An Essay on Criticism "Some Praise At Morning What They Blame At Night"
by Alexander Pope

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"Some Praise At Morning What They Blame At Night"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

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Context: In this portion of An Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope satirizes the would-be literary critics who vacillate in their judgments or who take on the judgments of the people about them. Pope says that those who judge a work by its author's name are bad enough, but worse are those who simply echo an opinion, however ill-grounded, heard from the lips of a nobleman. Of these, Pope exclaims, "The vulgar thus thro' imitation err,/ As oft the learn'd by being singular." But the worst of all would-be critics, according to Pope's view, are those who, while wide readers, simply change their minds about what is worthwhile for no adequate reason:

Some praise at morning what they blame at night,But always think the last opinion right.A Muse by these is like a mistress used,This hour she's idolized, the next abused;While their weak heads, like towns unfortified,'Twixt sense and nonsense daily change their side.Ask them the cause; they're wiser still they say;And still tomorrow's wiser than to-day.