Sunday, 23 December 2012

If You Have Tears ... Dr Johnson III

You may have thought it strange that I suggested anything from a Preface to "A Dictionary of the English Language" should be moving, but consider the final words:

"... if the embodied critics of France, when fifty years had been spent upon their work, were obliged to change its oeconomy , and give their second edition another form, I may surely be contented without the praise of perfection, which, if I could obtain, in this gloom of solitude, what would it avail me?

I have protracted my work till most of those whom I wished to please have sunk into the grave, and success and miscarriage are empty sounds: I therefore dismiss it with frigid tranquility, having little to fear or hope from censure or from praise."

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