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[ Also see Accusation Authorship Books Calumny Censure Contempt Critics Detraction Journalism Literature Opinion Plagiarism Poetry Praise Publishing Quotations Reading Reproof Ridicule Sarcasm Satire Style ]

Criticism is easy, and art is difficult.
  [Fr., La critique est aisee, et l'art est difficile.]
      - Phillipe N. Destouches, Glorieux (II, 5)

The press, the pulpit, and the stage,
  Conspire to censure and expose our age.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon,
        Essay on Translated Verse (l. 7)

He wreathed the rod of criticism with roses.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

It is much easier to be critical that to be correct.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        in a speech in the House of Commons

You know who critics are?--the men who have failed in literature and art.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        Lothair (ch. XXXV)

The most noble criticism is that in which the critic is not the antagonist so much as the rival of the author.
      - Isaac D'Israeli,
        Curiosities of Literature--Literary Journals

Those who do not read criticism will rarely merit to be criticised.
      - Isaac D'Israeli,
        Literary Character of Men of Genius
         (ch. VI)

Ill writers are usually the sharpest censors.
      - John Dryden,
        Dedication of translations from Ovid

They who write ill, and they who ne'er durst write,
  Turn critics out of mere revenge and spite.
      - John Dryden,
        Prologue to Conquest of Granada

All who (like him) have writ ill plays before,
  For they, like thieves, condemned, are hangman made,
    To execute the members of their trade.
      - John Dryden, Prologue to Rival Queens

Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and rootpuller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I'm an owl: you're another. Sir Critic, good day." And the barber kept on shaving.
      - James Thomas Fields, The Owl-Critic

Censure and criticism never hurt anybody. If false, they can't hurt you unless you are wanting in manly character; and if true, they show a man his weak points; and forewarn him against failure and trouble.
      - Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone

Criticism is our weak point.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
  And be each critic the Good-natured Man.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Good-Natured Man

Make it your habit not to be critical about small things.
      - Edward Everett Hale

Reviewers are forever telling authors they can't understand them. The author might often reply: Is that my fault?
      - A.W. Hare and J.C. Hare, Guesses at Truth

The readers and the hearers like my books,
  And yet some writers cannot them digest;
    But what care I? for when I make a feast,
      I would my guests should praise it, not the cooks.
      - Sir John Harington (Harrington),
        Against Writers that Carp at other Men's Books

When Poets' plots in plays are damn'd for spite,
  They critics turn and damn the rest that write.
      - John Haynes, Prologue,
        in Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems edited by Elijah Fenton

All truth is valuable, and satirical criticism may be considered as useful when it rectifies error and improves judgment; he that refines the public taste is a public benefactor.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Criticism, as it was first introduced by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Sir, there is no end of negative criticism.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The duty of criticism is neither to depreciate nor dignify by partial representations, but to hold out the light of reason, whatever it may discover; and to promulgate the determinations of truth, whatever she shall dictate.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Why now, these fellows are only advertising my book; it is surely better a man should be abused than forgotten.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

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