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Philips is full of the noblest beauties, and hath | disposal of his friends, whose most rigorous cendone justice to the ashes of that second Milton, sures he even courted and solicited, submitting whose writings will last as long as the English to their animadversions and the freedom they language, generosity, and valour. For him Mr. took with them with an unreserved and prudent Smith had contracted a perfect friendship; a resignation. passion he was most susceptible of, and whose laws he looked upon as sacred and inviolable.

Every subject that passed under his pen had all the life, proportion, and embellishments, bestowed on it, which an exquisite skill, a warm imagination, and a cool judgment, possibly could bestow on it. The epic, lyric, elegiac, every sort of poetry he touched upon, (and he touched upon a great variety,) was raised to its proper height, and the differences between each of them observed with a judicious accuracy. We saw the old rules and new beauties placed in admirable order by each other; and there was a predominant fancy and spirit of his own infused, superior to what some draw off from the ancients, or from poesies here and there culled out of the moderns, by a painful industry and servile imitation. His contrivances were adroit and magnificent; his images lively and adequate; his sentiments charming and majestic; his expressions natural and bold; his numbers various and sounding; and that enamelled mixture of classical wit, which without redundance and affectation sparkled through his writings, and were no less pertinent and agreeable.

I have seen sketches and rough draughts of some poems to be designed set out analytically; wherein the fable, structure, and connexion, the images, incidents, moral, episodes, and a great variety of ornaments, were so finely laid out, so well fitted to the rules of art, and squared so exactly to the precedents of the ancients, that I have often looked on these poetical elements with the same concern with which curious men are affected at the sight of the most entertaining remains and ruins of an antique figure or building. Those fragments of the learned, which some men have been so proud of their pains in collecting, are useless rarities, without form and without life, when compared with these embryos, which wanted not spirit enough to preserve them; so that I cannot help thinking that if some of them were to come abroad they would be as highly valued by the poets as the sketches of Julio and Titian are by the painters; though there is nothing in them but a few outlines, as to the design and proportion,

It must be confessed, that Mr. Smith had some defects in his conduct, which those are most apt to remember who could imitate him in nothing His "Phædra" is a consummate tragedy, and else, His freedom with himself drew severer the success of it was as great as the most san- acknowledgments from him than all the malice guine expectations of his friends could promise he ever provoked was capable of advancing, and or foresee. The number of nights, and the com- he did not scruple to give even his misfortunes mon method of filling the house, are not always the hard name of faults; but, if the world had the surest marks of judging what encourage-half his good-nature, all the shady parts would ment a play meets with; but the generosity of be entirely struck out of his character. all the persons of a refined taste about town was remarkable on this occasion: and it must not be forgotten how zealously Mr. Addison espoused his interest, with all the elegant judgment and diffusive good nature for which that accomplished gentleman and author is so justly valued by mankind. But as to "Phædra," she has certainly made a finer figure under Mr. Smith's conduct upon the English stage, than either in Rome or Athens; and if she excels the Greek and Latin "Phædra," I need not say she surpasses the French one, though embellished with whatever regular beauties and moving softness Racine himself could give her.

No man had a juster notion of the difficulty of composing than Mr. Smith; and sometimes he would create greater difficulties than he had reason to apprehend. Writing with ease what (as Mr. Wycherley speaks) may be easily written, moved his indignation. When he was writ-of ing upon a subject, he would seriously consider what Demosthenes, Homer, Virgil, or Horace, if alive, would say upon that occasion, which whetted him to exceed himself as well as others. Nevertheless, he could not or would not finish several subjects he undertook: which may be imputed either to the briskness of his fancy, still hunting after a new matter, or to an occasional indolence, which spleen and lassitude brought upon him, which, of all his foibles, the world was least inclined to forgive. That this was not owing to conceit or vanity, or a fulness of himself, (a frailty which has been imputed to no less men than Shakspeare and Jonson,) is clear from hence; because he left his works to the entire

A man who, under poverty, calamities, and disappointments, could make so many friends, and those so truly valuable, must have just and noble ideas of the passion of friendship, in the success of which consisted the greatest, if not the only happiness of his life. He knew very well what was due to his birth, though fortune threw him short of it in every other circumstance of life. He avoided making any, though perhaps reasonable complaints of her dispensations, under which he had honour enough to be easy, without touching the favours she flung in his way when offered to him at a price of a more durable reputation. He took care to have no dealings with mankind in which he could not be just: and he desired to be at no other expense in his pretensions than that of intrinsic merit, which was the only burden and reproach he ever brought upon his friends. He could say, as Horace did himself, what I never yet saw translated:

Meo sum pauper in ære.

At his coming to town, no man was more sur rounded by all those who really had or pretended to wit, or more courted by the great men who had then a power and opportunity of encouraging arts and sciences, and gave proofs of their fondness for the name of patron in many instances, which will ever be remembered to their glory. Mr. Smith's character grew upon his friends by intimacy, and outwent the strongest preposses sions which had been conceived in his favour. Whatever quarrel a few sour creatures, whose obscurity is their happiness, may possibly have to the age, yet amidst . studied neglect and

total disuse of all those ceremonial attendances, Such is the declamation of Oldisworth, writfashionable equipments, and external recom- ten while his admiration was yet fresh, and his mendation, which are thought necessary intro- kindness warm; and therefore, such as, withductions into the grande monde, this gentleman out any criminal purpose of deceiving, shows a was so happy as still to please; and whilst the strong desire to make the most of all favourable rich, the gay, the noble, and honourable, saw truth. I cannot much commend the performhow much he excelled in wit and learning, they ance. The praise is often indistinct, and the easily forgave him all other differences. Hence sentences are loaded with words of more pomp it was that both his acquaintance and retire-than use. There is little, however, that can be ments were his own free choice. What Mr. contradicted, even when a plainer tale comes to Prior observes upon a very great character was be told. true of him, that most of his faults brought their excuse with them.

Those who blamed him most understood him least, it being the custom of the vulgar to charge an excess upon the most complaisant, and to form a character by the moral of a few, who have sometimes spoiled an hour or two, in good company. Where only fortune is wanting to make a great name, that single exception can never pass upon the best judges and most equitable observers of mankind; and when the time comes for the world to spare their pity, we may justly enlarge our demands upon them for their admiration.

Some few years before his death, he had engaged himself in several considerable undertakings; in all which he had prepared the world to expect mighty things from him. I have seen about ten sheets of his English Pindar, which exceeded any thing of that kind I could ever hope for in our language. He had drawn out a plan of a tragedy of the Lady Jane Grey, and had gone through several scenes of it. But he could not well have bequeathed that work to better hands than where, I hear, it is at present lodged; and the bare mention of two such names may justify the largest expectations, and is sufficient to make the town an agreeable invitation.

His greatest and noblest undertaking was Longinus. He had finished an entire translation of the "Sublime," which he sent to the Reverend Mr. Richard Parker, a friend of his, late of Merton College, an exact critic in the Greek tongue, from whom it came to my hands. The French version of Monsieur Boileau, though truly valuable, was far short of it. He proposed a large addition to this work, of notes and observations of his own, with an entire system of the Art of Poetry, in three books, under the titles of Thought, Diction, and Figure. I saw the last of these perfect, and in a fair copy, in which he showed prodigious judgment and reading; and particularly had reformed the Art of Rhetoric, by reducing that vast and confused heap of terms, with which a long succession of pedants had encumbered the world, to a very narrow compass, comprehending all that was useful and ornamental in poetry. Under each head and chapter he intended to make remarks upon all the ancients and moderns, the Greek, Latin, English, French, Spanish, and Italian poets, and to note their several beauties

and defects.

EDMUND NEALE, known by the name of Smith, was born at Handley, the seat of the Lechmeres, in Worcestershire. The year of his birth is uncertain.*

He was educated at Westminster. It is known to have been the practice of Dr. Busby to detain those youth long at school of whom he had formed the highest expectations. Smith took his master's degree on the 8th of July, 1696; he therefore was probably admitted into the University in 1689, when we may suppose him twenty years old.

His reputation for literature in his college was such as has been told; but the indecency and licentiousness of his behaviour drew upon him, Dec. 24, 1694, while he was yet only bachelor, a public admonition, entered upon record, in order to his expulsion. Of this reproof the effect is not known. He was probably less notorious. At Oxford, as we all know, much will be forgiven to literary merit; and of that he had exhibited sufficient evidence by his excellent ode on the death of the great orientalist, Dr. Pocock, who died in 1691, and whose praise must have been written by Smith when he had been but two years in the University.

This ode, which closed the second volume of the "Musa Anglicanæ," though perhaps some objections may be made to its Latinity, is by far the best lyric composition in that collection; nor do I know where to find it equalled among the modern writers. It expresses, with great felicity, images not classical in classical diction; its digressions and returns have been deservedly recommended by Trapp as models for imita


He had several imitations from Cowley :

Testitur hinc tot sermo coloribus

Quot tu, Pococki, dissimilis tui
Orator effers, quot vicissim
Te memores celebrare gaudent.

I will not commend the figure which makes the orator pronounce the colours, or give to colours memory and delight. I quote it, however,

as an imitation of these lines:

So many languages he had in store,

That only Fame shall speak of him in more.
the fire of his youth, is compared to Ætna flam-
The simile, by which an old man, retaining
ing through the snow, which Smith has used with
great pomp, is stolen from Cowley, however
little worth the labour of conveyance.

arts, July 8, 1696.
He proceeded to take his degree of master of
Of the exercises which he
performed on that occasion, I have not heard any

What remains of his works is left, as I am informed, in the hands of men of worth and judgment, who loved him. It cannot be sup-thing memorable. posed they would suppress any thing that was his, but out of respect to his memory, and for want of proper hands to finish what so great a genius had begun.

By his epitaph he appears to have been forty-two years old when he died. He was consequently born in the year 1668.-R.

As his years advanced, he advanced in reputation: for he continued to cultivate his mind, though he did not amend his irregularities: by which he gave so much offence, that, April 24, 1700, the Dean and Chapter declared "the place of Mr. Smith void, he having been convicted of riotous behaviour in the house of Mr. Cole, an apothecary; but it was referred to the Dean when and upon what occasion the sentence should be put into execution."

Thus tenderly was he treated: the governors of his college could hardly keep him, and yet wished that he would not force them to drive him away.

Some time afterwards he assumed an appearance of decency: in his own phrase, he whitened himself, having a desire to obtain the censorship, an office of honour and some profit in the college; but, when the election came, the preference was given to Mr. Foulkes his junior; the same, I suppose, that joined with Freind in an edition of part of Demosthenes. The censor is a tutor; and it was not thought proper to trust the superintendence of others to a man who took so little care of himself.

From this time Smith employed his malice and his wit against the dean, Dr. Aldrich, whom he considered as the opponent of his claim. Of his lampoon upon him, I once heard a single line too gross to be repeated.

But he was still a genius and a scholar, and Oxford was unwilling to lose him; he was endured, with all his pranks and his vices, two years longer; but, on Dec. 20, 1705, at the instance of all the canons, the sentence declared five years before was put in execution.

The execution was, I believe, silent and tender; for one of his friends, from whom I learned much of his life, appeared not to know it.

He was now driven to London, where he associated himself with the whigs, whether because they were in power, or because the tories had expelled him, or because he was a whig by principle, may perhaps be doubted. He was, however, caressed by men of great abilities, whatever were their party, and was supported by the liberality of those who delighted in his


There was once a design, hinted at by Oldisworth, to have made him useful. One evening, as he was sitting with a friend at a tavern, he was called down by the waiter; and, having stayed some time below, came up thoughtful, After a pause, said he to his friend, "He that wanted me below was Addison, whose business was to tell me that a history of the Revolution was intended, and to propose that I should undertake it. I said, 'What shall I do with the character of Lord Sunderland?' and Addison immediately returned, When, Rag, were you drunk last?' and went away." Captain Rag was a name which he got at Oxford by his negligence of dress.

This story I heard from the late Mr. Clark, of Lincoln's Inn, to whom it was told by the friend of Smith.

! Such scruples might debar him from some profitable employments; but as they could not deprive him of any real esteem, they left him many friends; and no man was ever better introduced to the theatre than he, who, in that

violent conflict of parties, had a prologue and epilogue from the first wits on either side.

But learning and nature will now and then take different courses. His play pleased the critics, and the critics only. It was, as Addison has recorded, hardly heard the third night. Smith had indeed trusted entirely to his merit, had ensured no band of applauders, nor used any artifice to force success, and found that native excellence was not sufficient for its own support.

The play, however, was bought by Lintot, who advanced the price from fifty guineas, the current rate, to sixty; and Halifax, the general patron, accepted the dedication. Smith's indolence kept him from writing the dedication, till Lintot, after fruitless importunity, gave notice that he would publish the play without it. Now, therefore, it was written; and Halifax expected the Author with his book, and had prepared to reward him with a place of three hundred pounds a-year. Smith, by pride, or caprice, or indolence, or bashfulness, neglected to attend him, though doubtless warned and pressed by his friends, and at last missed his reward by not going to solicit it.

Addison has, in the "Spectator," mentioned the neglect of Smith's tragedy as disgraceful to the nation, and imputes it to the fondness for operas then prevailing. The authority of Addison is great; yet the voice of the people, when to please the people is the purpose, deserves regard. In this question, I cannot but think the people in the right. The fable is mythological, a story which we are accustomed to reject as false; and the manners are so distant from our own, that we know them not from sympathy, but by study; the ignorant do not understand the action; the learned reject it as a schoolboy's tale; incredulus odi. What I cannot for a moment believe, I cannot for a moment behold with interest or anxiety. The sentiments thus remote from life are removed yet farther by the diction, which is too luxuriant and splendid for dialogue, and envelopes the thoughts rather than displays them. It is a scholar's play, such as may please the reader rather than the spectator; the work of a vigorous and elegant mind, accustomed to please itself with its own conceptions, but of little acquaintance with the course of life.

Dennis tells us, in one of his pieces, that he had once a design to have written the tragedy of "Phædra;" but was convinced that the action was too mythological.

In 1709, a year after the exhibition of "Phadra," died John Philips, the friend and fellowcollegian of Smit who, on that occasion, wrote a poem, which justice must place among the best elegies which our language can show, an elegant mixture of fondness and admiration, of dignity and softness. There are some passages too ludicrous; but every human performance

has its faults.

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He had great readiness and exactness of criticism, and by a cursory glance over a new composition would exactly tell all its faults and beauties.

He resolved to try again the fortune of the stage with the story of Lady Jane Grey. It is not unlikely that his experience of the inefficacy and incredibility of a mythological tale might determine him to choose an action from the English history, at no great distance from our own times, which was to end in a real event, produced by the operation of known characters.

He was remarkable for the power of reading with great rapidity, and of retaining, with great fidelity, what he so easily collected.

He therefore always knew what the present A subject will not easily occur that can give question required; and, when his friends exmore opportunities of informing the understand-pressed their wonder at his acquisitions, made ing, for which Smith was unquestionably quali in a state of apparent negligence and drunkenfied, or for moving the passions, in which I susness, he never discovered his hours of reading or pect him to have had less power. method of study, but involved himself in affected silence, and fed his own vanity with their admiration.

Having formed his plan and collected materials, he declared that a few months would complete his design; and, that he might pursue his work with less frequent avocations, he was, in June, 1710, invited by Mr. George Ducket to his house at Gartham, in Wiltshire. Here he found such opportunities of indulgence as did not much forward his studies, and particularly some strong ale, too delicious to be resisted. He ate and drank till he found himself plethoric; and then, resolving to`ease himself by evacuation, he wrote to an apothecary in the neighbourhood a prescription of a purge so forcible, that the apothecary thought it his duty to delay it till he had given notice of its danger. Smith, not pleased with the contradiction of a shopman, and boastful of his own knowledge, treated the notice with rude contempt, and swallowed his own medicine, which, in July, 1710, brought him to the grave. He was buried at Gartham.

One practice he had, which was easily ob served: if any thought or image was presented to his mind that he could use or improve, he did not suffer it to be lost: but, amidst the jollity of a tavern, or in the warmth of conversation, very diligently committed it to paper.

Thus it was that he had gathered two quires of hints for his new tragedy; of which Rowe, when they were put into his hands, could make, as he says, very little use, but which the collector considered as a valuable stock of materials.

When he came to London, his way of life connected him with the licentious and dissolute; and he affected the airs and gayety of a man of pleasure: but his dress was always deficient; scholastic cloudiness still hung about him; and his merriment was sure to produce the scorn of his companions.

With all his carelessness and all his vices, he was one of the murmurers at fortune; and wondered why he was suffered to be poor, when Addison was caressed and preferred; nor would a very little have contented him; for he estimated his wants at six hundred pounds a-year.

In his course of reading, it was particular that he had diligently perused, and accurately remembered, the old romances of knight-errantry.

This story was published triumphantly by Oldmixon, and may be supposed to have been eagerly received; but its progress was soon checked: for, finding its way into the Journal of Trevoux, it fell under the eye of Atterbury, then an exile in France, who immediately denied the charge, with this remarkable particular, that he never in his whole life had once spoken to Smith;* his company being, as must be inferred, not accepted by those who attended to their characters. The charge was afterwards very diligently re-age of Halifax and the praise of Oldisworth. futed by Dr. Burton of Eton, a man eminent for literature; and, though not of the same party with Aldrich and Atterbury, too studious of truth to leave them burdened with a false charge. The testimonies which he has collected have convinced mankind that either Smith or Ducket was guilty of wilful and malicious falsehood.

He had a high opinion of his own merit, and was something contemptuous in his treatment of those whom he considered as not qualified to oppose or contradict him. He had many frailties; yet it cannot but be supposed that he had great merit, who could obtain to the same play a prologue from Addison and an epilogue from Prior; and who could have at once the patron

For the power of communicating these minute memorials, I am indebted to my conversation with Gilbert Walmsley, late registrar of the ecclesiastical court of Lichfield, who was acquainted both with Smith and Ducket; and declared, that, if the tale concerning Clarendon were forged, he should suspect Ducket of the falsehood; for Rag was a man of great veracity.

Many years afterwards, Ducket communicated to Oldmixon, the historian, an account, pretended to have been received from Smith, that Clarendon's History was, in its publication, corrupted by Aldrich, Smalridge, and Atterbury; and that Smith was employed to forge and insert the alterations.

This controversy brought into view those parts of Smith's life, which, with more honour to his name, might have been concealed.

Of Smith I can yet say a little more. He was a man of such estimation among his companions, that the casual censures or praises which he dropped in conversation were considered, like those of Scaliger, as worthy of preservation.

See Bishop Atterbury's "Epistolary Correspondence," 1799, vol. III. p. 126. 133. In the same work, vol. I. p. 325, it appears that Smith was at one time suspected to have been author of the "Tale of a Tub."--N.

Of Gilbert Walmsley, thus presented to my mind, let me indulge myself in the remembrance. I knew him very early; he was one of the first friends that literature procured me, and I hope that at least my gratitude made me worthy of his notice.

He was of an advanced age, and I was only not a boy; yet he never received my notions with contempt. He was a whig, with all the virulence and malevolence of his party; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. I honoured him, and he endured me.

He had mingled with the gay world, without

exemption from its vices or its follies, but had never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his belief of Revelation was unshaken; his learning preserved his principles; he grew first regular, and then pious.

His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find. Such was his amplitude of learning, and such his copiousness of communication, that it may be doubted, whether a day now passes in which I have not some advantage from his friendship.

At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found; with one who has lengthened and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. James, whose skill in physic will be long remembered, and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend: but what are the hopes of man! I am disappointed by that stroke of death which has eclipsed the gayety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.

In the library at Oxford is the following ludicrous Analysis of Pocockius:


(Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.) OPUSCULUM hoc, Halberdarie amplissime, in lucem proferre hactenus distuli, judicii tui acumen subveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem

aliquando oden hanc ad te mitto sublimem, te-
neram, flebilem, suavem, qualem demum divinus
(si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus: adeo
scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dormire,
adeo flebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam
ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem et materiam
breviter referam. 1mus. versus de duobus præ-
liis decantatis. 2dus. et 3us. de Lotharingio, cu-
niculis subterraneis, saxis, ponto, hostibus, et
Asia. 4tus. et 5tus. de catenis, subdibus, uncis,
draconibus, tigribus, et crocodilis. 6us. 7us. 8us.
9us. de Gomorrhâ, de Babylone, Babele, et quo-
dam domi suæ peregrino. 10us. aliquid de quo-
dam Pocockio. 11us. 12us. de Syria, Solymâ.
13us. 14us. de Hoseâ, et quercu, et de juvene
quodam valde sene. 15us. 16us. de Etnâ, et.
quomodo Etna Pocockio fit valde similis. 17us.
18us. de tubâ, astro, umbrâ, flammis, rotis, Po-
cockio non neglecto. Cætera de Christianis,
Ottomanis, Babyloniis, Arabibus, et gravissimá
agrorum melancholiâ; de Cæsare Flacco,* Nes-
tore, et miserando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi
fato, anno ætatis suæ centesimo præmature ab-
repti. Quæ omnia cum accuratè expenderis,
necesse est ut oden hanc meam admiranda planè
varietate constare fatearis. Subitò ad Batavos
proficiscor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius verò
Pembrochienses voco ad certamen Poeticum.


Illustrissima tua deosculor crura.
Pro Flacco, animo paulo attentiore, scripsissem


rials. He was bred at Westininster* and Cambridge; and Jacob relates, that he was some time tutor to the Duke of Richmond.

OF Mr. RICHARD DUKE I can find few memo-he rather talked than lived viciously, in an age when he that would be thought a wit was afraid to say his prayers; and, whatever might have been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgment.

He was admitted there in 1670; was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1675; and took his master's degree in 1682.-N.

He appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for poetical compositions; and, being conscious of his powers, when he left the University, he enlisted himself among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Övid and Juvenal. In his "Review," though unfinished, are some vigorous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity; nor have I found much in them to be praised.f

With the wit he seems to have shared the dissoluteness of the times; for some of his compositions are such as he must have reviewed with detestation in his later days, when he published those sermons which Felton has commended. Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, Journal.

In 1683, being then master of arts and fellow of Trinity College, in Cambridge, he wrote a poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with George, Prince of Denmark.

He then took orders; and, being made prebendary of Gloucester, became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to Queen Anne.

In 1710, he was presented by the Bishop of Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney, in Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mentioned in Swift's

Poetry; but were first published in Dryden's Miscellany, as were most, if not all, of the poems in that collection.-H.

They make a part of a volume published by Tonson in Svo. 1717, containing the poems of the Earl of Ros-cestershire, in 1687-8; and obtained a prebend at GlouHe was presented to the rectory of Blaby, in Leicommon, and the Duke of Buckingham's Essay on cester, in 1688.-N.

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