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Horace still charms with graceful Negligence,
And without Method talks us into Sense,
Will like a Friend familarly convey
The truest Notions in the easiest way.
He, who Supream in Judgment, as in Wit,
Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ,
Yet judg'd with Coolness tho' he sung with Fire;
His Precepts teach but what his Works inspire.
Our Criticks take a contrary Extream,
They judge with Fury, but they write with Fle'me:
Nor suffers Horace more in wrong Translations
By Wits, than Criticks in as wrong Quotations.
Alexander Pope An Essay on Criticism nmctoastmasters
Such once were Criticks, such the Happy Few,
Athens and Rome in better Ages knew.
The mighty Stagyrite first left the Shore,
Spread all his Sails, and durst the Deeps explore;
He steer'd securely, and discover'd far,
Led by the Light of the Maeonian Star.
Poets, a Race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of Savage Liberty,
Receiv'd his Laws, and stood convinc'd 'twas fit
Who conquer'd Nature, shou'd preside o'er Wit.
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But you who seek to give and merit Fame,
And justly bear a Critick'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 Depth, but be discreet,
And mark that Point where Sense and Dulness meet.
Essay on Criticism for Max Weber’s Bureaucracy | …
Alexander Pope wrote his Essay on Criticism at a time when genius was becoming a preoccupation of writers, artists and critics. Critics argued over who had genius; writers and artists nursed it as an ultimate goal. With characteristic wit Pope considers genius in connection with the quarrels between writers and their critics, whose strictures are so often prompted by vain ambition, envy and ‘an itching to deride’. True taste in the critic is as rare as true genius in the poet, maintains Pope, and critics should be aware of their limits when pronouncing judgement. This manuscript of An Essay on Criticism is in Pope’s own hand and was used by the printer for the first edition of the poem, published in 1711. It shows what a close interest Pope took in the printed appearance of his work. The title is a carefully rendered imitation of type; the main text is written in a beautifully even italic.