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The hafiy spouse of Juno faw
Oh! treacherous Bull, from hell deriv'd,
To fell thy bargain out again!'
• But turn, my gentle Muse, nor deign
The twenty fifth day of November lall, at which time this poem was written,
Yet do I feel most truly for her,
her case with horror,
Such symptoms make her friends begin
Then say, Oh! say, ye learned leeches,
Say, from this lady so affected
And when the nurse has cloath'd and fed it
Meanwhile some goffips that attend it Outrageous to the devil would send it, Will reprobate the odious creature, And militare 'gainst every feature, And when the nurse begins to cram it, Will one and all conspire to damn it: With might and main will crowd and clamber To get into the inward chamber, And should they gain admittance there, (For ought I'll venture to declare) Might take the baby in their arms, And hit upon some secret charms, Some latent Je ne sçai quoi, or grace Which hitherto they ne'er could trace, Might kiss the monster and caress it, And try in some new mode to dress it, And then declare it looks so smugly 'Twas strange they ever thought it ugly,
Might call it Pretty dear, and Honcy,
But nurse (as all have done before)
To let them in, on-SPECULATION.' The same chastised pleasantry and eale, the same dry humour and classical elegance and allufion, which have in general diftinguilhed Mr. Anstey’s performances, are conspicuous in the present: and if, perhaps, it had been less diffufive and more attentively finished, it might have been no way inferior to the happiest production of his exquisite pen.
ART. XIII. Remarks on Johnson's Life of Milton,
To which are added, Milcon's Tractate on Educacion, Small 8vo.
2 s, 6 d. fewed. Dilly. 1780.
Prefatory Advertisement to this publication informs us,
that the following Remarks are a small part of a work lately given to the Public *, wherein occasion is incidentally taken to exhibit some instances of the manner in which Milion's character has bee treated by some of his former biographers and others. About the time that specimen was closed, Dr. Johnson's New Narrative was thrown in the way of the editors, and could not be overlooked without leaving some of the more candid and capable judges of Milton's prose-writings to suffer by the illiberal reflections of cer. tain (perhaps well-meaning) men, who may be led to think thac truth, judgment, and impartiality are small matters, when contrasted with what Dr. Johnson's admirers have thought fit to call, an inimitable elegance of stile and composition. Our countrymen are certainly interested, that wrong representations of the character of fo capital a writer as John Milion should be corrected, and properly censured ; and therefore as the work from which the following Remarks are extracted may fall into the hands of very few of the numerous readers of Dr. Johnson's Prefaces, we hope the public will approve of our republishing these strictures on the Doctor's account of Milton, in a form to which may be had an eafier and more general access.'
The acrimony with which Dr. Johnson has permitted himself to treat the character of Milton is well known. Those parts of his Narrative which seemed to be more particularly ob
Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq; 2 vol. 4to, of which an account will speedily be given in this Review. 1
noxious were pointed out, so far at lealt as the nature of our work and the limits afligned to each individual article would admit of, in tlie Review for August 1779. The present Writer takes a larger field. He enters into a minute and ample vindication of the injured bard, not without recrimination on his learned historian. If, perhaps, he may be less acrimonious, his Remarks are not without a due portion of asperity: he has certainly given bis antagonist a Rowland for his Oliver.
He enters into the detail of Dr. Johnson's particular malevolence to Milton, from its first appearance to its consummation in the history of his life. It first appeared, as this Writer tells vs, in his connexion with Lauder, the mean calumniator of Milton's poctical fame. What share Dr. Johnson had in that dirty business, will at this dittance of time be perhaps difficult to discover. Charity, however, inclines us to hope that his share was not so great as this Remarker seems willing to attribute to him.
That part of Milton's conduct, on which Dr. Johnson lay's considerable stress, and which some of his warmest admirers have thought reprehensible, is his attachment to Cromwell. What is advanced on this subject by the present Writer seems to be a reasonable juftification of him.
" Milton's attachment to Cromwell has been imputed to him as a blot in his character long before it was taken up by Dr. Johnson ; who, to give him his due, has made the most of it in a small compass.
* Milion,” fay's he," having taited the honey of public employ
ment, would not return to hunger and philosophy ; but, continue “ing to exercise his office under a manifest ufurpation, betrayed to “ his power that liberty which he had defended.,
• It is hardly necessary to apprize a reader of Milton's prose-works that his ideas of ufurpation and public liberty were very different from those of Dr. Johnson. In the Doctor's system of government, public liberty is the free grace of an hereditary monarch, and limited in kind and degree by his gracious will and pleasure; and confequently to controul his arbitrary acts by the interposition of good and wholesome laws, is a manifeft ufurpation upon his prerogative. Milton allotted to the people a considerable and important Mare in political government, founded upon original fipulations for the rights and privileges of free subjects, and called the monarch who fould infringe or encroach upon these, however qualified by lineal fuccellion, a tyrant and an ulurper, and freely consigned him to the vergeance of an injured people. Upon Johnson's plan, there can be no such thing as public liberty. Upon Milton's, where the laws are duly executed, and the people protected in the peaceable and legal enjoyinent of their lives, properties, and municipal rights and privileges, there can be no such thing as usurpation, in whole hands Joever the executive power mould be lodged. From this doctrine Milion never fuerved ; and in that noble a postrophe to Cromwell, in his second Defense of the People of England, he spares not to