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stand the action, the learned reject it as a fchool-boy'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 further by the diction, which is too luxuriant and splendid for dialogue, and envelopes the thoughts rather than displays them. It is a fcholar's play, fuch as may pleafe 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, 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 Phædra, died John Philips, the friend and fellow-collegian of Smith, who, on that occasion, wrote a poem, whici juftice must place among the best elegies which our language can fhew, an elegant mixture of fondness and admiration, of dignity and softness. There are some passages too ludicrous; but every human performance has its faults.

This elegy it was the mode among his friends to purchase for a guinea ; and, as his acquaintance was numerous, it was a very profitable poem.

Of his Pindar, mentioned by Oldisworth, I have never otherwise heard. His


Longinus he intended to accompany with some illustrations, and had selected his instances of the false Sublime from the works of Blackmore.d

} : { bHe 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, night determine him to choose an action from 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.

A subject will not easily occur that can give more opportunities of informing the understanding, for which Smith was unquestionably qualified, or- for

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moving the passions, in which I suspect him to have had less power.

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 fewer avocations, he was, in June 1710, invited by Mr. George Ducket to lis house at Garthain in Wiltshire. Here he found such opportunities of indulgenee as did not much forward his Itudies, and particularly fome strong ale, too delicious to be refifted. He eat and drank till he found himself plethorick: and then, resolving to' ease himself-by evacuation, he wrote to an apothecary in the neighbourhood a prescription of a purge to forcible, that the apothecary


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thought it his duty to delay it till the had given notice of its danger. Smith, not pleased with the contradition 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. 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 story was published triumphantly: by:Oldmixon, and may be supposed

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