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SUPPLE M E N T

TO

JOHNSON'S ENGLISH DICTIONARY:

OF WIIICII THE PALPABLE ERRORS ARE ATTEMPTED TO BE RECTIFIED,

AND ITS MATERIAL OMISSIONS SUPPLIED.

BY GEORGE MASON,

AUTHOR OF THE GLOSSARY TO HOCCLEVE, AND OF AN ESSAY

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FOR JOHN WHITE, FLEET STREET; LEIGH AND SOTHEBYS, YORK STREET,

COVENT GARDEN; T. PAYNE, MEW'S GATE.

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TO

THE MOST EFFECTUAL

PRESERVER OF OUR COUNTRY

NOW LIVING

BE INSCRIBED

THIS HUMBLE ATTEMPT

TOWARDS RECTIFYING THE STANDARD

OF ITS LANGUAGE.

FOR COMPLETER INFORMATION OF THE PUBLIC,

HOW SUPERFLUOUS MUST IT APPEAR,

MORE DIRECTLY TO NAME

GEORGE JOHN EARL SPENCER!

YET THE WRITER'S SELF-ATTACHMENT

IMPELS HIM TO DISPLAY SUCII A PRIVILEGE

OF GRATIFYING HIS OWN AMBITION.

PREF A C E.

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F all publications perhaps not one can be mentioned, where scrupulous exactness should be

more peculiarly observed, than in a Dictionary. Yet JOHNSON's abounds with inaccuracies, as much as any English book whatsoever--written by a scholar. Demonstrating this in the present place may be considered as wholly unnecessary, since so great a portion of those articles, which form the ensuing vocabulary, contain in themselves incontestible proof of the assertion. Nor need these manifest defects at all be wondered at, in one who took every opportunity of testifying a difike to his talk, and complaining of it as a drudgery; whereas to those that are intent upon their employment, and attached to literary investigation--labor ipfe voluptas.

To this dissatisfaction at his undertaking, possibly we are to attribute Johnson's various inconsistencies with himself, and with any due regularity in the execution of his work ; but it is also equally evident, that he has failen into many an error for want of rightly comprehending passages in authors, produced by him for examples. This muddiness of intellect sadly besmears and defaces almost every page of the composition : yet is the plan of our author's Dictionary really commendable, and (as far as that plan has been duly completed) the work itself in high estimation. Were not the writer of the following sheets fully convinced of this, he must of consequence regard his own labour as absolutely useless. And it may be reckoned an unpardonable mark of presumption in him, to suppose himself capable of rendering in any degree perfect so considerable a book, by inconsiderable and inadequate additions and corrections. He does however strongly believe, that he has made the double compilation by far more useful to the public than was the fingle one, and that he has exceedingly lessened the labour of any future experiment in a similar way. -But in what respects Johnson's method has here been followed, and with what variations, he now conceives it his business to explain.

Johnson says in his preface" In assigning the Roman original.... considering myself as em“ ployed only in the illustration of my own language, I have not been very careful to observe, whether “ the Latin word be pure or barbarous.” This the present compiler regards as a very reprehensible, piece of negligence in any teacher of language, and consequently has adhered to a stricter method in additional articles of his own. He thinks himself however so far bound by Johnson's excuse, as not to animadvert upon any thing of this kind as an error of the Dictionary: such faults indeed hardly come within the province of the Supplement, the matter being (as Johnson alledges) foreign to the point of illustrating English.

Johnson fays" As my design was a Dictionary common or appellative, I have omitted all “ words which have relation to proper names; such as Arian, Socinian, Calvinist, Benedictine, Mahometan; but have retained those of a more general nature, as Heathen, Pagan.” If theie omitted words had no other signification than what belongs to a mere adjective possesive of the person whose proper name they are derived from, there might be some reason in this distinction. But take only the word Benedictine : how feldom is it, that any thing written or said of these friars has the least connection with their founder, Benedikt ? In conformity too to Johnson's own fatement of his rule of selection, it might be asked, what proper names have Anabaptist and Quaker relation to, that they should also be left out of his common Dictionary? This very circumstance may serve to shew the impropriety of establishing such a rule, which has accordingly been here rejected; and the number of omillions it occasioned has been one considerable source for augmenting this Supplement.

Johnson's

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