Excerpt from Johnson's Lives of the Poets, Vol. 4 of 6: A New Edition; With Notes and Introduction
To doubt whether a man of eminence has told the truth about his own birth, is, in appearance, to be very deficient in candour; yet nobody can live long without knowing that falsehoods of con venience or vanity, falsehoods from which no evil immediately visible ensues, except the general degradation of human testimony, are very lightly uttered, and once uttered, are sullenly supported. Boileau, who desired to be thought a rigorous and steady moralist, having told a petty lie to Lewis XIV. Continued it afterwards by false dates; thinking himself obliged in honour, says his admirer, to maintain what, when he said it, was so well received.
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