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led together like the iron and earthen pot. Notwithstanding his brittleness, Goldsmith was so great a favourite with the old moralist, from the recollection both of the repeated kindnesses which he had shown him, and of the frequent occasions on which he had rolled his giant bulk in pastime on the turf, as it were, of Goldsmith's softer nature, that he had relented, there can be little doubt, from those harsh expressions before his friend's death. On that sudden event, he called upon the survivors to remember that he was a very great man, and to think no more of his failings. It is plain that Cato could have better spared a better man. Still, four years afterwards in 1778, truth so far got the better of the partiality which he had preached, that, on Boswell's apologizing for Goldsmith's envy, on the ground that he only talked of it more than other people, Johnson replied: You are enforcing the charge. He had 6 so much envy that he could not conceal it. He was so full of 'it that he overflowed. He talked of it, to be sure, often enough. 'Now, sir, what a man avows he is not ashamed to think, though 'many a man thinks what he is ashamed to avow.' Goldsmith certainly did not dilute the energy with which this wretched passion enslaved him, by the feebleness of his expressions. He stopped a panegyric on Johnson, his benefactor, with the words You 'harrow up my very soul.' When Graham, an Eton master, distinguished Johnson and Goldsmith from each other as Doctor Major and Doctor Minor, Goldsmith broke out, he is a fellow 'to make one commit suicide.' Alluding, it is said, to Johnson and his other friends, he called himself a lion baited by curs. After this, we may more easily understand the openness with which Goldsmith paraded in the sun the more pardonable levity of his slightly constructed nature-a preposterous vanity spread over all subjects, like an interminable peacock's tail. Goldsmith is said to have referred every thing in human nature to this superficial source. It spoiled his conversation. Johnson said that he never changed mind with you-he cared nothing for your mind-he was always talking for fame; and then he had not the temper for it, he was so mortified when he failed. He was so vain of his appearance, that he gave up the society of Miss Williams, because somebody told him that, in toasting the ugliest man and woman, their names had been coupled. We have seen his childishness about his new coats. To give himself consequence, it is said be boasted that he had a brother Dean of Durham-a boast which, under the circumstances (if he really made it), looks almost like insanity. He was sore at the inattentions of the great; and complained that Lord Camden had met him at Lord Clare's, and had taken no more notice of him than if he had been an ordinary person.

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In private, he often talked merely to make sure that he was not overlooked. In his public character of author he was never content with the share of celebrity assigned him. After he had risen at home to the highest rank in letters, he complained that whenever he wrote any thing the public made a point to know nothing at all about the matter. On his visit to Paris, with the Miss Hornecks, he soon got weary of it, from not being made the object there of as much national curiosity as he expected. There was no conceivable subject, however great or however paltry, regarding which he would not put in a claim for the ability of doing it better than any body else. This morbid peculiarity was become a proverb among his acquaintance. When Johnson was rubbing his hands and praising the postboy's driving, he said, were Gold* smith here he would say he could drive better.' The story that Burke palmed upon him, of his supposed exclamation in Leicester-fields, as he passed, whilst the crowd was looking at some foreign ladies at the window of the hotel, shows that imagination could here invent nothing so improbable but that it might possibly be Burke pretended, that on passing by at the same time, he had overheard him say that the people would have been better employed in looking at himself. Poor Goldy (who often begged Johnson not to call him by that undignified, though affectionate diminutive) had no other defence to make, than to admit that he did recollect that something of the sort had passed through his mind, but he did not think that he had uttered it. The stories told and believed of Goldsmith on every side are such as could not have gained currency, if attributed to any body else. The reader will readily believe that, on his first entering a room, he was received by strangers with the expectation belonging to his great literary fame; but that, before he had been there long, his absurdities were so much greater, that the company were seen riding on his back.


The temper Johnson has alluded to was an offence of much longer standing than that irritability of Goldsmith's latter years, which arose out of his pecuniary distresses. The undue extremities to which he proceeded with his brother Henry, while yet in Ireland-his early coolness with his sister-the estrangement from his mother, which began soon and lasted long, even to his death-look like temper; or something which, if we change it, we cannot change for a milder name. He came to an open rupture, for a time, with Bishop Percy (the oldest and warmest of all his distinguished friends), in consequence of a difference concerning Chatterton. He was one of a convivial fight at Greenwhich about Sterne; he knocked down Tonson's man for bringing a verbal answer in the negative, from his master, about

a new edition of Pope; and he committed a violent assault on Evans the bookseller, because he had been the apparently unwary publisher of some personal reflections upon him, not much more objectionable, if at all, than former writings, some of which are now reprinted, of Goldsmith's own. The Welshman made him compromise the affair by paying L.50 to a Welsh charity;— an act of charity he would by no means like. We cannot tell over what recollections Johnson chuckled when he distinguished the cases in which Goldsmith had beat from those where he had been beaten. All this looks very quarrelsome. We should suspect, in case an 'association in defence of Irish wit' had been incorporated, Goldsmith might have been too frequently disposed to proceed by the use of weapons less creditable to him than his enchanting pen.


If Goldsmith's blunder about Lord Shelburne and Malagrida is truly called an epitome of his life, looking at him in another aspect, any single story of his reckless mismanagement of his affairs may be said to be the same. Johnson announced the death of 'poor dear Goldsmith' to Boswell in the following terms:'He died of a fever, I am afraid more violent from uneasiness 'of mind. His debts began to be heavy, and all his resources 'were exhausted. Sir Joshua is of opinion that he owed not 'less than L.2000. Was ever poet so trusted before ?' 'had raised money' (he adds), 'and squandered it by every artifice 'of acquisition and folly of expense.' The gambling propensities of his youth clove to him to the last. Mr Cradock, a Leicester gentleman, who saw a great deal of him latterly, is on this point, surely, a witness beyond exception,-seeing, after all we know of Goldsmith's other faults, the spirit in which the testimony is given. 'The greatest real fault of Dr Goldsmith was, that if he had L.30 in his pocket, he would go into certain companies in the country, 'and, in hopes of doubling the sum, would generally return to 'town without any part of it.' It is not reasonable in Mr Prior to complain of the vagueness of current rumours, and that no particular fact is mentioned. The above statement is precise enough. He states himself, that between Goldsmith and Mr Cradock there existed much mutual esteem.' Gaming enters also into the list of failings introduced into Garrick's Momus -epigram. We see no grounds for believing that Garrick regarded Goldsmith with any hostile feeling. There is strong evidence the other way; though Goldsmith affected to speak condescendingly and contemptuously of the player-man.' Garrick, only the before Goldsmith's death, was lending him money, which he could never expect to see again; and Goldsmith wrote back, as he was well inclined to do on such occasions, an ample amnesty for




all former grievances,-May God preserve my honest little man, for he has my heart.'

Goldsmith was a strange compound of tenderness, and bitterness, and neglect. In this letter to Garrick, he begs the latter to help him in worrying Newberry, to whom and to whose family he owed so much; simply because Newberry, so long his guarantee and cashkeeper,-advancing him money by twenty pounds, or by two shillings at a time,-was worn out at last, and would become security no more. Goldsmith's charities were distributed in a way to do often more harm than good, and to bring charity itself into contempt. The money which he borrowed of you for his own relief he would give away to a beggar before your face. The small portion of his difficulties, however, which originated in charity, demands our sympathy, and has it; but we neither have nor ought to have any sympathy with the insolvency of a life, produced by absurd vanity and profuseness,-by tailors' finery, and by entertainments so unsuitable to his condition, that his vulgar guests expostulated, and his friends refused to eat. And all the time, that this riotous living was going on, he hardly knows how many brothers he has alive! He declines doing for them what they ask (though he tells them that he thinks he could get it for them), under the pretext of waiting till he can do something for them a great deal better. Mean while, in what circumstances was his family left, and what must have been their feelings? They must be hearing at Ballymahon, of his frequent parties,-of the pleasant fooleries which the guests describe there,-of the minuet, the cards, the songs, the wig reversed, the hind part forward,and that his chambers were become a house of call for all itinerant literary Irish. Yet never do we meet with the trace of a single thought bestowed upon his shattered family at home (as he himself describes them), save from time to time a commonplace letter meaning nothing. He talks of a hundred letters written to Ireland. But what did he say to Dr Grainger, and what was the only exception Dr Grainger was able to supply? The few voluntary letters, which are preserved, are letters written when he was canvassing for a subscription for his book in 1757. The same infirmity of purpose which made him faithless in his duty to his relations, made him equally wanting in all due consideration for himself. If they had to complain, in their advancing years, that the heir of their early hopes, now that all those hopes were more than realized, could never find means to command a shilling for the relief of those who had made such magnificent efforts in behalf of his spendthrift youth, he had opened personally against himself a still more grievous and desperate account-the account of genius sacrificed and opportunities

thrown away. Into that account he had never the courage or the conscience to look. But he contented himself with writing home an elegant sentence, and afterwards polishing it into verse, about honours to one in his situation being like ruffles to a man who wants a shirt.

We have reserved most of what we have to say on the intellectual powers and literary services of Goldsmith for some future occasion. We shall have an opportunity of resuming the subject, if we can find time and space for a notice of the new edition of his miscellaneous writings, which has just appeared, in connexion with the present account of his life. Whether the Pieces not to be found in former editions, and now first collected,' are of any considerable value, we cannot yet say; but, in as far as externals are concerned, the undertaking reflects great credit upon the spirit and taste of the Publisher.


Mr Prior,

Our present duty has not been an agreeable one. we fear, cannot have added, by his biography, to his own reputation, or that of Goldsmith. It was an impolitic act of friendship to take Goldsmith out of the magic circle in which he stood; and, instead of being content with the general impression afloat in his behalf, to insist upon a specific judgment, point by point, on the merits of his life. It pains us much to have had any thing harsh to say of Goldsmith. Our childhood was indebted to him for so much happiness, that it looks to be an ungracious and ungenerous return. How desolate, too, the condition in which he wrote, and lived, and died-in the perpetual presence of impending and crushing want! It were, moreover, a grievous wrong to the human charity due to the weaknesses of our common lot, to remember the sort of nature to which he was born, and the troubles among which he was brought up. Besidestaking him with all his errors-who can for a moment overlook those bright redeeming impulses which shot like falling stars across his bewildered being-when at the summons of wretchedness (whose tones he could too well interpret, though hid in a song) he rushed from drawingrooms, and from his bed, into the street, to its relief? While men are men, 'poor dear Gold⚫ smith,' to use Johnson's words, must be thought of with tenderness and compassion. So much so, that undue severity can never in his case be the specific risk against which mankind--especially the young are likely to want putting upon their guard. The fear is, not that his merits will be under, but overrated;-not that the allowances made for him will be too scanty, but too great. He meant Retaliation' for a good-humoured, but high-spiced satire on himself as well as others. When he enumerates among the dishes—' magnanimous Goldsmith, a gooseberry fool'—we

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