« 이전계속 »
On the grave of AUGUSTA this garland be placed,
LETTER, IN PROSE AND VERSE, TO
[Written in 1772, according to Sir Henry Bunbury, when he first published the piece through Prior's edition of the poet's works, 1837; but when, in the following year, Sir Henry included it in his 'Correspondence,' &c., of his kinsman Sir T. Hanmer, he said that it was "probably written in 1773 or 1774." The letter was in reply to a rhyming invitation to visit the Bunburys (Mr. and Mrs. H. Bunbury) at Barton, their country seat in Suffolk.—ED.]
I READ your letter with all that allowance which critical candour could require, but after all find so much to object to, and so much to raise my indignation, that I cannot help giving it a serious answer. I am not so ignorant, Madam, as not to see there are many sarcasms contained in it, and solecisms also, (solecism is a word that comes from the town of Soleis, in Attica, among the Greeks, built by Solon, and applied as we use the word Kidderminster for curtains from a town also of that name; but this is learning you have no taste for!)—I say, Madam, there are 1 Here there seems to be a recollection of Collins's Cymbeline Dirge:"Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom, And rifle all the breathing Spring."
And similar echoes of Collins, and others, will be found elsewhere in this poem. The haste attendant upon its production, however, and the author's own admission in his "Advertisement" (p. 97) that it is "a compilation rather than a poem " will excuse these shortcomings.-ED.
2 There are three texts of this work-(1) That of the printed pamphlet of 1772 (used by Mr. B. Corney, and adopted also by us in the main); (2) That of the Cradock MS. (used by Chalmers); and (3) That of the copy owned by Isaac Reed (which Prior mostly adhered to)-ED.
sarcasms in it, and solecisms also. But, not to seem an ill-natured critic, I'll take leave to quote your own words, and give you my remarks upon them as they occur. begin as follows:
"I hope, my good Doctor, you soon will be here,
And your spring-velvet coat very smart will appear,
Pray, Madam, where did you ever find the epithet "good" applied to the title of Doctor? Had you called me learned Doctor, or grave Doctor, or noble Doctor, it might be allowable, because they belong to the profession. But, not to cavil at trifles, you talk of my "spring-velvet coat," and advise me to wear it the first day in the year, that is in the middle of winter!-a spring-velvet in the middle of winter!!! That would be a solecism indeed! and yet, to increase the inconsistence, in another part of your letter you call me a beau. Now on one side or other, you must be wrong. If I am a beau I can never think of wearing a spring-velvet in winter; and if I am not a beau-whythen that explains itself. But let me go on to your two next strange lines :
"And bring with you a wig that is modish and gay, To dance with the girls that are makers of hay." The absurdity of making hay at Christmas you yourself seem sensible of; you say your sister will laugh, and so indeed she well may! The Latins have an expression for a contemptuous sort of laughter, Naso contemnere adunco; that is to laugh with a crooked nose; she may laugh at you in the manner of the ancients, if she thinks fit. But now I am come to the most extraordinary of all extraordinary propositions, which is, to take your and your sister's advice in playing at loo. The presumption of the offer raises my indignation beyond the bounds of prose; it inspires me at once with verse and resentment. I take advice! And from whom? You shall hear.—
First let me suppose, what may shortly be true,
Round and round go the cards, while I inwardly damn,
I lay down my stake, apparently cool,
"Pray what does Miss Horneck?' take courage, come, do!"Who, I? Let me see, Sir; why I must pass too."
Mr. Bunbury frets, and I fret like the devil,
To see them so cowardly, lucky, and civil; Yet still I sit snug, and continue to sigh on, 'Till made by my losses as bold as a lion,
I venture at all; while my avarice regards
The whole pool as my own. "Come, give me five cards."
I ask for advice from the lady that's next.
Pray, Ma'am, be so good as to give your advice;
Don't you think the best way is to venture for 't twice?"
For giving advice that is not worth a straw,
1 Miss Mary Horneck, "the Jessamy Bride." See ante, p. 94; also ‹ Life,' v. i., pp. 32, 41; and, for some charming_speculation as to the Jessamy Bride and Goldsmith, see Washington Irving's 'Life' of the poet.-ED.
2 Sir John Fielding, the half-brother of Henry Fielding, the novelist. He was a famous magistrate at Bow Street Police Court.-ED.
And picking of pockets, with which I now charge ye,
Pray what are their crimes?" "They've been pilfering found."
"But, pray whom have they pilfer'd?" "A Doctor, I hear;"
What, yon solemn-faced, odd-looking man that stands near?"
The same." "What a pity! How does it surprise
Two handsomer culprits I never set eyes on!"
Then their friends all come round me with cringing and leering,
To melt me to pity and soften my swearing.
First Sir Charles advances with phrases well strung:
Consider, dear Doctor, the girls are but young."
"The younger the worse," I return him again,
"It shows that their habits are all dyed in grain."
"But then they're so handsome; one's bosom it grieves." "What signifies handsome when people are thieves?
But where is your justice? Their cases are hard.
"What signifies justice? I want the reward."
"There's the parish of Edmonton offers forty pounds; there's the parish of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, offers forty pounds; there's the parish of Tyburn, from the Hog-in-the-Pound to St. Giles's watchhouse, offers forty pounds, I shall have all that if I convict them."
"But consider their case,-it may yet be your own! And see how they kneel! is your heart made of stone?' This moves:-so at last I agree to relent,
For ten pounds in hand and ten pounds to be spent.
I challenge you all to answer this: I tell you, you can
not. It cuts deep ;-but now for the rest of the letter; and next-but I want room. So I believe I shall battle the rest out at Barton some day next week.
I don't value you all!
[Intended to have been sung in the comedy of 'She Stoops to Conquer' ; but omitted, because Mrs. Bulkley, who acted the part of Miss Hardcastle, could not sing.-BOSWELL: vide note below.]
Ан me! when shall I marry me?
Lovers are plenty; but fail to relieve me.
He, fond youth, that could carry me,
Offers to love, but means to deceive me.
But I will rally, and combat the ruiner:
Not a look, not a smile shall my passion discover. She that gives all to the false one pursuing her, Makes but a penitent-loses a lover.3
MRS. BULKLEY AND MISS CATLEY.
[This Epilogue, headed as above, first appeared in Percy's edition of the 'Works,' 1801. It seems pretty certain, however, from the following letter by Goldsmith, that the heading should have been different, and that the epilogue was intended for She Stoops to Conquer,' but never delivered. Writing without date, but evidently just after the production of his comedy, Goldsmith says to his friend Cradock, "The play has met with a success much beyond your expectations or mine. I thank
This song was communicated, after Goldsmith's death, to the editor of the London Magazine' (June, 1774), by Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson. Goldsmith himself, says Boswell, used to sing it to a pretty Irish air called the Humours of Ballamagairy,' to which he confessed that he found it very difficult to adapt words.-ED.
? So in London Magazine.' The usual version is-"nor a smile.” -ED.
3 So in London Magazine.' The usual reading is" and loses a lover."-ED.