Dictionaries and encyclopedias of music
- James B. Coover
- and John C. Franklin
In a charmingly ironic mixture of self-deprecation and pride, Samuel Johnson began the magnificent preface to his famous Dictionary (1755) with these words:
It is the fate of those who toil at the lowest employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospects of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward. Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries …. Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach, and even this negative recompense has been yet granted to very few....