"The man that sits down to suppose himself charged with treason or peculation, and heats his mind to an elaborate purgation of his character from crimes which he was never within the possibility of committing, differs only by the infrequency of his folly from him who praises beauty which he never saw, complains of jealousy which he never felt, supposes himself sometimes invited and sometimes forsaken, fatigues his fancy, and ransacks his memory, for images which may exhibit the gaiety of hope or the gloominess of despair, and dresses his imaginary Chloris or Phyllis sometimes in flowers fading as her beauty, and sometimes in gems lasting as her virtues."
— Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784)
Samuel Johnson, Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets, vol. 1 (London: Bathurst et al., 1779). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>
Text from Jack Lynch's online edition, based on G. B. Hill's Lives of the English Poets, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905). <Link>