standing. At Lansdowne House * as the writer has been informed, at the house of Lord Clare, of Lord Charlemont when he was in London, of Beauclerk, Burke, Langton, General Oglethorpe, Garrick, and others, as well as previously at that of Mrs. Montagu, he had an opportunity of forming an extensive acquaintance, but found that his acknowledged talents and celebrity did not always ensure notice from men of distinguished rank, though he was unreserved enough to avow his sense of being overlooked.

“Goldsmith in his diverting simplicity” writes Boswell “complained one day in a mixed company of Lord Camden. “I met him ” said he “at Lord Clare's house in the country, and he took no more notice of me than if I had been an ordinary man.” The company having laughed heartily, John

• A dedication to Lord Shelburne of « The Beauties of Goldsmith," published in 1782 by an Editor who signs the initials W. H. thus alludes to the supposed regard of his Lordship for the Poet.

“ My LORD, “ Your friendship for Dr. Goldsmith is a sufficient inducement for one to inscribe his Beauties to you. In all ages the illustrious and the learned have been courted in the highest strain of panegyric to take the offspring of Genius under their patronage. This I am prevented doing here, for the writings from which this cento of excellence is taken have long since found innumerable admirers in every polished society. My sole motive for addressing your Lordship, arises from your esteem for the author whose moral and sentimental writings have given birth to a volume every way meriting your Lordship’s countenance."

son stood forth in defence of his friend. “Nay gentlemen, Dr. Goldsmith is in the right. A nobleman ought to have made up to such a man as Goldsmith; and I think it is much against Lord Camden that he neglected him.”

The feelings of Goldsmith and of Johnson on this assumed — for it can scarcely have been otherwise than assumed - distance, or indifference of one who had been himself but recently raised to the peerage, are not unreasonable. It is right that rank should notice and encourage talent, and that talent in return be taught to respect rank; this mutual feeling cannot arise unless there be that degree of intercourse necessary to create it, and rank therefore having the power so to do, should make those advances without which intimacy cannot begin. If from the want of this intercourse, a feeling of hostility, as we have sometimes seen, be engendered between such powerful interests, the results as experience has taught us in other countries, are commonly unfavourable to rank, which can rarely contend successfully with the fierce and sometimes unscrupulous energy of abilities when excited by a sense of neglect or discouragement. Aristocracy whenever bitterly assailed by its enemies, has no surer means of subduing them than by condescension and kindness; and no more effectual whetstone to animosity than the appearance of contempt or indifference. But exclusive of the impolicy of men in elevated station wantonly offending a body that so much influences the reading and thinking

part of mankind, there is in it something likewise of bad taste by the slur thus indirectly cast upon their own origin ; for we are willing to believe, and it may not be safe to destroy the illusion, that rank owes its existence in nations to the display of some description of talents.

A few notices of his conversation, nearly all that remain to us of this period, it would be im

proper to omit.

At a dinner at General Paoli's where Martinelli who had written a History of England in Italian was present, a debate took place whether he should continue it down to that day.

Goldsmith. “ To be sure he should.” Johnson. No, Sir ; he would give great offence. He would have to tell of almost all the living great what they do not wish told.” Goldsmith. “It may, perhaps, be necessary for a native to be more cautious; but a foreigner who comes among us without prejudice may be considered as holding the place of a judge, and may speak his mind freely.” Johnson. “Sir, a foreigner, when he sends a work from the press, ought to be on his guard against catching the error and mistaken enthusiasm of the people among whom he happens to be.” Goldsmith. “Sir, he wants only to sell his history, and to tell truth; one an honest, the other a laudable motive.” Johnson. “Sir, they are both laudable motives. It is laudable in a man to wish to live by his labours; but he should write so as he may live by them, not so as he may be knocked on the head.


I would advise him to be at Calais before he publishes his history of the present age.

A foreigner who attaches himself to a political party in this country, is in the worst state that can be imagined ; he is looked upon as a mere intermeddler. A native may do it from interest.” Boswell. “ Or principle.”

Goldsmith. -- “ There are people who tell a hundred political lies every day, and are not hurt by it. Surely then, one may tell truth with perfect safety.” Johnson.“ Why, Sir, in the first place, he who tells a hundred lies has disarmed the force of his lies. But besides; a man had rather have a hundred lies told of him, than one truth which he does not wish to be told.” Goldsmith. “ For my part, I'd tell truth, and shame the devil.” John

“ Yes, Sir, but the devil will be angry. I wish to shame the devil as much as you do, but I should choose to be out of the reach of his claws." Goldsmith. “ His claws can do you no harm where


have the shield of truth." It having been observed that there was little hospitality in London ; Johnson. Nay, Sir, any man who has a name or who has the power of pleasing, will be very generally invited in London. The man, Sterne I have been told, has had engagements for three months.” Goldsmith. “ And a very

dull fellow." Johnson, "r Why no Sir.” The party talked of the King's coming to see Goldsmith's new play.

“ I wish he would ” said Goldsmith ; adding however with an affected in


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difference, “ Not that it would do me the least good.” Johnson.“ Well, then, Sir, let us say it would do him good (laughing). No, Sir, this affectation will not pass, — it is mighty idle. In such a state as ours, who would not wish to please the chief magistrate?” Goldsmith. “ I do wish to please him. I remember a line in Dryden,

“ And every poet is the monarch's friend.”

It ought to be reversed.” Johnson. “ Nay, Sir, there are finer lines in Dryden on this subject.

“ For colleges on bounteous kings depend,

And never rebel was to arts a friend.”

General Paoli observed, that successful rebels might. Martinelli. " Happy rebellions.” Goldsmith. “ We have no such phrase.”

General Paoli. “But have you not the thing ?Goldsmith. “ Yes, all are happy revolutions. They have hurt our constitution, and will hurt it, till we mend it by another happy revolution.” I never before discovered that my friend Goldsmith had so much of the old prejudice in him. General Paoli, talking of Goldsmith's new play,

Il a fait un compliment très-gracieux à une certaine grande dame ;” meaning a duchess of the first rank. * I expressed a doubt, says Boswell, whether Goldsmith intended it, in order that I


* This speech has been noticed in a previous page as applying to the Duchess of Gloucester.

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