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Pope alexander essay on criticism


pope alexander essay on criticism

450 Oft leaving what is natural and fit, 451 The current folly proves the ready wit; 452 And authors think their reputation safe, 453 Which lives as long as fools are pleas'd to laugh. 376 Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprize, 377 And bid alternate passions fall and rise! The owner's wife, that other men enjoy; Then most our trouble still when most admir'd, And still the more we give, the more requir'd; Whose fame with pains we guard, but lose with ease, Sure some to vex. Receive, This praise at least a grateful Muse may give: The Muse, whose early voice you taught to sing, Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing, (Her guide now lost) no more attempts to rise, But in low numbers. Art from that fund each just supply provides, Works without show, and without pomp presides: In some fair body thus th' informing soul With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole, Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve sustains; Itself unseen, but in th' effects, remains. 480 No longer now that golden age appears, 481 When Patriarch-wits surviv'd a thousand years: 482 Now length of fame (our second life) is lost, 483 And bare threescore is all ev'n that can boast: 484 Our sons their. 36 Some have at first for Wits, then Poets past, 37 Turn'd Critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last.

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80 There are whom heav'n has blest with store of wit, 81 Yet want as much again to manage it; 82 For wit and judgment ever are at strife, 83 Tho' meant each other's aid, like man and wife. Great wits sometimes may gloriously offend, And rise to faults true pope alexander essay on criticism critics dare not mend; From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art, Which, without passing through the judgment. Some few in that, but numbers err in this, Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss; A fool might once himself alone expose, Now one in verse makes many more in prose. 659 He, who supreme in judgment, as in wit, 660 Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ, 661 Yet judg'd with coolness, tho' he sung with fire, 662 His Precepts teach but what his works inspire. 586 'Twere well might Critics still this freedom take; 587 But Appius reddens at each word you speak, 588 And stares, tremendous, with a threat'ning eye, 589 Like some fierce Tyrant in old Tapestry. Meanly they seek the blessing to confine, And force that sun but on a part to shine; Which not alone the southern wit sublimes, But ripens spirits in cold northern climes; Which from the first has shone on ages. 468 Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue; 469 But like a shadow, proves the substance true; 470 For envy'd Wit, like Sol eclips'd, makes known 471 Th'opposing body's grossness, not its own. Judging by parts, and not by the whole: Critics in Wit, Language, Versification, only. The Character of a good Critic. Such once were critics; such the happy few, Athens and Rome in better ages knew.


( An Essay on Criticism,. 496 Unhappy Wit, like most mistaken things, 497 Attones not for that envy which it brings. But you who seek to give and merit fame, And justly bear a critic's noble name, Be sure your self and your own reach to know, How far your genius, taste, and learning go; Launch not beyond your. AN essay ON criticism. In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease, Sprung the rank weed, and thriv'd with large increase: When love was all an easy monarch's care; Seldom at council, never in a war: Jilts ruled the state, and statesmen. Despite the harmful effects of bad criticism, literature requires worthy criticism.


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The gen'rous critic fann'd the poet's fire, And taught the world with reason to admire. 92 Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites, 93 When to repress, and when indulge our flights! Back next Cite This Page). 173 Some figures monstrous and mishap'd appear, 174 Consider'd singly, or beheld too near, 175 Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place, 176 Due distance reconciles to form and grace. 562 Learn then what Morals Critics ought to show, 563 For 'tis but half a judge's task, to know. Our Criticks take a contrary Extream, They judge with, fury, but they write with, fle'me : Nor suffers, horace more in wrong, translations. 368 Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, 369 And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; 370 But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, 371 The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.


Music resembles poetry, pope alexander essay on criticism in each Are nameless graces which no methods teach, And which a master-hand alone can reach. 454 Some valuing those of their own side or mind, 455 Still make themselves the measure of mankind: 456 Fondly we think we honour merit then, 457 When we but praise our selves in other men. 364 True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, 365 As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. When Severity is chiefly to be used by Critics? That therefore the Ancients are necessary to be study'd by a Critic, particularly. 655 Horace still charms with graceful negligence, 656 And without method talks us into sense, 657 Will like a friend, familiarly convey 658 The truest notions in the easiest way. 311 Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, 312 Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. In praise so just let ev'ry voice be join'd, And fill the gen'ral chorus of mankind!


No pardon vile obscenity should find, Though wit and art conspire to move your mind; But dulness with obscenity must prove As shameful sure as impotence in love. In wit, pope alexander essay on criticism as nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts; 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all. Nature the best guide of Judgment. The poem covers a range of good criticism and advice, and represents many of the chief literary ideals. But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis'd, And kept unconquer'd, and uncivilis'd, Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold, We still defied the Romans, as of old. Or if you must offend Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end; Let it be seldom, and compell'd by need, And have, at least, their precedent to plead. But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd, Is by ill colouring but the more disgrac'd, So by false learning is good sense defac'd; Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools, And some made coxcombs Nature meant but fools. 'Tis not enough, taste, judgment, learning, join; In all you speak, let truth and candour shine: That not alone what to your sense is due, All may allow; but seek your friendship too. 255 Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, 256 Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall. The multitude of Critics, and causes of 'em. Leave the combat out?" exclaims the knight; "Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite." "Not so by Heav'n" (he answers in a rage) "Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage." So vast a throng the stage can ne'er contain.


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187 See, from each clime the learn'd their incense bring: 188 Hear, in all tongues consenting Pæans ring! 54 As on the land while here the Ocean gains, 55 In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains; 56 Thus in the soul while memory prevails, 57 The solid pow'r of understanding fails; 58 Where beams of warm imagination. 241 But in such lays as neither ebb, nor flow, 242 Correctly cold, and regularly low, 243 That shunning faults, one quiet tenour keep; 244 We pope alexander essay on criticism cannot blame indeed-but we may sleep. 263 Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays, 264 For not to know some trifles, is a praise. Born in happier days; 192 Immortal heirs of universal praise! The rules a nation born to serve, obeys, And Boileau still in right of Horace sways.


How the style refines! Our author, happy in a judge so nice, Produc'd his play, and begg'd the knight's advice, Made him observe the subject and the plot, The manners, passions, unities, what not? Of all this servile herd, the worst is he That in proud dulness joins with quality, A constant critic at the great man's board, To fetch and carry nonsense for my Lord. 143 Music resembles Poetry, in each 144 Are nameless graces which no methods teach, 145 And which a master-hand alone can reach. Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. Thus wit, like faith, by each man is applied To one small sect, and all are damn'd beside. Pope 's contemporary age. 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. 235 A perfect Judge will read each work of wit, 236 With the same spirit that its author writ, 237 Survey the Whole, nor seek slight faults to find 238 Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; 239. The History of Criticism, and Characters of the best Critics.


Most critics, fond of some subservient art, Still make the whole depend upon a part: They talk of principles, but notions prize, And all to one lov'd folly sacrifice. Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, May boldly deviate from the common track. 384 The pow'r of Music all our hearts allow; 385 And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now. 394 As things seem large which we thro' mists descry, 395 Dulness is ever apt to magnify. The work remains, however, one of the best-known commentaries on literary criticism. In search of wit these lose their common sense, 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. This humble praise, lamented shade! 283 "Not so by heav'n" (he answers in a rage) 284 "Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage." 285 The stage can ne'er so vast a throng contain. Pope doesn't just praise Horace in this excerpt; he also tries to emulate Horace's wit and style. Parties in wit attend on those of state, And public faction doubles private hate. 356 Then, at the last and only couplet fraught 357 With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, 358 A needless Alexandrine ends the song, 359 That like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. A prudent chief not always must display His pow'rs in equal ranks, and fair array, But with th' occasion and the place comply, Conceal his force, nay seem sometimes to fly. 299 True wit is nature to advantage dress'd, 300 What oft' was thought, but ne'er so well express'd; 301 Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight we find, 302 That gives us back the image of our mind.



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