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ledge. Such, if they existed, could scarcely have escaped the prying curiosity of Boswell, who while he states the general rumour, adduces no fact in its support. Neither has Johnson in his remarks on the foibles of his friend alluded to this which he might fairly reprehend as one of the greatest, and which had it been frequent or obvious must have fallen under his caustic rebuke. Sir Joshua Reynolds in his conversation afforded no clue to the persons with whom, or to the places and times at which, this passion was said to be indulged. And a surviving friend, when the question was asked whether the common opinion of his being addicted to this practice was well founded, gave the writer this reply, “I do not believe Goldsmith to have deserved the name of gamester; he liked cards very well as other people do, and lost and won occasionally; but as far as I saw or heard, and I had many opportunities of hearing, never any considerable sums.

If he gamed with any one, it was probably with Beauclerk, but I do not know that such was the case. His habits otherwise were known to be expensive, and may account for his difficulties without believing them owing in any material degree to gaming."

In his writings he speaks of this vice in the usual tone of reprobation of a moralist, and in the Life of Nash, uses the very strongest dissuasives from its practice. In this respect therefore, if the charge be true, he resembled Denham, his countryman and brother poet, who having written a treatise expressly against this pernicious habit, was nevertheless unable to resist the temptation of indulging in it. Principle and practice we know are often at variance in the strongest minds; and his may not have been exempted from the too frequent infirmity of our nature, that of knowing what is right, but being unable to follow it.

A few further anecdotes of him from another quarter, belong chiefly to this period. They come from the venerable Judge Day, now retired from the Irish Bench, whose hospitalities at Loughtinstown House in the vicinity of Dublin, being enlivened by several anecdotes of the Poet, he at the request of the writer committed them to paper ; and with a few circumstances added afterwards will appear

best in his own words.

Loughtinstown House, 20th Feb. 1831. “ DEAR SIR, “I first became acquainted with Goldsmith in 1769, the year I entered the Middle Temple, where he had chambers; it was through the introduction of my friend and namesake, Mr., afterwards Sir John, Day, who subsequently became Judge-Advocate General in Bengal.

“ The Poet frequented much the Grecian Coffeehouse, then the favourite resort of the Irish and Lancashire Templars; and delighted in collecting around him his friends, whom he entertained with a cordial and unostentatious hospitality. Occasionally he amused them with his flute or with

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whist, neither of which he played well, particularly the latter, but in losing his money, he never lost his temper. In a run of bad luck and worse play, he would fling his cards upon the floor and exclaim

Bye-fore George I ought for ever to renounce thee, fickle, faithless, Fortune!'

“ In person he was short, about five feet five or six inches; strong, but not heavy in make; rather fair in complexion, with brown hair, such at least as could be distinguished from his wig. His features were plain, but not repulsive, -certainly not so when lighted up by conversation. His manners were simple, natural, and perhaps on the whole we may say not polished, at least without that refinement and good breeding which the exquisite polish of his compositions would lead us to expect. He was always cheerful and animated, often indeed boisterous in his mirth; entered with spirit into convivial society ; contributed largely to its enjoy. ments by solidity of information and the naïveté and originality of his character; talked often without premeditation and laughed loudly without restraint.

“ Being then a young man I felt myself much flattered by the notice of so celebrated a person. He took great delight in the conversation and society of Grattan whose brilliancy in the morning of life furnished full earnest of the unrivalled splendour which awaited his meridian ; and finding us dwelling together in Essex Court near himself where he frequently visited my immortal friend,

his warm heart became naturally prepossessed towards the associate of one whom he so much admired.

“ Just arrived as I then was from College, full freighted with Academic gleanings, our Author did not disdain to receive from me some opinions and hints towards his Greek and Roman * histories, light and superficial works, not composed for fame, but compiled for the more urgent purpose of recruiting his exhausted finances. So in truth was his · Animated Nature.' His purse replenished by labours of this kind, the season of relaxation and pleasure took its turn in attending the Theatres, Ranelagh, Vauxhall and other scenes of gaiety and amusement, which he continued to frequent as long as his supply held out. He was fond of exhibiting his muscular little person in the gayest apparel of the day, to which was added a bag wig and sword.

“ This favourite costume, involved him one morning in a short but comical dialogue in the Strand with two coxcombs, one of whom pointing to Goldsmith called to his companion in allusion to the Poet's sword to look at that fly with a long pin stuck through it.' Goldsmith instantly cautioned the passengers aloud against that brace of disguised pickpockets,' and having determined to teach those gentlemen that he wore a sword as well for defence from insolence as for ornament,

*

Here probably there is an error. The Roman History must have been in the press previous to the commencement of the acquaintance.

he retired from the footpath into the coachway which admitted of more space and freedom of action, and half-drawing his sword beckoned to the witty gentleman armed in like manner, to follow him ; but he and his companion thinking prudence the better part of valour, declined the invitation and sneaked away amid the hootings of the spectators.

“ Whenever his funds were dissipated, and they fled more rapidly from being the dupe of many artful persons, male and female, who practised upon his benevolence, he returned to his literary labours, and shut himself up from society to pro. vide fresh matter for his bookseller and fresh supplies for himself.

“I was in London when the Deserted Village came out. Much had been expected from the Author of the Traveller, and public expectation and impatience were not disappointed. In fact it was received with universal admiration, as one of the most fascinating and beautiful effusions of British genius.

“His beautiful little · Hermit' which by some persons had been fathered upon Johnson, and reputed to have been given by him to his protégé to help the Vicar of Wakefield into popularity, was by this time restored to the owner by the public, who had discovered ere now that he excelled in the art of poetry even his eminent patron.

“ His broad comedy She Stoops to Conquer,' was received with scarcely less applause, though

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