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ed out a considerable sum which he had won the uncle was an amateur of such rarities. With his preceding evening. "Perceiving that this tempo- usual inconsiderateness he immediately.concluded rary success," said Ellis, “was only fanning the a bargain for a parcel of the roots, never reflecting frame of a ruinous passion, I was at some pains to on his own limited means, or the purpose for which point out to him the destructive consequences of his money had been furnished. This absurd and indulging so dangerous a propensity. • I exhorted extravagant purchase nearly exhausted the fund him, since fortune had for once been unusually he had already received from his friend Ellis, and kind, to rest satisfied with his present gains, and it is not unlikely that the gaming table gleaned the showed that if he set apart the money now in his little that remained; for it has often been asserted, hands, he would be able to complete his studies that after his magnificent speculation in tulip roots without further assistance from his friends. Gold-he actually set out upon his travels with only one smith, who could perceive, though he could not al- clean shirt, and without a shilling in his pocket. ways pursue the right path, admitted all the truth
When this expedition was projected, it is most of my observations, seemed grateful for my advice, likely that nothing more was intended than a short and promised for the future strictly to adhere to it." excursion into Belgium and France. The passion The votary of play, however, is never to be so for travel, however, which had so long lain dormant easily cured. Reason and ridicule are equally im- in his mind was now thoroughly awakened. potent against that unhappy passion. To those Blessed with a good constitution, an adventurous infected with it, the charms of the gaming table spirit, and with that thoughtless, or perhaps happy may be said to be omnipotent. Soon after this, he disposition, which takes no care for to-morrow, he once more gave himself up to it without control, continued his travels for a long time in spite of inand not only lost all he had lately won, but was numerable privations; and neither poverty, fatigue, stripped of every shilling he had in the world. In nor hardship, seems to have damped his ardour, or this emergency he was obliged to have recourse to interrupted his progress. It is a well authenticated Dr. Ellis for advice. His friend perceived that ad-fact, that he performed the tour of Europe on foot, monition was useless, and that so long as he re- and that he finished the arduous and singular unmained within reach of the vortex of play, his, dertaking without any other means than was obgambling propensities could never be restrained. tained by an occasional display of his scholarship, It was therefore determined that he ought to quit or a tune upon his flute. Holland; and with a view to his further improve- It is much to be regretted that no account of his ment, it was suggested that he should visit some tour was ever given to the world by himself. The of the neighbouring countries before returning to oral communications which he sometimes gave to his own. He readily acceded to this proposal, and friends, are said to have borne some notwithstanding the paucity of his means, resolved blance to the story of the Wanderer in the Vicar of to pursue it without delay. Ellis, however, kindly Wakefield. The interest they excited did not arise took his wants into consideration, and agreed to so much from the novelty of the incidents as from accommodate him with a sum of money to carry the fine vein of moral reflection interwoven with his plan into execution ; but in this, as in other in the narrative. Like the Wanderer, he possessed a stances, his heedless improvidence interfered to sufficient portion of ancient literature, some taste render his friend's generosity abortive. When about in music, and a tolerable knowledge of the French to set out on his journey, accident or curiosity led language. His learning was a passport to the hoshim into a garden at Leyden, where the choicest pitalities of the literary and religious establishfowers were reared for sale. In consequence of an ments on the continent, and the music of his flute unaccountable mania for flowers having at one generally procured him a welcome reception at the time spread itself over Holland, an extensive trade cottages of the peasantry. "Whenever I ap
in lower roots became universally prevalent in that proached a peasant's house towards night-fall," he ? country, and at this period the Dutch florists were used to say, “I played one of my merriest tunes,
the most celebrated in Europe.* Fortunes and and that procured me not only a lodging, but sublaw suits innumerable had been lost and won in sistence for the next day; but, in truth;" his conthis singular traffic; and though the rage had now stant expression, “I must own, whenever I attemptgreatly subsided, flower roots still bore a considera-ed to entertain persons of a higher rank, they alble value. Unluckily, while rambling through the ways thought my performance odious, and never garden at Leyden, Goldsmith recollected that his made me any return for my endeavours to please
them.” The hearty good-will, however, with 'It was the celebrated tulip mania. For a tulip root, known which he was received by the harmless peasantry, by the name of Semper Augustus
, 550l. sterling was given; seems to have atoned to him for the disregard of ud for other tulip roots less rare, various prices were given, firme ene hundred to four hundred guineas. This madnes the rich. How much their simple manners won need in Holland for many years, till at length the State in upon his affections, may be discovered from the fine terfered, and a law was enacted which put a stop to the trade.
passage in his "Traveller," in which he so happi- length become his favourite study. Naturally ava ly introduces himself:
ricious, his training as an attorney. had nothing How often have I led thy sportive choir
diminished the reign of that sordid passion, and it With tuneless pipe beside the murmuring Loire! discovered its most odious features in almost every Where shading elms along the margin grew, transaction. When he engaged a tutor, thereAnd freshen'd from the wave the zephyr flew:
fore, he took care to make a special proviso, that And haply, though my harsh touch, falt'ring still,
in all money matters he should be at liberty to tu. But mock'd all tune, and marrd the dancers' skill, Yet would the village praise my wondrous power,
tor himself. A stipulation of this kind so cramp And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour.
ed the views and propensities of Goldsmith, and The learned and religious houses also appear to afforded to the pupil so many opportunities of dis. have been equally hospitable. “With the mem- playing his mean disposition, that disgust and disbers of these establishments," said he, "I could like almost immediately ensued. When arrived converse on topics of literature, and then I always at Marseilles they mutually agreed to separate; forgot the meanness of my circumstances." and the poet having received the small part of his In many of the foreign universities and con- salary that was due, his pupil
, terrified at the exvents there are, upon certain days, philosophical pense of travelling, instantly embarked for Eng. theses maintained against every adventitious dis- land. putant; for which, if the champion opposes with Goldsmith, thus freed from the trammels of tuany dexterity, he can claim a gratuity in money, torship, set out once more on foot, and in that mana dinner, and a bed for one night. The talents of ner travelled through various districts of France. Goldsmith frequently enabled him to command the He finally pursued his journey into Italy, visiting relief afforded by this useful and hospitable cus- Venice, Verona, Florence, and other celebrated tom. In this manner, without money or friends, places. At Padua, where he staid six months, he he fought his way from convent to convent, and is said to have taken a medical degree, but upon from city to city, examined mankind more nearly, what authority is not ascertained. While resiand, as he himself expressed it, saw both sides of dent at Padua he was assisted, it is believed, by the picture.
remittances from his uncle Contarine, who, howTo Goldsmith's close and familiar intercourse ever, unfortunately died about that time. In with the scenes and natives of the different coun- Italy, Goldsmith found his talent for music al. tries through which he passed, the world is indebt- most useless as a means of subsistence, for every ed for his “ Traveller.” For although that poem peasant was a better musician than himself; but was afterwards “slowly and painfully elaborated,” his skill in disputation still served his purpose, and still the nice and accurate discrimination of na- the religious establishments were equally hospitational character displayed could only be acquired ble. At length, curiosity being fully gratified, he by actual examination. In the progress of his resolved to retrace his steps towards his native journey, he seems to have treasured his facts and home. He returned through France, as the shortobservations, with a view to the formation of this er route, and as affording greater facilities to a delightful poem. The first sketch of it is said to pedestrian. He was lodged and entertained as have been written after his arrival in Switzerland, formerly, sometimes at learned and religious estab and was transmitted from that country to his bro- lishments, and sometimes at the cottages of the ther Henry in Ireland.
peasantry, and thus, with the aid of his philoso After his arrival in Switzerland, he took up his phy and his fute, he disputed and piped his way abode for some time in Geneva. Here he appears homewards, to have found friends, or formed acquaintances; When Goldsmith arrived at Dover from France, for we find him recommended at this place as tu- it was about the breaking out of the war in tor to a young gentleman on his travels. The 1755-6. Being unprovided with money, a new youth to whom he was recommended was the ne- difficulty now presented itself, how to fight his phew of Mr. S******, pawnbroker in London, who had unexpectedly acquired a large fortune by The Rev. Thomas Contarine was descended from the nothe death of his uncle. Determined to see the ble family of the Contarini of Venice. His ancestor, having world, he had just arrived at Geneva on the grand married a nun in his native country, was obliged to fly with tour, and not being provided with a travelling tu
her into France, where she died of the small-pox. Being tor, Goldsmith was hired to perform the functions land; but the puritanical manners which then prevailed, hav.
pursued by ecclesiastical censures, Contarini came to Eng. of that office. They set out together for Mar- ing afforded him but a cold reception, he was on his way to seilles; but never were tutor and pupil so miserably Ireland, when at Chester he met with a young lady of the assorted. The latter, before acquiring his fortune, name of Chaloner whom he married. Having afterwards had been for some time articled to an attorney, and conformed to the established church, he
, through the interest while in that capacity had so well learned the art diocese of Elphin. This gentleman was their lineal descen
of his wife's family, obtained ecclesiastical preferment in the of managing in money concerns, that it had at /danı.-Campbell's Biography of Goldsmith.
way to the metropolis. His whole stock of cash and habits, it was peculiarly distasteful. How long could not defray the expense of the ordinary con- he remained in this situation is not well ascertained, veyance, and neither flute nor logic could help but he ever spoke of it in bitterness of spirit. The him to a supper or a bed. By some means or other, very remembrance of it seemed to be gall and wormhowever, he contrived to reach London in safety. wood to him; and how keenly he must have felt its On his arrival he had only a few halfpence in his mortification and misery, may be gathered from the pocket. To use his own words, in one of his let- satire with which it is designated in various parts ters, he found himself "without friend, recom- of his works. The language which he has put mendation, money, or impudence;" and, contrary into the mouth of the Wanderer's cousin, when he to his usual habits, began to be filled with the applies to him for an ushership, is feelingly characgloomiest apprehensions. There was not a mo- teristic. "I," said he, “have been an usher to a ment to be lost, therefore, in seeking for a sit- boarding-school myself; and may I die by an anouation that might afford him the means of imme- dyne necklace, but I had rather be an under-turndiate subsistence. His first attempt was to get ad- key in Newgate! I was up early and late: I was mission as an assistant to a boarding-school or aca- browbeat by the master, hated for my ugly face by dery, but, for want of a recommendation, even the mistress, worried by the boys within, and never that poor and painful situation was found difficult permitted to stir out to meet civility abroad. But, to be obtained. This difficulty appears also to have are you sure you are fit for a school? Let me been nothing lessened by his stooping to make use of examine you a little. Have you been bred apa feigned name. What his motives were for such prentice to the business?" —No.—"Then you won't a measure has never been fully explained; but it do for a school. Can you dress the boys hair?" — is fair to infer, that his literary pride revolted at No.—“Then you won't do for a school. Have servitude, and perhaps, conscious that his powers you had the small-pox ?"—No.—“Then you won't would ultimately enable him to emerge from his do for a school. Can you lie three in a bed?"present obscurity, he was unwilling it should after- No.-" Then you will never do for a school. Have wards be known that he had occupied a situation you got a good stomach ?”—Yes.—"Then you so humble. Deceit and finesse, however, are at all will by no means do for a school. No, sir: if you times dangerous, be the motive for employing them are for a genteel, easy profession, bind yourself ever so innocent; and in the present instance our seven years as an apprentice to turn a cutler's author found them productive of considerable em-wheel; but avoid a school by any means." barrassment; for, when the master of the school On another occasion, when talking on the same demanded a reference to some respectable person subject, our author thus summed up the misery of for a character, Goldsmith was at a loss to account such an employment:-“After the fatigues of the for using any other name than his own. In this day, the poor usher of an academy is obliged to dilemma he wrote to Dr. Radcliff, a mild benevo- sleep in the same bed with a Frenchman, a teacher lent man, who had been joint-tutor with his perse of that language to the boys, who disturbs him cutor Wilder, in Trinity College, and had some-every night, an hour perhaps, in papering and fillettimes lectured the other pupils
. Having can-ing his hair
, and stinks worse than a carrion, with didly stated to the doctor the predicament in which his rancid pomatums, when he lays his head beside he was placed, and explained the immediate object him on his bolster.' in view, he told him that the same post which Having thrown up this wretched employment, conveyed this information would also bring him a he was obliged to cast about for one more congenial letter of inquiry from the school-master, to which to his mind. In this, however, he again found conit was hoped he would be so good as return a fa-siderable difficulty. His personal appearance and vourable answer. It appears that Dr. Radcliff address were never prepossessing, but at that parpromptly complied with this request, for Goldsmith ticular period were still less so from the thread-bare immediately obtained the situation. We learn state of his wardrobe. He applied to several of the from Campbell's Philosophical Survey of the medical tribe, but had the mortification to meet with South of Ireland, that our author's letter of thanks repeated refusals; and on more than one occasion to Dr. Radcliff on that occasion was accompanied was jeered with the mimicry of his broad Irish acwith a very interesting account of his travels and cent. At length a chemist, near Fish-street-hill, adventures.
took him into his laboratory, where his medical The employment of usher at an academy in Lon. knowledge soon rendered him an able and useful don, is of itself a task of no ordinary labour; but, assistant. Not long after this, however, accident independent of the drudgery and toil, it is attended discovered to him that his old friend and fellow. with so many little irritating circumstances, that student, Dr. Sleigh, was in London, and he deterof all others it is perhaps a situation the most pain-mined, if possible, to renew his acquaintance with ful and irksome to a man of independent mind and him. "It was Sunday,” said Goldsmith, “when liberal ideas. To a person of our author's temper I paid him the first visit, and it is to be supposed I
was dressed in my best clothes. Sleigh scarcely at London. You may easily imagine what diffknew me; such is the tax the unfortunate pay to culties I had to encounter, left as I was without poverty. However, when he did recollect me, I friends, recommendations, money, or impudence; found his heart as warm as ever, and he shared his and that in a country where being born an Irishpurse and his friendship with me during his con- man was sufficient to keep me unemployed. Many tinuance in London.”
in such circumstances would have had recourse to The friendship of Dr. Sleigh* was not confined the friar's cord, or the suicide's halter. But, with to the mere relief of our poets immediate wants, all my follies, I had principle to resist the one, and but showed itself in an anxious solicitude for his resolution to combat the other. permanent success in life. Nobody better knew "I suppose you desire to know my present situhow to appreciate his talents and acquirements, and ation. As there is nothing in it at which I should the accurate knowledge that Sleigh possessed of blush, or which mankind could censure, I see no London qualified him to advise and direct the poet reason for making it a secret. In short, by a very in his subsequent pursuits. Accordingly we find little practice as a physician, and a very little reputhat Goldsmith, encouraged by his friend's advice, tation as a poet; I make a shift to live. Nothing is commenced medical practitioner at Bankside, in more apt to introduce us to the gates of the Muses Southwark, whence he afterwards removed to the than poverty; but it were well for us if they only Temple and its neighbourhood. In Southwark it left us at the door—the mischief is, they sometimes appears that his practice did not answer his ex- choose to give us their company at the entertainpectations, but in the vicinity of the Temple he ment, and want, instead of being gentleman usher, was more successful. The fees of the physician, often turns master of the ceremonies. Thus, upon however, were little, and that little, as is usual hearing I write, no doubt you imagine I starve; among the poorer classes, was very ill paid. He and the name of an author naturally reminds you found it necessary, therefore, to have recourse like- of a garret. In this particular I do not think prowise to his pen, and being introduced by Dr.
per to undeceive my friends. But whether I eat Sleigh to some of the booksellers, was almost im- or starve ; live in a first floor, or four pair of stairs mediately engaged in their service;—and thus, high, I still remember them with ardour ; nay, my “ with very little practice as a physician, and very very country comes in for a share of my affection. little reputation as a poet,” as he himself expresses Unaccountable fondness for country, this maladie it, he made “a shift to live.” The peculiarities of du pays, as the French call it! Unaccountable
, his situation at this period are described in the fol- that he should still have an affection for a place, lowing letter, addressed to the gentleman who had who never received, when in it, above common cimarried his eldest sister. It is dated Temple Ex
vility; who never brought any thing out of it, exchange Coffee-house, December 27, 1757, and ad
cept his brogue and his blunders. Surely my affecdressed to Daniel Hodson, Esq., at Lishoy, near tion is equally ridiculous with the Scotchman's, Ballymahon, Ireland.
who refused to be cured of the itch because it made “Dear Sir, It may be four years since my last him unco thoughtful o' his wife and bonnie Inteletters went to Ireland; and from you in particular rary. But now to be serious; let me ask myself I received no answer, probably because you never what gives me a wish to see Ireland again? The wrote to me. My brother Charles, however, in
country is a fine one, perhaps ? No.-There are forms me of the fatigue you were at in soliciting a
good company in Ireland? No.—The conversation subscription to assist me, not only among my friends there is generally made up of a smutty toast, or a and relations, but acquaintance in general. Though bawdy song. The vivacity supported by some my pride might feel some repugnance at being thus humble cousin, who has just folly enough to carn relieved, yet my gratitude can suffer no diminution. his dinner.-Then, perhaps, there is more wit and How much am I obliged to you, to them, for such generosity, or (why should not your virtues have has been more money spent in the encouragement
learning among the Irish ? Oh, Lord, no! There the proper name) for such charity to me at that
of the Podareen mare there in one season, than juncture. Sure I am born to ill fortune, to be so much a debtor, and unable to repay. But to say Usher. All their productions in learning amount
given in rewards to learned men since the time of no more of this : too many professions of gratitude are often considered as indirect petitions for future and all their productions in wit to just nothing at
to perhaps a translation, or a few tracts in divinity; favours ; let me only add, that my not receiving that all.–Why the plague, then, so fond of Ireland ? supply was the cause of my present establishment
Then, all at once, because you, my dear friend,
and a few more, who are exceptions to the general * This gentleman subsequently settled in Cork, his native picture, have a residence there. This it is that city, and was rapidly rising into eminence in his profession, when he was cut off in the flower of his age by an inflamma? gives me all the pangs I feel in separation. I contory fever, which deprived the world of a fine scholar, a skilful fess I carry this spirit sometimes to the souring the physician, and an honest man.
pleasures I at present possess. If I go to the opera,
where Signora Columba pours out all the mazes and others procured him the notice of the polite of melody, I sit and sigh for Lishoy fireside, and and the learned. Among the friendships thus Johnny Armstrong's Last Good Night, from Peg- agreeably renewed, there was one with a medical gy Golden. If I climb Flamstead-hill, than where character,* afterwards eminent in his profession, nature never exhibited a more magnificent pros- who used to give the following account of our aupect, I confess it fine, but then I had rather be thor's first interview with him in London. placed on the little mount before Lishoy gate, and “From the time of Goldsmith's leaving Edinthere take in, to me, the most pleasing horizon in burgh in the year 1754, I never saw him till the nature. Before Charles came hither, my thoughts year 1756, when I was in London attending the sometimes found refuge from severe studies among hospitals and lectures: early in January he called my friends in Ireland. I fancied strange revolutions upon me one morning before I was up, and on my at home; but I find it was the rapidity of my own entering the room I recognised my old acquaintmotion that gave an imaginary one to objects really ance, dressed in a rusty full trimmed black suit, at rest. No alterations there. Some friends, he with his pockets full of papers, which instantly retells me, are still lean, but very rich; others very minded me of the poet in Garrick's farce of Lethe. fat
, but still very poor. Nay, all the news I hear After we had finished our break fast he drew from of you is, that you and Mrs. Hodson sometimes his pocket part of a tragedy, which he said he had sally out in visits among the neighbours, and some- brought for my correction. In vain I pleaded inatimes make a migration from the blue bed to the bility, when he began to read, and every part on brown. I could from my heart wish that you and which I expressed a doubt as to the propriety, was she, and Lishoy and Ballymahon, and all of you, immediately blotted out. I then more earnestly would fairly make a migration into Middlesex; pressed him not to trust to my judgment, but to though, upon second thoughts, this might be at- take the opinion of persons better qualified to detended with a few inconveniencies: therefore, as cide on dramatic compositions. He now told me the mountain will not come to Mahomet, why Ma- that he had submitted his production, so far as he hornet shall go to the mountain; or, to speak plain had written, to Mr. Richardson, the author of ClaEnglish, as you can not conveniently pay me a visit, rissa, on which I peremptorily declined offering if next summer I can contrive to be absent six another criticism on the performance. The name weeks from London, I shall spend three of them and subject of the tragedy have unfortunately esamong my friends in Ireland. But first believe me, caped my memory, neither do I recollect, with exmy design is purely to visit, and neither to cut a actness, how much he had written, though I am figure nor levy contributions, neither to excite en- inclined to believe that he had not completed the vy nor solicit favour; in fact, my circumstances are third act; I never heard whether he afterwards adapted to neither. I am too poor to be gazed at, finished it. In this visit, I remember his relating a and too rich to need assistance.
strange Quixotic scheme he had in contemplation, " You see, dear Dan, how long I have been of going to decipher the inscriptions on the Writtalking about myself; but attributo my vanity to ten Mountains, though he was altogether ignorant my affection : as every man is fond of himself
, and of Arabic, or the language in which they might I consider you as a second self, I imagine you will be supposed to be written. The salary of three consequently be pleased with these instances of hundred pounds per annum, which had been left egotism."
for the purpose, was the temptation !" Goldsmith then alludes some concerns of a
With regard to the sketch of a tragedy here alprivate nature, and concludes:
luded to, the piece never was completed, nor did he "My dear sir, these things give me real uneasi- afterwards attempt any thing in the same line. ness, and I could wish to redress them. But at His project respecting the Written Mountains, present there is hardly a kingdom in Europe in was certainly an undertaking of a most extravawhich I am not a debtor. I have already discharged gant description; but, if we consider how little my most threatening and pressing demands, for qualified he was for such a task, it can hardly be we must be just before we can be grateful. For supposed that the scheme ever entered seriously the rest I need not say, (you know I am,) your af- into his mind. It was not unusual with him to fectionate kinsman.”
hazard opinions and adopt resolutions, without The medical and literary pursuits of our author, much consideration, and often without calculating though productive, at this period, of little emolu- the means to the end. "Goldsmith,” said Bosment, gradually extended the sphere of his acquaint- well, "had a more than common share of that ance. Several of his fellow students at Edinburgh hurry of ideas which we often find in his countryand Dublin were now resident in London, and, by men. He was very much what the French call degrees, he continued to renew the intimaey that un etourdi, and from vanity and an eager desire had formerly subsisted between them. Some of them occasionally assisted him with their purse, * It is presumed that Dr. Sleigh is meant.