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fophical apathy, void of all ambition to Thare with him the blushing honours himself had so generously contributed to thicken upon Lauder's devoted head.
The effects of his journey-work, in defaming Milton, being thus disappointed by the laudable diligence of Dr.Douglas, and the unmanageable petulance of Lauder, common prudence suggested to our biographer the expedience of suppresfing his impatience for another opportunity of lefsening the public vene. ration for Milton's merit. Accordingly. he laid by his project for about two years, when he might reasonably hope his ma-, næuvres, under the hide .of Lauder, would be forgotten, or laid asleep by a; succession of that variety of entertainment,
which the press is always providing for the public.on åll sorts of fubjects.
• In January 1958 he released himself from his quarentine, and appeared in the Literary Magazine for that month,
holding forth to the public his poeTICAL SCALE, the particulars of which, fave what relates to Milton; we leave to the s critics by profeffion. This is what he says of Milton:
" I am sensible that in the calculations ** « I have here exhibited I have, in many - instances, strong prejudices against me. ----The friends of Milton will not yield ** to Shakespeare the superiority of ge- nius, which, I think, lies on the side
" of Shakespeare. Both of them have *** faults. But the faults of Shakespeare
were those of Genius; those of Milton 766 of the MAN OF GENIUS. The former .“ arises from imagination getting the .“ better of judgment; the latter from “ habit getting the better of imagination.
Shakespeare's faults were those of a great poet; those of Milton of a little. “ pedant. When Shakespeare is execra« ble he is so exquisitely so, that he is. 56 inimitable in his blemishes as in his -66 beauties. The puns of Milton betray, “ a narrowness of education, and a dege..
neracy of habit."
Thus far Dr. Johnson's exhibition of Milton in the scale of poetical .merit, which perhaps, at the bottom mạy amount to no more than that, Milton could not make a saddle, or dance upon
the rope * But this too we leave to critics on poetry, of whom we should request to explain the difference between a Genius and a Man of Genius, and by what operation habit, in the abstract, gets the better of imagination ; remarking only for ourselves, that for the balance-malter to reproach Milton for his pedantry is certainly betraying a strange unconsciousness of his own talents, unless he depends upon his reader's fagacity in discriminating a great pedant from a little one. He is obliged, however, to complete the humiliation of Milton, to put his prose-works into the scale.
-- His theological quibbles and per6 plexed speculations are daily equalled
* See Cibber's Letter to Pope, p. 35.
« and excelled by the most abjeet en“thusiasts; and if we consider him as a “ prose-writer, he has neither the learn
ing of a scholar, nor the manners of a “gentleman.". There is no force in his “ reasoning, no elegance in his style, and. “ no taste in his composition.”
Peremptory, but not decisive ! To make this go down, even with a moderate tory, it should have been added, that the narrowness of Milton's education prevented, not only his proficiency in the ftudy of the abstruser sciences, but even in the elemental acquisitions of reading or spelling.
“We are therefore," continues the critic, “ to consider him in one fixed point of light, that of a great poet,