Note on Literary Criticism
From Literary Criticism by Joseph Addison

One of the series of essays in which Addison called the attention of his age to the greatness of Paradise Lost. Literary criticism, it must he remembered, was mainly (in spite of noble exceptions, such as Dryden's Prefaces) of the most pedantic sort: works of art were judged by their conformity to 'rules' framed in accordance with a narrow and unintelligent study of the ancient critics. Addison's judgments, though some may now seem obvious and others wrong, were in advance of his time.

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