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PREFATORY OBSERVATIONS

TO TIE IMITATIONS OF THE

THIRD AND TENTH SATIRES OF JUVENAL.

We will not examine here Johnson's poetical merits, since that discussion will more properly introduce his Lives of the Poets, but merely offer some few biographical remarks. In the poem of London, Mr. Boswell was of opinion, that Johnson did not allude to Savage, under the name of Thales, and adds, for his reason, that Johnson was not so much as acquainted with Savage when he wrote his London. About a month, however, before he published this poem, he addressed the following lines to him, through the Gentleman's Magazine, for April, 1738.

AD RICARDUM SAVAGE.

Humani studium generis cui pectore fervet

O colat humanum te, foveatque, genus !

We cannot certainly infer, from this, an intimacy with Savage, but it is more probable, that these lines flowed from a feeling of private friendship, than mere admiration of an author, in a public point of view; and they, at any rate, give credibility to the general opinion, that, under the name of Thales, the poet referred to the author of the Wanderer, who was, at this time, preparing for his retreat to Wales, whither he actually went in the ensuing year.

The names of Lydiat, Vane, and Sedley, which are brought forward in the poem on the Vanity of Human Wishes, as examples of inefficiency of either learning or beauty, to shield their

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