thick in the tale. The characters themselves complex self he has contrived to furnish two in several particulars are overdone. The sim- characters-George Primrose and Sir Wilplicity of the vicar is delightful, but when he liam Thornhill

. Even these materials were mistakes such a servant as Goldsmith has not employed for the first time. He had drawn for the owner of the house, and such drawn extensively upon them before, in the women of the town for London fine ladies, story of the "Man in Black," and in other the credulity of Dr. Primrose is much too portions of his miscellaneous writings. If great for that of the reader. Sir William the male characters were family portraits, Thornhill is represented as a good and sen- there can be little question that Mrs. Primsible man, but he shows himself to be neither rose had a strong resemblance to his mother, when he abandons his estate to a monster and Olivia and Sophia to bis sisters ; for like his nephew, and permits the vicar to be since he left Ireland he had never sat at a crushed by miseries he could have averted or domestic hearth, and had had no later experelieved. Yet in spite of these and numerous rience of the female life he describes.* other blemishes of the same description, the The pecuniary obligations of Goldsmith story, from first to last, leaves a pervading continued to increase with his years, and he sense of beauty upon the mind. This is in a was recommended to write for the stage, -a large degree due to the running commentary successful play at that period producing far of wise and gentle sentiments which gives the larger profits to the author than any other tone to the narrative, and to the charm of the species of literary composition. He acted serene and finished style, of what is by far on the advice, and, having completed in 1767 the finest specimen of Goldsmith's prose. If his comedy of the “Good-natured Man," ofan objection is to be made, it is that the neat- fered it to Garrick. Davies informs us that ness is so uniform that it grows monotonous. Johnson took pleasure in introducing GoldBut its highest excellence is as a representa- smith to his eminent acquaintances, but he tion of domestic life, painted with the smooth-had not brought him into contact with his ness and minute fidelity of a Dutch picture. old pupil, for a bad feeling had long existed It is a phase of humanity which lies within between the actor and the poet. It was the the experience, and carries with it the sym- latter that laid the foundation of the ill-will pathy, of nearly all the world, and is not the by commencing with severity upon the treatless relished that the family, with more than

ment which dramatists received from manaan ordinary amount of the amiability, have gers in a passage of his “

Essay upon

Polite their full share of the petty weaknesses of Learning that was aimed at Garrick. Shortly their class. The vicar is the most perfect afterwards the office of secretary to the “Socharacter in the book, but while we love him ciety of Arts and Sciences” became vacant, for his benevolence, his resignation, and his and Goldsmith, not very delicately, called cheerfulness, we smile at the contrast be- upon the subject of his censure, who was a tween the sense of bis conversation and the perfect stranger to him, and requested his simplicity of his conduct, at the wise maxims vote. The manager replied that he had dewhich he utters on every occasion, and which prived himself of all claim to his support by on every occasion are overruled by the pertinacity of his wife and daughters. Nothing else in the tale equals the skill and humor delightful story is the number of subjects it has fur,

One indication of the extreme popularity of this with which Goldsmith has depicted the vani- nished for pictures, some of which are as beautiful ties and stratagems of the female part of the as the b:ok which inspired tem. No one who has establishment, and especially of poor

Mrs. ever seen it can forget the exquisite work of MulPrimrose herself, whom he barely manages ready,," The Choosing the Wed Jing Gown,” or the

Moses and the to redeem from contempt. The nature, how masterly painting by Maclise of

gross of Green Spectacles," which was in the Acaever, which he describes, is what lies chiefly demy Exhibition of 1850. Nothing could be more upon the surface.

He did not attempt to faithful to the spirit of Goldsmith's characters than sound the depths of the heart, which is the the expression depicted in each of the countenances faculty that Johnson valued most in a novel in the latter picture, the emotion varying with

every member of the group, and as true as it was ist, and the want of it in Goldsmith was a

powerful in all

. No pictures are more popular principal cause of his low estimation of the than those which illustrate some literary master* Vicar of Wakefield.” Much as Oliver had piece, and none will have a more enduring interest. seen of life, he had no great power of seizing | The beautiful paintings of Mr. Leslie owe their recharacter. He never was able to travel far i patation to their intrinsic excellence, but it cer

tainly adds to the delight they afford that they give beyond the circle of his early home. The

form and color to our shadowy ideas of the crea. vicar was his father, and out of his not very | tions of Cervantes, Goldsmith, and Sterne.


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an unprovoked attack. “In truth," Gold- the piece. But though not actually damned, smith said, "he bad spoken his mind, and he it had only just struggled through; and the believed he was very right.” They parted experiment was felt on the whole to be a with outward civility and mutual irritation, failure. Goldsmith retired with his coland met no more uotil they were put into leagues of the “ Literary Club" to sup at the communication by Reynolds, with a view to “ Turk’s Head,” joined gaily in the converget the “Good-natured Man" upon the stage. sation, and, as he afterwards related, when Garrick, according to Davies, expected to be he and Johnson were the guests of Dr. courted, and Goldsmith was determined not Percy at the chaplain's table at St. James's, to fawn. Differences soon broke out between “ to impress them more forcibly with an idea

Garrick demanded alterations, Gold- of his magnanimity," sang his favorite song smith was pertinacious in refusing to make about “un old woman tossed in a blanket them, and gave only a modified consent in seventeen times as high as the moon.“ All the end ; Garrick proposed that Whitehead this while,” he continued, “I was suffering the laureate—we cannot say the poet- should borrid tortures, and verily believe that if I arbitrate between them, and Goldsmith re- had put a bit into my mouth it would have jected the suggestion as an insult. It at last strangled me on the spot, I was so excescame to an open rupture, and Oliver, after sively ill; but I made more noise than usual telling the actor that he suspected his con- to cover all that; and so they never perduct to be dictated by revenge for the old ceived my not eating, nor I believe at all imoffence, withdrew his comedy, and sent it to aged to themselves the anguish of my heart. Colman, the new manager of Covent Garden When all were gone except Johnson here I theatre, who immediately accepted it. “I burst out a-crying, and even swore that I cannot help feeling a secret satisfaction,” he would never write again." “ All which," wrote to his new ally, “that poets for the fu- remarked Johnson, taking up the conversature are likely to have a protector who de- lion, “I thought bad been a secret between clines taking advantage of their dependent you and me; and I am sure I would not situation, and scorns that importance which have said anything about it for the world." may be acquired by trifling with their anxie- When bis own “ Irene” met with just such ties." A little further experience of the pro- a dubious reception, and he was asked how tector of poets changed his opinion. The he felt, he replied, “Like the Monument;" words with which Garrick concluded his part and he might well wonder at the voluntary of the correspondence breathed a kindly spi- exposure of a weakness to which his sturdier rit. “It has been the business," he said, mind would have scorned to give way. The " and ever will be, of my life to live on the fortune of Johnson's tragedy and Goldbest terms with men of genius, and I know smith's comedy on their first appearance was that Dr. Goldsmith will have no reason to nearly identical. As the introduction of the change his previous friendly disposition to bailiffs had almost cut short the performance wards me, as I shall be glad of every future of the one, so the attempt to strangle the opportunity to convince him how much I am heroine of the other upon the stage called his well wisher.”

forth shouts of “Murder! murder !" which At Covent Garden the play appeared on were with difficulty quelled. “Irene," by the 29th of January, 1768, and was opened the friendship of Garrick, lingered nine by a prologue from the pen of Johnson, in nights; the “Good-natured Man," as Mr. which Goldsmith was designated “our little Cooke relates, “ dragged through” ten; and bard.” The epithet was as distasteful to bis both dramatists received one hundred pounds, dignity as Pope's “low-born Allen" was to in addition to their theatrical profits, for the the wealthy proprietor of Prior Park, and copyright of their plays. The sum derived Johnson, to humor him, changed it to “anx- by Goldsmith from the performances on his ious.” Anxious enough he had reason to " third nights," which was then the mode of be, for the play long hung trembling in the remunerating the author, was four hundred balance, and at the scene of the bailiffs there pounds. Without the direct testimony of burst forth a cry of Low ! vulgar!" which Mr. Cooke “ that the success of the comedy bad nearly proved fatal to it. The irresisti- fell infinitely short of what either Goldsmith ble comicality with which Shuter, who per or his friends had anticipated,” we should formed the part of Croaker, read the incen- have augured from the result that it had diary letter in the fourth act, coupled with done by no means ill. the strenuous exertions of the poet's friends, The indifferent reception of the “Goodwho had assembled in great strength, saved natured Man" was not the only mortification



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the stage

connected with it. When Goldsmith com- was no stranger to the abuse he had lavished menced his literary career, sentimental com- upon bim, in the Green-room of the Coventedy had possession of the stage, To be Garden theatre, and congratulated bim faintsolemn was as much the fashion then as is ly on the success of bis comedy. “I cannot the dreary attempt to be vivacious now. thank you," said Kelly, “ for I cannot beHe waged war from the outset with the pre- lieve you." They never spoke again, but, vailing taste, and in his “Essay on Polite when Goldsmith was buried, Kelly of his Learning" vindicated the bumorous exposure own accord joined the funeral procession, of absurdities from the imputation of being and wept bitterly over the grave. low. The “Good-natured Man" was a prac- "False Delicacy," like its author, has tical attempt to give effect to his theory. passed away, and the “Good-natured Man” At the same period the Hugh Kelly with survives. “It is the best comedy,” said whom he had promised to dine by way of Johnson, " that has appeared since the Pro“ doing something for him," a man destitute voked Husband. There has not of late been of acquired knowledge but with fair natural any such character exhibited

upon talent, commenced a play in the approved as that of Croaker.” It was with reason sentimental style. Though by this time they that Johnson was partial to Croaker, for had advanced to considerable intimacy, Gold- Goldsmith acknowledged that he had borsmith was filled with jealousy and alarm at rowed the conception from the Suspirius of what he considered a rival scheme, and, be. the “ Rambler.” Of the two other promiing questioned by somebody as to Kelly's Dent personages Honey wood was a repetition project, he replied, " he knew nothing at all of the many portraits from himself, and we about it. He had heard there was a man of cannot but suspect that he also found the that name about town who wrote in newspa- germ of Lofty in his own addiction to unpers, but of his talents for comedy, or even

founded boasting. The rest are agents to for the work he was engaged in, he could conduct the plot, and have little that is disnot judge.”. Kelly's piece, under the title of tinguishing." To delineate character," he “ False Delicacy," was brought out by Gar- said in bis preface,“ had been his princirick at Drury-lane theatre on the 23d of Jan- pal aim," and Mrs. Inch bald was of opinion uary, six nights before the performance of that the design had been attended with conthe “ Good-natured Man.” “ All kinds of spicuous success. Croaker, Honeywood, and composition," said Grimm, "are good except Lofty deserved, she said, the bighest praise the tiresome," and to this kind the sentimen- which could be bestowed upon the creations tal comedy belonged. Great, nevertheless, of the mind. “In fiction they are perfectly was the success of False Delicacy.” It original, yet are seen every day in real life.” was played twenty nights in the season to To us, on the contrary, they seem to want crowded houses; the sale of it when printed nature; a large alloy of the peculiarities of was ten thousand copies; and the bookseller each is common enough in the world, but who purchased it, to evince his gratitude, they never exist in solitary extravagance. gave the author a public breakfast and a Honeywood, Croaker, and Lofty are rather piece of plate. The entire gains of Kelly the personifications of qualities than men. amounted to more than seven hundred The first is all childish benevolence, the secpounds. The fame of the piece was not lim- ond all groundless alarm, and the third a ited to England. It was translated into Ger- mere moulb piece for ostentatious lies. The man, Portuguese, and French, and was same objection, however, may be urged played in Lisbon and Paris with marked ap- against several of the masterpieces of Moplause. These continental honors were per-| lière. “ To exaggerate the features of folly, plexing to Goldsmith. He denied at first to render it more thoroughly ridiculous, that any translation had been made, and was the just principle of comic satire laid when the fact was demonstrated beyond dis- down by Goldsmith in his “ Essay on Learnpute, he gravely asserted "it must be done ing." His mistake is to have carried the for the purpose of exhibiting it at the booth principle too far, till comedy descends to the of foreign fairs, for which it was well enough lower level of farce. The humor is excellent calculated.” He vented his spleen at coffee of its kind. Lofty is entertaining, and the houses as well as among his friends, and apprehensions of Croaker are ludicrous in vowed "he would write no more for the the extreme. The misunderstandings, though stage whilst the dramatic chair was occupied not always probable, are well contrived for by such blockheads.” In the midst of these In the midst of these producing mirth, and the piece must have

, pangs of envy he accidentally met Kelly, who I had a triumphant run if the insipid Honey

wood had been replaced by a character of | Literature. There was neither salary nor more sterling worth or more comic effect. duties aitached to the office, and Goldsmith, As it is he provokes less laughter than con- in a stray letter to his brother Maurice in the tempt, and is too complete an illustration of January following, says, “I took it rather as the proverb that “every man's friend is ev- a compliment to the institution than any beery man's fool" for the serious hero of a play. nefit to myself. Honors to one in my situa

Shuter selected the piece for his benefit, tion are something like ruffles to one that and the author, says Mr. Forster, “in a fit wants a shirt.” A less vain and simple man of extravagant good nature sent him ten would have reversed the phrase and repreguineas for a box ticket.” In this instance sented the appointment as a compliment from we think that the gratuity of Goldsmith was the institution to himself. To obtain the the discharge of a debt, for, by saving his requisite sbirt, he had entered into an encomedy from being damned,' Shuter had gagement in February, 1769, with a bookbrought him fifty times the sum. On the seller, Mr. Griffin, to compile a Natural Hisfirst night of the play he told the actor that tory in eight volumes, at the rate of a hunhe had exceeded bis own idea of the charac- dred guineas a volume, and in June, encourter, and that the fine comic richness of the aged by the success of his “Rome,” he concoloring made it appear almost as new to tracted with Davies to finish in two years a him as to the audience. The bulk of the History of England,” in four volumes, for proceeds from the “Good-natured Man” five hundred pounds. He was to be paid was spent in purchasing, and furnishing with for each volume of the Natural History as elegance, a set of chambers in Brick Court, the manuscript was delivered ; but he was in the Temple, for which he gave four hun- to receive nothing on the "History of Engdred pounds. Having emptied out his pock- land” till the whole was complete. Before ets the instant they were filled, he had still the

year bad run out he persuaded Griffin to his daily bread to earn, and for this he trust- advance him five hundred guineas on a work ed to a “History of Rome" in two volumes he had barely begun, and, having anticipated which he was compiling for Davies. It was and squandered his supplies from this source, commenced in 1767, and published in May, he devoted nearly all bis time to the compi1769. The price paid for the copyright was lation for Davies, which would bring a retwo bundred and fifty guineas. This was turn. He bad never been very sensitive in the work which Johnson very erroneously pecuniary matters, and his obtuseness incontended placed Goldsmith above Robert- creased with his difficulties. The breach of son as a writer of bistory. Goldsmith, he his engagements produced expostulations said, had put into his book as much as it from the booksellers, which roused more ire would bold—had told briefly, plainly, and than repentance. In one altercation of the agreeably all that the reader wanted to kind with Davies, they agreed to refer the know ; while Robertson was fanciful, cum- difference to Johnson; and Goldsmith brous, and diffuse. “Goldsmith's abridge. enraged to find that one author should have ment,” he weot on, “is better than that of

so litile feeling for another as to determine a Lucias Florus or Eutropius ; and I will ven- dispute to his disadvantage in favor of a ture to say that, if you compare him with tradesman." Vertot in the same places of Roman History, Mr. Robert Day, then a law student at you will find that he excels Veriot. Sir, he the Middle Temple, and afterwards an Irish has the art of compiling, and of saying every: judge, became acquainted with him in 1769, thing he has to say in a pleasing manner.” and often visited him in conjunction with Though there is broad truth in the commen- another of his countrymen, the young and at dation of Johnson, it conveys an exaggerated that time unknown Henry Grattan. The notion of the merit of the book, which is not babit of Goldsmith, according to this unexonly destitute of exact scholarship, but bears ceptionable witness, was to lay aside his in the style innumerable marks of the care- labors when his purse was replenished, and less haste with which it was composed. give himself up, while he had a sixpence

The credit he derived from his English left, to convivial enjoyments, and attendance and Roman Histories, coupled with bis gen- at the theatres, Ranelagh, and Vauxhall. eral fame, procured him, in December, 1769, His funds dissipated, he recommenced his the distinction of being nominated Professor drudgery, and paid for his brief excesses by of History in the newly-created Royal Aca- protracted toil. All are agreed, notwithdemy of Painting, at the same time that standing the Man in Black, Sir William Johnson was appointed Professor of Ancient | Thornhill and Honeywood, that much of his


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money continued to be bestowed upon artful three and sixpence to four shillings, for impostors, or upon persons whose circum- which the party obtained good air, good livstances were not so bad as his own. Once, | ing, and good conversation.” He had got as Mr. Forster relates, when he had recently weary of the hopeless attempt to keep up performed a piece of literary taskwork for his dignity, and was again willing to be the sake of two guineas, he made over seven happy in the secondary society where he was and a half to a vagabond Frenchman as a alone at bis ease. Mr. Forster has tracked subscription to a pretended History of Eng. him in particular to a club of good fellows land in fifteen volumes. Two or three poor at the Globe Tavern, called the Wednesday authors and several widows and house-Club from its day of meeting, and where a keepers were his constant pensioners. "lle principal part of the pleasure was to sing was so humane in his disposition,” says Mr. songs after supper. The sort of company Cooke, “that his last guinea was the general he met there, and the terms on which he boundary of his beneficence.” Nay, he car- stood with them, are amusingly exhibited in ried it further still, for, when he had no the fact that a pig. butcher was one of the money to bestow upon his regular depend members, and, piquing himself on his famiants, he would give them clothes, and some liarity with the celebrated Goldsmith, altimes his food. 6 Now, let me only suppose, ways said in drinking to him, “Come, Noll, he would say with a smile of satisfaction here's my service to you, old boy.” Glover, after sweeping the meal on his table into an Irish adventurer, and who had been, in their laps,

that I have eaten a heartier succession, physician, actor, and author, mabreakfast than usual, ard I am nothing out liciously wbispered to Noll, after one of these of pocket."

salutations, that he wondered he permitted Observers remarked that his benevolence, such liberties from a pig-butcher. Let him real as it was, was stimulated by ostentation, alone,” said Goldsmith, " and you'll see how and, from his imputing the motive to the civilly I'll let him down." With this design characters which he drew from bimself, he he called out, at the first pause in the conwas evidently conscious of the weakness. versation, “Mr. B., I have the honor of The odd simplicity which pervaded his pro- drinking your good health ;" to which the ceedings was especially conspicuous in rela- pig-butcher answered briskly, “Thankee, tion to money. He borrowed a guinea when thankee, Noll.” “ Well, where now," inquired he was destitute himself to lend it to Mr. Glover, “ is the advantage of your reproof ? " Cooke, and endeavored in his absence to and the baffled Noll had nothing to reply, thrust it under his door. His friend, in except that “he ought to have known before thanking him, remarked that somebody else that there was no putting a pig in the right might have been first at the chambers, and way.” Trivial as are these anecdotes, they picked up. “In truth, my dear fellow," he are worth repeating, because they throw replied, “I did not think of that." Another light upon the character of the man, and exacquaintance remonstrated with him for plain why he was "the jest and riddle,” as leaving money in an unlocked drawer, from well as the “glory," of his friends. which an occasional servant took what he His enjoyment in all societies where he pleased for the casual expenses of his master. could freely give way to bis natural impulses

What, my dear friend,” exclaimed Gold- was immense. He was always cheerful and smith, “ do you take Dennis for a thief ? " animated,” says Mr. Day, “ often indeed

With all his recklessness of expenditure boisterous in his mirth.” He went to a dance no man had a store of cheaper tastes, or was at Macklin's, and was brought to such a more easily entertained. His favorite fes- pitch of ecstacy by this "frisking light in tivity, bis holiday of holidays, was to have frolic measures," that he threw up his wig three or four intimate friends to breakfast to the ceiling, exclaiming that “men were with him at ten o'clock, to start at eleven for never so much like men as when they looked a walk through the fields to Highbury Barn, like boys.” He prided bimself on his dancwhere they dined at an ordinary, frequented ing, which was not so graceful as it was by authors, Templars, and retired citizens, hearty, and an Irish family of the name of for 10d. a head, to return at six and drink Seguin, who were intimate with him at this tea at White Conduit House, and to end the period, were thrown into uncontrollable fits evening with a supper at the Grecian or of laughter by seeing him go through a Temple Exchange Coffeehouse. “The whole minuet. He loved to romp with children expense," says Mr. Cooke, “ of the day's fète and join in their games. He would put the never exceeded a crown, and oftener from 1 front of his wig behind to excite their mer

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