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2. Im.

PART II. Ver. 203, etc. Causes bindering a true Judgment. 1. Pride, $ 208.

perfect Learning, $ 215. 3. Judging by parts, and not by the whole, $ 233 to 288. Critics in Wit, Language, Ver. lification, only, x 288. 305. 339, etc. 4. Being too bard to please, or too apt to admire, $ 384. 5. Partiality—too much love to a Sect, - to tbe Ancients or Moderns, Ý 394. 6. Prejudice or Prevention, $ 408. 7. Singularity, Ý 424. 8. Inconftancy, 43o. 9. Party Spirit, ỷ 452, tt, 10. Envy, x 466. Against Envy and in praise of Goodnature, x 508, etc. Wben Severity is cbiefly to be used by Critics, x 526, etc.

PART III. Ver. 560, etc. Rules for the Conduct and Manners in a Critic, 1. Candour,

$ 563. Modesty, $ 566. Good-breeding, $ 572. Sincerity and Freedom of advice, $ 578. 2. Wben one's Counfel is to be restrained, $ 584. Character of an incorrigible Poet, $ 600. And of an impertinent Critic, ý 610, etc. Character of a good Critic, $ 629. The History of Criticism, and Characters of the best Critics, Aristotle, $ 645. Horace, $ 653. Dionyfius, $ 665. Petronius, ý 667. Quintilian, x 670. Longinus, x 675. Of the Decay of Criticism, and its Revival. Erasmus, 693. Vida, x 705. Boileau, x 714. Lord Roscommon, etc. $725. Conclusion,







IS hard to say, if greater want of skill

Appear in writing or in judging ill ; But of the two, less dang’rous is th' offence To tire our patience, than mislead our sense. Some few in that, but numbers err in this, Ten censure

wrong for one who writes amiss ;


An Essay] The Poem is in one book, but divided into three principal parts or members. The first (to y 201.) gives rules for the Study of the Art of Criticism: the second [from thence to $ 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 parts, the penetration into Nature, and the compass of Learning so conspicuous throughout, he should then be told that it was the work of an Author who had not attained the twentieth Year of his age.


A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now one in verse makes many more in prose.

'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In Poets as true genius is but rare,
True Taste as seldom is the Critic's share ;
Both must alike from Heav'n derive their light,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,

And censure freely who have written well.
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true,
But are not Critics to their judgment too?

Yet if we look more closely, we shall find Most have the feeds of judgment in their mind : 20 Nature affords at least a glimm'ring light; The lines, tho' touch'd but faintly, are drawn right. But as the slightest ketch, if justly trac'd, Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac’d, So by false learning is good sense defacd:

Ver. 15. Let such teach others] “ Qui scribit artificiose, ab “ aliis commode scripta facile intelligere poterit.” Cic. ad Heren. lib. iv, “ De pictore, sculptore, fictore, nili artifex, judicare

non poteft.” Pliny.

VER. 20. Mot have the seeds ] “ Omnes tacito quodam fenfi, « fine ulla arte, aut ratione, quæ fint in artibus ac rationibus " recta et prava dijudicant.” Cic. de Orat. lib. iii.

VER. 25. So by false learning] « Plus fine doctrina prudentia, quam

fine prudentia valet doctrina. Quint.

Some are bewilder'd in the maze of fchools, 26
And some made coxcombs Nature meant but fools.
In search of wit these lose their common fense,
And then turn Critics in their own defence :
Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write,

Or with a Rival's, or an Eunuch's spite.
All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain would be upon the laughing fide.
If Mævius scribble in Apollo's spight,
There are, who judge still worse than he can write,

Some have at first for Wits, then Poets paft, 36 Turn'd Critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last. Some neither can for Wits nor Critics pass, As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass. Those half-learn'd witlings, num'rous in our isle, 40 As half-form'd insects on the banks of Nile; Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call, Their generation's so equivocal : To tell 'em, would a hundred tongues require, Or one vain wit’s, that might a hundred tire. 45


Between * 25 and 26 were these lines, since omitted by the author :

Many are spoil'd by that pedantic throng,
Who with great pains teach youth to reason wrong.
Tutors, like Virtuoso's, oft inclin'd
By strange transfusion to improve the mind,
Draw off the sense we have to pour in new;
Which yet, with all their skill, they ne'er could do.

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