there had been concern about： 人们担忧…
For the century before Johnson’s Dictionary was published in 1775, there had been concern about the state of the English language.
bring some order to…:给…带来秩序
Johnson’s Dictionary brought some order to the chaos of English spelling
There had, of course, been dictionaries in the past, the first of these being a little book of some 120 pages, compiled by a certain Robert Cawdray, published in 1604.
convey an impression of …传递了一种…的印象
convey an impression of fine learning
is associated with: 与…有关
Beyond the practical need to make order out of chaos, the rise of dictionaries is associated with the rise of the English middle class, who were anxious to define and circumscribe the various worlds to conquer.
at the heyday of … 在…鼎盛时期
at the heyday of the middle class
settle arguments about… 解决争论
He was to be paid $ 1,575 in installments
rickety chair 摇晃的椅子
of whom: 介词+关系代词的非限制性定语从句
He was also helped by six assistants, two of whom died whilst the Dictionary was still in preparation.
draw on： 借鉴
Working to a deadline, he had to draw on the best of all previous dictionaries, and to make his work one of heroic synthesis.
according to precedent： 根据先例
be not seriously rivalled 无人出其右
After its publication, his Dictionary was not seriously rivaled for over a century.
After many vicissitudes： 几经浮沉
After many vicissitudes the Dictionary was finally published on 15 April 1775. It was instantly recognised as a landmark throughout Europe
without any patronage of the great 没有牛人的资助
confer stability on：给…带来稳定
confer stability on the language of his country
prevail on sb to do 劝说某人做…