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which one declared to be silver and the other gold, and which in the end proved to be both silver and gold; so also this passage, which some denied to exist at all in
Hudibras,” and which others as stoutly maintained and battled for in the Magazines, affirming they had seen it in that Poem; but, when they made search, could not find.
The passage, as it really stands in “Hudibras,” is as follows:
" For those that fly may fight again,
Which be can never do that's slain."
The character of Hudibras is, with good reason, supposed to have been intended for Sir C. Luke, and that of Whackum, but with less probability, for Capt. G. Wharton. See Granger, Vol. iv, p.40.
Though Hudibras was published, and probably composed (says Hume) during the reign of Charles II. Butler may justly, as well as Milton, be thought to belong to the foregoing period. No composition abounds so much as Hudibras in strokes of just and inimitable wit; yet are there many performances which give as great or greater entertainment on the whole perusal. The allusions in Butler are often dark and far-fetched; and, though scarcely any author was ever able to express his thoughts in so few words, he often employs too many thoughts on one subject, and thereby becomes prolix after an unusual manner. It is surprising how much erudition Butler has introduced with so good a grace into a work of pleasantry and humour. Hudibras is perhaps the most learned composition that is to be found in any language. The advantage which the royal cause received from this poem, in exposing the fana
ticism and false pretensions of the former parliamentary party, was prodigious. The king himself had so good a taste, as to be highly pleased with the merit of the work, and had even got a great part of it by heart: yet was he either so careless in his temper, or so little endowed with the virtue of liberality, or, more properly speaking, of
gratitude, that he allowed the author, a man of virtue and · probity, to live in obscurity, and die in want.”
This latter assertion of Hume's has been contradicted on the authority of Dr. Zachary Pearce, by which it appears, that a Mr. Lowndes, then belonging to the Treasury, and in the reign of King William and Queen Anne Secretary thereof, had declared in his hearing that by order of King Charles, he had paid to Butler a yearly pension of £100, to the time of his decease.
“ In the poem of Hudibras," says Tytler, “ we have a remarkable combination of wit with humour; nor is it easy to say which of these qualities chiefly predominates in the composition. A proof that humour forms a most capital ingredient is, that the inimitable Hogarth has told the whole story of the poem in a series of characteristic prints."
Voltaire has attempted to give a Translation ; but, even the wit of the original, in passing through the alembic of Voltaire, has changed in a great measure its nature, and assimilated itself to that which is peculiar to the translator. The wit of Butler is more concentrated—more pointed and is announced in fewer words—than the wit of Voltaire; who, though he pretends to have abridged four hundred verses into eighty, has, in truth, effected this by the retrenchment of the wit of his original, and not by the concentration of it.
Very different from Voltaire’s is the following Version.
Hudibras, Poëme, trad. de l'Anglois, en Vers François, 3
Vols. 12mo. Lond. 1750.
The author of this Translation of the Poem of Hudibras was a man of superior abilities, and appears to have been endowed with an uncommon share of modesty. He presents his work to the public with the utmost diffidence; and, in a short Preface, humbly deprecates its censure for the presumption that may be imputed to him, in attempting that which the celebrated Voltaire had declared to be the most difficult of tasks.
Yet, this task he has executed in a very masterly manner; and, almost literally transfused his original into the French Version, clearly evincing (according to the opinion of A. F. Tytler, in his Essay on Translation, that he possessed that essential requisite for his undertakiny, a kindred genius with that of his great original.
This translation was made by Colonel Francis Townley, an English gentleman, who had been educated in France, and long in the French Service, and who had acquired a most intimate knowledge of both languages. And is the same person who suffered death at Carlisle, for his concern in the Rebellion, 1745-46, and who pleaded in vain his commission from the French King, as entitling him to the benefits of the Cartel settled with France for the exchange of Prisoners of War.
At Duten's Sale, 1813, a Copy of this Book sold for 61. 12s. and at Mr. Bindley's for 51, 5s.
Galignani, of Paris, has recently reprinted, and sells it for a few francs, which I suppose has diminished its nominal value : for, at the Sale of the Library of Amos Strettell, Esq. in 1820, a Copy sold for 1l. 15s.
Butler's Hudibras, Notes, by Dr. Nash, 3 vols. 4to.
London, Rickaby, 1793. Only 250 Copies printed.
G. Steevens's Copy sold, in 1800, for 8l. 10s. 6d,
It is sometimes met, with Hogarth's large plates inserted: a Copy of this description sold, at Woodhouse's Sale, for 111. 3s. 6d.
Clarendon's (Lord) History of King Charles the Second,
2 vols. 4to.
This curious work was edited by Dr. Shebbcare, but never published. The following MS. Note is from Mr. Reed's Cody :
“ This is the edition of Clarendon's Life of Charles the Second, printed by Dr. Shebbeare, the sale of which was restrained by an injunction of the Court of Chancery, obtained by the Dutchess of Queensbury, in consequence whereof the whole impression (except a very few copies) were destroyed. The Tory Introduction was never printed
other form.” Pearson’s Copy sold for 11. 11s. 6d.
A Copy sold among the books of S. S. Baxter, Esq. at King and Lochées, May 27, 1812, for 5l. 10s.
Another Copy sold at J. Edwards's Auction, 1804, in morocco, for 51. 15s. 6d.
Neale's (Sir T.) Treatise of Direction how to Travell
safely and profitably into Forraign Countries. 8vo. Portrait by W. Marshall, 1664.
A Copy, in Follett's Sale of Books at Leigh and Sotheby's, 1814, sold for 51. 10s. Caulfield, in his Calcographiana, values the print alone at il. 11s. 6d.
Granger, in his Biographical History of England, Vol. 2, p. 336, quotes the following as from John Maire's Life of Erasmus, in Latin, printed in Holland, 1642:
“ Vera Efligies Thomæ Nigelli Armigeri Warnfordiensis; W. Marshall, Sculp. 12mo. which book, he says, is dedicated to Thomas Ncale, or Nele, Esq. whose Latin name is Nigellus, as Nelson is Nigelli filius, and concludes that both Prints represent the same person.”
Lamentable Estate and Distressed Case of Sir W. Dick,
Knight, and his numerous Family, and Creditors for the Commonwealth. Folio. Plates by Vaughan.
Sir W. Dick, was Knight, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and an eminent Merchant. In the first plate he is seen proudly mounted on horseback, with attendants, shipping, army, and a town in the back ground; in the second, he is represented in prison, with his wife, attended by the gaoler and assistants; and, in the third, he is in a coffin, with his family mourning over him. At the Sale of Sir James Winter Lake's Collection, Mr. Caulfield purchased a Copy of the preceding Tract for 241. 8s.; and, in his Calcographiana, he describes the prints as above.