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In the spring of 1774 he was attacked in a very severe manner by the strangury, a disease of which he had often experienced slight symptoms. It now induced a nervous fever, which required medical assistance; and on the 25th of March he sent for his friend Mr. (now Dr.) Hawes, to whom he related the symptoms of his malady, expressing at the same time a disgust with life, and a despondency which did not well become a man of his understanding. He told Mr. Hawes, that he had taken two ounces of ipecacuanha wine as an emetic, and that it was his intention to take Dr. James's fever powders, which he desired he would send him. Mr. Hawes represented to his patient the impropriety of taking the medicine at that time; but no argument could induce him to. relinquish his intention. Finding this, and justly apprehensive of the fatal consequences of his putting this rash resolve in execution, he requested permission to send for Dr. Fordyce, of whose medical abilities he knew that Goldsmith had the highest opinion. Dr. Fordyce came, and corrobo
rated the apothecary's assertion, adding every argument that he could think of to dissuade him from using the powders in the present case; but, deaf to all the remonstrances of his physician and his friend, he obstinately persisted in his resolution.
The next day Mr. Hawes again visited his patient, and enquiring of him how he did, Goldsmith sighed deeply, and in a dejected tone said, " I wish I had taken your friendly advice last night.” Dr. Fordyce came, and, finding the alarming symptoms increasel, desired Mr. Hawes to propose sending for Dr. Turton: to this Goldsmith readily consented. The two physicians met, and held consultations twice a day till Monday, April 4)
, when their patient died.
Warmth of affection induced Sir Joshua Reynolds and other friends of Goldsmith to lay a plan for a sumptuous public funerall; according to which he was to have been in terred in Westminster Abbey, and his pall to have been supported by Lord Shelburne (now Marquis of Lansdown), Lord Louth, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. Edmund. Burke,
the Hon. Topham Beauclerc, and Mr. Garrick: but on a slight inspection of his affairs it was found that, so far from having left property to justify so expensive a proceeding, he was about 2000l. in debt. The original intention, therefore, was abandoned ; and he was privately interred in the Temple burial-ground at five o'clock on Saturday evening, April 9, attended by the Rev. Joseph Palmer (nephew of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and now Dean of Cashel in Ireland), Mr. Hugh Kelly, Mr. (now Dr.) Hawes, Messrs. John and Robert Day, and Mr. Etherington.
A subscription, however, was speedily raised among Goldsmith's friends, but chiefly by the Literary Club; and a marble monus mental stone, executed by Nollekens, consisting of a large medallion exhibiting a good resemblance of our author in profile, embellished with appropriate ornaments, was placed in Westminster Abbey, between those of Gay the poet and the Duke of Argyle, in Poets' Corner ; having underneath, on a tablet of white marble, the following inscription, from the pen of his friend Dr. Johnson :
POETÆ, PHYSICI, HISTORICI,
NON TETIGIT ;
NULLUM QUOD TETIGIT NON ORNAVIT :
SIVE RISUS ESSENT MOVENDI
AFFECTUUM POTENS AT LENIS DOMINATOR:
INGENIO SUBLIMIS, VIVIDUS, VERSATILIS,
HOC MONUMENTO MEMORIAM COLUIT
NATUS IN HIBERNIA, FORNEIÆ LONGFORDIENSIS,
IN LOCO CUI NOMEN PALLAS,
NOV. XxIX. MDCCXxxi*.
Of which the following is a Translation:
By the love of his associates,
The fidelity of his friends,
* Johnson had been misinformed in these particulars : it has been since ascertained that he was born at Elphin, in the county of Roscommon, Nov. 29, 1728.
This monument is raised
Nor touched any that he did not embellish : Whether smiles or tears were to be excited, He was a powerful yet gentle master
Over the affections;
equal to every subject; In expression at once lofty, elegant, and graceful.
He was born in the kingdom of Ireland, At a place called Pallas, in the parish of Forney,
And county of Longford,
29th Nov. 1731*. Educated at Dublin, And died in London,
4th April, 1774. Beside this Latin epitaph, Dr. Johnson honoured the memory of Goldsmith with the following short one in Greek:
Τον τάφον εισoράας τον Ολιβαρίοιο, κονίην
"Αφρoσι μη σεμνην, Ξέινε, πόδεσσι πάει: Οίσι μέμηλε φυσις, μέτρων χάρις, έργα παλαιών Κλαίεε ποιήθην, ισόρικος, φυσικον.
* See the Note in the preceding page.