1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Smith

Vicesimus Knox, in "Observations on some of the inferior English Poets" Universal Magazine 76 (May 1785) 252.



The number of minor poets who displayed great merit, yet who seem to have derived it all from imitation, is too tedious to enumerate. Philips and his friend Smith were correct and classical in a degree superior to their contemporaries. Philips has performed the task of imitation, with an accuracy of resemblance scarcely equalled by any of his followers but [Isaac Hawkins] Browne. The Phaedra and Hippolitus of Smith has ever been esteemed a fine poem; and the beauty of the style and harmony of the verse induce us to regret that he lived to finish so few productions.