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LIVES OF THE ENGLISH POETS

Prior Congreve Blackmore Pope

IN WEEKLY VOLUMES, price 3d. : or in Clo'h, Ed. A SELECTION OF THE MOST POPULAR VOLUMES IN

CASSELL'S NATIONAL LIBRARY. The following are amongst those already published, and a full list

will be sent by the Publishers post free on application. The Haunted Man ..

DICKENS. Heroes and Hero-Worship ..

CARLYLE. The Coinplete Angier

ISAAC WALTON. Friends in Council

SIR A. HELPS. The Autobiography of

BE JAMIN FRANKLIN. The Rivals, and The School for scandai SHERIDAN. Warren Hastings

MACAULAY. The Angel in the House

COVENTRY PATMORB The Life of Nelson

SOUTHEY. A Deteuce of Poesie

PHILIP SIDNEY, Paradise Regained

JOHN MILTON. A Christmas Carol, and The Chimes

DICKENS. Childe Harold

BYRON, Murad the Unlucky

EDEWORTH. My Ten Years' Imprisonment

SILVIO PELLICO. Plays

GOLDSMITH. Tales from the Decameron

BOCCACCIO. Visions of England ..

PALGRAVE. Rasselas

JOHNSON. Paradise Lost vols. i. & ii.)

MILTON, Sintram and his Companions, &c.

LA MOTTE FOUQUE. Memorable Thoughts of Socrates

XENOPHON. Daphnaida, and other Poems..

SPENSER Undine, and The Two Captains

LA MOTTE FOUQUE The Bravo of Venice

M. G. LEWIS. The Legends of St. Patrick ..

AUBREY DE VERB. Voyages and Travels

MAUNDEVILLE, The Castle of Otranto

WALPOLE. Lives of Alcibiades, Aristides, &c.

PLUTARCH.
Table Talk

MARTIN LUTHER.
The Life and Adventures of Baron' Treñas (Vols. 1. & II.).
The Natural History of Selborne (Vols. I. & II.) GILBERT WHITE.
Lives of Pericles, Fabius Maximus, &c.

PLUTARCH,
Victories of Love

COVENTRY PATMORE Sorrows of Werter

GOETHE. Lives of Butler, Denham, Dryden, &c.

SAMUEL JOHNSON. Religio Medici ..

SIR T. BROWNE. The North-West Passage

RICHARD HAKLUYT. Lives of Addison, Sava e, and swift

SAMUEL JOHNSON. Lives of Timoleon, Paulus Æmilius, &c.

PLUTARCH. Wisdom of the Ancients

BACON. Earlier Poems..

MILTON. Confessio 18 of an inquiring Spirit

COLERIDGE. Francis Bacon

MACAULAY. Lives of Prior, Congreve, &c.*

SAMUEL JOHNSON. Shakespeare's Plays :-Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth,

Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, Much Ad) about Nothing, Julius Cæsar, Midsummer Night's Dream, All's Well that Ends Well, King Henry VIII., King John, A Winter's Tale, The Tempest, As You Like It, Coriolanus, Richard II., King Henry IV. (Part I.), King Henry IV. (Part II.), Merry Wives of Windsor, King Henry V., Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost, King Henry VI, (Part I.), King Henry VI. (Part II.), King Henry VI. (Part III.).

The next Volume will be
Richard III. By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

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INTRODUCTION.

WHEN, at the age of sixty-eight, Johnson was writing these “Lives of the English Poets,” he had caused omissions to be made from the poems of Rochester, and was asked whether he would allow the printers to give all the verse of Prior. Boswell quoted a censure by Lord Hailes of “those impure tales which will be the eternal opprobrium of their ingenious author.” Johnson replied, “Sir, Lord Hailes has forgot. There is nothing in Prior that will excite to lewdness ;” and when Boswell further urged, ho put his questionings aside, and added, “No, sir, Prior is a lady's book. No lady is ashamed to have it standing in her library.” Johnson distinguished strongly, as every wise man does, between offence against convention, and offence against morality.

In Congreve's plays he recognised the wit but condemned the morals, and in the case of Blackmore the regard for the religious purpose of Blackmore's

“ The Creation ” gave to Johnson, as to Addison, an undue sense of its literary value,

poem on

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