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And arranged in Alphabetical Order, after the manner of
the Duke de la Roche-FOUCAULT's Maxinis.
“ We frequently fall into eriør and folly, not because the true principles
" of action are not known, but because for a time they are not re-
L O-ND ON:
TO The . FIRST EDITION.
THE works of Dr. Johnson have been, oce
cafionally, so much the objectofmy reade ing, for their fancy, judgement, and above all, the interesting and moral observations which they contain upon life and manners, that in order to impress those observations the better on my mind, I availed myself of fome leisure months last summer, to select them under proper heads, and arrange them in alphabetical order. As I proceeded in this work, I found myself bringing out, into one view, a body of maxims and obfervations, which I imagined would be more than useful to myself; hence I thought it a duty incumbent on me to publish them. I reflected that if the maxims of the D2
de la Rochefaucault have been considered by the whole class of French writers, as instrumental in forming the taste of the age the author lived in; maxims, which however modified, contain but this single pofition, “ That felf-love is the spring of all our actions,” what must the maxims and obfervations of a Johnson produce ? An author, who, though unsupported by the patronage of the great, and who has been obliged to spend much of his life in making provifon for the day that was passing over him*, yet has ever scorned to accommodate himself to the licentiousness and levity of the present age, but uniting the greatest learning with the greatest talents, has' uniformly supported the cause of morality, ** by giving an ardour to virtue, and a confidence to truth.”
Such is the origin of the present' publication, à publication, that as I feel it has benefited myself in the compiling, so
I trust Vide the Prefacę to Johnson's Dictionary, folio Sition, last page.
I trust it will others in the perufal and happy shall I be, if, by any economy of mine in the works of such a writer, I can contribute to make them more gene-. rally known, or remembered, as by it I am sure I shall perform an essential service to mankind.
It may be objected, that as most people are in the possession of Dr. Johnson's works), a selection from them may not be alto gether foi neceffary. But such are to be informed, that very few are in the possession of the whole of his works; many of them being published in the early parts of his fame, and at such distant periods of time, as render them now very difficult to be found; and it was owing to the indulgence, of a literary friend, who is too critical à cole lector to omit: adding to his library any production of this, writer, thatı: I' was favoured with a perusale of all. his pieces ; so that the generality of the public.are here presented with some povelty in the matter as well as in the manner. In