1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

James Boswell, in Life of Johnson, 1791; ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 4:64.



We trace Johnson's own character in his observations on Blackmore's "magnanimity as an authour." "The incessant attacks of his enemies, whether serious or merry, are never discovered to have disturbed his quiet, or to have lessened his confidence in himself." Johnson, I recollect, once told me, laughing heartily, that he understood it had been said of him, "He appears not to feel; but when he is alone, depend upon it, he suffers sadly." I am as certain as I can be of any man's real sentiments, that he enjoyed the perpetual shower of little hostile arrows as evidences of his fame.