1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Butler

Anonymous, "Samuel Butler's Monument in St. Paul's Covent Garden" General Evening Post (19 December 1786).



Butler, the celebrated author of Hudibras, was buried in St. Paul's Church, Covent-garden. — Some of the inhabitants of tht parish hearing some time ago, that so famous a man had been buried in their church, and regretting that neither stone nor inscription recorded the event, entered into, and collected a subscription, for the purpose of erecting something worthy of Butler's memory. Accordingly they employed an artist, who constructed an elegant monument, and lately fitted it up in the portico of the Church, bearing a medallion of that great man, which was taken from the monument put up by Barber, the Mayor of London, in Westminster-abbey. The following lines were contributed on the occasion, at the request of the subscribing inhabitants of the parish, by Mr. O'Bryen, and are engraved on the stone beneath the medallion:

A few plain men, to pomp and pride unknown,
O'er a poor Bard have rais'd this humble stone;
Whose wants alone his genius could surpass,
Victim of Zeal! the matchless Hudibras!

What, though fair freedom suffered in his page;
Reader, forgive the author — for the age—
How few, alas! disdain to cringe and cant,
When 'tis the mode to play the Sycophant!

But oh! let all be taught from Butler's fate,
Who hope to make their fortunes by the great;
That Wit and Pride are always dang'rous things,
And little faith is due to Courts and Kings.