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Smythe
Smythe
195

wit, of infinite culture, and of fascinating manners’ (Lothair, pref. 1870; but cf. Gregory, Autobiogr. pp. 87–90, 94–5, 123). Lord Lyttelton said of him with much truth ‘he was a splendid failure.’

[Lady Strangford's Brief Memoir prefixed to Angela Pisani, 1875; Disraeli's Coningsby, 1844, and Life of Lord George Bentinck, 1851, both passim; Ann. Reg. for 1857, p. 347; Times, 26 Nov. 1857; Monody on George, Lord Strangford, in the present writer's Dreamland, 1862, pp. 238–41; A Young England Novel by T. H. Escott; Fraser's Mag. 1847; Edward de Fonblanque's Lives of the Viscounts Strangford through Ten Generations, 1877.]

C. K.

SMYTHE, JAMES MOORE (1702–1734), author of the ‘Rival Modes,’ third son of Arthur Moore [q. v.], the politician, by his wife Theophila (daughter of William Smythe of the Inner Temple, by Elizabeth, daughter of George Berkeley, first earl of Berkeley), was born at his father's seat of Fetcham in Surrey in 1702. He matriculated from Worcester College, Oxford, on 10 Oct. 1717, graduating B.A. from All Souls' in 1722. ‘Jemmy,’ as he was called, alienated his father by his foppishness and extravagance, but he was a favourite with his grandfather, William Smythe, who in 1718 obtained for him the reversion of his post of receiver and paymaster to the band of gentlemen-pensioners (Weekly Journal, 14 June 1718), and left him the bulk of his property on his death in 1720, on condition that he assumed the additional surname of Smythe. It was not, however, until 1728 that the legatee succeeded in getting the act of parliament which was then necessary to authorise the change of style. Meanwhile, amid the dissipations of the fashionable society in which he had become immersed, he ran through his money, and it was in the hope of satisfying his more pressing creditors that he announced his comedy of the ‘Rival Modes,’ concerning which his reputation as a wit raised high expectations. It was produced at Drury Lane on 27 Jan. 1726–7, with Wilks, Cibber, and Mrs. Oldfield in the leading rôles. Young wrote to Tickell that it met with a worse reception than it deserved. It was, however, played six times, and the author received 300l. by the benefit, as well as 100l. from Lintot for the right of publication (it passed through three editions during 1727). A dull comedy, it is remarkable solely for the disproportionate amount of resentment that it excited in Pope, and the tortuous manœuvres to which it provoked him. The best thing in the ‘Rival Modes’ (which is in prose) was eight lines of verse introduced, in italics in the printed copies, into the second act. Moore Smythe had seen them in manuscript, and asked permission of their author, Pope, to use them for his comedy. Pope consented, but retracted permission at the last moment. Smythe, disgusted and reckless, neither suppressed the lines nor disclaimed them. The lines were subsequently introduced by Pope into his ‘Second Moral Essay,’ while in his ‘Bathos’ some withering remarks are made upon ‘J. M.’ As, however, Smythe did not rise to the bait, Pope had himself to procure an anonymous indignant defence of Smythe in the ‘Daily Journal’ in order to provide a text for an elaborate note to the ‘Dunciad;’ the note explaining the genuine authorship of the lines was appended to a ludicrous description of Smythe as a nameless phantom. In his ‘Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot,’ among other insults, Pope subsequently accused Smythe's mother of unchastity (cf. Memoirs of Grub Street, i. 93, 107). These insults met with no response until 1730, when, as a sort of parody on Young's ‘Two Epistles to Mr. Pope,’ Smythe, as he was now called, issued, in anonymous conjunction with Welsted, a satirical ‘One Epistle to Mr. A. Pope,’ London, 8vo. Smythe died unmarried, and in reduced circumstances, at Whitton, near Isleworth, Middlesex, on 18 Oct. 1734. Shortly before his death Pope caused to be inserted in the ‘Grub Street Journal’ an advertisement respecting his supposed disappearance, commencing ‘Whereas J. M. S., a tall, modest young man, with yellowish teeth, a sallow complexion, and a flattish eye, shaped somewhat like an Italian. …’

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, s. v. ‘Moore;’ Gent. Mag. 1734, p. 572; Manning and Bray's Surrey, i. 483; Curll's Key of the Dunciad, 1728; Pope's Works, ed. Elwin and Courthope, passim; Genest's Hist. of Stage, iii. 186; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. x. 102, 238, xi. 98, 2nd ser. viii. 195, 235; the Brobdignagian, 1726, p. 19; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.

SMYTHE, PERCY CLINTON SYDNEY, sixth Viscount Strangford and first Baron Penshurst (1780–1855), diplomatist, born in London on 31 Aug. 1780, was eldest son of Lionel, fifth viscount (1753–1801), who entered the army and served in America, but in 1785 took holy orders, and in 1788 was presented to the living of Killrew, co. Meath. His mother, Maria Eliza, was eldest daughter of Frederick Philipse of Philipseburg, New York.

The family descended from Sir John Smith or Smythe of Ostenhanger (now Westenhanger), Kent, the elder brother of Sir Thomas Smith or Smythe (d. 1625) [q. v.] Sir