Samuel Butler Poems

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Samuel Butler
Samuel Butler (4 December 1612 18 June 1680) was born in Strensham, Worcestershire and baptised 14 February 1613. He is remembered now chiefly for a long satirical burlesque poem on Puritanism entitled Hudibras. He was the son of a farmer and was educated at the King's School, Worcester, under Henry Bright whose teaching is recorded favourably by Thomas Fuller a contemporary writer in his Worthies of England. In early youth he was page to the Countess of Kent, and thereafter clerk to various Puritan justices, some of whom are believed to have suggested characters in Hudibras. Through Lady Kent he met John Selden who influenced his later writings. He also tried his hand at painting but was reportedly not very good at it; one of his editors reporting that "his pictures served to stop windows and save the tax" (on window glass). After the Restoration he became Secretary to the Lord President of Wales, and about the same time married a Mrs. Herbert, a widow with a jointure, which, however, was lost. In 1663 the first part of Hudibras was published, and the other two in 1664 and 1678 respectively. One fan was Charles II, who granted him a pension.

hudibras: part i
 
 
THE ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST CANTO

Sir Hudibras his passing worth,
T... [read poem]
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