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was dressed in my best clothes. Sleigh scarcely at London. You may easily imagine what diffknew 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 and that in a country where being born an Irishpurse and his friendship with me during his con- man was sufficient to keep me unemployed. Many tinuance in London."
in such circumstances would have had recourse to The friendship of Dr. Sleigh* was not confined the friar's cord, or the suicide's halter. But, with to the mere relief of our poet's immediate wants, all my follies, I had principle to resist the one, and but showed itself in an anxious solicitude for his resolution to combat the other. 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 Goldsınith, 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 1 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 im- or 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 maladis 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 who never received, when in it, above common ci married his eldest sister. It is dated Temple Ex vility; who never brought any thing out of it, exchange Coffee-house, December 27, 1757, and addressed to Daniel Hodson, Esq., at Lishoy, near tion is equally ridiculous with the Scotchman's
cept his brogue and his blunders. Surely my affecBallymahon, Ireland.
who refused to be cured of the itch because it made “Dear Sir, It may be four years since my last him unco thoughtful o his wife and bonnie Indeletters went to Ireland; and from you in particular
rary. But now to be serious; let me ask myself I received no answer, probably because you never what gives me a wish to see Ireland again? The wrote to me. My brother Charles, however, in
country is a fine one, perhaps ? No.—There are forms me of the fatigue you were at in soliciting a
good company in Ireland? No.—The conversation subscription to assist me, not only among my friends there is generally made up of a smutty toast, or a and relations, but acquaintance in general. Though bawdy song. The vivacity supported by some my pride might feel some repugnance at being thus humble cousin, who has just folly enough to earn relieved, yet my gratitude can suffer no diminution. his dinner. Then, perhaps, there is more wit and How much am I obliged to you, to them, for such learning among the Irish ? Oh, Lord, no! There generosity, or (why should not, your virtues have
has been more money spent in the encouragement the proper name) for such charity to me at that
of the Podareen mare there in one season, than juncture. Sure I am born to ill fortune, to be so much a debtor, and unable to repay. But to say Usher. All their productions in learning amount
given in rewards to learned men since the time of no more of this: too many professions of gratitude
to perhaps a translation, or a few tracts in divinity; are often considered as indirect petitions for future
and all their productions in wit to just nothing at favours; let me only add, that my not receiving that
all.—Why the plague, then, so fond of Ireland ? supply was the cause of my present establishment
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 city, and was rapidly rising into eminence in his profession picture, have a residence there
. This it is that 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 deprivel the world of a finc 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 polito of melody, I sit and sigh for Lishoy fireside, and and the learned. Among the friendships thus Johnny Armstrong's Last Good Nigh, 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, ascide 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 perempturily 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 am 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 With regard to the sketch of a tragedy here alprivate nature, and concludes:
luded 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 qualified he was for such a task, it can hardly be we must be just before we can be grateful. For supposed that the scheme ever entered seriously the rest I need not say, (you know I am,) your af- into his mind. It was not unusual with him to fectionate kinsman."
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. Sleigh is meant
of being conspicuous, wherever he was, he fre. I never do it sincerely. Take me then with all my nuently 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 less than one thousand pounds per annum, for which scholar, and recommended him to his father as a the appointed physician has an exclusive privilege. person well qualitied for the situation. Our author This, with the advantages resulting from trade, 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 I already possess, trifling as it is; for should I ask India, in the year 1758.
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 paix of 1759, that nothing but the wildest ambition coulà prevail and addressed to Mr. Daniel Hodson, his brother-on me to leave the erfyoyment of that refined conin-law.
versation which I am sometimes permitted to par“DEAR SIR, – You can not expect regularity in take in, for uncertain fortune, and paltry show. one who is regular in nothing. Nay, were I forced You can not conceive how I am sometimes divided. w love you by mle, I dare venture to say, I could To leave all that is dear to me gives me pain; but when I consider I may possibly acquire a genteel in it. I can not think the world has taken such. independence for life; when I think of that dignity entire possession of that heart (once so suscepwhich philosophy claims, to raise itself above con- tible of friendship,) as not to have left a corner tempt and ridicule; when I think thus, I eagerly there for a friend or two; but I flatter myself that I long to embrace every opportunity of separating even have my place among the number. This I myself from the vulgar, as much in my circum- have a claim to from the similitude of our disposistances as I am alrea in my sentiments. I am tions; or, setting that aside, I can demand it as my going to publish a book, for an account of which I right by the most equitable law in nature, I mean refer you to a letter which I wrote to my brother that of retaliation; for indeed you have more than Goldsmith Circulate for me among your acquaint- your share in mine. I am a man of few professions; ance a hundred proposals, which I have given or- and yet this very instant I can not avoid the painders may be sent to you, and if, in pursuance of ful apprehension, that my present profession (which such circulation, you should receive any subscrip- speaks not half my feelings) should be considered tons, let them, when collected, be transmitted to only as a pretext to cover a request, as I have a reMr. Bradley, who will give a receipt for the same. quest to make. No, my dear Ned, I know you are
too generous to think so; and you know me too
proud to stoop to mercenary insincerity. I have a " I know not how my desire of seeing Irelandrequest, it is true, to make; but, as I know to whom I which had so long slept, has again revived with so am a petitioner, I make it without diffidence or conmuch ardour. So weak is my temper, and so un- fusion. It is in short this: I am going to publish a steady, that I am frequently tempted, particularly book in London, entitled, “ An Essay on the prewhen low-spirited, to return home, and leave my sent State of Taste and Literature in Europe.” fortune, though just beginning to look kinder. But Every work published here, the printers in Ireland it shall not be. In five or six years I hope to in- republish there, without giving the author the least dulge these transports. I find I want constitution, consideration for his copy. I would in this respect and a strong steady disposition, which alone makes disappoint their avarice, and have all the additional men great. I will, however, correct my faults, advantages that may result from the sale of my persince I am conscious of them."
formance there to myself. The book is now printThe following letter to Edward Mills, Esq. dat-ing in London, and I have requested Dr. Radcliff, ed Temple Exchange Coffee-house, August 7, Mr. Lawder, Mr. Bryanton, my brother Mr. Hen1759, gives the title of the book he was about to pub- ry Goldsmith, and brother-in-law Mr. Holson, to Esh, as stated in the foregoing letter.
circulate my proposals among their acquaintance. “Dear Sir,—You have quitted, I find, that plan The same request I now make to you; and have of life which you once intended to pursue, and given accordingly given directions to Mr. Bradley, bookup ambition for domestic tranquillity. Were I to seller in Dame-street, Dublin, to send you a hunconsult your satisfaction alone in this change, I have dred proposals. Whatever subscriptions, pursuant the utmost reason to congratulate your choice; but to those proposals, you may receive, when collected, when I consider my own, I can not avoid feeling may be transmitted to Mr. Bradley, who will give some regret, that one of my few friends has declin- a receipt for the money and be accountable for tho ed a pursuit in which he had every reason to expect books. I shall not, by a paltry apology, excuse my success. The truth is, like the rest of the world, I self for putting you to this trouble. Were I not am self-interested in my concern; and do not so convinced that you found more pleasure in doing much consider the happiness you have acquired, as good-natured things than uneasiness at being emthe honour I have probably lost in the change. Iployed in them, I should not have singled you out have often let my fancy loose when you were the on this occasion. It is probable you would comply subject, and have imagined you gracing the bench, with such a request, if it tended to the encouragear thundering at the bar; while I have taken no ment of any man of learning whatsoever; what then small pride to myself, and whispered all that I could may not he expect who has claims of family and come near, that this was my cousin. Instead of friendship to enfore his?” this, it seems you are contented to be merely a hap- The same subjects are pursued in another and py man; to be esteemed only by your aequaintance; every interesting letter, written in 1759, but subsew cultivate your paternal acres; to take unmolested quent to the foregoing, to his brother, the Rev. 2 nap under one of your own hawthorns, or in Henry Goldsmith. Mrs. Mills's bed-chamber, which, even a poet must “Dear Sir,-Your punctuality in answering a confess, is rather the most comfortable place of the man whose trade is writing, is more than I had two.
reason to expect, and yet you see me generally fill “But, however your resolutions may be altered a whole sheet, which is all the recompense I can with respect to your situation in life, I persuale my- make for being so frequently troublesome. The self they are unalterable with regard to your friends' behaviour of Mr. Mills and Mr. Lawder is a little
extraordinary. However, their answering neither ticular profession he is designed. If he be assidu. you nor me, is a sufficient indication of their dis- ous, and divested of strong passions, (for passions liking the employment which I assigned them. As in youth always lead to pleasure.) he may do very their conduct is different from what I had expected, well in your college; for it must be owned, that the so I have made an alteration in mine. I shall the industrious poor have good encouragement there, veginning of next month send over two hundred perhaps better than in any other in Europe. But and fifty books, * which are all that I fancy can be if he has ambition, strong passions, and an exqui. well sold among you, and I would have you make site sensibility of contempt, do not send him there, some distinction in the persons who have subscribed. unless you have no other trade for him except your The money, which will amount to sixty pounds, own. It is impossible to conceive how much may may be left with Mr. Bradley as soon as possible. be done by a proper education at home. A boy, for I am not certain but I shall quickly have occasion instance, who understands perfectly well Latin for it. I have met with no disappointment with French, arithmetic, and the principies of the civil respect to my East India voyage, nor are my reso- law, and can write a fine hand, has an education lutions altered; though at the same time, I must that may qualify him for any undertaking. And confess it gives me some pain to think I am almost these parts of learning should be carefully inculbeginning the world at the age of thirty-one. cated, let him be designed for whatever calling he Though I never had a day's sickness since I saw will
. Above all things, let him never touch a royou, yet I am not that strong active man you once mance or novel; these paint beauty in colours more knew me. You scarcely can conceive how much charming than nature, and describe happiness that cight years of disappointment, anguish, and study, man never tastes. How delusive, how destructive have worn me down. If I remember right, you are those pictures of consummate bliss! They teach are seven or eight years older than me, yet I dare the youthful mind to sigh after beauty and happiventure to say, if a stranger saw us both, he would ness which never existed; to despise the little good pay me the honours of seniority. Imagine tu your which fortune has mixed in our cup, by expecting self a pale, melancholy visage, with two great more than she ever gave: and in general, take the wrinkles between the eye-brows, with an eye dis- word of a man who has seen the world, and has gustingly severe, and a big wig, and you may have studied human nature more by experience than a perfect picture of my present appearance. On precept; take my word for it; I say, that books teach the other hand, I conceive you as perfectly sleek us very little of the world. The greatest merit in and healthy, passing many a happy day among a state of poverty would only serve to make the your own children, or those who knew you a child. possessor ridiculous; may distress, but can not reSince I knew what it was to be a man, this is a lieve him. Frugality, and even avarice, in the pleasure I have not known. I have passed my days lower orders of mankind, are true ambition. These among a parcel of cool designing beings, and have afford the only ladder for the poor to rise to prefercontracted all their suspicious manner in my own ment. Teach, then, my dear sir, to your son thrift behaviour. I should actually be as unfit for the so- and economy. Let his poor wandering uncle's ciety of my friends at home, as I detest that which example be placed before his eyes. I had learned I am obliged to partake of here. I can now neither from books to be disinterested and generous, before partake of the pleasure of a revel, nor contribute to I was taught from experience the necessity of being raise its jollity. I can neither laugh nor drink, prudent
. I had contracted the habits and notions have contracted a hesitating disagreeable manner of a philosopher, while I was exposing mysef to of speaking, and a visage that looks ill-nature itself; the insidious approaches of cunning; and often by in short, I have thought myself into a settled melan- being, even with my narrow finances, charitable to choly, and an utter disgust of all that lite brings excess
, I forgot the rules of justice, and placed mywith it. Whence this romantic turn, that all our self in the very situation of the wretch who did not family are possessed with? Whence this love for thank me for my bounty. When I am in the reevery place and every country but that in which we motest part of the world, tell him this, and perhaps
eside? for every occupation but our own? This he may improve from my example. But I find mydesire of fortune, and yet this eagerness to dissi- self again falling into my gloomy habits of thinking. pate? I perceive, my dear sir, that I am at intervals “My mother, I am informed, is almost blind: for indulging this splenetic manner, and following even though I had the utniost inclination to return my own taste regardless of yours.
home, under such circumstances I could not; for to “The reasons you have given me for breeding up behold her in distress, without a capacity of relievyour son a scholar, are judicious and convincing. ing her from it, would add too much to my splenetic I should, however, be glad to know for what par- habit. Your last letter was much too short; it
should have answered some queries I made in my • The “ Present State of Polite Literature in Europe," sub former. Just sit down as I do, and write forward cription price, s.
lull you have filled all your paper; it requires no