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drama which he had written, and which men, There is good evidence that in his Butler, and most other critics, thought to last days he was literally in want. If he be ad stuff, and finally, which was boldest | had made any money by his Hudibras, it of all, a parody of Dryden's own dramatic was too little to stand him in stead of everydiction, in the form of a dialogue between thing else; and he was too slow and shifttwo cats caterwauling in heroics. In fact, less, and perhaps too proud, a writer to with the whole literary world of the time, make much of such opportunities as writing as with the whole social world, Batler seems for periodicals and the like then afforded. to have been in bis heart at feud. Writers, He appears, in his necessity, to have thought critics, readers — all were bad; and so far as of making a desperate attempt at a drama, he thought it necessary to express his opinion then the species of literature which brought of them, it was always in censure. Above the best returns; and part of a tragedy, enall (and the fact must out) the Royal Society titled " Nero,” was found among his papers. and the Virtuosi came in for an unusual But his true resource was Mr. Longueville. share of Butler's ridicule. One or two of " Mr. Longueville,” says Roger North, in his them, such as Boyle and Dr. Charlton, he Life of Lord Guildford," was the last patron attacks by name ; and among his posthu- and friend that poor old Butler, the author mous poems and papers, there are three or of Hudibras, had, and, in his old age, he four expressly satirizing the Society's weekly supported him, otherwise he might have been meetings and their mathematical and physical literally starved." What was the exact pursuits.
measure of Mr. Longueville's kindness is
unknown one always fancies that wealthy " These were their learned speculations, lairds and lawyers might do so very much And all their constant occupations :
with their purses in such cases. At all To measure wind and weigh the air, And turn a circle to a square;
events, after a hard winter passed in his To make a powder of the sun,
lodging in Rose Street, during which he was By which all doctors should b’ undone;
so ill that he never went out, and only Mr. To find the north-west passage out,
Longueville's charity stood between him and Although the farthest way about;
absolute destitution, the poet, some time in If chymists from a rose's ashes
1680, caught a fever, or a consumption, Can raise the rose itself in glasses;
which carried him off on the 25th of SepWhether the line of incidence
tember, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. Rise from the object or the sense;
Mr. Longueville, to whom Butler had beTo stew the Elixir'in a bath
queathed his papers, acted as his executor. Of hope, credulity, and faith;
He made exertions to get up a subscription To explicate, by double hints,
for burying his deceased friend in WestThe grain of diamonds and flints; minster Abbey ; but though the news of And in the braying of an ass
Butler's death in such melancholy circumFind out the treble and the bass;
stances seems to have caused a good deal of If mares neigh alto, and a cow
talk in town, and became the subject of A double diapason low.”
strong comment afterwards by Dryden, OldMen are often modest and amiable in their ham, and others, the interest felt at the mopersonal demeanor who are fierce and ag- ment was not sufficient to carry Mr. Longressive in their writings; but with all allow- gueville's project. Accordingly, the poet's ance on this score, it is too evident that a remains were interred, at Mr. Longueville's man who could not let even the venerable own expense, in the churchyard of St. Paul's, Royal Society alone, must have had a crabbed Covent Garden. He seems to have wished and ill-conditioned element in him, not likely to be buried there. He was buried, says to further his interests in life. Probably Aubrey, the 27th of September, "according the consciousness of this, developed at last to his own appointment, in the churchyard into the habitual sourness of a disappointed of Covent Garden, in the north part, next man, was the secret of Butler's solitary way the church, at the east end. His feet touch of living. He was emphatically, as Dr. the wall. His grave two yards distant from Johnson would have said, not a clubba- the pilaster of the dore, by his desire six foot ble” man. “ It is both the wisest and deepe. About twenty-five of his old acsafest way,” is one of the maxims found quaintance at his funeral, myself being in his commonplace book, “ to keep at a con- one." It is worth while, reader, should you venient distance from all men ; for when ever be passing through Covent Garden, to men converse too closely, they commonly, stand by the railing of the now somewhat like those that meet in crowds, offend one dingy churchyard, on the west side, a little another." Poor man, he seems at last to away from where the market gardeners chaffer have overtasked his own maxim, and to have among their baskets and cabbage-leaves, and kept at an inconvenient distance from all to identify, by Aubrey's description, the spot
where the author of Hudibras is buried. It always instanced in so remarkable a manner. was, one may say, the centre of his domain There are always men who can “stand no of exercise and observation while he was nonsense,” who take their footing on what alive. It is very near Rose Street, and round they call the hard fact of things, who have it lie the Strand, Fleet Street, Gerard Street, an innate turn for undervaluing whatever is Drury Lane, and all the other classic old high, extreme, and unusual, either in thought streets in which the literary men of that or action - high metaphysics, high art, high time (the Shaksperes and Jonsons of a former poetry, high Calvinism, high anything. On age had kept more to the south and east) had the other hand, there are always men who, their haunts and dwellings, and which still, from some constitutional peculiarity, - cali in later generations, though the tendency it ideality, heart, enthusiasm, artistic sense, continued to be north and westward, served tendency to the metaphysical, or what you for the Addisons, and Johnsons, and Gold- will, - revel in the high, feel at home in it, smiths, to live and walk in. Ah, London! and prefer it. It is from the first class more thou perpetual home of a shifting multitude, particularly that satirists are born ; except how, as into a vast sieve, the generations when, as sometimes happens, a man of the keep descending amid thy brick-built streets other class steps out, clothed in the very and alleys, only to trickle away and dis- thunders of his high contemplations, to appear beneath into thy catacombs and ceme- satirize the satirists themselves, and prove to teries. . Awhile thou holdest us; but the them the celestial, if only by its thunder. reservoir is filling over us with the perpetual Milton himself was a satiríst, when he chose, rain, and we, too, are sinking, sinking, in this sense ; Butler was a satirist in the towards the ancient dead !
other. His philosophy of human nature was Butler, says Aubrey, was “ of middle that of the lowest schools ; and there is no stature, strong set, high-colored, with a head maxim that he repeats more frequently, and of sorrel hair, a severe and sound judgment; with a more bitter emphasis, both in verse a good fellow.” Again, from another source, and in prose, than that interest alone governs "he was of a leonine-colored hair, sanguine, the world, and that those who proceed on cholerio, middle-sized, strong; a boon and any other supposition are fools. Thus: witty companion, especially among the company he knew well.
As regards his good “ All the business of the world is but diverfellowship, we have already seen, on other sion, and all the happiness in it that mankind is evidence, how far that is to be understood ; capable of, anything that will keep it from reone is glad, however, to know, by way of lecting upon the misery, vanity, and nonsense curiosity, that his complexion and hair were of it, and whoever can by any trick keep himself 80 nearly of Cromwell's own color. The from thinking of it, is as wise and happy as the form of his face in the portraits is heavy ernment is to convert the ignorance, folly, and
beat man in it." ... "The chiefest art of govand sullen.
madness of mankind, as much as may be to Our impression of Butler's general char- their own good ; which can never be done by acter as a man
on which his character as telling them truth and reason, or using any a writer may be regarded as a superstruc- direct means, but by little tricks and devices ture -- has, we trust, already been conveyed. (as they cure madmen) that work upon their He seems to have been a man of grave, hopes and fears, to which their ignorance natcorrect, and somewhat morose nature, deci- urally inclines them."- Thoughts on various dedly of that order of mind which, by way subjects. of philosophic distinction, may be called the descendental; a man, the basis of whose in These are precisely the cardinal notions of tellectual being was strong, solid, but very the sceptical or descendental philosophy; hard and very earthly sense. One might and the constitutional tenacity with which compare him with Swift, who, however, had Butler held to them explains his whole caa more savage and demoniac element in him, reer and character. How could such a man which led him farther, and brought him in be other than an antagonist of Puritanism, contact at least with the infernal side of that the very essence of which consisted in a bewhich transcends the visible. On the whole, lief in the possibility of an actual reign of one can best realize Butler's exact character God through His saints, on earth? “What by regarding him as, more peculiarly than are all histories and records of actions in forany other man of his age, the polar opposite mer times," said Cromwell, “ but a revelato Milton, - Milton the transcendental man tion of God, that He hath destroyed, and of his time, and the noblest literary represent- tumbled down, and trampled under foot ative and defender of that class of sentiments whatever He hath not planted?” Compare and opinions which Butler derided. This this magnificent definition of history from contrast, or polarity in the intellectual world, the Puritan point of view with Butler's is discernible in all ages, though it is not comic one, from his, and say whether it was
possible for the two men not to oppose each est integrity of purpose. As all know, howother:
ever, it is his wit that has made him immor“What else does history use to tell us,
tal; and it is by the prodigious amount and But tales of subjects being rebell’ous?”
concentration of this one quality in his writ
ings — and that too, in the exact sense in But that same disbelief of Butler in all that which psychologists are wont to define wit was high or divine in human nature and his when they distinguish it from the apparently tory which led him thus to oppose Puritan- similar but really greater quality of humor ism, and to regard it as nothing more than a that these writings will live in our literatemporary outbreak of madness drawing hy- ture. Here are a few specimens from his pocrisy along with it, was also the secret prose writings : root of his other dislikes and antipathies. Hence his satires on speculation as such ; on
“ Governments are not built as houses are, the heroic forms of literature; on chivalry but grow as trees do. . And as some trees thrive towards women ; on abstract reasoning in best in one soil, some in another, so do governpolitics ; on theory of all kinds, and on what ments; but none equally in any, but all generhe called the foolish investigations of the ally where they are most naturally produced; physical philosophers. All these were to him would be no more the same in any other coun
and therefore 't is probable the state of Venice but so many other forms of that affection of try, if introduced, than their trade of glass-makmind for the supra-sensible, that devotion to ing?" the unseen and untangible, which Butler had “ One that is proud of his birth is like a turderided in his attacks on the Puritans. There nip - there is nothing good of him but that were many ways, he thought, in which men which is under ground.” entertained themselves with “ Fool's Para “ His (the courtly fop's) tailor is his creator, dises of what should be, not what is ;” and and makes him of nothing: and though he lives he made it his business to ridicule them all, by faith in him, he is perpetually committing as equally contrary to sound sense and pru- imiquities against him.” dence. And yet, curiously enough, there are
" A proud man is a fool in fermentation.” instances in which Butler, by the very pene- thief that never robs but he murders, to prevent
“He (a literary plagiarist) is like an Italian trating excess of his hard sense, comes out,
discovery.' 80 to speak, at the other side, and by ruminating on descendentalism itself, contrives steers the sense of his lines by the rhyme that
“When he (a versifier) writes, he commonly almost to become transcendental for a mo- is at the end of them, as butchers do calves by ment. There is a kind of serene sorrowful the tail." wisdom in some of his sayings, shewing that “ A Popish priest is one that takes the same in his old age, and when severe experience course that the devil did in Paradise; he begins had reduced his sense to the form of a with the woman.” quintessence, he did touch on the extreme “ A traveller is a native of all countries, and and metaphysical, if only in abjuring it. an alien at home. . . . His observations are like Thus :
a sieve, that lets the finer flour pass and retains
only the bran of things. . . . He believes all “The understanding of man hath a sphere of men's wits are at a stand that stay at home, and activity, beyond which, if it be forced, it becomes only those advanced, that travel; as if change inactive, as it does vigorous by being confined. of pasture did make great politicians as well as Unless a vine be pruned, it will bear no fruit; fat calves.” and he that related to the Senate, de coercendis “ He (the amateur of science) is like an ele Imperii terminis, was no unwise statesman. phant, that, though he cannot swim, yet of all Opinion of knowledge has ever been one of the creatures most delights to walk by the river's chiefest causes of ignorance; for most men know side." less than they might, by attempting to know more than they can.” – Thoughts upon various Butler's verse is but his prose put through subjects.
a process of metrical torture, trituration, and Again,
se-compression, so as to come out more com“ The end of all knowledge is to understand found out, as we have seen, the advantage
pact, knotty, and glittering. He had early what is fit to be done, for to know what has been, that would be given him by calling to his aid and what is, and what may be, does but tend to
the additional stimulus to odd intellectual that." - Ibid.
invention afforded by metre and rhyme; and In these, and other similar sayings, we have from that time, though he continued to write Butler at his highest ; but a very great part in prose, it was with a mental reservation in of his writings, especially of his prose writ- favor of doggrel, and especially octosyllabic ings, consists of serious and severe thought doggrel, with plenty of double and triple and criticism, shewing no mean sagacity of rhymes in it, as the natural and proper form observation, strength of judgment, and hon- of his highest literary efforts. Accordingly,
it is in his doggrel that we have Butler at “A convert 's but a fly that turns about his best. The stuff or essential fabric of the After his head's pulled off, to find it out." writing is still the same - namely, hard, In such sententious distichs, many of bare, ruthless sense, often directly polemical which, to use Johnson's words, “ have passed in its tenor, and always cynical ; the pecu- into conversation, and been added as proliar literary excellence whereby this sense is verbial axioms to the general stock of pracrecommended and set off is, as before, wit, tical knowledge, we have the essence of or odd associations of images supplied by the Butler's poetry. Just, however, as Butler's faney; but the wit is richer and more exquis- judgment, by the very excess of its devotion ite from the very fact that the fancy, in pro- to the hard and the material, did now and ducing it, has worked under the additional then attain to the verge of the spiritual and restriction and stimulus of metre and rhyme. metaphysical, so his fancy, in its sheer search Let us cull a handful of specimens at ran- after the witty and the quaint, sometimes dom.
reaches the limits of the poetical and beau“ If he that in the field is slain
tiful. Thus : Be in the bed of honor lain,
“Love is too great a happiness He that is beaten may be said
For wretched mortals to possess ; To lie in honor's truckle-bed.”
For, could it hold inviolate “Some have been beaten till they know
Against those cruelties of fate
Which all felicities below What wood a cudgel's of by the blow."
By rigid laws are subject to, “ For what is worth in anything
It would become a bliss too high But so much money as 't will bring ?”
For perishing mortality,
Translate to earth the joys above; "The sun had long since in the lap
For nothing goes to Heaven but Love." Of Thetis taken out his nap, And, like a lobster boiled, the morn
Such passages shew that the author of Hudi
bras had a vein in him of finer material than From black to red began to turn."
the merely burlesque or Hudibrastic. That " And we are best of all led to
vein, however, he did not cultivate ; and Men’s principles by what they do."
hence, so long as Butler is remembered, it " For the more languages a man can speak
will be only, in the first place, in his defunct His talent has but sprung the greater leak.”
capacity as the contemporary opponent and
satirist of the great Puritan movement in “ As beasts are hunted for their furs,
England ; and, secondly, in his more permaMen for their virtues fare the worse."
nent character as the author of a great num“ A teacher's doctrine and his proof
ber of sayings and maxims which, though Is all his province and enough;
conceived in the spirit of the cynical philosoBut is no more concern'd in use
phy, and used at first to burlesque PuritanThan shoemakers to wear all shoes.”
ism and other high matters, are still so terse
and good and sensible as to be available, in “Success, that owns and justifies all quarrels, And vindicates deserts of hemp with laurels, for general human purposes. Even in the
consistency with any philosophy whatever, Or, but miscarrying in the bold attempt, Turns wreaths of laurels back again to hemp.” Butler may have done good, for hypocrisy
former, or his defunct historical ca acity, “ In the Church of Rome to go to shrift mingles with all things, and the Hudibrastic
Is but to put the soul on a clean shift.” is one method of beating it out.
HOW TO BE BEAUTIFUL. — As we were about the orders for our departure, seemed at once to to start, I saw the captain move to an elevated grow more erect and firm ; the muscles of his position above the wheel ; and it was interesting face swelled ; his dark eye glowed with a new to see how quickly and completely the inward fire ; and his whole person expanded and beauthought or purpose alters the outward man. He tified itself by the power of inward emotion. I gave a quick glance to every part of the ship. have often noticed this interesting phenomenon ; He cast his eye over the multitude coming on and have come to the conclusion, if man, or board the ship, among whom was the American woman either, wishes to realize the full power of ambassador to England, who, if the captain may personal beauty, it must be by cherishing noble be said to embody the ship, may be said with hopes and purposes - by having something to do equal truth to embody in his official person a na- and to live for, which is worthy of humanity tion's right and honor. He saw the husbands and which, by expanding the capacities of the and wives, the mothers and children, intrusted soul, gives expansion and symmetry to the body to his care ; and his slender form, as he gave / which contains it. Professor Upham.
From The Spectator, 20 Oct.
his daughter the Second Isabella. It is & THE SALIC LAW IN FRANCE.
mere party attachment, without any question NAPOLEON THE THIRD must be content with of male or female succession save as a techhalf a chance in the matter of the succession. nical pretext, that has created any hope that There is no doubt that an heir born to him ever existed for the Carlist faction. At this might have a great effect in subduing many moment France is proud to be the ally of impatiences and many foelings of uncertainty England ; and there is not a class in the in the French people. At present the Em-country but must attest the firm state of our pire stands too conspicuously dependent upon succession, and the orderly condition of the a life tenure, and the heirship that presump- country under a female sovereign. But we tively presents itself is not such as to recon- believe that not all these precedents would cile the people to the dynastic succession. enable the Emperor Napoleon to set aside the Could a “Napoleon the Fourth " be pre- ancient usage of France and decree by anticsented to the French people even in his cradle, ipation that his child should succeed, be it many calculations that will tempt agitators boy or girl. against the present Napoleon would be extin Our opinion only coincides with that of guished. In England, we should consider it Frenchmen, and it is the more curious that of little matter whether the child that is this conclusion should almost instinctively be promised should be a boy or a girl ; but in settled ; since in France woman plays and France, for the dynastic succession a girl is has always played a part at once more con“un rien ;' and the Emperor must at the spicuous and more generally recognized than best be content to wait five weary months in this country. Notwithstanding our female before ascertaining whether a princess is succession, no Queen, regnant or consort, added to the charge of his family, or a prince could imitate Catherine de Medicis in active becomes prospectively the perpetuator of his and tyrannical administration. In high society line.
of France, the stateswoman has as often ruled It might be thought that a powerful mili- as the statesman, and Madame de Maintenon tary leader, who has seized the throne, who exercised an influence more positive than that has abolished one constitution and decreed of Mrs. Masham. In the middle class of another, could settle this matter of the suc- France, woman is the man of business ; in the cession autocratically, and with a stroke of humblest class she is the laboring man. It his pen substitue the general law of Europe is not only that she does the hard work after for the Salic law. Napoleon could perform the fashion of barbarous or savage countries, many acts less consonant with sound sense as among the Russians or the North Amerithan that, and yet any such stroke of policy can Indians, but she combines with that prinwould, we imagine, be absolutely beyond cipal share of the business of life at least a eren his absolute power. He might, it is full share of social or personal infuence. It true, plead the example of other states, and might be expected that in France, therefore, show that they had not lost either in power woman would be considered as having a or in stability by accepting the female suc- stronger right to share the succession than in Cession. The Frankish lands are indeed the this country. exception on this point. The state which is Nor is it that our neighbors regard the contesting the lead in Europe with the West- laws of succession as absolutely sacred against ern Powers, Russia, has in the days of its interference. It is within the memory of livmost rapid progress been under the sway of ing man that the law of inheritance in France female sovereigns. Austria, who has oftener has undergone the most sweeping and fundathan once held the balance of power, has mental changes. Property, which used to heen under the sway of Maria Theresa. Spain go to the eldest son, subject to charges which has reverted to the national law, after the have been common in most countries, and assumption on the part of the Bourbons that even stronger elsewhere than in France, is they were to carry with them into the Penin. now divided amongst all the children ; and sula the rule of succession that has prevailed France has adopted that law of gavelkind in their own family ; and, seated on the uni- which we are gradually abolishing even in ted thrones of Isabella and Ferdinand, Ferdi- Kent. It is easier, then, to change the law nand the Seventh restored the succession to lof succession for every family in the country