Eustace Budgell (1686-1737)
From 18th Century Literary Anecdotes

AT last, after being cast in several of his own suits, and being distressed to the utmost, he determined to make away with himself. He had always thought very loosely of revelation, and latterly became an avowed deist; which, added to his pride, greatly disposed him to this resolution.

Accordingly, within a few days after the loss of his great cause, and his estates being decreed for the satisfaction of his creditors, in the year 1736 he took a boat at Somerset-Stairs (after filling his pockets with stones upon the beach), ordered the waterman to shoot the bridge, and while the boat was going under it threw himself over-board. Several days before, he had been visibly distracted in his mind, and almost mad, which makes such an action less wonderful....

It has been said, Mr. Budgell was of opinion that when life becomes uneasy to support, and is overwhelmed with clouds and sorrows, that a man has a natural right to take it away, as it is better not to live than live in pain. The morning before he carried his notion of self-murder into execution he endeavoured to persuade his daughter to accompany him, which she very wisely refused. His argument to induce her was: life is not worth the holding.—Upon Mr. Budgell's bureau was found a slip of paper, in which were written these words:

What Cato did, and Addison approved,
Cannot be wrong.

From Cibber, Lives, v. 13.

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