Robertson paints minds, as Sir Joshua paints faces, in a history-piece; he imagines an heroic countenance. You must look upon Robertson's work as romance, and try it by that standard. History it is not. Besides, Sir, it is the great excellence of a writer, to put into his book as much as his book will hold. Goldsmith has done this in his history. Now Robertson might have put twice as much in his book. Robertson is like a man who has packed gold in wool; the wool takes up more room than the gold. No, Sir; I always thought Robertson would be crushed with his own weight,-would be buried under his own ornaments. Goldsmith tells you shortly all you want to know: Robertson detains you a great deal too long. No man will read Robertson's cumbrous detail a second time; but Goldsmith's plain narrative will please again and again. I would say to Robertson, what an old tutor of a college said to one of his pupils, Read over your compositions, and whenever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out!' Goldsmith's abridgment is better than that of Lucius Florus, or Eutropius; and I will venture to say that if you compare him with Vertot, in the same places of the Roman History, you will find that he excels Vertot. Sir, he has the art of compiling, and of saying every thing he has to say, in a pleasing manner. He is now writing a Natural History, and will make it as entertaining as a Persian tale."

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A translation of the Roman History into French,

appeared many years ago; and in 1805, a second with some engravings, and a map after D'Anville.

One proof of its immediate success was a new agreement entered into within three weeks of its appearance with the same publishers for a History of England; to extend to four volumes. The following drawn up by himself, is a copy.

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"Russel Street, Covent Garden.

"It is agreed between Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. on the one hand; and Thomas Davies, bookseller, of Russell Street, Covent Garden, on the other, that Oliver Goldsmith shall write for Thomas Davies an History of England, from the birth of the British empire, to the death of George the Second, in four volumes octavo, of the size and letter of the Roman History, written by Oliver Goldsmith. The said History of England shall be written and compiled in the space of two years from the date hereof. And when the said history is written, and delivered in manuscript, the printer giving his opinion that the quantity above mentioned is completed, that then Oliver Goldsmith shall be paid by Thomas Davies, the sum of five hundred pounds sterling, for having written and compiled the same. It is agreed also, that Oliver Goldsmith shall print his name to the said work. In witness thereof we have set our names, this 13th of June, 1769.


Some of his most agreeable hours at this time, were spent in the family of Captain Horneck, whose lady and daughters in addition to great personal beauty, secured attention by their elegance and taste from several distinguished men of the time. They first met at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds who had known Mrs. Horneck in Devonshire, of which county she was a native, when the honest simplicity of Goldsmith, his acknowledged genius and celebrity, and their attractive manners and conversation, induced the desire for greater intimacy on the part of both, which for the remainder of his life continued uninterrupted. After the marriage of one of the young ladies, with the celebrated Henry Bunbury, he became a frequent guest at their residence, Barton in Suffolk; here in agreeable society he found relief from the toils of study, and the occasional dissipations of a town life. In this family are preserved some of those familiar verses, which written in the spirit of whim or good humour, answered the purpose of exciting a smile among those to whom they are addressed. One of these sent about this period, is a reply to an invitation to dinner at Sir George Baker's to meet the Misses Horneck, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Miss Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, and others, and is jocularly headed, in apology for their extreme homeliness, which renders it necessary to explain what he meant to write

"This is a poem! this is a copy of verses!"

It will be found in the Works, and the reader is indebted for it to Major-General Sir Henry Bunbury, Bart.

Several such sportive pieces appear to have been addressed to his acquaintance, of which three or four were known to be extant about 1790, but of which all memory is lost; others of a more complimentary character, volunteered to compliment his female friends may exist, though few or none can be satisfactorily traced. Of such things it appears he kept no copies, and none were therefore found among his papers; whatever may be discovered, and we may believe that several still linger among the descendants of former friends, were preserved first from regard, and afterwards by his reputation. Among these we know was the song, now included in his Works, commencing,

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accidentally preserved by Boswell; he was fond of the air and procured a copy from the author, who sang it himself in private companies, very agreeably. It was written for the character of Miss Hardcastle, in She Stoops to Conquer, but omitted, because Mrs. Bulkley, who performed the part, did not sing.

A copy of verses, addressed to a lady going to Ranelagh, was once in the possession of Mr. Malone, but even during his life was lost in all probability irrecoverably though not by negligence;

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he thus alludes to them in a letter, to Bishop Percy, dated June 5th, 1802.

“I have a strong recollection of having got, I know not how, some verses addressed by Goldsmith, to a lady going to Ranelagh, or going to a masquerade, and of having given them to you for insertion; but I do not find them any where." Again, July 20th, he says, "I cannot recollect what I have done with the unpublished verses of Goldsmith, nor from whom I got them. They remained for a long while folded in the Irish edition of his works, and are there no longer; so I suppose I have deposited them somewhere so safely, that I shall never find them. One often loses things in this way, by too much care.” *

Several verses affiliated upon him, and supposed to be written about this time, cannot be passed over without notice, though of very questionable origin; no guarantee of authenticity can be found, and this necessarily excludes them from the Works, but the reader may not be displeased to examine their pretensions here.

In the commencement of the present century, a short letter, dated from the Isle of Wight, signed with the letter D. and addressed to the Editor of a Newspaper t, introduced the following lines, as a

* From Mr. Mason's collection of MS. correspondence. + "Mr. Editor,

"You have my thanks for your early attention to the lines I sent you from Goldsmith, the other day. If you will be equally so by inserting another quotation you will oblige me. "Yours very sincerely,

(Morning Chronicle, April 3. 1800.)


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