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THE Poem is in one book, but divided into three principal parts or members. The firft [to ver. 201.] gives rules for the Study of the Art of Criticism; the fecond [from thence to ver. 560.] expofes the Caufes 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 compafs 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 agc.. A very learned Critic has fhewn, that Horace had the fame attention to method in his Art of Poetry.
NTRODUCTION. That 'tis as great a fault to judge
That a true Tafte is as rare to be found as a true Ge-
That most men are born with fome Tafte, but spoil'd
by falfe Education, ver. 19 to 25. ́
That we are to ftudy our own Tafte, and know the limits
Nature the best guide of judgment, ver. 68 to 87.
Improved by Art and Rules, which are but methodized
Rules derived from the practice of the Ancient Poets,
ver. 88. to IIO.
That therefore the Ancients are necessary to be ftudied
by a Critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, ver. 120
Of Licences, and the use of them by the Ancients, ver.
Reverence due to the Ancients, and praise of them,
Caufes hindering a true Judgment. 1. Pride, ver. 208.
2. 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,
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 praife of Good-nature, ver. 508, &c.
When Severity is chiefly to be used by Critics, ver.
Rules for the Conduct of Manners in a Critic. 1. Can-
dour, ver. 563. Modefty, ver. 566. Good-breed-
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:
Ariftotle, 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,
IS hard to fay, if greater want of skill
True tafte as feldom is the Critic's fhare,
Yet, if we look more clofely, we shall find
Nature affords at leaft a glimmering light;
The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.
If Mævius fcribble in Apollo's fpight,
There are who judge ftill worse than he can write.
Between ver. 25 and 26 were thefe lines, fince omit
ted by the Author:
Many are spoil'd by that pedantic throng,
Who with great pains teach youth to reason wrong.
By ftrange transfufion to improve the mind,
Ver. 30, 31. In the first edition thus:
Those hate as rivals all that write; and others
Ver. 32. All fools," in the first edition: "All fuch" in edition 1717; fince reftored.