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and who had some great and noble qualities, accompanying a stupendous reach of understanding.” · His character, as a poetical biographer, has been given by his townsman Dr. Newton, in his posthumous work, not perhaps with his powers, but with his decision and severity of censure.
“ Dr. Johnson's Lives of the Pocts afford much amusement, but candour was hurt and offended at the malevolence that preponderated in every part. Never was any biographer more sparing of his praises, or more abundant in 'his censures. ile delights more in exposing blemishes, thai in recommending beauties; slightly pasits over excellencies; enlarges upon imperfections ; and, not content with his own severe reflections, revives old scandal, and produces large quotations from the long-forgotten works of former critics. The panegyrist of Savage in his youth, may, in his old age,
become the fatirist of the most favoured authors, his encomium as unjust and undeserved as his cenfures.”
The testimony of the classical editor of Milton may be compared with the eulogy pronounced by Dr. Parr, the learned and eloquent editor of “ Bellendenus," in his edition of “ Tracts by Warburton and a Warburtonian.”
“ Of literary merit, Johnson, as we all know, was a fagacious but a most severe judge. Such was his discernment, that he pierced into the most secret springs of human actions; and such was his integrity, that he always weighed the moral characters of his fellow creatures in “the balance of the sanctuary.”'
His peculiarities and foibles are painted in strong colours by Mr. Courtenay, in his “ Poetical Review;" but, in return, his virtues and abilities are candidly acknowledged, and placed in their proper light. Hav
ing alternately commended his merits, and censured his faults, he sums up the whole in the following lines, which strongly mark the character of his work.
“ Thus fings the muse, to Johnson's mem'ry jufty