Johnson's anticipation that "he would make it as entertaining as a Persian tale."

His avowed object was a popular not learned work on the subject; a design to treat of the races, habitudes, the instincts and peculiarities of animals in their wild or social state; not a formal or scientific work for the instruction of the professed naturalist. He is therefore often inconsiderately censured for not being what he had no intention, and probably had not the requisite knowledge, to be; his book was not meant as a system, but one of general and amusing information. A better grounded objection is the existence of several errors in point of fact connected with animals which were within the reach of observation and inquiry; another is the admission of a few fabulous stories of their attributes and peculiarities taken from ancient writers. In the former, the apology of Dr. Johnson may be valid, that the subject being of an extensive kind he could not be expected to make experiments on all facts of a doubtful nature, and therefore might allowably copy such authorities as were generally received; and the same apology may serve for the latter, that without believing such stories himself, he introduced only what others had stated, trusting to the good sense and general knowledge of the reader to discriminate truth from improbability where reasonable doubts could be entertained.

The necessary information for the work was not procured without much research; greater perhaps than he received credit for, or than would have

been requisite for a professed naturalist, although as we have seen by his previous connexion with books on natural history, better prepared for the subject than many persons believed. Thus Aristotle, Diodorus Siculus, and Pliny; Aldrovandus and Reaumur, Brisson, and Buffon; Linnæus, Willughby, and Ray; and many travellers and voyagers, such as Dampier, Ulloa and many others, are freely quoted; in addition to matter gleaned from a variety of other sources, showing much and miscellaneous reading, which of itself formed no inconsiderable part of his labour. Its great charm is its style; combining that ease, freshness, and freedom which throw an irresistible attraction over his pages and render every reader of taste an admirer; while after the lapse of sixty years, notwithstanding the progress of knowledge and the consequent correction of many mistakes, no book has yet superseded it with the general reader. It has proved upon a large scale, though less exact and minute, what White's Natural History of Selborne has been upon a smaller; familiar and agreeable, communicating natural knowledge in the easiest manner, and attracting readers who would have been repelled from the study of more elaborate works.

An assertion of Cumberland relative to this work is as questionable as too many of his alleged facts regarding the Irish Poet." Distress," he says, "drove Goldsmith upon undertakings neither congenial with his studies nor worthy of his talents. I remember him when in his chamber in the Tem

ple he showed me the beginning of his Animated Nature, it was with a sigh such as genius draws when hard necessity diverts it from its bent to drudge for bread." The acquaintance between Goldsmith and Cumberland was slight and never reached any thing like intimacy; on the contrary notwithstanding the compliment in Retaliation they did not like each other. That Cumberland may have called in the Temple is possible, but by his own confession he knew nothing of him personally till the latter part of 1773, and the first volume of Animated Nature was written three years before and had been long consigned to the hands of the publisher. Neither, had he even shown it as alleged, would it have been done with the dramatic accompaniment of a sigh, implying dislike or contempt for his labour, when it was unquestionable that he placed a high value on the first volume, and was often not unwilling to have it believed that the whole was equally worthy of favour.

About the same time also, a new edition of the Enquiry into Polite Learning being proposed by the original publisher, nearly a fourth part of the first was thrown out in the revision. Among the omissions are the whole of the fourth and seventh chapters, the latter containing general remarks upon the polite learning of England and France, the translation from Macrobius now included in his poetical works, and the obvious personal allusion when stating the different aspect

which countries assume to one who is whirled through Europe in a post-chaise, and he who walks the grand tour on foot. Haud inexpertus loquor. No additions are introduced, excepting a few sentences to connect passages where others have been expunged. For this labour the sum received was, as will be seen, small.*

(No date, but early in 1774.) "Received from Mr. James Dodsley for improving the second edition of my Polite Learning and putting my name to the same, the sum of five guineas, as witness my hand.


Another of his labours now, and noticed in a former page, was a translation of Scarron's comic romance, said by the publisher (Griffin) to have been completed, excepting a few sheets, at the time of his death, though not published till 1776. Some corroboration of his having been engaged upon it at this period, may be found perhaps in the first line of Retaliation :

"Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,

Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united."

For nothing was more probable than that the name of a writer celebrated for wit and humour and whom he was then translating, should be recalled in a sportive effusion of his own; and to

* It was published after his death July 28. 1774.

this possibly we owe the whole introductory part of that poem. The version offers no particular evidence of his manner, nor does perhaps a close rendering permit it; but a writer in the Monthly Review, no doubt Dr. Griffiths himself, when noticing the work in question, thus intimates a knowledge of his previous translations, though the opinion advanced of their merit is by no means corroborated by what we know to have been done by him in "Memoirs of a Protestant:”—“We have seen translations by Goldsmith in no respect superior to the present performance. The truth is the Doctor was not excellent in this branch of authorship. The new version of Scarron is however greatly preferable to the old one by Savage and Brown."

At this moment if we are to believe Beauclerk, who however writes in a strain between jest and earnest not always to be taken literally, he had shaken off his depression of spirits, or was attempting to do so by the common means, gaiety, which he praises in some of his Essays, and no doubt often practised, as the best mode of dissipating care. "Our club," he writes to Lord Charlemont February 12. 1774, "has dwindled away to nothing. Nobody attends but Mr. Chambers, and he is going to the East Indies. Sir Joshua and Goldsmith have got into such a round of pleasures that they have no time."

One of the modes he adopted for returning such

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