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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
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 ?"
THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER.
BESIDE yon straggling fence, that skirts the way
Yet he was kind ; or, if severe in aught,
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.
FROM THE SHIPWRECK.
The sun's bright orb, declining all serene,
Now radiant Vesper leads the starry train,
Round the charged bowl the sailors form a ring;
Deep midnight now involves the livid skies,
BORN 1735—DIED 1803.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MINSTREL.
The wight, whose tale these artless lines unfold,