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" a weaver, in Spitalfields, and died in August 1727, “ in the 76th year of her age. She had ten chil“ dren. Elizabeth, the youngest, was married to “ Mr. Thomas Foster, a weaver, in Spitalfields, and « had seven children, who are all dead; and she her“ self is aged about sixty, and weak and infirm. She “ seemeth to be a good plain sensible woman, and has “ confirmed several particulars related above, and “ informed me of some others, which she had often “ heard from her mother." These the doctor enu. merates, and then adds, “ In all probability Mil“ tor's whole family will be extinct with her, and he “ can live only in his writings. And such is the “ caprice of fortune, this grand-daughter of a man, o who will be an everlasting glory to the nation, has “ now for some years, with her husband, kept a little “ chandler's or grocer's shop, for their subsistence, “ lately at the lower Holloway, in the road between “ Highgate and London, and at present in Cock“ lane, not far from Shoreditch church.”
That this relation is true cannot be questioned : but, surely, the honour of letters, the dignity of sacred poetry, the spirit of the English nation, and the glory of human nature, require—that it should be true no longer.-In an age, in which statues are erected to the honour of this great writer, in which his effigy has been diffused on medals, and his work propagated by translations, and illustrated by commentaries; in an age, which amidst all its vices, and all its follies, has not become infamous for want of charity: it may be, surely, allowed to hope, that the living remains of MILTON will be no longer suffered to languisha in distress. It is yet in the power of a
great great people, to reward the poet whose name they boast, and from their alliance to whose genius, they claim some kind of superiority to every other nation of the earth ; that poet, whose works may possibly be read when every other monument of British greatness shall be obliterated; to reward him-not with pictures, or with medals, which, if he sees, he sees with contempt, but—with tokens of gratitude, which he, perhaps, may even now consider as not unworthy the regard of an immortal spirit. And surely, to those, who refuse their names to no other scheme of expense, it will not be unwelcome, that a SUBSCRIPTION is proposed, for relieving, in the languor of age, the pains of disease, and the contempt of poverty, the grand-daughter of the author of PARADISE Lost. Nor can it be questioned, that if I, who have been marked out as the ZOILUS of MILTON, think this regard due to his posterity, the design will be warmly seconded by those, whose lives have been employed, in discovering his excellencies, and extending his reputation,
For the Relief of
are taken in by
SEVERAL CURIOUS ORIGINAL LETTERS From the Authors of the UNIVERSAL HISTORY, Mr. AINSWORTH,
Mr. MacLAURIN, &c.
By WILLIAM LAUDER, A. M.
Quem penitet peccasse pæne est innocens.
SENECA. Corpora magnanimo satis est prostrasse Leoni.
Pugna suum finem, quum jacet hostis, habet. Ovid. · · - Prætuli Clementiam Juris Rigori. - -
GROTII Adamus. Exul.
First printed in the Year 1751.
OF this Pamphlet, Mr. Lauder gives the following account : “ An ingenious gentleman (for whose amazing abilities 1 had « conceived the highest veneration, and in whose candour and “ friendship I reposed the most implicit and unlimited confidence) “ advised me to make an unreserved disclosure of all the lines i “ had interpolated against Milton, with this view, chiefly, that “ no future criticks niight ever have an opportunity of valuing " themselves upon small discoveries of a few lines, which would “serve to revive my error, and keep the controversy eternally 6 alive.
“ With this expedient I then chearfully complied, when that “ gentleman wrote for me the letter that was published in my “ name to Mr. Douglas, in which he committed one error that " proved fatal to me, and at the same time injurious to the pub“ lick. For, in place of acknowledging that such and such par“ ticular passages only were interpolated, he gave up the whole “ Essay against Milton as delusion and misrepresentation, and “ thereby imposed more grievously on the publick than I had “ done, and that too in terms much more submissive and abject " than the nature of the offence requiied.
“ Though this letter, in many respects contained not my sen"timents, as plainly appears from the contradictory Postscript “ subjoined to ir: yet such was my infatuation at that time, and “ implicit confidence in my friend, that I suffered it to be printed “ in my name, though I was previously informed by one of the “ greatest men of the age of its hurtful tendency, which I have " since fully experienced to my cost.
“ That the gentleman meant to serve me, and was really of “ opinion that the method he proposed might probably prove “ effectual for rescuing me from the odium of the publick, and " in some measure restoring my character to the honour it had “ lost, I was then disposed to believe. His repeated acts of friend“ ship to me on former occasions in conjunction with a reputa“ tion universally established for candour and integrity, left me “ little room to doubt it: though it is certainly a most prepos“ terous method for a criminal, in order to obtain pardon for " one act of felony, to confess himself guilty of a thousand. “ However, I cannot but condemn myself for placing so impli“ cit a confidence in the judgment of any man, how great or “ good soever, as to suffer his mistakes to be given to the publick “ as my opinion.” King Charles vindicated from the charge of plagiarism, brought against him by Milton, and Milton himself convicted of forgery and a gross imposition on the publick. 8vo. 1754. p. 3. E.
REVEREND MR. DOUGLAS.
SIR, NANDOUR and tenderness are in any relation,
and on all occasions, eminently amiable; but when they are found in an adversary, and found so prevalent as to overpower that zeal which his cause excites, and that heat which naturally increases in the prosecution of argument, and which may be in a great measure justified by the love of truth, they certainly appear with particular advantages; and it is impossible not to envy those who possess the friendship of him, whom it is even some degree of good fortune to have known as an enemy.
I will not so far dissemble my weakness, or my fault, as not to confess that my wish was to have passed undetected; but since it has been my fortune to fail in my original design, to have the supposititious passages which I have inserted in my quotations made known to the world, and the shade which began to gather on the splendour of Milton totally dispersed, I cannot but count it an alleviation of my pain, that I have been defeated by a man who knows how to use advantages with so much moderation, and can enjoy the honour of conquest without the insolence of triumph,