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you may one of these days see me turned into a perfect hunks, and as dark and intricate as a mouse-hole. I have already given my landlady orders for an entire reform in the state of my finan
I declaim against hot suppers, drink less sugar in my tea, and check my grate with brickbats. Instead of hanging my room with pictures, I intend to adorn it with maxims of frugality. Those will make pretty furniture enough, and won't be a bit too expensive; for I will draw them all out with my own hands, and my landlady's daughter shall frame them with the parings of my black waistcoat. Each maxim is to be inscribed on a sheet of clean paper, and wrote with my best pen; of which the following will serve as a specimen. Look sharp: Mind the main chance : Money is money now: If you have a thousand pounds you can put your hands by your sides, and say you are worth a thousand pounds every day of the year : Take a farthing from a hundred and it will be a hundred no longer. Thus, which way soever I turn my eyes, they are sure to meet one of those friendly monitors; and as we are told of an actor who hung his room round with looking-glass to correct the defects of his person, my apartment shall be furnished in a peculiar manner, to correct the errors of my mind. Faith! madam, I heartily wish to be rich, if it were only for this
without a blush how much I esteem you. But, alas ! I have many a fatigue to encounter before that happy time comes, when your poor old simple friend may again give a loose to the luxuriance of his nature; sitting by Kilmore fireside, recount the various adventures of a hard-fought life; laugh over the follies of the day; join his flute to your harpsichord; and forget that ever he starved in those streets where Butler and Otway starved before him. And now I mention those great names—my Uncle ! he is no more
LETTER TO COUSIN JANE.
that soul of fire as when I once knew him. Newton and Swift grew dim with age as well as he. But what shall I say? His mind was too active an inhabitant not to disorder the feeble mansion of its abode: for the richest jewels soonest wear their settings. Yet, who but the fool would lament his condition! He now forgets the calamities of life. Perhaps indulgent Heaven has given him a foretaste of that tranquillity here, which he so well deserves hereafter. But I must come to business ; for business, as one of my maxims tells me, must be minded or lost. I am going to publish in London a book entitled The Present State of Taste and Literature in Europe. The booksellers in Ireland republish every performance there without making the author any consideration. I would, in this respect, disappoint their avarice, and have all the profits of my labor to myself. I must, therefore, request Mr. Lawder to circulate among his friends and acquaintances a hundred of my proposals, which I have given the bookseller, Mr. Bradley, in Dame-street, directions to send to him. If, in pursuance of such circulation, he should receive any subscriptions, I entreat, when collected, they may be sent to Mr. Bradley, as aforesaid, who will give a receipt, and be accountable for the work, or a return of the subscription. If this request (which, if it be complied with, will in some measure be an encouragement to a man of learning) should be disagreeable or troublesome, I would not press it; for I would be the last man on earth to have my labors go a-begging; but if I know Mr. Lawder (and sure I ought to know him), he will accept the employment with pleasure. All I can say—if he writes a book, I will get him two hundred subscribers, and those of the best wits in Europe. Whether this request is complied with or not, I shall not be uneasy; but there is one petition I must make to him and to you, which I solicit with the warmest ardor, and in which I cannot bear a refusal. I mean, dear madam, that I may be allowed to subscribe myself, your ever affectionate and obliged kinsman, OLIVER GOLDSMITH. Now see how I blot and blunder, when I am asking a favor."
Oriental appointment—and disappointment.--Examination at the College of
Surgeons.—How to procure a suit of clothes.-Fresh disappointment.- A tale of distress.—The suit of clothes in pawn.-Punishment for doing an act of charity.--Gayeties of Green Arbor Court.—Letter to his brother.Life of Voltaire.-Scroggins, an attempt at mock heroic poetry.
WHILE Goldsmith was yet laboring at his treatise, the promise made him by Dr. Milner was carried into effect, and he was actually appointed physician and surgeon to one of the factories on the coast of Coromandel. His imagination was immediately on fire with visions of Oriental wealth and magnificence. It is true the salary did not exceed one hundred pounds, but then, as appointed physician, he would have the exclusive practice of the place, amounting to one thousand pounds per annum ; with advantages to be derived from trade and from the high interest of money-twenty per cent.; in a word, for once in his life, the road o fortune lay broad and straight before him.
Hitherto, in his correspondence with his friends, he had said nothing of his India scheme; but now he imparted to them his brilliant prospects, urging the importance of their circulating his proposals and obtaining him subscriptions and advances on his forthcoming work, to furnish funds for his outfit.
In the meantime he had to task that poor drudge, his muse, for present exigencies. Ten pounds were demanded for his ap pointment-warrant. Other expenses pressed hard upon him. Fortunately, though as yet unknown to fame, his literary capability was known to “the trade,” and the coinage of his brain passed current in Grub-street. Archibald Hamilton, proprietor of the “Critical Review," the rival to that of Griffiths, readily made him a small advance on receiving three articles for his periodical. His purse thus slenderly replenished, Goldsmith paid for his warrant; wiped off the score of his milkmaid , abandoned his garret, and moved into a shabby first floor in a forlorn court near the Old Bailey; there to await the time for his migration to the magnificent coast of Coromandel.
Alas! poor Goldsmith! ever doomed to disappointment. Early in the gloomy month of November, that month of fog and despondency in London, he learnt the shipwreck of his hope. The great Coromandel enterprise fell through; or rather the post promised to him, was transferred to some other candidate. The cause of this disappointment it is now impossible to ascer tain. The death of his quasi patron, Dr. Milner, which happened about this time, may have had some effect in producing it; or there may have been some heedlessness and blundering on his own part; or some obstacle arising from his insuperable indigence; whatever may have been the cause, he never mentioned it, which gives some ground to surmise that he himself was to blame. His friends learnt with surprise that he had suddenly relinquished his appointment to India, about which he had raised such san. guine expectations : some accused him of fickleness and caprice; others supposed him unwilling to tear himself from the growing fascinations of the literary society of London.
In the meantime cut down in his hopes, and humiliated in his