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CRITICISM
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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 ]

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.
      - Alexander 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.
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
         (pt. II, l. 336)

Ah, ne'er so dire a thirst of glory boast,
  Nor in the Critic let the Man be lost.
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
         (pt. II, l. 522)

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.
      - Alexander Pope, Second Book of Horace
         (ep. I, l. 115)

And you, my Critics! in the chequer'd shade,
  Admire new light thro' holes yourselves have made.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
         (bk. IV, l. 125)

For some in ancient books delight,
  Others prefer what moderns write;
    Now I should be extremely loth
      Not to be thought expert in both.
      - Matthew Prior, Alma

Though bitter, good medicine cures illness. Though it may hurt, loyal criticism will have beneficial effects.
      - Sima Qian

Criticism often takes from the tree
  Caterpillars and blossoms together.
    [Ger., Die Kritik nimmt oft dem Baume
      Raupen und Bluthen mit einander.]
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul),
        Titan (zykel 105)

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
      - Donald Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld's Rules

Men have commonly more pleasure in the criticism which hurts than in that which is innocuous, and are more tolerant of the severity which breaks hearts and ruins fortunes than of that which falls impotently on the grave.
      - John Ruskin

When in the full perfection of decay,
  Turn vinegar, and come again in play.
      - Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset,
        Address to Noel Howard,
        quoted in Dryden's Dedication to translation of Ovid

Criticism is not religion, and by no process can it be substituted for it. It is not the critic's eye, but the child's heart that most truly discerns the countenance that looks out from the pages of the gospel.
      - John Campbell Shairp

In such a time as this it is not meet
  That every nice offence should bear his comment.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Cassius at IV, ii)

Besides, he tells me that if peradventure
  He speak against me on the adverse side,
    I should not think it strange, for 'tis a physic
      That's bitter to sweet end.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Isabella at IV, vi)

O gentle lady, do not put me to't,
  For I am nothing if not critical.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Iago at II, i)

But 'tis no matter: better a little chiding than a great deal of heartbreak.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Mistress Page at V, iii)

Reviewing has one advantage over suicide: in suicide you take it out on yourself; in reviewing you take it out on other people.
      - George Bernard Shaw

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.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragments of Adonais

A poet that fails in writing becomes often a morose critic; the weak and insipid white wine makes at length excellent vinegar.
      - William Shenstone, On Writing and Books

Neither praise nor blame is the object of true criticism. Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to prescribe and honestly to award--these are the true aims and duties of criticism.
      - William Gilmore Simms

Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world--though the cant of hyrocrites may be the worst--the cant of criticism is the most tormenting.
      - Laurence Sterne,
        The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (vol. III, ch. XII)

The malignant deity Criticism dwelt on the top of a snowy mountain in Nova Zembla; Momus found her extended in her den upon the spoils of numberless volumes half devoured. At her right sat Ignorance, her father and husband, blind with age; at her left Pride, her mother, dressing her up in the scraps of paper herself had torn. There was Opinion, her sister, light of foot, hoodwinked and headstrong, yet giddy and perpetually turning. About her played her children, Noise and Impudence, Dullness and Vanity, Positiveness, Pedantry and Ill Manners.
      - Jonathan Swift

For, poems read without a name,
  We justly praise, or justly blame;
    And critics have no partial views,
      Except they know whom they abuse.
        And since you ne'er provoke their spite,
          Depend upon't their judgment's right.
      - Jonathan Swift, On Poetry (l. 129)

For since he would sit on a Prophet's seat,
  As a lord of the Human soul,
    We needs must scan him from head to feet,
      Were it but for a wart or a mole.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Dead Prophet
         (st. XIV)

The purity of the critical ermine, like that of the judicial, is often soiled by contact with politics.
      - Edwin Percy Whipple


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