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Gabriel Manigault Caroliniensis.del.




Bafire So

WE were in hope that we had done with Milton's Biographers; and had little forefight that fo accomplished an artificer

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of language would have condefcended to bring up the rear of his hiftorians.

But it was not for the reputation of Dr. Johnson's politics that Milton fhould be abused for his principles of Liberty by a less eminent hand than his own. The minute fnarlers, or fpumofe declamers against the fentiments and diction of Milton's profe-works, had ceafed to be regarded, till the maxims of fome of those who pay Dr. Johnson's quarterages had occafioned an inquiry into the genuine principles of the English Government, when the writings of Milton, Sydney, Locke, &c. which the moderation of the last reign had left in fome degree of neglect, were now taken down from the fhelves where they had fo long repofed, to confront the doctrines which,

it had been prefumed, would never more come into fashion.

No man contributed more to restore the efteem and credit of thefe noble pa triotic writers than the late ever-to-behonoured Mr. Hollis, of whose beautiful and accurate editions of Sydney's Difcourfes, of Locke on Government and Toleration, and of Toland's Life of Milton, we have spoken largely in another -place.

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Dr. Johnfon's peace of mind required that this recovering taste of the public Thould not ripen into appetite, particularly for Milton's works, whofe reputation he had formerly taken fo much elegant pains to depreciate. The fource of his difaffection to Milton's principles can B. 2


be no fecret to those who have been converfant in the controverfies of the times. Dr. Johnson's early and well-known attachments will fufficiently account for it; and pofterity will be at no lofs to determine whether our biographer's veneration was paid to the White Rofe or the Red*.

But Dr. Johnson's particular malevolence to Milton may not be fo well known, or poffibly forgot; we fhall therefore give a fhort account of its progrefs, from its firft appearance to its confummation in this Life of Milton.

In the year 1747, one William Lauder fent to the Gentleman's Magazine fome hints of Milton's plagiarism, in pillaging certain modern writers for the materials of his poem, intituled, Paradife Loft.

* See Preface to Milton, p. 2.


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Who William Lauder was, what was his character, and of what stamp his moral and political principles, may be learned from a pamphlet, intituled, FURIUS, printed for Carpenter, in Fleet-street, without a datę; but, as evidently appears by the Remarks at the end of it, publifhed foon after Lauder's appearance in the Gentleman's Magazine, with his famous discoveries.

Congenial politics create connections between men in whofe abilities there is great disparity. Buchanan's principles, in his dialogue, De jure Regni apud Scotos, were equally detefted by the noted Thomas Ruddiman and William Lauder. But Lauder's malignity could never prevail with the ingenuous Ruddiman to B 3. detract

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