2008
12.02

Quote: An Essay on Criticism

Some have at first for wits then poets passed
Turned critics next and proved plain fools at last
Some neither can for wits nor critics pass
As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass.

and

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see.
Thinks what ne’er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be.
In every work regard the writer’s end,
Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
To avoid great errors, must the less commit:
Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays,
For not to know some trifles is a praise.
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 loved folly sacrifice.

Both from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism.

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