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of Ludlow Caftle, when the Court of the Marches was revived.

In this part of his life, he married Mrs. Herbert, a gentlewoman of a good family; and lived, fays Wood, upon her fortune, having studied the common law, but never practised it. A fortune fhe had, fays his biographer, but it was loft by bad fecurities.

In 1663 was published the first part, containing three cantos, of the poem of Hudibras, which, as Prior relates, was made known at Court by the taste and influence of the Earl of Dorfet. When it was known, it was neceffarily admired: the king quoted, the courtiers ftudied, and the whole party of the royalists applauded it. Every eye watched for the golden fhower which was to fall upon the author, who certainly was not without his part in the general expectation.

In 1664 the fecond part appeared; the curiofity of the nation was rekindled, and the writer was again praised and elated. But praise was his whole reward. Clarendon, fays Wood, gave him reafon to hope for "places and employments of "value and credit;" but no fuch advantages did he ever obtain. It is reported that the King once gave him three hundred guineas; but of this temporary bounty I find no proof.

Wood relates that he was fecretary to Villiers Duke of Buckingham, when he was Chancellor of Cambridge: this is doubted by the other writer, who yet allows the Duke to have been his frequent benefactor. That both thefe accounts are falfe there is reafon to fufpect, from a story told by Packe, in his account of the Life of Wycherley; and from fome verfes which Mr. Thyer has published in the author's Remains.

"Mr. Wycherley," fays Packe, "had always laid hold of "an opportunity which offered of reprefenting to the Duke of "Buckingham how well Mr. Butler had deferved of the royal "family, by writing his inimitable Hudibras; and that it "was a reproach to the Court, that a perfon of his loyalty and "wit fhould fuffer in obfcurity, and under the wants he did. "The Duke always feemed to hearken to him with attention "enough; and after fome time, undertook to recommend his "pretenfions to his Majefty. Mr. Wycherley, in hopes to "keep him fteady to his word, obtained of his Grace to "name a day, when he might introduce that modeft and un"fortunate poet to his new patron. At laft an appointment


"was made, and the place of meeting was agreed to be the "Roebuck. Mr. Butler and his friend attended accordingly? "the Duke joined them; but, as the d-1 would have it, "the door of the room where they fat was open, and his "Grace, who had feated himself near it, obferving a pimp of "his acquaintance (the creature too was a knight) trip by with "a brace of Ladies, immediately quitted his engagement, to "follow another kind of business, at which he was more ready "than in doing good offices to men of defert; though no "one was better qualified than he, both in regard to his for"tune and understanding, to protect them, and, from that "time to the day of his death, poor Butler never found the "leaft effect of his promife!"

Such is the ftory. The verses are witten with a degree of acrimony, fuch as neglect and difappointment might naturally excite; and fuch as it would be hard to imagine Butler capable of expreffing against a man who had any claim to his gratitude,

Notwithstanding this difcouragement and neglect, he still profecuted his defign; and in 1678 published the third part, which still leaves the poem imperfect and abrupt. How much more he originally intended, or with what events the action was to be concluded, it is vain to conjecture. Nor can it be thought ftrange that he fhould stop here, however unexpectedly. To write without reward is fufficiently unpleafing. He had now arrived at an age when he might think it proper to be in jeft no longer, and perhaps his health might now begin to fail.

He died in 1680; and Mr. Longueville, having unfuc cessfully folicited a fubfcription for his interment in Weftminster Abbey, buried him at his own coft in the churchyard of Covent Garden*. Dr. Simon Patrick read the fervice.

Granger was informed by Dr. Pearce, who named for his authority Mr. Lowndes of the treasury, that Butler had an yearly penfion of an hundred pounds. This is contradicted by all tradition, by the complaints of Oldham, and by the reproaches of Dryden; and I am afraid will never be confirmed.

About fixty years afterwards, Mr. Barber, a printer, Mayor of London, and a friend to Butler's principles, bestowed

* In a note in the "Biographia Britannica," p. 1075, he is said, on the authority of the younger Mr. Longueville, to have lived for some years in Rose Street, Covent Garden, and also that he died there; the latter of these particulars is rendered highly probable by his being in. terred in the cemetry of that parish. H.


on him a fcribed:

monument in Westminster Abbey, thus in

M. S.


Qui Strenthamiæ in agro Vigorn. nat. 1612.
Orbiit Lond. 1680.

Vir doctus imprimis, acer, integer;
Operibus ingenii, non item præmiis, fælix:
Satyrici apud nos carminis artifex egregius;
Quo fimulatæ religionis larvam detraxit,
Et perduellium scelera liberrime exagitavit :
Scriptorum in suo genere, primus et poftremus.
Ne, cui vivo decrant fere omnia,
Deeffet etiam mortuo tumulus

Hoc tandem pofito marmore, curavit
Johannes Barber, civis Londinenfis, 1721.

Which is thus tranflated by the Author of Westmonafterium, in tom. I. p. 79.

Sacred to the memory of

Who was born at Strenfham in Worcestershire, 1612.
And died at London, 1680.

A man of extraordinary learning, wit, and integrity:
Peculiarly happy in his writings,

Not so in the encouragement of them:

The curious inventor of a kind of Satire amongst us,
By which he pluck'd the mask from pious Hypocrify,
And plentifully exposed the villany of Rebels:
The first and laft of writers in his way.

Left he, who (when alive) was deftitute of all things,
Should (when dead) want likewise a monument.
John Barber, citizen of London, hath taken care,
By placing this stone over him, 1721.

After his death were published three small volumes of his pofthumous works: I know not by whom collected, or by what authority afcertained *; and, lately, two volumes more have been printed by Mr. Thyer of Manchester, indubitably genuine. From none of these pieces can his life be traced, or his character difcovered. Some verfes, in the last collection, fhew him to have been among thofe who ridiculed the inftitution of the Royal Society, of which the enemies were for fome time very numerous and very acrimonious, for what reafon it is hard to conceive, fince the philofophers profeffer not to advance doctrines, but to produce facts; and the most zealous enemy of innovation must admit the gradual progress of experience, however he may oppofe hypothetical temerity.

In this mift of obfcurity paffed the life of Butler, a man whofe name can only perish with his language. The mode and place of his education are unknown; the events of his

They were collected into one, and publithed in 12m0.


life are varioufly related; and all that can be told with certainty is, that he was poor.

THE poems of Hudibras is one of thofe compofitions of which a nation may justly boaft; as the images which it exhibits are domeftic, the fentiments unborrowed and unexpected, and the strain of diction original and peculiar. We muit not, however, fuffer the pride, which we affume as the countrymen of Butler, to make any encroachment upon justice, nor appropriate those honours which others have a right to fhare. The poem of Hudibras is not wholly English; the original idea is to be found in the history of Don Quixote; a book to which a mind of the greatest powers may be indebted without difgrace.

Cervantes fhews a man, who having, by the inceffant perufal of incredible tales, fubjected his understanding to his imagination, and familiarifed his mind by pertinacious meditation to trains of incredible events and scenes of impossible existence, goes out in the pride of knighthood to redress wrongs, and defend virgins, to rescue captive princeffes, and tumble ufurpers from their thrones; attended by a squire, whofe cunning, too low for the fufpicion of a generous mind, enables him often to cheat his mafter.

The hero of Butler is a Prefbyterian Juftice, who, in the confidence of legal authority, and the rage of zealous ignorance, ranges the country to reprefs fuperftition and correct abufes, accompanied by an Independent Clerk, difputatious and obftinate, with whom he often debates, but never conquers him.

Cervantes had fo much kindness for Don Quixote, that, however he embarreffes him with abfurd diftreffes, he gives him fo much fenfe and virtue as may preferve our esteem: wherever he is, or whatever he does, he is made by matchless dexterity commonly ridiculous, but never contemptible.

But for poor Hudibras, his poet had no tenderness; he chufes not that any pity should be shewn or respect paid him : he gives him up at once to laughter and contempt, without any quality that can dignify or protect him.

In forming the character of Hudibras, and describing his person and habiliments, the author feems to labour with a tumultuous confufion of diffimilar ideas. He had read the hif tory of the mock knight-crrant; he knew the notions and manners of a Prefbyterian magistrate, and tried to unite the abfurdities of both, however diftant, in one perfonage. Thus


he gives him that pedantic oftentation of knowledge which has no relation to chivalry, and leads him with martial encumbrances that can add nothing to his civil dignity. He fends him out a colonelling, and yet never brings him within fight of war.

If Hudibras be confidered as the reprefentative of the Prefbyterians, it is not eafy to fay why his weapons fhould be represented as ridiculous or useless; for, whatever judgement might be paffed upon their knowledge or their arguments, experience had fufficiently fhown that their fwords were not to be defpifed.

The hero, thus compounded of fwaggerer and pedant, of knight and justice, is led forth to action, with his fquire Ralpho, an Independent enthufiaft.

Of the contexture of events planned by the author, which is called the action of the poem, fince it is left imperfect, no judgement can be made. It is probable, that the hero was to be led through many luckless adventures, which would give oc cafion, like his attack upon the bear end fiddle, to expose the ridiculous rigour of the fectaries; like his encounter with Sidrophel and Whacum, to make fuperftition and credulity contemptible; or, like his recourfe to the low retailer of the law, difcover the fraudulent practices of different profeffions.

What series of events he would have formed, or in what manner he would have rewarded or punished his hero, it is now vain to conjecture. His work must have had, as it seems, the defect which Dryden imputes to Spenfer; the action could not have been one; thofe could only have been a fucceffion of incidents, each of which might have happened without the rett, and which could not all co-operate to any fingle conclufion.

The difcontinuity of the action might however have been eafily forgiven, if there had been action enough: but I believe every reader regrets the paucity of events, and complains that in the poem of Hudibras, as in the hiftory of Thucydides, there is more faid than done. The fcenes are too feldom changed, and the attention is tired with long converfation. It is indeed much more eafy to form dialogues than to contrive adventures. Every pofition makes way for an argument, and every objection dictates an answer. When two difputants are engaged upon a complicated and extenfive question, the difficulty is not to continue, but to end the controverfy. whether it be that we comprehend but few of the poffibilities of life, or that life itfelf affords little variety, every man who

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