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medical practitioner, he engaged with the Monthly Review, and other literary works. From this period his difficulties were wholly imputable to himself; for, though he wanted not industry, he was ever lamentably deficient in prudence. It was about 1763, that, according to the well-known story, he was discovered by Johnson assailed by bailiffs without, and a clamorous landlady within, and rescued by the sale of the Vicar of Wakefield to Newberry, the bookseller, for which Johnson obtained L.60. This delightful novel was not published for some years afterwards, by which time the appearance of the TRAVELLER had gained the poet many distinguished friends, and a nation of admirers. He was now promoted to elegant apartments in the Temple; and here wrote his dramas and histories. He now became a favourite member of the celebrated Literary Club, and was to that illustrious association the fondling that Gay had been to the

wits of the former age,-loved, caressed, and laughed at. The character of Goldsmith is a moral anomaly, and goes

farther than that of most men to establish the doctrines of the modern phrenologists; for, with some moral qualities in excess, others seem totally wanting. In the phraseology of that sect, his benevolence and self-esteem were large : his conscientiousness was small indeed. “Madam,” said Johnson, speaking of Goldsmith to a literary lady, “ Noll will lie through an inch board.'

So odd were his manners, and so much at variance with his genius, that one of his friends usually called him "an inspired idiot;" and Johnson, who, with a perfect knowledge of his character and failings, sincerely loved the man, has said,-“ No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, nor more wise when he had." It is not less surprising to find, that a man so exquisitely alive to the ridiculous, even in its most hidden intricacies and delicate shadings, as Goldsmith appears in his writings, should, in downright simplicity and uncon

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sciousness, have exhibited in his own person and conduct so many points of utter laughable absurdity. His own peach-coloured coat, in Boswell's narrative, equals Moses's suit of thunder and lightning; the tulip-speculation, Moses’s bargain of green spectacles; and the purchase of Fiddleback, any transaction of the Vicar with Mr Jenkins. “ Poor Goldsmith,” says one of his admirers, “ how happy he made others, how unhappy he was himself!-he never had the pleasure of reading his own

works." Goldsmith died at the age of forty-five. His death was

hastened by the imprudent use of Dr James's powders, contrary, it is said, to the advice of his medical attendant. Anxiety of mind and disease preyed on him together : for he had by this time involved his affairs by blameable thoughtlessness, and his health by fits of severe application, alternating with periods of dissipation and idleness. Before his death his debts amounted to L.4000. “ Was," says Johnson, ever poet so trusted before ?"


BESIDE yon straggling fence, that skirts the way
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill’d to rule,
The village-master taught his little school.-
A man severe he was, and stern to view ;
I knew him well; and every truant knew.
Well had the boding tremblers learn’d to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face:
Full well they laugh’d, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes—for many a joke had he:
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd.

Yet he was kind ; or, if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew :
'Twas certain he could write-and cipher too :
Lands he could measure; terms and tides pre-

sage ;
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing, too, the parson own’d his skill ;
For, even though vanquish'd, he could argue still:
While words of learned length and thundering

sound Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew.


BORN 1730-DIED 1769.

The author of the SHIPWRECK was the son of a barber in

Edinburgh. His education was of the most scanty kind; and, when a mere boy, he went to sea in a merchant-vessel, trading between Leith and the Levant. How a youth so situated contrived to increase his knowledge and improve his mind it is not easy to conceive. The Shipwreck was published while its author was quite unknown among men of letters. It was dedicated to the Duke of York, by whose patronage Falconer was made a midshipman. He married, and, after the peace of 1763, compiled the Ma. rine Dictionary. After several reverses of fortune, during which his conduct was throughout'judicious and correct, he obtained the appointment of purser of an Indiaman,

and perished when the ship foundered in the channel of Mozambique. The melancholy fate of the author thus doubles the interest of his poem.


Evening described-Midnight.

The sun's bright orb, declining all serene,
Now glanced obliquely o’er the woodland scene.
Creation smiles around; on every spray
The warbling birds exalt their evening lay.
Blithe skipping o'er yon hill, the fleecy train
Join the deep chorus of the lowing plain :
The golden lime and orange there were seen,
On fragrant branches of perpetual green.
The crystal streams, that velvet meadows lave,
To the green ocean roll with chiding wave.
The glassy ocean hush'd forgets to roar,
But trembling murmurs on the sandy shore :
And, lo! his surface, lovely to behold!
Glows in the west, a sea of living gold !
While, all above, a thousand liveries gay
The skies with pomp ineffable array.
Arabian sweets perfume the happy plains :
Above, beneath, around, enchantment reigns !
While yet the shades, on time's eternal scale,
With long vibration deepen o'er the vale ;
While yet the songsters of the vocal grovė,
With dying numbers, tune the soul to love ;
With joyful eyes the attentive master sees
The auspicious omens of an eastern breeze.

Now radiant Vesper leads the starry train,
And night slow draws her veil o'er land and

main ;

Round the charged bowl the sailors form a ring;
By turns recount the wondrous tale, or sing ;
As love or battle, hardships of the main,
Or genial wine, awake their homely strain :
Then some the watch of night alternate keep,
The rest lie buried in oblivious sleep.

Deep midnight now involves the livid skies,
While infant breezes from the shore arise.
The waning moon, behind a watery shroud,
Pale glimmerd o'er the long-protracted cloud.
A mighty ring around her silver throne,
With parting meteors crost, portentous shone.
This in the troubled sky full oft prevails ;
Oft deem'd a signal of tempestuous gales.



BORN 1735—DIED 1803.


The wight, whose tale these artless lines unfold,
Was all the offspring of this humble pair :
His birth no oracle or seer foretold ;
No prodigy appear'd in earth or air,

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