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ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1709.
Introduction. That it is as great a fault to judge ill as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public.-That a true taste is as rare to be found as a true genius.-That most men are born with some taste, but spoiled by false education. The multitude of critics, and causes of them. -That we are to study our own taste, and know the limits of it.-Nature the best guide of judgment.--Improved by art and rules, which are but methodized Nature.-Rules derived from the practice of the ancient poets.-That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil.-Of licences, and the use of them by the ancients.-Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them.
'Tis hard to say if greater want of skill
But of the two, less dangerous is the' offence