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CRITICS
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[ Also see Criticism ]

A true critic ought rather to dwell upon excellences than imperfections, to discern the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.
      - Joseph Addison

I never knew a critic who made it his business to lash the faults of other writers that was not guilty of greater himself--as the hangman is generally a worse malefactor than the criminal that suffers by his hand.
      - Joseph Addison

It is ridiculous for any man to criticize the works of another if he has not distinguished himself by his own performances.
      - Joseph Addison

Of his shallow species there is not a more unfortunate, empty and conceited animal than that which is generally known by the name of a critic.
      - Joseph Addison

The most exquisite words and finest strokes of an author are those which very often appear the most doubtful and exceptionable to a man who wants a relish for polite learning; and they are those which a sour undistinguishing critic generally attacks with the greatest violence.
      - Joseph Addison

He whose first emotion, on the view of an excellent production, is to undervalue it, will never have one of his own to show.
      - Conrad Potter Aiken (used pseudonym Samuel Jeake, Jr.)

How good it would be if we could learn to be rigorous in judgment of ourselves, and gentle in our judgment of our neighbors! In remedying defects, kindness works best with others, sternness with ourselves. It is easy to make allowances for our faults, but dangerous; hard to make allowances for others' faults, but wise. "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off," is a word for our sins; for the sins of others, "Father, forgive them."
      - Maltbie Davenport Babcock

The public is wiser than the wisest critic.
      - George Bancroft

There is scarcely as good critic of books born in our age, and yet every fool thinks himself justified in criticising persons.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Is it in destroying and pulling down that skill is displayed? The shallowest understanding, the rudest hand, is more than equal to that task.
      - Edmund Burke

Critics are a kind of wild flies, that breed
  In wild fig trees, and when they're grown up feed
    Upon the raw fruit of the nobler kind,
      And by their nibbling on the outer rind,
        Open the pores, and make way for the sun
          To ripen it sooner than he would have done.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

Those fierce inquisitors of wit, the critics, spare no flesh that ever writ; but just as tooth-drawers find among the rout their own teeth work in pulling others out.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

Men of great talents, whether poets or historians, seldom escape the attacks of those who, without ever favoring the world with any production of their own, take delight in criticising the works of others.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

A critic was of old a glorious name,
  Whose sanction handed merit up to fame;
    Beauties as well as faults he brought to view
      His judgment great, and great his candor too.
        No servile rules drew sickly taste aside;
          Secure he walked, for nature was his guide.
            But now, O strange reverse! our critics bawl
              In praise of candor with a heart of gall,
                Conscious of guilt, and fearful of the light;
                  They lurk enshrouded in the veil of night;
                    Safe from destruction, seize th' unwary prey,
                      And stab like bravoes, all who come that way.
      - Charles Churchill

Spite of all the criticising elves, those who make us feel must feel themselves.
      - Charles Churchill

It may be observed of good writing, as of good blood, that it is much easier to say what it is composed of than to compose it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Malherbe, on hearing a prose work of great merit much extolled, dryly asked if it would reduce the price of bread. Neither was his appreciation of poetry much higher, when he observed that a good poet was of no more use to the church or the state than a good player at ninepins.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

To be a mere verbal critic is what no man of genius would be if he could; but to be a critic of true taste and feeling is what no man without genius could be if he would.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Critics to plays for the same end resort
  That surgeons wait on trials in a court;
    For innocence condemn'd they've no respect,
      Provided they've a body to dissect.
      - William Congreve

To be a critic, you have to have maybe three percent education, five percent intelligence, two percent style, and ninety percent gall and egomania in equal parts.
      - Judith Crist

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

The floods of nonsense printed in the form of critical opinions seem to me a chief curse of the times, a chief obstacle to true culture.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

We rarely meet with persons that have true judgment; which, to many, renders literature a very tiresome knowledge. Good judges are as rare as good authors.
      - Charles de Marguetel de Saint-Denis de Saint-Evremond

Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them to be men of much greater profundity then they really are.
      - Henry Fielding

A man is a critic when he cannot be an artist, in the same way that a man becomes an informer when he cannot be a soldier.
      - Gustave Flaubert


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