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had drawn upon him for twenty pounds, "just £33 to France, with good store of clothes, shirts, &c., and that with economy will serve." Economy he never practised. Whatever pittance he possessed was usually squandered, and when he lived frugally it was because he had exhausted his means. A letter from Leyden to Mr. Contarine, which de scribes the mishaps that attended his voyage to Holland, whither he went instead of to France, is tinged, like the apologetical epistle to his mother, with palpable romance; and Mr. Forster suggests, we have no doubt truly, that it may perhaps have been dictated by the same motive-a desire to explain away heedless expenditure which might soon compel him to tax anew the purse and patience of his friends. His generous uncle, however, seems shortly afterwards to have sunk into childishness, and his other relatives in Ireland were deaf to his appeals. At Leyden he managed to exist by borrowing and giving lessons in English. He frequented the gaming table, and once brought away a considerable sum, which was lost almost as soon as won. When he took his departure in February 1755, he was obliged to a fellow-student for the loan which was to carry him on his way. Immediately afterwards he passed the shop of a florist, saw some costly tulip-roots, which were things prized by Mr. Contarine, and, solely intent upon gratifying his uncle, bought them at once with the borrowed money. It is these benevolent but ill-regulated impulses which have endeared the memory of Goldsmith to the world. In him the extravagance which ministers to gratitude and relieves wretchedness was still stronger than the improvidence which grew from self-indulgence. "He left Leyden next day," says Mr. Forster, "with a guinea in his pocket, one shirt to his back, and a flute in his hand."

He took the course which he afterwards described in "The Traveller," and trudged on foot through parts of Flanders, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. In later days he used to tell his friends of the distresses he underwent of his sleeping in barns, of his dependence at one time upon the charity of convents, and of his turning itinerant flute-player* at another to get bed

* He was an indifferent performer, and, if we were to credit the story related by Sir John Hawkins, he was ignorant of his notes. Roubiliac, so runs the tale, pretending to be charmed with one of Oliver's airs, begged to have it repeated that he might take it down. The sculptor jotted some random dots

upon tha

Philological Society of London," published in May, 1787, and quoted by Mr. Forster, asserts that a gentleman of his acquaintance had often laid pieces of music before Goldsmith, who played them at sight. The anecdote of Hawkins is not in itself

solemn central figure of the group, w cially provoked by the diverting orig which distinguished Goldsmith from of mankind. The oddity of language t he alludes in The Bee was his Hi dialect, and it was remarked by hi Mr. Cooke that to the close of his lif careful to retain it in all its origina A curious instance of his ignorance lish pronunciation occurs in one of b reviews, in which he takes a poet to making key rhyme with be. He had idea that it had any other sound t native Irish kay.

ing his continuance in London." Through the agency of Sleigh and Jacob he commenced practising in Southwark, and, in the language of Mr. Forster, became "poor physician to the poor." Yet even in this lowly sphere he was mindful of dress, and while with one hand he felt the pulse of his patient, with the other he held his hat upon his breast to conceal a patch upon his coat. Either he failed to get practise, or those who employed him were too needy to pay, and he abandoned physic to become corrector of the press to the famous Samuel Richardson. A printer whom he attended, and who worked for Richardson, is said to have suggested the notion and introduced him to the novelist. This contact with literature did not assist to make apparent the latent qualities of his genius. The author of "Clarissa" was too much taken up with his own importance to have a chance of detecting in his humble assistant the powers which were to produce the "Vicar of Wake-wick he placed it by the remnant o field."

The tricks which the pupils pla upon Oliver he retaliated on the f who was weak in intellect and lud vain. As he prided himself upon hi and drinking feats, Goldsmith rolle white cheese into the shape of a can and inserting a bit of blackened pap

tallow-dip. "You eat that piece of be said to the footman, "and I will e Goldsmith set the example, and wit

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In these several occupations the year was passed. The early part of 1757 found him usher at the Academy of Dr. Milner of Peck-face ate up his cheese by mouthfuls. ham, whose son was another of the fellow he had nearly done, the footman sw students of Goldsmith at Edinburgh. He his own piece of candle at a despera was now secure from want; but to judge and began to triumph over the pr from the descriptions he has left of the nausea of his antagonist. Why calling in his writings, it was of all his shifts William," replied Goldsmith, "my the most painful and degrading. "The candle was no other than a bit of v usher," he wrote in The Bee, "is generally Cheshire cheese, and therefore, Willia the laughing-stock of the school. Every trick unwilling to lose the relish of it." Af is played upon him; the oddity of his tical jokes like these from a man of manners, his dress, or his language, is a fund nine, it was an inevitable conseque of eternal ridicule; the master himself now usher Oliver and footman William sl and then cannot avoid joining in the laugh, treated by the boys with about equal and the poor wretch, eternally resenting this But the old halo of benevolence wh ill usage, lives in a state of war with all the rounds him every where shines out h family." Mr. Forster, who quotes this pas- his salary was usually spent, the ver sage, also quotes from the reminiscences of was paid, in charity to beggars and gi Mr. Cooke, a barrister, who was intimate smaller boys. You had better, M with Goldsmith during the latter part of his smith," said Mrs. Milner at last," let life, the still more significant fact that, though your money for you, as I do for son he was accustomed to relate the hardships of young gentlemen." "In truth, 1 his obscurer days, he never alluded to the he replied, "there is equal need." Peckham Academy. The neglects and insults shown to his poverty were due to his circumstances, but the taunts of his pupils were a deeper wound to his sensitive nature, because they were directed against the man. The sketch of the usher he has drawn in The Bee is a palpable self-portrait, and it is a mark of his simplicity that he has generalised traits which were peculiar to himself. The office was doubtless often treated with disrespect, but the laugh which went round the juvenile circle, and extended itself to the


It was while he was at Peckham circumstance occurred which brou into connection with his real vocat Milner was a contributor to the " Review," and Griffiths, the propriet dining at his table, was so far impi the conversation of Goldsmith, that him to furnish a few specimens of The result was his removal from t lishment of Dr. Milner to that of Mr. He was to lodge and board with seller, to receive a small salary, and


for the work. Two or three of those from | before the examiners at Surgeon's Hall, to whom he expected most took no notice of his qualify for the office of an hospital mate. application, and verified the playful prediction A single unlucky candidate of all who applied in one of his letters of this date, which dis- that day was too ignorant of the rudiments tinctly prefigures Mr. Forster and Mr. Cun- of surgical science to pass, and that one was ningham. "There will come a day, no doubt it Oliver Goldsmith, Bachelor of Medicine, and will, when the Scaligers and Daciers will vin- late practitioner of physic in Bankside, dicate my character, give learned editions of Southwark. Who is to tell, after this, what my labors, and bless the times with copious rare qualities of mind may coexist with stamcomments on the text. You shall see how mering ignorance and a plebeian exterior? they will fish up the heavy scoundrels who disregard me now. How will they bewail the times that suffered so much genius to be neglected!" It is true that the experience which these "heavy scoundrels" had had of the use to which Oliver put pecuniary assistance was by no means encouraging, true that any rumors which reached them of his proceedings abroad could only have exhibited him as a thoughtless idler or a mendicant vagrant, true that any tidings of his London vicissitudes must have surrounded him with the suspicion which always attends upon a man who is everything by turns and nothing long; but they also knew that he was as generous as he was improvident; that, if the situations had been reversed, they would not in vain have asked for themselves what they denied to him; that he had supported himself now for four years "without one word of encouragement, or one act of assistance;" and what was most of all to the purpose, to invite subscriptions to a book was to give a practical proof that he was turning his talents

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His examination at Surgeons' Hall soon involved him in an additional misery. He had no clothes in which he could venture to appear before a tribunal composed of the grandees of the profession. He opened a negotiation with his old master, Griffiths, who, in return for four articles contributed to the "Monthly Review" of December, became security to a tailor for the requisite suit, which was to be paid for, or returned, on a stated day. The stated day came, and found the clothes in pawn, and the four books which Griffiths had sent him to review in pledge to a friend. The occasion which reduced him to this breach of his work was the arrest of the landlord of his wretched lodging, to whom he was in arrear. The bookseller sent to demand the goods or their value, and, as Goldsmith could return neither, Griffiths wrote him word that he was "a sharper and a villain." In an answer full of woe the miserable debtor begs to be consigned to a gaol. "I have seen it," he says, "inevitable these three or four weeks, and, by heavens! request it as a favor,—as a favor that may prevent somewhat more fatal." He denies the villany, but owns that he has been guilty of imprudence, and of "the meannesses which poverty unavoidably brings with it." The wrath of Griffiths was appeased by Goldsmith undertaking to furnish a "Life of Voltaire" for twenty pounds, from which the debt was to be subtracted. The memoir, which was finished in a month, he himself called "a catch penny," and it is certainly unworthy both of the author and the subject. Here closed for ever his illstarred alliance with the bookseller, who was the first to start him in his literary career, and the first to make him feel the bitter bondage of the calling. Griffiths, Mr. Forster relates, retired from his business three or four years later, and ended by keeping two carriages, and attending regularly at the meeting-house. So prosperous and pious a gentleman little dreamt that he was to be known to posterity by his griping insolence to his pauper scribe.

Goldsmith said of himself that he had "a


knack of hoping," but the multiplied disas-Thus in common things he was below medioters which followed close upon one another had nearly reduced him to despair. "I have been for some years," he said, in the affecting letter to Griffiths, of January, 1759, "struggling with a wretched being, with all that contempt which indigence brings with it, and with all those strong passions which make contempt insupportable. What then has a gaol that is formidable? I shall at least have the society of wretches, and such is to me true society." "You scarcely can conceive," he wrote to his brother in the February following, "how much eight years of disappointment, anguish, and study have worn me down. I can now neither partake of the pleasure of a revel, nor contribute to raise its jollity. I can neither laugh nor drink; have contracted a hesitating, disagreeable manner of speaking, and a visage that looks ill-nature itself. In short, I have thought myself into a settled melancholy, and an utter disgust of all that life brings with it." It was through the very excess of the darkness which had gathered around him that he worked his way into day. He ceased to indulge in the tantalizing expectations which had balked him so often, and, without further distractions, sullenly resigned himself to the only business for which he was fitted. If he had succeeded in entering the Church, he would soon have sunk in the eyes of the parishioners to the level of his clerk. If he had satisfied the examiners at Surgeons' Hall that he could set a bone, he would still, we may be sure, have been a bungling operator, and the tormentor of his patients. He once threatened, when Mrs. Sidebotham rejected his advice, and adopted that of her apothecary, to leave off prescribing for his friends. "Do so, my dear Doctor," replied Beauclerk; "whenever you undertake to kill, let it be only your enemies." This was one of the true words which are spoken in jest. Johnson summed up the case when he said that his genius was great, but his knowledge was small. "No man," he remarked again, was wiser when he had a pen in his hand, or more foolish when he had not." He had never been a student, and he had not that aptitude for facts, and that tenacity of memory, which enables many desultory readers to furnish their minds without steady toil. The materials for this charming compilations were hastily gathered for the occasion, and, being merely transplanted, as Johnson said, from one place to another without settling in his mind, he was

Just before his discomfiture in Surgeons' Hall he had removed to a lodging in a pentup little square, now levelled with the ground, which, embosomed in a mass of buildings between Fleet Street and the Old Bailey, seemed named in mockery "Green Arbor Court," and which was approached by a steep flight of stone stairs called "Break-neck Steps." The houses were tall and tumbling, the inhabitants poor and filthy, the children over-many and over-noisy-in Mr. Forster's phrase, "a squalid and squalling colony." In this retreat he was visited by Percy, the well known editor of the "Reliques," and afterwards Bishop of Dromore. Goldsmith had been introduced to him at the Temple Exchange Coffee-house, by Dr. Grainger, the author of the "Sugar-cane," and one of the contributors to Mr. Griffiths' "Monthly Review," and Percy had detected sufficient merit beneath the unpromising appearance of his new-made acquaintance to think him worth a call. He found him, at the beginning of March, 1759, engaged upon his "Enquiry," in a dirty room, with only a single chair, which he gave up to his visitor, while he sat himself in the window. As the conversation was proceeding, a ragged little girl appeared at the door, and, dropping a curtsy to Goldsmith, said, "My mamma sends her compliments, and begs the favor of you to lend her a chamber pot full of coals." A volume of description would not convey a more vivid impression of the society of "Green Arbor Court" than this single trait; and ludicrous as is the incident, the respectful address of the messenger is yet a pleasing proof of the homage which was paid him by the ordinary inhabitants of the square. The most complete picture which. nerhans.

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