also been a member of Parliament. Beyond the benches of the houses, too, or the gossip of St. James's, this influence reached. It was social rank that had helped Anstey, for this poem of the New Bath Guide, to no less a sum than two hundred pounds; it was because Goldsmith had no other rank than as a man of letters, depressed and at that time very slowly rising, that his Traveller had obtained for him only twenty guineas. Even David Hume, though now accepted into the higher circles, undisturbed any longer by the “factious barbarians, and somewhat purified of late from history and philosophy by employment as Under-Secretary of State, had not lost that painful sense of the social differences between Paris and London which he expressed twelve months before the present date. “If a man have the misfortune in London to attach himself to letters, even if he succeeds, I know not with whom he is to live, nor how he is to pass his time in a suitable society. The little company there that is worth conversing with are cold and unsociable, or are warmed only by faction and cabal; so that a man who plays no part in public affairs becomes altogether insignificant, and if he is not rich, he becomes even contemptible. . . But in Paris a man that distinguishes himself in letters meets immediately with regard and attention.” He complains in another letter that the best company in London are in a flame of politics; and he de clines an introduction to Mr. Percy because it would be impracticable for him to cultivate his friendship, as men of letters have in London no place of rendezvous, and are indeed “sunk and forgot in the general torrent of the world."* Only one such man there was who would not be so sunk and forgot; his own unluckily chosen protégé Rousseau. That horrible English habit of indifference, Jean Jacques conceived to be a conspiracy to destroy him (for how could he live without being talked about ?); and straightway he managed so to conduct himself that the friend who but a few short months before had called him a Socrates,' and praised · Burton's Life of Hume, ii. 268.

? Burton, ii. 385. 8 So Hume had written to Blair in December, 1765, and to Madame


his mildness, modesty, gentleness, and good-nature, declared him now to have become a compound of whim, affectation, wickedness, vanity, inquietude, madness, ingratitude, ferocity, and lying,'as well as “the blackest and most atrocious villain beyond comparison that now exists in the world.” For he had first indicted Hume as the leader of the conspiracy, and brought him forward to answer the indictment in the St. James's Chronicle; and next had fallen foul of Horace Walpole as Hume's supposed vicious instrument, Bishop Warburton crying all the while with delight to see “so seraphic a madman” attack“so insufferable a coxcomb." Nothing of a literary sort, indeed, made so much noise or amusement at the close of the year as the mad libels of Rousseau, and the caricatures issued of them, unless it were the newspaper cross-readings, which, with the witty signature of a real name, “ Papyrius Cursor,” that rendered its aptness so whimsical, Caleb Whitefoord published in December (wherein the public were informed that “this

de Boufflers in January, 1766 (Private Correspondence, 130), with the reservation that his friend suffered by the comparison. And see Warburton's Letters, 386–387.

1 So wrote Hume to Adam Smith in October, 1766. The reader will find more than enough of this quarrel in the fifth volume of Walpole's Letters ; in the Private Correspondence of Hume (4to, 1820). particularly at pp. 142–167, 169-208, and 212–230; in the second vol. (295–380) of Mr. Burton's Life of Hume; in the same editor's Letters of Eminent Persons to Hume (1849), passim ; and in the preface to Hume's Philosophical Works (Ed. 1825, i. xxix-cxix); but the most brief and compact account of Hume's conduct in it, with a very pleasing sketch of his general character, is, I think, in Hardy's Life of Lord Charlemont, 120–124. I may add that, a year or two after his return to France, Rousseau admitted that he had been to blame in the quarrel, and characteristically ascribed it to a mental affliction produced by the foggy climate of England. See Brougham's Men of Letters of George III. i. 231. The same thing is repeated in other terms in Hume's Private Correspondence, 225-226, 241-242, and 246.

?“ There is even a print engraved of it,” writes Hume to the Countess de Boufflers. "M. Rousseau is represented as a Yahoo, newly caught in the woods; I am represented as a farmer, who caresses him and offers him some oats to eat, which he refuses in a rage ; Voltaire and d'Alembert are whipping him up behind; and Horace Walpole making him horns of papier-maché. The idea is not altogether absurd.”Private Correspondence, 234.

morning the Right Hon. the Speaker was convicted of keeping a disorderly house,” that “ Lord Chatham took his seat and was severely handled by the populace,” and that “yesterday Dr. Jones preached at St. James's and performed it with ease in less than fifteen minutes," with other as surprising items of information), and at which the town is described to have wept with laughter.' Goldsmith envied nothing so much, we are assured, as the authorship of this humorous sally; and would gladly have exchanged for it his own most successful writings.' Half sad and half satirical, perhaps he thus contrasted its reception with theirs.

The young German student to whom allusion has been made, speaking from his judgment of the book that so enchanted him, had thought its author must have reason “thankfully to acknowledge he was an Englishman, and to reckon highly the advantages which his country and nation afforded him." But would Goethe without limitation have said this if there had lain before him the two entries from a bookseller's papers wherewith the biographer of the author of the Vicar of Wakefield must close the year 1766 and open the year 1767? « Received from Mr. Newbery,” says the first, dated the 28th of December, “five guineas for writing a short English grammar. OLIVER GOLDSMITH.” “To cash,” says the second, dated the 6th of January, lent Dr. Goldsmith one pound one. JOHN NEWBERY."


· Northcote's Life of Reynolds, i. 217. •“Received from Mr. Newbery five guineas for writing a short English grammar. OLIVER GOLDSMITH. Decr. 28, 1766.” “Dr. Goldsmith. Dr. To Cash lent Jan. 6, 1767, £1 18. Od."-Neubery MSS.

i Coll. Lett. v. 175.




The opening, then, of the twelfth year of Oliver Goldsmith's career as a man of letters, which finds him author of the Citizen of the World, the Traveller, and the Vicar of Wakefield, finds him also writing a short English grammar for five guineas and borrowing of his publisher the sum of one pound one. But thus scantily eking out his necessities with hack employment and parsimonious lendings, his dramatic labor had meanwhile been in progress. The venture I have described as in the dawn was now about to struggle into day. He had taken for his model the older English comedy. He thought Congreve's astonishing wit too exuberant for the stage; and for truth to nature, vivacity, life, and spirit, placed Farquhar first. With what was called the genteel or sentimental school that had since prevailed, and of which Steele was the originator, he felt no sympathy; and cared chiefly for the “ Jealous Wife" and the “Clandestine Marriage” because they had shown the power to break through those trammels. What his countryman Farquhar had done he resolved to attempt; and in that hearty hope had planned his play. With the help of nature, humor, and character, should these be in his reach, he would invoke the spirit of laughter, happy, unrestrained, and cordial; all the more surely, as he reckoned, if with Garrick's help, and King's, and Yates's; though without them, if so compelled. For not in their names, or after Garrick's fashion, bad be set down his exits and entrances,' nor to suit peculiarities of

See vol. iii. 7–8. And for a strong condemnation of the practice, see the Citizen of the World, letter lxxix.

theirs were his mirthful incidents devised. Upon no stage picture of the humorous, however vivid, but upon what he had seen and known himself of the humorous in actual life, he was determined to venture all, believing that what was real in manners, however broad or low, if in decency endurable and pointing to no illiberal moral, could never be justly condemned as vulgar. And for this he had Johnson's approval. Indifferent to nothing that affected his friend, nor ever sluggish where help was wanted or active kindness needed to be done, Johnson promised to write a prologue to the comedy. For again had he lately shown himself in Gerrard Street; again had the Club reunited its members; and, once more in the society of Reynolds, Johnson, and Burke, Goldsmith was eager to forget his carking poverty and to count up his growing pretensions to greatness and esteem.

What Boswell calls “ one of the most remarkable incidents of Johnson's life” was now matter of conversation at the Club. In February the King had taken occasion to see and hold some conversation with him on one of his visits to the royal library, where, by permission of the librarian, he frequently consulted books. The effect produced by the incident is a social curiosity of the time. Endless was the interest of it; the marvel of it never to be done with. «Не loved to relate it with all its circumstances,” says Boswell, “when requested by his friends ”; and “Come now, sir, this is an interesting matter; do favor us with it," was the cry of every friend in turn. So, often was the story repeated. How the King had asked Johnson if he was then writing anything, and he had answered he was not, for he had pretty well told the world what he knew, and must now read to acquire more knowledge. How the King said he did not think Johnson borrowed much from anybody; and the other, venturing to think he had done his part as a writer, was handsomely assured, “I would have thought so too if you had not written so well.” How his Majesty next observed that he supposed he must already have read a great deal, to which Johnson replied that he thought

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