JOHNSON was in his middle fifties when Boswell was introduced to him “in Mr. Davies's back‐parlour,” and much the greater part of the Life deals with him in his sixties and seventies. The Johnson Boswell knew was the “Great Cham of literature,” a State pensioner, “on velvet.” “Slow rises worth, by poverty oppressed,” he had written. Of the struggle from which he himself had emerged we have a few glimpses, mainly from letters and the statements of contemporaries. But Johnson was not disposed to dwell on the subject, and Boswell's genteel remoteness from it is illustrated by his comments on Johnson's friendship with Savage.
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