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while the Body was consuming: herein they prais'd the Deceas'd, and stirr'd up the People who stood by to Weeping and Mourning.
EPITAPH is a sort of epigrammatic Poem Epitaph. or Speech, which at first used to be pronounced at the Tomb of the interr'd Body ; but since it is taken only for the Inscription on the Tomb, relating the Name, Sex, Age, State, Merits, Honours, Praises both of Person and Mind, the Kind of Death ; and calling upon Passengers and Spe&tators to a serious Refletion on Mortality, and the lubricous State of Life they are now in, and themselves taken froin.
CENTO was a kind of Poem made up of se- Cento. veral Sentences and Pieces taken from the Works of others ; thus Ausonius made an Epicedium or Nuptial Song out of Virgil's Writings, and the History of our Saviour has been compos’d of Sentences taken from Homer's Poems.
ECHO is a jocose and merry Epigram, where- Echo. in the Verses return the Sound of the last Syllables of many Words in a different Sense.
Of CRITICIS M.
BORITICISM, or, as it is other. Of Critscism,
wise call'd, Critics, is a Word of
agreeable to which, these Words
thereof. Astions of Men, distinguishing what is good, just, beautiful and Praise-worthy in them; and pointing out the Faults, Errors, Defects, and whatever is inconsistent with the Rules of true and polite Learning, and good Sense ; censuring each Particular with its proper Character and Epithet, and duly expresing the Nature thereof.
A Critic, then, is one well skill'd in judging, A Critic,wha censuring and characterizing, the Actions, Words and Writings of Men; and capable of discovering their more secret Beauties and Defeats, which he knows are really such according to the Nature of Things, which he makes his grand Criterion, or Rule of Judgment. And such a Person, when he exerciseth his Art, is said to criticize upon a Man, his Words, or Writings, &c.
If this Definition of a Critic and his Art Great Abilibe well considered, it will appear that no small ties requifite to
a Critic. Stock of Abilities is requisite to entitle a Man to a just Claim to this excellent Character ; notwithstanding so many make Pretensions thereto.
Both Art and Nature must conspire to make a good Critic, as well as a good Poet: As Mr. Pope has excellently well observ'd in the following Lines.
They both alike from Heav'n derive their
[Light, These Born to judge, as well as thofe to write.
A Punfter no
Hence we observe, that 'tis an equal Absurdity to pretend to be thought a Critic for the fake of a few low and quibbling Censures, Puns, and Witticisms, upon an Author, as to be efteem'd a Poet for scribbling a few dull Lines on any notable Subject. For,
In Poets as true Genius is but rare,
The same great Person begins his Esay on more rare than
Criticism with an Observation of a like Nature; good Authors.
'Tis hard to say if greater want of Skill
Ten censure wrong, for one who writes amiss. Good Authors AGAIN, 'tis reasonable to imagine that those the best Critics only are fit to be Judges of Authors, and their
Writings, who themselves are capable of composing, and writing well, and in a good Taste ; and therefore the Poet's Admonition is very feafonable:
het such teach others who themselves excel, And censure freely who have written well.
That of a Critic is no partial, but an univer. The true Cri
tic's Character sal Chara&ter ; for considering Criticism as an Art, though Men may be exceeding good Judges in Jal one.
is an univers some particular Matters relating to their Business and Profession, they will never merit the Title of Critics, unless they are profoundly skilld in the Knowledge of all Things requisite to qualify them to judge and determine of all Things, so far as to distinguish their Beauties and Perfections, and their Faults and Imperfections, which is the proper Province of the Art of Criticism: Tho' it must be allow'd that Men may criticize best on such Subjects as are most familiar to their Studies, and most practised by them. 'Tis impossible we should be equally capable of Judging concerning all Things indifferently ; and can only pretend to a perfect Mastery in one Art or Faculty at most, and sometimes we may come short of chat: Since
One Science only will one Genius fit,
In order then to define and establish the Cha- The several racter of an universal Critic, 'tis necessary to con- Sourcesthereof, sider the constituent Parts, and the Sources whence they are derived ; these are two, viz. Nature and Art. Nature lays the Foundation, and Art raises thereon and embellishes the SuperItructure.
Unerring Nature still divinely bright,