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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

London. A Poem

63 from the medea of Buri-

The Vanity of Human pides

- 119


74 Burlesque on the modern


89 Versifications, &c. 120


96 Epitaph for Mr. Hogarth ibid.


98 Translation of the two first


99 Stanzas of the Song “Rio

101 Verde'


The Winter's Walk 102 To Miss Thrale, on her

- 103 completing her thirty fifth

Epigram on George II. and



Colley Cibber, Esq. 104 Impromptu Translation 122

Stella in Mourning ibid. Lines written under
To Stella


Print representing Per-
Verses written at the Re- sons skaiting

: quest of a Gentleman to Translation of a speech of
whom a Lady had given Aquileio

a Sprig of Myrtle 106 Impromptu


To Lady Firebrace, at Bu- Translation of Virgil. Pas-

107 toral I.


To Lyce, an elderly Lady ibid. Translation of Horace,

On the Death of Mr. Ro- Book 1: Ode xxii. 125

bert Levett

108 Translation of Horace,

Epitaph on Claude Phillips 110 Book II. Ode ix.


Epitaph on Sir Thomas Translation of part of the
Hanmer, Bart. ibid.

Dialogue between Hec-

On the death of Stephen tor and Andromache 127

Grey, F.R. S. the elec- To Miss ****



112 Evening, an Ode. To Stella 131

To Miss Hickman, playing

To the same


on the Spinnet 113 To a friend


Paraphrase of Proverbs, To a young lady on her

Chap. iv. Verses 6–11 - 114 birth-day


Horace, Lib. 4, Ode vij. Epilogue intended to have


115 been spoken by a lady,

On seeing a Bust of Mrs. &c.


116 The young Author


Lines written in Ridicule of Friendship, an ode 139

certain Poems, &c. 118

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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

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