1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Dodsley

Samuel Johnson, 1776; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 3:44.



I said, Mr. Robert Dodsley's life should be written, as he had been so much connected with the wits of his time, and by his literary merit had raised himself from the station of a footman. Mr. [Thomas] Warton said, he had published a little volume under the title of The Muse in Livery. JOHNSON. "I doubt whether Dodsley's brother would thank a man who should write his life: yet Dodsley himself was not unwilling that his original low condition should be recollected. When Lord Lyttelton's Dialogues of the Dead came out, one of which is between Apicius, an ancient epicure, and Dartineuf, a modern epicure, Dodsley said to me, 'I knew Dartineuf well, for I was once his footman.'"