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of his loyalty and wit should suffer in obscurity, and under the wants he did. The duke seemed always to hearken to him with attention enough, and after some time, undertook to recommend his pretensions to his majesty. Mr. Wycherley in hopes to keep him steady to his word, obtained of his grace to name a day when he might introduce that modest and unfortunate poet to his new patron. At last an appointment was made, and the place of meeting was agreed to be at the Roebuck. Mr. Butler and his friend attended accordingly ; the duke joined them. But as the devil would have it, the door of the room where they sat was open, and his grace, who had seated himself near it, observing a pimp of his acquaintance (the creature too was a knight) trip by with a brace of ladies, immediately quitted his engagement, to follow another kind of business, at which he was more ready, than in doing good offices to men of desert; though none was better qualified than he, both in regard to his fortune and understanding to protect them, and from that hour, to the day of his death poor Butler never found the least effect of his promise."*
Voltaire gives the following character of Butler's great work : 6 I never met with so much wit in one single book as in this; which at the same time is the most difficult to be
• Wycherley's Posthumous Works in the memoirs, p. 6.
translated. Who would believe that a work, which paints in such lively and natural colours the several foibles of mankind, and where we meet with more sentiments than words, should baffle the endeavours of the ablest translators ? But the reason of it is this, almost every part of it alludes to particular incidents.”*
Notwithstanding this opinion, Hudibras has been admirably translated into Voltaire's own language by Mr. Townley, a Lancashire gentleman, whose version is an exact counterpart of the original. It was printed in three volumes in duodecimo, at London, 1757, but is so uncommonly scarce that the Critical Reviewers questioned its existence. There is a copy in the British Museum with a portrait of the translator, who was an officer in the French military service, and a knight of the order of St. Louis. He died in 1782, aged 85.
* Letters concerning the English nation.