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I believe there is now no doubt of the circumstance; it is of a piece with Pope's other modes of describing his own virtues : but, if supposed to be written by Pope, the self-love and assumed virtues are disgusting ; if written by another, the arguments are neither well-founded, nor the conclusions just.
It might have been as well if the former editors had stated the reasons which have been alleged for the opinion they have avower but whoever was the writer, this can make no difference in :' validity of the arguments, or in the justice of the conclusions.
casonable thing writers, by disill-natured thing, ons upon whom · true, it may de, of a short profit at then it may have m (before it be too h they are so very unto something in which ful.
f Mr. P. 1716.
1 Boileau has attacked in his
or the most part authors, and chors, poets; and the censures un them have been confirmed by
his New Rehearsal. y of the poetasters of the is that it is an ill-natured enders to wit and poetry. trates may with full as hed with ill-nature for puttion against a thief or imll hold in the republic of
Dennis, Remarks on Pr. Arthur. I cannot but think it the most reasonable thing in the world, to distinguish good writers, by discouraging the bad. Nor is it an ill-natured thing, in relation even to the very persons upon whom the reflections are made. It is true, it may deprive them, a little the sooner, of a short profit and a transitory reputation; but then it may have a good effect, and oblige them (before it be too late) to decline that for which they are so very unfit, and to have recourse to something in which they may be more successful.
Character of Mr. P. 1716. The Persons whom Boileau has attacked in his writings, have been for the most part authors, and most of those authors, poets; and the censures he hath passed upon them have been confirmed by all Europe.
Gildon, Pref. to his New Rehearsal. It is the common cry of the poetasters of the town, and their fautors, that it is an ill-natured thing to expose the pretenders to wit and poetry. The judges and magistrates may with full as good reason be reproached with ill-nature for putting the laws in execution against a thief or impostor.—The same will hold in the republic of letters, if the critics and judges will let every ignorant pretender to scribbling pass on the world.
Theobald, Lett. to Mist, June 22, 1728. ATTACKS may be levelled, either against failures in genius, or against the pretensions of writing without one.
Concanen, Ded. to the Author of the Dunciad.
A satire upon dulness is a thing that has been used and allowed in all ages.
Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, wicked scribbler.