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"Si quid novifti rectius iftis,
"Candidus imperti; fi non, his utere mecum."
*Mr. Pope told me himself, that the "Effay on "Criticifm" was indeed written in 1707, though faid 1709 by mistake. J. RICHARDSON.
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 fecond [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 confidered the whole, and hath obferved the regularity of the plan, the masterly conduct of the feveral parts, the penetration into Nature, and the compass of learning fo confpicuous 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 very learned Critic has fhewn, that Horace had the fame attention to method in his Art of Poetry.
PART II. Ver. 203, &c.
Caufes hindering a true Judgment. I. Pride, ver. 208.
Imperfect Learning, ver. 215. 3. Judging by
parts, and not by the whole, ver. 233 to 288. Cri-
tics in Wit, Language, Verfification, only, 288, 305,
4. Being too hard to please, or too apt
to admire, ver. 384. 5. Partiality-too much love
to a Sect,-to the Ancients or Moderns, ver. 394.
6. Prejudice or Prevention, ver. 408. 7. Singularity,
ver. 424. 8. Inconftancy, ver. 430. 9. Party Spi-
rit, ver. 452, &c. 10. Envy, ver. 466. Against
Envy, and in praise of Good-nature, ver. 508, &c.
When Severity is chiefly to be used by Critics, ver.
PART III. Ver. 560, &c.
Rules for the Conduct of Manners in a Critic. 1. Can-
dour, ver. 563. Modefty, ver. 566. Good-breed-
ing, ver. 572. Sincerity and Freedom of Advice,
ver. 578. 2. When one's Counsel is to be restrained,
ver. 584. Character of an incorrigible Poet, ver.
600. And of an impertinent Critic, ver. 610, &c.
Character of a good Critic, ver. 629. The Hiftory
of Criticism, and Characters of the best Critics:
Aristotle, ver. 645. Horace, ver. 653. Dionyfius,
ver. 665. Petronius, ver. 667. Quintilian, ver.
670. Longinus, ver. 675. Of the Decay of Criti-
cifm, and its Revival. Erafmus, ver. 693. Vida,
ver. 705. Boileau, ver. 714. Lord Rofcommon,
&c. ver. 725. Conclusion,
IS hard to fay, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill;
But of the two, lefs dangerous is th' offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Ten cenfure wrong for one who writes amifs;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now one in verfe makes many more in profe.
'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 feldom is the Critic's fhare,
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let fuch teach others who themselves excel,
And cenfure 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
Moft have the feeds of judgment in their mind :