Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quotations on Criticism

For those that run away and fly,
Take place at least o' th' enemy.

a. Butlek—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto III.

L. 609.

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

b. Confucius—Analects. Bk. II.


Grac'd with a sword, and worthier of a fan. e. Cowpeb— Task. Bk. I. L. 771.

That all men would be cowards if they dare, Some men we know have courage to declare.

d. Ckabbb—Tale I. The Dumb Orators.

L. 11.

The coward never on himself relies,
But to an equal for assistance flies.

e. CtLABBK—Tale III. The Gentleman

Farmer. L. 84.

That same man, that rennith awaie,
Maie again fight, an other daie.
/. Erasmus—Apophthegmes. Bk. II.

Dtmowthenes. Trans, by Udall.

Cowards are cruel, but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.
g. Gay—Fables. Pt. I. Fable 1.

He who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day.
But he who is in battle slain,
Can never rise to fight again.
A. Goldsmith—The Art of Poetry on a

New Plan. Vol. II. P. 147.

When desp'rate ills demand a speedy cure,

Distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.

«. Sam'l Johnson—Irene. Act IV.

8c. 1.


That kills himself toavoid misery, fears it,
And, at the best, shows but a bastard valour.
This life's a fort committed to my trust,
Which I must not yield up, till it be forced:
Nor will I. He's not valiant that dares die,
But he that boldly bears calamity.
j. Masbingeb—if aid of Honour. Act IV.


Men lie, who lack courage to tell truth—the cowards! t. Joaquin Miller—/no. Sc. 3.

He that fights and runs away
May tarn and fight another day;
But he that is in battle slain
Will never rise to fight again.

I. 'S.Li—Hittory of the Rebellion. Bristol,


Where's the coward that would not dare To fight for such a land 1 m. Scott—Marmion. Canto IV. St. 30.

When all the blandishments of life are gone, The coward sneaks to death, the brave live on. n. De. Sewell—The Suicide.

A coward, a most devout coward, religious in it. o. Twelfth Night. Act III. Sc. 4.

L. 427.

By this good light, this is a very shallow monster!—I afear'd of him 1—A very weak monster!—The man i' the moonl—A most poor, credulous monster!—Well drawn, monster, in good sooth!

p. Tempest. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 144.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should


Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
g. Julius Csesar. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 33.

Dostthou now fall over to my foes?
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf s skin on those recreant

limbs. r. King John. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 127.

How many cowards, whose hearts are all as


As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars, Who, inward search' d, have livers white as

milk. s. Merchant of Venice. Act III. Sc. 2,

L. 83.

I hold it cowardice

To rest mistrustful where a noble heart Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love. t. Henry VI. Pt. III. Act IV. Sc. 2.

L. C.

I may speak it to my shame, I have a truant been to chivalry. u. Henry IV. Pt. I. Act V. Sc. I.

L. 93.

It was great pity, so it was, That villanous saltpetre should be digg'd Out of the bowels of the harmless earth, Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd So cowardly; and but for these vile guns He would himself have been a soldier. v. Henry IV. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 3.

L. 59.

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety. w. Henry V. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 13.



Milk-liver'd man! That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for


Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning Thine honor from thy suffering. «. King Lear. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 50.

Plague on't; an I thought he had been valiant, and so cunning in fence, Fid have seen him damned ere I'Id have challenged him.

6. Twelfth Night. Act III. Sc. 4.

L. 311.

So bees with smoke and doves with noisome


Are from their hives and houses driven away. They call'd us for our fierceness English dogs; Now, like whelps, we crying run away.

c. Henry VI. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 5.

L. 23.

So cowards fight when they can fly no


As doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons; So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives, Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.

d. Henry VI. Pt. III. Act I. Sc. 4.

L. 39.

That which in mean men we entitle patience Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.

e. Richard II. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 33.

Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward !
Thou little valiant, great in villany 1
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou Fortune's champion, that dost never


But when her humorous ladyship is by To teach thee safety! /. King John. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 116.

What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight 1

g. Henry IV. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 4.

L. 286.

Who knows himself a braggart, Let him fear this, for it will come to pass That every braggart shall be found an ass. k. Alts Well That Ends Well. Act IV.

Sc. 3. L. 369.

Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting ' I dare not' wait upon, ' I would'; Like the poor cat i' the adage?

». Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 7. L. 41.

You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,

Whose valor plucks dead lions by the beard.

j. King John. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 137.

You souls of geese, That bear the shapes of men, how have yon


From slaves that apes would beat!
k. Cariolanus. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 35.

My valor is certainly going!—it is sneaking off!—I feel it oozing out, as it were, at the palms of my hands.

I. Shebidah— The Rivals. Act V. Sc. 3.

Ah, Foole ! faint heart faire lady n'ere could

win. m. Spf.nskb—Britain's Ida. Canto V.

St. I.

The man that lays his hand on woman.
Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
Whom 'twere gross flattery to name a coward.
71. Tobin—The Honeymoon. Act II.

Sc. 1.


Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.

o. Alphonso The Wise.

Creation is great, and cannot be understood. p. Caelyle—Essays. Characteristics.

Silently as a dream the fabric rose; No sound of hammer or of saw was there.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony,

This universal frame began : From harmony, to harmony

Through all the compass of the notes it ran,

The diapason closing full in man.

r. Dryden—A Song fqr St. Cecilia's Day.

L. 11.

Then tower'd the palace, then in awful state
The temple rcar'd its everlasting gate.
No workman steel, no ponderous axes rung.
Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric

s. Bishop—Palestine. L. 197.

Two urns by Jove's high throne have ever


The source of evil, one, and one of good. t. Homeb— The Iliad. Bk. 24. L. 663.

Pope's trang.

Nature they say, doth dote.
And cannot make a man
Save on some worn-out plan,
Repeating us by rote.
u. Lowell—Ode at the Harvard

Commemoration, July «, 1S6S. VI.

Open, ye heavens, your living doors; let in
The great Creator from his work return'd
Magnificent, his six days' work, a world!
v. Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VII.

L. 566




Though to recount almighty works What words of tongue or seraph can suffice, Or heart of man suffice to comprehend ? a. Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VII.

L. 112.

What cause

Moved the Creator in his holy rest
Through all eternity so late to build
In chaos, and, the work begun, how soon
6. Mii/TOM—Paradise Lost. Bk. VII.

L. 90.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.

c. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. I. L. 267.

No man saw the building of the New Jerusalem, the workmen crowded together, the unfinished walls and unpaved streets; no man heard the clink of trowel and pickaze; it descended out of heaven from God.

d. Skeley—Ecce Homo. Ch. XXIV.

Through knowledge we behold the world's


How in his cradle first he fostered was; And judge of Nature's cunning operation, How things she formed of a formeless mass.

e. Spenber—Tears of the Muses. Urania.

L. 499.

One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves.
/. Tknnyson—In Memoriam. Conclusion.

Last Stanza.

The chain that's fixed to the throne of Jove,
On which the fabric of our world depends,
One link dissolved, the whole creation ends.
g. Edmdmd Waller—Of the Danger His
Majesty Escaped. L. 68.


Private credit is wealth; public honor is security; the feather that adorns the royal bird supports its flight; strip him of his plumage, and you fix him to the earth.

A. Junius—Affair of the Falkland Islands. Vol. I. Letter XLII.

Blest paper-credit! last and best supply! That lends corruption lighter wings to fly. i. Pope—Moral Essays. Ep. 3. L. 39.

He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet.

j. Daniel Webstek—Speech on Hamilton, March 10, 1831. Vol. I. P. 200.


Nor all that heralds rake from coffin'd clay, Xor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme, Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime. k. Bybon—Childe Harold. Canto I. St. 3.

But many a crime deemed innocent on earth Is registered in Heaven; and these no doubt Have each their record, with a curse annex'd. I. Cowpeb— The Task. Bk. VI. L. 439.

Crime is not punished as an offense against God, but as prejudicial to society. m. Fbocde—Short Studies on Great Subject!. Reciprocal Duties of State and Subjects.

Every crime destroys more Edens than our own. n. Nath. Hawthobne— Marble Faun.

Vol. I. Ch. XXIII.

'Tis no sin love's fruits to steal;
But the sweet thefts to reveal ;
To be taken, to be seen,
These have crimes accounted been.
o. Ben Jonson—Volpone. Act III. Sc. 6.

A man who has no excuse for crime, is indeed defenceless!

p. Bulwer-lyttox—The Lady of Lyons. Act IV. Sc. 1.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream.
q. Julius Csesar. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 63.

Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
Art thou damn'd, Hubert,
r. King John. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 117.

Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to

men's eyes.
s. Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 257.

If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we streteh

our eye When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd, and

digested, Appear before us ?

t. Henry V. Act H. Sc. 2. L. 54.

0, would the deed were good ! For now the devil, that told me I did well, Says that this deed is chronicled in hell. u. Richard II. Act V. Sc. 5. L. 116.

There shall be done A deed of dreadful note. v. Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 43. 124



The time has been That, when the brains were out, the man would


And there an end; but now they rise again, With twenty mortal murders on their crowns, And push us from our stools.

a. Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 77.

Tremble, thou wretch, That has within thee undivulged crimes, Unwhipp'd of justice.

b. King Lear. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 51.

Unnatural deeds

Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.

c. Macbeth. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 79.


When I read rules of criticism, I immediately inquire after the works of the author who has written them, and by that means discover what it is he likes in a composition.

d. Addison—Guardian. No. 115.

He was in Logic, a great critic,

Profoundly skill'd in Analytic;

He could distinguish, and divide

A hair 'twixt south and south-west side.

e. Butleb—Hudlbrai. Pt. I. Canto I.

L. 65.

A man must serve his time to every trade
Save censure—critics all are ready made.
Take hackney'd jokes from Miller, got by role,
With just enough of learning to misquote;
A mind well skill'd to find or forge a fault;
A turn for punning, call it Attic salt;
To Jeffrey go, be silent and discreet,
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet;
Fear not to lie, 'twill seem a lucky hit;
Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for


Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest,
And stand a critic, hated yet caress'd.
/. Byron—English Bards and Scotch

Reviewers. L. 63.

As soon

Seek roses in December—ice in June,
Hope, constancy in wind, or corn in chaff;
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that's false, before
You trust in critics.
g. Bybon—English Bards and Scotch

Reviewers. L. 75.

A servile race

Who, in mere want of fault, all merit place; Who blind obedience pay to ancient schools, Bigots to Greece, and slaves to musty rules. h. Churchill— The Rnrciad. L. 183.

But spite of all the criticizing elves,

Those who would make us feel—must feel

themselves. i. Churchill— The Rosciad. L. 961.

Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, They damn those authors whom they never

read. j. Churchill—The Candidate. L. 57.

Who shall dispute what the Reviewers say ? Their word's sufficient; and to ask a reason. In such a state as theirs, is downright treason. k. Churchill—Apolagy. L. 94.

Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, etc., if they could: they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed ; therefore they turn critics.

1. Coleridge—Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton. P. 36.

Too nicely Jonson knew the critic's part, Nature in him was almost lost in art. m. Collins—Epistle to Sir Thomas Hanmer on his Edition of Shakspere.

There are some Critics so with Spleen diseased. They scarcely come inclining to be pleased : And sure he must have more than mortal


Who pleases one against his Will,
n. Conqrzve—-The Way of the World.


The press, the pulpit, and the stage. Conspire to censure and expose our age. o. Wentworth Dillon—Essay on

Translated Verse. L. 7.

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct. p. Benj. Disraeli—Speech in the House

of Commons. Jan'y 24, 1860.

You know who critics are ?—the men who have failed in literature and art. q. Benj. Disraeli—Lothair. Cb. XXXV.

The most noble criticism is that in which the critic is not the antagonist so much as the rival of the author.

r. Isaac Disraeli—Curiosities of

Literature. Literary Journals.

Those who do not read criticism will rarely merit to be criticised.

s. Isaac Disraeli—Literary Character of Men of Genius. Ch. VI.

Blame where yon must, be candid where you


And be each critic the Good-natured Man. t. Goldsmith— The Qood-Nalured Man.

Epilogue. CRITICISM.



Reviewers arc forever telling authors they can't understand them. The author might often reply : Is that my fault?

a. J. C. and A. W. Hare—Guesses at


The readers and the hearers like my books,
But 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

6. Sib John Harrington—Against

Writers that Carp at other
Men's Books.

'Tia not the wholesome sharp morality,

Or modest anger of a satiric spirit,

That hurts or wounds the body of a state,

But the sinister application

Of the malicious, ignorant, and base

Interpreter; who will distort and strain

The general scope and purpose of an author

To his particular and private spleen.

c. BraJoNsos—Poetaster. ActV. Sc. 1.

Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.

d. Longfellow—Kavanagh. Ch. XIH.

A wise scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.

e. Lowell—Among My Books.

Shakespeare Once More.

Nature fits all her children with something to

do, He who would write and can't write, can

surely review; Can setup a small booth as critic and sell us


Petty conceit and his pettier jealousies. /. Lowell—A Fable for Critlct.

In truth it may be laid down as an almost universal rule that good poets are bad critics. g. Macaclay—Criticisms on the Principal Italian Writers. Dante.

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.

A. Macaulay—Mr. Robert Montgomery's


To check young Genius' proud career,
The slaves who now his throne invaded,

Made Criticism his prime Vizier,
And from that hour his glories faded,
t. Moore— Genius and Criticism. St. 4.

Ah, ne'er so dire a thirst of glory boast,
Nor in the Critic let the Man be lost.
j. Pope— Essay on Criticism. L. 522.

Pt. H.

And you, my Critics! in the chequer'd shade, Admire new light thro' holes yourselves have

made. k. PopK—Dunciad. Bk. IV. L. 125.

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

/. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II.

L. 235.

Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. m. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II.

L. 336.

But you with pleasure own your errors past, And make each day a critic on the last, n. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. III.

L. 571.

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,
o. Pope—Second Book of Horace. Ep. I.

L. 115.

In every work regard the writer's End,
Since none can compass more than they


And if the means be just, the conduct true,

Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.

p. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II.

L. 255.

Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss. q. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. I. L. 6.

The generous Critic fann'd the Poet's fire, And taught the world with reason to admire. r. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. I.

L. 100.

The line too labours, and the words move slow.

s. Pope—Essay on Criticism. Pt. II.

L. 171. For I am nothing, if not critical.

t. Othello. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 120.

For 'tis a physic That's bitter to sweet end. u. Measure for Measure. Act IV. Sc. 6.

L. 7.

In such a time as this it is not meet That every nice offence should bear his comment. t). Juliut Csfsar. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 7.

Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world—though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst—the cant of criticism is the most tormenting.

Hi. Laurence Sterne—lAfe and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. (Orig. ed.) Vol. III. Ch. XII.

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