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with Addison, who, content with the fame of his writings, acknow ledged himself unfit for conversation; and on being taxed by a lady with silence in company, replied, “Madam, I have but nine pence in ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds." To this Boswell rejoined, that Goldsmith had a great deal of gold in his cabinet, but was always taking out his purse. “ Yes, sir,” chuckled Johnson, "and that so often an empty purse."
By the time Johnson arrived at the club, however, his angry feelings had subsided, and his native generosity and sense of justice had got the uppermost. He found Goldsmith in company with Burke, Garrick, and other members, but sitting silent and apart, “ brooding," as Boswell says, “ over the reprimand he had re ceived.” Johnson's good heart yearned towards him; and knowing his placable nature, "I'll make Goldsmith forgive me," whispered he; then, with a loud voice, “ Dr. Goldsmith,” said he, “something passed to-day where you and I dined—I ask your pardon.” The ire of the poet was extinguished in an instant, and his grateful affection for the magnanimous though sometimes overbearing moralist, rushed to his heart. “ It must be much from you, sir," said he, “ that I take ill !" “ And so," adds Boswell, “ the difference was over, and they were on as easy terms as ever, and Goldsmith rattled away as usual.” We do not think these stories tell to the poet's disadvantage, even though related by Boswell.
Goldsmith, with all his modesty, could not be ignorant of his proper merit; and must have felt annoyed at times at being undervalued and elbowed aside, by light-minded or dull men, in their blind and exclusive homage to the literary autocrat. It was a fine reproof he gave to Boswell on one occasion, for talking of Johnson as entitled to the honor of exclusive superiority. " Sir, you are for making a monarchy what should be a republic."
DOCTORS MAJOR AND MINOR.
On another occasion, when he was conversing in company with great vivacity, and apparently to the satisfaction of those around him, an honest Swiss who sat near, one George Michael Moser, keeper of the Royal Academy, perceiving Dr. Johnson rolling himself as if about to speak, exclaimed, “Stay, stay! Toctor Shonson is going to say something." “And are you sure, sir," replied Goldsmith, sharply, “ that you can comprehend what he
This clever rebuke, which gives the main zest to the anecdote, is omitted by Boswell, who probably did not perceive the point of it.
He relates another anecdote of the kind on the authority of Johnson himself. The latter and Goldsmith were one evening in company with the Rev. George Graham, a master of Eton, who, notwithstanding the sobriety of his cloth, had got intoxicated “ to about the pitch of looking at one man and talking to another.” “Doctor," cried he in an ecstasy of devotion and goodwill, but goggling by mistake upon Goldsmith, “I should be glad to see you at Eton."
“ I shall be glad to wait upon you,” replied Goldsmith.” No, no!” cried the other eagerly; “'tis not you I mean, Doctor Minor, 'tis Doctor Major there.” easily conceive," said Johnson in relating the anecdote, “what effect this had upon Goldsmith, who was irascible as a hornet." The only comment, however, which he is said to have made, partakes more of quaint and dry humor than bitterness : “ That Graham,” said he,“ is enough to make one commit suicide.” What more could be said to express the intolerable nuisance of a consummate bore ?
We have now given the last scenes between Goldsmith and Johnson which stand recorded by Boswell. The latter called on the poet a few days after the dinner at Dilly's, to take leave of
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him prior to departing for Scotland; yet, even in this last interview, he contrives to get up a charge of " jealousy and envy.' Goldsmith, he would fain persuade us, is very angry that Johnson is going to travel with him in Scotland; and endeavors to persuade him that he will be a dead weight “ to lug along through the Highlands and Hebrides.” Any one else, knowing the character and habits of Johnson, would have thought the same; and no one but Boswell would have supposed his office of bear-leader to the ursa major a thing to be envied.*
* One of Peter Pindar's (Dr. Wolcot) most amusing jeux d'esprit is his congratulatory epistle to Boswell on this tour, of which we subjoin a few lines.
Bless'd be thy labors, most adventurous Bozzy,
PROJECT OF A DICTIONARY.
Project of a Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.—Disappointmeni – Negligent
authorship.—Application for a pension.-Beattie's Essay on Truth.—Public adulation.--A high-minded rebuke.
The works which Goldsmith had still in hand being already paid for, and the money gone, some new scheme must be devised to provide for the past and the future—for impending debts which threatened to crush him, and expenses which were continually increasing. He now projected a work of greater compass than any he had yet undertaken; a Dictionary of Arts and Sciences on a comprehensive scale, which was to occupy a number of volumes. For this he received promises of assistance from several powerful hands. Johnson was to contribute an article on ethics; Burke, an abstract of his Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, an essay on the Berkleyan system of philosophy, and others on political science; Sir Joshua Reynolds, an essay on painting; and Garrick, while he undertook on his own part to furnish an essay on acting, engaged Dr. Burney to contribute an article on music. Here was a great array of talent positively engaged, while other writers of eminence were to be sought for the various departments of science. Goldsmith was to edit the whole. An undertaking of this kind, while it did not incessantly task and exhaust his inventive powers by original composition, would give agreeable and profitable exercise to his taste and judgment in selecting, compiling, and arranging, and he calculated to diffuse over the whole the acknowledged graces of his style.
He drew up a prospectus of the plan, which is said by Bishop Percy, who saw it, to have been written with uncommon ability, and to have had that perspicuity and elegance for which his writings are remarkable. This paper, unfortunately, is no longer in existence.
Goldsmith's expectations, always sanguine respecting any new plan, were raised to an extraordinary height by the present project; and well they might be, when we consider the powerful coadjutors already pledged. They were doomed, however, to complete disappointment. Davies, the bibliopole of Russell-street, lets us into the secret of this failure. "The booksellers," said he, “notwithstanding they had a very good opinion of his abilities, yet were startled at the bulk, importance, and expense of so great an undertaking, the fate of which was to depend upon the industry of a man with whose indolence of temper and method of procrastination they had long been acquainted.”
Goldsmith certainly gave reason for some such distrust by the heedlessness with which he conducted his literary undertak. ings. Those unfinished, but paid for, would be suspended to make
way for some job that was to provide for present necessities. Those thus hastily taken up would be as hastily executed, and the whole, however pressing, would be shoved aside and left "at loose ends," on some sudden call to social enjoyment or recreation.
Cradock tells us that on one occasion, when Goldsmith was hard at work on his Natural History, he sent to Dr. Percy and himself, entreating them to finish some pages of his work which