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Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came,
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame;
Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Who peppered the highest was surest to please.
But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
Ye "Kenricks, ye 28 Kellys, and 2 Woodfalls so grave,
What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!
How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
While he was be-Rosciused and you were bepraised!
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
To act as an angel, and mix with the skies.
Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill,
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will ;
Old Shakespeare receive him with praise and with love,
And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.30
27 Vide page 132.
28 Mr. Hugh Kelly, author of "False Delicacy," "Word to the Wise," "Clementina," "School for Wives," &c., &c.
29 Mr. William Woodfall, printer of the Morning Chronicle.
30 The following poems, by Mr. Garrick, may in some measure account for the severity exercised by Dr. Goldsmith in respect to that gentleman :
HERE, Hermes, says Jove, who with nectar was mellow,
Go fetch me some clay,-I will make an odd fellow.
Right and wrong shall be jumbled, much gold and some dross;
Without cause be he pleased, without cause be he cross
Be sure, as I work, to throw in contradictions;
A great love of truth, yet a mind turned to fictions.
Now mix these ingredients, which, warmed in the baking,
Turn to learning and gaming, religion and raking.
Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature, And slander itself must allow him good nature;
He cherished his friend, and he relished a bumper;
Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper.
Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser:
I answer, No, no, for he always was wiser.
Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that.
Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
And so was too foolishly honest ? Ah, no!
Then what was his failing? come, tell it, and burn ye:
He was―could he help it?- —a special attorney.
Here 2 Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind.
With the love of a wench, let his writings be chaste;
Tip his tongue with strange matter, his pen with fine taste.
For the joy of each sex, on the world I'll bestow it,
This scholar, rake, Christian, dupe, gamester, and poet.
Though a mixture so odd, he shall merit great fame,
And among brother mortals be Goldsmith his name.
When on earth this strange meteor no more shall appear,
You, Hermes, shall fetch him to make us sport here.
ON DR. GOLDSMITH'S CHARACTERISTICAL COOKERY.
A JEU D'ESPRIT.
ARE these the choice dishes the Doctor has sent us?
Is this the great poet whose works so content us?
This Goldsmith's fine feast who has written fine books?
Heaven sends us good meat, but the devil sends cooks.
3 Vide page 129.
32 Vide page 129.
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland:
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart.
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering;
When they judged without skill, he was still hard of hearing;
When they talked of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,
He shifted his 33.
trumpet, and only took snuff.
AFTER the fourth edition of this poem was printed, the publisher received the following epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord, 34 from a friend of the late Dr. Goldsmith:
HERE Whitefoord reclines, and deny it who can,
Though he merrily lived, he is now a "grave man ;
Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun!
Who relished a joke, and rejoiced in a pun;
Whose temper was generous, open, sincere;
A stranger to flattery, a stranger to fear;
Who scattered around wit and humour at will;
Whose daily bon mots half a column might fill;
A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free;
A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
What pity, alas! that so liberal a mind
Should so long be to newspaper esssays confined!
33 Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.
34 Mr. Caleb Whitefoord, author of many humorous essays.
35 Mr. W. was so notorious a punster, that Dr. Goldsmith used to say it was impossible to keep him company, without being infected with the itch of punning.
Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar,
Yet content "if the table he set in a roar;"
Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
Yet happy if 36 Woodfall confessed him a wit.
Ye newspaper witlings! ye pert scribbling folks!
Who copied his squibs, and re-echoed his jokes ;
Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come,
Still follow your master, and visit his tomb:
To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
And copious libations bestow on his shrine;
Then strew all around it (you can do no less)
"Cross readings, ship news, and mistakes of the press.
Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for thy sake I admit That a Scot may have humour, I had almost said wit: This debt to thy memory I cannot refuse,
Thou best humoured man with the worst humoured muse."
96 Mr. H. S. Woodfall, printer of the Public Advertiser.
37 Mr. Whitefoord has frequently indulged the town with humorous pieces under those titles in the Public Advertiser. On C. Whitefoord, see Smith's Life of Nollekens, vol. i. p. 338–340. See his poem to Sir Joshua Reynolds, “ Admire not, dear knight,” in Northcote's Life of Reynolds, p. 128.
38 When you and Southern, Moyle, and Congreve meet, The best good men, with the best natured wit."
C. Hopkins. v. Nicholls' Col. Poems, ii. p. 207.
ON Leven's banks, while free to rove,
And tune the rural pipe to love,
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod the Arcadian plain.
Pure stream, in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
No torrents stain thy limpid source,
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed,
With white, round, polished pebbles spread;
While, lightly poised, the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood;
The springing trout in speckled pride,
The salmon, monarch of the tide ;
The ruthless pike, intent on war,
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And edges flowered with eglantine.
Still on thy banks so gayly green,
May numerous herds and flocks be seen:
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale;
And ancient faith that knows no guile,
And industry embrowned with toil;
And hearts resolved, and hands prepared,
The blessings they enjoy to guard!