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Tell her that's young,
that hadst thou sprung
Small is the worth
bid her come forth,
Then die! that she
may read in thee,
Life of Waller, - - - page 1
she pleases, ------ 4
The Story of Ptabus and Daphne,
applied, ---'--- 4
the Lute, -----.-5
fore, - - ------ S
To my young lady Lucy Sidney, 7
To PhUlis, . - W
To the mutable Fair, - . . - It
the celebrated author of Hudibras, was born at Strensham in Worcestershire, and baptized Feb. 13, 1612; tome say he was born in 1600. His father was a respectable farmer, who had his son educated at Worcester. He was afterwards 6 or 7 years at Cambridge, but was never matriculated. He returned to his native country, and became clerk to Mr. Jefferys, of Earl's-croom, a justice of the peace. This employment left him a considerable portion of leisure, which he devoted to the studies of history and poetry, as well M to music and painting. He was afterwards admitted into the family of that patroniser of learning, Elizabeth, Countess of Kent, where he became acquainted with the great Seldon, to whom he acted occasionally asemanuensis. He next lived with Sir Samuel
Luke, a general under Cromwell. It was here that he began to write Hudibras, in which character he intended to ridicule the knight. The poem itself supplies the key, for Hudibras says, p. 1, can. 1, ver. 904.
"Tis sung there is a valiant mamaluke
in foreign land ycleped
to whom we oft have been compared,
. Jn Butler's Posthumous Works there is a ball!** which tends to confirm this opinion. It is called
A TALE OF THE COBLER AND VICAR OF BRAY. In Bedfordshire there dwelt a knight,
Sir Samuel by name; who by his feats in civil broils
obtained a mighty fame. , ;,
Nor was he much less wise than stout.
but fit in both respects to humble sturdy cavaliers,
and to support the sects.
This worthy knight was one that swore,
he would not cut his beard, till this ungodly nation was
from kings and bishops dearM.
Which holy vow he firmly kept,
and most devoutly wore a grizzly meteor on his face,
till they were both no more. His worship was, in short, a man
of such exceeding worth,
no pen nor pencil can describe,
'or rhyming bard set foith.
Many and mighty things he did
both sober and in liquor; witness the mental fray between
the Cobler and the Vicar.
After the restoration, Butler became secretary to Richard Earl of Carberry, Lord President of Wales, who appointed him steward of Ludlow Castle, when the court was revived there. About this time he married a Mrs. Herbert, a gentlewoman of good family, but her property was lost by her money being lent on bad security. In 1663, Butler appeared in a new character by the publication of the first part of his Hudibras, in 3 cantos. This production became soon known through the influence of that Maecenas of literature, Charles Lord Buckhurst, earl of Dorset and Middlesex, and the king and the entire royal party received it with enthusiastic applause. The next year the second part was published, and a third in 1678. He had promises of a good place from lord Clarendon, high chancellor of England, but they were never accomplished. It was highly reproachful to the court, that Butler's loyalty and wit did not procure him some alleviation from obscurity and want. Like Cervantes he wa9 universally admired, and like himsufTered to languish in indigence. Charles 2, indeed once ordered him <£30Q, which seems to be the only court favour he ever received. He did not, .however, take a single shilling of it himself, but requested his friends Mr. Longueville to convert the whole gratuity to the payment of some debts. This neglect appears the more strange as the king was excessively fond of the poem. Butler was not insensible to his situation, for in his '* Hudibras at Court" he says.
"Now you must know, Sir Hudibras
with such perfections gifred was,
and so peculiar in his manner,
that all that saw him did him honour.
Among the rest this prince was one,
admired his conversation.
This prince, whose ready wit and parts
conquer'd both men and women's hearts,
was so o*ercome with Knight and Ralph,'
that he could never claw it off:
he never eat, nor drank, nor slept,
but Hudibras still near him kept;
nor would he go to church, or so,
but Hudibras must with him go;
nor yet to visit concubine,
or at a city feast to dine,
but Hudibras must still be there,
or all the fat was in the fire.
Now after all, was it not hard, i
that he should meet with no regard,
that fitted out his Knight and Squirt,
this monarch did so much admire,
that he should never reimburse
the man for th* equipage or horse,
is sure a strange ungrateful thing,
in any body but a king.
But this good king, it seems, was told
by some that were with him too bold*
No. 7T. 6
if e'er you hope to gain your ends,
to leave his friends to starve and die,
The integrity of Butler's life the acuteness of his wit
Samuelis Butleri qui Strenshamiae in agro Vigorniensi
scelera liberrime exagitavit;
scriptorum in suo genere primus et postremus.
Ne cui vivo deerant fere omnia
deesset etiam mortuo tumulus,
hoc tandum posito marmore, curavit
Joannes Barber Civis Londinensis. 1721.
Soon after the erection of this monument, Mr. Samuel Wesley wrote the following Epigram.