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Extract from Dr. Aikin’: Letter to a young ladyon a Course
of English Poetry. AN example of what may be done by strong sense, learning, and cultivated taste, towards producing valuable poetry, without a truly poetical genius; is afforded by several pieces in verse of the celebrated Dr. SAMUEL JOHNson, whose great name in lite. rature has been acquired by his prose compositions The walk in which a writer so qualified is most likely to succeed, is that of the morally didactick: energy of language, vigour and com. páss of thought, and correctness of versification, are the princi. pal requisites for the moral poet; and few have possessed them in a higher degree than the author in question.
His imitations of two satires of Juvenal, under the title of " London,” and “The Vanity of Human Wishes," are, per haps, the most manly compositions of the kind in our language: the Roman poet is distinguished by the earnest and pointed severity of his invective, as well as by the force of his painting, and the loftiness of his philosophy; and the imitation does not fall short of the original in these respects, whilst it is free from its grossness and impurity.
The Life of the Author SParody of a Translation
Stella in Mourning ibid. Lines written under
Print representing Per-
Epitaph on Sir Thomas Translation of part of the
Dialogue between Hec-
Lines written in Ridicule of Friendship, an ode 139
certain Poems, &c. 118
THERE is not perhaps in the whole annals of literature, a life which has afforded more events for the detail of the biographer, than that of the very extraordinary character which is the sub. ject of the following memoirs. As it is natural, that the merits and demerits, personal and literary, of a man so eminently distinguished in the departments of biography and criticism as Johnson, should attract the notice and call forth the exertions of numerous writers; it is not to be aca counted singular, that, besides several slight sketches of his life taken by unknown authors, both favourable and copious narratives should have been presented to the world, by Sir John Hawkins, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Tyers, Mrs. Piozzi, Dr. Towers, and Mr. Arthur Murphy; who, from their intimate acquaintance with him, were enabled to write from personal knowledge. These several writers, by representing his character in different lights, contrasting his virtues with his faults, and displaying in a variety of anecdotes