1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Fielding

Samuel Johnson, 1772; Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791) ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 2:199-200.



Fielding being mentioned, Johnson exclaimed, "he was a blockhead;" and upon my expressing my astonishment at so strange an assertion, he said, "What I mean by his being a blockhead is that he was a barren rascal." BOSWELL. "Will you not allow, sir, that he draws very natural pictures of human life?" JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, it is of very low life. Richardson used to say, that had he not known who Fielding was, he should have believed he was an hostler. Sir, there is more knowledge of the heart in one letter of Richardson's, than in all Tom Jones. I, indeed, never read Joseph Andrews.