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Poema, cui titulum fecit Il Paradifo perduto, quodque Thufco noftro foluto ver fu tranftulit Rollius, ingenti Eruditorum plaufu exceptum eft, proque co elegans numifma cum effigie Miltoni cufit Jdannes Daffierius, habens ab oppofito proto parentum feductionem, ac expulfionem, cum epigraphe :


Nemo pejus unquam adverfus regiam poteftatem majeftatemque calamum acuit *.

Dr. Johnfon's motives for characterif ing Milton in his new narrative feem to have been much of a fort with thofe of

* Mufeum Mozzuchellianum feu Numifmata virorum doctrina præftantium-a Tetro Antonio de comitibus gaetanis Brixiano Prefbytero Huftrata, 1763.

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this Peter Anthony, with this difference, that the abuse bestowed upon the bard by the latter feems to have been more a matter of neceffity.

A prieft of the church of Rome would certainly confider, that an elogium upon Milton's poetical merit, delivered without a fevere cenfure of his uncatholic opinions, might expofe him to fome untoward fufpicions of his own heterodoxy among his fuperiors.

One would indeed imagine that a Proteftant writer of the Life of Milton the Poet, could have no fuch temptation to deal out invectives against his fpeculative opinions. And yet we have inftances where an inbred zeal for a particular opinion, would operate with an equal viru


fence upon a proteftant as upon a popifli bigot. For example, in the article of truth, it is just as credible, that Sir Chriftopher Milton adhered to the party of Charles I. in obedience to the laws of his country, as that his brother John revolted from the piety and faith of his father.

On another hand, that Dr. Johnfon was as much fcandalized at the impiety of Milton's political sentiments, as Father Anthony was at his heretical pravity, cannot be doubted. Perhaps too the Doctor had his fuperiors to please, as well as the priest; and they ought to do him the juftice to acknowledge, that he hath done his duty in characterizing Milton, with a petulance and malignity that

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that would not have misbecome the fu

perftitious bigotry of a monk in a cloys


The Doctor, in fpeculating upon Dryden's perverfion to popery, and (as one of the Reviewers of his prefaces exprefles it)" attempting ingeniously to extenu"ate it," concludes that, Enquiries into the heart are not for man.

No truly, not when Dryden's apoftacy is to be extenuated; but when poor Milton's fins are to be ingeniously aggravated, no Spanish Inquifitor more fharp-fighted to difcern the devil playing his pranks in the heart of the poor culprit, or more ready to conduct him to an auto de fe.

In Dryden's cafe, the prefumption is, that "a comprehenfive is likewife an "elevated

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elevated foul, and that whoever is wife, "is likewife honeft." But if it is natu ral to hope this, why not hope it of Milton as well as of Dryden? Where is the competent impartial judge who will admit, that Milton's foul was lefs comprehenfive or lefs elevated than the foul of Dryden ?

But what occafion for all this grimace in accounting for Dryden's tranfition from what he did or did not profess to the church of Rome? Dr. Johnfon ought to have been fatisfied with Dryden's own account in his tale of the Hind and the Panther; the rather, as he there seems to have verified by experience Dr.. Johnfon's maxim, that " he that is of no "church can have no religion." He

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