these anthropophagi to such capitulations, what respect can we now expect from them? Will they not dine on his memory? To rescue him from this insult, I send you an authentic copy of the last poetic production of this great and good man; of which I recommend an early publication to prevent spurious editions being ushered into the world.

"Doctor Goldsmith belonged to a club of beaux esprits where wit sparkled sometimes at the expence of good nature. It was proposed to write Epitaphs on the Doctor; his country, dialect, and person furnished subjects of witticism. The Doctor was called on for Retaliation and at their next meeting produced the following poem, which I think adds one leaf to his immortal wreath."

The first edition, as may be supposed from affecting so many distinguished persons, sold rapidly, the publisher said in a few hours. A second and third impression were called for; and about the middle of June a fourth, which came recommended by an additional epitaph on Mr. Caleb Whitefoord, a facetious writer for the newspapers, whose crossreadings under the signature of Papyrius Cursor made him known among the wits of the day. Its authenticity has been doubted, on account of appearing so late, and so many as twenty-eight lines being devoted to one whose merits were not so high as many others dispatched in half that space; nor was the manuscript copy furnished to the printer in the handwriting of the alleged author.

Whitefoord has therefore been suspected by surviving acquaintance, though perhaps erroneously, of being himself the writer; if such be really the case the imitation at least is good, for it contains a few sentiments known to be those of the Poet, and while it gives due praise to the individual, alludes to his connexion with the daily press in a manner which he himself would probably not have done. It is indeed possible that Goldsmith, who thought favourably of his humour and facetious qualities, may have written them on another occasion, or without meaning they should find place in the poem. They were appended to the edition in question by the following introductory notice, which on the face of it contains beyond doubt an untruth in the answer put into the mouth of the reputed writer, who was then on his death-bed:

"After the fourth edition of this poem was printed, the publisher received an Epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord from a friend of the late Doctor Goldsmith inclosed in a letter of which the following is an abstract:

"I have in my possession a sheet of paper containing near forty lines in the Doctor's own handwriting; there are many scattered broken verses on Sir Joshua Reynolds, Counsellor Ridge, Mr. Beauclerk, and Mr. Whitefoord. The Epitaph on the last-mentioned gentleman is the only one that is finished, and therefore I have copied it that you may add it to the next edition. It is a striking

proof of Doctor Goldsmith's good nature. I saw this sheet of paper in the Doctor's room five or six days before he died; and as I had got all the other epitaphs, I asked him if I might take it. In truth you may, my boy (replied he), for it will be of no use to me where I am going.""

*The cause of the prominent station in the poem occupied by Mr. Thomas Townshend, afterwards Lord Sydney, when Burke is said to be


straining his throat,

To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote,

has given rise to various conjectures without a satisfactory solution. No quarrel with the poet is known to have occurred; and in fact another name is said to have originally occupied the place now filled by that of Mr. Townshend. Sir James Mackintosh believed that the latter was substituted on account of persisting to clear the gallery of the House of Commons on one occasion when Garrick was present, in opposition to the remonstrances of Burke and Fox. This statement is erroneous. Whatever offence he may have given to Goldsmith, he gave none to Garrick, nor was it probable that one much in society like Mr. Townshend and meeting continually with the actor, should publicly exhibit towards him such a symptom of hostility. It came from another quarter, a country gentleman, the member for Shropshire, and occurred three years after the publication of Retaliation. It likewise appears that Mr. Townshend, as might be expected, far from opposing Garrick when this indisposition was shown to him, took his part. The Actor, writing to Miss Hannah More July 9th 1777, gives the following account of the affair shortly afterwards :

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My theatrical curiosity diminishes daily, and my vanity as an author is quite extinct; though by the bye I have written a copy of verses to Mr. Baldwin, the member for Shropshire, He comupon his attack upon me in the House of Commons. plained that a celebrated gentleman was "admitted into the house when every body else was excluded, and that 1 gloried in my situation. Upon these last words my muse has taken

Early in February 1774, was first announced for publication in the following month, "The History of the Earth and animated Nature." The bookseller (Griffin) with whom the agreement for that work had been made, and who it will be remembered had sold his share so far back as June 1772, wished now to become again a proprietor, and with this object the following letter of Goldsmith was written to the purchaser. It is without date, but endorsed February 20th 1774; and from this we learn that he had thoughts of extending the plan beyond the original limits:


"To Mr. Nourse.

As the work for which we engaged is now near coming out and for the over payment of which I return you my thanks, I would consider myself still more obliged to you, if you would let my friend Griffin have a part of it. He is ready to pay you for any part you will think proper to give him, and as I have thoughts of extending the work into the

flight, and with success. I have described the different speakers, and it is said well, and strongly, and true. I read them to Lord North, Lord Gower, Lord Weymouth, Mr. Rigby &c. and they were all pleased. Burke and Mr. Townshend behaved nobly upon the occasion. The whole house groaned at poor Baldwin, who is reckoned, par excellence, the dullest man in it; and a question was nearly going to be put, to give me an exclusive privilege to go in whenever I pleased. In short I am a much greater man than I thought." Correepondence, vol. i. p. 118.

vegetable and fossil kingdoms, you shall share with him in any such engagement as may happen

to ensue.

"I am Sir,

"Your very humble servant,


It did not appear till about the last day of June†, when death had removed him from the scene of his labours; and notwithstanding all its mistakes and misconceptions, its errors of fact and theory, the general ignorance of the subject with which in a scientific point of view it was commenced, the anxieties and disadvantages under which during a period of five years it was carried on, must be regarded as no inconsiderable effort of genius and labour. The term genius, applied to such an undertaking in the hands of most other men, would seem, and no doubt would be, scarcely warranted; but with Goldsmith it was otherwise; his charm lies in his taste in selection, his vivacity in conception, and his elegance in describing. Nihil quod tetigit non ornavit; he literally fulfilled

* From the collection of John Wild, Esq. of Clapham.

"This day is published in eight vols. 8vo. price 21. 8s. in boards, illustrated with 101 copper-plates engraved by Messrs. Taylor and Martin, An History of the Earth and Animated Nature. By Oliver Goldsmith. Printed for I. Nourse in the Strand; Bookseller to his Majesty."-Public Advertiser, July 1st, 1774. In this as well, as in the previous advertisements during his life, the preliminary "Doctor," or the initials of his medical degree "M. B." affixed to his name in other works, were omitted.

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