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Et cogar æternum duplici servire tyranno?
Essay, page 152. Throni dominationes, principatus, virtutes, potestates, is said to be a line borrowed by Milton from the title page of HEYWOOD's Hierarchy of Angels. But there are more words in Heywood's title; and, according to his own arrangement of his subjects, they should read thus :-Seraphim, cherubim, throni, potestates, angelig archangeli, principatus, dominationes.
These are my interpolations, minutely traced with out any arts of evasion. Whether from the passages that yet remain, any reader will be convinced of my general assertion, and allow that Milton had recourse for assistance to any of the authors whose names I have mentioned, I shall not now be very diligent to inquire, for I had no particular pleasure in subverting the reputation of Milton, which I had myself once endeavoured to exalt;* and of which the foundation had
• Virorum maximus-JOANNES MILTONUS-Poeta cele. berrimus--non Angliæ modo, soli natalis, verum generis humani ornamentum-cujus eximius liber, Anglicanis versibus conscriptus, vulgo PARADISUS AMIssus, immortalis illud ingenii monumentum, cum ipsa ferè æternitate perennaturum est opus !-Hujus memoriam Anglorum primus, post tantum, pro dolor! ab tanti excessu poetæ intervallum, statua eleganti in loco celeberrimo, cænobio Westmonasteriensi, posita, re. gum, principum, antistitum, illustriumque Angliæ viorum cæmeterio, vir ornatissimus, Gulielmus Benson prosecutus est.
Poetarum Scotorum Muse Sacræ in prefatione, Edinb. 1739.
always remained untouched by me, had not my credit and my interest been blasted, or thought to be blasted, by the shade which cast from its boundless elevation.
About ten years ago, I published an edition of Dr. Johnston's translation of the Psalms, and having proeured from the general assembly of the church of Scotland, a recommendation of its use to the lower classes of grammar-schools, into which I had begun to introduce it, though not without much controversy and opposition; I thought it likely that I should, by annual publications, improve my little fortune, and be enabled to support myself in freedom from the miseries of indi. gence. But Mr. Pope, in his malevolence to Mr.Benson, who had distinguished himself by his fondness for the same version, destroyed all my hopes by a distich, in which he places Johnston in a contemptuous comparison with the author of Paradise Lost.*
A character as high and honourable as ever was bestowed upon him by the most sanguine of his admirers! and as this was my cool and sincere opinion of that wonderful man for. merly, so I declare it to be the same still, and ever will be, notwithstanding all appearances to the contrary, occasioned merely by passion and resentment; which appear, however, by the Postscript to the Essay, to be so far from extending to the posterity of Milton, that I recommend his only remaining descendant, in the warmest terms, to the public.
* On two unequal crutches prop'd, he *came,
Dunciad. Book IV. Benson.] This man endeavoured to raise himself to fame, by erecting monuments, striking coins, and procuring translations of Milton; and afterwards by a great passion for Arthur Johnston, a Scots physician's version of the Psalms, of which he printed many fine editions. Notes on the Dunciad.
No fewer than six different editions of that useful and valuable book, two in quarto, two in octavo, and two in a lesser
From this time, all my praises of Johnston became ridiculous, and I was censured with great freedom, for forcing upon
the schools an author whom Mr. Pope had mentioned only as a foil to a better poet. On this occasion, it was natural not to be pleased, and my resentment, seeking to discharge itself somewhere, was unhappily directed against Milton. I resolved to attack his fame, and found some passages in cursory reading which gave me hopes of stigmatising him as a plagiary. The farther I carried my search, the more eager I grew for the discovery, and the more my hypothesis was opposed, the more I was heated with rage. The consequence of my blind passion, I need not relate; it has, by your detection, become apparent to mankind. Nor do I mention this provocation as adequate to the fury which I have shown, but as a cause of anger, less shameful and reproachful than fractious malice, personal envy, or national jealousy.
But, for the violation of truth, I offer no excuse, because I well know that nothing can excuse it: nor will I aggravate my crime by disingenuous palliations. I confess it, I repent it, and resolve that my first offence shall be my last. More I cannot perform, and more, therefore, cannot be required. I intreat the par
form, now lie like lumber in the hand of Mr. Vaillant, bookseller, the effects of Mr. Pope's ill-natured criticism,
One of these editions in quarto, illustrated with an interpretation and notes, after the manner of the classic authors in usum Delphini, was, by the worthy editor, anno 1741, inscribed to his Royal Highness Prince George, as a proper book for his instruction in principles of piety, as well as knowledge of the Latin tongue, when he should arrive at due maturity of age. To restore this book to credit was the cause that induced me to engage in this disagreeable controversy, rather than any design to depreciate the just reputation of Milton.
don of all men whom I have by any means induced to support, to countenance, or patronize my frauds, of which I think myself obliged to declare, that not one of my friends was conscious. I hope to deserve, by better conduct, and more useful undertakings, that patronage which I have obtained from the most illustrious and venerable names by misrepresentation and delusion, and to appear hereafter in such a character as shall give you no reason to regret that your name is frequently mentioned with that of,
Your most humble servant,
Dec. 20, 1750.
HIS is a treatise consisting of Six Letters, upon a very difficult and important question, which, I am afraid, this author's endeavours will not free from the perplexity which has entangled the speculatists of all ages, and which must always continue while we see but in part. He calls it a Free Inquiry, and, indeed, his freedom is, I think, greater than his modesty. Though
* This “Inquiry,” published in 1757, was the production of Soame Jenyns, Esq. who never forgave the author of the Re. view. It is painful to relate, that after he had suppressed his resentment during Dr. Johnson's life, he gave it vent in a petulant and illiberal mock-epitaph, which would not have de. served notice had it not been admitted into the edition of his works published by Mr. Cole. When this Epitaph first appear. ed in the newspapers, Mr. Boswell answered it by another upon Mr. Jenyns, equal, at least, in illiberality.
This review is justly reckoned one of the finest specimens of criticism in our language, and was read with such eagerness, when published in the Literary Magazine, that the author was induced to reprint it in a small volume by itself; a circumstance which appears to have escaped Mr. Boswell's research.