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His publications in 1772 were the Threnodia Augustalis, an anonymous poetical tribute to the character of the Princessdowager of Wales; and the Roman History Abridged, in which he condemns the mode of question and answer. These publications could not have occupied much of his time; but other more important works were in progress.”
She Stoops to Conquer, a drama which he had some time finished, was accepted by Colman, after much hesitation, and first acted at Covent-garden theater on the 15th of March, 1773. Garrick, though patentee of the rival theater, favored him with a prologue. The characters were so well supported that the piece met with unexpected success; and the author presented Mr. Quick, who had personated Tony, with The Grumbler, a farce altered from Sedley. She Stoops to Conquer was printed with a handsome dedication to Johnson. “It may do me some honor,” he says, “to inform the public that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind, also, to inform them that the greatest wit may be found in a character His triumph, at the success of his comedy, was of short duration. An assault on the publisher of a periodical work in which he had been unfairly treated, was much censured; and he attempted to justify his conduct in a manifesto on the liberty of the press. Johnson, with his usual point, called this manifesto a foolish thing well done.”
without impairing the most unaffected piety.
Esq.; and etched by Bretherton. London: printed for G. Kearsly and J. Ridley, 1776.” 4to. + Percy, p. 66. H-Boswell, ii. 137.
* “Threnodia Augustalis sacred to the memory of her late royal highness, the Princess-dowager of Wales, etc. London: printed for W. Woodfall, 1772.” Sm. 4to. Anonymous. I ascribe this piece to Goldsmith on the authority of Horace Walpole. -- “Dr. Goldsmith's Roman history, abridged by himself for the use of schools. London: printed for S. Baker and G. Leigh, T. Davies, and L. Davies, 1772.” 12mo.
* “She Stoops to Conquer; or, the mistakes of a night. A comedy. As it is acted at the theater-royal in Covent-garden. Written by Doctor Goldsmith. London: printed for F. Newbery, 1773.” 8vo.4 Posthumous Letters, p. 180. + The Burney Theatrical Register.-- The Grumbler—a MS. in the collection of J. P. Collier, Esq., F.s. A.
His life was soon to close. He published no work after 1773; but some considerable posthumous publications require notice. 1. An History of the Earth and Animated Mature, which had been about four years in hand. It is now chiefly valuable for its style and reflections. 2. The Grecian History, which was intended as a companion to The Roman History, and has superseded the able narrative of Stanyan. 3. Retaliation, a series of poetical portraits of some of his friends and associates, left unfinished. 4. An Abridgment of the History of England. 5. A Survey of Erperimental Philosophy. 6. The Comic Romance of Monsieur Scarron, translated. The three latter works, which call for no remarks, are ascribed to him on the authority of their respective publishers.”
2. T. Evans, Memoirs of Goldsmith, prefixed to his Poetical and Dramatic Works, 1780. p. 22, etc. --Boswell, ii. 216.
*” “An history of the Earth, and animated Nature. By Oliver Goldsmith. London: printed for J. Nourse, 1774.” 8vo. Eight volumes. Plates. -- “The Grecian history, from the earliest state to the death of Alexander the great. By Dr. Goldsmith. London: printed for J. and F. Rivington, T. Longman, etc. 1774.” 8vo. Two volumes. -- “Retaliation: a poem. By Doctor Goldsmith. Including epitaphs on the most distinguished wits of this metropolis. London: printed for G. Kearsly, 1774.” + “An abridgment of the history of England, from the invasion of Julius Caesar to the death of George II. By Dr. Goldsmith. London: printed for G. Kearsly, 1774.” 12mo, + “A survey of experimental Philosophy, considered in its present state of improvement. Illustrated with cuts. By Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. London: printed for T.
He had also formed various projects: a universal dictionary of arts and sciences, for which Reynolds, Johnson, and Garrick had promised to write articles; a novel; dramatic pieces, etc.”
To the unavoidable anxieties of a literary life was now added the consciousness of accumulating debts; and a nervous affection, which he exasperated by the obstinate use of a fashionable feverpowder, terminated in his decease on the 4th of April, 1774. The medical attendants whose advice he rejected were Hawes and Fordyce. His remains were deposited in the Temple burialground; and a monument, executed by Nollekens, was erected to his memory in the south transept of Westminster Abbey. It consists of a medallion-portrait and tablet, placed in the area of a pointed arch. This very desirable site was chosen by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the inscription was written by Samuel Johnson. It is as follows:”
L i v A n. * 1 so Q - D S M of H Hoc non-imento mornch: am to it Poetoe. Physici, Historici, Sodali-urn annor. qui nullum fere scribendi genus Amicorum firlea, non tetigit, Ilector urn veneratio. nullurn quod tetigit non ornavit Natuk Hibernia. Forneiae Lon: roi; onsi. aive risus essert movendi, in loco cui nomen Pallas, sive lacrimnae, Now xxix. xii, or xxxi. affectuurn potens, at lenis dominator Eblanae literis institutus. ingenio sublimis, vividus, versatilis; Oboit Londini, oratione grandis, nitilus, venust as A prix M rocco Xxt v
Carnan and F. Newbery, jun. 1776.” 8vo. Two volumes. + “The comic romance of Monsieur Scarron, translated by Oliver Goldsmith. London: printed for w. Griffin, 1775.” 12mo. Two volumes.
* Glover, p. 7.4 Percy, p. 111.4-J. Northcote, Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds, London, 1819. 8vo. ii. 327.
* Glover, p. 7, etc. --Percy, p. 111, etc.--W. Hawes, Account of the late Dr. Goldsmith's illness, 1784. 4to. +Northcote, ii. 326. H-Boswell, ii. 291; iii. 82, etc.
Johnson also wrote a Greek tetrastic on his lamented friend, of which a translation has been given by William Seward, F.R.s.”
“Whoe'er thou art, with reverence tread
A monumental inscription is seldom relied on as an impartial character of the person whom it celebrates; but this, biography requires—and I shall therefore attempt it: Oliver Goldsmith was a man of noble aspirations, but very incapable of self-command. His principal faults were, extreme improvidence in pecuniary matters, and an avowed jealousy of rivals. His amiable qualities were, active philanthropy, and good-humor. His frailties, of whatever nature, seem rather to have excited compassion than censure—such was the influence of his genius, and of his humane sympathy with distress. In person he was short, with a countenance far from prepossessing; and in the article of dress, he was more noted for eccentricity than taste. His conversation was very inferior to his writings. He too frequently spoke at random, and sometimes gave way to buffoonery. He could work, on urgent occasions, incessantly; but he loved recreation—at clubs, at the theaters, and in rural excursions. As an author, he deserves unmixed praise. He is always the champion of virtue and decorum. In his prose works, which were written to relieve his necessities, and with correspondent rapidity, we have narrative and reflection very happily united, and the model of artless diction. In his poems, which were the produce of his choicer hours, we have almost every variety of gratification: The Hermit dwells in the memory as the most finished of modern ballads; the tact, the humor, the airy elegance of Retaliation must always delight the cultivated mind; while The Traveler and The Deserted Village, which address themselves to a wider circle, and involve questions of superior moment, finely exemplify his own recorded idea of poetic excellence, and “convey the warmest thoughts in the simplest expression.”
* Boswell, ii. 292. --Anecdotes of distinguished persons, 1798. 8vo. ii. 466.