Samuel Butler

He was in LOGIC a great critic, Profoundly skill'd in analytic; He could distinguish, and divide A hair 'twixt south, and south-west side: On either which he would dispute, Confute, change hands, and still confute, He'd undertake to prove, by force Of argument, a man's no horse; He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl, And that a lord may be an owl, A calf an alderman, a goose a justice, And rooks Committee-men and Trustees. He'd run in debt by disputation, And pay with ratiocination. All this by syllogism, true In mood and figure, he would do. For RHETORIC, he could not ope His mouth, but out there flew a trope; And when he happen'd to break off I' th' middle of his speech, or cough, H' had hard words,ready to show why, And tell what rules he did it by; Else, when with greatest art he spoke, You'd think he talk'd like other folk, For all a rhetorician's rules Teach nothing but to name his tools. His ordinary rate of speech In loftiness of sound was rich; A Babylonish dialect, Which learned pedants much affect. It was a parti-colour'd dress Of patch'd and pie-bald languages; 'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin, Like fustian heretofore on satin; It had an odd promiscuous tone, As if h' had talk'd three parts in one; Which made some think, when he did gabble, Th' had heard three labourers of Babel; Or CERBERUS himself pronounce A leash of languages at once.

(In "Hudibras", Parte I, Canto I, séc. 17.)