Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

and a friend to Mr. Butler's principles, bestowed on him a monument in Westminster Abbey, thus inscribed ::

M. S. SAMUELIS BUTLERI, Qui Strenshamia in agro Vigorn. nat. 1612,

obiit 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 Poftreimus.

Ne, cui vivo deerant ferè omnia,

Deesset etiam mortuo Tumulus, Hoc tandem pofito marmore, curavit JOHANNES BARBER, Civis Londinensis, 1721.

ANN

B

After

After his death were published three small volumes of his posthumous works: I know not by whom collected, or by what authority ascertained; 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 cha racter 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, fince the philosophers profeffed not to advance doctrines, but to produce facts; and the most zealous enemy of innova

tion must admit the gradual progress of experience, however he may oppose hypothetical temerity.

In this mift of obscurity passed the life of Butler, a man whose name can only perish with his language. The date of his birth is doubtful; the mode and place of his education are unknown; the events of his life are varioufly related; and all that can be told with certainty is, that he was poor.

THE poem of Hudibras is one of those compositions of which a nation may justly boaft; as the images which it exhibits are domestick, the senti

ments

ments unborrowed and unexpected, and the frain of diation original and peculiar. We must not, however, suffer the pride which we affume as the country. men of Butler to make any encroachment upon juttice, for appropriate those honours wich others have a right to fhare. The poem of Hudibras is not wholly Engliih; the original idea is to be found in the hitory of Don Quixote; a book to which a mind of the greatest rowers may be indebted without dis$102.

Cervantes shews a man, who, having, by the iccettant perusal of incredible tales, subjected his understanding to bis imagination, and familiarised his rhind by perrinacious ineditation to think

on

of incredible events and scenes of impoffible 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, - The hero of Butler is a Presbyterian Justice, who, in the confidence of legal authority, and the rage of zealous ignorance, ranges the country to repress superstition and correct abuses, accompanied by an Independant clerk, disputatious and obstinate, with whom he often debates, but never conquers him.

Cervantes had so much kindness for Don Quixote, that, however he emVo.. VI.

barrafies

« ПредишнаНапред »