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HUDIBRAS,

A POEM,

IN T H R E E CA N T O S.

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ON

SAMUEL BUTLER, ESQ.

AUTHOR OF HUDIBRAS.

THE life of a retired scholar can furnish but little matter to the biographer: such was the character of Mr. Samuel Butler, Author of Hudibras. His father, whose name likewise was Samuel, had an estate of his own of about ten pounds yearly, which still goes by the name of Butler's Tenement, a Vignette of which may be seen in the Title-page of the first Volume : he held, likewise, an estate of three hundred pounds a year under Sir William Russell, Lord of the manor of Strensham, in Worcestershire.* He was not an ignorant farmer, but wrote a very clerk-like hand, kept the register, and managed all the business of the parish under the direc

* This information came from Mr. Gresley, Rector of Strensham, from the year 1706 to the year 1773, when he died, aged 100: so that he was born seven years before the poet died.

tion of his landlord, near whose house he lived, and from whom, very probably, he and his family received instruction and assistance. From his landlord they imbibed their principles of royalty, as Sir William was a most zealous royalist, and spent great part of his fortune in the cause, being the only person exempted from the benefit of the treaty, when Worcester surrendered to the parliament in the year 1646. Our poet's father was churchwarden of the parish the year before his son Samuel was born, and has entered his baptism, dated February 8, 1612, with his own hand, in the parish register. He had four sons and three daughters, born at Strensham; the three daughters, and one son, older than our poet, and two sons younger: none of his descendants remain in the parish, though some of them are said to be in the neighbouring villages.

Our author received his first rudiments of learning at home; he was afterwards sent to the College School at Worcester, then taught by Mr. Henry Bright*, prebendary of

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* Mr. Bright is buried in the cathedral church of Worcester, near the north pillar, at the foot of the steps which lead to the choir. He was born 1562, appointed schoolmaster 1586, made prebendary 1619, died 1626. The inscription in capitals, on a mural stone, now placed in what is called the Bishop's Chapel, is as follows:

Mane hospes et lege,
Magister HENRICUS BRIGHT,

Celeberrimus gymnarsiarcha,
Qui scholæ regiæ istic fundatæ per totos 40 annos

summa cum laude præfuit,

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