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and he persisted in his scheme, though he was frequently obliged to be beholden to his flute and the peasants. At length, his curiosity being gratified, he bent his course towards England, and arrived at Dover about the beginning of the Winter in 1758.
On his arrival at London, his situati was by no means enviable. It is true, that he brought with him a strong mind, plentifully stored with images; but upon reviewing the state of his finances, he found them to consist of only a few half-pence. What must be the gloomy apprehensions of a man in so forlorn a situation, and an utter stranger in the metropolis! He applied to several apothecaries for employment; but his awkward appearance, and his broad Irish accent, were so much against him, that he met only with ridicule and contempt. At last, however, merely through motives of humanity, he was taken notice of by a chymist, who employed him in his laboratory.
He continued in this situation till he was informed that his old friend Dr. Sleigh was in London. He then quitted the chymist, and lived some time upon the liberality of the doctor; but, disliking a life of dependence on the generosity of his friend, and being unwilling to be burdensome to him, he soon accepted
an offer that was made him, of assisting the late Rev. Dr. Milner, in the education of young gentlemen at his academy at Peckham. During the time he remained in this situation, he gave much satisfaction to his employer; but as he had obtained some reputation from criti ms he had written in the Monthly Review, he eagerly engaged in the compilation of that work, with Mr. Griffiths, the principal proprietor. He accordingly returned to London, took an obscure lodging in Green-Arbour Court, in the Old Bailey, and commenced a professed author.
This was in the year 1759, before the close of which he produced several works, particularly a periodical publication, called The Bee, and An Enquiry into the present State of polite Learning in Europe. He also became a writer in the Public Ledger, in which his Citizen of the World originally appeared under the title of Chinese Letters. His reputation extended so rapidly, and his connections became so numerous, that he was soon enabled to emerge from his mean lodgings in the Old Bailey to the politer air in the Temple, where he took chambers in 1762, and lived in a more creditable manner. At length, his reputation was fully established by the publication of The Traveller,
in the year 1765. His Vicar of Wakefield succeeded his Traveller, and his History of England was followed by the performance of his comedy of the Good-na. tured Man, all which contributed to place him in the first rank of the writers of his age.
The Good-natured Man was acted at ent-Gar. den theatre in the year 1768. Many parts . this play exhibit the strongest indications of our author's comic talents. There is perhaps no character on the stage more happily imagined, and more highly finished, than Croaker's; nor do we recollect so original and successful an incident, as that of the letter, which he conceives to be the composition of the incendiary, and feels a thousand ridiculous horrors in consequence of his absurd apprehension. The audience, however, having been just before exalted on the sentimental stilts of False Delicacy, a comedy by Mr. Kelly, they regarded a few scenes in Mr. Goldsmith's piece as too low for their entertainment, and therefore treated them with unjustifiable severity. Nevertheless the Good-natured Man succeeded, though in a degree inferior to its merit. The prologue to it, which is excellent, was written by the author's friend, Dr. Samuel Johnson.
In 1773, the comedy of She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night, was acted at Covent-Garden theatre.' This piece was considered as a farce by some writers; even if so, it must be ranked among the farces of a man of genius. One of the most ludicrous cii mstances it contains, which is that of the robbery, is said to be borrowed from Albumazar.
Mr. Colman, who was then a manager of the theatre, had very little opinion of this piece, and made so keen a remark on it while in rehearsal, that the Doctor never forgave him: it however succeeded contrary to Mr. Colman's expectations, being received with uncommon applause by the audience. The success of this comedy produced a very illiberal and personal attack, which appeared in one of the public prints, of which the following is a copy:
TO DR. GOLDSMITH,
“ Vous vous noyez en vanité.
“ The happy knack which you have learnt of puffing your own compositions, provokes me to come forth. You have not been the editor of newspapers
and magazines, not to discover the trick of literary humbug. But the gauze is so thing that the very foolish part of the world see through it, and discover the Doctor's monkey face and cloven oot. our poetic vanity is as unpardonable as your personal. Would man believe it, and will woman bear it,
be told, that for hours the great Goldsmith will stand surveying his grotesque oranthotan's figure in a glass? Was but the lovely H.......k as much enamoured, you would not sigh, my gentle swain, in vain. But your vanity is preposterous. How will this same bard of Bedlam ring the changes in praise of Goldy! But what has he to be either proud or vain of? The Traveller is a flimsy poem, built upon false principles; principles diametrically opposite to liberty. What is the Good-natured Man but a poor water-gruel, dramatic dose? What is the Deserted Village but a pretty poem
easy numbers, without fancy, dignity, genius, or fire? And pray what may be the last speaking pantomime, so much praised by the Doctor himself, but an incoherent piece of stuff, the figure of a woman, with a fish's tail, with out plot, incident, or intrigue? We are made to laugh at stale, dull jokes, wherein we mistake pleasantry for wit, and grimace for humour; wherein every scene