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were on the other hand small, irregular, uncertain, and in some two years at the furthest, exhausted altogether.

Here, in this letter to his uncle, he says that he has drawn for six pounds, and that his next draft, five months after this date, will be for but four pounds; pleading in extenuation of even these demands, that he has been obliged to buy everything since he came to Scotland, 'shirts not even excepted.' He professes himself pleased with his studies, and hopes that when he shall have heard Munro for another year, he may go to hear Albinus, the 'great professor at Leyden.' The whole of the letter gives evidence of a most grateful affection. In the second, written eight months later, where he describes his preparations for travel, it is not less apparent: 'Let me here ' acknowledge,' he says, 'the humility of the station in 'which you found me; let me tell how I was despised by 'most, and hateful to myself. Poverty, hopeless poverty, 'was my lot, and Melancholy was beginning to make me 'her own. When you.... This good man did not live to know the entire good he had done, or that his own name would probably live with the memory of it as long as the English language lasted. Thou best of men!' exclaims his nephew in the third of these letters, to which I shall presently make larger reference, may Heaven 'guard and preserve you, and those you love!' It is the care of Heaven that actions worthy of itself should, in the doing, find reward: waiting not even on the thanks and prayers of such a heart as Goldsmith's. Another twenty

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pounds are acknowledged on the eve of departure from Edinburgh, as the last he will ever draw for. It was the last, of which we have record. But Goldsmith had drawn his last breath before he forgot his uncle Contarine.

The old vicissitudes attended him at this new move in his game of life. Land rats and water rats were at his heels as he quitted Scotland. Bailiffs hunted him for security given to a fellow-student; and shipwreck he only escaped by a fortnight's imprisonment on a false political charge. Bound for Leyden, with characteristic carelessness or oddity he had secured his passage in a ship bound for Bourdeaux; but taken for a Jacobite in Newcastle-on-Tyne, and in Sunderland arrested by a tailor, the ship sailed on without him, and sank at the mouth of the Garonne. At last he got safe to the learned city; and wrote off to his uncle, among other sketches of character obviously meant to give him pleasure, what he thought of the three specimens of womankind he had now seen, out of Ireland. 'The Dutch is pale and fat,' he writes, the Scotch lean and ruddy: the one walks as 'if she were straddling after a go-cart, the other takes

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too masculine a stride. I shall not endeavour to deprive ' either country of its share of beauty; but I must say, 'that of all objects on this earth, an English farmer's daughter is most charming.'

In the same delightful letter he observingly corrects the vulgar notion of the better kind of Dutchman, and amusingly contrasts him with the downright Hollander.

"He in everything imitates a Frenchman, but in his easy disengaged air, which is the result of keeping polite company. The Dutchman is vastly ceremonious, and is exactly perhaps what a Frenchman might have been in the reign of Louis XIV. Such are the better bred; but the downright Hollander is one of the oddest figures in nature. Upon a head of lank hair he wears a half-cocked narrow hat laced with black ribbon, no coat, but seven waistcoats, and nine pair of breeches, so that his hips reach almost up to his arm-pits. This well-clothed vegetable is now fit to see company, or make love. But what a pleasing creature is the object of his appetite? Why, she wears a large fur cap, with a deal of Flanders lace; and for every pair of breeches he carries, she puts on two petticoats. A Dutch lady burns nothing about her phlegmatic admirer but his tobacco. You must know, sir, every woman carries in her hand a stove, with coals in it, which, when she sits, she snugs under her petticoats, and at this chimney, dozing Strephon lights his pipe."

At the close of the letter, Scotland and Holland are contrasted: There, hills and rocks intercept every pros'pect; here, it is all a continued plain. There, you might 'see a well dressed Duchess issuing from a dirty close, and 'here a dirty Dutchman inhabiting a palace. [The Scotch

may be compared to a tulip planted in dung; but I 6 never see a Dutchman in his own house but I think of a 'magnificent Egyptian temple dedicated to an ox.' The playful tone of these passages, the amusing touch of satire, and the incomparably easy style, so compact and graceful, were announcements, properly first vouchsafed to the delight of good Mr. Contarine, of powers that were one day to give unfading delight to all the world.


Little is known of his pursuits at Leyden; but by this time he would seem to have applied himself, with little affectation of disguise, to general knowledge more than to professional. The one was available in immediate wants; the other pointed to but a distant hope which those very wants made, daily, more obscure; and the narrow necessities of self-help now crowded on him. His principal means of support were as a teacher; but the difficulties and disappointments of his own Philosophic Vagabond, when he went to Holland to teach the natives English, himself knowing nothing of Dutch, appear to have made it a sorry calling. Then, it is said, he bortrowed; and again resorted to play, winning even largely but losing all he won; and it is at least certain that he encountered every form of distress. Unhappily, though he wrote many letters to Ireland, some of them described from recollection as compositions of singular ease and humour, all are lost. But Doctor Ellis, an Irish physician of eminence, and ex-student of Leyden, remembered his fellow-student when years had made him famous, and said: much, it may be confessed, in the tone of ex-post-facto prophecy that it was a common subject of remark in the place, that in all the peculiarities of Goldsmith an elevation of mind was to be noted; a philosophical tone and manner; the feeling of a gentleman; and the language and information of a scholar.' Being much in want of the philosophy, it is well that he had it; though his last known scene in Leyden was less characteristic of that, than

of the gentle, grateful heart. Bent upon leaving that city, where he had now been nearly a year without an effort for a degree, he called upon Ellis and asked his assistance in some trifling sum. It was given; but as his Evil, or (some might say) his Good genius would have it, he passed a florist's garden on his return, and seeing some rare and high-priced flowers which his uncle Contarine, a floral enthusiast, had often spoken and been in search of, he ran in without other thought than of immediate pleasure to his kindest friend, bought a parcel of the roots, and sent them off to Ireland. He left Leyden next day, with a guinea in his pocket, but one shirt to his back, and a flute in his hand.

To understand what was probably passing in his mind at this curious point of his fortunes, The Present State of Polite Learning, the first literary piece which, a few years afterward, he published on his own account, will in some degree serve as a guide. The Danish writer, Baron de Holberg, was much talked of at this time, as a celebrated person recently dead. His career impressed Goldsmith. It was that of a man of obscure origin, to whom literature, other sources having failed, had given great fame and high worldly station. On the death of his father, Holberg had found himself involved in all that distress which is comthe poor, and of which the great have scarcely But persisting in a determination to be something, he resolutely begged his learning and his bread, and so succeeded that a life begun in contempt and

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mon among any idea.'

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