« PreviousContinue »
Great - Britain and Ireland.
By Mr. CIBBER, and other Hands.
VO L. V.
Printed for R. GRIFFITHS, in St. Paul's
-M DCC LUI.
AS the eldest fon of Gilbert Budgell, D. D. of St. Thomas near Ex eter, by his first wife Mary, the only daughter of Dr. William Gulfton, bishop of Bristol; whofe fifter Jane married dean Addison, and was mother to the famous Mr. Addison the secretary of ftate. This family of Budgell is very old, and has been fettled, and known in Devonshire above 200 years
* See Budgell's Letter to Cleomenes. Appendix p. 79.
Euftace was born about the year 1685, and diftinguished him.eir very foon at school, from whence he was removed early to Chrift's Church College in Oxford, where he was entered a gentleman commoner. He ftaid fome years in that univerfity, and afterwards went to London, where, by his father's directions, he was entered of the InnerTemple, in order to be bred to the Bar, for which his father had always intended him but inftead of the Law, he followed his own inclinations, which carried him to the ftudy of polite literature, and to the company of the genteeleft people in town. This proved unlucky; for the father, by degrees, grew uneafy at his fon's not getting himfelf called to the Ear, nor properly applying to the Law, according to his reiterated directions and request; and the ion complained of the ftrictnefs and infufficiency of his father's allowance, and conftantly urged the neceflity of his living like a gentleman, and of his fpending a great deal of money. During this ftay, however, at the Temple, Mr. Budgell made a ftrict intimacy and friendship with Mr. Addison, who was firft coufin to his mother; and this laft gentleman being appointed, in the year 1710, fecretary 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 propofal eing advantageous, and Mr. Budgell being then on bad terms with his father, and abfolutely unqualified for the practice of the Law, it was readily accepted. Nevertheless, for fear of his father's difapprobation of it, he never communicated his defign to him till the very night of his festing out for Ireland, when he wrote him a letter to inform him at once of his refolution 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 claffics, the most reputed hifto
historians, and all the beft French, English, or Italian writers. His apprehenfion was quick, his imagination fine, and his memory remarkably ftrong; though his greateft commendations were a very genteel addrefs, a ready wit and an excellent elocution, which fhewed him to advantage wherever he went. There was, notwithstanding, one principal defect in his difpo fition, and this was an infinite vanity, which gave him fo infufferable a prefumption, 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 increased this difpofition, as he naturally introduced him into all the company he kept, which at that time was the best, and moft ingenious in the two kingdoms. In fhort, they lived and lodged toge ther, and conftantly 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 fet on foot in 1710-11, Mr. Budgell had likewife a fhare in them, as all the papers marked with an X may eafily inform the reader, and indeed the eighth volume was compofed by Mr. Addison and himfelf*, without the affistance of Sit Richard Steele. The fpeculations of our author were generally liked, and Mr. Addison was frequently complimented upon the ingenuity of his kinfman. About the fame time he wrote an epilogue to the Diftrefs'd Motherf, which had a greats er run than any thing of that kind ever had before, and has had this peculiar regard' fhewn to it fince, that now, above thirty years afterwards, it is generally spoke at the reprefentation of that **See The Bee, vol. ii. p. 854.
Till then it was ufual to difcontinue an epilogue after the fixth night. But this was called for by the audience, and continued for the whole run of this play: Budgell did not feruple to fit in the pit, and call for it himself,