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the stage as a stock play, and is frequently acted ;| Packet” of the 24th March, 1773, published by
" TO DR. GOLDSMITH,
* Vous vous noyez par vanité. inscribing this slight performance to you,” said he, “I do not mean so much to compliment you as “Sin,—The happy knack which you have myself. It may do me some honour to inform the learnt of puffing your own compositions, provokes public, that I have lived many years in intimacy me to come forth. You have not been the editor with you. It may serve the interests of mankind of newspapers and magazines, not to discover the also to inform thein, that the greatest wit may be trick of literary humbug: but the gauze is so thin, found in a character without impairing the most that the very foolish part of the world see throngh unaffected piety."
it, and discover the doctor's monkey face, and The good fortune which attended this drama cloven foot. Your poetic vanity is as unpardona. was productive of its usual concomitants—a mixed ble as your personal
. Would man believe it, and portion of applause and censure, with instances of will woman bear it, to be told, that for hours the fulsome flattery and furious detraction. While great Goldsmith will stand surveying his grotesque from less fortunate bards, whose poverty induced orang-outang's figure in a pier glass? Was but the them to solicit his bounty, he received the incense lovely H-k as much enamoured, you would not of adulation in a torrent of congratulatory address- sigh, my gentle swain, in vain. But your vanity is es; from others, more independent, who were preposterous. How will this same bard of Bedlam jealous of his reputation, and envied his success, ring the changes in the praise of Goldy! But what he experienced all the virulence of malignant cri- has he to be either proud or vain of? The Travticism and scurrilous invective. A single instance eller' is a flimsy poem, built upon false principles, of each may gratify the curiosity of our readers. principles diametrically opposite to liberty. What is
The Good-natured Man' but a poor, water-gruel, “ON DR. GOLDSMITH'S COMEDY
dramatic dose? What is the 'Deserted Village
but a pretty poem, of easy numbers, without fancy, "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.'
dignity, genius, or fire? And pray what may be "Quite sick in her bed Thalia was laid,
the last speaking pantomime, so praised by the A sentiment puke had quite kill'd the sweet maid, doctor himself, but an incoherent piece of stuff, Her bright eyes lost all of their firo;
the figure of a woman with a fish's tail, without When a regular doctor, one Goldsmith by name, plot, incident, or intrigue? We are made to laugh Found out her disorder as soon as he came,
at stale dull jokes, wherein we mistake pleasantry And has made her (for ever 't will crown all his fame) As lively as one can desire.
for wit, and grimace for humour; wherein every
scene is unnatural, and inconsistent with the rules, "Oh! doctor, assist a poor bard who lies ill,
the laws of nature, and of the drama : viz. two Without e'er a nurse, e'er a potion, or pill:
gentlemen come to a man of fortune's house, eat, From your kindness he hopes for some ease. You're a “good-natured man' all the world does allow,
drink, etc. and take it for an inn. The one is inOwould your good-nature but shine sorth just now,
tended as a lover for the daughter : he talks with In a manner-I'm sure your good sense will tell how, her for some hours : and when he sees her again in
Your servant most humbly 'I would please! a different dress, he treats her as a bar-girl, and “ The bearer is the author's wife, and an an.
swears she squinted. He abuses the master of the swer from Dr. Goldsmith by her, will be ever grate-doors. The 'squire, whom we are told is to be a
house, and threatens to kick him out of his own fully acknowledged by his humble servant,
fool, proves the most sensible being of the piece;
and he makes out a whole act, by bidding his mo"Saturday, March 27, 1773.”
ther lie close behind a bush, persuading her that The other instance exhibits an attempt to check his father, her own husban:!, is a highwayman, the author'e triumph on the ninth night after the and that he has come to cut their throats, and, to representation of his play. It was a most illiberal give his cousin an opportunity to go off, he drives personal attack, in the form of a letter (supposed his mother over hedges, ditches, and through ponds. to be written by Dr. Kenrick,) addressed to Gold. There is not, sweet sucking Johnson, a natural amith himself, and inserted in " The London stroke in the whole play, but the young fellow's
giving the stolen jewels to the mother, supposing her to be the landlady. That Mr. Colman did no
“TO THE PUBLIC. justice to this piece, I honestly allow; that he told his friends it would be damned, 1 positively aver;
Lest it may be supposed, that I have been wil. and, from such ungenerous insinuations, without a ling to correct in others an abuse of what I have dramatic merit, it rose to public notice; and it is been guilty myself, I beg leave to declare, that in now the ton to go and see it, though I never saw all my life I never wrote or dictated a single paraa person that either liked it
, or approved it, any graph, letter, or essay in a newspaper, except a few more than the absurd plot of Home's tragedy of moral essays, under the character of a Chinese, Alonzo. Mr. Goldsmith, correct your arrogance,
about ten years ago, in the 'Ledger;' and a letter, reduce your vanity: and endeavour to believe, as a
to which I signed my name, in the 'St. James's man, you are of the plainest sort; and, as an au- Chronicle. If the liberty of the press, therefore, thor, but a mortal piece of mediocrity.
has been abused, I have had no hand in it.
“I have always considered the press as the pro“ Brise le miroir le infidèle,
tector of our freedom;--as a watchful guardian, “Qui vous cache la vérité.
capable of uniting the weak against the encroach
ments of power. What concerns the public most “Tom TICKLE." properly admits of a public discussion. But, of
late, the press has turned from defending public Indignant at the wanton scurrility of this letter, interest to making inroads upon private life; from which was pointed out to him by the officious kind-combating the strong to overwhelming the feeble. ness of a friend, and enraged at the indelicacy of in- No condition is now too obscure for its abuse; and troducing the name of a lady with whom he was ac- the protector is become the tyrant of the people. In quainted, Goldsmith, acccompanied by one of his this manner, the freedom of the press is beginning countrymen, waited on Mr. Evans, and remonstrat- to sow its own dissolution; the great must oppose ed with him on the malignity and cruelty of such an it from principle, and the weak from fear; till at unmerited attack upon private character. After ar- last every rank of mankind shall be found to give guing upon the subject, Evans, who had really no up its benefits, content with security from its inconcern in the paper, except as publisher, went to sults. examine the file; and while stooping down for it, the
"How to put a stop to this licentiousness, by author was rashly advised by his friend to take that which all are indiscriminately abused, and by which opportunity of using his cane, which he imme- vice consequently escapes in the general censure, diately proceeded to do, and applied it to the pub. I am unable to tell. All I could wish is, that as lisher's shoulders. The latter, however, unexpect- the law gives us no protection against the injury, edly made a powerful resistance, and being a stout, so it should give calumniators no shelter after high-blooded Welshman, very soon returned the having provoked correction. The insults which blows with interest. Perceiving the turn that mat- we receive before the public, by being more open, ters were taking, Goldsmith's hot-headed friend are the more distressing. By treating them with fled out of the shop, leaving him in a sad plight, silent contempt, we do not pay a suficient deferand nearly overpowered by the fierce Welshman. ence to the opinion of the world. By recurring to In the mean time, Dr. Kenrick, who happened to legal redress, we too often expose the weakness of he in a private room of the publisher's, came forward the law, which only serves to increase our mortion hearing the noise, and interposed between the fication by failing to relieve us. In short, every combatants, so as to put an end to the fight. The man should singly consider himself as a guardian author, sorely bruised and battered, was then con- of the liberty of the press; and, as far as his influ. Feyed to a coach; and Kenrick, though suspected ence can extend, should endeavour to prevent its lito be the writer of the libel, affecting great com- centiousness becoming at last the grave of its freepassion for his condition, conducted him home. dom. This ridiculous quarrel afforded considerable sport
"Oliver GOLDSMITH.” for the newspapers before it was finally made up. The composition of this address is so much in An action was threatened by Evans for the assault, the style of Dr. Johnson, that it was at first generbut it was at length compromised. Many para-ally believed to be the production of his pen. Johngraphs appeared, however, reflecting severely on son, however, always disclaimed any participation the impropriety of Goldsmith's attempting to beat jin it; and his disavowal has since been recorded in a person in his own house; and to these he con- the volumes of Mr. Boswell.
“On Saturday, ceived it incumbent on him to make a reply. Ac- April 3," says that gentleman, “the day after my cordingly the following justificatory address ap- arrival in London this year, I went to his (Dr. peared in “The Daily Advertiser" of Wednesday, Johnson's) house late in "he evening, and sat with March 31, 1773.
Mrs. Williams till he came home. I found, in the •London Chronicle,' Dr. Goldsmith's apology to distress always awakened his sensibility, and empo the public for beating Evans, a bookseller, on ac- tied his purse. But what contributed more than count of a paragraph in a newspaper published by any other cause to exhaust his means and embarhim, which Goldsmith thought impertinent to him rass his affairs, was the return of his passion for and to a lady of his acquaintance. The apology gaming. The command of money had unfortu. was written so much in Dr. Johnson's manner, nately drawn him again into that pernicious babit, that both Mrs. Williams and I supposed it to be and he became the easy prey of the more knowing his; but when he came home he soon undeceived and experienced in the art. Notwithstanding the us when he said to Mrs. Williams, 'Well, Dr. amount of his receipts, therefore, poor Goldsmith, Goldsmith's manifesto has got into your paper,' I from the goodness of his heart, and his indiscretion asked him if Dr. Goldsmith had written it, with an at play, instead of being able to look forward to air that made him see I suspected it was his, though affluence, was involved in all the perplexities of subscribed by Goldsmith.-Johnson, 'Sir, Dr. Jebt. Goldsmith would no more have asked me to write It is remarkable that about this time he altempt. such a thing as that for him, than he would have led to discard the ordinary address by which he asked me to feed him with a spoon, or to do any had been long recognised; rejecting the title of thing else that denoted his imbecility. I as much Doctor, and assuming that of plain Mr. Golch believe that he wrote it, as if I had seen him do it. smith. The molives that induced this innovation Sir, had he shown it to any one friend, he would have never been properly explained. Some have not have been allowed to publish it. He has, in- supposed that it was owing to a resolution never deed, done it very well; but it is a foolish thing well more to engage as a practical professor in the healdone. I suppose he has been so much elated with the ing art; while others have imagined that it was success of his new comedy, that he has thought prompted by his dislike to the constraint imposed every thing that concerned him must be of impor- by the grave deportment necessary to support the tance to the public. Boswell; 'I fancy, sir, this is the appellation and character of Doctor, or perhaps first time that he has been engaged in such an ad-from ambition to be thought a man of fashion raventure.' Johnson; ‘Why, sir, I believe it is the ther than a mere man of letters. Whatever were first time he has beat; he may have been beaten be- the motives, he found it impossible to throw off a fore. This, sir, is a new plume to him.'” designation by which he had been so long and gene
Had it not been for the painful and ludicrous rally known; the world continued to call him Doccircumstances attending this unlucky squabble, tor (though he was only Bachelor of Medicine) Goldsmith, in all probability, would have felt more till the day of his death, and posterity has perpetuthan sufficiently elated with the success of his new ated the title. comedy. Independent of the literary triumph it "The History of the Earth and Animated Na. afforded him over the judgments of Colman and ture," on which he had been engaged about four others as critics, the pecuniary advantages he reap-years, at length made its appearance in the begined from it were equally satisfactory. He cleared, ning of 1774, and finally closed the literary lalwurs by this performance alone, upwards of eight hun- of Goldsmith. During the progress of this underdred pounds. Indeed, the emolument which at taking, he is said to have received from the publishthis period Goldsmith derived from his various pro- er eight hundred and fifty pounds of copy.money. ductions was considerable. In less than two years, Its character, as a work of literature and science, it is computed that he realised not less than eighteen we have already noticed. hundred pounds. This comprises the profits of The unfinished poem of “Retaliation,” the only both his comedies, various sums received on ac- performance that remains to be noticed, owed its count of his "Animated Nature," which was still birth to some circumstances of festive merriment in progress, and the copy-money of his lives of that occurred at one of the meetings in St. James's Bolingbroke and Parnell. Nevertheless, within Coffee-house. The occasion that produced it is little more than a year after the receipt of these thus adverted to by Mr. Cumlerland in his Me. eums, his circumstances were by no means in a moirs: “It was upon a proposal started by Edmund prosperous condition. The profuse liberality with Burke, that a party of friends, who had dined to which he assisted indigent authors was one of the yether at Sir Joshua Reynolds' and my house, causes which led to such a state of things. Pur- should meet at the St. James's Collee-house; don, Pilkington, Hiffernan, and others, but parti- which accordingly took place, and was occasioncularly some of his own countrymen, hung per- ally repeated with much festivity and good fellowpetually about him, played upon his credulity, and, 'ship. Dr. Barnard, dean of Derry, a very amiaunder pretence of borrowing, literally robbed him ble and old friend of mine, Dr. Douglas, since of his money. Though duped again and again bishop of Salisluury, Johnson, David Garrick, Sir by some of these artful men, he never could steel Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith, Edmund and his heart against their applications. A story of Richard Burke, Hickey, with two or three others constituted our party. At one of these meetings, On the evening that Goldsmith produced “Reen idea was suggested of extemporary epitaphs upon taliation” he read it in full club, and the members the parties present; pen and ink were called for, were afterwards called on for their opinions. Somo and Garrick off hand wrote an epitaph with a good expatiated largely in its praise, and others seemed deal of humour upon poor Goldsmith, who was the to be delighted with it; yet, when its publication first in jest, as he proved to be in reality, that we was suggested, the prevailing sentiment was de committed to the grave. The dean also gave him cidedly hostile to such a measure. Goldsmith hence an epitaph, and Sir Joshua illuminated the dean's discovered, that a little sprinkling of fear was not verses with a sketch of his bust in pen and ink, an unnecessary ingredient in the friendship of the inimitably caricatured. Neither Johnson nor Burke world; and though he meant not immediately to wrote any thing; and when I perceived Oliver was publish his poem, he determined to keep it, as he rather sore, and seemed to watch me with that kind expressed himself to a friend, “as a rod in pickle of attention which indicated his expectation of for any future occasion that might occur.” But something in the same kind of burlesque with this occasion never presented itself: a more awful theirs, I thought it time to press the joke no far- period was now approaching. ther, and wrote a few couplets at a side-table; A short time previous to this, he had projected which, when I had finished, and was called upon an important literary work, under the title of “A by the company to exhibit, Goldsmith, with much Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.” In agitation, besought me to spare him; and I was this undertaking he is said to have engaged all his about to tear them, when Johnson wrested them literary friends, including most of the members of out of my hand, and in a loud voice read them at the Literary Club, particularly Johnson, Reynolds, the table. I have now lost all recollection of them, and Burke, who promised to promote the design and in fact they were little worth remembering ; with all their interest, and to furnish him with but as they were serious and complimentary, the original articles on various subjects to he embraced effect they had upon Goldsmith was the more pleas- by the work. So much had he this project at ing for being so entirely unexpected. The con- heart, --so sanguine was he of its success, and so cluding line, which is the only one I can call to little doubt did he entertain of encouragement from mind, was
the booksellers, that without previous concert with 'All mourn the poet, I lament the man.' any one of the trade, he actually printed and pub
lished the Prospectus at his own expense. These This I recollect, because he repeated it several
gentlemen, however, were not, at that time, distimes, and seemed much gratified by it. At our next meeting, he produced his epitaphs as they of course received his proposals so coldly, that he
posed to enter upon so heavy an undertaking, and stand in the little posthumous poem abovementioned; and this was the last time he ever enjoyed
found himself obliged to abandon the design. It is
supposed that he had fondly promised himself rethe company of his friends.” The delicacy with which Mr. Cumberland acted lief from his pecuniary difficulties by this scheme,
and consequently his chagrin at the disappointment on this occasion, and the compliment he paid to our author, were not thrown away. In drawing the circumstance to his friends ; and there is little
was the more keenly felt. He frequently lamented the character of Cumberland in return, Goldsmith, doubt that it contributed, with other vexations, to while he demonstrated his judgment as a critic, proved his gratitude and friendship at the same aggravate the disease which ended in his dissolu
tion. time, in designating him,
Goldsmith had leen, for some years, occasionally “ The Terence of England, the mender of hearts.”
afflicted with a strangury. The attacks of this Other members of the club, however, were hit off disease had latterly become more frequent and vio. with a much smaller portion of compliment, and lent; and these, combined with anxiety of mind on for the most part with more truth than flattery; the subject of his accumulating debts, embittered get the wit and humour with which he discrimi- his days, and brought on almost habitual desponnated their various shades of character, is happily dency. While in this unhappy condition, he was free from the slightest tincture of ill-nature. His attacked by a nervous fever in the spring of 1774. epitaph on Mr. Burke proves him to have been in- On Friday, the 25th of March, that year, žinding timately acquainted with the disposition and quali- himself extremely ill, he sent at eleven o'clork at ties of that celebrated orator. The characteristics night for Mr. Hawes, an apothecary, to whoni he of Mr. Burke's brother are humorously delineated, complained of a violent pain extending all over tho and were highly appropriate; the portrait of Dr. fore-part of his head ; his tongue was moist, he had Douglas is critically true; but the most masterly a cold shivering, and his pulse beat about ninety sketch in the piece is undoubtedly the character of strokes in a minute. He said he had taken two Garrick, who had been peculiarly severe in his ounces of ipecacuanha wine as a vomit, and that it epitaph on Goldsmith.
Wac nis intention to take Dr. James's fever prw.
ders, which he desired might be sent him. Mr. Another's woe thy heart could always mel ; Hawes replied, that in his opinion this meclicine None gave more free,- for none more deeply fels was very improper at that time, and begged he
Sweet baru, adicu! thy own harmonious lays
Have sculptured out thy monument of praise; . would not think of it; but every argument used Yes,--these survive to time's remouest day, seemed only to render him more determined in his While drops the bust, and boartful tombs decay. own opinion.
Reader, is number'd in the Muses train, Mr. Hawes knowing that on former occasions
Go, tune the lyre, and initate his strain; Goldsmith had always consulted Dr. Fordyce, and
But, is no poet thou, reverse the plan,
Depart in peace, and imitate the man." that he entertained the highest opinion of his abilities as a physician, requested permission to send “Of poor Dr. Goldsmith,” said Johnson, in art for him. To this, with great reluctance, he gave swer to a query of Boswell's, “there is little to be consent, as the taking of Dr. James's powders, ap- told more than the papers have made public. He peared to be the only object that employed his at- died of a fever, made, I am afraid, more violent by tention; and even after he had given his consent, uneasiness of mind. His debts began to be heavy, he endeavoured to throw an obstacle in the way, and all his resources were exhausted. Sir Joshua by saying, that Dr. Fordyce was gone to spend the is of opinion, that he owed no less than two thouevening in Gerraru-street, "where," added he, "I sand pounds.* Was ever poet so trusted before ? should also have been myself, if I had not been indis- The extraordinary sum thus owing hy Gold. posed.” Mr. Hawes immediately dispatched a mes- smith excited general surprise after his death, and Benger for Dr. Fordyce, whom he found at home, gave rise to some ill-natured and injurious reflecand who instantly waited upon Goldsmith. tions. To thoxe, however, who were intimately
Dr. Fordyce, on perceiving the symptoms of the acquainted with his careless disposition and habits, disease, was of the same opinion with Mr. Hawes the wonder was not, that he should be so much in respecting Dr. James's powders; and strongly re- debt, but, as Johnson remarks, that he should have presented to the patient the impropriety of his tak- been so much trusted. He was so liberal in his ing that medicine in his present situation. Un-donations, and profuse in his general disbursehappily, however, he was deaf to all remonstrances, ments; so unsettled in his made of living, and im. and persevered in his own resolution.
prudent in gaming; and altogether so little accusOn the following morning Mr. Hawes visited tomed to regulate his expenses by any system of his patient, and found him very much reduced ; economy, that at last his debts greatly exceeded his his voice feeble, and his pulse very quick and small. resources; and their accumulation towards the close When he inquired of him how he did, Goldsmith of his life was by no means matter of astonishment. sighed deeply, and in a very low and languid tone These debts, however, consisted chiefly of sums said, "he wished he had taken his friendly advice that he had taken up in advance, from the manalast night.”
gers of the two theaters, for comedies which he had Dr. Fordyce arrived soon after Mr. Hawes, and engaged to furnish to each; and from the booksel. saw with alarm the danger of their patient's situa- lers for publications which he was to finish for the tion. He therefore proposed to send for Dr. Tur- press;—all which engagements he fully intended, ton, of whose talents and skill he knew Goldsmith and would probably have been able to fulfil, as he had a great opinion: to this proposal the patient had done on former occasions in similar exigencies; readily consented, and ordered his servant to go di- but his premature death unhappily prevented the rectly. Doctors Foruyce and Turton accordingly execution of his plans. met at the time appointed, and had a consultation. The friends of Goldsmith, literary as well as perThis they continued twice a day till the 4th of sonal, were exceedingly numerous, and so attach April, 1771, when the disorder terminated in the ed to his memory, that they determined to honour death of the poet, in the forty-fifth year of his age. his remains with a public funeral, and io bury him
Goldsmith's sudden and unexpected dissolution in Westminster Abbey. His pall was to have created a general feeling of regret among the litera- been supported by Lord Shelburne, Lord Louth, ry circles of that period. The newspapers and pe- Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Hon. Mr. Beauclerk, riodical publications teemed with tributary verses Mr. Edmund Burke, and Mr. Garrick. So'ne cir. to his memory; and perhaps no poet was ever more cumstances, which have never been explained, oclamenteel in every possible variety of sonnet, elegy, ccurred to prevent this resolution from being carri. epitaph, and dirge. Mr. Woty's lines on the oco ed into effect. It is generally believed that the chief casion we select from the gencral mass of eulogy. reason was a feeling of delicacy, suggested by the
disclosure of his embarrassed affairs, and the extra# Adieu, sweet bard! to each fine feeling true, ordinary amount of his debts. He was, therefore, Thy virtues many, and thy foibles few;
privately interred in the Temple burying-ground, Those forı'd to charm e'en vicious minde-and these With harmloss mirth the social soul to please.
•40004-Campbell's Biography of Goldsmith.