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mumpsimus, the evil is irremediable, and their perverse fancies must be indulged at the expence of principle and consistency. Mr. I'odd in this instance is not more blameable than the multitude of his brother-editors; and I only lament that he should be involved in their common error.
As an editor of our great poet, he is certainly entitled to praise from the public; and he seems also to be a most estimable, candid and amiable man. He is indeed, if such a thing can be, too good-natured and benevolent; and his eulogy is lavished with so indiscriminate a hand as to be depreciated considerably in its currency. By his sentence, almost every writer on his subject is excellent and admirable: in his
pages Hayley is animated and--interesting and acute. My share of attention from him, though not of a size to oppress me with obligation, is sufficiently ample; and fully adequate to my claims. On some occasions, the Editor and I do 'not seem to understand each other. With the opportunity of correcting my error if he had made me sensible of it, I have suffered the note, (p. 372,) on the Bishop' of Landaff's crimination of Milton, to remain, in all its words, syllables, and letters, as it
I See Todd's Life of Milton, 2d ed. p. 78, 79, 80.
was; and if it should not refute the worthy Prelate's 30th of January charge against my author, it will stand as the record of iny own confused apprehension.
With respect to Mr. Warton's insufficiency as a critic, my opinion is formed on too large an acquaintance with that gentleman's productions ever to be retracted. When I censure him for his attack upon Pope, it is not the substance but the manner of the annotator's remark which excites my reprehension. I require not to be told that Pope gleaned poetic expression from every page in which it was to be found: but I may be allowed to resent a charge brought against the great bard of Twickenham for pilfering from an old poct, because he thought he could pilfer without being exposed to detection. Pope borrowed poetic phraseology from
of our old poets: but he borrowed it from Dryden, who was in every person's hand, more largely than from all our old poets together. He was too affluent and powerful to pilfer or to be in dread of detection: but, like his master, Dryden, before him, he took by the right of genius whatever he could appropriate to his own purposes; and the seizure was made under the full eye of the sun. If, during the life
Id. p. 163.
time of the dreaded satirist Mr. Warton had expressed himself in the language which I have reprehended, it is probable that he would have obtained a place among the divers in Fleet-ditch; and instead of the muse, in whose arms his admirers now fancy that he reposes, would have been a successful rival of Smedley's, and strained to the oozy bosom of a mud-nymph. Mr. Warton's treatment of others is unquestionably not such as to make him the subject of any peculiar lenity. Tickell and Elijah Fenton, each of them in talents and general respectability of character at least his equal, experience his severity on innumerable occasions, and are always certain, whenever they occur to him, of being felled by his unmerciful buffets. He frequently supplies, as I have acknowledged, very useful information: but in criticism he is uniformly unfortunate; and if every note of his, in which opinion and critical remark are hazarded, were to be erased from this variorum edition of Milton's poetry, the work would be improved by the circumstance. But with Mr. Todd and his literary community, the late Laureat is one of Apollo's assessors on the forked hill: and there let him remain for me, and be the oracle of those who
. to resort to him for inspiration, and gratefully to fumigate him with incense.
Of Mr. Todd, let me repeat that nion is highly favourable. His notes are commonly distinguished by their good sense; and his adduction of similar passages and expressions, though not always important, is generally successful and brought from rather an extensive circle of reading. As a commentator on Milton he occupies, after Patrick Hume, Pearce, and Newton, the very first place: and I wish that he had been satistied with these three learned and ingenious men as his associates, and had rejected the traslı which has been imposed on his facility by the gentlemen who write with ease, to mitigate the pains and penalties of idleness, or to indulge, in the only way open to them, the vanity of authorship.
LIFE OF MILTON.
Barebones' Parliament, resigns,439
Bargrave, Dr. 136 note
Barkstead, Mr. 495 note
Barnes, Joshua, 572
Baroni, Leonora, 140, 573 note
Bayle, 365, 388, 392
. a proof, that neither Bembo, 193 note
cessary to Christianity, 475 Benson, Mr. 568, 633 note
Bindley, Mr. 8, 247 note
Birch, Dr. 41, 87, 330 note, 354
note, 392, 431 note, 455, 595
Blake, admiral, 457, 498
fight the Scots, 169 note Bontia, see Pontia
Bouquet, Mr. 625
Boyle, Robert, 502
Bradshaw, 290, 308, 309 note, 328
his character, 309, 311,
epitaph on him, 316
Bramhall, abp. 205 note, 393, 395
Brand, Mr. 597
British Critic, 614 note
Brutus, grandson of AEneas, fabu.