Lives of the English Poets : Waller, Milton, Cowley
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Samuel Johnson, born at Lichfield in the year 1709, on the 7th of September Old Style, 18th New Style, was sixty-eight years old when he agreed with the booksellers to write his “Lives of the English Poets”. “I am engaged”, he said, “to write little Lives, and little Prefaces, to a little edition of the English Poets”. His conscience was also a little hurt by the fact that the bargain was made on Easter Eve. In 1777 his memorandum, set down among prayers and meditations, was “29 March, Easter Eve, I treated with booksellers on a bargain, but the time was not long”.