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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 patural descriptions are more general and elevated : in the second, they are more particular and interest. ing. 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
earned by his Traveller, and Deserted Vil, lage. 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 CoventGarden theatre. Its success, as a drama, was not very great; but although it was performed only nipe 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 succoss. 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 suc. ceeded, however, contrary to his expectation, and still
preserves its station on the stage. If it be ob. jected, 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
the great end of comedy making an audience merry. It was first acted in 1773.
Yet wlratever estimate we form of the prose, or dramatic works of Dr. Goldsmith, his highest fane rests on his poetry, which has pleased, and probably ever will continue to please, not only readers of a plain and humble, but those of the most refined and cultivated taste. And it is highly creditable to him, that, in all his works, he has made genius subser. vient to morality.
DEATH OF DR. GOLDSMITH.
BY W. WOTY.
ADIEU, sweet bard! to each fine feeling true,
DEATH OF DR. GOLDSMITH.
DARK as the night, which now in dunnest robe,
now, methinks, his well-known voice I hear,
• Ye splendid fabrics, palaces, and towers, Where dissipation leads the giddy hours,