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Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
A NEW EDITION.
IN TWELVE VOLUMES.
AN ESSAY ON HIS LIFE AND GENIUS,
By ARTHUR MURPHY, Esq.
VOLUME THE FIRST
Otridge & Son, W.J. & J. Richardson, A. Strahan, Leigh &
Twenty years have elapsed since the death of Dr. Johnson, during which his character and talents have been scrutinized with a severity unprecedented in literary biography. There never, indeed, was a human being of whom more may be known by those who have had no opportunity of personal acquaintance, and perhaps never a man whose failings, after having been exposed by imprudence or exag; gerated by malice, were sooner forgotten in the esteem excited by his superior talents, and steady virtues. Besides many impressions of hiş individual pieces, three large editions of his collected works have been bought up by the Publick, and a fourth, which has been loudly called for, is now completed. What Lord Chesterfield said of Swift, may be as
truly applied to this author, “Whoever in the three kingdoms has any books at all, has Johnson."
In this edition, I have taken the liberty to omit “ Cebes' Table, or the Picture of Human Life." By what means it came to be printed among Dr. Johnson's productions, I know not, except that there was once a traditionary report that he translated it for Dodsley's Precep
But internal evidence may be more safely relied on in the case of Dr. Johnson than of almost any other writer, and in this article it is impossible to discover the most distant resemblance to his style, nor has any of his biographers attributed it to him. The truth is, it was translated by Mr. Spence, first published in the third volume of Dodsley's Museum, in 1747, and copied into the Preceptor the following year. To fill
space occupied by this article, I have supplied five papers of the AdventURER, hitherto omitted by the mistake of Sir John Hawkins, the first collector of Dr. Johnson's