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fome Time doubted whether it be necessary to explain the Things implied by particular Words; as under the Term Baronet, whether, instead of this Explanation, a Title of Honour next in Degree to that of Baron, it would be better to mention more particularly the Creation, Privileges, and Rank of Baronets; and whether, under the Word Barometer, instead of being satisfied with observing that it is an Instrument to discover the Weight of the Air, it would be fit to spend a few Lines upon its Invention, Conffruction, and Principles. It is not to be expected, that with the Explanation of the one the Herald should be satisfied, or the Philosopher with that of the other ; but finee it will be required by common Readers, that the Explications should be sufficient for common Use; and since, without some Attention to such Demands, the Dictionary cannot become generally valuable, I have determined to confült the best Writers, for Explanations real, as well as verbal ; and perhaps I'may at last have Reason to fay, after one of the Augmenters of Furetier, that my

Book is more learned than its Author." In explaining the general and popular Language, it seems - necessary to sort the several Senses of each Word, and to exhibit first its natural and primitive Siguification ; as,

To arrive, to reach the Shore in a Voyage: He arrived at a safe Harbour.

Then to give its consequential Meaning, to arrive, to reach any Place, whether by Land or Sea; as, He arrived at his Country-Seat.

Then its metaphorical Sense, to obtain any Thing desired; as, He arrived at a Peerage:

• Then to mention any Observation that arises from the Comparison of one Meaning with another; as, it may be remarked of the Word arrive, that, in consequence of its original and etymological Sense, ie cannot be properly applied but to Words Yignify

in a Voyage : He

ing something desirable: Thus we say a Man d*. rived at Happiness; but cannot say, without a Mix: ture of Irony, he arrived at Misery.

Ground, thc Earth, generally as oppofed to the Air or Water. He swam

till he reached Ground. The Bird fell to the Ground.

Then follows the accidental or consequential Signification, in which Ground implies any Thing that lies under another; as he laid Colours upon a rough Ground. This Silk had blue Flowers on a red Ground,

Then the remoter, or metaphorical Signification ; as, the Ground of his Opinion was a false Computation. The Ground of his Work was his Father's Manuscript.

After having gone through the natural and figurative Senses, it will be proper to fubjoin the poetical Sense of each Word, where it differs from that which is in common Use; as, wanton, applied to any Thing of which the Motion is irregular without Terror; as,

In wanton Ringlets curl'd her Hair. To the poetical Sense may succeed the familiar as of Toast, used to imply the Person whose Health is drank; as, The wife Man's Passion, and the vain Man's Toaf..

Pope. The familiar may be followed by the burlesque ; as of mellow, applied to good Fellowship: In all thy Humours, whether grave or mellow.

ADDISON, Or of Bite, used for Cheat.

More a Dupe than Wit, Sappho can tell you how this Man was bit. Pope,

And, lastly, may be produced the peculiar Sense, in which a Word is found in any great Author : As Faculties, in Shakespeare, signifies the Powers of Au. thority.

This Duncan
Has born his Faculties fo meek, has been
So clear in his great Office, that, &c.

The Signification of Adjectives may be often afcertained by uniting them to Substantives ; as, simple Swain, simple Sheep. Sometimes the Sense of a Substantive may be elucidated by the Epithets annexed to it in good Authours; as, the boundless Oceann the open Lawns :: And where such Advantage can be gained by a short Quotation, it is not to be omitted

The Difference of Signification in Words generally accounted fynonimous, ought to be carefully observed ; as in Pride, Haughtiness, Arrogance ; and the strict and critical Meaning ought to be diftin guished from that which is loose and popular ; as in the Word Perfection, which, though, in its philofophical and exact Sense, it can be of little Use among human Beings, is often so much degraded from its original Signification, that the Academicians have inserted in their work, the Perfection of a Language, and, with a little more Licentiousness, might have prevailed on themselves to have added the Perfelion of a Dictionary.

There are many other Characters of Words which it will be of use to mention. Some have both an active and passive Signification; as fearful, that whichgives or feels Terror; a fearful Prodigy, a fearful Hare. Some have a personal, some a real Meaning; as in Opposition to old, we use the Adjective young, of animated Beings, and new of other Things. Some are restrained to the Sense of Praise, and others to that of Disapprobation ; so commonly, though not always, we .cxhort to gcod Actions, we

inftigate inftigate to ill; we animate, incite, and encourage in. differently to good or bad. So we usually ascribe Good, but impute Evil; yet neither the Use of these Words, nor, perhaps, of any other in our licentious Language, is so established as not to be often reverfed by the correctest Writers. I shall therefore, fince the Rules of Stile, like those of Law, arise from Precedents often repeated, collect the Testi. monies on both Sides, and endeavour to discover and promulgate the Decrees of Custom, who has so long poffeffed, whether by Right or by Usurpation, the Sovereignty of Words.

It is neceffary likewise to explain many Words by their Opposition to others; for Contraries are best seen when they stand together. Thus the Verb ftand has one Sense, as opposed to fall, and another as opposed to fly; for want of attending to which Distinction, obvious as it is, the learned Dr. Bentley has {quandered his Criticism to no Purpose, on these Lines of Paradise Lost:

In Heaps
Chariot and Charioteer lay overturn'd,
And fiery foaming Steeds. What food, recoild,
O’erwearied, through the faint, Satanic Host,
Defensive scarce, or with pale Fear surpris’d,
Fled ignominious-

Here,' says the Critic, as the Sentence is now read, we find that what stood, fled:' And therefore he proposes an Alteration, which he might have fpared if he had consulted a Dictionary, and found that nothing more was affirmed than that those fled who did not fall.

In explaining such Meanings as seem accidental and adventitious, I shall endeavour to give an Aca count of the Means by which they were introduced. Thus, to eke out any Thing, signifies to lengthen it beyond its just Dimensions, by some low Artifice ģ because the Word eke was the usual Refuge of our old Writers, when they wanted a Syllable. And buxom, which means only obedient, is now made, in familiar Phrases, to stand for wanton ; because in an ancient Form of Marriage, before the Reformation, the Bride promised Complaisance and Obedience, in thefe Terms : " I will be bonair and buxom, in bed

because

and at board.'

I know well, my Lord, how trifling many of these Remarks will appear, separately considered, and how easily they may give Occasion to the contemptuous Merriment of sportive Idleness, and the gloomy Censures of arrogant Stupidity ; but Dulness it is easy to despise, and Laughter it is easy to repay. I Thall not be follicitous what is thought of my Work by such as know not the Difficulty or Importance of philological Studies ; nor shall think those that have done nothing, qualified to condemn me for doing little. It may not, however, be improper to remind them, that no terrestrial Greatness is more than an Aggregate of little Things ; and to inculcate, after the Arabian Proverb, that Drops, added to Drops, constitute the Ocean.

There remains yet to be considered the Distribution of Words into their proper Classes, or that Part i Lexicography which is strictly critical.

The popular Part of the Language, which includes all Words not appropriated to particular Scienees, admits of many. Distinctions and Subdivifions; as, into Words of general Use, Words employed chiefly in Poetry, Words obsolete, Words which are admitted only by particular Writers, yet not in themselves improper ; Words used only in burlesque Writing, and Words impure and barbarous.

Words of general Use will be known by having no Sign of Particularity, and their various Senses will be supported by Authorities of all Ages. Vol. II.

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