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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift, by Samuel Johnson This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift Author: Samuel Johnson Commentator: Henry Morley Release Date: November, 2003 [EBook #4679] Posting Date: January 8, 2010 Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LIVES OF THE POETS *** Produced by Les Bowler LIVES OF THE POETS: ADDISON, SAVAGE, and SWIFT By Samuel Johnson Contents. Introduction by Henry Morley. Joseph Addison. Richard Savage. Jonathan Swift. INTRODUCTION. Johnson's "Lives of the Poets" were written to serve as Introductions to a trade edition of the works of poets whom the booksellers selected for republication. Sometimes, therefore, they dealt briefly with men in whom the public at large has long ceased to be interested. Richard Savage would be of this number if Johnson's account of his life had not secured for him lasting remembrance. Johnson's Life of Savage in this volume has not less interest than the Lives of Addison and Swift, between which it is set, although Savage himself has no right at all to be remembered in such company. Johnson published this piece of biography when his age was thirty-five; his other lives of poets appeared when that age was about doubled. He was very poor when the Life of Savage was written for Cave. Soon after its publication, we are told, Mr. Harte dined with Cave, and incidentally praised it. Meeting him again soon afterwards Cave said to Mr. Harte, "You made a man very happy t'other day." "How could that be?" asked Harte. "Nobody was there but ourselves." Cave answered by reminding him that a plate of victuals was sent behind a screen, which was to Johnson, dressed so shabbily that he did not choose to appear. Johnson, struggling, found Savage struggling, and was drawn to him by faith in the tale he told. We have seen in our own time how even an Arthur Orton could find sensible and good people to believe the tale with which he sought to enforce claim upon the Tichborne baronetcy. Savage had literary skill, and he could personate the ma
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