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detract from Buchanan's poetical merit, in compliance with Lauder's furious zeal in favour of Johnston's Latin tranflation of David's Pfalms, to which Lauder gave the preference.

In his alliance with Dr. Johnfon, cemented by their mutual antipathy to Milton's principles of civil and religious government, he found a paternal indulgence of his fplenetic animofity.

Milton was a Whig, and therefore must be a Plagiary; accordingly when the time came that Lauder's ftrictures in the Gentleman's Magazine had fwelled into the fize of a pamphlet of 160 pages, it was ushered into public by a preface, and finished by a postscript, from the illuftrious hand of Dr. Samuel Johnson.



On occafion of these head and tailpieces the ingenious Dr. Douglas, the detector of Lauder's forgeries, writes thus:

"'Tis to be hoped, nay, 'tis expelled, "that the elegant and nervous writer, “whose judicious fentiments and inimi"table stile point out the author of Lau

der's Preface and Peftfcript, will no ❝longer allow one to plume himself with

his feathers, who appears fo little to

"have deferved his affiftance; an affif"tance which, I am perfuaded, would

never have been communicated, had

"there been the leaft fufpicion of thofe

facts which I have been the inftrument "of conveying to the world *."

* Milton vindicated from the charge of Plagiarifi, &c. by John Douglas, M. A. for Millar, 1751, P. 77.

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This favourable prefumption was illfounded and premature. It appeared afterwards, by the confeffion of Lauder himself, that "in Johnson's friendship "he placed the moft implicit and unli "mited confidence *."

Dr. Johnfon had faid for his friend, at the end of the Essay, that "Lauder's mơtives were, a ftrict regard to truth alone, &c. and none of them taken << from any difference of country, or of "fentiments in political or religious "" matters +." This Lauder, in his pamphlet of 1754, exprefsly contradicted, and avowed motives of party and premeditated deception. Here the cat leaped * King Charles I. vindicated, p: 3, 4. + Effay, p. 163.

King Charles I. vindicated from the charge

of Plagiarism, brought against him by Milton.

Printed for Owen, 1754, p. 11.


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out of the bag. It was now notorious that the fable had been inverted. The

Lion roared in the Afs's Skin; and if the Lion had not the whole afinine plan com municated to him à priori, Lauder's con fidence in his friend Johnson was neither implicit nor unlimited.,


Dr.Johnson, indeed, it is to be suspected, took upon him the patronage of Lauder's project from the beginning; and bore his part in the controverfy retailed in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1747. There is at least a HIGH DEGREE OF PREPOLLENT PROBABILITY, that the Letter in that Magazine for the month of August, page 363, 364, figned WILLIAM LAUDER, came from the amicable hand of Mr. Samuel Johnson.


In the year 1751 was published Lau der's penitential letter to Dr. Douglas, containing a full and free confeffion of his roguery: the merit of which was totally overthrown by a contradictory postfcript; which is thus accounted for by Lauder himself, after informing his readers, that his confidential friend advised an unreserved disclosure of his impof


"With this expedient," fays Lauder, I then chearfully complied, when that "gentleman wrote for me that letter that "was published in my name to Mr. Doug

las, in which he committed one error "that proved fatal to me, and at the "fame time injurious to the public. For

* Quarto, printed for Owen, 1751.

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