Reference > Cambridge History > The Age of Dryden > Samuel Butler > Penury of his Later Days
  Butler in the Employ of Sir Samuel Luke and the Earl of Carbery His Learning in Letters and Law  

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

II. Samuel Butler.

§ 5. Penury of his Later Days.


It is recorded that Butler contracted a marriage with a wealthy widow, but that they lost their property by unfortunate speculations. Another story attributes this loss to the rascality of lawyers and accounts thus for the exceeding bitterness with which the poet assails them. But this is an obscure point; even the lady’s name is not known for certain. If the question could be satisfactorily determined, light would possibly be thrown on the relations of Hudibras and the widow in the third part of the poem. It seems, however, tolerably certain that Butler passed the rest of his days in needy circumstances and died in abject penury. This is attested by an epigram full of bitterness on the subject of a monument erected to his memory in Westminster abbey in 1720:
       
While Butler, needy Wretch, was yet alive
No Generous Patron would a Dinner give.
See him when starv’d to death and turn’d to Dust
Presented with a monumental Bust.
The Poet’s Fate is here an Emblem show’n;
He asked for Bread and he receiv’d a Stone.
  8

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Butler in the Employ of Sir Samuel Luke and the Earl of Carbery His Learning in Letters and Law  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors