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The Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 05 - Miscellaneous Pieces

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730 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes by Samuel JohnsonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes Volume V: Miscellaneous PiecesAuthor: Samuel JohnsonRelease Date: April 3, 2004 [EBook #11768]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WORKS OF SAMUEL JOHNSON V. 5 ***Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Carol David and PG Distributed ProofreadersOxford English Classics* * * * *DR. JOHNSON'S WORKS.* * * * *MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.THE WORKS OF SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.IN NINE VOLUMES.VOLUME THE FIFTH.MDCCCXXV.CONTENTS OF THE FIFTH VOLUME.MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.The plan of an English dictionaryPreface to the English dictionaryAdvertisement to the fourth edition of the English dictionaryPreface to the octavo edition of the English dictionaryObservations on the tragedy of MacbethProposals for printing the works of ShakespearePreface to ShakespeareGeneral observations on the plays of ShakespeareAccount of the Harleian libraryEssay on the importance of small tractsPreface to the catalogue of the Harleian library, vol. iiiControversy between Crousaz and WarburtonPreliminary discourse to the London ChronicleIntroduction to the World DisplayedPreface to the ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works of
Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes by Samuel
Johnson
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine
Volumes Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces
Author: Samuel Johnson
Release Date: April 3, 2004 [EBook #11768]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK WORKS OF SAMUEL JOHNSON V. 5 ***
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Carol David and
PG Distributed Proofreaders
Oxford English Classics* * * * *
DR. JOHNSON'S WORKS.
* * * * *
MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.
THE WORKS OF SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.
IN NINE VOLUMES.
VOLUME THE FIFTH.
MDCCCXXV.CONTENTS OF THE FIFTH
VOLUME.
MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.
The plan of an English dictionary
Preface to the English dictionary
Advertisement to the fourth edition of the English
dictionary
Preface to the octavo edition of the English
dictionary
Observations on the tragedy of Macbeth
Proposals for printing the works of Shakespeare
Preface to Shakespeare
General observations on the plays of Shakespeare
Account of the Harleian library
Essay on the importance of small tracts
Preface to the catalogue of the Harleian library,
vol. iii
Controversy between Crousaz and WarburtonPreliminary discourse to the London Chronicle
Introduction to the World Displayed
Preface to the Preceptor, containing a general plan
of education
——to Rolt's dictionary
——to the translation of father Lobo's voyage to
Abyssinia
An essay on epitaphs
Preface to an Essay on Milton's Use and Imitation
of the Moderns in his
Paradise Lost
Letter to the Rev. Mr. Douglas, occasioned by his
vindication of Milton, &c. By William Lauder, A.M.
Testimonies concerning Mr. Lauder
Account of an attempt to ascertain the longitude
Considerations on the plans offered for the
construction of Blackfriars bridge
Some thoughts on agriculture, both ancient and
modern; with an account of the honour due to an
English farmer
Further thoughts on agriculture
Considerations on the corn lawsA complete vindication of the licensers of the stage
from the malicious and scandalous aspersions of
Mr. Brooke
Preface to the Gentleman's Magazine, 1738
An appeal to the publick. From the Gentleman's
Magazine, March, 1739
Letter on fire-works
Proposals for printing, by subscription, Essays in
Verse and Prose, by
Anna Williams
A project for the employment of authors
Preface to the Literary Magazine, 1756
A dissertation upon the Greek comedy, translated
from Brumoy
General conclusion to Brumoy's Greek theatre
DEDICATIONS
Preface to Payne's New Tables of Interest
Thoughts on the coronation of his majesty king
George the third
Preface to the Artists' Catalogue for 1762
OPINIONS ON QUESTIONS OF LAWConsiderations on the case of Dr. T[rapp]'s
[Transcriber's note: sic]
On school chastisement
On vitious intromission
On lay patronage in the church of Scotland
On pulpit censureTHE PLAN OF AN ENGLISH
DICTIONARY.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
PHILIP DORMER, EARL OF CHESTERFIELD,
One of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State.
MY LORD,
When first I undertook to write an English
Dictionary, I had no expectation of any higher
patronage than that of the proprietors of the copy,
nor prospect of any other advantage than the price
of my labour. I knew that the work in which I
engaged is generally considered as drudgery for
the blind, as the proper toil of artless industry; a
task that requires neither the light of learning, nor
the activity of genius, but maybe successfully
performed without any higher quality than that of
bearing burdens with dull patience, and beating the
track of the alphabet with sluggish resolution.
Whether this opinion, so long transmitted, and so
widely propagated, had its beginning from truth and
nature, or from accident and prejudice; whether it
be decreed by the authority of reason or the
tyranny of ignorance, that, of all the candidates for
literary praise, the unhappy lexicographer holds the
lowest place, neither vanity nor interest incited me
to inquire. It appeared that the province allotted me
was, of all the regions of learning, generallyconfessed to be the least delightful, that it was
believed to produce neither fruits nor flowers; and
that, after a long and laborious cultivation, not even
the barren laurel[1] had been found upon it.
Yet on this province, my Lord, I entered, with the
pleasing hope, that, as it was low, it likewise would
be safe. I was drawn forward with the prospect of
employment, which, though not splendid, would be
useful; and which, though it could not make my life
envied, would keep it innocent; which would
awaken no passion, engage me in no contention,
nor throw in my way any temptation to disturb the
quiet of others by censure, or my own by flattery.
I had read, indeed, of times, in which princes and
statesmen thought it part of their honour to
promote the improvement of their native tongues;
and in which dictionaries were written under the
protection of greatness. To the patrons of such
undertakings I willingly paid the homage of
believing that they, who were thus solicitous for the
perpetuity of their language, had reason to expect
that their actions would be celebrated by posterity,
and that the eloquence which they promoted would
be employed in their praise. But I considered such
acts of beneficence as prodigies, recorded rather
to raise wonder than expectation; and, content with
the terms that I had stipulated, had not suffered
my imagination to flatter me with any other
encouragement, when I found that my design had
been thought by your Lordship of importance
sufficient to attract your favour.How far this unexpected distinction can be rated
among the happy incidents of life, I am not yet able
to determine. Its first effect has been to make me
anxious, lest it should fix the attention of the
publick too much upon me; and, as it once
happened to an epick poet of France, by raising
the reputation of the attempt, obstruct the
reception of the work. I imagine what the world will
expect from a scheme, prosecuted under your
Lordship's influence; and I know that expectation,
when her wings are once expanded, easily reaches
heights which performance never will attain; and
when she has mounted the summit of perfection,
derides her follower, who dies in the pursuit.
Not, therefore, to raise expectation, but to repress
it, I here lay before your Lordship the plan of my
undertaking, that more may not be demanded than
I intend; and that, before it is too far advanced to
be thrown into a new method, I may be advertised
of its defects or superfluities. Such informations I
may justly hope, from the emulation with which
those, who desire the praise of elegance or
discernment, must contend in the promotion of a
design that you, my Lord, have not thought
unworthy to share your attention with treaties and
with wars.
In the first attempt to methodise my ideas I found a
difficulty, which extended itself to the whole work. It
was not easy to determine by what rule of
distinction the words of this dictionary were to be
chosen. The chief intent of it is to preserve the
purity, and ascertain the meaning of our English

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