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however, or find a strong and bright resemblance of her in my own country, I feel that I am not summoned to propitiate duty with the sacrifice of prudence, and that, conscious of speaking honestly, I can enjoy the satisfaction of speaking safely. Without acknowledging any thing in common, but a name, with that malignant and selfish faction which, surrendering principle to passion, inflicted, in the earlier periods of the last century, some fatal wounds on the constitution, or with those men, who in later times, have struggled, in the abandonment of their party and its spirit, to retain its honourable appellation, I glory as I prosess myself to be a WHIG, to be of the school of SOMMERS and of LOCKE, to arrange myself in the same political class with those enlightened and virtuous statesmen, who framed the BILL of Rights and the Act OF SETTLEMENT, and who, presenting a crown, which they had wrested from a pernicious bigot and his family, to the HOUSE OF HANOVER, gave that most honourable and legitimate of titles,
the FREE CHOICE OF THE PEOPLE, to the Sovereign, who now wields the imperial sceptre of Britain.
AUG. 4, 1804.
The general correctness of Mr. Bensley's press has superseded the necessity of any long table of errata. Some mistakes, bowever, have ubaccountably escaped the vigilance of observation. Of these the most important are the following: the rest, as it is presumed, are of a nature easily to be corrected by the reader, and are too trivial to merit particular notice.
P.73. 1. 10. for “ EVETTOEE" r. EVEOTEEE.
1. 19. for “our” r. your.
1. 6. for “ 1654" r. 1656.
LIFE OF MILTON.
Quem tu, Dea, tempore in onini
The author of the “ Defence of the People of England” and of the “ Paradise Lost,” has engaged too much of the attention of his species not to invite their curiosity to the circumstances of his life, and the peculiarities of his character. His biographers have been numerous; and every source of information, respecting him, has been explored with a degree of solicitous minuteness, which bears honourable testimony to the impression of his importance. Unfortunately, however, the part, which the great Milton acted on the political theatre of his calamitous times, has exposed him to the malignity of party; and this pest, that neither dies nor sleeps
nec dulci declinat lumina somno,
has been ever watchful to diminish the pride
of his triumph; and to obscure that glory, which it could not extinguish.
During the immediate agitation of the political conflict, while interest is directly affected, passion will necessarily be excited; and the weapons of passion are seldom delicately fashioned, or scrupulously employed. When the good or the great, therefore, are exposed to falsehood by contemporary malignity, and are held
up, with questioned virtues and imputed vices, to the execration, instead of the applause of their species, we acknowledge the cause of the fact in the corruption of man, and it forms the subject of our regret rather than of our surprise. But when, after a lapse of years sufficient to obliterate the very deepest trace of temporary interest, we observe the activity of passion stagnating into the sullenness of rancour; and see these heroes of our race subjected to the same injuriousness of malice, which they had suffered from their personal adversaries, we stare at the consequence of unexpected depravity, and are astonished in as great a degree as we are afflicted.
This remark is immediately to our present purpose; for this generation has witnessed an attempt on the character of our great writer, which would have done credit to the