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With Life, Critical Dissertation, and
REV. GEORGE GILFILLAN.
JAMES NICHOL, 9 NORTH BANK STREET.
LONDON: JAMES NISBET AND CO.
DUBLIN: W. ROBERTSON.
WORKS OF SAMUEL BUTLER.
We have hitherto, in this edition of the "Poets," had chiefly to do with the authors of grave and serious song-men who felt, and who enacted the feeling, that poetry was an earnest matter—a minor, but real religion-a proclamation, in various forms and measures, of the truth that is in beauty, or else of the beauty that is in truth. We come now to one of the earliest, and one of the ablest, of those writers of English verse, who have sought for their inspiration in ridicule, and who have tried rather to travesty truth, than to enforce or illustrate it in their poetry-if poetry it can be called, which is rather rhymed prose, sense, and wit, than that idealization of thought and feeling, which we usually call poetry.
SAMUEL BUTLER, the author of " Hudibras," was born in the parish of Strensham, in Worcestershire, some authorities say, in the year 1600, but others, more credibly, in the year 1612. He was baptized on February the 14th of the same year. His father, a yeoman, was the owner of a house and some land, and, besides, rented a considerable farm. He sent his son to the grammar-school at Worcester, taught at the time by one Henry Bright, a prebendary of the cathedral, and a man of eminence as a scholar. He is supposed to have gone from this to Cambridge, but, as he is ascertained never to have matriculated, the probability is, that his parents were unable to support him in the career of learning to which he was urged by