Thanke God quoth Sir Edward Hungerford/That this Fart proved not a Turdd
February 26, 2020 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Libel is a form of political poetry, more crass or ribald than your average satire. Popular in the Renaissance, libels were often circulated among friends rather than published. In 2005, Professors Andrew McRae and Alastair Bellany collected 350 libels from old manuscripts in university libraries and published them online at Early Stuart Libels. Perhaps most famous is "The Censure of the Parliament Fart," which received an airing in The Guardian; the poem tells of a "stincking" motion made in Parliament by House of Commons member Henry Ludlow in 1607, and the imagined reactions of his peers. Read the editors' introduction; the poem begins on this page with painstakingly detailed context notes.

Excerpt from The Fart's Epitaph:

Reader I was borne and cry’d
Crackt soe, smelt so & so dy’d
Like Julius Cesar was my Death
For he in Senate lost his breath
posted by sugar and confetti (20 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
#fartbruary
posted by Fizz at 12:12 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Nay then quoth Noy ’twas lawfully done
For this fart was entail’d from father to sonne

Still serviceable law-school humor, here
posted by Countess Elena at 12:26 PM on February 26


This reminds me heavily of poems that one of my college friends and I used to exchange over email in the early aughts.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:44 PM on February 26




This reminds me heavily of poems that one of my college friends and I used to exchange over email in the early aughts.

Smell ya later,
Fizz
posted by Fizz at 1:03 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


According to that link, verstegan, "Martin Luther used farting as a weapon against Satan."

GET BEHIND ME, SATAN
posted by sugar and confetti at 1:04 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


GET BEHIND ME, SATAN

Seven silent but deadly sins

this is great
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:11 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Few people know that one of the major causes of the English Civil War was a debate over whether he who hath smelt it, hath dealt it.
posted by praemunire at 1:16 PM on February 26


Naw, the English Civil War was just an early Butch-Femme dust up.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:23 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Well quoth Sir Henry Poole it was a bold tricke
To Fart in the nose of the bodie pollitique


...and thus was born the expression "I fart in your general direction."

Hence the deliberation on the fart by the assembled House arguably speaks to the institutional self-confidence of the Commons: it could be read as a brazen challenge to the Crown’s ability to manage the Commons, while the metaphor of the body politic humorously confers on the Lower House the central regulatory authority in maintaining the health of the commonwealth.

This stands in stark contrast to dispute resolution process found in Chaucer's The Miller's Tale by way of the infamous throwdown between Nicholas and Absalom, in which one combatant was armed with his own flatulence, the other with a red-hot poker.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:26 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Naw, the English Civil War was just an early Butch-Femme dust up.

(total side note, this is one of the misconceptions I blame tumblr for. Consider, if you will, Thomas Fairfax, Parliamentary general, or William Fiennes, Viscount Saye and Sele.)
posted by praemunire at 2:46 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Much as I regret derailing this talk of farting,

total side note, this is one of the misconceptions I blame tumblr for.

History is not one thing, my friend. We must talk of tendencies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:54 PM on February 26


Ok, that's it, what is up with the fart posts
posted by captain afab at 6:07 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


> Ok, that's it, what is up with the fart posts

What's up with all the non-fart posts the rest of the time?
posted by cirgue at 6:59 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Ok, that's it, what is up with the fart posts

Don't worry, this too shall pass.
posted by jamjam at 10:19 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Previously on AskMeFi: Have there been any farts recorded in the annals of history?
posted by verstegan at 2:56 PM on February 26

In the anals of history, surely!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:25 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


... or should I say 'this toot shall pass'?
posted by jamjam at 10:48 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Farts and scorpions.

The breadth of Mefi takes my breath away.
posted by jrochest at 12:28 AM on February 27


Yeah, I was wondering that too, is it fart day or something?
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 2:44 AM on February 27


The best libels were reserved for other writers, check out John Dryden's (1631-1700) poem Mac Flecknoe which completely excoriates his rival.
I'm disappointed with the fart joke narrative of this thread when there's a wealth of humour to mine from the Restoaration comedies of Sheridan, Wycherly and Congrieve.
( I did end up unemployed for a year after studying English Literature so my time spent studying these wonderful playwrights was an indulgence !).
posted by Narrative_Historian at 12:27 AM on February 28


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