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it to accompany his own edition of the poem. To assert that Pope was not the best judge of his own meaning, is an insult not only to his understanding but to common sense; and to discard the Commentary of Warburton, as Warton has done in his edition, in order to replace it by a series of notes, intended to impress the reader with his own opinions, is a kind of infringement on those rights, which had already been decided on by the only person who was entitled to judge on the subject. For these reasons I have thought it advisable, in this edition, to restore the Commentary of Warburton intire, which has only been partially done by Mr. Bowles; conceiving that it is as injurious, if not more so, to the Commentator, whose object it is to demonstrate the order and consistency of the poem, to deprive him of a portion of his remarks, as it is to deprive him of them altogether. At the same time it must be allowed, that the potes of Dr. Warton on this Essay are, in general, excellent, and add greatly to its value.




PART II. Ver. 203, &c.

Causes hindering a true Judgment. 1. Pride, ver. 208. 2. Im-

perfect Learning, ver. 215. 3. Judging by parts, and not by the
whole, ver. 233 to 288. Critics in Wit, Language, Versifica-
tion, only, ver. 288, 305, 339, &c. 4. Being too hard to please,
or too apt to admire, v. 384. 5. Partiality-100 much love to
a Sect,—to the Ancients or Moderns, ver. 324. 6. Prejudice
or Prevention, ver. 408. 7. Singularity, ver. 424.
constancy, ver. 430. 9. Party Spirit, ver. 452, 8c. 10. Envy,
ver. 466. Against Endy and in praise of Good-nature, ver. 508,
&c. When Severity is chiefly to be used by Critics, ver. 526, &c.

8. In-

PART III. Ver. 560, fc.
Rules for the Conduct of Manners in a Critic, 1. Candour, ver.

563. Modesty, ver. 566. Good-breeding, ver. 572. Sin-
cerity and Freedom of Advice, ver. 578. 2. When one's Coun-
sel 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 History of Criticism,
and characters of the best Critics, Aristotle, ver. 645. Horace,
ver. 653. Dionysius, ver. 665. Petronius, ver. 667. Quin-
tilian, ver. 670. Longinus, ver. 675. Of the decay of Criti-
cism, and its Revival, Erasmus, ver. 693. Vida, ver. 705.
Boileau, ver. 714. Lord Roscommon, &c. ver. 725. Con-




'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill ;
But, of the two, less dang’rous is th' offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.


An Essay] The poem is in one book, but divided into three principal parts or numbers. The first (to ver. 201.) gives rules for the Study of the Art of Criticism : the second [from thence to ver. 560.] exposes the Causes of wrong Judgment; and the third [from thence to the end] marks out the Morals of the Critic.

In order to a right conception of this poem, it will be necessary to observe, that though it be intitled simply An Essay on Criticism, yet several of the precepts relate equally to the good writing as well as the true judging of a poem.

This is so far from violating the Unity of the subject, that it preserves and completes it: or from disordering the regularity of the Form, that it adds beauty to it, as will appear by the following considerations : 1. It was impossible to give a full and exact idea of the Art of Poetical Criticism, without considering at the same time the Art of Poetry; so far as Poetry is an Art. These therefore being closely connected in nature, the author has, with much judgment, interwoven the precepts of each reciprocally through his whole poem. 2. As the rules of the antient Critics were taken from Poets who copied nature, this is another reason why every Poet should be a Critic: therefore as the subject is poetical Criticism, it is frequently addressed to the critical Poet. And 3dly, the Art of Criticism is as properly, and much more usefully exercised in writing, than in judging.


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