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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Samuel Butler Poems
The Metaphysical Sectarian
HE was in Logick a great Critick, Profoundly skill'd in Analytick. He could distinguish, and divide A Hair 'twixt South and South-West side:
Hudibras: Part 1 - Canto I
Sir Hudibras his passing worth, The manner how he sallied forth; His arms and equipage are shown;
Sonnets On Miss Savage
She was too kind, wooed too persistently, Wrote moving letters to me day by day; The more she wrote, the more unmoved was I,
Puritans - (from Hudibras)
Our brethren of New England use Choice malefactors to excuse, And hang the guiltless in their stead, Of whom the churches have less need;
Hudibras: Part 3 - Canto II
The Saints engage in fierce Contests About their Carnal interests; To share their sacrilegious Preys,
Hudibras: Part 3 - Canto I
The Knight and Squire resolve, at once, The one the other to renounce. They both approach the Lady's Bower;
Hudibras: Part 2 - Canto II
The Knight and Squire, in hot dispute, Within an ace of falling out, Are parted with a sudden fright
Hudibras: Part 2 - Canto I
The Knight by damnable Magician, Being cast illegally in prison, Love brings his Action on the Case.
Hudibras: Part 3 - Canto III
The Knight and squire's prodigious Flight To quit th' inchanted Bow'r by Night. He plods to turn his amorous Suit
Hudibras - The Lady's Answer to The Knig...
That you're a beast, and turn'd to grass, Is no strange news, nor ever was; At least to me, who once you know, Did from the pound replevin you,
Hudibras, Part I (excerpts)
THE ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST CANTOSir Hudibras his passing worth, The manner how he sallied forth; His arms and equipage are shown; His horse's virtues, and his own.
An Heroic Epistle of Hudibras To His Lad...
I who was once as great as Caesar, Am now reduc'd to Nebuchadnezzar; And from as fam'd a conqueror As ever took degree in war,
Hudibras: Part 1 - Canto III
The scatter'd rout return and rally, Surround the place; the Knight does sally,
Quotationsmore quotations »
''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).
''It is tact that is golden, not silence.''Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 229 (1951).
''The dead being the majority it is a natural thing that we should have more friends among these than among the living.''Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 221, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
''It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.''Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 219 (1951).
''America was too big to have been discovered all at one time. It would have been better for the graces if it had been discovered in pieces of about the size of France or Germany at a time.''Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 135, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
Comments about Samuel Butler
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
The Metaphysical Sectarian
HE was in Logick a great Critick,
Profoundly skill'd in Analytick.
He could distinguish, and divide
A Hair 'twixt South and South-West side:
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands, and still confute.
He'd undertake to prove by force
Of Argument, a Man's no Horse.
He'd prove a Buzard is no Fowl,
And that a Lord may be an Owl;
A Calf an Alderman, a Goose a Justice,
And Rooks Committee-men and Trustees.
He'd run in Debt by Disputation,
And pay with Ratiocination.
All this by Syllogism, true
In Mood and Figure, he would ...