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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Samuel Butler (1612–1680)

Butler, Samuel. An English satirist; born in Strensham, Worcestershire, in Feb. 1612; died in London, Sept. 25, 1680. His famous poem ‘Hudibras,’ a witty and sharp satire on the Puritans, secured instant favor with the king and the public; yet after the appearance of the first part in 1663, he spent seventeen years in poverty and obscurity. The second and third divisions of ‘Hudibras’ appeared in 1664 and 1678. The general design of the great poem was derived from ‘Don Quixote.’ The situations of the mock epic are few but ludicrous, and the whole canvas is embellished with imagination, raillery, subtle casuistry, brilliant epigrams, and sparkling wit. Butler’s next important works are: ‘The Elephant in the Moon,’ a satire on the Royal Society; a series of prose ‘Characters’; and an ‘Ode to Duval,’ the famous highwayman. ‘The Posthumous Works of Mr. S. Butler’ were published with great success (1715). (See Critical and Biographical Introduction).