ign'rance undergo, Ah let not learning too commence its foe! In the Spring of 1688, Alexander Pope was born an only child to Alexander and Edith Pope. Dunciad, this time substituting the famously inept Colley Cibberat that time, the country's poet laureatefor Theobald in the role of chief dunce. But you who seek to give and merit fame, And justly bear a critic's noble name, Be sure your self and your own reach to know, How far your genius, taste, and learning go; Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet, And mark that. The first line of this couplet is often mi"d as "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". A Muse by these is like a mistress us'd, This hour she's idoliz'd, the next abus'd; While their weak heads, like towns unfortified, Twixt sense and nonsense daily change their side. 190 Whose Honours with Increase of Ages grow, As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow!
Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound, And worlds applaud that must not yet be found! 'Twere well, might Criticks still this Freedom take; But Appius reddens at each Word you speak, And stares, Tremendous! An ardent Judge, who Zealous in his Trust, With Warmth gives Sentence, yet is always Just ; Whose own Example strengthens all his Laws, And Is himself that great Sublime he draws.
Born in happier days; Immortal heirs of universal praise! Fear most to tax an Honourable Fool, Whose Right it is, uncensur'd to be dull; Such without Wit are Poets when they please. Essay concludes with a reference to Pope himself. As Men of Breeding, sometimes Men of Wit, T' avoid great Errors, must the less commit, 260 Neglect the Rules each Verbal Critick lays, For not to know some Trifles, is a Praise. Unhappy wit, like most mistaken things, Atones not for that envy which it brings. What Crouds of these, impenitently bold, In Sounds and jingling Syllables grown old, Still run on Poets in a raging Vein, Ev'n to the Dregs and Squeezings of the Brain ; Strain out the last, dull droppings of their Sense, And Rhyme with all the. Each Muse, in Leo's golden days, Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays! Pulpits their Sacred Satire learn'd to spare, 550 And Vice admir'd to find a Flatt'rer there! 'Tis not enough, your counsel still be true; Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods essays college kickstart do; Men must be taught as if you taught them not; And things unknown proposed as things forgot. Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.
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