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96 SAMUEL JOHNSON

critics of following ages were to contend for the fame of restoring and explaining.

Among these candidates of inferior fame, I am now to stand the judgment of the public; and wish that I could confidently produce my commentary as equal to the encouragement which I have had the honour of receiving. Every work of this kind is by its nature defi- cient, and I should feel little solicitude about the sentence, were it to be pronounced only by the skilful and the learned.

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