Addition to the Portfcript.

-Such was the awe that Milton's name struck into the hearts of his opponents, even when his party was rapidly approaching its final dissolution.

But to return once more to the New Narrative. To defend injured characters is seasonable at all times. Some former accounts of Milton, Dr. Johnson treats with contradiction and contempt, where neither the information, nor the good faith of the writers, are more to be suspected than his own.

A large majority of authors are too inconfiderable to have their lives and adventures recorded for the instruction or



ures red

amusement of pofterity, even in the fummary of a biographical dictionary. Dr. Johnson is not one of these infignificants. The public, when he hath · ceased to act his part on this earthly - stage, will be impatiently inquisitive

after the personal history of a man, who " hath figured fo variously in the wide

range of authorship; and when his pa· negyrists have exhausted every topic of praise and adulation to grace his monument, among those of the worthies of 'antient days, Somebody may take a fancy to gratify the public with a new narra. five of his progress and employments in life. · That SOMEBODY may be a true constitutional friend to the civil and reli

gious liberties of Englishnen, and difposed to try what figure Dr. Johnson's political maxims and conduct will make, in contrast with such part of Milton's history and principles as he hath attempted to disparage by the most invenomed infinuations.

A man of genius and erudition cannot more effectually disgrace himself, than by hiring out his talents to those vile politicians whose estimation with the public depends on ridiculing and de.. bafing the foundest principles of free government, and on their humiliating, and to their power fcandalising the wise .and upright men who espouse them; and it is not impossible that, with such an idea of Dr. Johnson's merit, fome

L 2



humorous drole, surveying the fuperb decorations of emblematic sculpture, surrounding the commemoration of the Doctor's vast exploits in Parian marble, may add, with a homely pencil of charcoal: HERE LYES THE GRAND EXEMPLAR OF


And here we thouid have ended our strictures on the new narrative, did not the candor of a worthy friend cail upon us to temper the severity (as he calls it) of this monumental infcription.

We are not deaf to the scafonable ada. monitions of our friends ; but unwilling to deprive our hero of his blushing honours, so hardily earned, and so richly


deserved, we rather choose to add a short explanation, than to cspinge a characteristic which contri ures so much to the brilliancy of his reputation.

Prostitution hath, generally speaking, two principal motives, filthy iucre, and inordinate appetite. These motives are frequently compounded, particularly when indigence, and a warmth of bodily constitution, happen to meet in the same individual. . Which of these motives had the predominant fiimulus in the habit of the great critic in his connections with Lauder, or of the great politician, when, FILMER before, SACHEVERELL in his rear*,

* See an Essay on the King's Friends, printed før Almon, -776. p.19.


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