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Hardy must be the man who can publifh this fophiftry with fo many contra-, dictory facts staring him in the face. And diftreffing must be the dilemma which obliges Dr. Johnson to admit either that the minority have propagated no projects of innovation, diffused no difcontents by murmuring at government; or that his friends the minifters of ftate have not been able to protect the fettlement, and keep the public peace. If there can be no religion upon the fuppofition that every sceptic may teach his follies, I am afraid the Doctor himself can have no religion; for fuch fceptics may and do teach their follies every day with all free



Perhaps times and feafons might be. noted in fome old almanac when the good Doctor himself stole fome trifles into the world through the prefs, which did not much favour the legal fettlement of the crown, or tend to abate the dif contents of the people.

Had the minifter of the day, who then flept with his doors unbolted, caught the thief with the dark-lanthorn in his pocket, and configned him over to the conftable, the culprit undoubtedly would have availed himself of Milton's plea, and we fhould have heard with a vengeance of the wicked enmity of power to the cause of truth and loyalty. But penfions and preferments are wonderful enlighteners; and the free circu

lation of fedition during the laft reign, when many an honeft Jacobite propagated his difcontents without the least apprehenfion for his ears, is now become a pernicious policy, unworthy of the wisdom and dignity of an administration under the protection of the refpectable Dr. Samuel Johnson.

It is obfervable, that Milton addreffed his noble tract, intituled, Areopagitica, to an antimonarchical parliament, from which he expected the reformation of all the errors and encroachments of the late. kingly and prelatical government. He was above the little dirty prejudices or pretences that they might be trufted with power, only because he approved of the men, or depended upon their fa

vour to himself. He had his eye only on the cause, and when the Presbyterians deferted that, he deferted them, not out of humour, as this rancorous Biographer would infinuate ; but because they fainted in the progrefs of that work to the completion of which their firft avowed principles would have led them.

Would Dr. Johnson have chofen to have fubmitted his works to the licenfers appointed by fuch a parliament? or would he venture to expoftulate with the pow

See fome fenfible and mafterly reflections on the fabject in Dr. Moore's View of Society and Manners in France, Switzerland, and Germany. See likewife Gilbert Mabbot's reafons for defiring to be difmiffed from the office of Licenfer. Toland's Life of Milton, Mr. Hollis's edition, p. 57.


ers in being on any point of literary privilege, wherein he fhould think them effentially wrong, with that generous and honeft freedom that Milton exhibits in this incomparable tract? No, he fneaks away from the queftion, and leaves it as he found it.

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"As faction feldom leaves a man ho"neft," fays the Doctor, p. 51, “how"ever it might find him, Milton is fuf"pected of having interpolated the book "called Icon Bafilike, which the council of "state, to whom he was now made Latin Secretary, employed him to cenfure, "by inferting a prayer, &c."

The contexture of this fentence feems to be a little embaraffed: and to leave us

under fome uncertainty whether Milton

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