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Criticism is easy, and art is difficult.
Conspire to censure and expose our age.
WENTWORTH DILLON-Essay on Translated His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet;
Verse. L. 7. Fear not to lie, 'twill seem a lucky hit;
13 Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit; You know who critics are?—the men who Care not for feeling-pass your proper jest,
have failed in literature and art. And stand a critic, hated yet caress'd.
BENJ. DISRAELI-Lothair. Ch. XXXV. BYRON—English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.
(See also COLERIDGE) L. 63.
It is much easier to be critical than to be corAs soon
rect. Seek roses in December-ice in June,
BENJ. DISRAELI—Speech in the House of ComHope, constancy in wind, or corn in chaff;
mons. Jan 24, 60. Believe a woman or an epitaph, Or any other thing that's false, before
The most noble criticism is that in which the You trust in critics.
critic is not the antagonist so much as the rival BYRON—English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. of the author. L. 75.
ISAAC D'ISRAELI — Curiosities of Literature.
Literary Journals. Dijó la sarten á la caldera, quitate allá ojinegra.
Said the pot to the kettle, “Get away, Those who do not read criticism will rarely blackface."
merit to be criticised. CERVANTES—Don Quixote. II. 67.
ISAAC D'ISRAELI–Literary Character of Men
of Genius. Ch. VI. Who shall dispute what the Reviewers say? Their word's sufficient; and to ask a reason,
Ill writers are usually the sharpest censors. In sich a state as theirs, is downright treason. DRYDEN-Dedication of translations from Ovid. CHURCHILL-Apology. L. 94.
They who write ill, and they who ne'er durst Though by whim, envy, or resentment led,
Turn critics out of mere revenge and spite. They damn those authors whom they never read. CHURCHILL—The Candidate. L. 57.
DRYDEN-Prologue to Conquest of Granada. A servile race
All who (like him) have writ ill plays before, Who, in mere want of fault, all merit place;
For they, like thieves, condemned, are hangmen Who blind obedience pay to ancient schools,
To execute the members of their trade.
DRYDEN—Prologue to Rival Queens.
"I'm an owl: you're another. Sir Critic, good But spite of all the criticizing elves,
day.” And the barber kept on shaving. Those who would make us feel-must feel them
JAMES T. FIELDS—The Owl-Critic. selves. CHURCHILL—The Rosciad. L. 961.
Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critic the Good-natured Man. Reviewers are usually people who would have GOLDSMITH—The Good-Natured Man Epibeen poets, historians, biographers, etc., if they logue. could: they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn Reviewers are forever_telling authors they critics.
can't understand them. The author might often COLERIDGE—Lectures on Shakespeare and Mil- | reply: Is that my fault? ton. P. 36.
J. C. AND A. W. HARE—Guesses at Truth. (See also DISRAELI, MACAULAY, SHELLEY; also BISMARCK under JOURNALISM)
The readers and the hearers like my books,
And yet some writers cannot them digest; Too nicely Jonson knew the critic's part,
But what care I? for when I make a feast, Nature in him was almost lost in art.
I would my guests should praise it, not the cooks. COLLINS—Epistle to Sir Thomas Hanmer on SIR JOHN HARRINGTON--Against Writers that his Edition of Shakespeare.
Carp at other Men's Books. There are some Critics so with Spleen diseased, When Poets' plots in plays are damn’d for spite, They scarcely come inclining to be pleased: They critics turn and damn the rest that write. And sure he must have more than mortal Skill, JOHN HAYNES-Prologue. In Oxford and CamWho pleases one against his Will.
bridge Miscellany Poems. Ed. by ELIJAH CONGREVE—The Way of the World. Epilogue. FENTON.
Unmoved though Witlings sneer and Rivals rail; Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail. SAMUEL JOHNSON—Prologue to Tragedy of
The line too labours, and the words move slow.
POPE--Essay on Criticism. Pt. II. L. 171. A perfect Judge will read each work of Wit With the same spirit that its author writ: Survey the Whole, nor seek slight faults to find Where nature moves, and rapture warms the
mind. POPE—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II. L. 235. 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.
POPE—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II. L. 255. Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
POPE-Essay on Criticism. Pt. II. L. 336.
Lynx envers nos pareils, et taupes envers nous.
Lynx-eyed toward our equals, and moles to ourselves. LA FONTAINE–Fables. I. 7.
Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.
LONGFELLOW-Kavanagh. Ch. XIII.
A wise scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic. LOWELL — Among My Books. Shakespeare Once More.
Ah, ne'er so dire a thirst of glory boast,
POPE—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II. L. 522.
18 I lose my patience, and I own it too, When works are censur'd, not as bad but new; While if our Elders break all reason's laws, These fools demand not pardon but Applause.
POPE-Second Book of Horace. Ep. I. L. 115. For some in ancient books delight, Others prefer what moderns write; Now I should be extremely loth Not to be thought expert in both.
Nature fits all her children with something to do, He who would write and can't write, can surely
review; Can set up a small booth as critic and sell us his Petty conceit and his pettier jealousies.
LOWELL-Fable for Critics. 7
In truth it may be laid down as an almost universal rule that good poets are bad critics. MACAULAY-Criticisms on the Principal Italian Writers. Dante.
(See also COLERIDGE) The opinion of the great body of the reading public is very materially influenced even by the unsupported assertions of those who assume a right to criticise. MACAULAY–Mr. Robert Montgomery's Poems.
Die Kritik nimmt oft dem Baume
Criticism often takes from the tree
When in the full perfection of decay,
Howard. Quoted in DRYDEN's Dedication to
(See also SHENSTONE) In such a time as this it is not meet That every nice offence should bear his com
ment. Julius Cæsar. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 7.
To check young Genius' proud career,
The slaves who now his throne invaded,
10 And you, my Critics! in the chequer'd shade, Admire new light thro' holes yourselves have
made. POPE-Dunciad. Bk. IV. L. 125.
(See also WALLER under MIND)
Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic. SHELLEY----Fragments of Adonais.
(See also COLERIDGE)
Crocus Welcome, wild harbinger of spring!
To this small nook of earth; Feeling and fancy fondly cling
Round thoughts which owe their birth To thee, and to the humble spot Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.
BERNARD BARTON—To a Crocus.
Hail to the King of Bethlehem,
Of his authority!
Even bear-baiting was esteemed heathenish and unchristian: the sport of it, not the inhumanity, gave offence. HUME—History of England. Vol. I. CH. LXII.
(See also MACAULAY) 19 An angel with a trumpet said, “Forever more, forever more, The reign of violence is o'er!”
LONGFELLOW——The Occultation of Orion. St. 6. 20
Je voudrais bien voir la grimace qu'il fait à cette heure sur cet échafaud.
I would love to see the grimace he [Marquis de Cinq-Mars) is now making on the scaffold. LOUIS XIII. See Histoire de Louis XIII.
IV. P. 416.
Gay. Ep. IV. Last line.
Only last night he felt deadly sick, and, after a great deal of pain, two black crows flew out of his mouth and took wing from the room.
Gesta Romanorum-Tale XLV.
10 Even the blackest of them all, the crow, Renders good service as your man-at-arms, Crushing the beetle in his coat of mail, And crying havoc on the slug and snail. LONGFELLOW—Tales of a Wayside Inn. The
Poet's Tale. Birds of Killingworth. St. 19.