ferent from that which the Components have in their fimple State. Thus Highwayman, Woodman, and Horfecourfer require an Explication; but of Thieflike or Coachdriver no Notice was needed, becaufe the Primitives contain the Meaning of the Compounds.

Words arbitrarily formed by a conftant and settled Analogy, like diminutive Adjectives in ifh, as greenih, bluejh, Adverbs in ly, as dully, openly; Subftantives in nefs; as Vileness, Faultinefs, were lefs diligently fought; and many fometimes have been omitted, when I had no Authority that invited me to infert them; not that they are not genuine and regular Offsprings of English Roots, but because their Relation to the Primitive being always the fame, their Signification cannot be mistaken.

The verbal Nouns in ing, fuch as the Keeping of the Cafle, the Leading of the Army, are always neglected, or placed only to illuftrate the Senfe of the Verb, except when they fignify Things as well as Actions, and have therefore a plural Number, as Dwelling, Living; or have an abfolute and abftract Signification, as Colouring, Painting, Learning.

The Participles are likewife omitted, unless, by fignifying rather Qualities than Action, they take the Nature of Adjectives; as, a thinking Man, a Man of Prudence; a pacing Horse, a Horse that can pace: Thefe I have ventured to call participial Adjectives. But neither are these always inferted, becaufe they are commonly to be understood, without any Danger of Miftake, by confulting the Verb.

Obfolete Words are admitted, or when they have found in Authours not obsolete, or when they have any Force or Beauty that may deserve Revival.

As Compofition is one of the chief Characterifticks of a Language, I have endeavoured to make fome Reparation for the univerfal Negligence of my Predeceffors, by inferting great Numbers of comVOL. II. pounded


pounded Words, as may be found under after, fore, new, night, fair, and many more. Thefe, numerous as they are, might be multiplied, but that Ufe and Curiofity are here fatisfied, and the Frame of our Language, and Modes of our Combination, amply difcovered.

Of fome Forms of Compofition, such as that by which re is prefixed to note Repetition, and un to fignify Contrariety or Privation, all the Examples cannot be accumulated, because the Use of these Particles, if not wholly arbitrary, is fo little limited, that they are hourly affixed to new Words as Occafion requires, or is imagined to require them.

There is another Kind of Compofition more frequent in our Language than perhaps in any other, from which arifes to Foreigners the greatest Difficulty. We modify the Signification of many Verbs by a Particle fubjoined; as, to come off, to efcape by a Fetch; to fall on, to attack; to fall off, to apoftatize; to break off, to ftop abruptly; to bear out, to justify; to fall in, to comply; to give over, to ceafe; to fet off, to embellifh; to fet in, to begin a continual Tenour; to fet cut, to begin a Course or Journey; to take off, to copy; with innumerable Expreffions of the fame Kind; of which fome appear wildly irregular, being fo far diftant from the Senfe of the fimple Words, that no Sagacity will be able to trace the Steps by which they arrived at the prefent Ufe. These I have noted with great Care; and though I cannot flatter myself that the Collection is complete, I believe I have fo far aflifted the Students of our Language, that this Kind of Phrafeology will be no longer infuperable; and the Combinations of Verbs and Particles, by Chance omitted, will be eafily explained by Comparifon with thofe that may be found.

Many Words yet ftand fupported only by the Name of Bailey, Ainsworth, Philips, or the contracted

Dict. for Dictionaries, fubjoined: Of these I am not always certain that they are read in any Book but the Works of Lexicographers. Of fuch I have omitted many, because I had never read them; and many I have inferted, because they may perhaps exift, though they have escape my Notice: They are however, to be yet confidered as refting only upon the Credit of former Dictionaries. Others, which I confidered as ufeful, or know to be proper, though I could not at prefent fuppport them by Authorities I have fuffered to ftand upon my own Atteftation, claiming the fame Privilege with my Predeceffors, of being fometimes credited without Proof.

The Words, thus felected and difpofed, are grammatically confidered: They are referred to the different Parts of Speech; traced when they are irregularly inflected, through their various Terminations; and illuftrated by Obfervations, not indeed of great or ftriking Importance, feparately confidered, but neceffary to the Elucidation of our Language, and hitherto neglected or forgotten by English Gram


That Part of my Work on which I expect Malignity most frequently to faften, is the Explanation; in which I cannot hope to fatisfy thofe, who are, per haps, not inclined to be pleafed, fince I have not always been able to fatisfy myself. To interpret a Language by itself is very difficult; many Words cannot be explained by Synonymes, because the Idea fignified by them has not more than one Appellation; nor by Paraphrafe, because fimple Ideas cannot be described. When the Nature of Things is unknown, or the Notion unfettled and indefinite, and various in various Minds, the Words by which fuch Notions are conveyed, or fuch Things denoted, will be ambiguous and perplexed. And fuch is the Fate of hapless Lexicography, that not only Darkness, but Light, impedes and diftreffes it; Things may

be not only too little, but too much known, to be happily illuftrated. To explain, requires the Ufe of Terms lefs abftrufe than that which is to be explained; and fuch Terms cannot always be found : For as nothing can be proved but by fuppofing fomething intuitively known and evident without Proof, fo nothing can be defined but by the Ufe of Words too plain to admit a Definition.

Other Words there are, of which the Senfe is too fubtle and evanefcent to be fixed in a Paraphrafe ; fuch are all those which are by the Grammarians termed Expletives, and, in dead Languages, are fuffered to pafs for empty Sounds, of no other Ufe than to fill a Verfe, or to modulate a Period, but which are easily perceived in living Tongues to have Power, and Emphafis, though it be fometimes fuch as no other Form of Expreflion can convey.

My Labour has likewife been much increased by a Clafs of Verbs too frequent in the English Language of which the Signification is fo loofe and general, the Ufe fo vague and indeterminate, and the Senfes detorted fo widely from the firft Idea, that it is hard to trace them through the Maze of Variation, to catch them on a Brink of utter Inanity, to circumfcribe them by any Limitations, or interpret them by any Words of diftinct and fettled Meaning: Such are bear, break, come, caft, full, get, give, do, put, fet, go, run, make, take, turn, throw. If of thefe the whole Power is not accurately delivered, it must be remembered, that while our Language is yet living, and variable by the Caprice of every one thar fpeaks it, these Words are hourly fhifting their Relations, and can no more be ascertained in a Dictionary, than a Grove, in the Agitation of a Storm, can be accurately delineated from its Picture in the


The Particles are, among all Nations, applied with fo great Lattitude, that they are not eafily reducible

ducible under any regular Scheme of Explication: This Difficulty is not lefs, nor perhaps greater, in English, than in other Languages. I have laboured them with Diligence, I hope with Succefs; fuch at leaft as can be expected in a Tafk, which no Man, however learned or fagacious, has yet been able to perform.

Some Words there are which I cannot explain, because I do not underftand them; thefe might have been omitted very often with little Inconvenience; but I would not fo far indulge my Vanity as to decline this Confeffion: For when Tully owns himself ignorant whether leffus, in the Twelve Tables, means a funeral Song, or mourning Garment; and Ariftotle doubts whether opeus, in the Iliad, fignifies a Mule, or Muleteer, I may freely, without Shame, leave fome Obfcurities to happier Induftry, or future Information.

The Rigour of interpretative Lexicography requires that the Explanation, and the Word explained, fhould be always reciprocal; this I have always endea voured, but could not always attain. Words are feldom exactly fynonymous; a new Term was not introduced, but because the former was thought inadequate Names, therefore, have often many Ideas, but few Ideas have many Names. It was then neceffary to use the proximate Word, for the Deficiency of fingle Terms can very feldom be fupplied by Circumlocution; nor is the Inconvenience great of fuch mutilated Interpretations, because the Senfe may eafily be collected entire from the Examples.

In every Word of extenfive Ufe it was requifite to make the Progrefs of its Meaning, and show by what Gradations of intermediate Senfe it has paffed from its primitive, to its remote and accidental Signification; fo that every foregoing Explanation fhould tend to that which follows, and the Series be regularly concatenated from the firft Notion to the laft.

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