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had the Happiness to be more intimately acquainted with him.
The Reputation of this Incomparable Poem, is fo throughly establish'd in the World, thatit would be fuperfluous, if not impertinent, to endeavour any Panegyrick upon it. King Charles II. whom the judicious Part of Mankind will readily acknowledge to be a Sovereign Judge of Wit, was fo great an Admirer of it, that he would often pleasantly quote it in his Converfation: However, fince most Men have a Curiofity to have fome Account of fuch Anonymous Authors, whofe Compofitions have been Eminent for Wit or Learning; I have been defir'd to oblige them with fuch Informations, as I could receive from thofe who had the Happiness to be acquainted with him, and alfo to rectifie the Miftakes of the Oxford Antiquary, in his Athenæ Oxonienfes, concerning him.
Amuel Butler, the Author of this Excellent Poem, was born in the Parish of Strenfham in the County of Worcester, and Baptized there the 13th of Feb. 1612. His Father, who was of the fame Name, was an honest Country Farmer, who had fome fmall Eftate of his own, but Rented a much greater of the Lord of the Mannor where he lived. However, perceiving in this Son of his an early inclination to Learning, he made a fhift to have him educated in the Free-School at Worcester, under Mr. Henry Bright, where having past the ufual Time, and being become an excellent School-Scholar, he went for fome little time to Cambridge, but was never matriculated into that Univerfity; his Father's Abilities not being fufficient to be at the Charge of an Academical Education, fo that our Author returned foon into his Native Country, and became Clerk to one Mr. Jefferys of Earls-Croom, an a 4
Eminent Justice of the Peace for that County, with whom he liv'd fome years in an easie and no contemptible Service. Here, by the Indulgence of a kind Mafter, he had fufficient leifure to apply himself to whatsoever Learning his Inclinations lead him which were chiefly Hiftory and Poetry, to which for his Diverfion, he join'd Mufick and Painting and I have feen fome PiEtures, faid to be of his Drawing, which remain'd in that Family, which I mention not for the Excellency of them, but to fatisfie the Reader of his early Inclinations to that Noble Art, for which alfo he was afterwards entirely beloved by Mr. Samuel Cooper, one of the most Eminent Painter's of his Time.
He was after this recommended to that great Encourager of Learning, Elizabeth Countess of Kent, where he had not only the opportunity to confult all manner of Learned Books, but to converfe alfo with that living Library of Learning, the Great Mr. Selden.
Our Author liv'd fome time alfo with Sir Samuel Luke, who was of an Anci ent Family in Bedfordshire, but, to his
Dishonour, an Eminent Commander under the ufurper Oliver Cromwell, and then it was, as I am inform'd, he Compofed this Loyal Poem. For tho Fate more than Choice feems to have plac'd him in the Service of a Knight fo Notorious, both in his Perfon and Politicks; yet by the Rule of Contraries, one may obferve throughout his whole Poem, that he was moft Orthodox, both in his Religion and Loyalty. And I am the more induc'd to believe he wrote it about that time, because he had then the Opportunity to converfe with thofe Living Characters of Rebellion, Nonfenfe, and Hypocrifie, which he fo Lively and Pathetically expofes throughout the whole Work
After the Reftauration of King Charles II. those who were at the Helm minding Money more than Merit, our Author found that Verfe of Juvenal to be exactly verified in himself;
Haud facilè emergunt, quorum Virtutibus obftat,
Res angufta Domi:
And being endued with that Innate Modefty, which rarely finds Promotion in Princes Courts; he became Secretary to Richard Earl of Carbury, Lord Prefident of the Principality of Wales, who made him Steward of Ludlow Caftle, when the Court there was revived. About this time he married one Mrs. Herbert, a Gentlewoman of a very good Family, but no Widow, as our Oxford Antiquary has reported: She had a competent Fortune, but it was most of it unfortunately loft, by being put out on ill Security, fo that it was little Alvantage to him. He is reported by our Antiquary, to have been Secretary to his Grace George Duke of Buckingham, when he was Chancellour to the University of Cambridge; but whether that be true or no, 'tis certain, the Duke had a great Kindness for him, and was often a Benefactor to him. But no Man was a more generous Friend to him, than that Mecenas of all Learned and Witty Men, Charles Lord Buckhurft, now Earl of Dorfet and Middlefex; who, being himself an excellent Poet, knew