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skilful critics was, that nothing finer had and thicker; and the gleams of pleasantry appeared in verse since the fourth book become rarer and rarer. of the Dunciad. In one respect the Trav- The success which had attended (440 eller differs from all Goldsmith's other Goldsmith as a novelist emboldened him writings. In general his designs were to try his fortune as a dramatist. He bad, and his execution good. In the wrote the Goodnatured Man, a piece which Traveller, the execution, though de- (390 had a worse fate than it deserved. Garserving of much praise, is far inferior to rick refused to produce it at Drury Lane. the design. No philosophical poem, It was acted at Covent Garden in 1768, ancient or modern, has a plan so noble, but was coldly received. The author, , and at the same time so simple. An however, cleared by his benefit nights, English wanderer, seated on a crag among and by the sale of the copyright, no less the Alps, near the point where three great than £500, five times as much as he (450 countries meet, looks down on the bound- had made by the Traveller and the Vicar less prospect, reviews his long pilgrimage, of Wakefield together. The plot of the recalls the varieties of scenery, of climate, Goodnatured Man is, like almost all Goldof government, of religion, of national (400 smith's plots, very ill constructed. But character, which he has observed, and some passages are exquisitely ludicrous; comes to the conclusion, just or unjust, much more ludicrous, indeed, than suited that our happiness depends little on the taste of the town at that time. A political institutions, and much on the canting, mawkish play, entitled False temper and regulation of our own minds. Delicacy, had just had an immense run.

While the fourth edition of the Traveller Sentimentality was all the mode. [460 was on the counters of the booksellers, During some years, more tears were shed the Vicar of Wakefield appeared, and at comedies than at tragedies; and a rapidly obtained a popularity which has pleasantry which moved the audience to lasted down to our own time, and (410 anything more than a grave smile was which is likely to last as long as reprobated as low. It is not strange, language. The fable is indeed one of therefore, that the very best scene in the the worst that ever was constructed. It Goodnatured Man, that in which Miss wants, not merely that probability which Richland finds her lover attended by the ought to be found in a tale of common bailiff and the bailiff's follower in full English life, but that consistency which court dresses, should have been merci- [470 ought to be found even in the wildest lessly hissed, and should have been fiction about witches, giants, and fairies. omitted after the first night. But the earlier chapters have all the In 1770 appeared the Deserted Village. sweetness of pastoral poetry, together (420 In mere diction and versification this with all the vivacity of comedy. Moses celebrated poem is fully equal, perhaps and his spectacles, the vicar and his superior, to the Traveller, and it is genmonogamy, the sharper and his cosmog- erally preferred to the Traveller by that ony, the squire proving from Aristotle large class of readers who think, with that relatives are related, Olivia preparing Bayes in the Rehearsal, that the only use herself for the arduous task of converting of a plan is to bring in fine things. [480 a rakish lover by studying the controversy More discerning judges, however, while between Robinson Crusoe and Friday, they admire the beauty of the details, the great ladies with their scandal about are shocked by one unpardonable fault Sir Tomkyn's amours and Dr. Bur- (430 which pervades the whole. The fault dock's verses, and Mr. Burchell with we mean is not that theory about wealth his "Fudge,” have caused as much harm and luxury which has so often been cenless mirth as has ever been caused by sured by political economists. The theory matter packed into so small a number of is indeed false; but the poem, considered pages. The latter part of the tale is un- merely as a poem, is not necessarily the worthy of the beginning. As we approach worse on that account. The finest (490 the catastrophe, the absurdities lie thicker poem in the Latin language, indeed the


finest didactic poem in any language, was ceed; yet the mirth of the Goodnatured written in defence of the silliest and Man was sober when compared with the meanest of all systems of natural and rich drollery of She Stoops to Conquer, moral philosophy. A poet may easily be which is, in truth, an incomparable farce pardoned for reasoning ill; but he cannot in five acts. On this occasion, how- 1550 be pardoned for describing ill, for ob- ever, genius triumphed. Pit, boxes, and serving the world in which he lives so galleries were in a constant roar of carelessly that his portraits bear no laughter. If any bigoted admirer of Kelly resemblance to the originals, for ex- 1500 and Cumberland ventured to hiss or groan, hibiting as copies from real life monstrous he was speedily silenced by a general cry combinations of things which never were of “Turn him out,” or “Throw him and never could be found together. What over.” Two generations have since conwould be thought of a painter who should firmed the verdict which was pronounced mix August and January in one landscape, on that night. who should introduce a frozen river into a While Goldsmith was writing the (560 harvest scene? Would it be a sufficient Deserted Village and She Stoops to Conquer, defence of such a picture to say that every he was employed in works of a very difpart was exquisitely colored, that the ferent kind, works from which he derived green hedges, the apple-trees loaded (510 little reputation but much profit. He with fruit, the wagons reeling under the compiled for the use of schools a History yellow sheaves, and the sunburned reapers of Rome, by which he made £300; a wiping their foreheads, were very fine, History of England, by which he made and that the ice and the boys sliding £600; a History of Greece, for which he were also very fine? To such a picture | received £250; a Natural History, for the Deserted Village bears a great resem- which the booksellers covenanted to (570 blance. It is made up of incongruous pay him 800 guineas. These works he parts. The village in its happy days is a produced without any elaborate research, true English village. The village in its by merely selecting, abridging, and transdecay is an Irish village. The felicity 1520 lating into his own clear, pure, and flowing and the misery which Goldsmith has language what he found in books well brought close together belong to two known to the world, but too bulky or too different countries, and to two different dry for boys and girls. He committed stages in the progress of society. He had some strange blunders; for he knew nothassuredly never seen in his native island ing with accuracy. Thus in his History such a rural paradise, such a seat of plenty, of England he tells us that Naseby is (580 content, and tranquillity, as his “Au- in Yorkshire; nor did he correct this burn." He had assuredly never seen in mistake when the book was reprinted. England all the inhabitants of such a He was very nearly hoaxed into putting paradise turned out of their homes (530 into the History of Greece an account of a in one day and forced to emigrate in a battle between Alexander the Great and body to America. The hamlet he had Montezuma. In his Animated Nature probably seen in Kent; the ejectment he he relates, with faith and with perfect had probably seen in Munster; but, by gravity, all the most absurd lies which joining the two, he has produced some- he could find in books of travels about thing which never was and never will be gigantic Patagonians, monkeys that 1590 seen in any part of the world.

preach sermons, nightingales that repeat In 1773 Goldsmith tried his chance at long conversations. “If he can tell a Covent Garden with a second play, She horse from a cow,” said Johnson, “that Stoops to Conquer. The manager was (540 is the extent of his knowledge of zoology." not without great difficulty induced to How little Goldsmith was qualified to bring this piece out. The sentimental write about the physical sciences is sufcomedy still reigned; and Goldsmith's ficiently proved by two anecdotes. He comedies were not sentimental. The Good- on one occasion denied that the sun is natured Man had been too funny to suc- longer in the northern than in the southern


signs. It was in vain to cite the au- [600 scribed him as an inspired idiot. “Noll,” thority of Maupertuis. “Maupertuis!” said Garrick, "wrote like an angel, and he cried; “I understand those matters talked like poor Poll.” Chamier declared better than Maupertuis.” On another that it was a hard exercise of faith to occasion he, in defiance of the evidence of believe that so foolish a chatterer could his own senses, maintained obstinately, have really written the Traveller. Even and even angrily, that he chewed his Boswell could say, with contemptu- (660 dinner by moving his upper jaw.

ous compassion, that he liked very well Yet, ignorant as Goldsmith was, few to hear honest Goldsmith run on. “Yes, writers have done more to make the first sir,” said Johnson; “but he should not steps in the laborious road to knowl- (610 like to hear himself.” Minds differ as edge easy and pleasant. His compilations rivers differ. There are transparent and ! are widely distinguished from the com- | sparkling rivers from which it is delightful : pilations of ordinary bookmakers. He to drink as they flow; to such rivers the was a great, perhaps an unequalled, minds of such men as Burke and Johnson master of the arts of selection and may be compared. But there are rivers condensation. In these respects his his- of which the water when first drawn (670 tories of Rome and of England, and still is turbid and noisome, but becomes more his own abridgments of these his pellucid as crystal, and delicious to the tories, well deserve to be studied. In taste, if it be suffered to stand till it has general nothing is less attractive than (620 deposited a sediment; and such a river an epitome; but the epitomes of Gold is a type of the mind of Goldsmith. His smith, even when most concise, are always first thoughts on every subject were conamusing; and to read them is considered fused even to absurdity; but they reby intelligent children, not as a task, but quired only a little ne to work themas a pleasure.

selves clear. When he wrote they had Goldsmith might now be considered as that time; and therefore his readers (680 a prosperous man. He had the means of pronounced him a man of genius; but living in comfort, and even in what to when he talked he talked nonsense, and one who had so often slept in barns and made himself the laughing-stock of his on bulks must have been luxury. His (630 hearers. He was painfully sensible of fame was great and was constantly rising. his inferiority in conversation; he felt He lived in what was intellectually far every failure keenly; yet he had not the best society of the kingdom, in a sufficient judgment and self-command to society in which no talent or accomplish- hold his tongue. His animal spirits and ment was wanting, and in which the art vanity were always impelling him to try of conversation was cultivated with splen- to do the one thing which he could not [690 did success. There probably were never do. After every attempt he felt he had four talkers more admirable in four dif- exposed himself, and writhed with shame ferent ways than Johnson, Burke, Beau- and vexation; yet the next moment he clerk, and Garrick; and Goldsmith was (640 began again. on terms of intimacy with all the four. His associates seem to have regarded He aspired to share in their colloquial him with kindness, which, in spite of renown; but never was ambition more their admiration of his writings, was not unfortunate. It may seem strange that unmixed with contempt.

unmixed with contempt. In truth, there a man who wrote with

So much

per- was in his character much to love, but spicuity, vivacity, and grace should have very little to respect. His heart was (700 been, whenever he took a part in con- soft, even to weakness: he was so generversation, an empty, noisy, blundering ous that he quite forgot to be just; he rattle. But on this point the evidence forgave injuries so readily that he might is overwhelming. So extraordinary (650 be said to invite them: and was so liberal was the contrast between Goldsmith's to beggars that he had nothing left for published works and the silly things his tailor and his butcher. He was vain, which he said, that Horace Walpole de- , sensual, frivolous, profuse, improvident.


One vice of a darker shade was imputed year might then be called opulent. Not to him, envy. But there is not the least one in ten of the young gentlemen of reason to believe that this bad pas- 1710 good families who were studying the law sion, though it sometimes made him there had so much. But all the wealth wince and utter fretful exclamations, which Lord Clive had brought from Benever impelled him to injure by wicked gal, and Sir Lawrence Dundas from arts the reputation of any of his rivals. Germany, joined together, would not The truth probably is, that he was not have sufficed for Goldsmith. He spent more envious, but merely less prudent twice as much as he had. He wore (770 than his neighbors. His heart was on his fine clothes, gave dinners of several lips. All those small jealousies, which courses, paid court to venal beauties. are but too common among men of letters, He had also, it should be remembered, but which a man of letters who is (720 to the honor of his heart, though not of also a man of the world does his best his head, a guinea, or five, or ten, accordto conceal, Goldsmith avowed with the ing to the state of his purse, ready for simplicity of a child. When he was envi- any tale of distress, true or false. But it ous, instead of affecting indifference, in- was not in dress or feasting, in promiscustead of damning with faint praise, in- ous amours or promiscuous charities, that stead of doing injuries slily and in the his chief expense lay. He had been (780 dark, he told everybody that he was from boyhood a gambler, and at once the envious. “Do not, pray, do not talk of most sanguine and the most unskilful of Johnson in such terms,” he said to Bos- gamblers. For a time he put off the day well; "you harrow up my very soul.” (730 of inevitable ruin by temporary expediGeorge Steevens and Cumberland were ents. He obtained advances from bookmen far too cunning to say such a thing. | sellers, by promising to execute works They would have echoed the praises of which he never began. But at length the man they envied, and then have sent this source of supply failed. He owed to the newspapers anonymous libels upon more than £2,000; and he saw no hope of him. Both what was good and what extrication from his embarrassments. 1790 was bad in Goldsmith's character was to His spirits and health gave way. He was his associates a perfect security that he attacked by a nervous fever, which he would never commit such villainy. He thought himself competent to treat. was neither ill-natured enough, nor (740 would have been happy for him if his long-headed enough to be guilty of any

medical skill had been appreciated as malicious act which required contrivance justly by himself as by others. Notwithand disguise.

standing the degree which he pretended Goldsmith has sometimes been repre- to have received at Padua, he could prosented as a man of genius, cruelly treated cure no patients. “I do not practice," by the world, and doomed to struggle he once said; “I make it a rule to pre- [800 with difficulties which at last broke his scribe only for my friends.” “Pray, dear heart. But no representation can be Doctor,” said Beauclerk, “alter your more remote from the truth. He did, rule, and prescribe only for your enemies." indeed, go through much sharp (750 Goldsmith now, in spite of this excellent misery before he had done anything con- advice, prescribed for himself. The remedy siderable in literature. But, after his aggravated the malady. The sick man name had appeared on the title-page of was induced to call in real physicians; the Traveller, he had none to blame but and they at one time imagined that they himself for his distresses. His average had cured the disease. Still his weakness income during the last seven years of his and restlessness continued. He could (810 life certainly exceeded £400 a year; and get no sleep, he could take no food. “You £400 a year ranked, among the incomes are worse,

said one of his medical atof that day, at least as high as £800 a tendants, “than you should be from the year would rank at present. A single [760 degree of fever which you have. Is your man living in the Temple with £400 a mind at ease?” “No, it is not,” were


the last recorded words of Oliver Gold- were found in company with great (870 smith. He died on the 3rd of April, 1774, weaknesses. But the list of poets to whose

. in his forty-sixth year. He was laid in works Johnson was requested by the bookthe churchyard of the Temple; but the sellers to furnish prefaces ended with spot was not marked by any inscrip- [820 Lyttleton, who died in 1773. The line tion, and is now forgotten. The coffin seems to have been drawn expressly for was followed by Burke and Reynolds. the purpose of excluding the person Both these great men were sincere mourn- whose portrait would have most fitly ers. Burke, when he heard of Goldsmith's closed the series. Goldsmith, however, death, had burst into a flood of tears. has been fortunate in his biographers. Reynolds had been so much moved by Within a few years his life has been [880 the news that he had flung aside his brush written by Mr. Prior, by Mr. Washington and palette for the day.

Irving, and by Mr. Forster. The diliA short time after Goldsmith's death, gence of Mr. Prior deserves great praise; a little poem appeared, which will, as (830 the style of Mr. Washington Irving is

, long as our language.lasts, associate the always pleasing; but the highest place names of his two illustrious friends with must, in justice, be assigned to the emihis own. It has already been mentioned nently interesting work of Mr. Forster. that he sometimes felt keenly the sarcasm which his wild blundering talk brought upon him. He was, not long before his ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH (1819-1861) last illness, provoked into retaliating. He wisely betook himself to his pen; and QUA CURSUM VENTUS at that weapon he proved himself a match for all his assailants together. Within (840 As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay a small compass he drew with a singularly With canvas drooping, side by side, easy and vigorous pencil the characters Two towers of sail at dawn of day of nine or ten of his intimate associates. Are scarce long leagues apart descried; 4 Though this little work did not receive his last touches, it must always be re- When fell the night, upsprung the breeze, garded as a masterpiece. It is impossible, And all the darkling hours they plied, however, not to wish that four or five Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas likenesses which have no interest for pos- By each was cleaving, side by side: terity were wanting to that noble gallery, and that their places were supplied (850 E'en so—but why the tale reveal

— by sketches of Johnson and Gibbon, as Of those, whom year by year unchanged, happy and vivid as the sketches of Burke Brief absence joined anew to feel, and Garrick.

Astounded, soul from soul estranged? · Some of Goldsmith's friends and admirers honored him with a cenotaph in At dead of night their sails were filled, Westminster Abbey. Nollekens was the And onward each rejoicing steeredsculptor; and Johnson wrote the inscrip- Ah, neither blame, for neither willed, 15 tion. It is much to be lamented that Or wist, what first with dawn appeared! Johnson did not leave to posterity a more durable and a more valuable memorial (860 To veer, how vain! On, onward strain, of his friend. A life of Goldsmith would Brave barks! In light, in darkness too, have been an inestimable addition to the Through winds and tides one compass Lives of the Poets. No man appreciated guidesGoldsmith's writings more justly than To that, and your own selves, be true. 20 Johnson: no man was better acquainted with Goldsmith's character and habits: But O blithe breeze; and O great seas, and no man was more competent to de- Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, lineate with truth and spirit the pecul- On your wide plain they join again, iarities of a mind in which great powers Together lead them home at last.


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