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and wrote the Preface to the volume; a species of writing in which his ability, nice adaptation, and felicity of expression, are equally remarkable.
The “ Apotheosis of Milton, a vision,” printed in the “ Gentleman's Magazine” for 1738 and 1789, ascribed to him by Sir John Hawkins, was the production of Guthrie. The translation of “ An Examination of Mr Pope's Essay on Man, from the French of M. Crousaz, Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at Lausanne,” printed by Cave in November 1738, 12mo, has been ascribed to him by the same authority; but Miss Carter has acknowledged that she was the translator. In his correspondence with Mr Cave on the subject, he gives the translation his entire approbation ; and, coinciding in opinion with the Swiss professor concerning the tendency of Pope's Essay to favour the system of fåtalism, and the doctrine of Leibnitz, was eager to promote the publication. Warburton came forward on the side of Pope, with “ A Vindication of the Essay on Man ;” and Johnson
became a moderator in the dispute, not long after, and joined Crousaz, as a zealous advocate of religion. The conclusion of his letter to Mr Cave, “ I am yours, Impransus *," seems to convey a fair confession, that he wanted a dinner, probably from extreme indigence.
In 1739, besides the assistance he gave in writing the Parliamentary Debates, his contributions to the “ Gentleman's Magazine,” were, The Life of Boerhaave; An Appeal to the Public in behalf of the Editor; Verses to Eliza; a Greek Epigram to Dr Birch t; and Considerations on the case of Dr Trapp's Sermons; a plausible attempt to prove that an author's work may be abridged without injuring his property; reprinted in the Magazine for July 1787.
The same year, he joined in the popular clamour against Walpole, when it was loudest, and published his famous Jacobite pamphlet, intitled, MARMOR NORFOLCIENSE, or An Essay
* Boswell's Life, &c. Vol. 1, p. 111.
+ English literature is indebted to this early friend of Johnson for the “ History of the Royal Society,” and other works of distinguished merit and utility.,
on an Ancient Prophetical Inscription, in Monkish rhyme, lately discovered near Lynn, in Norfolk. By PROBUS BRITANNICUS. Printed for J. Brett, at the Golden Bull, opposite St Clement's church, in the Strand, London, 8vo. In this performance, the feigned inscription, in Latin verse, supposed to be found in the neighbourhood of Walpole’s residence in the country, is followed by a translation in heroic verse. The Latin verse is of the kind which is called Leonine; and the translation possesses, in a great degree, the strength and harmony of his Imitation of Juvenal * The interpretation of the prophecy is adapted to the principles openly avowed by the Jacobites of the time; and the commentary concentrates all the topics of popular discontent, aggravated by ridicule, irony, and invective. He inveighs against the Brunswick succession, and the measures of government consequent upon it, with warm anti-Hanoverian zeal ; and represents the evils attending on standing armies,
* The Inscription and the Translation are preserved in the London Magazine for 1739, p. 244.
and the balance of power, in the dark colours of anti-Revolutionary prejudice. The Jacobite principles inculcated by this pamphlet, according to Sir John Hawkins, aroused the vigilance of the ministry. A warrant was issued, and messengers were employed, to apprehend the author, who, it seems, was known. To elude his pursuers, he retired with his wife to Lambeth-Marsh, and there lay concealed in an obscure lodging till the scent grew cold. Mr Boswell, however, denies that there is any foundation for this story; for that Mr Steele, one of the late secretaries of the Treasury, had “ directed every possible search to be made in the records of the Treasury, and Secretary of State's Office, but could find no trace what. ever of any warrant having been issued to apprehend the author of this pamphlet.” Although this is no proof that there was no intention of prosecution, yet it is probable no prosecution was meditated; for the obnoxious pamphlet made but little noise, and had not a very extensive circulation. Sir John Hawkins could perceive in it “ neither learning nor wit;" but it obtained the honour of Pope's commendation*; and, considering it merely as a humorous party-pamphlet, it is deserving the praise of ingenuity. Of the vigour of thought, and power of language which distinguish his later writings, few marks, indeed, are perceivable in the Norfolk Prophecy.
His attachment to the Tory, or rather Jacobite party was further shewn, by an ironical pamphlet which proceeded from his pen, the same year, entitled, A complete Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage, from the malicious and scandalous aspersions of Mr BROOKE, author of " Gustavus Vasa,” 4to. Under the mask of a Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage, this was an attack on the Lord Chamberlain, for prohibiting the representation of Mr Brooke's tragedy of “ Gustavus Vasa," after it had been rehearsed at Drury-Lane Theatre, and a day appointed for its public appearance. The countenance and patronage which the author received from the Prince of Wales and
* See page 78.