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with it in his hand, like a gamester, who at the close of a long night, lingers for a little while, to see if he can have a favourable opening to finish with success. Once when he was beginning to speak, he found himself overpowered by the loud voice of Johnson, who was at the opposite end of the table, and did not perceive Goldsmith's attempt. Thus disappointed of his wish to obtain the attention of the company, Goldsmith in a passion threw down his hat, looking angrily at Johnson, and exclaiming in a bitter tone, ' Take it.' When Toplady was going to speak, Johnson uttered some sound, which led Goldsmith to think that he was beginning again, and taking the words from Toplady. Upon which he seized this opportunity of venting his own envy and spleen, under the pretext of supporting another person: 'Sir,' said he to Johnson, ' the gentleman has heard you patiently for an hour; pray allow us now to hear him.' Johnson (sternly), 'Sir, I was not interrupting the gentleman , I was only giving him a signal of my attention. Sir, you are impertinent.' Goldsmith made no reply, but continued in the company for some time.
He and Mr. Langton and I went together to the club, where we found Mr. Burke, Mr. Garrick, and some other members, and amongst them our friend Goldsmith, who sat silently brooding over Johnson's reprimand to him after dinner. Johnson perceived this, and said aside to some of us, ' I'll make Goldsmith forgive me: and then called to him in a loud voice, ' Dr. Goldsmith, something passed today where you and I dined: I ask your pardon.' Goldsmith answered placidly, ' It must be much from you, sir, that I take ill.' And so at once the difference was over, and they were on as easy terms as ever, and Goldsmith rattled away as usual.
In our way to the club to-night, when I regretted that Goldsmith would, upon every occasion, endeavour to shine, by which he often exposed himself, Mr. Langton observed, that he was not like Addison, who was content with the fame of his writings, and did not aim also at excellency in conversation, for which he found himself unfit; and that he said to a lady who complained of his having talked little in company, ' Madam, I have but ninepence in ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds.' I observed, that Goldsmith had a great deal of gold in his cabinet, but, not content with that, was always taking out his purse. Johnson, 'Yes, sir and that so often an empty purse!'
Goldsmith's incessant desire of being conspicuous in company was the occasion of his sometimes appearing to such disadvantage as one should hardly have supposed possible in a man of his genius.
When his literary reputation had risen deservedly high, and his society was much courted, he became very jealous of the extraordinary attention which was every where paid to Johnson. One evening, in a circle of wits, he found fault with me for talking of Johnson as entitled to the honour of unquestionable superiority. 'Sir,' said he, ' you are for making a monarchy of what should be a republic'
He was still more mortified when, talking in a company with fluent vivacity, and, as he flattered himself, to the admiration of all who were present, a German who sat next him, and perceived Johnson rolling himself, as if about to speak, suddenly stopped him, saying, ' Stay, stay, Doctor Johnson is going to say something.' This was, no doubt, very provoking, especially to one so irritable as Goldsmith, who frequently mentioned it with strong expressions of indignation.
It may also be observed, that Goldsmith was sometimes content to be treated with an easy familiarity, but, upon occasions, would be consequential and important. An instance of this occurred in a small particular. Johnson had a way of contracting the names of his friends; as Beautlerc, Beau; Boswell, Bozzy; Langton, Lanky; Murphy, Mur; Sheridan, Sherry. I remember one day, when Tom Davies was telling that Dr. Johnson said, ' We are all in labour for a name to Goldy's play,' Goldsmith seemed displeased that such a liberty should be taken with his name, and said, ' I nave often desired him not to call me Goldy.'
Chambers, you find, is gone far, and poor Goldsmith is gone much farther. He died of a fever, exasperated, as I believe, by the fear of distress. He had raised money and squandered it by every artifice of acquisition, and folly of expense. But let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man.
'Goldsmith, he said, referred every thing to vanity, his virtues and his vices too were from that motive. He was not a social man. He never exchanged mind with you.'
He said ' Goldsmith was a plant that flowered late. There appeared nothing remarkable about him when he was young; though when he had got high in fame, one of his friends begun to recollect something of his being distinguished at college. Goldsmith in the same manner recollected more of that friend's early years, as he grew a greater man.'
Goldsmith being mentioned, Johnson observed, that it was long before his merit came to be acknowledged. That he once complained to him, in ludicrous terms of distress, 'whenever I write any thing, the public make a point to know nothing about it;' but that his 'Traveller' brought him into high reputation. Langton, ' There is not one bad line in that poem; not one of Dryden's careless verses!' Sir Joshua, ' I was glad to hear Charles Fox say, it was one of the finest poems in the English language.' Langton, ' Why was you glad1 You surely had no doubt of this before.' Johnson, ' No; the merit of ' The Traveller' is so well established, that Mr. Fox's praise cannot augment it, nor his censure diminish it.' Sir Joshua, 'But his friends may suspect they had too great a partiality for him.' Johnson, 'Nay, sir, the partiality of his friends was always against him. It was with difficulty we could give him a hearing. Goldsmith had no settled notions upon any subject; so he talked always at random. It seemed to be his intention to blurt out whatever was in his mind, and see what would become of it. He was augry too, when catched in an absurdity; but it did not prevent him from falling into another the next minute. I remember Chamier, after talking with him for some time, said, ' Well, I do believe he wrote this poem himself; and let me tell you, that is believing a great deal.' Chamier once asked him, what he meant by ' slow,' the last woid in the first line of ' The Traveller.'
'Remote, unfriended, melancholy, stow.'
Did he mean tardiness of locomotion \ Goldsmith, who would say .something without consideration, answered, Yes. I was sitting by, and said, 'No, sir; you do not mean tardiness of locomotion; you mean that sluggishness of mind which comes upon a man in solitude.' Chamier believed then that I had written the line as much as if he had seen me write it. Goldsmith, however, was a man who, whatever he wrote, did it better than any other man could do. He deserved a place in Westminster Abbey, and every year he lived would have deserved it better. He had, indeed, been at no pains to fill his mind with knowledge. He translated it from one place to another; and it did not settle in his mind; so he could not tell what was in his own books.'
Talking of Goldsmith, Johnson said he was very envious. 1 defended him, by observing that he owned it frankly upon all occasions. Johnson, 'Sir, you are enforcing the charge. He had so much envy, that he could not conceal it. He was so full of it that he overflowed. He talked of it to be sure often enough.'
Goldsmith, in his diverting simplicity, 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, Johnson stood forth in defence of his friend; ' Nay, Gentlemen,' said he, ' 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.'
Of Dr. Goldsmith he said,' No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had.'
He said Goldsmith's blundering speech to Lord Shelburne, which has been so often mentioned, and which he really did make to him, was only a blunder in emphasis:—' I wonder they should call your lordship Malagrida, for Malagrida was a very good man 1—meant, 1 wonder they should use Malagrida as a term of reproach.'
'Returning home one day from dining at the chaplain's table, he told me that Dr. Goldsmith had given a very comical and unnecessarily exact recital there of his own feelings when his play was hissed; telling the company how he went indeed to the Literary Club at night, and chatted gaily among his friends, as if nothing had happened amiss. That to impress them still more forcibly with an idea of his magnanimity, he even sung his favourite song about an old woman tossed in a blanket seventeen times as high as the moon; 'but all this while I was suffering horrid tortures,' said he, 'and verily believe that if I had put a bit into my mouth, it would have strangled me on the spot, I was so excessively ill: but I made more noise than usual to cover all that, and so they never perceived my not eating, nor I believe at all imagined to themselves the anguish of my heart. But when all were gone except Johnson here, I burst out a crying, and even swore that I would never write again.' 'All which, Doctor,' said Dr. Johnson, amazed at his odd frankness, ' I thought had been a secret between you and me, and I am sure I would not have said any thing about it for the world. Now see,' repeated he, when he told the story,' what a figure a man makes who thus unaccountably chooses to be the frigid narrator of his own disgrace. II uolto sciolto, ed i pensieri stretti, was a proverb made on purpose for such mortals, to