« 이전계속 »
had the Happiness to be more intimately acquainted with him.
The Reputation of this Incomparable Poem, is so throughly establish'd in the World, that it would be superfluous, 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 Fudge of Wit, would often pleasantly quote it in his conversation : However, since most Men have
Curiosity to have some Account of such Anonymous Authors, whose Compositions have been Eminent for Wit or Learning; I have been desir’d to oblige them with fuch Informations, as Icould receive from those who had the Happiness, to be acquainted with him, and also to rectifie the Mistakes of the Oxford Antiquary, in his Athenæ Oxonienfes, concerning him.
Amuel Butler, the Author of this
Excellent Poem, was Born in the Parish of Strensham in the County of Worcester, and Baptiz’d there the 13th of Feb. 1612. His Father, who was of the fame Name, was an honest Country Farmer, mbo bad fome small Estate 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 shift to have him educated in the Free-School at Worcester, under Mr. Henry Bright, where having past the usual Time, and being become an excellent School-Scholar, he went for some little time to Cambrige, but was never matriculated into that Unis versity; his Farber's Abilities not being sufficient to be at the Charge of an Academical Education, so that our Author returned soon
into his Native Country, and became Clerk to one Mr. Jefferys of Earls-Croom, an Eminent Justice of the Peace for that County, with whom he liv'd some years in an easie and no contemptible Service. Here, by the Indulgence of a kind Master, he had fufficient leisure to apply bimself to whatsoever Learning his Inclinations led him to, which were chiefly History and Poetry, to which for his Diversion, he join'd Musick and Painting; and I have seen some Pičtures, said 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 allo he was afterwards entirely belved by Mr.Samuel Cooper, one of the most Eminent Painters 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 consult all manner of Learned Books, but to converse also with that living Library of Learning, the Grea Mr. Selden,
Our Author liv’d some time also with Sir Samuel Luke, who was of an Ancient Family in Bedfordshire, but, to his Dishonour, an Eminent Commander under the Usurper Oliver Cromwell, and then it was, as lam inform’d, he Composed this Loyal Poem. For tho' Fate more than Voice seems to have plac'd him in the Service of a Knight so Notorious, both.in bis Person and Politicks, yet by the Rule of Contraries, one may observe throughout his whole Poem, that he was most Orthodox, both in his Religion and loyalty. And I am the more induc'd to believe be wrote it about tbat time, because he had then the Opportunity to converse with those Living Characters of Rebellion, Nonsense, and Hypocrisie, which he so Lively and Pathetically exposes throughout the whole Work.
After the Restauration of King Charles II. those who were at the Helm minding Money more than Merit, our Author found that Verse of Juvenal to be exactly verified in himself ;
Haud facilè emergunt, quorum Virtutibus
And being endued with that Innate Modesty, 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 Castle, when the Court there was revived. Aboret this time he married one Mrs. Herbert, a Gentlewoman of a very good Family, but no Widow, as our Oxford Anti- . quary bas reported : She bąd a competent Fortune, but it was most of it unfortunately loft, by being put out on ill Secu rities, so that it was little Advantage to him. He is reported by our Antiquary, to have been Secretaryto his Grace George Duke of Buckingham, wben he was Chancellour to the University of Cambrige ; 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 ge.