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With this question I meddle not; I have only to observe upon Lauder's pamphlet, that the argument is introduced by a defence of his essay, and an assertion, that his letter, which he says was written by Johnson, in many respects contained not his sentiments, and was, more properly than an apology, an enormous aggravation of his offence; and is pursued with a declaration of the author, in the fincerity of his heart, that had not Milton with such unparalleled malignity blasted the king, he would not upon any consideration have either offered a violence to truth, put an imposition on the public, though but for a moment, or attempted to blast Milton's reputation by a falshood.

Behold here a reason far differing from each of the two former ; the first was a provocation given him by a distich of Mr. Pope's, the second was a desire by a stratagem, as he calls it, to try how far the partiality of Milton's admirers would lead thein, and this last is, his resentment of an injury done to the memory of king Charles the first. If we ask, which of these is the true one ? the answer must be, neither; for it aps pears that Lauder had projected an edition of Masenius and other of the Latin poets referred to in his essay, and that in order to obtain subscriptions for the same, he had been guilty of the wickedness imputed to and proved upon him.

The concluding paragraph of this last pamphlet of Lauder, as it is for its impudence matchless, I here give, and in the doing thereof consign his memory to that infamy, which, by his complicated wickedness he has incurred.

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"As for his [Milton's] plagiarisms, I intend shortly,

God willing, to extract such genuine proofs from ! those authors who held forth the lighted torch to

Milton, I mean, who illustrated the subject of the • Paradise Lost, long before that prince of plagiaries

entered upon it, as may be deemed sufficient, not

only to replace the few interpolations, (for which I ? have been so hideously exclaimed against) but even

to reinforce the charge of plagiarism against the ! English poet, and fix it upon him by irrefragable { conviction in the face of the whole world, and by the & fuffrage of all candid and impartial judges, while ! sun and moon shall endure, to the everlasting shame

and confusion of the whole idolatrous rabble of his numerous partizans, particularly, my vain-glorious

adversary, who will reap only the goodly harvest of • disappointment and disgrace, where he expected to ! gather laurels.

In 1756, Dr. Douglas published a new edition of his pamphlet, with the title of 'Milton no plagiary,

or a detection of the forgeries contained in Lauder's

essay on the imitations of the moderns in the Paradise ? Lost:' to this is an appendix, containing part of an apology of Lauder's booksellers, for having been the publishers of his essay, in which they give an account of their condućt, after the first discovery of his villainy, in the following words: ! An inmediate application ? to Lauder was necessary, as well to justify ourselves, ? as to remove or confirm the charge. Accordingly,

we acquainted him, that if he did not instantly put into our hands the books from which he had taken the principal passages, we would publicly disclaim

all

• all connexion with him, and expose his declining • the only step left for his defence. This declaration s brought him to us the following day, when, with

great confidence, he acknowledged the interpolation < of all the books; and seemed to wonder at mankind

in making such a rout about eighteen or twenty • lines. As this man then has been guilty of such ' a wicked imposition upon us, our friends, and the

public, and is capable of so daring an avowal of it,

we declare, that we will have no farther intercourse ' with him, and that we now sell his book only as a

curiosity of fraud and interpolation, which all the ages of literature cannot parallel !

With a character thus blasted, it was next to impossible for this man to continue in England; he therefore left it, and went to settle at Barbadoes, proposing to set up a school there ; but, upon his arrival on the inand, he met with small encouragement, and is said to have died about the year 1771,

As Johnson, though not in the least an accessary to the imposture above related, had a considerable share in the controversy that it gave rise to, it seemed to me necessary to be thus particular in giving such an account thereof as would concentrate into one point all that was written on the subject, and convey to posterity the history of a transaction, the like whereof is not to be found among the records of literature. It is too fad a truth, that learning and rectitude of mind are qualities independent of each other, and that the world has in all ages abounded with examples of men of great erudition who have been wanting in common honesty. We read of men who have cor

rupted

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rupted the Holy Scriptures with a view to favour a particular heresy; and of monks who have forged charters to promote the secular interests of their fraternity: these, though wicked actions, must be supposed to have sprung from a principle, which, having for its object a common benefit, had somewhat of generosity in it: but the motives of this impoftor were all of the selfish kind, revenge for a supposed injury done to himself, and an impatience to be relieved from his own peculiar and personal wants and distresses; and thcugh it was for some time thought that his confeffion had atoned for his offence, we find it was in fact an aggravation of it: In as much as it was not fincere, it was a repentance to be repented of; and indeed in one sense he seems to have thought so, for, in his last publication, he retracts it, and that nothing might be wanting to fill up the measure of his iniquity, he defies his detector, whose endeavours were to beget in him that sense of shame which, as it is ever the forerunner of penitence, has ever been deemed falutary.

Great thanks are due to this learned divine and eminent scholar for the zeal and industry manifested by him in the course of this singular controversy, and every judicious reader must rejoice, that through his means our great poet has been rescued from an infamous charge, and that we may yet read the · Paradise Lost' without a suspicion of its originality.

To return to Johnson, I have already said that he paid no regard to time or the stated hours of refection, or even reit; and of this his inattention I will here relate a notable instance. Mrs. Lenox, a lady now well known

in the literary world, had written a novel intitled, “The < life of Harriot Stuart,' which in the spring of 1751, was ready for publication. One evening at the club, Johnson proposed to us the celebrating the birth of Mrs. Lenox's first literary child, as he called her book, by a whole night spent in festivity. Upon his mentioning it to me, I told him I had never fat

up

a whole night in my life; but he continuing to press me, and -faying, that I should find great delight in it, I, as did all the rest of our company, consented. The place appointed was the Devil tavern, and there, about the hour of eight, Mrs. Lenox and her husband, and a lady of her acquaintance, now living, as also the club, and friends to the number of near twenty, assembled. Our supper was elegant, and Johnson had directed that a magnificent hot apple-pye should make a part of it, and this he would have stuck with bay-leaves, because, forsooth, Mrs. Lenox was an authoress, and had written verses; and further, he had prepared for her a crown of laurel, with which, but not till he had invoked the muses by fome ceremonies of his own invention, he encircled her brows. The night passed, as must be imagined, in pleasant conversation, and harmless mirth, intermingled at different periods with the refreshments of coffee and tea. About five, Johnson's face shone with meridian splendour, though his drink had been only lemonade ; but the far greater part of us had deferted the colours of Bacchus, and were with difficulty rallied to partake of a second refreshment of coffee, which was scarcely ended when the day began to dawn. This phenomenon began to put us in mind of our reckoning;

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