« PreviousContinue »
pretended proofs, affected the entire over
throw of N
when he exclaimed with indignation, from a consciousness of injury done him by Bathyllus,
maxim, quod valescit.
« Hos ego versiculos feci,- tulit alter honores."
P.74. After ridiculing the honours, which had been paid to Milton on the false supposition of his originality, and of the truth, with which he asserts that his song pursues
“ Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme,"
with reference to one of the vindicators of the great poet, “ But I must take the liberty to inform him that my notions of morality taught me quite another lesson than to bestow the praise due to ingenuity and integrity on persons of a different character."
« And her fresh vouchers timents, as so like one who out of various different diada he shines ind majesty."
“In the ready observe man," (Taub
a This e
« 'Tis true Ramsay's poem has been lately called a cento from Virgil; but I hope to shew (and I think I have partly done it already) that Milton stands infinitely more exposed to that censure, being compiled out of all authors, ancient or modern, sacred or profane, who had any thing in their works suitable to his purpose: nor do I blame him for this unlimited freedom, but for his industriously concealing it.
among ma of Parnassus tion which t
The circ ters in the
was a contr
P. 86. “ By this time, I hope, the mist of delusion begins to disperse; for though Milton has been so long in possession of Paradise, that he may even plead prescription in his favour, yet I have ventured (and I think successfully) to call his title in question; as unjustly acquired at first, and which therefore, no length of time can make valid;-according to that known and approved
throw of Milton's poetical and indeed moral
maxim, quod ab initio vitiosum est tractu temporis non convalescit.
P. 115. “And here I could produce a whole cloud of witnesses, as fresh vouchers of the truth of my assertion, with whose fine sentiments, as so many gay feathers, Milton has plumed himself; like one who would adorn a garland with flowers, secretly taken out of various gardens: or a crown with jewels, stolen from the different diadems, or repositories of princes; by which means he shines indeed, but with a borrowed lustre-a surreptitious majesty."
P. 133: “ In the sixth book (the greatest part of which, I have already observed, is ungenerously copied from this young German," (Taubman,) &c.
" This elegant work," (Taubman's Bellum Angelicum,) among many others, has enabled Milton to reach the summit of Parnassus more truly than that extraordinary poetical inspiration which the deluded world has imagined him possessed of.”
P. 161. The circumstance of Milton's refusing to instruct his daughters in the languages, which he taught them to read to him, was a contrivance, according to Lauder, to keep them in ignorance of his thefts.” "! Milton well knew," (says this strange man) “ the loquacious and incontinent spirit of the sex; and the danger, on that account, of intrusting them with so important a secret as his unbounded plagiarism; he, therefore, wisely
with so m Milton, of cealment d proceeds parallelled
from May and the o
reputation, was inscribed by Lauder to the two Universities; and the cause, between the accuser and the numerous admirers of the British Homer, was now brought to a decisive issue. In this state of things, the indignant and agitated public was under the necessity of acquiescing for the space nearly of a twelvemonth; during which period the forger and his auxiliary were permitted to triumph, one for his gratified animosity to the fame of the great poel, and the other for the success of his fraudulent contrivances.
About the end of the same year, (1750) Mr. Douglas, (then rector of Eaton Constantine, in Shropshire, and now adorning with his virtues the mitre of Salisbury,) addressed to the Earl of Bath a letter intitled, “ Milton vindicated from the charge of plagiarism brought against him by Mr. Lauder."-Having in this pamphlet, first clearly proved that Lauder's quotations, allowing them to be authentic, would not support the charges, urged
confined them to the knowledge of the words and pronunciation only, but kept the sense and meaning to himself.” Lauder strictly observes the precept of the critic,
in the love "' confined tion," draw Milton hin whom he !
servetur ad imum
The essay concludes in the same inveterate and rancofous
gave his d
with so much indecent vehemence against Milton, of plagiarism and an immoral concealment of truth, the acute and able critic proceeds to show that, with impudence unparallelled in the annals of literary imposture, the passages, which had been cited from Masenius, Staphorstius, Taubmannus, and the other obscure writers, presented on this occasion to the public notice, had been adapted to the forger's design by the interpolation of lines either immediately fabricated for the purpose, or transcribed, without alteration, from Hog's translation of the Paradise Lost.
On this complete and irresistible evidence of Lauder's defective morality, they who, in any way, had been connected with his publications, thought it expedient to clear themselves from the suspicion of any parti
spirit--with a solemn assertion of the author's purity of motive in the love of truth, and with an apology for his not having “ confined himself within the bounds of decency and moderation," drawn from the asperity of the controversial language of Milton himself, “ who liberally dealt his thunder on all with whom he happened to be engaged; and
SUA QUISQUE EXEMPLA DEBET EQUO ANIMO PATI.
To this work be it for ever remembered that Samuel Johnson gave his deliberate and unqualified sanction!!!
sellers, who were unabl apology m certainly mouth of with the
for more th
on any s acuteness
cipation of his crimes. In this measure of prudence or of probity, his booksellers,(Payne and Bouquet in Paternoster Row,) very honourably took the lead. On the
appearance of Mr. Douglas's pamphlet, they instantly acquainted Lauder that he must either disprove the charge, now advanced against him, of forgery, by placing in their hands those editions of his authors, from which he had made his extracts, or that they would“ publicly disclaim all connexion with him, and expose his declining the only step left for his defence.” On his impudently avowing to them his dishonest practices, they hastened to execute their threat, and to vindicate their conduct to the world. Their advertisement, on this occasion, is candid, manly, and explicit; and it is remarkable for advancing, in extenuation of their credulity, the same excuse, which was afterwards urged, with less propriety and a smaller probability of truth, by Lauder's literary accomplice,' that “ the man's want of capacity to contrive and execute a fraud precluded a suspicion of abuse and interpolation.” From the book
his heart. requisite avowing ! according penitence to addres The fate
have been to satisfy feelings, of Laude quently
doubt le cious fri
+ Johnson is reported to have said that he thought " the man too frantic to be fraudulent.”
as it see