[ocr errors]



that Johnson, who had contributed a few lines, | a familiar nod, he pledged the poet in the hearing was the author of the whole. Accordingly, Mr. of the whole company, “Come, Noll, here's my Chamier, one of the members, on the first occa- service to you, my old boy.We quote the sequel sion that presented itself, undertook to sound the of the story from Washington Irving.

Glover author on the subject. He boldly commenced whispered to Goldsmith that he should not allow with the question, “ Mr. Goldsmith, what do you such liberties. “Let him alone,' was the reply, mean by the last word in the first line of your you 'll see how civilly I'll let him down.' After • Traveller'

a time he called out, • Mr. B., I have the honor of Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slou

drinking your good health.' Alas ! dignity was

not poor Goldsmith's forte; he could keep no one Do you mean tardiness of locomotion ?" Johnson at a distance. • Thank’ee, thank’ee, Noll,' nodded was there, watching his flurried friend, and thus the pig-butcher, scarce taking the pipe out of his reports his reply. “Goldsmith,” he says, “ who mouth. 'I don't see the effect of your reproof,' would say something without consideration, an- whispered Glover. "I give it up,' replied Goldswered Yes.' I was sitting by, and said, smith, with a good-humored shrug ; 'I ought to • No, sir, you did not mean tardiness of locomo- have known before now there is no putting a pig tion ; you mean that sluggishness of mind which in the right way.' comes upon 2

man in solitude.'-'Ah!' Already distinguished as a novelist and poet, claimed Goldsinith, that was what I meant.' Goldsmith's next triumph was in the drama. After Chamier," continues Johnson, “ believed then I having been subjected to many vexatious delays, had written the line, as much as if he had scen his comedy of the “Good-natured Man" at length me write it."

made its appearance; and though but partially No doubt—and yet how natural was the thought- successful on its first representation, it justified the less, off-hand reply from the lips of the inconsid- expectations of his friends, and has since kept poserate Hibernian. “ No man,” truly remarked the session of the stage. But the author (who had great lexicographer, on another occasion," is more gone to the theatre in a new suit of clothes, manufoolish than Goldsmith when he has not a pen in factured for the occasion, value, 81. 2s. 7d.) was his hand, or more wise when he has."

mortified and disappointed. Concealing his chaIt 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 in the world of letters. “Beginning," observes out a-crying, and protested he would never write Mr. Forster, “ with not even the choice which again. It is characteristic of Goldsmith that he 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 to consideration and esteem. But he bears upon Johnson was present, who cried out in astonishhim the scars of his twelve years' conflict; of the ment, “ I thought all this had been a secret be mean 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 help from."

Again :-" His reputation had been gular, however," observes Washington Irving silently widening, in the midst and in despite of “that Goldsmith, who thus in conversation could 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 jected to the social exactions that are levied on one of the papers of the Bee, ‘maintain that the literary fame." As we come to the last period of true end of speech is not so much to express our Goldsmith's life it is necessary to bear all this in wants as to conceal them.' How often is this 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 “ The Good-natured Man," however, had a tolvery scrupulous about his acquaintances. As his erable run, and produced its author no less a sum fortunes improved he continued easily accessible, than 4001. He now felt disposed to launch out fond of conviviality, and careless of the world's into a more luxurious style of living, and he acopinion. As soon as he obtained a footing in cordingly invested his money in the purchase of polite society he did not discard his old associates, the lease of a set of chambers on the second floor or forsake his former haunts. His delight was in in No. 2, Brick Court, Middle Temple. This was free-and-easy clubs; particularly in a certain club his last residence—the last of the local habitations meeting on Wednesday evenings at the Globe Tav- which his genius has hallowed to all posterity. ern in Fleet street. A countryman named Glover Sir William Blackstone, the author of the Comonce accompanied him to this congenial resort, and mentaries, had chambers immediately under him, was shocked to hear the familiar tone in which and it is said, often complained of the rackets and Goldsmith was addressed by some of the humbler revels overhead. Although, like Johnson, fond members. A wealthy pig-butcher, especially, was of town life, Goldsmith appears to have had a true singularly free and easy. Raising his glass, with taste and relish for country scenery.


He occa

sionally took strolls in the neighborhood of Lon-Goldsmith, whilst sight-seeing in the French ne 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 uninterrupied labor. a party at Versailles, viewing the water-works, a It was thus that the “ Deserted Village” was question arose among the gentlemen present, whethe: written. Strolling among the green lanes and the distance from whence they stood to one of the hedgerows in the environs of London, he relieved little islands, was within the compass of a leap. his “prosaic toils” by the composition of this Goldsmith maintained the affirmative ; but, being charming poem. When we recollect the circum- bantered on the subject, and remembering his forstances under which it was penned, we need not mer powers as a youth, attempted the leap, but, 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 sor- amusement of the company.” With the Horneck row; in those moods of melancholy which called he must have spent many delightful days. He was forth all the poet's tenderness, and imparted a a frequent guest at their country seat at Barton, in more than wonted softness to the delineations of Suffolk ; they appreciated his character, and he his pen. His brother Henry, the supposed origi- was ever ready to add to their fund of harmless nal of the village preacher, was just dead. If his amusement. We may form some idea of the plas poetical portrait be correct, he was a genuine ful badinage and humorous sallies that enlivened Goldsmith-a true scion of that gentle and gener- this intercourse by perusing the following lines ous race.

which occur, among others, in a humorous letter Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,

indited by the poet to Little Comedy, (then become And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side :

Mrs. Bunbury.) The ladies, it appears, would But in bis duty prompt at every call,

often invite him to play at lon, the fashionable He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all ; game of the day, and, affecting to be his advisers, And, as a bird each fond endearment tries

get him into all sorts of difficulties :To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies, He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,

Now, ladies, I ask, if law-matters you ’re skilled in, Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.

Whether crimes such as yours should not come

before Fielding ; While the memory of such a brother was yet For giving advice that is not worth a straw, fresh in his heart, and his grief was green, it no May well be called picking of pockets in law; doubt occurred to Goldsmith to hand down his And picking of pockets, with which I now charge ye, blameless career to posterity, as a graceful tribute Is, by quinto Elizabeth, death without clergy. of fraternal affection. And we further agree with What justice, when both 10 the Old Bailey brought! Washington Irving, " that the whole character By the gods, I'll enjoy it, though it is but in

thought! seems traced, as it were, in an expiatory spirit; Both are placed at the bar, with all proper decorum, as if, conscious of his own wandering restlessness, With bunches of fennel and nosegays before 'em ; he sought to humble himself at the shrine of excel- Both cover their faces with mobs and all that, lence which he had not been able to practise." But the judge bids them angrily take off their hat.

About this time an interesting episode enlivened When uncovered, a buzz of enquiry runs round, Goldsmith's literary life. At the house of Sir

• Pray what are their crimes ?”_" They 've been Joshua Reynolds he made the acquaintance of a

pilfering found.'

“But pray who've they pilfered ?”—“A doctor, I Mrs. Horneck—a widow lady, with a son in the hear."Guards, and two beautiful, amiable, and accom- What, yon solemn-faced, odd-looking man that plished daughters. The whole family took a de- stands ncar ?''. cided fancy to the whimsical poet, and he in return “ The same.”—“ What a pity, how does it surwas not insensible to the charms of the daughters.

prise one! The elder of these young ladies was known among Then their friends all come round me with cring

Two handsomer culprits I never set eyes on.' her friends by the name of Little Comedy, and the

ing and leering, younger (whose heart by the way was still unen- To melt me to pity, and sofien my swearing. gaged) had received the sobriquet of the Jessamy First, Sir Charles advances, with phrases well Bride. It has been hinted that the poor author, to strung, whom nature had denied the fascinations of person

“ Consider, dear doctor, the girls are but young.” which are said to form the principal recommenda

“ The younger the worse," I return him again; tion to the favor of the fair sex, was surprised into

It shows that their habits are all dyed in an attachment to the Jessamy Bride, which, though

grain." commenced in sportive familiarity, at length as

“ But then they ’re so handsome, one's bosom it

grieves. sumed a serious aspect. It is certain that his inti- " What signifies handsome, when people are macy with the Hornecks had an effect upon his thieves?''tailor's bills, and that, to render his awkward fig- “ But where is your justice ? their cases are ure more attractive, he arrayed it in the costliest


.':raiments of the day. In the summer of 1770, he

" What signifies justice? I want the reward.made an excursion with his new friends to Paris, This was society for which Goldsmith was The following anecdote, which has been related of adapted, and in which he felt himself at home.

[ocr errors]


cumstances had prevented its appearance.
son, Burke, and Reynolds, and a host of Gold-
smith's distinguished friends were present, and
joined in the hearty laugh which was kept up
throughout the performance. Johnson's criticism
on this brilliant production will be long remem-
bered for its truth, as well as for its kindness

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.'


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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,
And the true efforts of thy life dost shroud.
Thus fall the flowers that bloomed so fresh and fair,
All perishing in air.
That overcomes men's minds, and wills to be
Ah, the sad verity
The shadow o'er their paths of love and life,
The slayer of the fame whose ways are strife,
Where legions run the race in company.
O, certain light of truth, thy rays dispel
Hopes erst invincible!

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

not written a line.



When Raffaelle sent his famous St. Cecilia to Bologna, it was entrusted to the care of La Francia, who was his particular friend, to he unpacked and hung up. La Francia was old, and had for many years held a high rank in his profession; no sooner had he cast his eyes on the St. Cecilia, than, struck with despair at seeing his highest efforts so immeasurably outdone, he was seized with a deep melancholy, and died shortly after.-Diary of an Ennuyée.

As the long shadow falls

At fading eve, when some soft note recalls
The old home voices happy childhood heard,
Upon a heart that fame's high impulse stirred,
The presence of the beautiful appalls,

And casts all old day-dreams to Lethe's brim,
As fancies vague and dim.

O, weary heart of thine,

High genius! wherefore shouldst thou grieve, yet

The laurel crown and votive wreath to wear?
Why falter in your path, and fear to share
One guerdon of the soul-fed art divine?

It is not thus that man's declared intent
Should lapse in banishment.

To let life's purpose yield the victory;
To die, and leave each passionate desire,
As some new tones half trembling on the lyre,
Or bud that folds its cup all silently;
Or wonder for an hour.
To die, and pass away like some frail flower

Faint not upon your way,
You who would hold o'er human hearts time's sway;
Is it not meet that those who yearn to wear
The cares and turmoils of life's working day,
Fame's immortality, should fairly bear
That thus when night proclaims her sable reign,
Their wishes prove not vain?

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."


It 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 cradled 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.


[ocr errors]

My poor little one!--my darling!" she whispered as she pressed the child still closer to her bosom, you have no carriage, my angel; no playthings no toys of any kind. For him abundance, pleasure, every joy of his age; for thee, desolation, suffering, poverty, hunger! What is he that he should be happier than you, darling? Both of you born the same day, the same hour! I, as young as his mother, and loving you as fondly as she loves him. But you have now no father, my poor babe; you have no father!"

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

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.

[ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]

"I see the great artist, as always happens, has a feeling heart," said Josephine, her sympathy aroused for the poor woman. "If Napoleon did but know the destitution of this child, born the same day, the same hour with his son! Be with me to-morrow morning at nine o'clock; we will together visit this poor creature. And the next morning at nine o'clock Redouté was at Malmaison; and an hour after, Josephine, undeterred by 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.

"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 accompany, 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

« VorigeDoorgaan »