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« lic prayer, he omitted all.”. And then he procedes to account for it.?. ." - But these particulars, wherever the Doctor got them, must have come from persons who had no more honest business in John Milton's closet than Dr. Johnson himself, who never came there, nor can possibly know what was done, or what was omitted in it. If “his studies and “ meditations were an habitual prayer,” what occasion had he for a stated hour, which, being a circumstance in the visible worship of a private man, may as soon be a token of pharisaical ostentation or popith superstition as of cordial piety!" | Nor perhaps would Milton have accepted of Dr. Johnson's apology for his ômission of family worship, or have ac
[ ] knowledged it to be a fault. Milton perhaps might think it sufficient to teach his family to pray for themselves; every one as he or she should know the plague of bis or her own heart. Milton had doubtless known, by experience, how incongruous it was to trust his own prayers to the mouth of another man; and he might think it equally improper in him to dictate to the individuals of his family, prayers unsuitable, for aught he could know without auricular confeffion, to their several cases,
All this however is mere speculation on one side and the other. We learn from a tale of Richardson's, that one of his family at least attended public wor
fhip; and more of them might, for any thing the Doctor knows to the contrary.
The Doctor next attacks Milton's political character. .. -.“ His political notions were those of * an acrimonious and surly republican.” · When an honest man has occasion to characterise his enemy, particularly in matters of opinion, he should keep a strict watch over himself, that his prejudices do not transport him to imputations which are either false, or may be retorted upon himself. is · The world would have given Dr.Johnson credit for his inveterate hatred of republican notions, without his qualifying them with the epithets of acrimoHious and furly, as exhibited by Milton, whose defenders might, with equal juftice at least, call him an acrimonious and surly Royalit.
But was Dr. Johnson's quarrel with Milton's notions merely that they were republican, that is to say, notions adverse to kingly government? Hath he always revered kings as such, kings de foto, or kings only so and so qualified ?
We confess ourselves to be of that class of men who are willing to receive instruction from all quarters; and the news-paper of the day being just brought in, we learn, from an extract in it from
Dr. Johnson's Life of Smith, that Gilbert Ý Walmsley was a Whig with all the virulence and malevolence of his party, and
that the Doctor was of different notions and opinions *.
But we are well informed, that Mr. Walmsley was no republican, but strongly attached in principle to the succession of the House of Hanover. If for this attachment he was, in Dr. Johnson's esteem, a virulent and malevolent Whig, we should be glad to know what precise. ly are those notions and opinions wherein he differed from his friend Walmsley? Perhaps at the bottom the grudge is no more than that neither Milton nor WalmNey would allow Dr. Johnson to chuse a King for them.
“ It is not known,” says the Doctor, " that Milton gave any better reason . * St. James's Chronicle, July 31, 1779.