e one sentence, and is generally read at one sitting. Sir Joshua Reynolds, meeting it in a country inn, began to read it while standing with his arm leaning on a chimney-piece, and was not able to lay it aside till he had finished it, when he found his arm totally benumbed. In 1745, Johnson issued proposals for a new edition of Shakspeare, but laid them aside for a time, owing to the great expectations entertained of the edition then promised by Warburton.
For several years, except a few trifles in the Gentleman's Magazine,
and his famous "Prologue delivered at the Opening of Drury Lane
Theatre," he seems to have written nothing. But in 1745 appeared the
prospectus of his most laborious undertaking, the "English
Dictionary." This continued his principal occupation for some years, and, as Boswell truly observes, "served to relieve his constitutional melancholy by the steady, yet not oppressive, employment it secured him." In its unity, too, and gigantic size, the task seemed fitted for the po
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