one fart devided amongst a dozen Fryeres

Phillip Gawdie strooke th’old stubble of his face And said the fart was well penn’d, so squat downe in his place. The modest Sir John Hollis said, on his word It was a shoe creek’d on a board. Not soe quoth Sir John Acklam that cannot be The place underneath is matted you see. Before God quoth Mr Brooke to tell you noe lye This fart by our Law is of the Post-nati Grave Senate (quoth Duncombe) upon my salvation This fart wanteth greatly some due reformation. Quoth the cuntrie courtier upon my conscience ’Twould be well mended with a little frankinsence Quoth Sir Thomas Challenor I’le demonstrate this fart To be the voyce of his belly, noe thought of his hart. Quoth Sir Hugh Beeston it was a dissembling speach Our mouth hath priviledge but not our bretch. Upstart Ned Wymark the Pasquill of Powles And said it were fitter for the chappell of the Roolles Then wisely spake Sir Anthony Cope Pray God it be not a Bull from the Pope. Not soe saith his brother, words are but wynd Yet noe man likes of this motion behynd I said Oxenbridge there is great suspition That this fart savoreth of popish superstition Nay quoth Mr Goad and also some other It should by its Libertie be a reformed brother Then up start Sir John Young, & swore by Gods nayles Was never such a fart lett on the borders of Wales Quoth Sir Roger Aston howe shall I tell it. A fart hearesay and not see it nor smell it Againe quoth Sir Roger it would well mend the matter

If this fart weere well shav’d and washt with rose water Quoth Sir Thomas Knevett I feare there may lurke Under this Vault some more powder worke No quoth Sir John Parker I sweare by my Rapier It was a Bombard stopt with vild coppie paper Then said Mr Moore in his wonted order I rise but to speake of the howses disorder. And methinks that motion with noe reason stands A man should be charg’d with thats not in his hands In his hands quoth Price noe the fault was in his britch Some Taylor should have given the hose another stich As noe talebearer darrs carry to the king Yes quoth Sir Roger Aston without any paine My Memorie will serve to report the word againe Quoth Sir Lewis his brother if it come of ambassage The maister of Ceremonies must give it passage I quoth Sir Robert Drury that had bene your part If it had bene a Forraine fart. Well quoth a frend ere this be transacted I feare wee must have this fart enacted And wee shall have therefore (soe you doe not abhorr it A fart from Scotland reciprocall for it. A very good jeast by this light Quoth little Mr James of the Isle of Wight Quoth Sir Robert Johnson if you will not laugh Ile measure this fart with my Jacobs staffe, And though it be hard, Ile bend myne intentions To survay it out equall into severall demensions Noe that must not be said Sir John Bennett Wee must have a select committee to penn it, Nay quoth Sir Richard Lovelace to end the difference

It weere fitt with the lords to have a conference Why said Doctor Crompton no man can drawe This fart within the compasse of the civill lawe Noe said Doctor Paddy yett darr I assure him Though it be Præter modestiam its not Præter naturam Harke harke quoth Sir John Towneshend this fart was of might To deny his owne master to be dubbed knight. For had it ambition, or orationis pars Your Sonne could have told you Quid est Ars Then So Quoth Sir Richard Gargrave by, and by This mans ars speakes better then I. ’Tweere noe great grevance quoth Mr Hare The Surveyor heerein had his share Be patient gent quoth Sir Francis Bacon Ther’s none of us all but may be thus overtaken Sylence quoth Bond thoug words be but wynde Yet I much mislike of this motion behynd For quoth hee it stincks the more you stirr it Naturam Expellas surca licet usque recurrit Then gan sage Mounson silence to breake And said this fart would make an Image speake Then quoth Sir Dannett this youth is too bold The priviledge of farting longs to us that are old Then said Mr Tolderbury I like not this passage A fart interlocutory in the midd’st of a message With all your Eloquence quoth Sir Richard Martin You cannot find out this figure of farting Nor what part of speach save an interjection This fart canne be in gramatique perfection Up ryseth the speaker that noble Ephestion And said Gents I’le putt it to the question

The question once made, the yea’s did loose For the Major part went cleere with the nose Sir Robert Cotton well redd in old stories Conferring his notes with good Mr Pories Can witnes well that these are not fables And yet it was hard to putt the Fart in his tables. Quoth Sir Thomas Lake, if this house be not able To censure this fart I’le have it to the councell table. Quoth Sir George Moore I thincke it be fitt That wee this fart to the Serjant Committ. Not soe quoth the Serjant lowe on his knees Farts will breake prison but never pay fees Why? yet quoth the clerke it is most true That for a private fart a fee is my due This scent growes hott quoth Mr Dyett Lett each man take his share, and be quiett Looke (quoth Sir William) it had bene noe matter If this fart weere butter’d & putt in a platter That these that had not their judgments well spent Might have of the taste as well as the scent Then Richard Buckley that angerie ladd Rose swearing (Goggs wounds) & satt downe halfe madd. Quoth Sir John Perrot it greives me at the hart A private Man shold sweare for a publique fart All of them concluded it was not well To store upp this fart soe odious in smell And merry Mr Hoskins swore ’twas but a stale To putt the plaine Serjant out of his written tale. Fie, fye, I thinke you never did see Such a thinge as this quoth Sir John Lee. With many more whome heere I omitt

In censuring this fart who busied their witt Come come quoth the King libelling is not safe Bury you the fart, I’le make the Epitaph.

References

See also




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