of doing it. Not even to his Natural History did he turn without venting upon this sorrowful theme, in sentences that sounded strangely amid his talk of beasts and birds, what lay so near his heart. “The lower race of animals, when satisfied, for the instant moment are perfectly happy; but it is otherwise with man. His mind anticipates distress, and feels the pang of want even before it arrests him. Thus the mind being continually harassed by the situation, it at length influences the constitution, and unfits it for all its functions. Some cruel disorder, but no way like hunger, seizes the unhappy sufferer; so that almost all those men who have thus long lived by chance, and whose every day may be considered as an happy escape from famine, are known at last to die in reality of a disorder caused by hunger, but which, in the common language, is often called a broken heart. Some of these I have known myself, when very little able to relieve them; and I have been told by a very active and worthy magistrate that the number of such as die in London for want is much greater than one would imagineI think he talked of two thousand in a year.” If this was already written, as from what he afterwards told Langton we may infer some portions of the Animated Nature to have been, Goldsmith little imagined the immortal name which was now to be added to the melancholy list. The writer of the sanguine letter I have quoted was doomed to be the next victim. He had not been in London many days, at the time when he so supposed he had mastered the booksellers; and in little less than three months after sending those hopeful tidings home, he yielded up his brain to the terrible disorder of which Goldsmith had seen so much: so unlike hunger, though hunger-bred. Gallantly had he worked in those three momentous months:' had projected histories of England and voluminous histories of London; had written for magazines, registers, and museums endless, the London, the Town and Country, the Middlesex Freeholders', the Court and City; had composed a musical burlesque burletta ; had launched into politics on both sides ; had contributed sixteen songs for ten and sixpence; had received gladly two shillings for an article; had lived on a halfpenny roll, or a penny tart and a glass of water a day, enjoying now and then a sheep's tongue; had invented all the while brave letters about his happiness and success to the only creatures that loved him, his grandmother, mother, and sister, at Bristol; had even sent them, out of his so many daily pence, bits of china, fans, and a gown; and then, one fatal morning, after many bitter disappointments (one of them precisely what Goldsmith had himself undergone in as desperate distress, just as one of his expedients for escape, by "going abroad as a surgeon," had been also what Goldsmith tried), having passed some three days without food and refused his poor landlady's invitation to dinner, he was found dead in his miserable room, the floor thickly strewn with scraps of the manuscripts he had destroyed, a pocket-book memorandum lying near him to the effect that the booksellers owed him eleven pounds, and the cup which had held arsenic and water still grasped in his hand. It was in a wretched little street out of Holborn; the body was taken to the bonehouse of St. Andrew's, but no one came to claim it; and in due time the pauper burial-ground of Shoe Lane received what remained of Chatterton. “The marvellous boy! The sleepless soul who perished in his pride !" He was not eighteen.

my friend. The first part of the intelligence agreeably surprised me, the latter did not in the least; Garrick I have long known as another term for all the virtues, and instead of being amazed at his readiness to serve the unfriended, I should be actually amazed if his generosity had not found that readiness a very considerable satisfaction. Accept my best acknowledgments, my dear sir, for all your goodness to me.”

1 Animated Nature, ii. 6–7.

i The language contains few things more affecting than the brief letters left by Chatterton, though as compositions they have no merit. I subjoin a few extracts. On the 26th of April, 1770, he writes to his “ dear Moth. er”: “Here I am, safe, and in high spirits. Got into London about five o'clock in the evening-called upon Mr. Edmunds, Mr. Fell, Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. Dodsley. Great encouragement from them; all

approved of my design; shall soon be settled.” On the 6th of May he writes to his “ dear Mother" from Shoreditch the letter already quoted (vol. iii. 216), to which he adds, “I have some trifling presents for mother, sister,” etc. On the 14th of May he writes : “I am invited to treat with a doctor of music, on the footing of a composer, for Ranelagh and the Gardens. Bravo, hey boys, up we go! Let my sister improve in copying music, and in draw. ing,” etc. On the 30th of May he writes from “ Tom's coffee-house" to his “ dear Sister”: “I will send you two silks this summer; and expect, in answer to this, what colors you prefer. My mother shall not be forgotten. My employment will be in writing a voluminous History of London . . . as this will not, like writing political essays, oblige me to go to the coffee-house, I shall be able to serve you the more by it.” On the 19th of June he writes to his mother: “I send you in the box six cups and saucers with two basins for my sister. If a china tea-pot and cream-pot is in your opinion pecessary, I will send them. ... Two fans—the silver one is more grave than the other, which would suit my sister best. But that I leave to you both.” He was now lodging at Mrs. Angel's the sackmaker, in Brook Street, Holborn. From that place, on the 20th of July, he again writes to his sister : “I am now about an oratorio, which, when finished, will purchase you a gown.” On the 12th of August he writes to Mr. Catcott: “I intend going abroad as a surgeon. Mr. Barrett has it in his power to assist me greatly by his giving me a physical character. I hope he will. I trouble you with a copy of an essay I intend publishing." These were the last thoughts which connected him with life or its hopes, and they were precisely what had visited Goldsmith in an only less sore extremity. He wished to escape as a surgeon to the coast of Africa, and to help himself to go by means of an essay he had written. But it was not to be. Exactly twelve days after the date of this letter he was found dead in his wretched lodging. (For an amusing account of the way in which Catcott, here named, attended on Johnson and Boswell at their visit to Bristol, see Boswell, vi. 171-173.)

The tragedy had been all acted out before Goldsmith heard of any of the incidents. I am even glad to think that, during the whole of the month which preceded the catastrophe, he was absent from England.




GOLDSMITH had quitted London on a visit to Paris in the middle of July. “The Professor of History," writes Mary Moser, the daughter of the keeper of the Academy, telling Fuseli at Rome how disappointed the literary people connected with the new institution had been not to receive diplomas of membership like the painters, “is comforted by the success of his Deserted Village, which is a very pretty poem, and has lately put himself under the conduct of Mrs. Horneck and her fair daughters, and is gone to France; and Dr. Johnson sips his tea and cares not for the vanity of the world." Goldsmith himself, with most pleasant humor, has described in a letter to Sir Joshua Reynolds what happened to the party up to their lodgment in Calais, at the Hôtel d'Angleterre. They had not arrived many hours when he sent over this fragment of a despatch, to satisfy Reynolds merely of the safe arrival of Mrs. Horneck, the young ladies, and himself: "My dear Friend,” he wrote, “We had a very quick passage from Dover to Calais, which we performed in three hours and twenty minutes, all of us extremely sea-sick, which must necessarily have happened, as my machine to prevent sea-sickness was not completed. We were glad to leave Dover, because we hated to be imposed upon; so were in high spirits at coming to Calais, where we were told that a little money would go a great way. Upon landing two little trunks, which was all we carried

1 Knowles's Life of Fuseli, i. 36.

with us, we were surprised to see fourteen or fifteen fellows all running down to the ship to lay their hands upon them; four got under each trunk, the rest surrounded, and held the hasps; and in this manner our little baggage was conducted, with a kind of funeral solemnity, till it was safely lodged at the custom-house. We were well enough pleased with the people's civility till they came to be paid, when every creature that had the happiness of but touching our trunks with their finger expected sixpence; and had so pretty civil a manner of demanding it that there was no refusing them. When we had done with the porters, we had next to speak with the custom-house officers, who had their pretty civil way too. We were directed to the Hôtel d'Angleterre, where a valet de place came to offer his service, and spoke to me ten minutes before I once found out that he was speaking English. We had no occasion for his service, so we gave him a little money because he spoke English, and because he wanted it. I cannot help mentioning another circumstance. I bought a new ribbon for my wig at Canterbury, and the barber at Calais broke it in order to gain sixpence by buying me a new one.”

This was not a very promising beginning; but the party, continuing to carry with them the national enjoyment of scolding everything they met with, passed on through Flanders, and to Paris by way of Lisle. The latter city was the scene of an incident afterwards absurdly misrelated. Standing at the window of their hotel to see a company of soldiers in the square, the beauty of the sisters Horneck drew such marked admiration that Goldsmith, heightening his drollery with that air of solemnity so generally a point in his humor and so often more solemnly misinterpreted, turned off from the window with the remark that elsewhere he, too, could have his admirers. The Jessamy Bride, Mrs. Gwyn, was asked about the occurrence not many years ago; remembered it as a playful jest; and said how shocked she

1 This delightful fragment of a letter was first printed in the Percy Memoir, 90–91.

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