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Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/141

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If an author be supposed to involve his thoughts in voluntary obscurity, and to ob- struct, by unnecessary difficulties, a mind eager in pursuit of truth ; if he writes not to make others learned, but to boast the learning which he possesses himself, and wishes to be admired rather than understood, he counter- acts the first end of writing, and justly suffers the utmost severity of censure, or the more afflictive severity of neglect.

But words are only hard to those who do not understand them; and the critic ought always to inquire, whether he is incommoded by the fault of the writer, or by his own.

Every author does not write for every reader; many questions are such as the il- literate part of mankind can have neither in- terest nor pleasure in discussing, and which therefore it would be a useless endeavour to level with common minds, by tiresome cir- cumlocutions or laborious explanations; and many subjects of general use may be treated in a different manner, as the book is intended for the learned or the ignorant. Diffusion and explication are necessary to the instruction of those who, being neither able nor accustomed to think for themselves, can learn only what is expressly taught; but they who can form parallels, discover consequences, and multiply

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