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GOLDSMITH, AND HIS BIOGRAPHERS.
that Johnson, who had contributed a few lines, a familiar nod, he pledged the poet in the hearing
Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow
Do you mean tardiness of locomotion ?" Johnson
comes upon a
No doubt and yet how natural was the thoughtless, off-hand reply from the lips of the inconsid"No man," truly remarked the erate Hibernian. great lexicographer, on another occasion, " is more foolish than Goldsmith when he has not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he has."
6 you 'll see how civilly I'll let him down.' After
Already distinguished as a novelist and poet, Goldsmith's next triumph was in the drama. After having been subjected to many vexatious delays, made its appearance; and though but partially his comedy of the "Good-natured Man" at length successful on its first representation, it justified the expectations of his friends, and has since kept possession of the stage. But the author (who had gone to the theatre in a new suit of clothes, manuConcealing his chamortified and disappointed. factured for the occasion, value, 81. 2s. 7d.) was It was Goldsmith's fortune to achieve success grin, he went to the Literary Club, and chatted to late in life. He was nearly forty when the publi- some of its members; but he afterwards confessed cation of the "Traveller" raised him to distinction that when all were gone, except Johnson, he burst Beginning," observes out a-crying, and protested he would never write It is characteristic of Goldsmith that he in the world of letters. Mr. Forster, "with not even the choice which again. Fielding admits was his, of hackney writer or afterwards, in his guileless simplicity of heart, hackney coachman, he has fought his way at last told this story to a large company at dinner, when But he bears upon Johnson was present, who cried out in astonishto consideration and esteem. him the scars of his twelve years' conflict; of the ment, "I thought all this had been a secret bemean sorrows through which he has passed, and tween you and me, and I am sure I would not have of the cheap indulgences he has sought relief and said anything about it for the world."-" It is sin Again:"His reputation had been gular, however," observes Washington Irving "that Goldsmith, who thus in conversation could help from." silently widening, in the midst and in despite of his humble drudgery; his poem, his novel, his keep nothing to himself, should be the author of a essays, had imperceptibly enlarged the circle of maxim which would inculcate the most thorough his admirers; and he was somewhat suddenly sub-dissimulation. Men of the world,' says he, in one of the papers of the Bee, maintain that the How often is this jected to the social exactions that are levied on As we come to the last period of true end of speech is not so much to express our literary fame." Goldsmith's life it is necessary to bear all this in wants as to conceal them.' mind, because it accounts for most of the foibles, quoted as one of the subtle remarks of the finefollies, and indiscretions that have been laid to his witted Talleyrand!" charge. In his days of penury he had not been very scrupulous about his acquaintances. As his fortunes improved he continued easily accessible, fond of conviviality, and careless of the world's opinion. As soon as he obtained a footing in polite society he did not discard his old associates, or forsake his former haunts. His delight was in free-and-easy clubs; particularly in a certain club meeting on Wednesday evenings at the Globe TavA countryman named Glover ern in Fleet street. once accompanied him to this congenial resort, and was shocked to hear the familiar tone in which Goldsmith was addressed by some of the humbler members. A wealthy pig-butcher, especially, was singularly free and easy. Raising his glass, with
"The Good-natured Man," however, had a tolerable run, and produced its author no less a sum than 4007. He now felt disposed to launch out into a more luxurious style of living, and he accordingly invested his money in the purchase of the lease of a set of chambers on the second floor in No. 2, Brick Court, Middle Temple. This was his last residence-the last of the local habitations which his genius has hallowed to all posterity. Sir William Blackstone, the author of the Commentaries, had chambers immediately under him, and it is said, often complained of the rackets and He occa revels overhead. Although, like Johnson, fond of town life, Goldsmith appears to have had a true taste and relish for country scenery.
sionally took strolls in the neighborhood of Lon- | Goldsmith, whilst sight-seeing in the French me don, (which he called making "a shoemaker's tropolis, will provoke a smile, especially if we holiday;") and when hardly pressed by the book-consider that the Jessamy Bride was probably sellers, he would take a quiet cottage a few miles present and beheld his discomfiture. "Being with from town, for the purpose of uninterrupted labor. It was thus that the "Deserted Village" was written. Strolling among the green lanes and hedgerows in the environs of London, he relieved his "prosaic toils" by the composition of this charming poem. When we recollect the circumstances under which it was penned, we need not wonder at the melancholy tone that pervades it. | falling short, descended into the water, to the great
It was written under the influence of a sacred sorrow; in those moods of melancholy which called forth all the poet's tenderness, and imparted a more than wonted softness to the delineations of his pen. His brother Henry, the supposed original of the village preacher, was just dead. If his poetical portrait be correct, he was a genuine Goldsmith-a true scion of that gentle and gener
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all;
While the memory of such a brother was yet fresh in his heart, and his grief was green, it no doubt occurred to Goldsmith to hand down his blameless career to posterity, as a graceful tribute agree with Washington Irving, "that the whole character seems traced, as it were, in an expiatory spirit; as if, conscious of his own wandering restlessness, he sought to humble himself at the shrine of excellence which he had not been able to practise."
of fraternal affection. And we further
a party at Versailles, viewing the water-works, a question arose among the gentlemen present, whether the distance from whence they stood to one of the little islands, was within the compass of a leap. Goldsmith maintained the affirmative; but, being bantered on the subject, and remembering his former powers as a youth, attempted the leap, but,
amusement of the company." With the Horneck he must have spent many delightful days. He was a frequent guest at their country seat at Barton, in Suffolk; they appreciated his character, and he was ever ready to add to their fund of harmless amusement. We may form some idea of the playful badinage and humorous sallies that enlivened this intercourse by perusing the following lines which occur, among others, in a humorous letter indited by the poet to Little Comedy, (then become Mrs. Bunbury.) The ladies, it appears, would often invite him to play at loo, the fashionable game of the day, and, affecting to be his advisers, get him into all sorts of difficulties:
Now, ladies, I ask, if law-matters you 're skilled in,
For giving advice that is not worth a straw,
"What, yon solemn-faced, odd-looking man that
"The same. ."-" What a pity, how does it sur-
ing and leering,
To melt me to pity, and soften my swearing.
About this time an interesting episode enlivened Goldsmith's literary life. At the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds he made the acquaintance of a Mrs. Horneck-a widow lady, with a son in the Guards, and two beautiful, amiable, and accomplished daughters. The whole family took a decided fancy to the whimsical poet, and he in return was not insensible to the charms of the daughters. The elder of these young ladies was known among her friends by the name of Little Comedy, and the younger (whose heart by the way was still unengaged) had received the sobriquet of the Jessamy Bride. It has been hinted that the poor author, to whom nature had denied the fascinations of person which are said to form the principal recommendation to the favor of the fair sex, was surprised into an attachment to the Jessamy Bride, which, though commenced in sportive familiarity, at length assumed a serious aspect. It is certain that his inti-"What signifies handsome, when people are macy with the Hornecks had an effect upon his tailor's bills, and that, to render his awkward figure more attractive, he arrayed it in the costliest raiments of the day. In the summer of 1770, he made an excursion with his new friends to Paris. The following anecdote, which has been related of
"Consider, dear doctor, the girls are but young.
"But where is your justice? their cases are hard."
"What signifies justice? I want the reward."
This was society for which Goldsmith was adapted, and in which he felt himself at home.
cumstances had prevented its appearance.
for many years," he said, "that has so much exhilarated an audience; that has answered so much the great end of comedy-making an audience merry."
He had no taste for stately grandeur; nor did he particularly distinguish himself in highly intellectual circles. Above all things he loathed the pompous Pecksniffs of the world, who, by dint of assurance and assumption, sometimes succeed in raising a commanding reputation. In the "Citizen of the World" he has given us a graphic picture of " a great man," from the mouth of his Chinese to the sensitive author; "I know of no comedy philosopher, which is worth quoting:-"I was yesterday invited by a gentleman to dinner, who promised that our entertainment should consist of a haunch of venison, a turtle, and a great man. I came, according to appointment. The In the commencement of the year 1774, Goldvenison was fine, the turtle good, but the great smith was surrounded by an accumulation of man insupportable. The moment I ventured to work, that would have tasked the energies of the speak I was at once contradicted with a snap. I strongest mind. He was behindhand with the attempted, by a second and third assault, to re- booksellers, and deeply in debt. His constitution trieve my lost reputation, but was still beat back was undermined partly by town dissipation, with confusion. I was resolved to attack him once partly, perhaps, by early privations. He was more from entrenchment, and turned the conver-over-worked and ill at ease; but he would not sation on the government of China; but even here give way. He rallied himself as well as he he asserted, snapped, and contradicted as before. could, and gave some entertainments in his chamHeavens thought I, this man pretends to know bers to Johnson and other friends. At length, on China even better than myself. I looked round the 25th of March, he was taken ill. With charto see who was on my side; but every eye was acteristic imprudence, he persisted in dosing himfixed in admiration on the great man; I there- self with James' powders, (a medicine he had fore, at last, thought proper to sit silent, and act been in the habit of taking,) notwithstanding the the pretty gentleman during the ensuing conver- expostulations of his medical attendants. He sation." continued to grow weaker, and about half-past four on Monday morning, the 4th of April, 1774, he expired, in the forty-sixth year of his age.
To all his literary friends Goldsmith's blundering simplicity was a source of infinite amusement. His want of tact was everywhere apparent. One affecting incident remains to be narrated. would tell stories in the wrong place, and retail" There was one mourner," writes Washington jokes of which he had forgotten the point. We find one or two amusing instances in Mr. Irving's biography. "Beauclerc was extremely apt to circulate stories at his expense, founded perhaps on some trivial incident, but dressed up with the embellishments of his sarcastic brain. One relates to a venerable dish of peas, served up at Sir Joshua's table, which should have been green, but were any other color. A wag suggested to Goldsmith, in a whisper, that they should be sent to Hammersmith, as that was the way to turn'em-green (Turnham Green). Goldsmith, delighted with the pun, endeavored to repeat it at Burke's table, but missed the point. That is the way to make 'em green,' said he. Nobody laughed. He perceived he was at fault. 'I mean that is the road to turn 'em green.' A dead pause, and a stare; whereupon, adds Beauclerc, he started up disconcerted, and abruptly left the table.' ** On another occasion, the poet and Beauclerc were seated, at the theatre, next to Lord Shelburne, the minister, whom political writers thought fit to nick-name Malagrida. Do you know,' said Goldsmith, to his lordship, in the course of conversation, that I never could conceive why they call you Malagrida, for Malagrida was a very good sort of man.'
Irving, "whose enthusiasm for his memory, could it have been foreseen, might have soothed the bitterness of death. After the coffin had been screwed down, a lock of his hair was requested for a lady, a particular friend, who wished to preserve it as a remembrance. It was the beautiful Mary Horneck, the Jessamy Bride. The coffin was opened again, and a lock of hair cut off which she cherished to her dying day. The lady," continues the biographer, "survived almost to the present day. Hazlitt met her at Northcote's painting room, about twenty years since, as Mrs. Gwyn, the widow of a General Gwyn of the army. She was at that time upwards of seventy years of age. Still, he said, she was beautiful, beautiful even in years. After she was gone, Hazlitt remarked how handsome she still was. I do not know,' said Northcote, why she is so kind as to come to see me, except that I am the last link in the chain that connects her with all those she most esteemed when young-Johnson, Reynolds, Goldsmith-and remind her of the most delightful period of her life.'" Mrs. Gwyn, so well known as Mary Horneck, and the Jessamy Bride, died in 1840.
Having accompanied the biographers of Goldsmith through the principal scenes of his cheqIn 1773, the comedy of She stoops to Conquer;' uered life, we may, perhaps, be allowed a conor, the Mistakes of a Night, was produced with cluding remark. There are few writers, it will triumphant success. It must have been written be admitted, who have achieved a wider popularnearly two years before, but many perplexing cir- ity, or who have exercised and maintained a more
general and permanent influence on the English | What has thy spirit bowed
intellectual character than the author of the In this thy winter?-what majestic cloud? "Deserted Village." At every stage of life he Vision!-which hides thy proud heart's dearest
Which makes reality unearthly seem,
Thus fled the mystic faith
That is art's incense and its vital breath;
is a friend and monitor. If, as his biographers have suggested, he was the author of " Goody Two Shoes," and other nursery rhymes published by his frequent employer, Mr. Francis Newbury -and there is nothing unreasonable in the supposition that these drolleries, slight and trivial as they may appear, were really written by wise and thoughtful men-his sportive productions amuse our earliest infancy. His histories of England, Greece, and Rome, still form the basis of the historical knowledge communicated in hundreds of our schools; and if these histories are not remarkable for any deep research, their clear and lucid style admirably adapts them for the pur-Thus died La Francia as some star outshone, poses of instruction. His selected essays, the Over whose sphere a brighter light had grown, Vicar of Wakefield," and the "Citizen of the And in the full eclipse had welcomed death, World," are among the first volumes of English Dimmed by the lustre of another's sheen, And fading all unseen. classics which, in youth and early manhood, are commended to our attention, and they never fail Yet is it well to die? to leave a permanent impression on the mind. In inaturer years they are recurred to with pleasure, and maxims and observations in daily use are taken from them. And when the meridian of life is passed, when the poetry of passion has lost its charm, and the mind is more readily attracted by sedate images and tranquil beauty, the "Deserted Village," and the "Traveller," are welcomed as favored friends, and referred to as models of all that is pure, correct, and good. To every stage and condition of life we maintain that Goldsmith has been a liberal benefactor. But, above all, he has left us the example of a life which, though defaced and deformed by many errors, was redeemed by so many virtues that we should be justified in rejoicing that he had lived even if he had
To let life's purpose yield the victory;
Faint not upon your way,
NEGRO-ENGLISH BIBLE.-A paper published in the Christian Examiner gives the following statement respecting this translation of the Bible. The version of the New Testament, printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society for the English ne groes of Surinam, is a curiosity in its way. These negroes have no distinct language, but speak a strange lingo compounded of African words, or clipped and softened English words, and of violently treated Portuguese words. The society brought upon itself smart censures and much ridi cule for the seemingly irreverent and ludicrous character of the volume they had published. The whole edition, save a few copies, was sent to Surinam. These copies are becoming scares, and at the sale of the Duke of Sussex's Library, one brought 37. 10s., though its original cost could not have exceeded two or three shillings. The annexed extracts, literally translated, will give a specimen as little offensive as any that can be found in the book. The word virgin is rendered wan njo ewenjo, i. e., one new wench.
The following verses are from Matthew v. :— "1. But when Jesus see the people, he go after one mountain top, he go sit down, then disciple for him come close by after him.
2. And he opened him mouth and learned them and talk.
Good is them, these the pretty in heart, because God's country is for them.
3. Good is it for them, these the sorry in heart, because heart for them so cheery."
From Chambers' Journal. THE TWO EMPRESSES AND THE ARTIST.
Ir was the middle of the year 1812, that year the latter months of which witnessed the annihilation of the French army on the plains of Russia. Such a catastrophe was far from the thoughts of a single inhabitant of Paris, when, one morning in the month of June, the celebrated artist Redouté was on his way to Malmaison to present to the Empress Josephine some paintings of lilies. He was a great favorite with her, from his having devoted his pencil to flowers, of which she was passionately fond. In full enjoyment of the lovely morning, he was gayly crossing the garden of the Tuileries to get to the Place de la Concorde, where he intended taking a coach, when he saw a crowd eagerly hurrying in the direction of the walk by the water-side. The general cry, "The King of Rome!-the empress!" soon told him the object of attraction; and the artist quickened his steps, glad of the opportunity, thus by chance afforded him, of seeing the son of the emperor, the yet oradled child of fifteen months, whom so proud a destiny seemed to await.
It was indeed the King of Rome, in a little carriage drawn by four snow-white goats, and the Empress Maria-Louisa walking by its side. She was wrapped in a blue shawl, of a peculiar shade, known to be her favorite color. The crowd had gathered outside the grating, around which they pressed closely; and as Redouté stopped to gaze with the rest, he saw standing near him a young woman with a child in her arms. The garb of both bespoke extreme poverty; but the child's face was glowing with health, whilst the cheeks of the mother were pale and emaciated, and from her sunken eyes fell tears, which she cared not either to wipe away or conceal.
"My poor little one!-my darling!" she whispered as she pressed the child still closer to her
strength is failing, that we are utterly destitute. But the empress has not deigned to answer."
"You will have an answer, rest assured. Perhaps the memorial has not been yet placed before her majesty. Give me your address, I beg of you." And after taking a memorandum of it,
and slipping into her hand all the money he had about him, Redouté was soon rapidly making his way to the Place de la Concorde, where, just as he was stepping into a carriage, he discovered that his purse was empty.
"It is of no consequence," he said; "I have only to walk a little fast."
Josephine, meanwhile, had been eagerly expecting the promised visit of the usually punctual artist, and was beginning to feel uneasy lest some accident had occurred to occasion the prolonged delay, when he was announced.
"I ought to scold you," she said, as she received with her wonted gentle grace the artist's offering, "for delaying the pleasure I feel in seeing this admirable drawing."
"I must throw myself upon your majesty's goodness to excuse me," answered Redouté rather inconsiderately. "I had never seen the King of Rome, and to-day I have been fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of him." Josephine started, and Redouté, instantly aware of the awkwardness of mentioning the meeting, stopped suddenly in confusion.
"I am very glad," said Josephine, making a strong effort to repress her emotion, "that you have seen the son of the emperor. Pray tell me where you saw him, and who was with him?" Redouté hesitated.
Pray, pray go on," said she gently, but earnestly. He obeyed; and told her every particular he had observed, as well as what had delayed his arrival by obliging him to walk to Malmaison.
"I see the great artist, as always happens, has bosom, "you have no carriage, my angel; no a feeling heart," said Josephine, her sympathy playthings-no toys of any kind. For him abun-aroused for the poor woman. "If Napoleon did dance, pleasure, every joy of his age; for thee, but know the destitution of this child, born the desolation, suffering, poverty, hunger! What is same day, the same hour with his son! Be with Ire that he should be happier than you, darling me to-morrow morning at nine o'clock; we will ? Both of you born the same day, the same hour! together visit this poor creature. ,, And the next I, as young as his mother, and loving you as fondly morning at nine o'clock Redouté was at Malmaias she loves him. But you have now no father, son; and an hour after, Josephine, undeterred by my poor babe; you have no father!" the dark, narrow, muddy passage, and the equally dark, damp stairs, increasing in steepness every step, had entered the wretched apartment, utterly bare of furniture, in the fifth story, inhabited by the widow of Charles Blanger.
The artist overheard these words of woe, and stood with his eyes fixed upon the poor young mother, in utter forgetfulness of the King of Rome. "Madame," said he, after a moment's hesitation, and in a low voice, "why do you not make known your situation to the empress?"
"To what purpose, sir?" cried the young woman somewhat bitterly. "Small compassion have the great ones of this world."
"But why not make the attempt ?"
"I have done so, sir, already. I wrote to the empress, and told her that my son was born the same day, the same hour, with the King of Rome. I told her, alas! that he has no father, that my
'Madame," said Redouté, to whom Josephine had made signs to introduce her and the object of their visit, " you may rest assured that if the emperor knew your situation, he would give you relief; but there is now no necessity to trouble him. This lady, whom I have the honor to ac company, is good enough to say she will take you under her protection, and her protection is allsufficient."
"What a lovely boy!" cried Josephine, as the