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he saw the principles and practices of the rebels, audacious and undisguised in the confidence of success.
At length the King returned, and the time came in which loyalty hoped for its reward. Butler, however, was only made secretary to the Earl of Carbury, prefident of the principality of Wales; who conferred on him the stewardship of Ludlow Castle *, 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, says Wood, upon her fortune, having studied the common law, but never practised it. A fortune she had, fays his biographer, but it was lost by bad securities,
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 Dorset. When it was known, it was necessarily admired: the king quoted, the courtiers studied, and the whole party of the royalists applauded it. Every eye watched for the golden shower which was to fall upon the author, who certainly was not without his part in the general expectation.
In 1664 the second part appeared; the curiosity of the nation was rekindled, and the writer was again praised and elated. But praise was his whole reward. Clarendon, says Wood, gave himn reason to hope for “.places and employments of value and credit;" but no such advantages did he ever obtain. It is reported tkat the King once gave him three hundred guineas; but of this temporary bounty I find no proof.
This is said by Mr. Thomas Warton, and with great appearance of truth, to have been a very honourable and lucrative office. Mil. tog's Poems with notes.
Wood relates that he was fecretary to Villiers Duke 13 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 these.accounts are false there is reason to suspect, from a story told by Packe, in his account of the Life of Wycherley ; and from some ver-, fes which Mr. Thyer has published in the author's Re. mains. “ Mr. Wycherley,” says Packe, “ had always laid
li “ hold of an opportunity which offered of representing “ to the Duke of Buckingham how well Mr. Butler “ had deserved of the royal family, by writing his “ inimitable Hudibras; and that it was a reproach to “ the Court, that a person of his loyalty and wit' “ should suffer in obfcurity, and under the wants he: “ did. The duke always seemed to hearken to him
with attention enough; and, after some time, un“ dertook to recommend his pretensions to his Ma
jesty. Mr. Wycherley, in hopes to keep him “ steady to his word, obtained of his Grace to name a
day, when he might introduce thar modest and un“ fortunate poet to his new patron. At last an ap“pointment 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-would have it, the door of the room “ where they fat was open, and his Grace, who had “ seated himself near it, observing a pimp of his ac“ quaintance (the creature too was a knight) trip by “ with a brace of Ladies, immediately quitted his en
gagement, 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 fortune and under“ standing, to protect them; and from that time to the “ day of his death, poor Butler never found the least o effect of his promise!”
Such is the story. The verses are written with a degree of acrimony, such as neglect and disappointment might naturally excite; and such as it would be hard to imagine Butler capable of expressing against a man who had any claim to his gratitude.
Notwithstanding this discouragement and neglect, he still prosecuted his design; 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 strange that he should stop here, however unexpectedly. To write without reward is sufficiently unpleasing. He had now' arrived at an age when he might think it proper to be in jest no longer, and perhaps his health might now begin to fail.
He died in 1680; and Mr. Longueville, having unsuccessfully solicited a subscription for his interment in Westminster Abbey, buried him at his own cost in the church-yard of Covent Garden *. Dr. Simon Pay trick read the service,
Granger was informed by Dr. Pearce, who named for his authority Mr. Lowndes of the treasury, that Butler
* In a note in the “ Biographia Britannica," page 1075, he is said, on the authority of the younger Mr. Longueville, to have lived for some years in Rose Street, Covent-Garden, and alfo that he died there; the latter of these particulars is rendered highly probable by his being interred in the cemetery of that parish,
had an yearly pension 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 sixty years afterwards, Mr. Barber, a printer, Mayor of London, and a friend to Butler's principles, bestowed on him a monument in Westminster Abbey, thus inscribed :
obiit Lond. 1680.
Quo fimulatæ Religionis Larvam detraxit,
Ne, cui vivo deerant ferè omnia,
Hoc tandem pofito marmore, curavit
er, indubitably genuine. , From none of these pieces can his life be traced, or his character discovered. Some verses, in the last collection, thew him to have been among those who ridiculed the institution of the Royal Society, of which the enemies were for some time very numerous and very acrimonious, for what reason it is hard to conceive, since the philosophers profefsed not to advance doctrines, but to proThey were collected into one, and published in 12mo. 1732.
duce facts; and the inost zealous enemy of innova'tion must admit the gradual progress of experiepce, however he may oppose hypothetical temerity.
În this mist of obscurity passed the life of Butler, a man whose name can only perish with his language. The mode and place of his education are unknown; the events of his life are variously related; and all that can be told with certainty is, that he was poor.
THE poem of Hudibras is one of those compofitions of which a nation may justly boast; as the images which it exhibits are domestick, the sentiments unborrowed and unexpected, and the strain of diction original and peculiar. We must not, however, suffer the pride, which we assume as the countrymen of Butler, to make any encroachment upon justice, nor appropriate those honours which others have a right to fare. 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 disgrace.
Cervantes shews a man, who having, by the incess sant perufal of incredible tales, subjected his understanding to his imagination, and familiarised 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 princesses, and tumble usurpers from their thrones; attended by a squire, whose cunning, too low for the suspicion of a generous mind, enables him often to cheat his master. 7