1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Sheppard

George Ellis, in Specimens of Early English Poets (1801; 1845) 3:299.



S. Sheppard was a son of Dr. Harman Sheppard, a physician, and is said by Oldys to have been imprisoned for writing the Mercurius Elencticus. His Six books of Epigrams, Latin and English, The Socratick Session (a dramatic satire on Julius Scaliger), and A Mausolean Monument over his deceased parents, with three Pastorals, were published in a 12mo. volume, 1651.

The same name occurs in the title of The Committee Man curried, 1647, 4to, a sort of political drama in two parts, more remarkable, we are told, for its plagiarism than its poetry. In 1652 appeared Discoveries. Or an Exploration and Explication of some Aenigmatical Verities, 12mo, by S. Sheppard, in prose, a strange medley; which, the preface informs us, was undertaken in consequence of his friends having been pleased to tax his studies (referring to somewhat he lately divulged) as incompatible with his profession. In all probability, therefore, he was a clergyman, as well as responsible for the above-mentioned productions. What follows, "He that thinks worse of those rhimes, than myself, I scorn him, for he cannot: he that thinks better is a fool," must be supposed to apply to the drama, not the epigrams, otherwise he very ungratefully leaves his numerous friends in the lurch, whose warm encomiums introduce the volume. Vide Langbaine and the Biographia Dramatica.