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To Mr. Maurice Goldsmith, at James Lawder's, Esq., at Kilmore, near Carrick-on-Shannon.

“ January, 1770. “ DEAR BROTHER, ; “I should have answered your letter sooner, but in truth I am not fond of thinking of the necessities of those I love, when it is so very little in my power to help them. I am sorry to find you are every way unprovided for ; and what adds to my uneasiness is, that I have received a letter from my sister Johnson by which I learn that she is pretty much in the same circumstances. As to myself, I believe I could get both you and my poor brother-in-law something like that which

you desire, but I am determined never to ask for little things, nor exhaust any little interest I may have, until I can serve you, him, and myself more effectually. As yet no opportunity has offered, but I believe you are pretty well convinced that I will not be remiss when it arrives.

The King has lately been pleased to make me professor of Ancient History in a Royal Academy of Painting, which he has just established, but there is no salary annexed; and I took it rather as a compliment to the institution than any benefit to to myself. Honours to one in my situation, are something like ruffles to one that wants a shirt.

" You tell me that there are fourteen or fifteen pounds left me in the hands of my cousin Lawder, and you ask me what I would have done with

them. My dear brother, I would by no means give any directions to my dear worthy relations at Kilmore, how to dispose of money, which is, properly speaking, more theirs than mine. All that I can say is, that I entirely, and this letter will serve to witness, give up any right and title to it; and I am sure they will dispose of it to the best advantage. To them I entirely leave it; whether they or you may think the whole necessary to fit you out, or whether our poor sister Johnson may not want the half, I leave entirely to their and your discretion. The kindness of that good couple to our shattered family demands our sincerest gratitude ; and though they have almost forgot me, yet if good things at last arrive, I hope one day to return and increase their good humour by adding to my own.

“ I have sent my cousin Jenny a miniature picture of myself, as I believe it is the most acceptable present I can offer. I have ordered it to be left for her at George Faulkner's, folded in a letter. The face you well know is ugly enough, but it is finely painted. I will shortly also send

my

friends over the Shannon some Mezzotinto prints of myself, and some more of my friends here, such as Burke, Johnson, Reynolds, and Coleman. I believe I have written an hundred letters to different friends in your country, and never received an answer to

of them. I do not know how to account for this, or why they are unwilling to keep up for me those regards which I must ever retain for them.

any of them.

“ If then you have a mind to oblige me you will write often, whether I answer you or not. Let me particularly have the news of our family and old acquaintances. For instance, you may begin by telling me about the family where you reside, how they spend their time, and whether they ever make mention of me. Tell me about my mother, my brother Hodson and his son* ; my brother Harry's son and daughter, my sister Johnson, the family of Ballyoughter, what is become of them, where they live, and how they do. You talked of being my only brother.- I don't understand

you. Where is Charles ? A sheet of paper occasionally filled with the news of this kind would make me very happy, and would keep you nearer my mind. As it is, my dear brother, believe me to be “ Yours most affectionately,

“ OLIVER GOLDSMITH.”

Maurice, who it will be remembered was a younger brother, had been brought up to no occupation, but found support in occasional visits to his relatives. He was at this period, the inmate of Mr. Lawder, who it has been mentioned had married his cousin Miss Contarine, and the fitting out mentioned in his brother's letter, alludes to a project for trying his fortune in some capacity abroad. This, from disinclination, or that indolence arising from want of fixed occupation and not turning the mind of youth to some specific pursuit at an earlier period of life, was relinquished; and having some time afterwards complained to the Poet that he found it difficult to live like a gentleman, was told by him in reply, by all means to quit such an unprofitable calling, and betake himself to some handicraft employment. This advice as the most suited to his education and habits was adopted; he bound himself to a cabinet-maker in Drumsna in the county of Leitrim; and afterwards removing to Dublin, kept a shop many years in Hendrick Street.* He partook of the peculiarities of the family ; was honest, good-humoured, social, giddy, and careless; and the possession of such qualities seldom indicates a prosperous tradesman. Bishop Percy discovered him labouring in poverty about 1785, and to relieve his wants, which appear to have been urgent, first projected that edition of his brother's works, which failed in its immediate object by not appearing till long after his death. His situation is thus described by that prelate in a letter written to Malone from Dublin, June 16th, 1785.

* It is remarkable that he does not mention his sister Mrs. Hodson ; the omission seems to imply the continuance of some disagreement which there are several reasons for suspecting had existed from an early period.

“He (Goldsmith) has an only brother living, a cabinet-maker, who has been a decent tradesman, a very honest, worthy man, but he has been very unfortunate, and is at this time in great indigence. It has occurred to such of us here as were acquainted with the doctor, to print an edition of his poems chiefly under the direction of the Bishop of Killaloe and myself, and prefix a new, correct life of the author, for the poor man’s benefit, and to get you and Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Steevens, &c., to recommend the same in England; especially among the members of the club.” After a lengthened detail of the best mode of negotiating this work with the booksellers, and pushing it among the former friends of the Poet, he thus concludes a subject which much interested him :-“ If we can but subsist this poor man at present, and relieve him from immediate indigence, Mr. Orde our Secretary of State has given us hope that he will procure him some little place that will make him easy for life; and thus we will have shown our regard for the departed bard by relieving his only brother, and so far as I hear, the only one of his family that wants relief."

* As the relatives of eminent men derive some importance from their connexion, so honest Maurice is still mentioned in Drumsna, and a table of his workmanship shown to strangers ; as the writer is informed by one who, as having a large share of genius himself, takes an interest in all that relates to the genius of a mutual country, Mr. Charles Phillips.

“ In the meantime,” he writes in the following year, 1786, Oct. 17th, “I must entreat you to exert all your influence among the gentlemen of the club, and particularly urge it to Sir Joshua Reynolds, to procure subscriptions for the present relief of poor Maurice Goldsmith, who is suffering great penury and distress, being not only poor, but very unhealthy. I procured him a present supply of

VOL. II.

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