An Essay on Criticism

An Essay on Criticism

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An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope

Published:

1711

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An Essay on Criticism

By

3
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes, Hills peep o'er hills and Alps on Alps arise!

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, Nor lose for that malignant dull delight The generous pleasure to be charmed with wit But in such lays as neither ebb nor flow, Correctly cold and regularly low That, shunning faults, one quiet tenor keep; We cannot blame indeed--but we may sleep. In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts Is not the exactness of peculiar parts, 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all. Thus, when we view some well proportioned dome (The worlds just wonder, and even thine, O Rome!), [248] No single parts unequally surprise, All comes united to the admiring eyes; No monstrous height or breadth, or length, appear; The whole at once is bold, and regular.

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