Understanding that the definition, or rather description, I gave of poetry in the previous lecture has left no definite idea in the minds of my auditors; and given that the whole of the Fabric I should raise in a manner rested of upon97 laying the foundation firmly and distinctly, I consider it necessary to add something to what I said before. It is easy to define Gold so as to distinguish it from any of the Earths, or to show the difference between a circle and a square; but with poetry it is as if I were verbally to give to an American a distinction between the English Sycamore and the American Maple—the points of similarity are so numerous that it would require much explanation and attention to show the points of distinction. The intelligibility of almost everything I have to say on the subject of poetry will depend upon me being perspicacious in my definition, because, as I have said before, it often happens that differences between men of good sense arise solely from having attached different ideas to the same words. I have been supposed by some persons to have spoken disrespectfully of that great and admirable writer, Pope—I have not perhaps determined whether or not he deserves the name of ...
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