Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/121

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too little for some, and too much for others. He can only judge what is necessary by his own experience ; and how long soever he may deliberate, will at last explain many lines which the learned will think impossible to be mis- taken, and omit many for which the ignorant will want his help. These are censures merely relative, and must be quietly endured. I have endeavoured to be neither superfluously copi- ous, nor scrupulously reserved, and hope that I have made my author's meaning accessible to many, who before were frightened from perusing him, and contributed something to the public, by diffusing innocent and rational pleasure. . . .

It is to be lamented, that such a writer should want a commentary ; that his language should become obsolete, or his sentiments obscure. But it is vain to carry wishes be- yond the condition of human things; that which must happen to all, has happened to Shakspeare, by accident and time ; and more than has been suffered by any other writer since the use of types, has been suffered by him, through his own negligence of fame, or perhaps by that superiority of mind, which despised its own performances, when it com- pared them with its powers, and judged those works unworthy to be preserved, which the

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