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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 enumerates, and then adds, “ In all probability Milton's whole family will be extinct with her, and he can live only in his writings. And such is the caprice of forkune, this grand daughter of a man, 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 languish in distress. It is yet in the power of a great people to reward the poet whose name they boast, and, from their reliance 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 ex
pense, 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 granddaughter 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.
Subscriptions for the relief of
Mrs. ELIZABETH FOSTER,
are taken in by Mr. Dodsley, in Pall-Mall; Messrs. Cox and Collings, under the Royal Ex
change; Mr. Cave, at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell; and Messrs. Payne and Bouquet, in Pater-noster-Row.
REVEREND MR. DOUGLAS
OCCASIONED BY HIS
VINDICATION OF MILTON.
TO WHICH ARE SUBJOINED
SEVERAL CURIOUS ORIGINAL LETTERS
FROM THE AUTHORS OF THE UNIVERSAL HISTORY, MR. AINS
WORTH, MR. MACLAURIN, &c.
BY WILLIAM LAUDER, A. M.
Quem penitet peccasse pæne est innocens. SENECA.
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 I 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 dis. closure of all the lines I had interpolated against Milton, with this view, chiefly, that no future critics might 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 alive.
“With this expedient I then cheerfully complied, when that gentleman wrote for me the letter that was published in my naine to Mr. Douglas, in which he committed one error that proved fatal to me, and at the same time injurious to the public. For, in place of acknowledging that such and such particular passages only were interpolated, he gave up the whole Essay against Milton as delusion and misrepresentation, and thereby imposed more grievously on the public than I had done, and that too in terms much more submissive and abject than the nature of the offence required.
“Though this letter, in many respects, contained not my sentiments, as plainly appears from the contradictory Posta script subjoined to it: 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 public, and, in some measure restoring my character to the honour it had lost, I was then disposed to believe. His repeated acts of friendship to me on former occasions, in conjunction with a reputation universally established for candour and integrity, left me little room to doubt it: though it is certainly a most preposterous 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 implicit a confidence in the judgment of any man, how great or good soever, as to suffer his mistakes to be given to the pub. lic 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 public, 8vo. 1754. p. 3.
REVEREND MR. DOUGLAS.
CANDOUR 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 suppositious 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.
It was one of the maxims of the Spartans, not to press upon a flying army, and therefore their enemies were