Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D: An Abridgment; with Annotations by the Eminent Biographers and an Introduction and Notes (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D: An Abridgment; With Annotations by the Eminent Biographers and an Introduction and Notes
The following abridgment has been prepared with the aim Of' transferring Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson from the reference shelf to the student's hands, Of making it for him something more than j' a book to browse on, or a mere adjunct to the essays of Macaulay and Carlyle. The third, or less, of the original here presented is, therefore, not a series of hastily culled selections. Every sacrifice of Boswell's text has been made with the intention of Offendin g as little as possible those who look upon his work as a touchstone. That the talk should remain intact, or nearly so, was the first consideration, otherwise that the original proportions should be preserved. Boswell's freedom from the tyranny of the modern paragraph becomes so conspicuous after abridgment that a feeling. For consistency stands with sentiment for retaining some Of his antiquated spelling, especially those forms that Dr. Johnson himself favored. Nothing, fortunately, in the life of him who ever discouraged obscenity and impiety calls for expurgation, and the editor believes that cautious excision has left for the student most of the significant allusions to men, books, and politics of the time as well as to Johnson's friends, household, publishers, and clubs. Through the courtesy of Messrs. Harper and Brothers it has been possible to refer unstintedly to the magnificent work Of Dr. George Birbeck Hill. The foreign phrases, though very simple, have been translated; but general remarks on eighteenth century life and manners, such as are now common in other school classics, and information to be found in the dictionary or ready-reference books has been excluded from the notes; for their theme. Is Johnson.
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