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Record 22248

Reading Experience:

'Lord Hailes had sent him a present of a curious little printed poem, on repairing the University of Aberdeen, by David [italics] Malloch [end italics], which he thought would please Johnson, as affording clear evidence that Mallet had appeared even as a literary character by the name of Malloch; his changing which to one of softer sound, had given Johnson occasion to introduce him into his "Dictionary", under the article [italics] Alias[end italics]. This piece was, I suppose, one of Mallet's first essays. It is preserved in his works, with several variations. Johnson having read aloud, from the beginning of it, where there were some common-place assertions as to the superiority of ancient times;--"How false (said he) is all this, to say that in ancient times learning was not a disgrace to a Peer as it is now. In ancient times a Peer was as ignorant as any one else. He would have been angry to have it thought he could write his name. Men in ancient times dared to stand forth with a degree of ignorance with which nobody would dare now to stand forth".'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: 1 May 1783
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Samuel Johnson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 18 Sep 1709
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: David Mallet
Title: [a poem about Aberdeen]
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Unknown
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned
or borrowed - sent by Lord Hailes


Source Information:

Record ID: 22248  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: R.W. Chapman
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 1233
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 1233,, accessed: 05 February 2023

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791. Mallet was the adopted name of David Malloch.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)