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others, his natural irritability of temper increased by habits of intemperance, he at length abandoned himself to the practice of reviewing, and became one of the Ishmaelites of the press.o

In this his malignant bitterness soon gave him a notoriety 5 which his talents had never been able to attain. We shall dis

miss him for the present with the following sketch of him by the hand of one of his contemporaries :

Dreaming of genius° which he never had,

Half wit, half fool, half critic, and half mad; 10

Seizing, like Shirley, on the poet's lyre,
With all his rage, but not one spark of fire;
Eager for slaughter, and resolved to tear
From others' brows that wreath he must not wear —

Next Kenrick came : all furious and replete 15

With brandy, malice, pertness, and conceit;
Unskill'd in classic lore, through envy blind
To all that's beauteous, learned, or refined:
For faults alone behold the savage prowl,

With reason's offal glut his ravening soul; 20

Pleased with his prey, its inmost blood he drinks,

And mumbles, paws, and turns it — till it stinks." The British press about this time was extravagantly fruitful of periodical publications.° That “ oldest inhabitant,” the

Gentleman's Magazine, almost coeval with St. John's gate which 25 graced its title-page, had long been elbowed by magazines and

reviews of all kinds : Johnson's Rambler had introduced the fashion of periodical essays, which he had followed up in his Adventurer and Idler. Imitations had sprung up on every side,

under every variety of name; until British literature was en30 tirely overrun by a weedy and transient efflorescence. Many

of these rival periodicals choked each other almost at the outset, and few of them have escaped oblivion.

Goldsmith wrote for some of the most successful, such as the Bee, the Busy-Body, and the Lady's Magazine. His essays, 35 though characterized by his delightful style, his pure, benevo

lent morality, and his mellow, unobtrusive humor, did not produce equal effect at first with more garish writings of infinitely less value; they did not "strike," as it is termed; but they had

that rare and enduring merit which rises in estimation on every 40 perusal. They gradually stole upon the heart of the public,

were copied into numerous contemporary publications, and now they are garnered up among the choice productions of British literature.

In his Inquiry into the State of Polite Learning, Goldsmith had given offence to David Garrick, at that time autocrat 5 of the drama, and was doomed to experience its effect. A clamor had been raised against Garrick for exercising a despotism over the stage, and bringing forward nothing but old plays to the exclusion of original productions. Walpoleo joined in this charge. “Garrick,” said he, “is treating the town as it de-10 serves and likes to be treated, — with scenes, fire-works, and his own writings. A good new play I never expect to see more ; nor have seen since the Provoked Husband, which came out when I was at school.” Goldsmith, who was extremely fond of the theatre, and felt the evils of this system, inveighed in his 15 treatise against the wrongs experienced by authors at the hands of managers. “Our poet's performance,” said he, “must undergo a process truly chemical before it is presented to the public. It must be tried in the manager's fire; strained through a licenser, suffer from repeated corrections, till it may 20 be a mere caput mortuum when it arrives before the public.” Again, Getting a play on even in three or four years is a privilege reserved only for the happy few who have the arts of courting the manager as well as the Muse; who have adulation to please his vanity, powerful patrons to support their 25 merit, or money to indemnify disappointment. Our Saxon ancestors had but one name for a wit and a witch. I will not dispute the propriety of uniting those characters then; but the man who under present discouragements ventures to write for the stage, whatever claim he may have to the appellation 30 of a wit, at least has no right to be called a conjurer." passage which perhaps touched more sensibly than all the rest on the sensibilities of Garrick, was the following :

“I have no particular spleen against the fellow who sweeps the stage with the besom, or the hero who brushes it with his 35 train. It were a matter of indifference to me, whether our heroines are in keeping, or our candle-snuffers burn their fingers, did not such make a great part of public care and polite conversation. Our actors assume all that state off the


But a

stage which they do on it; and, to use an expression borrowed from the green-room, every one is up in his part. I am sorry to say it, they seem to forget their real characters.”

These strictures were considered by Garrick as intended for 5 himself, and they were rankling in his mind when Goldsmith

waited upon him and solicited his vote for the vacant secretaryship of the Society of Arts, of which the manager was a member. Garrick, puffed up by his dramatic renown and his

intimacy with the great, and knowing Goldsmith only by his 10 budding reputation, may not have considered him of sufficient

importance to be conciliated. In reply to his solicitations, he observed that he could hardly expect his friendly exertions after the unprovoked attack he had made upon his manage

ment. Goldsmith replied that he had indulged in no person15 alities, and had only spoken what he believed to be the truth.

He made no further apology nor application; failed to get the appointment, and considered Garrick his enemy. In the second edition of his treatise he expunged or modified the pas

sages which had given the manager offence; but though the 20 author and actor became intimate in after years, this false step at the outset of their intercourse was never forgotten.

About this time Goldsmith engaged with Dr. Smollett, who was about to launch the British Magazine Smollett was a com

plete schemer and speculator in literature, and intent upon 25 enterprises that had money rather than reputation in view.

Goldsmith has a good-humored hit at this propensity in one of his papers in the Bee, in which he represents Johnson, Hume, and others taking seats in the stage-coach bound for Fame, while Smollett prefers that destined for Riches.

Another prominent employer of Goldsmith was Mr. John Newbery, who engaged him to contribute occasional essays to a newspaper entitled the Public Ledger, which made its first appearance on the 12th of January, 1760. His most valu

able and characteristic contributions to this paper were his 35 Chinese Letters subsequently modified into the Citizen of the

World. These lucubrations attracted general attention; they were reprinted in the various periodical publications of the day, and met with great applause. The name of the author, how. ever, was as yet but little known.


Being now easier in circumstances, and in the receipt of frequent sums from the booksellers, Goldsmith, about the middle of 1760, emerged from his dismal abode in Green Arbor Court, and took respectable apartments in Wine-Office Court, Fleet Street.

5 Still he continued to look back with considerate benevolence to the poor hostess, whose necessities he had relieved by pawning his gala coat, for we are told that " he often supplied her with food from his own table, and visited her frequently with the sole purpose to be kind to her.”

10 He now became a member of a debating club called the Robin Hood, which used to meet near Temple Bar, and in which Burke, while yet a Temple student, had first tried his powers. Goldsmith spoke here occasionally, and is recorded in the Robin Hood archives as “a candid disputant with a clear 15 head and an honest heart, though coming but seldom to the society.” His relish was for clubs of a more social, jovial nature, and he was never fond of argument. An amusing anecdote is told of his first introduction to the club, by Samuel Derrick, an Irish acquaintance of some humor. On entering, 20 Goldsmith was struck with the self-important appearance of the chairman ensconced in a large gilt chair. This,” said he, * must be the Lord Chancellor at least.” “No, no,” replied Derrick, “ he's only master of the rolls.” — The chairman was a baker.




New Lodgings. – Visits of Ceremony. — Hangers-on. — Pilkington and

the White Mouse. - Introduction to Dr. Johnson. Davies and his Bookshop. - Pretty Mrs. Davies. Foote and his Projects. Criticism of the Cudgel.

In his new lodgings in Wine-Office Court, Goldsmith began to receive visits of ceremony, and to entertain his literary friends. Among the latter he now numbered several names of note, such as Guthrie, Murphy,° Christopher Smart," and



Bickerstaff. He had also a numerous class of hangers-on, the small fry of literature; who, knowing his almost utter incapacity to refuse a pecuniary request, were apt, now that he was considered flush, to levy continual taxes upon purse. 5 Among others, one Pilkington, an old college acquaintance, but now a shifting adventurer, duped him in the most ludicrous

He called on him with a face full of perplexity. A lady of the first rank having an extraordinary fancy for curious

animals, for which she was willing to give enormous sums, he 10 had procured a couple of white mice to be forwarded to her

from India. They were actually on board of a ship in the river. Her grace had been apprised of their arrival, and was all impatience to see them. Unfortunately he had no cage to put them

in, nor clothes to appear in before a lady of her rank. Two 15 guineas would be sufficient for his purpose, but where were two guineas to be procured!

The simple heart of Goldsmith was touched; but, alas! he had but half a guinea in his pocket. It was unfortunate, but,

after a pause, his friend suggested, with some hesitation, “ that 20 money might be raised upon his watch: it would but be the

loan of a few hours." So said, so done; the watch was delivered to the worthy Mr. Pilkington to be pledged at a neighboring pawnbroker's, but nothing farther was ever seen of him, the

watch, or the white mice. The next that Goldsmith heard of 25 the poor shifting scapegrace, he was on his death-bed, starving

with want, upon which, forgetting or forgiving the trick he had played upon him, he sent him a guinea. Indeed he used often to relate with great humor the foregoing anecdote of his credu

lity, and was ultimately in some degree indemnified by its sug30 gesting to him the amusing little story of Prince Bonbennin and the White Mouse in the Citizen of the World.

In this year Goldsmith became personally acquainted with Dr. Johnson, toward whom he was drawn by strong sympathies,

though their natures were widely different. Both had struggled 35 from early life with poverty, but had struggled in different

ways. Goldsmith, buoyant, heedless, sanguine, tolerant of evils, and easily pleased, had shifted along by any temporary expedient ; cast down at every turn, but rising again with indomitable good-bumor, and still carried forward by his talent

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