The worst of it is, by the time one has finished a piece, it has been so often viewed and reviewed before the mental eye, that one loses in a good measure the powers of critical discrimination. Here the best criterion I know is a friend –n ot only of abilities to judge, but with good-nature enough, like a prudent teacher with a young learner, to praise perhaps a little more than is exactly just, lest the thin-skinned animal fall into that most deplorable of all poetic diseases — heart-breaking despondency of himself.

Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scottish national poet
Letter to Dr. Moore (4 Jan 1789)

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Added on 8-Oct-07 | Last updated 8-Oct-07
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