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GARRICK AS A MANAGER.
sation. Our actors assume all that state off the stage which they do on it; and, to use an expression borrowed from the greenroom, every one is up in his part. I am sorry to say it, they seem to forget their real characters."
These strictures were considered by Garrick as intended for himself, and they were rankling in his mind when Goldsmith waited upon
him and solicited his vote for the vacant secretaryship of the Society of Arts, of which the manager was a member. Garrick, puffed up by his dramatic renown and his intimacy with the great, and knowing Goldsmith only by his budding reputation, may not have considered him of sufficient importance to be conciliated. In reply to his solicitations, he observed that he could hardly expect his friendly exertions after the unprovoked attack he had made upon his management.
Goldsmith replied that he had indulged in no personalities, and had only spoken what he believed to be the truth. He made no further apology nor application ; failed to get the appointment, and considered Garrick his enemy. In the second edition of his treatise he expunged or modified the passages which had given the manager offence; but though the author and actor became intimate in after
years, this false step at the outset of their intercourse was never forgotten.
About this time Goldsmith engaged with Dr. Smollett, who was about to launch the British Magazine. Smollett was a complete schemer and speculator in literature, and intent upon enter prises that had money rather than reputation in view. Goldsmith has a good-humored hit at this propensity in one of his papers in the Bee, in which he represents Johnson, Hume, and others taking seats in the stagecoach bound for Fame, while Smollett prefers that destined for Riches.
Another prominent employer of Goldsmith was Mr. John Newbery, who engaged him to contribute occasional essays to a newspaper entitled the Public Ledger, which made its first appearance on the 12th of January, 1760. His most valuable and characteristic contributions to this paper were his Chinese Letters, subsequently modified into the Citizen of the World. These lucubrations attracted general attention ; they were reprinted in the various periodical publications of the day, and met with great applause. The name of the author, however, was as yet but little known.
Being now easier in circumstances, and in the receipt of fre. quent sums from the booksellers, Goldsmith, about the middle of 1760, emerged from his dismal abode in Green Arbor Court, and took respectable apartments in Wine-Office Court, Fleetstreet.
Still he continued to look back with considerate benevolence to the poor hostess, whose necessities he had relieved by pawning his gala coat, for we are told that “he often supplied her with food from his own table, and visited her frequently with the sole purpose to be kind to her.”
He now became a member of a debating club, called the Robin Hood, which used to meet near Temple Bar, and in which Burke, while yet a Temple student, had first tried his powers. Goldsmith spoke here occasionally, and is recorded in the Robin
pod archives as “a candid disputant, with a clear head and a nest heart, though coming but seldom to the society." H ish was for clubs of a more social, jovial nature, and he w er fond of argument. An amusing anecdote is told of t introduction to the club, by Samuel Derrick, an Irish : intance of some humor. On entering, Goldsmith was stri
with the self-important appearance of the chairman ensconced in a large gilt chair. “ This," said he, “must be the Lord Chancellor at least." “No, no," replied Derrick," he's only master of the rolls.”—The chairman was a baker.
New lodgings.–Visits of ceremony.—Hangers-on.—Pilkington and the white
mouse.-Introduction to Dr. Johnson.-—Davies and his bookshop.—Pretty Mrs. Davies.--Foote and his projects.-Criticism of the cudgel.
In his new lodgings in Wine-Office Court, Goldsmith began to receive visits of ceremony, and to entertain his literary friends. Among the latter he now numbered several names of note, such as Guthrie, Murphy, Christopher Smart, and Bickerstaff. He had also a numerous class of hangers-on, the small fry of literature; who, knowing his almost utter incapacity to refuse a pecuniary request, were apt, now that he was considered flush, to levy continual taxes upon his purse.
Among others, one Pilkington, an old college acquaintance, but now a shifting adventurer, duped him in the most ludicrous
He called on him with a face full of perplexity. A lady of the first rank having an extraordinary fancy for curious animals, for which she was willing to give enormous sums, he had procured a couple of white mice to be forwarded to her from India. They were actually on board of a ship in the river. Her grace had been apprized of their arrival, and was all impatience to see them. Unfortunately, he had no cage to put them in, nor clothes to appear in before a lady of her rank. Two
PILKINGTON AND THE WHITE MOUSE.
guineas would be sufficient for his purpose, but where were two guineas to be procured!
The simple heart of Goldsmith was touched; but, alas ! he had but half a guinea in his pocket. It was unfortunate, but, after a pause, his friend suggested, with some hesitation, " that money might be raised upon his watch: it would but be the loan of a few hours." So said, so done; the watch was delivered to the worthy Mr. Pilkington to be pledged at a neighboring pawnbroker's, but nothing farther was ever seen of him, the watch, or the white mice. The next that Goldsmith heard of the poor shifting scapegrace, he was on his death-bed, starving with want, upon which, forgetting or forgiving the trick he had played upon him, he sent him a guinea. Indeed he used often to relate with great humor the foregoing anecdote of his credulity, and was ultimately in some degree indemnified by its suggesting to him the amusing little story of Prince Bonbennin and the White Mouse in the Citizen of the World.
In this year Goldsmith became personally acquainted with Dr. Johnson, toward whom he was drawn by strong sympathies, though their natures were widely different. Both had struggled from early life with poverty, but had struggled in different ways. Goldsmith, buoyant, heedless, sanguine, tolerant of evils and easily pleased, had shifted along by any temporary expedient; cast down at every turn, but rising again with indomitable goodhumor, and still carried forward by his talent at hoping Johnson, melancholy and hypochondriacal, and prone to apprehend the worst, yet sternly resolute to battle with and conquer it, had made his way doggedly and gloomily, but with a noble principle of self-reliance and a disregard of foreign aid. Both had been irregular at college, Goldsmith, as we have shown, from the levity