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passage in his "Traveller," in which he so happi- length become his favourite study. Naturally avaly introduces himself:
How often have I led thy sportive choir
ricious, his training as an attorney had nothing diminished the reign of that sordid passion, and it With tuneless pipe beside the murmuring Loire! discovered its most odious features in almost every Where shading elms along the margin grew, transaction. When he engaged a tutor, thereAnd freshen'd from the wave the zephyr flew: fore, he took care to make a special proviso, that And haply, though my harsh touch, falt'ring still, in all money matters he should be at liberty to tuBut mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancers' skill, Yet would the village praise my wondrous power, tor himself. A stipulation of this kind so crampAnd dance, forgetful of the noontide hour. ed the views and propensities of Goldsmith, and The learned and religious houses also appear to afforded to the pupil so many opportunities of dishave been equally hospitable. "With the mem- playing his mean disposition, that disgust and disbers of these establishments," said he, "I could like almost immediately ensued. When arrived converse on topics of literature, and then I always at Marseilles they mutually agreed to separate; forgot the meanness of my circumstances." and the poet having received the small part of his salary that was due, his pupil, terrified at the ex
In many of the foreign universities and convents there are, upon certain days, philosophical pense of travelling, instantly embarked for Engtheses maintained against every adventitious dis- land. putant; for which, if the champion opposes with
Goldsmith, thus freed from the trammels of tuany dexterity, he can claim a gratuity in money, torship, set out once more on foot, and in that mana dinner, and a bed for one night. The talents of ner travelled through various districts of France. Goldsmith frequently enabled him to command the He finally pursued his journey into Italy, visiting relief afforded by this useful and hospitable cus- Venice, Verona, Florence, and other celebrated tom. In this manner, without money or friends, places. At Padua, where he staid six months, he he fought his way from convent to convent, and is said to have taken a medical degree, but upon from city to city, examined mankind more nearly, what authority is not ascertained. While resiand, as he himself expressed it, saw both sides of dent at Padua he was assisted, it is believed, by the picture. remittances from his uncle Contarine, who, howTo Goldsmith's close and familiar intercourse ever, unfortunately died about that time. In with the scenes and natives of the different coun- Italy, Goldsmith found his talent for music altries through which he passed, the world is indebt-most useless as a means of subsistence, for every ed for his "Traveller." For although that poem peasant was a better musician than himself; but was afterwards "slowly and painfully elaborated," his skill in disputation still served his purpose, and still the nice and accurate discrimination of na- the religious establishments were equally hospitational character displayed could only be acquired ble. At length, curiosity being fully gratified, he by actual examination. In the progress of his resolved to retrace his steps towards his native journey, he seems to have treasured his facts and home. He returned through France, as the shortobservations, with a view to the formation of this er route, and as affording greater facilities to a delightful poem. The first sketch of it is said to pedestrian. He was lodged and entertained as have been written after his arrival in Switzerland, formerly, sometimes at learned and religious estaband was transmitted from that country to his bro-lishments, and sometimes at the cottages of the ther Henry in Ireland. peasantry, and thus, with the aid of his philosophy and his flute, he disputed and piped his way homewards.
After his arrival in Switzerland, he took up his abode for some time in Geneva. Here he appears to have found friends, or formed acquaintances; When Goldsmith arrived at Dover from France, for we find him recommended at this place as tu- it was about the breaking out of the war in tor to a young gentleman on his travels. The 1755-6. Being unprovided with money, a new youth to whom he was recommended was the ne- difficulty now presented itself, how to fight his phew of Mr. S******, pawnbroker in London, who had unexpectedly acquired a large fortune by the death of his uncle. Determined to see the world, he had just arrived at Geneva on the grand tour, and not being provided with a travelling tutor, Goldsmith was hired to perform the functions of that office. They set out together for Marseilles; but never were tutor and pupil so miserably assorted. The latter, before acquiring his fortune, had been for some time articled to an attorney, and of his wife's family, obtained ecclesiastical preferment in the while in that capacity had so well learned the art diocese of Elphin. This gentleman was their lineal descenof managing in money concerns, that it had at dant.—Campbell's Biography of Goldsmith. »
"The Rev. Thomas Contarine was descended from the noble family of the Contarini of Venice. His ancestor, having inarried a nun in his native country, was obliged to fly with her into France, where she died of the small-pox. Being pursued by ecclesiastical censures, Contarini came to England; but the puritanical manners which then prevailed, having afforded him but a cold reception, he was on his way to Ireland, when at Chester he met with a young lady of the name of Chaloner whom he married. Having afterwards conformed to the established church, he, through the interest
way to the metropolis. His whole stock of cash and habits, it was peculiarly distasteful. How long could not defray the expense of the ordinary con- he remained in this situation is not well ascertained, veyance, and neither flute nor logic could help but he ever spoke of it in bitterness of spirit. The him to a supper or a bed. By some means or other, very remembrance of it seemed to be gall and wormhowever, he contrived to reach London in safety. wood to him; and how keenly he must have felt its On his arrival he had only a few halfpence in his mortification and misery, may be gathered from the pocket. To use his own words, in one of his let- satire with which it is designated in various parts ters, he found himself "without friend, recom- of his works. The language which he has put mendation, money, or impudence;" and, contrary into the mouth of the Wanderer's cousin, when he to his usual habits, began to be filled with the applies to him for an ushership, is feelingly characgloomiest apprehensions. There was not a mo- teristic. "I," said he, "have been an usher to a ment to be lost, therefore, in seeking for a sit-boarding-school myself; and may I die by an anouation that might afford him the means of imme-dyne necklace, but I had rather be an under-turndiate subsistence. His first attempt was to get ad-key in Newgate! I was up early and late: I was mission as an assistant to a boarding-school or aca-browbeat by the master, hated for my ugly face by demy, but, for want of a recommendation, even the mistress, worried by the boys within, and never that poor and painful situation was found difficult permitted to stir out to meet civility abroad. But, to be obtained. This difficulty appears also to have are you sure you are fit for a school? Let me been nothing lessened by his stooping to make use of examine you a little. Have you been bred apa feigned name. What his motives were for such prentice to the business?"-No.-"Then a measure has never been fully explained; but it do for a school. Can you dress the boys' hair?"— is fair to infer, that his literary pride revolted at No.-"Then you won't do for a school. Have servitude, and perhaps, conscious that his powers you had the small-pox?"-No.-" Then you won't would ultimately enable him to emerge from his do for a school. Can you lie three in a bed?"— present obscurity, he was unwilling it should after-No.-" Then you will never do for a school. Have wards be known that he had occupied a situation you got a good stomach?"—Yes.-"Then you so humble. Deceit and finesse, however, are at all will by no means do for a school. No, sir: if you times dangerous, be the motive for employing them are for a genteel, easy profession, bind yourself ever so innocent; and in the present instance our seven years as an apprentice to turn a cutler's author found them productive of considerable emwheel; but avoid a school by any means." barrassment; for, when the master of the school On another occasion, when talking on the same demanded a reference to some respectable person subject, our author thus summed up the misery of for a character, Goldsmith was at a loss to account such an employment:-" After the fatigues of the for using any other name than his own. In this day, the poor usher of an academy is obliged to dilemma he wrote to Dr. Radcliff, a mild benevo-sleep in the same bed with a Frenchman, a teacher lent man, who had been joint-tutor with his perse- of that language to the boys, who disturbs him cutor Wilder, in Trinity College, and had some- every night, an hour perhaps, in papering and fillettimes lectured the other pupils. Having can- ing his hair, and stinks worse than a carrion, with didly stated to the doctor the predicament in which his rancid pomatums, when he lays his head beside he was placed, and explained the immediate object him on his bolster." in view, he told him that the same post which Having thrown up this wretched employment, conveyed this information would also bring him a he was obliged to cast about for one more congenial letter of inquiry from the school-master, to which to his mind. In this, however, he again found conit was hoped he would be so good as return a fa-siderable difficulty. His personal appearance and vourable answer. It appears that Dr. Radcliff address were never prepossessing, but at that parpromptly complied with this request, for Goldsmith ticular period were still less so from the thread-bare immediately obtained the situation. We learn state of his wardrobe. He applied to several of the from Campbell's Philosophical Survey of the medical tribe, but had the mortification to meet with South of Ireland, that our author's letter of thanks repeated refusals; and on more than one occasion to Dr. Radcliff on that occasion was accompanied was jeered with the mimicry of his broad Irish acwith a very interesting account of his travels and cent. At length a chemist, near Fish-street-hill, adventures. took him into his laboratory, where his medical The employment of usher at an academy in Lon- knowledge soon rendered him an able and useful don, is of itself a task of no ordinary labour; but, assistant. Not long after this, however, accident independent of the drudgery and toil, it is attended discovered to him that his old friend and fellowwith so many little irritating circumstances, that student, Dr. Sleigh, was in London, and he deterof all others it is perhaps a situation the most pain- mined, if possible, to renew his acquaintance with ful and irksome to a man of independent mind and him. "It was Sunday," said Goldsmith, "when liberal ideas. To a person of our author's temper I paid him the first visit, and it is to be supposed 1
was dressed in my best clothes. Sleigh scarcely at London. You may easily imagine what diffiknew me; such is the tax the unfortunate pay to culties I had to encounter, left as I was without poverty. However, when he did recollect me, I friends, recommendations, money, or impudence; found his heart as warm as ever, and he shared his purse and his friendship with me during his continuance in London."
and that in a country where being born an Irishman was sufficient to keep me unemployed. Many in such circumstances would have had recourse to the friar's cord, or the suicide's halter. But, with all my follies, I had principle to resist the one, and resolution to combat the other.
The friendship of Dr. Sleigh* was not confined to the mere relief of our poet's immediate wants, but showed itself in an anxious solicitude for his permanent success in life. Nobody better knew "I suppose you desire to know my present situhow to appreciate his talents and acquirements, and ation. As there is nothing in it at which I should the accurate knowledge that Sleigh possessed of blush, or which mankind could censure, I see no London qualified him to advise and direct the poet reason for making it a secret. In short, by a very in his subsequent pursuits. Accordingly we find little practice as a physician, and a very little reputhat Goldsmith, encouraged by his friend's advice, tation as a poet, I make a shift to live. Nothing is commenced medical practitioner at Bankside, in more apt to introduce us to the gates of the Muses Southwark, whence he afterwards removed to the than poverty; but it were well for us if they only Temple and its neighbourhood. In Southwark it left us at the door-the mischief is, they sometimes appears that his practice did not answer his ex- choose to give us their company at the entertainpectations, but in the vicinity of the Temple he ment, and want, instead of being gentleman usher, was more successful. The fees of the physician, often turns master of the ceremonies. Thus, upon however, were little, and that little, as is usual hearing I write, no doubt you imagine I starve; among the poorer classes, was very ill paid. He and the name of an author naturally reminds you found it necessary, therefore, to have recourse like- of a garret. In this particular I do not think prowise to his pen, and being introduced by Dr. per to undeceive my friends. But whether I eat Sleigh to some of the booksellers, was almost imor starve; live in a first floor, or four pair of stairs mediately engaged in their service;-and thus, high, I still remember them with ardour; nay, my "with very little practice as a physician, and very very country comes in for a share of my affection. little reputation as a poet," as he himself expresses Unaccountable fondness for country, this maladie it, he made "a shift to live." The peculiarities of du pays, as the French call it! Unaccountable, his situation at this period are described in the fol- that he should still have an affection for a place, lowing letter, addressed to the gentleman who had married his eldest sister. It is dated Temple Exchange Coffee-house, December 27, 1757, and addressed to Daniel Hodson, Esq., at Lishoy, near Ballymahon, Ireland.
“DEAR SIR,—It may be four years since my last letters went to Ireland; and from you in particular I received no answer, probably because you never wrote to me. My brother Charles, however, informs me of the fatigue you were at in soliciting a subscription to assist me, not only among my friends and relations, but acquaintance in general. Though my pride might feel some repugnance at being thus relieved, yet my gratitude can suffer no diminution. How much am I obliged to you, to them, for such generosity, or (why should not your virtues have the proper name) for such charity to me at that juncture. Sure I am born to ill fortune, to be so much debtor, and unable to repay. But to say no more of this: too many professions of gratitude are often considered as indirect petitions for future favours; let me only add, that my not receiving that supply was the cause of my present establishment
who never received, when in it, above common ci vility; who never brought any thing out of it, except his brogue and his blunders. Surely my affection is equally ridiculous with the Scotchman's,
who refused to be cured of the itch because it made
him unco thoughtful o' his wife and bonnie Inverary. But now to be serious; let me ask myself what gives me a wish to see Ireland again? The country is a fine one, perhaps? No.-There are there is generally made up of a smutty toast, or a good company in Ireland? No.-The conversation bawdy song. The vivacity supported by some humble cousin, who has just folly enough to earn his dinner.-Then, perhaps, there is more wit and learning among the Irish? Oh, Lord, no! There has been more money spent in the encouragement of the Podareen mare there in one season, than Usher. All their productions in learning amount given in rewards to learned men since the time of to perhaps a translation, or a few tracts in divinity; and all their productions in wit to just nothing at all.-Why the plague, then, so fond of Ireland? Then, all at once, because you, my dear friend, and a few more, who are exceptions to the general This gentleman subsequently settled in Cork, his native picture, have a residence there. This it is that city, and was rapidly rising into eminence in his profession, when he was cut off in the flower of his age by an inflamma- gives me all the pangs I feel in separation. I contory fever, which deprived the world of a fine scholar, a skilful fess I carry this spirit sometimes to the souring the physician, and an honest man. pleasures I at present possess. If I go to the opera,
where Signora Columba pours out all the mazes and others procured him the notice of the polite of melody, I sit and sigh for Lishoy fireside, and and the learned. Among the friendships thus Johnny Armstrong's Last Good Night, from Peg- agreeably renewed, there was one with a medical gy Golden. If I climb Flamstead-hill, than where character, afterwards eminent in his profession, nature never exhibited a more magnificent pros- who used to give the following account of our aupect, I confess it fine, but then I had rather be thor's first interview with him in London. placed on the little mount before Lishoy gate, and "From the time of Goldsmith's leaving Edinthere take in, to me, the most pleasing horizon in burgh in the year 1754, I never saw him till the nature. Before Charles came hither, my thoughts year 1756, when I was in London attending the sometimes found refuge from severe studies among hospitals and lectures: early in January he called my friends in Ireland. I fancied strange revolutions upon me one morning before I was up, and on my at home; but I find it was the rapidity of my own entering the room I recognised my old acquaintmotion that gave an imaginary one to objects really ance, dressed in a rusty full trimmed black suit, at rest. No alterations there. Some friends, he with his pockets full of papers, which instantly retells me, are still lean, but very rich; others very minded me of the poet in Garrick's farce of Lethe. fat, but still very poor. Nay, all the news I hear After we had finished our breakfast he drew from of you is, that you and Mrs. Hodson sometimes his pocket part of a tragedy, which he said he had sally out in visits among the neighbours, and some- brought for my correction. In vain I pleaded inatimes make a migration from the blue bed to the bility, when he began to read, and every part on brown. I could from my heart wish that you and which I expressed a doubt as to the propriety, was she, and Lishoy and Ballymahon, and all of you, immediately blotted out. I then more earnestly would fairly make a migration into Middlesex; pressed him not to trust to my judgment, but to though, upon second thoughts, this might be at- take the opinion of persons better qualified to detended with a few inconveniencies: therefore, as cide on dramatic compositions. He now told me the mountain will not come to Mahomet, why Ma- that he had submitted his production, so far as he homet shall go to the mountain; or, to speak plain had written, to Mr. Richardson, the author of ClaEnglish, as you can not conveniently pay me a visit, rissa, on which I peremptorily declined offering if next summer I can contrive to be absent six another criticism on the performance. The name weeks from London, I shall spend three of them and subject of the tragedy have unfortunately esamong my friends in Ireland. But first believe me, caped my memory, neither do I recollect, with exmy design is purely to visit, and neither to cut a actness, how much he had written, though I ain figure nor levy contributions, neither to excite en-inclined to believe that he had not completed the vy nor solicit favour; in fact, my circumstances are third act; I never heard whether he afterwards adapted to neither. I am too poor to be gazed at, finished it. In this visit, I remember his relating a and too rich to need assistance. strange Quixotic scheme he had in contemplation, "You see, dear Dan, how long I have been of going to decipher the inscriptions on the Writtalking about myself; but attribute my vanity to ten Mountains, though he was altogether ignorant my affection: as every man is fond of himself, and of Arabic, or the language in which they might I consider you as a second self, I imagine you will be supposed to be written. The salary of three consequently be pleased with these instances of hundred pounds per annum, which had been left egotism." for the purpose, was the temptation!"
Goldsmith then alludes to some concerns of a private nature, and concludes:
With regard to the sketch of a tragedy here alluded to, the piece never was completed, nor did he "My dear sir, these things give me real uneasi- afterwards attempt any thing in the same line. ness, and I could wish to redress them. But at His project respecting the Written Mountains, present there is hardly a kingdom in Europe in was certainly an undertaking of a most extravawhich I am not a debtor. I have already discharged gant description; but, if we consider how little my most threatening and pressing demands, for we must be just before we can be grateful. For the rest I need not say, (you know I am,) your affectionate kinsman."
qualified he was for such a task, it can hardly be supposed that the scheme ever entered seriously into his mind. It was not unusual with him to hazard opinions and adopt resolutions, without The medical and literary pursuits of our author, much consideration, and often without calculating though productive, at this period, of little emolu- the means to the end. "Goldsmith," said Bosment, gradually extended the sphere of his acquaint- well, "had a more than common share of that ance. Several of his fellow students at Edinburgh hurry of ideas which we often find in his countryand Dublin were now resident in London, and, by men. He was very much what the French call degrees, he continued to renew the intimacy that un etourdi, and from vanity and an eager desire had formerly subsisted between them. Some of
them occasionally assisted him with their purse,
It is presumed that Dr. Steigh is meant.
of being conspicuous, wherever he was, he fre- never do it sincerely. Take me then with all my quently talked earelessly, without knowledge of faults. Let me write when I please; for you see I the subject or even without thought." The ex- say what I please, and am only thinking aloud travagant scheme respecting the Written Moun- when writing to you. I suppose you have heard tains, however, seems not to have given way to a of my intention of going to the East Indies. The more rational undertaking at home; and, notwith-place of my destination is one of the factories on standing our author's boast, in his letter to Mr. the coast of Coromandel, and I go in the quality of Hodson, of being "too rich to need assistance," physician and surgeon; for which the Company has we find him, about this time, induced to relinquish signed my warrant, which has already cost me ten his medical practice, and undertake the manage- pounds. I must also pay fifty pounds for my pasment of the classical school at Peckham. The sage, and ten pounds for my sea-stores; and the master, Dr. Milner, having been seized with a se- other incidental expenses of my equipment will vere illness, was unable to attend to the duties of amount to sixty or seventy pounds more. The sahis charge; and it had been necessary to procure a lary is but trifling, viz. one hundred pounds per person, of classical attainments, to preside over annum; but the other advantages, if a person be pruthe establishment, while deprived of his own sup- dent, are considerable. The practice of the place, port. The son of the doctor having studied with if I am rightly informed, generally amounts to not Goldsmith at Edinburgh, knew his abilities as a scholar, and recommended him to his father as a person well qualified for the situation. Our author accordingly took charge of the school, and acquitted with the high interest which money bears, viz. himself in the management so much to the satis- twenty per cent., are the inducements which perfaction of his employer, that he engaged to procure suade me to undergo the fatigues of the sea, the a medical appointment for him under the East In- dangers of war, and the still greater dangers of the dia Company. Dr. Milner had considerable in- climate; which induce me to leave a place where I fluence with some of the directors, and afterwards am every day gaining friends and esteem, and made good his promise, for, by his means, through where I might enjoy all the conveniencies of life. the interest of the director Mr. Jones, Goldsmith I am certainly wrong not to be contented with what was appointed physician to one of the factories in India, in the year 1758.
less than one thousand pounds per annum, for which the appointed physician has an exclusive privilege. This, with the advantages resulting from trade,
I already possess, trilling as it is; for should I ask myself one serious question, What is it I want?This appointment seems, for a while, to have what can I answer? My desires are as capricious filled the vivid imagination of our author with as the big-bellied woman's who longed for a piece splendid dreams of futurity. The princely fortunes of her husband's nose. I have no certainty, it is acquired by some individuals in the Indies flattered true; but why can not I do as some men of more him with the hope of similar success; and accord- merit, who have lived on more precarious terms? ingly we find him bending his whole soul to the Scarron used jestingly to call himself the Marquis accomplishment of this new undertaking. The of Quenault, which was the name of the bookselchief obstacle that stood in the way was the ex-ler that employed him; and why may not I assert pense of his equipment for so long a voyage; but my privilege and quality on the same pretensions? his "Present State of Polite Literature in Europe" Yet, upon deliberation, whatever airs I give myhad been, for some time, preparing for the press; self on this side of the water, my dignity, I fancy and he seems to have relied that the profits of that would be evaporated before I reached the other. I work would afford the means of enabling him to know you have in Ireland a very indifferent idea of embark. Proposals were immediately drawn up, a man who writes for bread, though Swift and and published, to print the work by subscription. Steele did so in the earliest part of their lives. You These he circulated with indefatigable zeal and imagine, I suppose, that every author by profession industry. He wrote to his friends in Ireland to lives in a garret, wears shabby clothes, and conpromote the subscription in that country, and, in verses with the meanest company. Yet I do not the correspondence with them, he evinces the believe there is one single writer, who has abilities greatest anxiety for its success. In the following to translate a French novel, that does not keep betletter he explains his situation and prospects, and ter company, wear finer clothes, and live more genshows how much he had set his heart on the ex-teely, than many who pride themselves for nothing pedition to the East. It is without date, but writ-else in Ireland. I confess it again, my dear Dan, ten some time in 1758, or in the early pan of 1759, that nothing but the wildest ambition could prevail and addressed to Mr. Daniel Hodson, his brotherin-law.
"DEAR SIR,-You can not expect regularity in one who is regular in nothing. Nay, were I forced to love you by rule, I dare venture to say, I could
on me to leave the enjoyment of that refined conversation which I am sometimes permitted to partake in, for uncertain fortune, and paltry show. You can not conceive how I am sometimes divided. To leave all that is dear to me gives me pain; bus