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Friday, July 28, 2006

Habakkuk has a what?

So, it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been hunkered down in deep revisions. But I was jolted out of them by the salacious and the ridiculous. And I'm here to report on this, briefly, before getting back to work.

Perhaps you recall the scriptural prophet Habbakuk -- who wondered why there was so much misery in the world and God didn't do anything about it, but then progressed into renewed faith. At least, according to the modern-day puritans who talk about Habakkuk online.

At any rate, the early modern puritans seem to have had a liking for Habakkuk as well -- good, obscure prophet that he is. At any rate, this according to an unreliable witness, John Phillips, whose "Satyr against hypocrites" was first published in 1655, and imagines a group of puritan women calling for more Habakkuks. Sort of:

As 'tis in th' English his name ends in uck,
And so his name is called Habacuck.
But in th' original it ends in Ock,
For that dear Sisters calls him Have-a-Cock.
And truly I suppose I need not fear
But that there are many Have-a-Cocks here:
The Laud increase the number of Have-a-Cocks,
Truly false Prophets will arise in flocks.

(Wing P2101, C1r-v)

In EEBO-ing this, I discovered that there was in fact an even dirtier joke in the period centering on the same phrase, which I will modestly and delicately conceal from you all.

Well, I've lowered the tone. All this abstruse reading, and it just ends in a dirty joke. My work here is done.

 Scribble some marginalia

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