Choose an author as you would a friend.
Tis I that call, remember Milo's end, Wedged in that timber which he strove to rend.
What you keep by you, you may change and mend but words, once spoken, can never be recalled.
The last loud trumpet's wondrous sound, Shall thro' the rending tombs rebound, And wake the nations under ground.
Sound judgment is the ground of writing well.
Those things which now seem frivolous and slight,
Will be of serious consequence to you,
When they have made you once ridiculous.
Often try what weight you can support,
And what your shoulders are too weak to bear.
Beware what spirit rages in your breast; for one inspired, ten thousand are possessed.
Let us not write at a loose rambling rate, in hope the world will wink at all our faults.
You gain your point if your industrious art can make unusual words easy.
The first great work (a task performed by few)
Is that yourself may to yourself be true.
Words are like leaves; some wither every year, and every year a younger race succeed.
The men, who labour and digest things most, Will be much apter to despond than boast; For if your author be profoundly good, 'Twill cost you dear before he's understood.
Abstruse and mystic thoughts you must express With painful care, but seeming easiness; For truth shines brightest thro' the plainest dress.
The multitude is always wrong.
Praise Him, each savage furious beast
That on His stores do daily feast;
And you tame slaves, of the laborious plough,
Your weary knees to your Creator bow.
Men still had faults, and men will have them still; He that hath none, and lives as angels do, Must be an angel.
Pride (of all others the most dang'rous fault) Proceeds from want of sense, or want of thought.
You must not think that a satiric style allows of scandalous and brutish words; the better sort abhor scurrility.
We weep and laugh, as we see others do.
Words once spoken can never be recalled.
I will not quarrel with a slight mistake, Such as our nature's frailty may excuse.
Immodest words admit of no defence, For want of decency is want of sense.
... truth shines brightest thro' the plainest dress.
The press, the pulpit, and the stage, Conspire to censure and expose our age.
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