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HIS WORDS AND HIS WAYS
WHAT HE SAID, WHAT HE DID, AND WHAT
MEN THOUGHT AND SPOKE
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by
HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
The aim of this work is to present, as concisely as possible, the materials for a fair estimate of Dr. Johnson's character. These materials have been drawn from many books, and the best authorities upon the subject have been carefully examined. A systematic analysis of his character has not been attempted; the general arrangement of the book has been adopted merely as that which seemed most convenient and practicable--not for the purpose of deliberate analysis.
Any adequate consideration of Johnson's scholarship and position in literature would have involved a critical examination of his writings too extended for a work of this size. Accordingly, that subject has not been touched upon, save as it has occurred incidentally to other matters.
Boswell's “Life” is, of course, the great storehouse of information concerning Johnson; yet, outside of that remarkable book, there are means of gaining a clearer view of him than we can have of any other man who has lived. And it is to others than Boswell that we must look for many shades of this complex and fascinating character. The materials for a highly interesting and valuable study of Johnson might be gathered without resorting to Boswell. Nearly all his friends and acquaintances left some striking records of him; and we are thus enabled to see him as he appeared to a large circle of brilliant men and