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while performing his journeys on foot, and mixing with those classes of society, which other travellers are apt to overlook. Of this poem it has been justly said, that the sentiments are always interesting, and often new; that the imagery is ele gant, picturesque, and occasionally sublime; and the language nervous, highly finished, and full of harmony. Dr. Johnson's opinion was, that since the death of Pope, it would not be easy to find any thing equal to the Traveller,' and the late celebrated Mr. Fox declared, it was one of the finest the English language.

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For Goldsmith this poem did much it brought him first into notice, and gave him an interest, not only with the public at large, but with a class of men (the booksellers), in whose service he had determined to pass his studious hours, having relinquished all thoughts of medicine as a profession.

The same year he published his pathetic ballad, The Hermit, which added considerably to his fame, and recommended him to the patronage of the late duchess of Northumberland. It is singular, that he had written and sold his novel, The Vicar of Wakefield, to a bookseller, some time before these poems appeared; but the bookseller had scarcely courage to publish it, until their reputa tion assured him, that the author's name was now of importance. Accordingly the novel, on its appearance, was universally read and admired, and is still one of the standard books, of that kind, in our language.

In the opinion of some critics, Dr. Goldsmith's reputation as a poet wanted not the aid of The Deserted Village, which they have considered as inferior to his Traveller. This opinion, however, if we mistake not, has not coincided with that of the pub

lic at large. If mere popularity be to decide, the Deserted Village has certainly been oftener reprinted, and will be found oftener in the hands of Goldsmith's admirers. Perhaps, however, no critic of modern times has discriminated their respective merits with more nicety than Dr. Aikin. If,' says this judicious critic, we compare these two principal poems of Goldsmith, we may say, that the Traveller is formed upon a more regular plan, has a higher purpose in view, more abounds in thoughts, and in the expression of moral and philosophical ideas the Deserted Village has more imagery, more variety, more pathos, more of the peculiar character of poetry. In the first, the moral and natural descriptions are more general and elevated : in the second, they are more particular and interesting. Both are truly original productions; but the Deserted Village has less peculiarity, and, indeed, has given rise to imitations which may stand in some parallel with it, while the Traveller remains an unique.'

His lesser poems are not without various degrees of merit, although perhaps, neither separately nor collectively, could they have elevated him to the rank earned by his Traveller, and Deserted Village. The Haunch of Venison, and Retaliation, however, are admirable specimens of that delicate humour in which Goldsmith excelled as much when he took up his pen, as he fell short of it when in conversation.

This humour appears particularly in his Essays, a species of composition in which he is inferior only to his great predecessor Addison. Had Goldsmith written, or only been an occasional contributor to, a periodical paper, on a regular plan, we cannot doubt that it would have amply deserved to be classed among those which have lately been collected, under the general title of The British Es

while performing his journeys on foot, and mixing with those classes of society, which other tra vellers are apt to overlook. Of this poem it has been justly said, that the sentiments are always interesting, and often new; that the imagery is elegant, picturesque, and occasionally sublime; and the language nervous, highly fiuished, and full of harmony. Dr. Johnson's opinion was, that since the death of Pope, it would not be easy to find any thing equal to the Traveller,' and the late celebrated Mr. Fox declared it was one of the finest poems in the English language.

For Goldsmith this poem did much. It brought him first into notice, and gave him an interest, not only with the public at large, but with a class of men (the booksellers), in whose service he had determined to pass his studious hours, having relinquished all thoughts of medicine as a profession.

The same year he published his pathetic ballad, The Hermit, which added considerably to his fame, and recommended him to the patronage of the late duchess of Northumberland. It is singular, that he had written and sold his novel, The Vicar of Wakefield, to a bookseller, some time before these poems appeared; but the bookseller had scarcely courage to publish it, until their reputation assured him, that the author's name was now of importance. Accordingly the novel, on its appearance, was universally read and admired, and is still one of the standard books, of that kind, in our language.

In the opinion of some critics, Dr. Goldsmith's reputation as a poet wanted not the aid of The Deserted Village, which they have considered as inferior to his Traveller. This opinion, however, if we mistake not, has not coincided with that of the pub

lic at large. If mere popularity be to decide, the Deserted Village has certainly been oftener reprinted, and will be found oftener in the hands of Goldsmith's admirers. Perhaps, however, no critic of modern times has discriminated their respective merits with more nicety than Dr. Aikin. If,' says this judicious critic, we compare these two princi. pal poems of Goldsmith, we may say, that the Tra veller is formed upon a more regular plan, has a higher purpose in view, more abounds in thoughts, and in the expression of moral and philosophical ideas: the Deserted Village has more imagery, more variety, more pathos, more of the peculiar character of poetry. In the first, the moral and natural descriptions are more general and elevated: in the second, they are more particular and interesting. Both are truly original productions; but the Deserted Village has less peculiarity, and, indeed, has given rise to imitations which may stand in some parallel with it, while the Traveller remains an unique.'

His lesser poems are not without various degrees of merit, although perhaps, neither separately nor collectively, could they have elevated him to the rank earned by his Traveller, and Deserted Village. The Haunch of Venison, and Retaliation, however, are admirable specimens of that delicate humour in which Goldsmith excelled as much when he took up his pen, as he fell short of it when in conversation,

This humour appears particularly in his Essays, a species of composition in which he is inferior only to his great predecessor Addison. Had Goldsmith written, or only been an occasional contributor to, a periodical paper, on a regular plan, we cannot doubt that it would have amply deserved to be classed among those which have lately been collected, under the general title of The British Es

sayists. But the essays in this volume were written at various times, for the newspapers; and the author was induced to collect them, when his name became known, and it was found necessary to vindi. cate his claim to what had been often reprinted in various compilations, and attributed to other pens.

We are now to consider him as a dramatic writer. He appeared first in this character in 1768, when the Good-natured Man was performed at Covent Garden theatre. Its success, as a drama, was not very great; but although it was performed only nine nights, it produced the author the sum of five hundred pounds, which he considered as an inexhaustible mine of wealth. It did more, however; for it evidently proved, that our author possessed those comic talents which might be cultivated with ease and success. Perhaps we have few characters on the stage more highly finished, than that of Croaker, the outline of which he borrowed from Suspirius in the Rambler.

Garrick had refused the Good-natured Man, which Mr. Colman produced at Covent-Garden; but Colman had more fears about Dr. Goldsmith's next comedy, She stoops to Conquer, and would not accept it without much solicitation. It succeeded, however, contrary to his expectation, and still preserves its station on the stage. If it be objected, that it borders too nearly on broad farce for a legitimate comedy, it may be answered, that something of this kind was much wanted at the time it appeared, when sentimental comedy, as it was called, had been so much encouraged, that comic humour was in danger of being altogether excluded from the stage. But the scenes of this comedy produced such an effect, that Dr. Johnson said, he 'knew no comedy for many years, that had so much exhilarated an audience, that had answered so much

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