« PreviousContinue »
L I V E S
Great - Britain and Ireland.
By Mr. CIB B E R, and other Hands.
Church-Yard. -M DCC LUI,
Τ Η Ε
L I VES
PO E T S
EUSTACE BUDGELL, Efq;
A S the eldest son of Gilbert Budgell,
D. D. of St. Thomas near En W eter, by his first wife Mary, the on.
ly daughter of Dr. William Gul. fton, bishop of Bristol ; whose fifter Jane married dean Addison, and
was mother to the famous Mr. Ad. dison the secretary of state. This family of Bydgell is very old, and has been settled, and known in Devonshire above 200 years *.
* See Budgell's Letter to Cleomenes, Appendix p. 79. VOL. V. No, 21. B
Eustace was born about the year 1685, and distinguished him.eis very soon at school, from whence he was removed early to Christ's Church College in Oxford, where he was entered a gentleman commoner. He staid fome years in that universi, ty, and afterwards went to London, where, by his father's direcions, he was entered of the Inner. Temple, in order to be bred to the Bar, for which his father had always intended him : but instead of the Law, he followed his own inclinations, which carried him to the study of polite literature, and to the company of the genteelest people in town. This proved unlucky for the father, by degrees, grew uneasy at his son's not getting himself called to the Bar, nor properly applying to the Law, according to his reiterated direčiions and requeft; and the ion complained of the strict. nefs and insufficiency of his father's allowance, and conftantly urged the neceflity of his living like a gentleman, and of his spending a great deal of money. During this stay, however, at the Temple, Mr. Budgell made a ftria intimacy and friendship with Mr. Addison, who was first cou. fin to his mother ; and this last gentleman being appointed, in the year 1710, secretary to lord Wharton, the lord lieutenant of Ireland, he made an offer to his friend Euftace of going with him as one of the clerks in his office. The proposal ducing advantageous, and Mr. Budgell being then on bad terms with his father, and absolutely unqualified for the practice of the Law, it was readily accepted. Nevertheless, for fear of his father's disapprobation of it, he never communicat. ed: his design to him till the very night of his setting out for Ireland, when he wrote him a letter to inform him at once of his resolution and journey. This was in the beginning of April 1710, when he was about twenty five years of age. He had by this time read the clasics, the most reputed
marked with an X may easily inform the reader, were generally liked, and Mr. Addison Wauthor
any thing , a EUSTACE BUDGELL, Efq; 3 hiftorians, and all the best French, English, or Italian writers. Hisapprehenfion was quick, hisimagination fine, and his memory remarkably strong; though his greateft commendations were a very genteel address, a ready wit and an excellent elocution, which fhewed him to advantage wherever he went. There waś, notwithstanding, one principal defect in his difpo: sition, and this was an infinite vanity, which gave him fo infufferable a presumption, as led him to think that nothing was too much for his capacity, nor any preferment, or favour, beyond his deferts. Mr. Addison's fondness for him perhaps in creased this difpofition, as he naturally introduced him into all the company he kept, which at that time was the best; and molt ingenious in the two kingdoms. In short, they lived and lodged together, and constantly followed the lord lieutenant into England at the same time.
It was now that Mr. Budgell commenced author, and was partly concerned with Sir Richard Steele and Mr. Addifon in writing the Tatler. The Spectators being set on foot in 1710-17, Mr. Budgell had likewise a Thare 'in them, as all the papers and indeed the eighth volume was composed by Mr. Addison and himself, without the affiftance of Sif Richard Steele. The speculations of our author quently complimented upon the ingenuity of his kinfman. About the fame time he wrote logue to the Distressd Mothert, which had a great .
of that kind ever had be. fore, and has had this peculiar regard fheven to it fince, that now, above thirty years afterwards, it is generally spoke at the representation of that
See The Bee, vol. ii. p. 854;
Till then it was Usuai to discontinue an epilogue after the oth night. But this was called for by the audience, and cons tinued for the whole run of this play : Budgell did not feruple to fit in the pit, and call for it himself,