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of Goldsmith. When Mrs. Thrale asked him of this matter he spoke of it with contempt, and said that "no man should be expected to sympathize with the sorrows of vanity," But he had sympathized with them, at least to the extent of consoling them. Goldsmith never flung himself in vain on that great, rough, tender heart. The weakness he did his best to hide from even the kindly Langton, from the humane and generous Reynolds, was sobbed out freely there; nor is it difficult to guess how Johnson comforted him. “Sir,” he said to Boswell, when that ingenious young gentleman, now a practising Scotch advocate, joined him a month or two later at Oxford, and talked slightingly of the “Good-natured Man,” “it is the best comedy that has appeared since the “Provok'd Husband.” There has not been of late any such character exhibited on the stage as that of Croaker. “False Delicacy” is totally devoid of character." Who can doubt that Goldsmith had
1 Admirable is the advice that follows: “ If you are mortified by any ill usage, whether real or supposed, keep at least the account of such mortifications to yourself, and forbear to proclaim how meanly you are thought on by others, unless you desire to be meanly thought of by all."-Anecdotes, 246.
. Boswell, iii. 37-38. “Sir," continued he, “there is all the difference in the world between characters of nature and characters of manners; and there is the difference between the characters of Fielding and those of Richardson. Characters of manners are very entertaining; but they are to be understood by a more superficial observer than characters of nature, where a man must dive into the recesses of the human heart.” This too, I may say, though ill applied in the special case of the novel writers, is substantially the verdict which Gibbon's friend, M. Deyverdun, who with the historian edited the Mémoires Littéraires de la Grande Bretagne pour l'an 1768, delivers on the two principal comedies of the year. Remarking on the fact that the public seemed to have preferred Kelly to Goldsmith, he says that he must be bold enough to appeal from a sentence which fashion rather than taste bad dictated. He speaks highly of the situations and management of the mere story in Kelly's play, but gives the palm of character and humor to Goldsmith; and though he observes (a valuable piece of evidence, by-the-by) that Goldsmith's play might in general have been better acted, and had greater justice done to it by the performers, he yet tells us that Croaker and Lofty had at least succeeded in making every one laugh heartily-qui rient encore— who still were in the habit of indulging in that unfashionable weakness. Let me add that Mrs. Inchbald, a
words of reassurance at the least as kindly as these to listen to as he walked home that night from Gerrard Street with Samuel Johnson?
Nor were other and substantial satisfactions wanting. His comedy was repeated with increased effect on the removal of the bailiffs, and its announced publication excited considerable interest. Griffin was the publisher; paid him £50 the day after its appearance; and, in announcing a new edition the following week, stated that the whole of the first “large impression” had been sold on the second day. But perhaps Goldsmith's greatest pleasure in connection with the printed comedy was that he could "shame the rogues” and print the scene of the bailiffs. Nowadays it is difficult to understand the objection which condemned it, urged most strongly, as we find it, by the coarsest writers of the time. When such an attempt as Honey wood's to pass off the bailiffs for his friends gets condemned as unworthy of a gentleman, comedy seems in sorry plight indeed. “The town will not bear Goldsmith's low humor," writes the not very decent Hoadly, the bishop's son,' to Garrick, "and justly. It degrades his Good-natur'd Man, whom they were taught to pity and have a sort of respect for, into a low buffoon; and, what is worse, into a falsifier, a character unbecoming a gentleman.”' Happily for us,
woman of true genius, says of the leading characters in the comedy: “The characters of Croaker, of Honey wood, and of Lofty, each deserve this highest praise which fictitious characters can receive. In fiction they are perfectly original, yet are seen every day in real life.”
* John Hoadly, younger brother of the author of the “Suspicious Husband," was a great friend of Garrick's; was one of the most clever and voluminous, but (though a dignitary and pluralist of the church, master of St. Cross, and Chancellor of Winchester) not the most decent, of his correspondents; and was himself a writer of pieces, both tragic, comic, and pastoral, none of which have kept the stage.
: Hoadly to Garrick. Garrick Correspondence, i. 506. Yet the age had not become too refined for Fondlewife and Ben, two of Yates's favorite characters; and Goldsmith may be forgiven the sneer with which he is said to have expressed his surprise, somewhat later, “in this refined age, to see Lord North and all his family in the stage box at the Old Bachelor'; though to be sure, the fact of Mr. Yates having been admonished
Goldsmith printed the low humor notwithstanding. It had been cut out in the acting, he said, in deference to the public taste, “grown of late, perhaps, too delicate"; and was now replaced in deference to the judgment of a few friends “who think in a particular way.” The particular way became more general when his second comedy laid the ghost of sentimentalism; and one is glad to know that, though it was but the year before his death, he saw his well-beloved bailiffs restored to the scene, of which they have ever since been the most popular attraction. With the play the prologue, of course, was printed; and here Goldsmith had another satisfaction, in the alteration of a line that had been laughed at. “Don't call me our LITTLE bard,” he said to Johnson; and “our anxious bard” was good-naturedly substituted." But what Boswell interposes on this head simply shows us how uneasy he was, not when Johnson's familiar diminutives, more fond than respectful, were used by himself, but when they passed into the mouths of others. “I have often desired Mr. Johnson not to call me Goldy," was his complaint to Davies. It was a courteous way of saying,
not to sing 'The Soldier and the Sailor' in that other refined comedy of *Love for Love,' was a gratifying proof of delicacy.” This was a fact, and so enraged Yates that he swore he had sung the song for forty years, and would sing it still. --Cradock's Memoirs, iv. 283–284.
Lee Lewes, who had then just obtained a reputation by his performance of Young Marlow, played Lofty on the occasion, it being for the benefit of Mrs. Green, who had the good taste to hold out the inducement in hier play-bills that “in act the third, by particular desire, will be restored the original scene of the Bailiffs."-Some Account of the Stage, v. 372.
" Amidst the toils of this returning year
Our little bard, without complaint, may share," etc. Malone used to refer to this eagerly desired omission as one of the most characteristic traits he knew of Goldsmith.—Taylor's Records, i. 119.
• I quote Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides. “Thursday, Oct 14, 1773. When Dr. Johnson awaked this morning, he called 'Lanky !'having, I suppose, been thinking of Langton, but corrected himself instantly, and cried, “Bozzy ! He has a way of contracting the names of his friends. Goldsmith feels himself so important now as to be displeased at it. I remember one day, when Tom Davies was telling that Dr. Johnson said,
“I wish you wouldn't call me Goldy, whatever Mr. Johnson does.”
The comedy was played ten consecutive nights; their Majesties commanding it on the fifth night (a practice not unwise, though become unfashionable); and the third, when Reynolds enters in his note-book that he was again present, the sixth, and the ninth being advertised as appropriated to the author. But though this seems a reasonably fair success there is no reason to doubt Cooke's statement that, even with the sacrifice of the bailiffs, it rather dragged than supported itself buoyantly through the remainder of the season. Shuter gave it an eleventh night, a month later, by selecting it for his benefit, when Goldsmith, in a fit of extravagant good-nature, sent him ten guineas (perhaps at the time the last he had in the world) for a box ticket. It was again, after an interval of three years, played three nights;' and it was selected for Mrs. Green's benefit the second year after that, when the bailiffs reappeared. This is all I can discover of its career upon the London stage while the author yet lived to enjoy it.
'We are all in labor for a name to Goldy's play, Goldsmith cried, 'I have often desired him not to call me Goldy.'"-Boswell, v. 40.
1 Some Account of the Stage, v. 307. But the reader may judge with what chance of better success, when the ponderous Bensley had replaced Powell in the hero, and Lofty, now played by a Mr. Kniveton, profited no longer by the whim and eccentricity of Woodward.
SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENTS, HUMBLE CLIENTS, AND SHOEMAKER'S
On the stage, then, the success of Goldsmith's comedy of the “Good-natured Man" was far from equal to its claims of character, wit, and humor; yet its success, in other respects, very sensibly affected its author's ways of life. His three nights had produced him nearly £400; Griffin had paid him £100 more; and for any good fortune of this kind his past fortunes had not fitted him. So little, he would himself say, was he used to receive money “in a lump' that when Newbery made him his first advance of twenty guineas his embarrassment was as great as Captain Brazen's in the play, whether he should build a privateer or a playhouse with the money. He now took means hardly less effective to disembarrass himself of the profits of his comedy. “He descended from his attic story in the Staircase, Inner Temple,” says Cooke (who here writes somewhat hastily, one descent from the “attic” having already been made), “and purchased chambers in Brick Court, Middle Temple, for which he gave four hundred pounds." They were number two on the second floor, on the right hand ascending the staircase; and consisted of two reasonably sized, old-fashioned rooms, with a third smaller room or sleeping-closet, which he furnished handsomely, with “Wil. ton” carpets, “ blue morine-covered” mahogany sofas, blue morine curtains, chairs corresponding, chimney - glasses,
European Magazine, xxiv. 92.
9 16. 171.