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Preface To An Essay On Milton’s Use & Imitation Of Moderns In His Paradise Lost
by [?]

Subscriptions for the relief of Mrs. ELIZABETH FOSTER, granddaughter to JOHN MILTON, are taken in by Mr. Dodsley, in Pall-Mall; Messrs. Cox and Collings, under the Royal Exchange; Mr. Cave, at St. John’s Gate, Clerkenwell; and Messrs. Payne and Bouquet, in Paternoster-Row.


[1] The history of Lauder’s imposition is now almost forgotten, and is, certainly, not worth revival. It is fully detailed in Dr. Drake’s Literary Life of Johnson, and in Boswell’s Life, i. The conflicting inferences drawn from Johnson’s connexion with Lauder, by Hayley, Dr. Symonds and Boswell, may easily be settled by those who have leisure for, or take interest in, such inquiries. In the very heat of the controversy, Johnson was never accused of intentional deception. Dr. Douglas, in the year 1750, published a letter to the earl of Bath, entitled, Milton vindicated from the charge of plagiarism brought against him by Mr. Lauder. In this masterly letter, after exposing the gross impositions and forgeries of Lauder, he thus adverts to the author of the preface and postscript. “It is to be hoped, nay, it is expected, that the elegant and nervous writer, whose judicious sentiments, and inimitable style, point out the author of Lauder’s preface and postscript, will no longer allow one to plume himself with his feathers, who appears so little to have deserved his assistance; an assistance which, I am persuaded, would never have been communicated, had there been the least suspicion of those facts, which I have been the instrument of conveying to the world in these sheets.” p. 77. 8vo. 1751.

In Boswell’s Life, i. 209, ed. 1816, Mr. Boswell thus writes, in a note: “His lordship (Dr. Douglas, then bishop of Salisbury) has been pleased now to authorise me to say, in the strongest manner, that there is no ground whatever for any unfavourable reflection against Dr. Johnson, who expressed the strongest indignation against Lauder.”–Ed.

[2] Essay upon the civil wars of France, and also upon the epick poetry of the European nations, from Homer down to Milton, 8vo. 1727, p. 103.

[3] Preface to a review of the text of the twelve books of Milton’s Paradise Lost, in which the chief of Dr. Bentley’s emendations are considered, 8vo. 1733.

[4] New memoirs of Mr. John Milton, by Francis Peck. 4to. 1740. p. 52.