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he speculated upon virtual representation, tyrenny, taxation, &c. in favour of a government de facto, which, till a cer- ? tain period, he is said to have held to be de jure an usurpation, we shall not positively determine. This we know in: common with the rest of mankind, that such services have not been without con-siderable emolument; and that, on the other hand, the performance of them hath afforded to the author an opportu-nity of afswaging his itch of defaming certain friends of public liberty, with whom he could have no quarrel, but on account of their political principles and attachments.
We could add some remarkable instances from the Life of Savage. The
embellishment of a character so replete with insolence, ingratitude, and criminal dissipation, can hardly be ascribed to motives of greater purity than the sale of the copy, unless we should take into the account the delicacies of friendship, and the congenial talents of the man and his orator.
Savage was a poet, and in his biographer's opinion, a poet above mediocrity, and not inferior in the poetical scale of Dr. Johnson to some of those, whom he hath honoured with his prefu:tory narratives.
May we not then presume, that the Doctor's Life of Savage will be added to those elogies of eminent bards which have been received by the public with
fo much applause, and read with fo much avidity ?
We would not anticipate the pleasure of his readers in observing the Doctor's improvements in political wisdom since the year 1744; we shall only give one instance of it, taken from pages 120, 121, 122, of the edition of Savage’s Life that year, where there are some just, and indeed beautiful, contemplations, on the rise and settiement of colonies, both in a poetical and political view.
Savage composed a poem on the subject, where, as the biographer informs us, he has laudably “ asserted the natu“ral equality of mankind, and endea“voured to suppress that pride which
* inclines men to imagine that right is “ the consequence of power;"
The benevolent Dr. Price himself could not have advanced a doctrine more unfavoury to the palate of Dr. Juwnion's friends, nor needs it much fagacity to shew how it appears in contrast with the change which experience bath made in the Doctor's opinions *. The D ftor, we presume, found his account in both his öpinions, and all fides ought to be fatiffied.
There is indeed one performance as cribed to the pen of the Doctor, where the proftitution is of so fingular a nature, that it would be difficult to select an adequate motive for it out of the mountainous heap of conjectural causes of human passions or human caprice. We allude to the speech delivered by the late unhappy Dr. William Dodd, when he was about to hear the sentence of the law pronounced upon him, in consequence of an indictment for forgery.
* Life of Savage, p. 122,
The voice of the public has given the honour of manufacturing this speech to Dr. Johnson ; and the stile and configutation of the speech itfelf confirm the im putation.
Dr. Dodd was a man of parts, a poet, and an orator. He can hardly be fup, posed to have suspected that the powers of his own rhetoric would be too feeble for so critical an occasion. Presence of mind he could not war.t to compose a