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Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
And so was too foolishly honest ? Ah, no!
Then what was his failing? come tell it, and burn ye:
He was, could he help it ?-a special attorney! 136

Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind ;
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand,
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland : 140
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart.
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
When they judg'd without skill, he was still hard of

hearing : When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff, He shifted his trumpet,' and only took snuff.?



After the fourth edition of this Poem was printed, the publisher received an epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord, from a friend of the late Dr. Goldsmith, inclosed in a letter of which the following is an abstract :

“ I have in my possession a sheet of paper containing nearly forty lines in the Doctor's own handwriting ; there are many scattered, broken verses, on Sir Jos. Reynolds, Counsellor Ridge, Mr. Beauclerk, and Mr. Whitefoord. The Epitaph on the last-mentioned gentleman is the only one that is finished, and therefore I have copied it, that you may add it

1 Sir Joshua Reynolds was so deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear trumpet in company.

2 Malone, in his “ Memoir of Sir Joshua Reynolds? (1797), quotes these lines upon Reynolds, and says:—“These were the last lines the author wrote. He had written half a line more of this character, when he was seized with the fever which carried him in a few days to the grave. He intended to have concluded with his own character.” Mr. Forster, quoting the same lines, gives an additional half-line, making the fragment end

Shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.

By flattery unspoiled . . . But none of the early editions have this half-line; nor has Percy; nor do these make any mention of this additional half-line. The stars end the poem in the original editions.-Ed.


to the next edition. It is a striking proof of Doctor Goldsmith’s good

I saw this sheet of paper in the Doctor's room, five or six days before he died; and, as I had got all the other Epitaphs, I asked him if I might take it. In truth you may, my boy' (replied he), ‘for it will be no use to me where I am going?[“ Introduction to the Postscript,” in Kearsley's eighth edition (1777)].

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HERE Whitefoord reclines, and, deny it who can,
Though he merrily lived, he is now a grave man :
Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun!
Who relish'd a joke, and rejoiced in a pun;
Whose temper was generous, open, sincere ;
A stranger to flatt'ry, a stranger to fear;
Who scatter'd around wit and humour at will ;
Whose daily bon mots half a column might fill :
A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free;
A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.

What pity, alas ! that so liberal a mind
Should so long be to newspaper essays confined !
Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar,
Yet content “ if the table be set on a roar :
Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
Yet happy if Woodfall. confess'd him a wit.



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1 The genuineness of the epitaph on Whitefoord has been doubted on account of, among other things, (1) its length, taking into account Whitefoord's comparative unimportance, and (2) the fact that the publisher did not have the MS. in the poet's handwriting. Whitefoord himself has been suspected of having written this epitaph. Prior thinks the words attributed to Goldsmith in the letter as “ beyond doubt an untruth.” Forster thinks the PostSCRIPT doubtful." Nevertheless, Percy has accepted it without comment; and succeeding editors have mostly followed Percy.--ED.

2 Nr. Caleb Whitefoord, author of many humorous essays. Mr. Whitefoord was not, as Colman erroneously observes in his · Random Records,' a member of The LITERARY CLUB, but he was of the party at the St. James's Coffee-house which provoked · Retaliation. In the

Foundling Hospital for Wit' are some apologetical verses by him for having read in that club a ludicrous epitaph on the supposed death of Goldsmith.-B.

3 Mr. Whitefoord was so notorious a punster, that Dr. Goldsmith used to say it was impossible to keep him company, without being infected with the itch of punning.

4 Mr. H. S. Woodfall, editor of the Public Advertiser, and so editor of the original Junius Letters.

Ye newspaper witlings! ye pert scribbling folks!
Who copied his squibs, and re-echo'd his jokes ;
Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come,
Still follow your master, and visit his tomb:

To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
And copious libations bestow on his shrine ;
Then strew all around it (you can do no less)
Cross Readings, Ship News, and Mistakes of the Press.”

Merry Whitfoord, farewell! for thy sake I admit 25 That a Scot may have humour, I'd almost said wit. This debt to thy mem'ry I cannot refuse, - Thou best humour'd man with the worst humour'd


Mr. Whitefoord had frequently indulged the town with humorous pieces under those titles in the Public Advertiser.


[Though two autograph MSS. of this work exist, it was scarcely known in the author's lifetime. And even after his death it remained un. printed till 1820. It was set to music by R. J. S. Stevens (vide George Steevens's letter to Percy, Sept. 3, 1797), whose score has been lately (1880) added to the British Museum; but it does not appear to have been performed. Two extracted songs, however, got into print soon after the poet's death, and these (given at p. 83) have duly appeared in successive editions of the ' Poems. The 'Oratorio' was first printed in the four vol. edition of the Works' dated 1820. The MS. of the version there given is supposed to bear date 1761. Some years later a second MS. turned up, and got printed in Prior's edition of the Works,'1837. This latter is evidently a revised version of the first; and an accompanying document, dated 1764 (see Letters, &c., in vol. i.), shows that it was sold by Goldsmith to Dodsley for £16. Our text is from this second and corrected MS. The variations are from the first MS., some being erasures in that MS. The story of the oratorio is a combination of that of the captivity of the Jews under Zedekiah, B.C. 587, with that of their release at the destruction of Babylon by Cyrus, B.c. 538.--Ed.]


First Jewish Prophet. First Chaldean Priest.
Second Jewish Prophet. Second Chaldean Priest.
Israelitish Woman.

Chaldean Woman.
Chorus of Youths and Virgins.

SCENE.The Banks of the River Euphrates, near Babylon.

Both MSS. are untitled, though, as the extracted songs, given to the world soon after, if not before, Goldsmith's death, purport to be “ From the Oratorio of “The Captivity,'” it is clear. The Captivity?was meant to be the title. When the original MS. was first printed in 1820 the work was merely titled 'An Oratorio.'—ED.


SCENE.-Israelites sitting on the banks of the Euphrates.


YE captive tribes, that hourly work and weep,
Where flows Euphrates murmuring to the deep,
Suspend awhile the task, the tear suspend,
And turn to God, your father and your friend :
Insulted, chain'd, and all the world a foe,
Our God alone is all we boast below.


Our God is all we boast below,

To him we turn our eyes;
And every added weight of woe,

Shall make our homage rise.



And though no temple richly drest,

Nor sacrifice is here,
We'll make his temple in our breast,
And offer up a tear.

[The first stanza repeated by the CHORUS.



That strain once more ! it bids remembrance rise,
And calls my long lost country to mine eyes :
Ye fields of Sharon, dress'd in flowery pride,
Ye plains where Jordan' rolls its glassy tide,
Ye hills of Lebanon, with cedars crown'd,
Ye Gilead groves, that fling perfumes around :-


i Var.-Suspend your woes awhile, the task, &c.First MS. 2 Var.-Kidron.-First MS.

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