Samuel Butler

(1612 - 1680 / England)

Samuel Butler
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Poet and satirist; born at Strensham in Worcestershire and educated at the King's School, Worcester. He then went to work as a secretary to Thomas Jefferey at Earl's Croom, near to Upton-upon-Severn. He took up painting and there are two portraits attributed to him in the nearby rectory.

Charles II is known to have had a high opinion of Butler's great religious satire Hudibras (1663-1678) and awarded him an annual pension of £100, although the writer still died in poverty.

Butler began Hudibras while lodging in Holborn around 1658. In 1661 he is recorded as being at Ludlow Castle as steward to Richard Vaughan, Earl of Carberry. During the Civil War the castle had been... more »

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Quotations

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  • When civil fury first grew high,
    And men fell out, they knew not why;
    When hard words, jealousies, and fears,
    Set folks together by the ears,
    And made them fight, like mad ...
    Samuel Butler (1612-1680), British poet. Hudibras (l. 1-6). OxBoLi. Everyman's Book of English Verse. John Wain, ed. (1981) J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd....
  • ''God and the Devil are an effort after specialization and the division of labor.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 295, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
  • ''A skilful leech is better far
    Than half a hundred men of war.''
    Samuel Butler (1612-1680), British poet. eds. John Wilders and Hugh de Quehen (1973). Hudibras, pt. 1, cto. 2, l. 245 (1663).
  • ''The Athanasian Creed is to me light and intelligible reading in comparison with much that now passes for science.''
    Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 125, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
  • ''Love is a boy, by poets styled,
    Then spare the rod and spoil the child.''
    Samuel Butler (1612-1680), British poet. eds. John Wilders and Hugh de Quehen (1973). Hudibras, pt. 2, cto. 1, l. 843 (1664).
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