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Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/31

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general intercourse of life, or found in the works of those whom we commonly style polite writers, be selected, without including the terms of particular professions ; since, with the arts to which they relate, they are gener- ally derived from other nations, and are very often the same in all the languages of this part of the world. This is, perhaps, the exact and pure idea of a grammatical dictionary ; but in lexicography, as in other arts, naked science is too delicate for the purposes of life. The value of a work must be estimated by its use ; it is not enough that a dictionary delights the critic, unless, at the same time it instructs the learner ; as it is to little purpose that an engine amuses the philosopher by the subtilty of its mechanism, if it requires so much know- ledge in its application as to be of no advan- tage to the common workman.

The title which I prefix to my work has long conveyed a very miscellaneous idea, and they that take a dictionary into their hands have been accustomed to expect from it a solution of almost every difficulty. If foreign words therefore were rejected, it could be little regarded, except by critics, or those who aspire to criticism ; and however it might enlighten those that write, would be all darkness to them that only read. The unlearned much

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