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Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/79

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for his faults, if he warns others against his own failings, and hinders, by the salubrity of his admonitions, the contagion of his example.

��AMONG the numerous stratagems, by which pride endeavours to recommend folly to re- gard, there is scarcely one that meets with less success than affectation, or a perpetual disguise of the real character, by fictitious appearances; whether it be, that every man hates falsehood, from the natural congruity of truths to his faculties of reason, or that every man is jealous of the honour of his understanding, and thinks his discernment consequently called in question, whenever any thing is exhibited under a borrowed form.

This aversion to all kinds of disguise, whatever be its cause, is universally diffused, and incessantly in action ; nor is it necessary, that to exasperate detestation or excite con- tempt, any interest should be invaded, or any competition attempted ; it is sufficient, that there is an intention to deceive, an intention which every heart swells to oppose, and every tongue is busy to detect.

This reflection was awakened in my mind by a very common practice among my cor- respondents, of writing under characters which

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