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which the press is always providing for tkie public on call forts of fübjects. , iz ctn fantiary: 1758 the seleased himself from his quarentine, and appeared in the Literary Magazine fof that month, hölding forth to the public his POETICAL SCALE; the particulars of which, fave what relates to-Milton; we feave to the Critics by profeffion. This is what he says of Milton?. jokes in, 1. ***I añ fénfible that in the calculations ** I have here exhibited I have, in many
instances, strong prejudices against me. ***The friends of Milton will not yield :*t to Shakespeare the fuperiority of ge*nìus, which, I think, lies on the fide # of Shakespeare. Both of them have } * faults. But the faults of Shakespeare
t were those of Genius; those of Milton “ of the MAN OF GENIUS. The former “ arises from inragination getting the * better of judgment; the latter from “ habit gettiirg the better of imaginations, - “ Shakespeare's faults were throse of a “ great poet; those of Milton of a little. 5. pedant. When Shakespeare is. execra“ ble he is so exquisitely so, that he is « inimitable, in his blemiffres as in his 5 beautieș. The puns of Milton betray,
a narrownefs, of education, and a dege, is neracy of babit.”:. pris :
Thus 'far Dr. Johnson’s exlxibition of Milton in the scale of poetical merit, which perhaps at the bottom may
amount to no more than that Milton | could not make a faddle,, or, dance upon
the rope *. But this too we leave to cris tics on poetry, 'of whom we should request to explain the difference between a Genius and a Man of Genius, and by what operation babit, in the abstract, gets the better of imagination'; remarking only for ourselves, that for the balance-malt'er to reproach Milton for his pedantry is certainly betraying a ftrange unconsciousness of his own talents, unless he depends upon his reader's fagacity in discriminating a great pedant from a little one. He is obliged, however, to complete the humiliation of Milton, to put his prose-works into the scale. ^ " His theological quibbles and per" plexed speculations are daily equalled * See Cibber's Letter to Pope, p. 35:
" and excelled by the most abject en“ thusiasts; and if we consider him as a “ prose-writer, he has neither the learn“ ing of a scholar, nor the manners of a “ gentleman. There is no force in his “ reasoning, no elegance in his style, and “no taste in his-compofition.”....
Peremptory, but not decisive ! To make this go down, even with a modeFate tory, it should have been added, that the narrowness of Milton's education preyented, not only his proficiency in the ftudy of the abstruser sciences, but even in the elemental acquisitions of reading or spelling. . i : . ?
“We are therefore," continues the şritic, “ to confiler him in one fixed " point of light, that of a great poet,