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THE

Ł I V ES

OF

THE ENGLISH POETS;

BY

SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL. D.

IN TWO VOLS.

VOL. II.

LONDON:
Printed for F.C. and J. Rivington; J. Nonn; Cadell

and Davies; Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and
Brown; G. & W. B. Whittaker; J. Richardson ;
J. Walker; Newman and Co.; Lackington and
Co.; Black, Kingsbury, Parbury, and Allen;
J. Black and Son; Sherwood, Neely, and Jones ;
Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; J. Robinson; E.
Edwards ; Simpkin and Marshall; R. Scholey;
and G. Cowie.

1820.

BIBLIOTHECA

PEGIA MONACENSIS

PRIOR.

ATTHEW PRIOR is one of those that has MA

burst out from an obscure original to great eminence. He was born July 21, 1664, according to some, at Winburn, in Dorsetshire, of I know not what parents; others say, that he was the son of a joiner of London; he was perhaps willing enough to leave his birth unsettled,* in hope, like Don Quixote, that the historian of bis actions might find him some illustrious alliance.

He is supposed to have fallen, by his father's death, into the hands of his uncle, a vintner,t near

* The difficulty of settling Prior's birth-place is great. In the register of his College he is called, at his admission by the President, Matthew Prior, of Winburn, in Middlesex; by himself, next day, Matthew Prior, of Dorsetshire, in which county, not in Middlesex, Winborn, or Winborne, as it stands in the Villare, is found. When he stood candidate for his fellowship, five years afterwards, he was registered again by himself as of Middlesex. The last record ought to be preferred, because it was made upon oath. It is observable, that, as a native of Winborne, he is styled Filius Georgii Prior, generosi; not consistently with the common account of the meanness of his birth. -Dr. J.

+ Samuel Prior kept the Rummer Tavern, near Charing Cross, in 1685. The annual feast of the nobility and gentry living in the parish of St. VOL. II.

B

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