Samuel Butler's Profile
Samuel Butler was born on February 8, 1612 in Strensham, Worcestershire, England. He was a satirist and poet. Hudibras is a satirical burlesque poem on Puritanism for which Samuel is remembered chiefly. Samuel was a farmer's son and got educated at the King's School in Worcester. There he studied under Henry Bright, about whose teaching Thomas Fuller wrote favourably in his work Worthies of England. After his education he became the page to the Countess of Kent in his early youth and then worked as a clerk to various Puritan Justices. Some of these suggested the influence on the characters I Hudibras. Lady Kent introduced him to John Selden who is said to have influenced his later writings. Though he started painting also but he had not such a fine hand.
He worked as the secretary to the Lord President of Wales after the Restoration and also married to Mrs. Herbert. He got published the first part of his novel Hudibras in the year 1663. He also published two other parts in 1664 and 1678 respectively. Though this novel became very popular but he was neglected by court. He was always in a state of poverty and this may be attributed to various reasons: either his self imposed exile or his sharp satirical wit.
Hudibras was directed against the extravagancies that many Puritan's Party ran and purpose was to ridicule them. It is one of the best written works for its wit and compressed thoughts and has very few rivals in works of any place and any language. Many of the commonplace proverbs used in the language have the source in this book in the form of brilliant couplets. His other works which were collected and published long after his death includes short biographies, verses, and epigrams. Some of his verses are About a Mouse in a Telescope, The Elephant of the Moon, and a satire on Sir Paul Neale. He wrote poems also titled Cynarchtomachy, Battle Between Dogs and Bears, to mock heroic activities as a parody of the Batrachomyomachia, a Greek poet Homer's work.
He died on September 25, 1680 and buried in Westminster Abbey. There is also a memorial Plaque in the small village church of Strensham, Worcestershire, which his near to his birthplace.
Quotes by Samuel Butler
A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget. - Samuel Butler
A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg. - Samuel Butler