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down to us in connection with Goldsmith. | plausible argument. The fact is, that he put The majority of distressed authors were too his private life into his books beyond any obscure to find a biographer. Those of the other genius whom we can call to mind, and greater pretentions had either started from a he had not derived his doctrines from a surrespectable position, or had quickly reached vey of Europe, but from his personal expea higher eminence. A single unwieldy rience of Mr. Griffiths' establishment. It is figure, in the person of Johnson, was seen this, in conjunction with the pleasing style, moving for years among the crowd of ill- and some scattered observations of a lively dressed, ill-fed, badly-lodged, and insulted truth, which gives an interest to the work, in tribe who provided the ephemeral literature spite of its imperfections as a critical and and party pamphlets of the day, but main- philosophic disquisition. He had seen that taining in the midst of his poverty such un- the praise and blame of the "Monthly Reshaken fortitude, such lofty principles, and view" were dispensed in accordance with the such rugged independence, that the charac- mercantile interests and vindictive passions of teristics of the class were very imperfectly Griffiths. He had become acquainted with shadowed forth in him. The portrait drawn the ignorance of the starving scribblers who by Mr. Forster of the moral heroism and hung about the shop, eager, for the sake of robust benevolence of this illustrious man is a job, to do the bidding of their master, and one of the most attractive episodes in his who, when left to their own discretion, misbook. Goldsmith, on the contrary, had the took railing for wit. He had witnessed the habits and tastes of the class. After he had pain which their censures inflicted, and the acquired celebrity, and was admitted to the injury done to books by their oracular abuse. society of men like Burke, Fox, Reynolds, No man, nevertheless, was ever written down and Beauclerk, he looked back with regret except by himself, and the worst that the upon his former haunts. "In truth," he said ablest and most wrong headed critic can effect to Mr. Cooke, "one sacrifices something for is to retard for a little space a reputation the sake of good company, for here I'm shut which is not fully formed, or to shorten the out of several places where I used to play existence of some flimsy publication which if the fool very agreeably." He did not per- left to itself would die a natural death. severe long in resisting his inclinations out He dwelt with equal emphasis upon the of regard to appearances, nor did he ever wrongs of authors,-complained of the conget clear of the shifts and expedients which tempt which was shown to them,-pointed attended his earlier struggles. He was out the evils of their bondage to booksellers, merely destined to exhibit in his single per--and asked the great to renew the patronson, as he rose, all the gradations in the lot of a bookseller's dependant, from the poorest to the best-esteemed.

At the commencement of April appeared the "Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe," upon which Percy had found him engaged in the preceding month. If the work were to be judged by the promise held out in the title, a more superficial and unsatisfactory production has seldom is sued from the press. Though he had travelled through Italy, Germany, and Holland, his account of the literature in these countries, to which he devoted distinct chapters, was so extremely meagre that it really conveyed no information at all. He enlarged but a very little more on the books and authors of England and France. He took up the paradox that the decay of learning had in every age been produced by criticism, and stated that the chief design of his Essay was to pursuade people to write what they thought, regardless of reviewers. Yet the bulk of his treaties had no relation to this position, which he has not supported by any

age of the preceding generation, when a dinner with Lord Somers, procured invitations to Young the poet for the rest of the week. These opinions were natural to one who judged of booksellers from Griffiths,of the respect paid to authors from the treatment experienced by the ragged tenant in "Green Arbor Court,"-and of the advantage to be derived from the countenance of the nobility by the number of feasts which he hoped would accrue to men who were suffering, like himself, from hunger and neglect. But it is not now, nor, probably, was it then, in the power of any Mr. Griffiths to keep an author from fame who had the talent to deserve it; and as for a system of patronizing dinners, it has two fatal objections,--that it is not the needy, the obscure, and the struggling who would receive the invitations; and that any companionship of the kind which does not come about naturally from personal likings or sympathy of tastes, is a degradation instead of an honor.

"The Enquiry" attracted little attention. None of his other productions in the first nine

GOLDSMITH.

9

have been identified, except | is an exceptional gift, and as justly prized as
The fault, or rather the misfor-
ons to the "Critical Review;" it is rare.

he is found exerting himself | tune, of Goldsmith, is, that his necessities
seldom allowed him to take care enough—
that incongruous words, careless phrases,
and weak and slovenly sentences, blot his
beautiful prose.
beautiful

diligence, furnishing essays to dy" and "The Ladies' Magating the whole of a weekly The Bee, which alone cony-two pages. The Bee exrief existence of eight weeks.

On the 1st of January, 1760, appeared the opening number of the "British Magaaimed at variety in his sub-zine," a monthly publication, edited by Dr. a uniformity in the treatment, Smollett; and on the 12th the "Public a daily newspaper, which was ion made in "The Monthly Ledger," a "the observations were fre- started by Mr. Newberry, the bookseller. Goldsmith was invited to contribute to both. d common," is not unfounded. He furnished about twenty essays to the Ons of the work appear to us rks upon acting, and on the magazine, and for the newspaper he wrote pider. Quantity and quality his well known "Citizen of the World." He , it is very creditable to the usually provided two letters a week, and for mind, the readiness of his pen, these he was paid a guinea apiece. They soon attracted a certain degree of attention; ace of his style. He must obhado to keep up with the but we infer from his own later language essays on the little notice which his re not surprised to learn that ening entered the lodging in tained, that their popularity was not great. "Whenever I write anything," he ludicrously Court, turned the key of the ed upbraidings, which were said to Johnson at some period which prethree hours' silence, at the ceded the publication of "The Traveller," "the public make a point to know nothing me came forth in good humor, The plan which Goldsmith a supper from a neighboring about it." rd the poor author, who had adopted in "The Citizen of the World" his arrears under the surveil- of introducing an Oriental, commenting upon manners so different from his own had been ployer. In later days, he was The abser, and whole quires of his frequently tried, and in the case of Montes"Animated Nature" flowed quieu with distinguished success. th such facility, that, accord-surdity of usages which only appear rational ercy, he had seldom occasion because they are familiar, becomes strikingly gle word. "Ah," said he to apparent when they are described by a stranwho was anxiously weighing ger with the wonder of novelty. This happy artifice comes to nothing in the hands of of me who must write a ." But, at this earlier pe- Goldsmith. His Chinese is, to all intents inconvenient propensity to and purposes, an Englishman; and, whenork. "I could not suppress ever he attempts to make him speak in charsion for applause," he makes acter, the failure is complete. It is simply e (who is the alias of Oliver as a collection of light papers upon the vices "but usually consumed that and follies of the day that the work must be after excellence, when it regarded. As in all his speculations, there is much that is commonplace; but he skims en more advantageously emFusive productions of fruitful pleasantly over the surface of things, gives e public were more import- picturesque sketches of the men he met and than to observe the easy the haunts he frequented, and intermingles The style, or the harmony of my observations which, whether grave or gay, after sheet was thrown off bear the stamp of his kindly nature. I wrote better, because they series, consisting of one hundred and twentyan I." It was to this very three letters, was brought to a conclusion med at the outset to curtail about the middle of 1761, and was repubut advancing his reputation, lished in two small volumes at the beginning uch of his subsequent fame. of 1762. ean knowledge is a common which is shared by the dull; othe it in felicitous language

In the gracefully told story of the "Man in Black," which derives additional interest from its being in the main an epitome of the

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life of the essayist himself, he talks of his improvident generosity, and his discovery that the way to assist the needy was first to secure independence. My immediate care, therefore," he says, was to leave my present habitation, and make an entire reformation in my conduct and behavior." He removed, accordingly, towards the close of 1760, into better lodgings in Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, but the reformation in his conduct did not ensue. In every thing which he wrote at this period, he dwells upon the superiority of economy and justice over the misplaced liberality which puts the donor into the indigent circumstances of the person he relieves, for he had been smarting from the effects of discharging the debts of others with the money which should have gone to defray his own. In furtherance of his design, he boasted that he had exchanged his free and open manner for a close, suspicious air, and that he was now on his guard against the needy sharpers who, instead of picking his pockets, prevailed on him to empty them of his own accord into their hands. But he rightly called himself a mere machine of pity, incapable of withstanding the slightest exhibition of real or fictitious distress, and, however knowing his looks, his power to see through the clumsiest fraud was on a par with his firmness. He seems to have smiled at his own impotent resolutions in the moment of forming them. "One of the most heroic actions I ever performed," says the Man in Black, "and for which I shall praise myself as long as I live, was the refusing half-a-crown to an old acquaintance at the time when he wanted it and I had it to spare." This does not promise much constancy in the course, and no indication ever appeared that he had left his improvidence or his simplicity in his Green Arbor Court lodging. Among other good deeds, he remembered the landlady to the day of his death, supplied her from time to time with food from his table, and frequently returned to the scene of his old one-chaired apartment to cheer and assist her.

In evidence of his progress in detecting imposition, we are told that one Pilkington, who had long preyed upon the easiness of his nature, and had exasperated him by his conduct, burst into his room in ecstacies of joy. He apologized for the liberty, but his fortune was made, and he could not resist

hurrying to impart the glad tidings to his

best and earliest benefactor. The Duchess of Manchester had a mania for white mice.

She possessed a pair, and for years had been

and

offering enormous sums for a second. Pilkington had commissioned a friend in India to send him two from the East; they were now in the river on board the good ship "Earl of Chatham," and, in proof of his story, he pulled out the letter advising him of their despatch. Nothing stood between him and independence except the want of a suitable cage in which to present them, he could no more raise the two guineas for the purpose than pay off the national debt. Goldsmith protested that a single half-guinea was all he had in the world. "Ay," says Pilkington, "but you have a watch: if you could let me have that, I could pawn it across the way for two guineas, and be able to repay you with heart-felt gratitude in a few days. Pilkington must have resolved to have his jest as well as his guineas, when he made poor Oliver the dupe of so gross a hoax. Two years elapsed, when he suddenly reäppeared in a state of semi-intoxication at Goldsmith's rooms, and greeted him in the language of familiar friendship, at the unlucky moment when Topham Beauclerk and General Oglethorpe were honoring him with their company, and he was ashamed to seem intimate with the vulgar and disreputable importer of white mice. Pilkington had come to pay, not the guineas, but the "heart-felt gratitude." "Here, my dear friend," he suddenly exclaimed, as he pulled a couple of little parcels out of his pocket, "is a quarter of a pound of tea and half a pound of sugar, for, though it is not in my power at present to return you the two guineas, you nor any man else shall ever have it to say that I want gratitude." Oliver, roused to anger, bid him begone, and he departed, carrying his tea and sugar with him. They never met again; but when Pilkington was dying, a messenger took, says Mr. Forster, "to the poor starving creature's death-bed a guinea from Mr. Goldsmith."

ce

Mr. Cooke, who relates the anecdote of the white mice, has coupled with it another illustration of the extreme credulity of hi friend. He appeared late and hungry at club, and, having eaten no dinner, ordered dish of mutton chops for supper. His c panions, to balk his eager appetite, w their chairs from the table on the appea of the dish, and gave sundry sympto inydisgust. Goldsmith asked anxiously y thing was the matter with the cho they evaded the question, and it only with much pressing that they wer to tell him that the smell was offe rang the bell, covered the waiter,

of

but

ought

He

quickly

[graphic]

علميـ

1

full of people, and the house so crammed that it was impossible to get in till somebody recognized the Duke. While the phrenzy was proceeding, Dr. Johnson, in conjunction with other persons of eminence, investigated the story. The ghost had never made a sign except when the girl was present and in bed, and, the Doctor obliging her to place her hands above the clothes, the noises ceased. The spirit having very incautiously promised to strike her own coffin, which was in the church of St. John's, Clerkenwell, the company adjourned to the vault, and called upon her in vain to keep her word. The exposure was complete, and Johnson drew up a statement of the particulars, and published it in the newspapers. The Doctor himself always spoke of his share in detecting the cheat with much satisfaction, but many, with Churchill at their head, laughed at him for thinking it worth a serious refutation. Parsons, for his infamous attempt to procure the death of his former lodger by a judicial murder, was three times set in the pillory at the end of Cock-lane, and imprisoned for a year. The mob, who were more ready "to take the ghost's word" than to listen to Johnson's reasoning, sympathized with Parsons, and collected a subscription for him. An incident which for weeks and weeks was the talk of the town promised to prove a popular topic, and, by an extant receipt for three guineas paid by Newberry, Goldsmith was known to have produced a pamphlet on the subject. The supposed piece, under the title of "The Mystery Revealed," has been lately discovered, and is republished by Mr. Cunningham in Goldsmith's works.

Shortly after Johnson had laid, and Goldsmith chronicled, the Cock-lane ghost, the worn-out author visited Tunbridge and Bath for his health. The king of the latter place, the notorious Beau Nash, had died the year before, and Goldsmith took advantage of the event to write his Life. He speaks in many passages of his personal acquaintance with him; and though it does not appear when or where the meeting occurred, it is either a fact, or he must have received a considerable assistance from the friends of the Beau. The literal report of the conversation, than which nothing can be more dramatic, and of itself conveys a perfect picture of the man, together with the details of his habits and manners, could only have proceeded from a familiar associate. The merit of the biography is less as a piece of composition, a particular in which it is very unequal, than

as a vivid portrait of the vanities, the follies, the vices, and, what was a redeeming trait, the charities of this poor slave and arbiter of fashion. He has neither exalted nor caricatured him. He describes him as what he was-"a weak man governing weaker subjects," frivolous, insipid, petulant, and boastful, without steady principles or the lighter talents. People bore with his dominion because he was a useful manager of their amusements, and because they were conscious that they paid him but a mock respect. Goldsmith received for this biography, which is of considerable length, only fourteen guineas.

At the end of 1762, Goldsmith, urged, we suppose, by the necessity for fresher air and more active exercise, hired, in addition to his London lodging, country apartments in Islington from a friend of Newberry's, Mrs. Elizabeth Fleming. To secure the landlady her dues, and to protect Goldsmith from the effects of his own prodigality, it was agreed that the bookseller should pay the board and lodging quarterly, and deduct it from the literary earnings of his author. What little money Oliver fingered was doled out to him in small sums of from one to two guineas at a time. No better arrangement could be made for a man, who, in his own words, was careless of the future, and intent upon enjoying the present; but even this precaution, after a short trial, proved insufficient to ward off the old distresses. In the meanwhile, besides writing sundry miscellanies, he was busy upon a "History of England" for the young, in a series of letters. His mode of compiling was to spend his morning in reading such a portion of Hume, Rapin, and sometimes Kennet, as would furnish matter for a single chapter. He passed the remainder of his day with his friends, and and when he went up to bed wrote off his forenoon preparations with the same facility as a common letter. With such a system there could be no deep research, comprehensive views, or profound thought. Nor does he pretend to anything of the kind. His aim was to produce a pleasing transparent narrative, and in this he succeeded. The "Letters" appeared in 1764 as from a "Nobleman to his Son," and were generally attributed to the first Lord Littleton, whose stiff and heavy composition had no resemblance whatever to the easy and often careless style of Goldsmith. The sale of the book was rapid, and, though superficial and inaccurate, it has never ceased to be a favorite.

Newberry's payments exceeding Gold

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