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night be, open the book at his descriptions of the battles of Cressy and Agincourt. Vaat * letting fly" at the enemy! and how it is the Black Prince in the one case, and Henry V. in the other, that settles everything with his own hand, and tumbles them over in droves! But read on, and you will see how the style could ronale people to the meagreness of the matter, and keep the compilation so long Popiar. And so with his Animated Nature. Johnson prophesied that he would make the work as pleasant as a Persian tale; and the prophecy was fulfilled. The ** style of Goldsmith-which includes, of course, the habitual rule of sequence in his idez, his sense of fitness and harmony, the liveliness of his fancy from moment to Donzent, and his general mental tact—this is a study in itself. (3) In his original writings, where the charm of his style is most felt, there is, with all their variety of ír, a certain sameness of general effect. The field of incidents, characters, sentiments, and imagined situations, within which the author moves, is a limited one, thos there is great deftness of recombination within that horizon. We do not bean merely that Goldsmith, as an eighteenth-century writer, did not go beyond the siellectual and poetic range to which his century had restricted itself. This is true ; and though we discern in Goldsmith's writings a fine vein of peculiarity, or even niqueness, for the generation to which they belonged, there is yet abundant proof ta: his critical tenets did not essentially transcend those of his generation. Even Bare for him than for some of his contemporaries, Pope was the limit of classic English brerature, and the older grandeurs of Shakespeare and Milton were rugged, barbaric Dountain-masses, well at a distance. But, over and above this limitation of Goldseith's range by essential sympathy with the tastes of his time, there was a something in tis own method and choice of subjects causing a farther and inner circumscription of his bounds. All Goldsmith's phantasies, whether in verse or prose-his Vicar of il'il field, his Traveller, his Deserted Village, his Good-Natured Man and She Stoops the Conquet, and even the humorous sketches that occur in his Essays and Cutian of the World—are phantasies of what may be called reminiscence. Less than even Smollett, did Goldsmith invent, if by invention we mean a projection of the imagination into vacant space, and a filling of portion after portion of that space, es by sheer bold dreaming, with scenery, events, and beings, never known before. He drew on the recollections of his own life, on the history of his own family, on the characters of his relatives, on whimsical incidents that had happened to him in his Irish youth or during his continental wanderings, on his experience as a literary drudge in London. It is easy to pick out passages in his Vicar, his Citizen, and tsewhere, which are, with hardly a disguise, autobiographical. Dr. Primrose is his own father, and the good clergyman of the Deserted Village is his brother llenry; the simple Moses, the Gentleman in Black, young Honeywood in the GoodNatured Man, and even Tony Lumpkin in She Stoops to Conquer, are so many Teproductions of phases of himself; the incident on which this last play turns, the mistake of a gentleman's house for an inn, was a remembered blunder of his own in early life ; and more than once his device for ending all happily is a benevolent andle in the background. That of these simple elements he made so many charming combinations, really differing from each other, and all, though suggested by fact, yet hung so sweetly in an ideal air, proved what an artist he was, and was better than much that is commonly called invention. In short, if there is a sameness of effect in Goldsmith's writings, it is because they consist of poetry and truth, humour and pathos, from his own life, and the supply from such a life as his was not inexhaustible. (4) Though so much of Goldsmith's best writing was generalized and idealized reminiscence, he discharged all special Irish colour out oi | the reminiscence. There are, of course, Irish references and allusions, and we know what a warm heart he had to the last for the island of his birth. But in most of his writings, even when it may have been Irish recollections that suggested the theme, he is careful to drop its origin, and transplant the tale into England. The ideal air in which his phantasies are hung is an English air. The Vicar of Wakefield is an English prose-idyll ; She Stoops to Conquer is a comedy of English humour, and Tony Lumpkin is an English country-lout; and, notwithstanding all the accuracy with which Lissoy and its neighbourhood have been identified with the Auburn of the Deserteil Village, we are in England and not in Ireland while we read that poem.
Goldsmith's heart and genius were Irish ; his wandering about in the world had given him a touch of cosmopolitan ease in his judgment of things and opinions, and especially, what was rare among Englishmen then, a great liking for the French ; but in the form and matter of his writings he was purposely English.
THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
There are an hundred faults in this thing, anil an hundred things mighl be said th free them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous
, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity. The hero of this piece unites is kinself the three greatest characters upon earth ; he is a priest, an husbandman, and the father of a family. He is drawn as ready to teach, and ready to obey; as simple in duence, and majestic in adversity. In this age of opulence and refinement, whom (az swẢ a character please? Such as are fond of high life will turn with disdain fre the simplicity of his country fireside ; such as mistake ribaldry for humour will And no wit in his harmless conversation; and such as have been taught to deride reizzen will laugh at one whose chief stores of comfort are drawn from futurity.
situated in a fine country, and a good The Description of the Family of Wakefield, in neighbourhood. The year was spent in nei a kindred Likeness prevails, as well of a moral or rural amusement, in visiting Keds as of Persons.
our rich neighbours, and relieving such I was ever of opinion, that the honest as were poor. We had no revolutions to on who married and brought up a large fear, nor fatigues to undergo ; all our fazly did more service than he who con- adventures were by the fireside, and all irzed single, and only talked of popula- our migrations from the blue bed to the 103. From this motive, I had scarce brown. sken orders a year before I began to As we lived near the road, we often zak seriously of matrimony, and chose had the traveller or stranger visit us to 7 wife, as she did her wedding-gown, taste our gooseberry wine, for which we
a for a fine glossy surface, but for such had great reputation ; and I profess, with uities as would wear well. To do her the veracity of an historian, that I never -stice, she was a good-natured notable knew one of them find fault with it. Our cuan; and, as for breeding, there were cousins, too, even to the fortieth remove, * country ladies who could show more. all remembered their affinity, without any we could read any English book without help from the heralds' office, and came much spelling; but for pickling, preserv- very frequently to see us. Some of them ng, and cookery, none could excel her. did us no great honour by these claims of Sie prided herself also upon being an kindred; as we had the blind, the maimed, excellent contriver in housekeeping ; and the halt amongst the number. Howthough I could never find that we grew ever, my wife always insisted that, as they richer with all her contrivances.
were the same flesh and blood, they should However, we loved each other tenderly, sit with us at the same table. So that, if ad cur fondness increased as we grew we had not very rich, we generally had
d. There was, in fact, nothing that very happy friends about us ; for this recould make us angry with the world or mark will hold good through life, that the each other.
We had an elegant house poorer the guest, the better pleased he ever is with being treated : and as some after her aunt Grissel ; but my wife, who men gaze with admiration at the colours during her pregnancy' had been reading of a tulip, or the wing of a butterfly, so I romances, insisted upon her being calica was, by nature, an admirer of happy human Olivia. In less than another year we faces. However, when any one of our had another daughter, and now I was relations was found to be a person of very determined that Grissel should be her bad character, a troublesome guest, or one name ; but a rich relation taking a fancy we desired to get rid of, upon his leaving to stand godmother, the girl was, by her my house I ever took care to lend him a directions, called Sophia ; so that we had riding-coat, or a pair of boots, or some- two romantic names in the family ; but times an horse of small value, and I always I solemnly protest I had no hand in it had the satisfaction of finding he never Moses was our next, and, after an interval came back to return them. By this the of twelve years, we had two sons more. house was cleared of such as we did not It would be fruitless to deny exultation like; but never was the family of Wake when I saw my little ones about me ; bui field known to turn the traveller or the the vanity and the satisfaction of my wife poor dependant out of doors.
were even greater than mine. When Thus we lived several years in a state our visitors would say, “Well, upon my of much happiness, not but that we some word, Mrs. Primrose, you have the fines times had those little rubs which Provi. children in the whole country;"—“Ay, dence sends to enhance the value of its neighbour,” she would answer, “they are favours. My orchard was often robbed as Heaven made them, handsome enough, by schoolboys, and my wife's custards if they be good enough; for handsome is plundered by the cats or the children. that handsome does." And then she The Squire would sometimes fall asleep would bid the girls hold up their hends; in the most pathetic parts of my sermon, who, to conceal nothing, were certainly or his lady return my wise's civilities at very handsome. Mere outside is so very church with a mutilated curtsey. But we trifling a circumstance with me, that I soon got over the uneasiness caused by should scarce have remembered to mensuch accidents, and usually in three or tion it, had it not been a general topic of four days began to wonder how they conversation in the country. Olivia, now vexed us.
about eighteen, had that luxuriancy of My children, the offspring of tem- beauty with which painters generally perance, as they were educated without draw Hebe; open, sprightly, and comsoftness, so they were at once well-formed manding. Sophia's features were not so and healthy ; my sons hardy and active, striking at first, but often did more certain my daughters beautiful and blooming. execution ; for they were soft, modest, and When I stood in the midst of the little alluring. The one vanquished by a single circle, which promised to be the supports blow, the other by efforts successfully reof my declining age, I could not avoid peated. repeating the famous story of Count The temper of a woman is generally Abensberg, who, in Henry the Second's formed from the turn of her features : ai progress through Germany, while other least it was so with my daughters. Olivia courtiers
with their treasures, wished for many lovers; Sophia to secure brought his thirty-two children, and Olivia was often affected, from too presented them to his sovereign as the great a desire to please ; Sophia even most valuable offering he had to bestow. repressed excellence, from her fears to In this manner, though I had but six, offend. The one entertained me with I considered them as a very valuable her vivacity when I was gay, the other present made to my country, and con- with her sense when I was serious. But sequently looked upon it as my debtor. these qualities were never carried to excess Our eldest son was named George, after in either, and I have often seen them his uncle, who left us ten thousand pounds. exchange characters for a whole day toOur second child, a girl, I intended to call gether. A suit of mourning has transformed my coquette into a prude, and a which, as they never sold, I have the new set of ribands has given her younger consolation of thinking were read only si ter more than natural vivacity. My by the happy few. Some of my friends edest son George was bred at Oxford, as called this my weak side; but, alas ! I intended him for one of the learned pro- they had not, like me, made it the sub'fessions. My second boy Moses, whom Iject of long contemplation. The more desped for business, received a sort of I reflected upon it, the more important Discellaneous education at home. But it it appeared. I even went a step beyond Es neciless to attempt describing the par- Whiston in displaying my principles; as ticular characters of young people that he had engraven upon his wife's tomb u1 æn but very little of the world. In that she was the only wife of William ht, a family likeness prevailed through Whiston, so I wrote a similar epitaph for ai, ar.d.
, properly speaking, they had but my wife, though still living, in which I une character,--that of being all equally extolled her prudence, economy, and obeenerous, credulous, simple, and inoffen- dience till death; and having got it copied
fair, with an elegant frame, it was placed
over the chimney-piece, where it answered CHAPTER II.
several very useful purposes : it admonFaily Misfortunes. The Loss of Fortune only ished my wife of her duty to me, and my 2720 te increase the Pride of the Worthy.
fidelity to her; it inspired her with a TfTe temporal concerns of our family were passion for fame, and constantly put her Cedy committed to my wife's manage. in mind of her end. rient; as to the spiritual, I took them It was thus, perhaps, from hearing g'irely under my own direction. The marriage so often recommended, that my pripts of my living, which amounted to eldest son, just upon leaving college, fixed La thirty-five pounds a year, I made over his affections upon the daughter of a neighthe orphans and widows of the clergy bouring clergyman, who was a dignitary
ar diocese ; for, having a fortune of in the Church, and in circumstances to TITOwn, I was careless of temporalities, give her a large fortune. But fortune and felt a secret pleasure in doing my was her smallest accomplishment. Miss Coty without reward. I also set a re Arabella Wilmot was allowed by all xation of keeping no curate, and of (except my two daughters) to be combeing acquainted with every man in the pletely pretty. Her youth, health, and "anish, exhorting the married men to innocence, were still heightened by a
mperance, and the bachelors to matri. complexion so transparent, and such an HOT: so that in a few years it was a happy sensibility of look, as even age ondon saying, that there were three could not gaze on with indifference. As stringe wants at Wakefield, a parson Mr. Wilmot knew that I could make a anting pride, young men wanting wives, very handsome settlement on my son, he ini ale-houses wanting customers. was not averse to the match ; so both
Matrimony was always one of my families lived together in all that harmony favoante topics, and I wrote several which generally precedes an expected allicmmons to prove its happiness : but there ance. Being convinced, by experience, *25 a peculiar tenet which I made a point that the days of courtship are the most of supporting; for I maintained with happy of our lives, I was willing enough Whiston, that it was unlawful for a priest to lengthen the period ; and the varivs the Church of England, after the death ous amusements which the young couple of his first wife, to take a second ; or, to every day shared in each other's company
erpress it in one word, I valued myself seemed to increase their passion. We : upun being a strict monogamist.
were generally awaked in the morning by I was early initiated into this important music, and on fine days rode a-hunting. lispute, on which so many laborious The hours between breakfast and dinner wolumes have been written. I published the ladies devoted to dress and study ; some tracts upon the subject myself, they usually read a page, and then gazed