1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Walter Harte

Richard Ryan, in Poetry and Poets: being a Collection of the choicest Anecdotes relative to the Poets of every Age and Nation (1826) 3:179-80.



Walter Harte, the Poet and Historian, was one of Dr. Johnson's earliest admirers. — Johnson's Life of Savage was published in 1744: soon after which, Harte, dining with Mr. Cave, the projector of The Gentleman's Magazine, at St. John's Gate, took occasion to speak very handsomely of the work, which was anonymous. Cave, the next time they met, told Harte that he made a man very happy the other day at his house, by the encomiums he bestowed on the author of Savage's Life. "How could that be?" said Harte; "none were present but you and I." Cave replied, "You might have observed, I sent a plate of victuals behind the screen; there skulked the biographer, one Johnson, whose dress was so shabby, that he durst not make his appearance. He overheard our conversation; and your applauding his performance delighted him exceedingly."