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The Poem is in one book, but divided into three prin
cipal parts or members. The first (to ver. 201.] gives rules for the Study of the Art of Criticism; the second [from thence to ver. 560.] exposes the Causes of wrong Judgment; and the third [from thence to the end] marks out the Morals of the Critic. When the Reader hath well considered the whole, and hath observed the regularity of the plan, the masterly conduct of the several paits, the penetration into Nature, and the compass of learning fo conspicuous throughout, he should then be told that it was the work of an Author who hůd not attained the twentieth year of his agc.
- A very learned Critic has fhewn, that Horace had the same attention to method in his Art of Poetry
Τ Ε Ν Τ S.
PAR T I. NTRODUCTION. That 'tis as great a fault to judge
ill, as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public, ver. I. That a true Taste is as rare to be found as a true Ge
nius, ver. 9 to 18.. That most men are born with some Taste, but fpoil'd
by false Education, ver. 19 to 25. The multitude of Critics and causes of them, ver. 26
That we are to study our own Taste, and know the limits
of it, ver. 46 to 67. Nature the best guide of judgment, ver. 68 to 87. Improved by Art and Rules, which are but methodized
Nature, ver. 88. Rules derived from the practice of the Ancient Poets,
ver. 88. to I10. That therefore the Ancients are necessary to be studied
by a Critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, ver. 120
to 138. Of Licences, and the use of them by the Ancients, ver.
140 to 18o. Reverence due to the Ancients, and praise of them, ver. 181, &c.
Rules for the Conduct of Manners in a Critic. 1. Can.
dour, ver. 563. Modesty, ver. 566. Good-breed-
E S S A Y
'T Appear in sering or in judging ill ;
IS hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill; But of the two, less dangerous is th' offence To tire our patience, than mislead our sense. Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
'Tis with our judgments as our watches; none
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find Most have the feeds of judgment in their mind :
Natare affords at least a glimmering light;
Some have at first for Wits, then Poets past,
Between ver. 25 and 26 were these lines, fince omitted by the Author:
Many are spoil'd by that pedantic throng,
Which yet, with all their ikill, they ne'er could do.
Those hate as rivals all that write; and others
But envy wits, as eunuchs envy lovers.
in edition 1717 ; fince restored.