1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Smith

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 243-45.



This Gentleman was Son of an eminent Merchant. His Education was at Westminster-School under the famous Dr. Busby, from whence he remov'd to Christ-Church, Oxford: He there gain'd the Reputation of a Universal Scholar, and was intimate with all who were accounted Such; but out of a natural, not affected Negligence, he made little Use of it after his setting out into the World. He writ one Play.

PHAEDRA and HIPPOLYTUS; a Tragedy, acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane. Dedicated to the Earl of Halifax; and to which no less Names than Mr. Addison and Mr. Prior were join'd, one for the Prologue, the other for the Epilogue. Several Draughts of Plays were found after his Death, but proved all unfinished Sketches. His Character is finely drawn in an Epitaph by Mr. Adams, late of Christ-Church; and the Author of the Tatler deplores the wasnt of Taste in the Audience, for not encouraging his excellent Tragedy. He died at Hartham in Wiltshire, the Seat of George Duckett, Esq; and was buried in the Parish Church there, Anno 1710. His Inscription before refer'd to runs thus:

M. S.
EDMUNDI SMITH. A. M.
Qui in Schola Westmon. educatus,
Ingenii, & Literaturae Splendare,
Leida Morum Comitate
Aedem Christi Oxon. cohonestavit
Poeta, Orator, Philosophus;
Cui Graecae, & Romanae Laudis aemulo
Disciplinas suas Euclides, & Stagyrita,
Tubam Maro, Flaccus Lyram,
Euripides Cothurnum, Facundiam Cicero,
Certatim Detulere;
Ut quod paucis unquam contigit,
Id Egregio Juveni palmarium foret,
Tragodicam in Hippolito suo, restitere,
Auriaci gloriam Scriptis augere,
Bodleio, Pococokio, Phillipsio, Famam addere.
Dum autem Judicio pollens limato,
De Sublimi Dicendi genere
Longinus alter opus parat arduum,
Heu! fato immaturo extinctus est;
Viris Doctis, & Ingeniosis semper carus,
Eo nunc carior, quia abreptus.
Obiit A. D. MDCCX. Aetat. 42.