Imatges de pÓgina

and his music made him weleome to the peasants of Flanders and Germany.

On his arrival at Geneva, he was recommended as a proper person for a travelling tutor to a young man, who had been unexpectedly left a considerable sum by his uncle Mr. S***. This youth, who was articled to an attorney, on receipt of his fortune, determined to see the world.

During Goldsmith's continuance in Switzerland, he sent the first sketch of his delightful epistle, called The Traveller, to his brother Henry, a clergyman in Ireland; who, giving up fame and fortune, had retired with an amiable wife to happiness and obscurity, on an income of only forty pounds a year. The great affection Goldsmith bore for this brother is expressed in the poem before mentioned, which gives a striking picture of his situation.

From Geneva, Mr. Goldsmith and his pupil proceeded to the South of France; where the young man, upon some disagreement with his preceptor, paid him the small part of his salary which was due, and embarked at Marseilles for England. Our wanderer was left once more' upon the world at large, and passed through a number of difficulties in traversing the greatest part of France. At length his curiosity being gratified, he bent his course towards England, and arrived at Dover, the beginning of the winter, in the year 1758.

His finances were so low on bis return to England, that he with difficulty got to the metropolis, his whole stock of cash amounting to no more than a few halfpence. An entire stranger in London, his mind

was filled with the most gloomy reflections in consequence of his embarrassed situation. He applied to several apothecaries, in hopes of being received in the capacity of a journeyman; but his broad Irish accent, and the uncouthness of his appearance, occasioned him to meet with insult from most of the medical tribe. The next day, a chymist, near Fishstreet, struck with his forlorn condition, and the sim plicity of his manner, took him into his laboratory; where he continued till he discovered that his old friend, Dr. Sleigh, was in London. That gentlenian received him with the warmest affection, and liberally invited him to share his purse till some establishment could be procured for him. Goldsmith, unwilling to be a burden to his friend, a short time after eagerly embraced an offer which was made him to assist the late Rev. Dr. Milner, in instructing the young gentlemen at the academy at Peckham; and acquitted himself greatly to the Doctor's satisfaction for a short time; but, having obtained some reputation by the criticisms he had written in the Monthly Reveiw, Mr. Griffith, the principal proprietor, engaged him in the compilation of it; and resolving to pursue the profession of writing, he returned to London, as the mart where abilities of every kind were sure of meeting distinction and reward. Here he determined to adopt a plan of the strictest economy, and at the close of the year 1759, took lodgings in Green-Arbour Court, in the Old Bailey, where he wrote several ingenious pieces. The late Mr. Newbery, who at that time gave great encouragement to men of literary abilities, became a kind of patron to our young author, and introduced him as one of the writers in the Public Ledger, in which the Citizen of the World originally appeared, under the title of • Chinese Letters. During this time (according to another account,) he wrote for the British Magazine, of which Dr. Smollet was then editor, most of those Essays and Tales which he afterward collected and published in a separate volume. He also wrote occasionally for the Critical Review; and it was the merit which he discovered in criticising a despicable translation of Ovid's Fasti, by a pedantic schoolmaster, and his Inquiry into the Present State of Learning in Europe, which first introduced him to the acquaintance of Dr. Smollet, who recommended him to several literati, and to most of the booksellers, by whom he was afterward patronised.

Fortune now seemed to take some notice of a man she had long neglected. The simplicity of his character, the integrity of his heart, and the merit of his productions, made his company very acceptable to a number of respectable persons; and about the middle of the year 1762, he emerged from his mean apartments, near the Old Bailey, to the politer regions of the Temple, where he took handsome chambers, and lived in a genteel style.

Among many other persons of distinction who were desirous to know him, was the Duke of Northumberland. The Doctor, vain of the honour done him, was continually mentioning it.

One of those ingenious executors of the law, a bailiff, who had a writ against him, determined to turn this circumstance to his own advantage; he wrote him a

letter, that he was steward to a nobleman who was charmed with reading his last production, and had ordered him to desire the Doctor to appoint a place where he might have the honour of meeting him, to conduct him to his Lordship. The vanity of poor Goldsmith immediately swallowed the bait; he appointed the British Coffee-house, to which he was accompanied by his friend, Mr. Hamilton, the printer of the Critical Review, who in vain remonstrated on the singularity of the application. On entering the coffee-room, the bailiff paid his respects to the Doctor, and desired that he might have the honour of immediately attending him. They had scarce entered Pall-mall, in their way to his Lordship, when the bailiff produced his writ. Mr. Hamilton generously paid the money, and redeemed the Doctor from captivity.

The publications of his Traveller, his Vicar of Wakefield, and his History of England, were followed by his Comedy of The Good-natured Man, at CoventGarden theatre, which placed him in the first rank of modern writers

With respect to the Vicar of Wakefield, it is certainly a composition which has justly merited the applause of all discerning readers, as one of the best novels in the English language. The diction is chaste, correct, and elegant; the characters are drawn to the life, and the scenes it exhibits are ingeniously variegated with humour and sentiment. The hero of the piece displays the most shining virtues that can adorn relative and social life; sincere in his profession, humane and generous in his disposition, he is himself a pattern of the cbaracter he

represents, enforcing that excellent maxim, that example is more powerful than precept. His wife is drawn as possessing many laụdable qualifications, and her prevailing passion for eternal parade is an inoffensive foible, calculated rather to excite our mirth than incur our censure. The character of Olivia, the Vicar's eldest daughter, is contrasted with that of Sophia, the younger; the one being represented as of a disposition gay and volatile, the other as rather grave and steady; though neither of them seem to have indulged their peculiar propen sity beyond the bounds of moderation.

Upon a review of this excellent production, it may be truly said that it inculcates the purest lessons of morality and virtue, free from the rigid laws of stoicism, and adapted to attract the esteem and observa. tion of every ingenuous mind. It excites not a thought that can be injurious in its tendency, nor breathes an idea that can offend the chastest ear.

Our Doctor, as he was now universally called, had a constant levee of his distressed countrymen, whose wants, as far as he was able, he always relieved ; and he has often been known to leave himself even without a guinea, in order to supply the necessities of others.

Another feature in his character we cannot help laying before the reader. Previous to the publication of his Deserted Village, the bookseller had given him a note for one hundred guineas for the copy, which the Doctor mentioned, a few hours after, to one of his friends, who observed it was a very great sum for 80 short a performance. ' In truth,' replied Gold

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