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performed janitor service. He tided over money difficulties in
various ways,
- by the generosity of a kind-hearted maternal
uncle, Thomas Contarine, his chief support after the death of
his father, by loans from friends, by pawning his books, and by
the occasional writing of street ballads, which brought him five
shillings apiece. His life in college was a hand-to-mouth sort
of existence, marked by various frolics and gayeties as well as
by numerous humiliations. He was popular with his associates,
partly because of his flute playing and his singing, and partly
because of his lively disposition and his ability to tell stories;
but he quarreled constantly with a rather brutal tutor, took part
in a town-and-gown riot and was publicly reprimanded, and
once when giving a dancing party attended by not a little
hilarity in his college rooms he was surprised in the breach of
discipline by an angry tutor and was "personally chastised."
The latter disgrace was too much for Goldsmith, and the next
day he sold his books and ran away, ultimately turning up at
Lissoy. He was taken back to college by his brother Henry,
and succeeded in securing his degree of Bachelor of Arts,
graduating, as he had entered, the lowest in the list.

Attempts at Various Professions. For two years after leaving college Goldsmith loitered at home, ostensibly fitting himself, at the request of his relatives, for church orders. He lived an idle, irresponsible life, happy and thriftless; and when he finally presented himself for ordination was rejected, perhaps because of his record at college, perhaps because he neglected his preliminary studies, or perhaps, as the curate who was his brother's successor near Lissoy reports, because he presented himself for examination in a pair of flaming scarlet breeches. For a while he tried tutoring; then came a futile attempt to emigrate to America If we may believe the account Goldsmith wrote to his mother, the ship on which he had engaged passage from Cork sailed without him, while he was






pleasure-seeking in the neighboring country. There was nothing for him to do but to turn up again at Lissoy with empty pockets.

The legal profession was next determined upon, and Goldsmith was provided by his uncle with fifty pounds to take him to Dublin or London study law. This money he lost on the way at gambling. Goldsmith was hard to help; but his longtried relatives again got together a purse, and he was sent to Edinburgh to study medicine, this time reaching his destination. He proved popular as usual with his associates, through his various gifts at entertaining. A few evidences remain from this period of the lavishness in dress which was one of his peculiarities. There is a tailor's bill1 of 1753 containing references to "rich sky-blue satin cloth," "rich Genoa velvet," "fine high claret-coloured cloth," etc., suggesting his strong love of finery. He made little progress in medicine, however, and, becoming restless, succeeded in persuading his uncle that he would be benefited by study under a certain great professor at Leyden. He crossed to the Continent in 1754, after obtaining from his indulgent uncle the sum of twenty pounds.

Wanderings. Goldsmith lingered for some time in Leyden ; then impulsively spending the last of his money to buy some high-priced roots for his Uncle Contarine, who was an enthusiastic florist, he left the city, almost penniless, to make a tour of Europe. For two years he roved through France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, ostensibly studying medicine, but probably doing very little. Possibly he studied a few months at the University of Padua; but he seems to have been more vagabond than student. He was often, of course, in straits for money, depending for subsistence on teaching his native language, on gaming, but generally on his flute and songs, which brought him welcome from the peasantry. In Italy he is 1 Printed in full in Forster's Life (1877), I, 52.

supposed, like the wandering scholars of the Middle Ages, to have disputed on questions of philosophy at universities and convents for his lodging. In The Vicar of Wakefield the "philosophic vagabond," who stands probably for Goldsmith himself, is made to say the following:

I had some knowledge of music, with a tolerable voice; I now turned what was once my amusement into a present means of subsistence. I passed among the harmless peasants of Flanders, and among such of the French as were poor enough to be very merry; for I ever found them sprightly in proportion to their wants. Whenever I approached a peasant's house toward nightfall, I played one of my most merry tunes, and that procured me not only a lodging, but subsistence for the next day. I once or twice attempted to play for people of fashion, but they always thought my performance odious, and never rewarded me even with a trifle.1

Goldsmith turned his steps homeward in 1756, arriving in London utterly without money, but with a medical degree, picked up we are not sure how or where, possibly at Louvain in Belgium. The record of part of his European rovings is preserved in The Traveller.

Makeshifts. On his return Goldsmith attempted various things with little success, and often found himself sorely pressed. In making his way to London he tried, it is thought, the life of a strolling player. His first definite employment was as a chemist's assistant; then he bought a second-hand velvet coat, and gained a little practice as a physician in the Southwark district, across the Thames from London. Rumor says that he acted for a short time as proof corrector for Samuel Richardson, the novelist and printer. It is certain that he was twice usher, an occupation which he extremely disliked, in an academy at Peckham, once for a few months in 1756 and again in 1757 or 1758. Through Dr. Milner, the master, he made the acquaintance, in 1 Chapter XX.

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his first stay at Peckham, of Griffiths, the bookseller and editor of The Monthly Review, and soon entered into an agreement with him to furnish copy of all kinds, especially reviews, for the latter's periodical. The agreement did not last very long, mainly because Goldsmith objected to having his work "edited" by the bookseller and his wife; and he went back for a time to Peckham, seeking meanwhile a chance to escape from the drudgery of teaching or of literary hack work. He seems in 1758 to have built high hopes on obtaining the post of physician and surgeon on the coast of Coromandel in British India; but the project came to nothing, perhaps for the same reason that he did not, in that year, secure the position of hospital mate, - namely, that he was found "not qualified."

Literary Work. The engagement to write for The Monthly Review was for Goldsmith the beginning of his literary career. His work for Griffiths he followed by various critical articles for a rival publication, The Critical Review, edited by the novelist Smollett. He first won recognition by his Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning, published in 1759, a pretentious but gracefully written survey, for which he had hardly sufficient equipment. After this his life was given up to the drudgery of executing taskwork for various London publishers, the production of his masterpieces at intervals breaking the routine. He started The Bee, a periodical in the vein of Addison and Steele's The Spectator, in 1759, wrote for The Busybody, a similar publication, edited The Ladies' Magazine, and contributed his Chinese Letters, published in 1762 under the title of A Citizen of the World, to The Public Ledger. In the way of biographical taskwork he wrote Memoirs of Voltaire (1761), The Life of Richard Nash (1762), The Life of Thomas Parnell (1770), and The Life of Lord Bolingbroke (1770). His historical writing, all of it compilation but popularly written and entertaining, comprised a History of England

(1763), a Roman History (1769), and a Grecian History (1773). He wrote also a pleasing if not very scientific History of Animated Nature, published after his death. Goldsmith's best works are the poems, The Traveller (1764) and The Deserted Village (1770), his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), and the plays The Good-Natured Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1773), the latter being his last important work.

Goldsmith the Man. Goldsmith made a good deal of money by his literary work; indeed, it is calculated that his average income was about two thousand dollars yearly; yet extravagance was part of his nature, and he was very lax in money matters. He always spent more than he earned, hence he was always in debt. The production of The Good-Natured Man brought him in about two thousand dollars, most of which was promptly spent on furnishing fine new chambers and on clothes. An anecdote, not wholly trustworthy, of Goldsmith and Dr. Johnson and the sale of The Vicar of Wakefield is so characteristic as to be worth repeating as Dr. Johnson tells it, in his biographer's pages:

I received one morning a message from poor Goldsmith..., begging that I would come to him as soon as possible. I sent him a guinea. . . went as soon as I was dressed, and found that his landlady had arrested him for rent, at which he was in a violent passion. I perceived that he had already changed my guinea, and had got a bottle of Madeira and a glass before him. I put the cork into the bottle, desired he would be calm, and began to talk to him of the means by which he might be extricated. He then told that he had a novel ready for the press. I looked into it, and saw its merit; told the landlady I should soon return; and having gone to a bookseller, sold it for sixty pounds. I brought Goldsmith the money, and he discharged his rent, not without rating his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill.1

1 Boswell's Life, Chapter XIII. But see Dobson's Goldsmith, Chapter VII.


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