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out, and only Mr. Longueville's charity stood between him and absolute destitution, the poet, some time in 1680, caught a fever, or a consumption, which carried him off on the 25th of September, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. Mr. Longueville, to whom Butler had bequeathed his papers, acted as his executor. He made Men are often modest and amiable in exertions to get up a subscription for burytheir personal demeanor who are fierce ing his deceased friend in Westminster and aggressive in their writings; but with Abbey; but though the news of Butler's all allowance on this score, it is too evi- death in such melancholy circumstances dent that a man who could not let even seems to have caused a good deal of talk the venerable Royal Society alone, must in town, and became the subject of strong have had a crabbed and ill-conditioned comment afterwards by Dryden, Oldham, element in him, not likely to further his and others, the interest felt at the mointerests in life. Probably the consciousness ment was not sufficient to carry Mr. Lonof this, developed at last into the habitual gueville's project. Accordingly, the poet's sourness of a disappointed man, was the remains were interred, at Mr. Longuesecret of Butler's solitary way of living. ville's own expense, in the churchyard of He was emphatically, as Dr. Johnson St. Paul's, Covent Garden. He seems to would have said, not a "clubbable” man. | have wished to be buried there. He "It is both the wisest and safest way," is was buried, says Aubrey, the 27th of Sepone of the maxims found in his common- tember, "according to his own appointplace-book, "to keep at a convenient dis- ment, in the churchyard of Covent Gartance from all men; for when men con- den, in the north part, next the church, verse too closely, they commonly, like at the east end. His feet touch the wall. those that meet in crowds, offend one His grave two yards distant from the another." Poor man, he seems at last to pilaster of the dore, by his desire six foot overtasked his own maxim, and to have deepe. About twenty-five of his old ackept at an inconvenient distance from all quaintance at his funeral, I myself being men. There is good evidence that in his one." It is worth while, reader, should last days he was literally in want. If he you ever be passing through Covent Garhad made any money by his Hudibras, it den, to stand by the railing of the now was too little to stand him in stead of somewhat dingy churchyard, on the west everything else; and he was too slow and side, a little away from where the market shiftless, and perhaps too proud, a writer gardeners chaffer among their baskets and to make much of such opportunities as cabbage leaves, and to indentify, by Auwriting for periodicals and the like then brey's description, the spot where the auafforded. He appears, in his necessity, to thor of Hudibras is buried. It was, one have thought of making a desperate at- may say, the centre of his domain of extempt at a drama, then the species of lite-ercise and observation while he was alive. rature which brought the best returns; It is very near Rose Street, and round it and part of a tragedy, entitled "Nero," lie the Strand, Fleet Street, Gerard Street, was found among his papers. But his true Drury Lane, and all the other classic old resource was Mr. Longueville. "Mr. streets in which the literary men of that Longueville," says Roger North, in his time (the Shaksperes and Jonsons of a Life of Lord Guildford, "was the last pa- former age had kept more to the south tron and friend that poor old Butler, the and east) had their haunts and dwellings, author of Hudibras, had, and, in his old and which still, in later generations, though age, he supported him, otherwise he might the tendency continued to be north and have been literally starved." What was westward, served for the Addisons, and the exact measure of Mr. Longueville's Johnsons, and Goldsmiths, to live and kindness is unknown-one always fancies walk in. Ah, London! thou perpetual that wealthy lairds and lawyers might do home of a shifting multitude, how, as into so very much with their purses in such a vast sieve, the generations keep decases. At all events, after hard winter scending amid thy brick-built streets and passed in his lodging in Rose Street, dur- and alleys, only to trickle away and dising which he was so ill that he never went appear beneath into thy catacombs and

To strew the "Elixir" in a bath
Of hope, credulity, and faith;
To explicate, by double hints,
The grain of diamonds and flints;
And in the braying of an ass
Find out the treble and the bass;
If mares neigh alto, and a cow
A double diapason low."

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cemeteries. A while thou holdest us; but the reservoir is filling over us with the perpetual rain, and we, too, are sinking, sinking, towards the ancient dead!

Butler, says Aubrey, was "of middle stature, strong sett, high-colored, with a head of sorrel hair, a severe and sound judgment; a good fellow." Again, from another source, "he was of a leoninecolored hair, sanguine, choleric, middlesized, strong; a boon and witty companion, especially among the company he knew well." As regards his good fellowship, we have already seen, on other evidence, how far that is to be understood; one is glad, however, to know, by way of curiosity, that his complexion and hair were so nearly of Cromwell's own color. The form of his face in the portraits is heavy and sullen.

metaphysical, or what you will-revel in the high, feel at home in it, and prefer it. It is from the first class more particularly that satirists are born; except when, as sometimes happens, a man of the other class steps out, clothed in the very thunders of his high contemplations, to satirize the satirists themselves, and prove to them the celestial, if only by its thunder. Milton himself was a satirist, when he chose, in this sense; Butler was a satirist in the other. His philosophy of human nature was that of the lowest schools; and there is no maxim that he repeats more frequently, and with a more bitter emphasis, both in verse and in prose, than that interest alone governs the world, and that those who proceed on any other supposition are fools. Thus:

Our impression of Butler's general character as a man-on which his character as a writer may be regarded as a superstructure-has, we trust, already been conveyed. He seems to have been a man of grave, correct, and somewhat morose nature, decidedly of that order of mind which, by way of philosophic distinction, may be called the descendental; a man, the basis of whose intellectual being was strong, solid, but very hard and very earthly sense. One might compare him with Swift, who, however, had a more savage and demoniac element in him, which led him farther, and brought him in contact at least with the infernal side of On

that which transcends the visible. the whole, one can best realize Butler's exact character, by regarding him as, more peculiarly than any other man of his age, the polar opposite to Milton-Milton the transcendental man of his time, and the noblest literary representative and defender of that class of sentiments and opionions which Butler derided. This contrast, or polarity in the intellectual world, is discernible in all ages, though it is not always instanced in so remarkable a manner. There are always men who can "stand no nonsense," who take their footing on what they call the hard fact of things, who have an innate turn for undervaluing whatever is high, extreme, and unusual, either in thought or action-high metaphysics, high art, high poetry, high Calvinism, high anything. On the other hand, there are always men who, from some constitutional peculiarity, call it ideality, heart, enthusiasm, artistic sense, tendency to the

"All the business of the world is but diversion, and all the happiness in it that mankind is capa ble of, anything that will keep it from reflecting upon the misery, vanity, and nonsense of it, and whoever can by any trick keep himself from thinking of it, is as wise and happy as the best man in it." "The chiefest art of government is to convert the ignorance, folly, and madness of mankind, as much as may be to their own good; which can never be done by telling them truth and reason, or using any direct means, but by little tricks and devices (as they cure madmen) that work upon their hopes and fears, to which their ignorance naturally inclines them." . . .-Thoughts on various subjects.

These are precisely the cardinal notions of the sceptical or descendental philosophy; and the constitutional tenacity with which Butler held to them, explains his whole career and character. How could such a

man be other than an antagonist of Puritanism, the very essence of which consisted in

belief in the possibility of an actual reign of God, through His saints, on earth? "What are all histories and records of actions in former times," said Cromwell, "but a revelation of God that He hath de stroyed, and tumbled down, and trampled under foot whatever He hath not planted?" Compare this magnificent definition of history from the Puritan point of view with Butler's comic one, from his, and say whether it was possible for the two men not to oppose each other:

"What else does history use to tell us, But tales of subjects being rebell'ous ?"

But that same disbelief of Butler in all that was high or divine in human nature

and history which led him thus to oppose Puritanism, and to regard it as nothing more than a temporary outbreak of madness drawing hypocrisy along with it, was also the secret root of his other dislikes and antipathies. Hence his satires on speculation as such; on the heroic forms of literature; on chivalry towards women; on abstract reasoning in politics; on theory of all kinds, and on what he called the foolish investigations of the physical philosophers. All these were to him but so many other forms of that affection of mind for the supra-sensible, that devotion to the unseen and untangible, which Butler had derided in his attacks on the Puritans. There were many ways, he thought, in which men entertained themselves with "Fool's Paradises of what should be, not what is ;" and he made it his business to ridicule them all, as equally contrary to sound sense and prudence. And yet curiously enough, there are instances in which Butler, by the very penetrating excess of his hard sense, comes out, so to speak, at the other side, and by ruminating on descendentalism itself, contrives almost to become transcendental for a moment. There

is a kind of serene sorrowful wisdom in some of his sayings, showing that in his old age, and when severe experience had reduced his sense to the form of a quintessence, he did touch on the extreme and metaphysical, if only in abjuring it. Thus:

"The understanding of man hath a sphere of activity, beyond which, if it be forced, it becomes inactive, as it does vigorous by being confined. Unless a vine be pruned, it will bear no fruit; and he that related to the Senate, de coercendis Imperii terminis, was no unwise statesman. Opinion of knowledge has ever been one of the chiefest causes of ignorance; for most men know less than they might, by attempting to know more than they can."-Thoughts upon various subjects.


"The end of all knowledge is to understand what is fit to be done, for to know what has been, and what is, and what may be, does but tend to that."-Ibid..

In these, and other similar sayings, we have Butler at his highest; but a very great part of his writings, and especially of his prose writings, consists of serious and severe thought and criticism, shewing no mean sagacity of observation, strength of judgment, and honest integrity of purpose.

As all know, however, it is his wit that has made him immortal; and it is by the prodigious amount and concentration of this one quality in his writings-and that too, in the exact sense in which psychologists are wont to definite wit when they distinguish it from the apparently similar but really greater quality of humorthat these writings will live in our literature. Here are a few specimens from his prose writings:

"Governments are not built as houses are, but grow as trees do. And as some trees thrive best in one soil, some in another, so do governments; they are most naturally produced; and therefore but none equally in any, but all generally where 'tis probable the state of Venice would be no more the same in any other country, if introduced, than their trade of glass-making.""

"One that is proud of his birth is like a turnip there is nothing good of him, but that which is underground."

"His (the courtly fop's) tailor is his creator, and makes him of nothing; and though he lives by faith in him, he is perpetually committing iniquities against him."

"A proud man is a fool in fermentation."

"He (a literary plagiarist) is like an Italian thief that never robs but he murders to prevent


steers the sense of his lines by the rhyme that is "When he (a versifier) writes, he commonly at the end of them, as butchers do calves by the tail."

"A Popish priest is one that takes the same course that the devil did in Paradise; he begins with the woman."

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"A traveller is a native of all countries, and an alien at home. His observations are like a sieve, that lets the finer flour pass, and retains only the bran of things. He believes all men's wits are at a stand that stay at home, and only those advanced, that travel, as if change of pasture did make great politicians, as well as fat calves.'

"He (the amateur of science) is like an elephant that, though he cannot swim, yet of all creatures most delights to walk by the river's side."

Butler's verse is but his prose put through a process of metrical torture, trituration, and re-compression, so as to come out more compact, knotty, and glittering. He had early found out, as we have seen, the advantage that would be given him by calling to his aid the additional stimulus to odd intellectual invention afforded by metre and rhyme; and from that time, though he continued to write in prose, it was with a mental reservation in favor of doggrel, and especially octosyllabic doggrel, with

plenty of double and triple rhymes in it, as the natural and proper form of his highest literary efforts. Accordingly, it is in his doggrel that we have Butler at his best. The stuff or essential fabric of the writing is still the same-namely, hard, bare, ruthless sense, often directly polemical in its tenor, and always cynical; the peculiar literary excellence whereby this sense is recommended and set off is, as before, wit, or odd associations of images supplied by the fancy; but the wit is richer and more exquisite from the very fact, that the fancy, in producing it, has worked under the additional restriction and stimulus of metre and rhyme. Let us cull a handful of specimens at random.

"If he that in the field is slain

Be in the bed of honor lain,

He that is beaten may be said To lie in honor's truckle-bed."

"Some have been beaten till they know What wood a cudgel's of by the blow." "For what is worth in anything

But so much money as 'twill bring?"

"The sun had long since in the lap
Of Thetis taken out his nap,
And, like a lobster boiled, the morn
From black to red began to turn."

"And we are best of all led to

Men's principles by what they do ;" "For the more languages a man can speak His talent has but sprung the greater leak."

"As beasts are hunted for their furs, Men for their virtues fare the worse."

"A teacher's doctrine and his proof
Is all his province and enough;
But is no more concern'd in use
Than shoemakers to wear all shoes,"

"Success, that owns and justifies all quarrels, And vindicates deserts of hemp with laurels ; Or, but miscarrying in the bold attempt, Turns wreaths of laurels back again to hemp." "In the Church of Rome to go to shrift

Is but to put the soul on a clean shift.”

"A convert's but a fly that turns about After his head's pulled off, to find it out."

In such sententious distichs, many of which, to use Johnson's words, "have passed into conversation, and been added as proverbial axioms to the general stock of practical knowledge," we have the essence of Butler's poetry. Just, however, as Butler's judgment, by the very excess of its devotion to the hard and the material, did now and then attain to the verge of the spiritual and metaphysical, so his fancy, in its sheer search after the witty and the quaint, sometimes reaches the limits of the poetical and beautiful. Thus:

"Love is too great a happiness
For wretched mortals to possess;
For, could it hold inviolate
Against those cruelties of fate
Which all felicities below
By rigid laws are subject to,
It would become a bliss too high
For perishing mortality,
Translate to earth the joys above;
For nothing goes to Heaven but Love."

Such passages show that the author of Hudibras had a vein in him of finer material than the merely burlesque or Hudibrastic. That vein, however, he did not cultivate; and hence, so long as Butler is remembered, it will be only, in the first place, in his defunct capacity as the contemporary opponent and satirist of the great Puritan movement in England; and, secondly, in his more permanent character as the author of a great number of sayings and maxims which, though conceived in the spirit of the cynical philosophy, and used at first to burlesque Puritanism and other high matters, are still so terse and good and sensible as to be available, in consistency with any philosophy whatever, for general human purposes. Even in the former, or his defunct historical capacity, Butler may have done good, for hypocrisy mingles with all things, and the Hudibrastic is one method of beating it out.

From the Edinburgh Review.


In olden times man knew but little of the attributes of the earth beneath his feet. He found that it furnished him all the necessities of his frame required, and much of agreeable superfluity besides. To his senses it seemed to be a broad plain girt by a wide ocean, which stretched further than his glance could follow it:

"Circumfluus humor Ultima possedit solidumque coercuit orbem."

But this was long the measure of his apprehension. During the brightest days, indeed, of early civilisation, a gleam of some deeper significance was caught by philosophy; and poetry and religion even peopled the untravelled realms of the infinite, and the bright constellations of the firmament, with beings of a superior race. These, however, were dreams of the fancy, unsubstantial fabrics which faded and left no truth behind, that science could pick up and store away in her treasury. It was reserved to the renowned Copernicus, some two centuries and a half ago, first distinctly to demonstrate that the apparent terrestrial plain was really a free and independent material mass moving in a definable path through space. Then Newton explained that this independent mass moved through space because it was substantial and heavy, and because it was unsupported by props or chains; that in fact, as a massive body, it

Of the Plurality of Worlds: an Essay. With a Dialogue on the same Subject. 2d edition. London: 1854.

More Worlds than One-the Creed of the Philosopher, and the Hope of the Christian. By Sir DAVID BREWSTER, K.H., F.R.S., V.P.R.S. Edin. &c. &c. 3d thousand, corrected and enlarged. London:


Essays on the Spirit of the Inductive Philosophy, the Unity of Worlds, and the Philosophy of Creation. By the Rev. BADEN POWELL, M.A., F.R.S., &c., Savilian Professor of Geometry in the University of

Oxford. London: 1855.

A few more Words on the Plurality of Worlds. By W. S. JACOB, F.R.A.S., Astronomer to the Honorable East India Company. London: 1855.

is falling for ever through the void, but that as it falls it sweeps round the sun in a never-ending circuit, attracted towards it by magnet-like energy, but kept off from it by the force of its centrifugal movement. Next, Snell and Picard measured the dimensions of the heavy and falling mass, and found that it was a spherical body, with a girdle of 25,000 miles. Subsequently to this, Bailly contrived a pair of scales that enabled him. approximately to weigh the vast sphere, and he ascertained that it had within itself somewhere about 1,256,195,670,000,000,000,000,000 tons of matter. To these discoveries Foucault has recently added demonstration to the actual senses of the fact that the massive sphere is whirling on itself as it falls through space, and round the sun, so that point after point of its vast surface is brought in succession into the genial influence of the sunshine, an investing atmosphere of commingled vapor and air is made to present clouds, winds, and rain, and the invested surface to bear vegetable forms and animated creatures in great diversity. The world then is a large solid sphere, invested with a loosened shell of transparent, elastic, easily movable vapor, and whirling through space within the domains of sunshine, so that by the combined action of the transparent mobile vapor and the stimulant sunshine, organised creatures may grow and live on its surface, and those vital changes may be effected, amongst which conscious and mental life stands as the highest results.

But the idea had occurred even to Copernicus, that this heavy mundane sphere, which affords convenient and substantial support to the footsteps of man, might possibly be not the only body of this kind contained within the wide realms of universal space. He knew that if he could get far enough away from its sunlit form, he must see it dwindle down to a shining point or star. He perceived that the transparent regions surrounding the

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