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SEMPER POPULO CHARUS, PRINCIPIBUS THE
IN DELICIIS, ADMIRATIONI OMNIBUS.
HIC CONDITUR TUMULO SUB EODEM EPITAPH
RARA VIRTUTE ET MULTA PROLE
NOBILIS UXOR, MARIA EX BRESSYORUM MR. WALLER’S MONUMENT,
FAMILIA, CUM EDMUNDO WALLER,
CONJUGE CHARISSIMO: QUEM TER ET IN BECONSFIELD CHURCH-YARD, IN BUCKING- DECIES LÆTUM FECIT PATREM, V FIHAMSHIRE;
LIIS, FILIABUS VIII; QUOS MUNDO WRITTEN BY MR. RYMER, LATE HISTORIOGRAPHER-ROYAL. DEDIT, ET IN COELUM REDIIT.
On the West end.
POETAS SUI TEMPORIS FACILE
LINGUA QUOD CREDAS, SI GRÆCE LATINEQUE INTERMITTERENT, MUSÆ
LOQUI AMARENT ANGLICE.
On the East end.
LOCUM HABUIT; CANTABRIGIAM
EX HAMPDENA STIRPE MATREM:
PRIMA UXOR ANNA EDWARDI BANKS
PATER FACTUS; EX SECUNDA
A. D. MDCLXXXVII.
On the South side.
EDMUNDUM WALLER, QUI TANTI
MUSIS SE DEDIT, ET PATRIÆ,
MISSUS. HIC VITÆ CURSUS; NEC
On the North side.
MARIÆQUE EX SECUNDIS NUPTIIS
PIISSIME PARENTAVIT EDMUNDUS FILIUS HONORES BENE-MERENTIBUS EXTREMOS DEDIT QUOS IPSE FUGIT. EL. W. I. P. H. G. EX TESTAMENTO
H. M. P. IN JUL. MDCC.
LIFE OF BUTLER,
BY DR. JOHNSON,
Of the great author of Hudibras there is a life prefixed to the latter editions of his poem, by an unknown writer, and therefore of disputable authority; and some account is incidentally given by Wood, who confesses the uncertainty of his own narrative : more however than they knew cannot now be learned, and nothing remains but to compare and copy them.
SAMUEL BUTLER was born in the parish of Strensham in Worcestershire, according to his biographer, in 1612. This account Dr. Nash finds confirmed by the register. He was christened Feb. 14.
His father's condition is variously represented. Wood mentions him as competently wealthy; but Mr. Longueville, the son of Butler's principal friend, says he was an honest farmer with some small estate, who made a shift to educate his son at the grammar-school of Worcester, under Mr. Henry Bright', from whose care he removed for a
I These are the words of the author of the short account of Butler prefixed to Hudibras, which Dr. Johnson, notwithstanding what he says above, seems to have supposed was written by Mr. Longueville, the father, but the contrary is to be inferred from a subsequent passage, wherein the author laments, that he had neither such an acquaintance nor interest with Mr. Longueville, as to procure from him the goiden remains of Butler there mentioned. He was probably led into the mistake by a note in the Beoz. Brit. p. 1077, signifying, that the son of this gentleman was living in 1736.
Of this friend and generous patron of Butler, Mr. William Longueville, I find an account, written by a person who was well acquainted with him, to this effect; viz. that he was a conveyancing lawyer, and a bencher of the Inner Temple, and had raised himself from a low beginning to very great eminence in that profession; that he was eloquent and learned, of spotless integrity ; that he supported an aged father, who had ruined his fortunes by extravagance, and by his industry and application re-edified a ruined family; that he supported Butler, who, but for him, must literally have starved; and received froin him, as a recompense, the papers called his Remains. (Life of the Lord-keeper Guilford, p. 289.) These have since been given to the public by Mr. Thyer of Manchester; and the originals are now in the hands of the rev. Dr. Farmer, master of Emanuel College, Cambridge. H.
short time to Cambridge ; but, for want of money, was never made a member of any college. Wood leaves us rather doubtful whether he went to Cambridge or Oxford; but at last makes him pass six or seven years at Cambridge, without knowing in what hall or college; yet it can hardly be imagined, that he lived so long in either university but as belonging to one house or another; and it is still less likely, that he could have so long inhabited a place of learning with so little distinction as to leave his residence uncertain. Dr. Nash has discovered, that his father was owner of a house and a little land, worth about eight pounds a year, still called Butler's tenement.
Wood has his information from his brother, whose narrative placed him at Cambridge, in opposition to that of his neighbours, which sent him to Oxford. The brother seems the best authority, till, by confessing his inability to tell his hall or college, he gives reason to suspect, that he was resolved to bestow on him an academical education, but durst not name a college, for fear of detection.
He was for some time, according to the author of bis Life, clerk to Mr. Jefferys of 5 Earl's Croomb in Worcestershire, an emineut justice of the peace. In his service he had not only leisure for study, but for recreation ; his amusements were music and painting ; and the reward of his pencil was the friendship of the celebrated Cooper. » Some pictures, said to be his, were shown to Dr. Naslı, at Earl's Croomb; but, when he inquired for them some years afterwards, he found them destroyed, to stop windows, and owns, that they hardly deserved a better fate.
He was afterward admitted into the family of the countess of Kent, where he had the use of a library; and so much recommended himself to Selden, that he was often employed by him in literary business. Selden, as is well known, was steward to the u countess, and is supposed to have gained much of his wealth by managing her estate.
In what character Butler was admitted into that lady's service, how long he continued in it, and why he left it, is, like the other incidents of his life, utterly unknown.
The vicissitudes of his condition placed him afterward in the family of sir Samuel Luke, one of Cromwell's officers. Here he observed so much of the character of the sectaries, that he is said to have written or begun his poem at this time; and it is likely, that such a design would be formed in a place, where 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, president 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, says 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,