« AnteriorContinuar »
“ Whenever I approached a peasant's “ house towards night-fall,” he used to say, “I played one of my most merry “ tunes, and that generally procured me “ not only a lodging, but subsistence for “ the next day : but, IN TRUTH” (his constant expression) " I must own, when“ ever I attempted to entertain persons of “ a higher rank, they always thought my “ performance odious, and never made “ me any return for my endeavours to “ please them.”
On his arrival at Geneva, he was recommended as a proper person for a travelling tutor to a young man, who had been unexpectedly left a considerable sum of money by his uncle Mr. S****** This youth, who was articled to an attorney, on receipt of his fortune determined to see the world; and, on his engaging
with his preceptor, made a proviso, that he should be permitted to govern himself: and our traveller foon found his pupil understood the art of directing in money concerns extremely well, as avarice was his prevailing passion.
During Goldsmith's continuance in Switzerland, he assiduously cultivated his poetical talent, of which he had given some striking proofs at the college of Edinburgh. It was from hence he fent the first sketch of his delightful epistle, called the TRAVELLER, to his brother Henry, a clergyman in Ireland, who, giving up fame and fortune, had retired with an amiable wife to happiness and obfcurity, on an income of only forty pounds a year. The great affection Goldsmith bore for this brother, is thus expressed in
the the poem abovementioned, and gives a striking picture of his situation.
Remote, unfriended, melancholy, now,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
From Geneva Mr. Goldsmith and his pupil proceeded to the south of France, where the young man, upon some disagreement with his preceptor, paid him the small part of his falary which was due, and embarked at Marseilles for England. Our wanderer was left once more upon the world at large, and passed through a number of difficulties in traversing the greatest part of France. At length his curiosity being gratified, he bent his course towards England, and arrived at Dover, the beginning of the winter, in the year 1758.
His finances were so low on his return to England, that he with difficulty got to the metropolis, his whole stock of cash. amounting to no more than a few halfpence! An entire stranger in London, his mind was filled with the most gloomy reflections in consequence of his embarraffed situation ! He applied to several apothecaries in hopes of being received in the capacity of a journeyman, but his broad Irish accent, and the uncouthness of his appearance, occasioned him to meet with insult from most of the medicinal tribe. The next day, however, a chymist near Fish-street, ftruck with his forlorn condition, and the simplicity of his manner, took him into his laboratory, where he continued till he discovered that his old friend Dr. Sleigh was in London. That gentleman received him with the warmest affection, and liberally invited him to share his purse till some establishment could be procured for him. Gold