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Page 184 - It may repress the triumph of malignant criticism to observe that, if our language is not here fully displayed, I have only failed in an attempt which no human powers have hitherto completed.
Page 182 - From the authors which rose in the time of Elizabeth a speech might be formed adequate to all the purposes of use and elegance. If the language of theology were extracted from Hooker and the translation of the Bible; the terms of natural knowledge from Bacon; the phrases of policy, war, and navigation from Raleigh; the dialect of poetry and fiction from Spenser and Sidney; and the diction of common life from Shakespeare, few ideas would be lost to mankind for want of English words...
Page 184 - Dictionary was written with little assistance of the learned and without any patronage of the great; not in the soft obscurities of retirement or under the shelter of academic bowers, but amidst inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow.
Page 184 - In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not be forgotten that much likewise is performed...
Page 184 - ... sudden fits of inadvertency will surprise vigilance, slight avocations will seduce attention, and casual eclipses of the mind will darken learning; and that the writer shall often in vain trace his memory at the moment of need, for that which yesterday he knew with intuitive readiness, and which will come uncalled into his thoughts to-morrow.
Page 437 - The happiness of the world is the concern of him, who is the lord and the proprietor of it : nor do we know what we are about, when we endeavour to promote the good of mankind in any ways, but those which he has directed ; that is indeed in all ways not contrary to veracity and justice.
Page 183 - In hope of giving longevity to that which its own nature forbids to be immortal, I have devoted this book, the labour of years, to the honour of my country, that we may no longer yield the palm of philology, without a contest, to the nations of the continent.
Page 183 - ... the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided who, being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature and clear the world at once from folly, vanity, and affectation.
Page 183 - I saw that one enquiry only gave occasion to another, that book referred to book, that to search was not always to find, and to find was not always to be informed ; and that thus to...