1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Butler

George Dyer, in The Poet's Fate, a Poetical Dialogue (1797) 30-31n.



The author of Hudibras, that celebrated artist in satire, a severe lampooner of the Puritans and Roundheads. But courtiers, royalists, and majesty, rewarded not his merit: of whom probably he, at length, expressed himself in some such manner as this—

For my part I a court despise,
Where none but whores and villains rise;
Nor will I on the man depend,
I see ungrateful to his friend:
I'll to my hut in peace retire,
And there myself unsquire,
Laugh at the knaves and fools of state,
And live without their love or hate;
But you to go or stay are free,
Just as the devil and you agree.

These lines are extracted from a poem entitled Hudibras at Court, inserted in some editions of Butler's Remains; but as they occur not in Thyer's edition, I quote them not as Butler's, though expressive, probably, of his sentiments, and written, perhaps, by himself.