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it had been presumed, would never more come into fashion.
No man contributed more to restore the esteem and credit of these noble
patriotic writer's than the late ever-to-behonoured Mr. Hollis, of whose beautiful and accurate editions of Sydney's Dilcourses, of Locke on Government and Toleration, and of Toland's Life of Milton, we have spoken largely in another place.
Dr. Johnson's peace of mind required "that this recovering taste of the public should not ripen into appetite, particularly for Milton's works, whose reputation he had formerly taken so much elegant pains to depreciate. The source of his disaffcation to Milton's principles can
be no secret to those who have been con.' versant in the controversies of the times.
Dr. Johnson's early and well-known attachments will sufficiently account for it; and posterity will be at no loss to determine whether our biographer's veneration was paid to the White Rose or the Red *.
But Dr. Johnson's particular malevolence to Milton may not be so well known, or possibly forgot; we shall therefore give a short account of its progress, from its first appearance to its consummation 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, Paradise Loji. * Sce I'reface to Milton, p. ?
Who William Lauder was, what was his character, and of what stamp his moral and political principles, may be learn-ed from a pamphlet, intituled, Furius, printed for Carpenter, in Fleet-street, without a date; but, as evidently appears by the Remarks at the end of it, published soon after Lauder's appearance in the Gentleman's Magazine, with his famous discoveries.
Congenial politics create connections between men in whose abilities there is great disparity. Buchanan's principles, in his dialogue, De jure Regni apud Scotos, were equally detested by the noted Thomas Ruddiman and William Lauder. But Lauder's malignity could never prevail with the ingenuous Ruddiman to
: detract from Buchanan's poetical merit; in compliance with Lauder's furious-zeal in favour of Johnston's Latin translation of David's Pfalms, to which Lauder gave. the preference.
In his alliance with Dr. Johnson, cemented by their mutual antipathy to Milton's principles of civil and religious government, he found a paternal indulgence of his splenetic animofity.
Milton was a Whig, and therefore must be a Plagiary; accordingly when the time came that Lauder's Atrictures in the Gentleman's Magazine had swelled into the size of a pamphlet of 160 pages, it was ushered into public by a preface, and finished by a poftscript, from the illuftrious hand of Dr. Samuel Johnson.
On occafion of these head and tail. pieces the ingenious Dr. Douglas, the detector of Lauder's forgeries, writes thus :
C 'Tis to be hoped, nay, 'tis expested, « that the elegant and nervous writer, ๕ « whose judicious sentiments and inimi“ table stile point out the author of Lauá der's Preface and Postscript, will no
longer allow one to plume himself with á his feathers, who appears so little to
have deserved his affiftance; an affilCena
tance which, I am persuaded, would
never have been communicated, had « theré been the least suspicion of those á facts which I have been the instrunient « of conveying to the world *.”
* Milton vindicated from the charge of Pla. giarism, &c. by John Douglas, M. A. for Mile las, 1751, p. 77