The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith
Oliver Goldsmith

Part 5 out of 6

l. 52. -----
"By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting". The first version after
'coquetting' begins a fresh paragraph with--

Now tawdry madam kept, etc.

l. 58. -----
"A sigh in suffocating smoke".
Here in the first version follows:--

She, in her turn, became perplexing,
And found substantial bliss in vexing.
Thus every hour was pass'd, etc.

l. 61. -----
"Thus as her faults each day were known". First version:

'Each day, the more her faults,' etc.

l. 71. -----
"Now, to perplex". The first version has 'Thus.'
But the alteration in line 61 made a change necessary.

l. 85. -----
"paste". First version 'pastes.'

l. 91. -----
"condemn'd to hack", i.e. to hackney, to plod.


The 'New Simile' first appears in 'Essays: By Mr. Goldsmith, 1765, pp.
234-6, where it forms Essay xxvii. In the second edition of 1766 it
occupies pp. 246-8 and forms Essay xix. The text here followed is that
of the second edition, which varies slightly from the first. In both
cases the poem is followed by the enigmatical initials '*J. B.,' which,
however, as suggested by Gibbs, may simply stand for 'Jack Bookworm' of
'The Double Transformation'. (See p. 204.)

l. 1. -----
"Long had I sought in vain to find". The text of 1765

'I long had rack'd my brains to find.'

l. 6. -----
"Tooke's Pantheon". Andrew Tooke (1673-1732) was first
usher and then Master at the Charterhouse. In the latter
capacity he succeeded Thomas Walker, the master of Addison and
Steele. His 'Pantheon', a revised translation from the Latin of
the Jesuit, Francis Pomey, was a popular school-book of
mythology, with copper-plates.

l. 16. -----
"Wings upon either side--mark that". The petasus of
Mercury, like his sandals (l. 24), is winged.

l. 36. -----
"No poppy-water half so good". Poppy-water, made by
boiling the heads of the white, black, or red poppy, was a
favourite eighteenth-century soporific:--'Juno shall give her
peacock 'poppy-water', that he may fold his ogling tail.'
(Congreve's 'Love for Love', 1695, iv. 3.)

l. 42. -----
"With this he drives men's souls to hell".
....virgaque levem coerces
Aurea turbam.--Hor. 'Od'. i. 10.

l. 57. "Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing".
Te canam....
Callidum, quidquid placuit, iocoso
Condere furto.--Hor. 'Od'. i. 10.

Goldsmith, it will be observed, rhymes 'failing' and 'stealing.'
But Pope does much the same:--

That Jelly's rich, this Malmsey healing,
Pray dip your Whiskers and your tail in.
('Imitation of Horace', Bk. ii, Sat. vi.)

Unless this is to be explained by poetical licence, one of these
words must have been pronounced in the eighteenth century as it
is not pronounced now.

l. 59. -----
"In which all modern bards agree".
The text of 1765 reads 'our scribling bards.'


This ballad, usually known as 'The Hermit', was written in or before
1765, and printed privately in that year 'for the amusement of the
Countess of Northumberland,' whose acquaintance Goldsmith had recently
made through Mr. Nugent. (See the prefatory note to 'The Haunch of
Venison'.) Its title was "'Edwin and Angelina. A Ballad'. By Mr.
Goldsmith." It was first published in 'The Vicar of Wakefield', 1766,
where it appears at pp. 70-7, vol. i. In July, 1767, Goldsmith was
accused [by Dr. Kenrick] in the 'St. James's Chronicle' of having taken
it from Percy's 'Friar of Orders Gray'. Thereupon he addressed a letter
to the paper, of which the following is the material portion:--
'Another Correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a Ballad, I
published some Time ago, from one by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not
think there is any great Resemblance between the two Pieces in Question.
If there be any, his Ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy
some Years ago, and he (as we both considered these Things as Trifles at
best) told me, with his usual Good Humour, the next Time I saw him, that
he had taken my Plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a Ballad
of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I
highly approved it. Such petty Anecdotes as these are scarce worth
printing, and were it not for the busy Disposition of some of your
Correspondents, the Publick should never have known that he owes me the
Hint of his Ballad, or that I am obliged to his Friendship and Learning
for Communications of a much more important Nature. -- I am, Sir, your's
etc. OLIVER GOLDSMITH.' ('St. James's Chronicle', July 23-5, 1767.) No
contradiction of this statement appears to have been offered by Percy;
but in re-editing his 'Reliques of Ancient English Poetry' in 1775,
shortly after Goldsmith's death, he affixed this note to 'The Friar of
Orders Gray:-- 'As the foregoing song has been thought to have
suggested to our late excellent poet, Dr. Goldsmith, the plan of his
beautiful ballad of 'Edwin and Emma [Angelina]', first printed
[published?] in his 'Vicar of Wakefield', it is but justice to his
memory to declare, that his poem was written first, and that if there is
any imitation in the case, they will be found both to be indebted to the
beautiful old ballad, 'Gentle Herdsman, etc.', printed in the second
volume of this work, which the doctor had much admired in manuscript,
and has finely improved' (vol. i. p. 250). The same story is told, in
slightly different terms, at pp. 74-5 of the 'Memoir' of Goldsmith drawn
up under Percy's superintendence for the 'Miscellaneous Works' of 1801,
and a few stanzas of 'Gentle Herdsman', which Goldsmith is supposed to
have had specially in mind, are there reproduced. References to them
will be found in the ensuing notes. The text here adopted (with
exception of ll. 117-20) is that of the fifth edition of 'The Vicar of
Wakefield', 1773[4], i. pp. 78-85; but the variations of the earlier
version of 1765 are duly chronicled, together with certain hitherto
neglected differences between the first and later editions of the novel.
The poem was also printed in the 'Poems for Young Ladies', 1767, pp.
91-8*. The author himself, it may be added, thought highly of it. 'As to
my "Hermit," that poem,' he is reported to have said, 'cannot be
amended.' (Cradock's 'Memoirs', 1828, iv. 286.)

[footnote] *This version differs considerably from the others, often
following that of 1765; but it has not been considered necessary to
record the variations here. That Goldsmith unceasingly revised the piece
is sufficiently established.

l. 1. -----
"Turn, etc." The first version has --

Deign saint-like tenant of the dale,
To guide my nightly way,
To yonder fire, that cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.

l. 11. -----
"For yonder faithless phantom flies".
'The Vicar of Wakefield', first edition, has --

'For yonder phantom only flies.'

l. 30. -----
"All". 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition, 'For.'

l. 31. -----
"Man wants but little here below". Cf. Young's 'Complaint',
1743, 'Night' iv. 9, of which this and the next line are a
recollection. According to Prior ('Life', 1837, ii. 83), they
were printed as a quotation in the version of 1765. Young's line

Man wants but Little; nor that Little, long.

l. 35. -----
"modest". 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition, 'grateful.'

l. 37. -----
"Far in a wilderness obscure". First version, and 'Vicar of
Wakefield', first edition:--

Far shelter'd in a glade obscure
The modest mansion lay.

l. 43. -----
"The wicket, opening with a latch". First version, and 'Vicar
of Wakefield', first edition:--

The door just opening with a latch.

l. 45. -----
"And now, when busy crowds retire". First version, and 'Vicar
of Wakefield', first edition:--

And now, when worldly crowds retire
To revels or to rest.

l. 57. -----
"But nothing, etc." In the first version this stanza runs as

But nothing mirthful could assuage
The pensive stranger's woe;
For grief had seized his early age,
And tears would often flow.

l. 78. -----
"modern". 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition, reads 'haughty.'

l. 84. -----
"His love-lorn guest betray'd". First version, and 'Vicar of
Wakefield', first edition:--

The bashful guest betray'd.

l. 85. -----
"Surpris'd, he sees, etc." First version, and 'Vicar of
Wakefield', first edition:--

He sees unnumber'd beauties rise,
Expanding to the view;
Like clouds that deck the morning skies,
As bright, as transient too.

l. 89. -----
"The bashful look, the rising breast". First version,
and 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition:--

Her looks, her lips, her panting breast.

l. 97. -----
"But let a maid, etc." For this, and the next two stanzas,
the first version substitutes:--

Forgive, and let thy pious care
A heart's distress allay;
That seeks repose, but finds despair
Companion of the way.
My father liv'd, of high degree,
Remote beside the Tyne;
And as he had but only me,
Whate'er he had was mine.
To win me from his tender arms,
Unnumber'd suitors came;
Their chief pretence my flatter'd charms,
My wealth perhaps their aim.

l. 109. -----
"a mercenary crowd". 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition, has:--

'the gay phantastic crowd.'

l. 111. -----
"Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd". First version:--

Among the rest young Edwin bow'd,
Who offer'd only love.

l. 115. -----
"Wisdom and worth, etc." First version, and 'Vicar of
Wakefield', first edition:--

A constant heart was all he had,
But that was all to me.

l. 117. -----
"And when beside me, etc." For this 'additional stanza,' says
the 'Percy Memoir', p. 76, 'the reader is indebted to Richard
Archdal, Esq., late a member of the Irish Parliament, to whom it
was presented by the author himself.' It was first printed in
the 'Miscellaneous Works', 1801, ii. 25. In Prior's edition of
the 'Miscellaneous Works', 1837, iv. 41, it is said to have been
'written some years after the rest of the poem.'

l. 121. -----
"The blossom opening to the day, etc." For this and the next
two stanzas the first version substitutes:--

Whene'er he spoke amidst the train,
How would my heart attend!
And till delighted even to pain,
How sigh for such a friend!
And when a little rest I sought
In Sleep's refreshing arms,
How have I mended what he taught,
And lent him fancied charms!
Yet still (and woe betide the hour!)
I spurn'd him from my side,
And still with ill-dissembled power
Repaid his love with pride.

l. 129. -----
"For still I tried each fickle art, etc." Percy finds the
prototype of this in the following stanza of 'Gentle Herdsman':--

And grew soe coy and nice to please,
As women's lookes are often soe,
He might not kisse, nor hand forsoothe,
Unlesse I willed him soe to doe.

l. 133. -----
"Till quite dejected with my scorn, etc." The first edition
reads this stanza and the first two lines of the next thus:--

Till quite dejected by my scorn,
He left me to deplore;
And sought a solitude forlorn,
And ne'er was heard of more.
Then since he perish'd by my fault,
This pilgrimage I pay, etc.

l. 135. -----
"And sought a solitude forlorn". Cf. 'Gentle Herdsman:--

He gott him to a secrett place,
And there he dyed without releeffe.

l. 141. -----
"And there forlorn, despairing, hid, etc." The first edition
for this and the next two stanzas substitutes the following:--

And there in shelt'ring thickets hid,
I'll linger till I die;
'Twas thus for me my lover did,
And so for him will I.

'Thou shalt not thus,' the Hermit cried,
And clasp'd her to his breast;
The astonish'd fair one turned to chide, --
'Twas Edwin's self that prest.

For now no longer could he hide,
What first to hide he strove;
His looks resume their youthful pride,
And flush with honest love.

l. 143. -----
"'Twas so for me, etc." Cf. 'Gentle Herdsman':--

Thus every day I fast and pray,
And ever will doe till I dye;
And gett me to some secret place,
For soe did hee, and soe will I.

l. 145. -----
"Forbid it, Heaven." 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition,
like the version of 1765, has 'Thou shalt not thus.'

l. 156. -----
"My life." 'Vicar of Wakefield', first edition, has 'O thou.'

l. 157. -----
"No, never from this hour, etc." The first edition reads:--

No, never, from this hour to part,
Our love shall still be new;
And the last sigh that rends thy heart,
Shall break thy Edwin's too.

The poem then concluded thus:--
Here amidst sylvan bowers we'll rove,
From lawn to woodland stray;
Blest as the songsters of the grove,
And innocent as they.

To all that want, and all that wail,
Our pity shall be given,
And when this life of love shall fail,
We'll love again in heaven.

These couplets, with certain alterations in the first and last
lines, are to be found in the version printed in 'Poems for
Young Ladies', 1767, p. 98.


This poem was first published in 'The Vicar of Wakefield', 1766, i.
175-6, where it is sung by one of the little boys. In common with the
'Elegy on Mrs. Mary Blaize' (p. 47) it owes something of its origin to
Goldsmith's antipathy to fashionable elegiacs, something also to the
story of M. de la Palisse. As regards mad dogs, its author seems to have
been more reasonable than many of his contemporaries, since he
ridiculed, with much common sense, their exaggerated fears on this
subject ('v. Chinese Letter' in 'The Public Ledger' for August 29, 1760,
afterwards Letter lxvi of 'The Citizen of the World', 1762, ii. 15). But
it is ill jesting with hydrophobia. Like 'Madam Blaize', these verses
have been illustrated by Randolph Caldecott.

l. 5. -----
"In Islington there was a man". Goldsmith had lodgings at Mrs.
Elizabeth Fleming's in Islington (or 'Isling town' as the
earlier editions have it) in 1763-4; and the choice of the
locality may have been determined by this circumstance. But the
date of the composition of the poem is involved in the general
obscurity which hangs over the 'Vicar' in its unprinted state.
(See 'Introduction', pp. xviii-xix.)

l. 19. -----
"The dog, to gain some private ends". The first edition reads
'his private ends.'

l. 32. -----
"The dog it was that died". This catastrophe suggests the
couplet from the 'Greek Anthology',
ed. Jacobs, 1813-7, ii. 387:--

Kappadoken pot exidna kake daken alla kai aute
katthane, geusamene aimatos iobolou.

Goldsmith, however, probably went no farther back
than Voltaire on Freron:--

L'autre jour, au fond d'un vallon,
Un serpent mordit Jean Freron.
Devinez ce qu'il arriva?
Ce fut le serpent qui creva.

This again, according to M. Edouard Fournier ('L'Esprit des Autres',
sixth edition, 1881, p. 288), is simply the readjustment of an earlier
quatrain, based upon a Latin distich in the 'Epigrammatum delectus',

Un gros serpent mordit Aurelle.
Que croyez-vous qu'il arriva?
Qu'Aurelle en mourut? -- Bagatelle!
Ce fut le serpent qui creva.



First published in 'The Vicar of Wakefield', 1766, ii. 78 (chap. v). It
is there sung by Olivia Primrose, after her return home with her father.
'Do, my pretty Olivia,' says Mrs. Primrose, let us have that little
melancholy air your pappa was so fond of, your sister Sophy has already
obliged us. Do child, it will please your old father.' 'She complied in
a manner so exquisitely pathetic,' continues Dr. Primrose, 'as moved
me.' The charm of the words, and the graceful way in which they are
introduced, seem to have blinded criticism to the impropriety, and even
inhumanity, of requiring poor Olivia to sing a song so completely
applicable to her own case. No source has been named for this piece; and
its perfect conformity with the text would appear to indicate that
Goldsmith was not indebted to any earlier writer for his idea.

His well-known obligations to French sources seem, however, to have
suggested that, if a French original could not be discovered for the
foregoing lyric, it might be desirable to invent one. A clever
paragraphist in the 'St. James's Gazette' for January 28th, 1889,
accordingly reproduced the following stanzas, which he alleged, were to
be found in the poems of Segur, 'printed in Paris in 1719':--

Lorsqu'une femme, apres trop de tendresse,
D'un homme sent la trahison,
Comment, pour cette si douce foiblesse
Peut-elle trouver une guerison?

Le seul remede qu'elle peut ressentir,
La seul revanche pour son tort,
Pour faire trop tard l'amant repentir,
Helas! trop tard -- est la mort.

As a correspondent was not slow to point out, Goldsmith, if a copyist,
at all events considerably improved his model (see in particular lines 7
and 8 of the French). On the 30th of the month the late Sir William
Fraser gave it as his opinion, that, until the volume of 1719 should be
produced, the 'very inferior verses quoted' must be classed with the
fabrications of 'Father Prout,' and he instanced that very version of
the 'Burial of Sir John Moore' ('Les Funerailles de Beaumanoir') which
has recently (August 1906) been going the round of the papers once
again. No Segur volume of 1719 was, of course, forthcoming.

Kenrick, as we have already seen, had in 1767 accused Goldsmith of
taking 'Edwin and Angelina' from Percy (p. 206). Thirty years later, the
charge of plagiarism was revived in a different way when 'Raimond and
Angeline', a French translation of the same poem, appeared, as
Goldsmith's original, in a collection of Essays called 'The Quiz', 1797.
It was eventually discovered to be a translation 'from' Goldsmith by a
French poet named Leonard, who had included it in a volume dated 1792,
entitled 'Lettres de deux Amans, Habitans de Lyon' (Prior's 'Life',
1837, ii. 89-94). It may be added that, according to the 'Biographie
Universelle', 1847, vol. 18 (Art. 'Goldsmith'), there were then no fewer
than at least three French imitations of 'The Hermit' besides Leonard's.


Goldsmith's comedy of 'The Good Natur'd Man' was produced by Colman, at
Covent Garden, on Friday, January 29, 1768. The following note was
appended to the Epilogue when printed:-- 'The Author, in expectation of
an Epilogue from a friend at Oxford, deferred writing one himself till
the very last hour. What is here offered, owes all its success to the
graceful manner of the Actress who spoke it.' It was spoken by Mrs.
Bulkley, the 'Miss Richland' of the piece. In its first form it is to be
found in 'The Public Advertiser' for February 3. Two days later the play
was published, with the version here followed.

l. 1. -----
"As puffing quacks". Goldsmith had devoted a Chinese
letter to this subject. See 'Citizen of the World', 1762, ii. 10
(Letter lxv).

l. 17. -----
"No, no: I've other contests, etc." This couplet is
not in the first version. The old building of the College of
Physicians was in Warwick Lane; and the reference is to the
long-pending dispute, occasionally enlivened by personal
collision, between the Fellows and Licentiates respecting the
exclusion of certain of the latter from Fellowships. On this
theme Bonnell Thornton, himself an M.B. like Goldsmith, wrote a
satiric additional canto to Garth's 'Dispensary', entitled 'The
Battle of the Wigs', long extracts from which are printed in
'The Gentleman's Magazine' for March, 1768, p. 132. The same
number also reviews 'The Siege of the Castle of Aesculapius, an
heroic Comedy, as it is acted in Warwick-Lane'. Goldsmith's
couplet is, however, best illustrated by the title of one of
Sayer's caricatures, 'The March of the Medical Militants to the
Siege of Warwick-Lane-Castle in the Year' 1767. The quarrel was
finally settled in favour of the college in June, 1771.

l. 19. -----
"Go, ask your manager". Colman, the manager of Covent
Garden, was not a prolific, although he was a happy writer of
prologues and epilogues.

l. 32. -----
The quotation is from 'King Lear', Act iii, Sc. 4.

l. 34. -----
In the first version the last line runs:--

And view with favour, the 'Good-natur'd Man.'


'The Sister', produced at Covent Garden February 18, 1769, was a comedy
by Mrs. Charlotte Lenox or Lennox, 'an ingenious lady,' says 'The
Gentleman's Magazine' for April in the same year, 'well known in the
literary world by her excellent writings, particularly the Female
Quixote, and Shakespeare illustrated.... The audience expressed their
disapprobation of it with so much clamour and appearance of prejudice,
that she would not suffer an attempt to exhibit it a second time (p.
199).' According to the same authority it was based upon one of the
writer's own novels, 'Henrietta', published in 1758. Though tainted with
the prevailing sentimentalism, 'The Sister' is described by Forster as
'both amusing and interesting'; and it is probable that it was not
fairly treated when it was acted. Mrs. Lenox (1720-1804), daughter of
Colonel Ramsay, Lieut.-Governor of New York, was a favourite with the
literary magnates of her day. Johnson was half suspected of having
helped her in her book on Shakespeare; Richardson admitted her to his
readings at Parson's Green; Fielding, who knew her, calls her, in the
'Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon', 1755, p. 35 (first version), 'the
inimitable author of the Female Quixote'; and Goldsmith, though he had
no kindness for genteel comedy (see 'post', p. 228), wrote her this
lively epilogue, which was spoken by Mrs. Bulkley, who personated the
'Miss Autumn' of the piece. Mrs. Lenox died in extremely reduced
circumstances, and was buried by the Right Hon. George Ross, who had
befriended her later years. There are several references to her in
Boswell's 'Life of Johnson'. (See also Hawkins' 'Life', 2nd ed. 1787,
pp. 285-7.)


'Zobeide', a play by Joseph Cradock (1742-1826), of Gumley, in
Leicestershire, was produced by Colman at Covent Garden on Dec. 11,
1771. It was a translation from three acts of 'Les Scythes', an
unfinished tragedy by Voltaire. Goldsmith was applied to, through the
Yates's, for a prologue, and sent that here printed to the author of the
play with the following note:-- 'Mr. Goldsmith presents his best
respects to Mr. Cradock, has sent him the Prologue, such as it is. He
cannot take time to make it better. He begs he will give Mr. Yates the
proper instructions; and so, even so, commits him to fortune and the
publick.' (Cradock's 'Memoirs', 1826, i. 224.) Yates, to the acting of
whose wife in the character of the heroine the success of the piece,
which ran for thirteen nights, was mainly attributable, was to have
spoken the prologue, but it ultimately fell to Quick, later the 'Tony
Lumpkin' of 'She Stoops to Conquer', who delivered it in the character
of a sailor. Cradock seems subsequently to have sent a copy of 'Zobeide'
to Voltaire, who replied in English as follows:--

9e. 8bre. 1773. a ferney.
Thanks to yr muse a foreign copper shines
Turn'd in to gold, and coin'd in sterling lines.
You have done to much honour to an old sick man of eighty.
I am with the most sincere esteem and gratitude
Yr. obdt. Servt. Voltaire.
A Monsieur Monsieur J. Cradock.

The text of the prologue is here given as printed in Cradock's
'Memoirs', 1828, iii. 8-9. It is unnecessary to specify the variations
between this and the earlier issue of 1771.

l. 1. -----
"In these bold times, etc." The reference is to Cook,
who, on June 12, 1771, had returned to England in the
'Endeavour', after three years' absence, having gone to Otaheite
to observe the transit of Venus (l. 4).

l. 5. -----
"Botanists". Mr. (afterward Sir Joseph) Banks and Dr.
Solander, of the British Museum, accompanied Cook.

l. 6. -----
"go simpling", i.e. gathering simples, or herbs. Cf.
'Merry Wives of Windsor', Act iii, Sc. 3:--
'-- These lisping hawthorn buds that...
smell like Bucklersbury in 'simple'-time.'
In the caricatures of the day Solander figured as 'The
'simpling' Macaroni.' (See note, p. 247, l. 31.)

l. 11. -----
"With Scythian stores". The scene of the play was laid
in Scythia ('v. supra').

l. 28. -----
"to make palaver", to hold a parley, generally with the
intention of cajoling. Two of Goldsmith's notes to Garrick in
1773 are endorsed by the actor -- 'Goldsmith's parlaver.'
(Forster's 'Life', 1871, ii. 397.)

l. 32. -----
"mercenary". Cradock gave the profits of 'Zobeide' to
Mrs. Yates. 'I mentioned the disappointment it would be to you'
-- she says in a letter to him dated April 26, 1771 --' as you
had generously given the emoluments of the piece to me.'
('Memoirs', 1828, iv. 211.)


Augusta, widow of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and mother of George the
Third, died at Carlton House, February 8, 1772. This piece was spoken
and sung in Mrs. Teresa Cornelys's Great Room in Soho Square, on the
Thursday following (the 20th), being sold at the door as a small quarto
pamphlet, printed by William Woodfall. The author's name was not given;
but it was prefaced by this 'advertisement,' etc.:--

'The following may more properly be termed a compilation than a poem.
It was prepared for the composer in little more than two days: and may
be considered therefore rather as an industrious effort of gratitude
than of genius. In justice to the composer it may likewise be right to
inform the public, that the music was adapted in a period of time
equally short.


'Mr. Lee and Mrs. Bellamy'.


'Mr. Champnes, Mr. Dine, and Miss Jameson; with twelve chorus singers.
The music prepared and adapted by Signor Vento.'

It is -- as Cunningham calls it -- a 'hurried and unworthy off-spring of
the muse of Goldsmith.'

(Part I).

l. 122 "-----
Celestial-like her bounty fell". The
Princess's benefactions are not exaggerated. 'She had paid off
the whole of her husband's debts, and she had given munificent
sums in charity. More than 10,000'l.' a year were given away by
her in pensions to individuals whom she judged deserving, very
few of whom were aware, until her death, whence the bounty came.
The whole of her income she spent in England, and very little on
herself' ('Augusta: Princess of Wales', by W. H. Wilkins,
'Nineteenth Century', October, 1903, p. 675).

l. 132. -----
"There faith shall come". This, and the three lines
that follow, are borrowed from Collins's 'Ode written in the
beginning of the year' 1746.

(Part II).

l. 22 "-----
The towers of Kew". 'The embellishments of
Kew palace and gardens, under the direction of [Sir William]
Chambers, and others, was the favourite object of her [Royal
Highness's] widowhood' (Bolton Corney).

l. 77. -----
"Along the billow'd main". Cf. 'The Captivity', Act ii,
I. 18.

l. 83. -----
"Oswego's dreary shores". Cf. 'The Traveller', l. 411.

l. 91. -----
"And with the avenging fight". Varied from Collins's
'Ode on the Death of Colonel Charles Ross at Fontenoy'.

l. 177. -----
"Its earliest bloom". Cf. Collins's 'Dirge in Cymbeline'.



This thoroughly characteristic song, for a parallel to which one must go
to Congreve, or to the 'Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen' of 'The
School for Scandal', has one grave defect, -- it is too good to have
been composed by Tony Lumpkin, who, despite his inability to read
anything but 'print-hand,' declares, in Act i. Sc. 2 of 'She Stoops to
Conquer', 1773, that he himself made it upon the ale-house ('The Three
Pigeons') in which he sings it, and where it is followed by the annexed
comments, directed by the author against the sentimentalists, who, in
'The Good Natur'd Man' of five years before, had insisted upon the
omission of the Bailiff scene:--

Bravo, bravo!

'First' FELLOW.
The 'Squire has got spunk in him.

'Second' FELLOW.
I loves to hear him sing, bekeays he never gives us nothing
that's 'low'...

'Fourth' FELLOW.
The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time. If so be that a
gentleman bees in a concatenation accordingly.

'Third' FELLOW.
I like the maxum of it, Master Muggins. What, tho' I am obligated to
dance a bear, a man may be a gentleman for all that. May this be my
poison if my bear ever dances but to the very genteelest of tunes.
'Water parted'*, or the minuet in 'Ariadne'.'

[footnote] *i.e. Arne's 'Water Parted from the Sea', -- the song of
Arbaces in the opera of 'Artaxerxes, 1762. The minuet in 'Ariadne' was
by Handel. It came at the end of the overture, and is said to have been
the best thing in the opera.

l. 9. -----
"When Methodist preachers, etc." Tony Lumpkin's
utterance accurately represents the view of this sect taken by
some of his contemporaries. While moderate and just spectators
of the Johnson type could recognize the sincerity of men, who,
like Wesley, travelled 'nine hundred miles in a month, and
preached twelve times a week' for no ostensibly adequate reward,
there were others who saw in Methodism, and especially in the
extravagancies of its camp followers, nothing but cant and
duplicity. It was this which prompted on the stage Foote's
'Minor' (1760) and Bickerstaffe's 'Hypocrite' (1768); in art the
'Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism' of Hogarth (1762); and
in literature the 'New Bath Guide' of Anstey (1766), the
'Spiritual Quixote' of Graves, 1772, and the sarcasms of Sterne,
Smollett and Walpole.

It is notable that the most generous contemporary portrait of
these much satirised sectaries came from one of the originals of
the 'Retaliation' gallery. Scott highly praises the character of
Ezekiel Daw in Cumberland's 'Henry', 1795, adding, in his large
impartial fashion, with reference to the general practice of
representing Methodists either as idiots or hypocrites, 'A very
different feeling is due to many, perhaps to most, of this
enthusiastic sect; nor is it rashly to be inferred, that he who
makes religion the general object of his life, is for that sole
reason to be held either a fool or an impostor.' (Scott's
'Miscellaneous Prose Works', 1834, iii. 222.)

l. 23. -----
"But of all the birds in the air". Hypercriticism may
object that 'the hare' is not a bird. But exigence of rhyme has
to answer for many things. Some editors needlessly read 'the
'gay' birds' to lengthen the line. There is no sanction for this
in the earlier editions.


This epilogue was spoken by Mrs. Bulkley in the character of
Miss Hardcastle. It is probably the epilogue described by
Goldsmith to Cradock, in the letter quoted at p. 246, as 'a very
mawkish thing,' a phrase not so incontestable as Bolton Corney's
remark that it is 'an obvious imitation of Shakespere.'

l. 6. -----
"That pretty Bar-maids have done execution". Cf. 'The
Vicar of Wakefield', 1766, i. 7:-- 'Sophia's features were not
so striking at first; but often did more certain execution.'

l. 16. -----
"coquets the guests". Johnson explains this word 'to
entertain with compliments and amorous tattle,' and quotes the
following illustration from Swift, 'You are 'coquetting' a maid
of honour, my lord looking on to see how the gamesters play, and
I railing at you both.'

l. 26. -----
"Nancy Dawson". Nancy Dawson was a famous 'toast' and
horn-pipe dancer, who died at Haverstock Hill, May 27, 1767, and
was buried behind the Foundling, in the burial-ground of St.
George the Martyr. She first appeared at Sadler's Wells, and
speedily passed to the stage of Covent Garden, where she danced
in the 'Beggar's Opera'. There is a portrait of her in the
Garrick Club, and there are several contemporary prints. She was
the heroine of a popular song, here referred to, beginning:--

Of all the girls in our town,
The black, the fair, the red, the brown,
Who dance and prance it up and down,
There's none like Nancy Dawson:
Her easy mien, her shape so neat,
She foots, she trips, she looks so sweet,
Her ev'ry motion is complete;
I die for Nancy Dawson.

Its tune -- says J. T. Smith ('Book for a Rainy Day', Whitten's
ed., 1905, p. 10) was 'as lively as that of "Sir Roger de

"Che faro", i.e. 'Che faro senza Euridice', the lovely lament
from Gluck's 'Orfeo', 1764.

l. 28. -----
"the Heinel of Cheapside". The reference is to
Mademoiselle Anna-Frederica Heinel, 1752-1808, a beautiful
Prussian, subsequently the wife of Gaetano Apollino Balthazar
Vestris, called 'Vestris the First.' After extraordinary success
as a 'danseuse' at Stuttgard and Paris, where Walpole saw her in
1771 (Letter to the Earl of Strafford 25th August), she had come
to London; and, at this date, was the darling of the Macaronies
(cf. the note on p. 247, l. 31), who, from their club, added a
'regallo' (present) of six hundred pounds to the salary allowed
her at the Haymarket. On April 1, 1773, Metastasio's 'Artaserse'
was performed for her benefit, when she was announced to dance a
minuet with Monsieur Fierville, and 'Tickets were to be hand, at
her house in Piccadilly, two doors from Air Street.'

l. 31. -----
"spadille", i.e. the ace of spades, the first trump in
the game of Ombre. Cf. Swift's 'Journal of a Modern Lady in a
Letter to a Person of Quality', 1728:--

She draws up card by card, to find
Good fortune peeping from behind;
With panting heart, and earnest eyes,
In hope to see 'spadillo' rise;
In vain, alas! her hope is fed;
She draws an ace, and sees it red.

l. 35. -----
"Bayes". The chief character in Buckingham's
'Rehearsal', 1672, and intended for John Dryden. Here the name
is put for the 'poet' or 'dramatist.' Cf. Murphy's Epilogue to
Cradock's 'Zobeide', 1771:--

Not e'en poor 'Bayes' within must hope to be
Free from the lash:-- His Play he writ for me
'Tis true -- and now my gratitude you'll see;

and Colman's Epilogue to 'The School for Scandal', 1777:--
So wills our virtuous bard -- the motley 'Bayes'
Of crying epilogues and laughing plays!


'Retaliation: A Poem. By Doctor Goldsmith. Including Epitaphs on the
Most Distinguished Wits of this Metropolis', was first published by G.
Kearsly in April, 1774, as a 4to pamphlet of 24 pp. On the title-page is
a vignette head of the author, etched by James Basire, after Reynolds's
portrait; and the verses are prefaced by an anonymous letter to the
publisher, concluding as follows:-- 'Dr. Goldsmith 'belonged to a Club
of' Beaux Esprits, 'where Wit sparkled sometimes at the Expence of
Good-nature. It was proposed to write Epitaphs on the Doctor; his
Country, Dialect and Person, furnished Subjects of Witticism. -- The
Doctor was called on for' Retaliation, 'and at their next Meeting
produced the following Poem, which I think adds one Leaf to his immortal
Wreath.' This account seems to have sufficed for Evans, Percy, and the
earlier editors. But in vol. i. p. 78 of his edition of Goldsmith's
'Works', 1854, Mr. Peter Cunningham published for the first time a
fuller version of the circumstances, derived from a manuscript lent to
him by Mr. George Daniel of Islington; and (says Mr. Cunningham)
'evidently designed as a preface to a collected edition of the poems
which grew out of Goldsmith's trying his epigrammatic powers with
Garrick.' It is signed 'D. Garrick.' 'At a meeting' -- says the writer
-- 'of a company of gentlemen, who were well known to each other, and
diverting themselves, among many other things, with the peculiar
oddities of Dr. Goldsmith, who would never allow a superior in any art,
from writing poetry down to dancing a horn-pipe, the Dr. with great
eagerness insisted upon trying his epigrammatic powers with Mr. Garrick,
and each of them was to write the other's epitaph. Mr. Garrick
immediately said that his epitaph was finished, and spoke the following
distich extempore:--

Here lies NOLLY Goldsmith, for shortness call'd Noll,
Who wrote like an angel, but talk'd like poor Poll.

Goldsmith, upon the company's laughing very heartily, grew very
thoughtful, and either would not, or could not, write anything at that
time: however, he went to work, and some weeks after produced the
following printed poem called 'Retaliation', which has been much
admired, and gone through several editions.' This account, though
obviously from Garrick's point of view, is now accepted as canonical,
and has superseded those of Davies, Cradock, Cumberland, and others, to
which some reference is made in the ensuing notes.

A few days after the publication of the first edition, which appeared on
the 18th or 19th of April, a 'new' or second edition was issued, with
four pages of 'Explanatory Notes, Observations, etc.' At the end came
the following announcement:-- 'G. Kearsly, the Publisher, thinks it his
duty to declare, that Dr. Goldsmith wrote the Poem as it is here
printed, a few errors of the press excepted, which are taken notice of
at the bottom of this page.' From this version 'Retaliation' is here
reproduced. In the third edition, probably in deference to some wounded
susceptibilities, the too comprehensive 'most Distinguished Wits of the
Metropolis' was qualified into ''some of the most' Distinguished Wits,'
etc., but no further material alteration was made in the text until the
suspicious lines on Caleb Whitefoord were added to the fifth edition.

With the exception of Garrick's couplet, and the fragment of Whitefoord
referred to at p. 234, none of the original epitaphs upon which
Goldsmith was invited to 'retaliate' have survived. But the unexpected
ability of the retort seems to have prompted a number of 'ex post facto'
performances, some of which the writers would probably have been glad to
pass off as their first essays. Garrick, for example, produced three
short pieces, one of which ('Here, Hermes! says Jove, who with nectar
was mellow') hits off many of Goldsmith's contradictions and foibles
with considerable skill ('v'. Davies's 'Garrick', 2nd ed., 1780, ii.
157). Cumberland ('v. Gent. Mag'., Aug. 1778, p. 384) parodied the
poorest part of 'Retaliation', the comparison of the guests to dishes,
by likening them to liquors, and Dean Barnard in return rhymed upon
Cumberland. He wrote also an apology for his first attack, which is said
to have been very severe, and conjured the poet to set his wit at
Garrick, who, having fired his first shot, was keeping out of the way:--

On him let all thy vengeance fall;
On me you but misplace it:
Remember how he called thee 'Poll' --
But, ah! he dares not face it.

For these, and other forgotten pieces arising out of 'Retaliation',
Garrick had apparently prepared the above-mentioned introduction. It may
be added that the statement, prefixed to the first edition, that
'Retaliation', as we now have it, was produced at the 'next meeting' of
the Club, is manifestly incorrect. It was composed and circulated in
detached fragments, and Goldsmith was still working at it when he was
seized with his last illness.

l. 1. -----
"Of old, when Scarron, etc." Paul Scarron (1610-60), the
author 'inter alia' of the 'Roman Comique', 1651-7, upon a
translation of which Goldsmith was occupied during the last
months of his life. It was published by Griffin in 1776.

l. 2. -----
"Each guest brought his dish". 'Chez Scarron,' -- says
his editor, M. Charles Baumet, when speaking of the poet's
entertainments, -- 'venait d'ailleurs l'elite des dames, des
courtisans & des hommes de lettres. On y dinait joyeusement.
'Chacun apportait son plat'.' ('Oeuvres de Scarron', 1877, i.
viii.) Scarron's company must have been as brilliant as
Goldsmith's. Villarceaux, Vivonne, the Marechal d'Albret,
figured in his list of courtiers; while for ladies he had
Mesdames Deshoulieres, de Scudery, de la Sabliere, and de
Sevigne, to say nothing of Ninon de Lenclos and Marion Delorme.
(Cf. also Guizot, 'Corneille et son Temps', 1862, 429-30.)

l. 3. -----
"If our landlord". The 'explanatory note' to the second
edition says -- 'The master of the St. James's coffee-house,
where the Doctor, and the friends he has characterized in this
Poem, held an occasional club.' This, it should be stated, was
not the famous 'Literary Club,' which met at the Turk's Head
Tavern in Gerrard Street. The St. James's Coffee-house, as
familiar to Swift and Addison at the beginning, as it was to
Goldsmith and his friends at the end of the eighteenth century,
was the last house but one on the south-west corner of St.
James's Street. It now no longer exists. Cradock ('Memoirs',
1826, i. 228-30) speaks of dining 'at the bottom of St. James's
Street' with Goldsmith, Percy, the two Burkes ('v. infra'),
Johnson, Garrick, Dean Barnard, and others. 'We sat very late;'
he adds in conclusion, 'and the conversation that at last
ensued, was the direct cause of my friend Goldsmith's poem,
called "Retaliation."'

l. 5. -----
"Our Dean". Dr. Thomas Barnard, an Irishman, at this
time Dean of Derry. He died at Wimbledon in 1806. It was Dr.
Barnard who, in reply to a rude sally of Johnson, wrote the
charming verses on improvement after the age of forty-five,
which end --

If I have thoughts, and can't express them,
Gibbon shall teach me how to dress them,
In terms select and terse;
Jones teach me modesty and Greek,
Smith how to think, Burke how to speak,
And Beauclerk to converse.
Let Johnson teach me how to place
In fairest light, each borrow'd grace,
From him I'll learn to write;
Copy his clear, familiar style,
And from the roughness of his file
Grow like himself -- polite.

(Northcote's 'Life of Reynolds', 2nd ed., 1819, i. 221.)
According to Cumberland ('Memoirs', 1807, i. 370), 'The dean
also gave him [Goldsmith] an epitaph, and Sir Joshua illuminated
the dean's verses with a sketch of his bust in pen and ink
inimitably caricatured.' What would collectors give for that
sketch and epitaph! Unfortunately in Cumberland's septuagenarian
recollections the 'truth severe' is mingled with an unusual
amount of 'fairy fiction.' However Sir Joshua 'did' draw
caricatures, for a number of them were exhibited at the
Grosvenor Gallery (by the Duke of Devonshire) in the winter of

l. 6. -----
"Our Burke". The Right Hon. Edmund Burke, 1729-97.

l. 7. -----
"Our Will". 'Mr. William Burke, late Secretary to
General Conway, and member for Bedwin, Wiltshire' (Note to
second edition). He was a kinsman of Edmund Burke, and one of
the supposed authors of Junius's 'Letters'. He died in 1798. 'It
is said that the notices Goldsmith first wrote of the Burkes
were so severe that Hugh Boyd persuaded the poet to alter them,
and entirely rewrite the character of William, for he was sure
that if the Burkes saw what was originally written of them the
peace of the Club would be disturbed.' (Rev. W. Hunt in 'Dict.
Nat. Biography', Art. 'William Burke.')

l. 8. -----
"And Dick". Richard Burke, Edmund Burke's younger
brother. He was for some years Collector to the Customs at
Grenada, being on a visit to London when 'Retaliation' was
written (Forster's 'Life', 1871, ii. 404). He died in 1794,
Recorder of Bristol.

l. 9. -----
"Our Cumberland's sweetbread". Richard Cumberland, the
poet, novelist, and dramatist, 1731-1811, author of 'The West
Indian', 1771, 'The Fashionable Lover', 1772, and many other
more or less sentimental plays. In his 'Memoirs', 1807, i.
369-71, he gives an account of the origin of 'Retaliation',
which adds a few dubious particulars to that of Garrick. But it
was written from memory long after the events it records.

l. 10. -----
"Douglas". 'Dr. Douglas, since Bishop of Salisbury,'
says Cumberland. He died in 1807 ('v. infra').

l. 14. -----
"Ridge". 'Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging
to the Irish Bar' (Note to second edition). 'Burke,' says Bolton
Corney, 'in 1771, described him as "one of the honestest and
best-natured men living, and inferior to none of his profession
in ability."' (See also note to line 125.)

l. 15. -----
"Hickey". The commentator of the second edition of
'Retaliation' calls this gentleman 'honest Tom Hickey'. His
Christian name, however, was 'Joseph' (Letter of Burke, November
8, 1774). He was a jovial, good-natured, over-blunt Irishman,
the legal adviser of both Burke and Reynolds. Indeed it was
Hickey who drew the conveyance of the land on which Reynolds's
house 'next to the Star and Garter' at Richmond (Wick House) was
built by Chambers the architect. Hickey died in 1794. Reynolds
painted his portrait for Burke, and it was exhibited at the
Royal Academy in 1772 (No. 208). In 1833 it belonged to Mr. T.
H. Burke. Sir Joshua also painted Miss Hickey in 1769-73. Her
father, not much to Goldsmith's satisfaction, was one of the
Paris party in 1770. See also note to l. 125.

l. 16. -----
"Magnanimous Goldsmith". According to Malone
(Reynolds's 'Works', second edition, 1801, i. xc), Goldsmith
intended to have concluded with his own character.

l. 34. -----
"Tommy Townshend", M.P. for Whitchurch, Hampshire,
afterwards first Viscount Sydney. He died in 1800. Junius says
Bolton Corney, gives a portrait of him as 'still life'. His
presence in 'Retaliation' is accounted for by the fact that he
had commented in Parliament upon Johnson's pension. 'I am well
assured,' says Boswell, 'that Mr. Townshend's attack upon
Johnson was the occasion of his "hitching in a rhyme"; for, that
in the original copy of Goldsmith's character of Mr. Burke, in
his 'Retaliation' another person's name stood in the couplet
where Mr. Townshend is now introduced.' (Birkbeck Hill's
'Boswell', 1887, iv. 318.)

l. 35. -----
"too deep for his hearers". 'The emotion to which he
commonly appealed was that too rare one, the love of wisdom, and
he combined his thoughts and knowledge in propositions of wisdom
so weighty and strong, that the minds of ordinary hearers were
not on the instant prepared for them.' (Morley's 'Burke', 1882,

l. 36. -----
"And thought of convincing, while they thought of
dining". For the reason given in the previous note, many of
Burke's hearers often took the opportunity of his rising to
speak, to retire to dinner. Thus he acquired the nickname of the
'Dinner Bell.'

l. 42. -----
"To eat mutton cold". There is a certain resemblance
between this character and Gray's lines on himself written in
1761, beginning 'Too poor for a bribe, and too proud to
importune.' (See Gosse's 'Gray's Works', 1884, i. 127.) But both
Gray and Goldsmith may have been thinking of a line in the once
popular song of 'Ally Croaker':--

Too dull for a wit, too grave for a joker.

l. 43. -----
"honest William", i.e. William Burke ('v. supra').

l. 54. -----
"Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb". A note
to the second edition says -- 'The above Gentleman [Richard
Burke, 'v. supra'] having slightly fractured one of his arms and
legs, at different times, the Doctor [i.e. Goldsmith] has
rallied him on those accidents, as a kind of 'retributive'
justice for breaking his jests on other people.'

l. 61. -----
"Here Cumberland lies". According to Boaden's 'Life of
Kemble', 1825, i. 438, Mrs. Piozzi rightly regarded this
portrait as wholly ironical; and Bolton Corney, without much
expenditure of acumen, discovers it to have been written in a
spirit of 'persiflage'. Nevertheless, Cumberland himself
('Memoirs', 1807, i. 369) seems to have accepted it in good
faith. Speaking of Goldsmith he says -- I conclude my account of
him with gratitude for the epitaph he bestowed on me in his poem
called 'Retaliation'.' From the further details which he gives
of the circumstances, it would appear that his own performance,
of which he could recall but one line --

All mourn the poet, I lament the man --

was conceived in a less malicious spirit than those of the
others, and had predisposed the sensitive bard in his favour.
But no very genuine cordiality could be expected to exist
between the rival authors of 'The West Indian' and 'She Stoops
to Conquer'.

l. 66. -----
"And Comedy wonders at being so fine". It is
instructive here to transcribe Goldsmith's serious opinion of
the kind of work which Cumberland essayed:-- 'A new species of
Dramatic Composition has been introduced, under the name of
'Sentimental' Comedy, in which the virtues of Private Life are
exhibited, rather than the Vices exposed; and the Distresses
rather than the Faults of Mankind, make our interest in the
piece.... In these Plays almost all the Characters are good, and
exceedingly generous; they are lavish enough of their 'Tin'
Money on the Stage, and though they want Humour, have abundance
of Sentiment and Feeling. If they happen to have Faults or
Foibles, the Spectator is taught not only to pardon, but to
applaud them, in consideration of the goodness of their hearts;
so that Folly, instead of being ridiculed, is commended, and the
Comedy aims at touching our Passions without the power of being
truly pathetic.' ('Westminster Magazine', 1772, i. 5.) Cf. also
the 'Preface to The Good Natur'd Man', where he 'hopes that too
much refinement will not banish humour and character from our's,
as it has already done from the French theatre. Indeed the
French comedy is now become so very elevated and sentimental,
that it has not only banished humour and 'Moliere' from the
stage, but it has banished all spectators too.'

l. 80. -----
"The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks". Dr.
John Douglas ('v. supra') distinguished himself by his exposure
of two of his countrymen, Archibald Bower, 1686-1766, who, being
secretly a member of the Catholic Church, wrote a 'History of
the Popes'; and William Lauder 1710-1771, who attempted to prove
Milton a plagiarist. Cf. Churchill's 'Ghost', Bk. ii:--

By TRUTH inspir'd when 'Lauder's' spight
O'er MILTON cast the Veil of Night,
DOUGLAS arose, and thro' the maze
Of intricate and winding ways,
Came where the subtle Traitor lay,
And dragg'd him trembling to the day.

'Lauder on Milton' is one of the books bound to the
trunk-maker's in Hogarth's 'Beer Street', 1751. He imposed on
Johnson, who wrote him a 'Preface' and was consequently trounced
by Churchill ('ut supra') as 'our Letter'd POLYPHEME.'

l. 86. -----
"Our Dodds shall be pious". The reference is to the
Rev. Dr. William Dodd, who three years after the publication of
'Retaliation' (i.e. June 27, 1777) was hanged at Tyburn for
forging the signature of the fifth Earl of Chesterfield, to whom
he had been tutor. His life previously had long been scandalous
enough to justify Goldsmith's words. Johnson made strenuous and
humane exertions to save Dodd's life, but without avail. (See
Birkbeck Hill's 'Boswell', 1887, iii. 139-48.) There is an
account of Dodd's execution at the end of vol. i of Angelo's
'Reminiscences', 1830.

"our Kenricks". Dr. William Kenrick -- say the earlier
annotators -- who 'read lectures at the Devil Tavern, under the
Title of "The School of Shakespeare."' The lectures began
January 19, 1774, and help to fix the date of the poem.
Goldsmith had little reason for liking this versatile and
unprincipled Ishmaelite of letters, who, only a year before, had
penned a scurrilous attack upon him in 'The London Packet'.
Kenrick died in 1779.

l. 87. -----
"Macpherson". 'David [James] Macpherson, Esq.; who
lately, from the mere 'force of his style', wrote down the first
poet of all antiquity.' (Note to second edition.) This was
'Ossian' Macpherson, 1738-96, who, in 1773, had followed up his
Erse epics by a prose translation of Homer, which brought him
little but opprobrium. 'Your abilities, since your Homer, are
not so formidable,' says Johnson in the knockdown letter which
he addressed to him in 1775. (Birkbeck Hill's 'Boswell', 1887,
ii. 298.)

l. 88. -----
"Our Townshend". See note to line 34.

l. 89. -----
"New Lauders and Bowers". See note to l. 80.

l. 92. -----
"And Scotchman meet Scotchman, and cheat in the dark".
Mitford compares Farquhar's 'Love and a Bottle', 1699, Act iii--

But gods meet gods and jostle in the dark.

But Farquhar was quoting from Dryden and Lee's 'Oedipus', 1679,
Act iv (at end).

l. 93. -----
"Here lies David Garrick". 'The sum of all that can be
said for and against Mr. Garrick, some people think, may be
found in these lines of Goldsmith,' writes Davies in his 'Life
of Garrick', 2nd ed., 1780, ii. 159. Posterity has been less
hesitating in its verdict. 'The lines on Garrick,' says Forster,
'Life of Goldsmith', 1871, ii. 409, 'are quite perfect writing.
Without anger, the satire is finished, keen, and uncompromising;
the wit is adorned by most discriminating praise; and the truth
is only the more unsparing for its exquisite good manners and
good taste.'

l. 115. -----
"Ye Kenricks". See note to line 86.

"ye Kellys". Hugh Kelly (1739-1777), an Irishman, the author of
'False Delicacy', 1768; 'A Word to the Wise', 1770; 'The School
for Wives', 1774, and other 'sentimental dramas,' is here
referred to. His first play, which is described in Garrick's
prologue as a 'Sermon,' 'preach'd in Acts,' was produced at
Drury Lane just six days before Goldsmith's comedy of 'The Good
Natur'd Man' appeared at Covent Garden, and obtained a success
which it ill deserved. 'False Delicacy' -- said Johnson truly
(Birkbeck Hill's 'Boswell', 1887, ii. 48) -- 'was totally void
of character,' -- a crushing accusation to make against a drama.
But Garrick, for his private ends, had taken up Kelly as a rival
to Goldsmith; and the 'comedie serieuse' or 'larmoyante' of La
Chaussee, Sedaine, and Diderot had already found votaries in
England. 'False Delicacy', weak, washy, and invertebrate as it
was, completed the transformation of 'genteel' into
'sentimental' comedy, and establishing that 'genre' for the next
few years, effectually retarded the wholesome reaction towards
humour and character which Goldsmith had tried to promote by
'The Good Natur'd Man'. (See note to l. 66.)

"Woodfalls". 'William Woodfall' -- says Bolton Corney --
'successively editor of 'The London Packet' and 'The Morning
Chronicle', was matchless as a reporter of speeches, and an able
theatrical critic. He made lofty pretensions to editorial
impartiality -- but the actor [i.e. Garrick] was not 'always'
satisfied.' He died in 1803. He must not be confounded with
Henry Sampson Woodfall, the editor of Junius's 'Letters'. (See
note to l. 162.)

l. 120. -----
"To act as an angel". There is a sub-ironic touch in
this phrase which should not be overlooked. Cf. l. 102.

l. 125. -----
"Here Hickey reclines". See note to l. 15. In
Cumberland's 'Poetical Epistle to Dr. Goldsmith; or Supplement
to his Retaliation' {'Gentleman's Magazine', Aug. 1778, p. 384)
Hickey's genial qualities are thus referred to:--

Give RIDGE and HICKY, generous souls!
Of WHISKEY PUNCH convivial bowls.

l. 134. -----
"a special attorney". A special attorney was merely an
attorney who practised in one court only. The species is now
said to be extinct.

l. 135. -----
"burn ye". The annotator of the second edition,
apologizing for this 'forced' rhyme to 'attorney,' informs the
English reader that the phrase of 'burn ye' is 'a familiar
method of salutation in Ireland amongst the lower classes of the

l. 137. -----
"Here Reynolds is laid". This shares the palm with the
admirable epitaphs on Garrick and Burke. But Goldsmith loved
Reynolds, and there are no satiric strokes in the picture. If we
are to believe Malone (Reynolds's 'Works', second edition, 1801,
i. xc), 'these were the last lines the author wrote.'

l. 140. -----
"bland". Malone ('ut supra', lxxxix) notes this word
as 'eminently happy, and characteristick of his [Reynolds's]
easy and placid manners.' Boswell (Dedication of 'Life of
Johnson') refers to his 'equal and placid temper.' Cf. also Dean
Barnard's verses (Northcote's 'Life of Reynolds', 2nd ed., 1819,
i. 220), and Mrs. Piozzi's lines in her 'Autobiography', 2nd
ed., 1861, ii. 175-6.

l. 146. -----
"He shifted his trumpet". While studying Raphael in
the Vatican in 1751, Reynolds caught so severe a cold 'as to
occasion a deafness which obliged him to use an ear-trumpet for
the remainder of his life.' (Taylor and Leslie's 'Reynolds',
1865, i. 50.) This instrument figures in a portrait of himself
which he painted for Thrale about 1775. See also Zoffany's
picture of the 'Academicians gathered about the model in the
Life School at Somerset House,' 1772, where he is shown
employing it to catch the conversation of Wilton and Chambers.

"and only took snuff". Sir Joshua was a great snuff-taker. His
snuff-box, described in the Catalogue as the one 'immortalized
in Goldsmith's 'Retaliation',' was exhibited, with his
spectacles and other personal relics, at the Grosvenor Gallery
in 1883-4. In the early editions this epitaph breaks off
abruptly at the word 'snuff.' But Malone says that half a line
more had been written. Prior gives this half line as 'By
flattery unspoiled --,' and affirms that among several erasures
in the manuscript sketch devoted to Reynolds it 'remained
unaltered.' ('Life', 1837, ii. 499.) See notes to ll. 53, 56,
and 91 of 'The Haunch of Venison'.

l. 147. -----
"Here Whitefoord reclines". The circumstances which
led to the insertion of these lines in the fifth edition are
detailed in the prefatory words of the publisher given at p. 92.
There is more than a suspicion that Whitefoord wrote them
himself; but they have too long been accepted as an appendage to
the poem to be now displaced. Caleb Whitefoord (born 1734) was a
Scotchman, a wine-merchant, and an art connoisseur, to whom J.
T. Smith, in his 'Life of Nollekens', 1828, i. 333-41, devotes
several pages. He was one of the party at the St. James's
Coffee-house. He died in 1810. There is a caricature of him in
'Connoisseurs inspecting a Collection of George Morland,'
November, 16, 1807; and Wilkie's 'Letter of Introduction', 1814,
was a reminiscence of a visit which, when he first came to
London, he paid to Whitefoord. He was also painted by Reynolds
and Stuart. Hewins's 'Whitefoord Papers', 1898, throw no light
upon the story of the epitaph.

l. 148. -----
"a grave man". Cf. 'Romeo and Juliet', Act iii, Sc. 1:
-- 'Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me 'a grave man'.'
This Shakespearean recollection is a little like Goldsmith's
way. (See note to 'The Haunch of Venison', l. 120.)

l. 150. -----
"and rejoic'd in a pun". 'Mr. W. is so notorious a
punster, that Doctor Goldsmith used to say, it was impossible to
keep him company, without being 'infected' with the 'itch of
punning'.' (Note to fifth edition.)

l. 160. -----
'"if the table he set on a roar".' Cf. 'Hamlet', Act
v, Sc. I.

l. 162. -----
"Woodfall", i.e. Henry Sampson Woodfall, printer of
'The Public Advertiser'. He died in 1805. (See note to l. 115.)

l. 170. -----
"Cross-Readings, Ship-News, and Mistakes of the Press".
Over the 'nom de guerre' of 'Papyrius Cursor,' a real Roman
name, but as happy in its applicability as Thackeray's 'Manlius
Pennialinus,' Whitefoord contributed many specimens of this
mechanic wit to 'The Public Advertiser'. The 'Cross Readings'
were obtained by taking two or three columns of a newspaper
horizontally and 'onwards' instead of 'vertically' and
downwards, thus:--

Colds caught at this season are
The Companion to the Playhouse.
To be sold to the best Bidder,
My seat in Parliament being vacated.

A more elaborate example is

On Tuesday an address was presented;
it unhappily missed fire and the villain made off,
when the honour of knighthood was conferred on him
to the great joy of that noble family

Goldsmith was hugely delighted with Whitefoord's 'lucky
inventions' when they first became popular in 1766. 'He
declared, in the heat of his admiration of them, it would have
given him more pleasure to have been the author of them than of
all the works he had ever published of his own' (Northcote's
'Life of Reynolds', 2nd ed., 1819, i. 217). What is perhaps more
remarkable is, that Johnson spoke of Whitefoord's performances
as 'ingenious and diverting' (Birkbeck Hill's 'Boswell', 1887,
iv. 322); and Horace Walpole laughed over them till he cried
(Letter to Montagu, December 12, 1766). To use Voltaire's
witticism, he is 'bien heureux' who can laugh now. It may be
added that Whitefoord did not, as he claimed, originate the
'Cross Readings.' They had been anticipated in No. 49 of
Harrison's spurious 'Tatler', vol. v [1720].

The fashion of the 'Ship-News' was in this wise: 'August 25
[1765]. We hear that his Majestys Ship 'Newcastle' will soon
have a new figurehead, the old one being almost worn out.' The
'Mistakes of the Press' explain themselves. (See also Smith's
'Life of Nollekens', 1828, i. 336-7; Debrett's 'New Foundling
Hospital for Wit', 1784, vol. ii, and 'Gentleman's Magazine',
1810, p. 300.)

l. 172. -----
"That a Scot may have humour, I had almost said wit".
Goldsmith, -- if he wrote these verses, -- must have forgotten
that he had already credited Whitefoord with 'wit' in l. 153.

l. 174. -----
"Thou best humour'd man with the worst humour'd muse".
Cf. Rochester of Lord Buckhurst, afterwards Earl of Dorset:--
The best good man, with the worst-natur'd muse.

Whitefoord's contribution to the epitaphs on Goldsmith is said
to have been unusually severe, -- so severe that four only of
its eight lines are quoted in the 'Whitefoord Papers', 1898, the
rest being 'unfit for publication' (p. xxvii). He afterwards
addressed a metrical apology to Sir Joshua, which is printed at
pp. 217-8 of Northcote's 'Life', 2nd ed., 1819. See also
Forster's 'Goldsmith', 1871, ii. 408-9.


Boswell, to whom we are indebted for the preservation of this
lively song, sent it to 'The London Magazine' for June, 1774
(vol. xliii, p. 295), with the following:--

'To the Editor of 'The London Magazine'.
SIR, -- I send you a small production of the late Dr. 'Goldsmith', which
has never been published, and which might perhaps have been totally lost
had I not secured it. He intended it as a song in the character of Miss
'Hardcastle', in his admirable comedy, 'She stoops to conquer'; but it
was left out, as Mrs. 'Bulkley' who played the part did not sing. He
sung it himself in private companies very agreeably. The tune is a
pretty Irish air, called 'The Humours of Balamagairy', to which, he told
me, he found it very difficult to adapt words; but he has succeeded
happily in these few lines. As I could sing the tune, and was fond of
them, he was so good as to give me them about a year ago, just as I was
leaving London, and bidding him adieu for that season, little
apprehending that it was a last farewell. I preserve this little relick
in his own handwriting with an affectionate care.
I am, Sir,
Your humble Servant,

When, seventeen years later, Boswell published his 'Life of Samuel
Johnson, LL.D.', he gave an account of his dining at General
Oglethorpe's in April, 1773, with Johnson and Goldsmith; and he says
that the latter sang the 'Three Jolly Pigeons', and this song, to the
ladies in the tea-room. Croker, in a note, adds that the younger Colman
more appropriately employed the 'essentially low comic' air for Looney
Mactwolter in the ['Review; or the] Wags of Windsor', 1808 [i.e. in that
character's song beginning -- 'Oh, whack! Cupid's a mannikin'], and that
Moore tried to bring it into good company in the ninth number of the
'Irish Melodies'. But Croker did not admire the tune, and thought poorly
of Goldsmith's words. Yet they are certainly fresher than Colman's or

Sing -- sing -- Music was given,
To brighten the gay, and kindle the loving;
Souls here, like planets in Heaven,
By harmony's laws alone are kept moving, etc.


These lines, which appear at p. 312 of vol. V of the 'History of the
Earth and Animated Nature', 1774, are freely translated from some Latin
verses by Addison in No 412 of the 'Spectator', where they are
introduced as follows:-- 'Thus we see that every different Species of
sensible Creatures has its different Notions of Beauty, and that each of
them is most affected with the Beauties of its own kind. This is nowhere
more remarkable than in Birds of the same Shape and Proportion, where we
often see the Male determined in his Courtship by the single Grain or
Tincture of a Feather, and never discovering any Charms but in the
Colour of its own Species.' Addison's lines, of which Goldsmith
translated the first fourteen only, are printed from his corrected MS.
at p. 4 of 'Some Portions of Essays contributed to the Spectator by Mr.
Joseph Addison [by the late J. Dykes Campbell], 1864.


It is supposed that this poem was written early in 1771, although it was
not printed until 1776, when it was published by G. Kearsly and J.
Ridley under the title of 'The Haunch of Venison, a Poetical Epistle to
the Lord Clare. By the late Dr. Goldsmith. With a Head of the Author,
Drawn by Henry Bunbury, Esq; and Etched by [James] Bretherton.' A second
edition, the text of which is here followed, appeared in the same year
'With considerable Additions and Corrections, Taken from the Author's
'last' Transcript.' The Lord Clare to whom the verses are addressed was
Robert Nugent, of Carlanstown, Westmeath, M.P. for St. Mawes in 1741-54.
In 1766 he was created Viscount Clare; in 1776 Earl Nugent. In his youth
he had himself been an easy if not very original versifier; and there
are several of his performances in the second volume of Dodsley's
'Collection of Poems by Several Hands', 4th ed., 1755. One of the
Epistles, beginning 'Clarinda, dearly lov'd, attend The Counsels of a
faithful friend,' seems to have betrayed Goldsmith into the blunder of
confusing it, in the 'Poems for Young Ladies'. 1767, p. 114, with
Lyttelton's better-known 'Advice to a Lady' ('The counsels of a friend,
Belinda, hear'), also in Dodsley's miscellany; while another piece, an
'Ode to William Pultney, Esq.', contains a stanza so good that Gibbon
worked it into his character of Brutus:--

What tho' the good, the brave, the wise,
With adverse force undaunted rise,
To break th' eternal doom!
Tho' CATO liv'd, tho' TULLY spoke,
Tho' BRUTUS dealt the godlike stroke,
Yet perish'd fated ROME.

Detraction, however, has insinuated that Mallet, his step-son's tutor,
was Nugent's penholder in this instance. 'Mr. Nugent sure did not write
his own Ode,' says Gray to Walpole (Gray's 'Works', by Gosse, 1884, ii.
220). Earl Nugent died in Dublin in October, 1788, and was buried at
Gosfield in Essex, a property he had acquired with his second wife. A
'Memoir' of him was written in 1898 by Mr. Claud Nugent. He is described
by Cunningham as 'a big, jovial, voluptuous Irishman, with a loud voice,
a strong Irish accent, and a ready though coarse wit.' According to
Percy ('Memoir', 1801, p. 66), he had been attracted to Goldsmith by the
publication of 'The Traveller' in 1764, and he mentioned him favourably
to the Earl of Northumberland, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. A note
in Forster's 'Life', 1871, ii. 329-30, speaks of Goldsmith as a frequent
visitor at Gosfield, and at Nugent's house in Great George Street,
Westminster, where he had often for playmate his host's daughter, Mary,
afterwards Marchioness of Buckingham.

Scott and others regarded 'The Haunch of Venison' as autobiographical.
To what extent this is the case, it is difficult to say. That it
represents the actual thanks of the poet to Lord Clare for an actual
present of venison, part of which he promptly transferred to Reynolds,
is probably the fact. But, as the following notes show, it is also clear
that Goldsmith borrowed, if not his entire fable, at least some of its
details from Boileau's third satire; and that, in certain of the lines,
he had in memory Swift's 'Grand Question Debated', the measure of which
he adopts. This throws more than a doubt upon the truth of the whole.
'His genius' (as Hazlitt says) 'was a mixture of originality and
imitation'; and fact and fiction often mingle inseparably in his work.
The author of the bailiff scene in the 'Good Natur'd Man' was quite
capable of inventing for the nonce the tragedy of the unbaked pasty, or
of selecting from the Pilkingtons and Purdons of his acquaintance such
appropriate guests for his Mile End Amphitryon as the writers of the
'Snarler' and the 'Scourge'. It may indeed even be doubted whether, if
'The Haunch of Venison' had been absolute personal history, Goldsmith
would ever have retailed it to his noble patron at Gosfield, although it
may include enough of real experience to serve as the basis for a 'jeu

l. 4. -----
"The fat was so white, etc." The first version reads --
'The white was so white, and the red was so ruddy.'

l. 5. -----
"Though my stomach was sharp, etc." This couplet is not
in the first version.

l. 10. -----
"One gammon of bacon". Prior compared a passage from
Goldsmith's 'Animated Nature', 1774, iii. 9, 'a propos' of a
similar practice in Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. 'A piece
of beef,' he says, 'hung up there, is considered as an elegant
piece of furniture, which, though seldom touched, at least
argues the possessor's opulence and ease.'

l. 14. -----
"a bounce", i.e. a braggart falsehood. Steele, in No.
16 of 'The Lover', 1715, p. 110, says of a manifest piece of
brag, 'But this is supposed to be only a 'Bounce'.'

l. 18. -----
"Mr. Byrne", spelled 'Burn' in the earlier editions, was
a relative of Lord Clare.

l. 24. -----
"M--r--'s." MONROE's in the first version. 'Dorothy
Monroe,' says Bolton Corney, 'whose various charms are
celebrated in verse by Lord Townshend.'

l. 27. -----
"There's H--d, and C--y, and H--rth, and H--ff". In the
first version --
'There's COLEY, and WILLIAMS, and HOWARD, and HIFF.'

-- Hiff was Paul Hiffernan, M.B., 1719-77, a Grub Street author
and practitioner. Bolton Corney hazards some conjectures as to
the others; but Cunningham wisely passes them over.

l. 29. -----
"H--gg--ns". Perhaps, suggests Bolton Corney, this was
the Captain Higgins who assisted at Goldsmith's absurd 'fracas'
with Evans the bookseller, upon the occasion of Kenrick's
letter in 'The London Packet' for March 24, 1773. Other
accounts, however, state that his companion was Captain Horneck
(Prior, 'Life', 1837, ii. 411-12). This couplet is not in the
first version

l. 33. -----
"Such dainties to them, etc." The first version reads:--

Such dainties to them! It 'would' look like a flirt,
Like sending 'em Ruffles when wanting a Shirt.

Cunningham quotes a similar idea from T. Brown's 'Laconics,
Works', 1709, iv. 14. 'To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of
Burgundy, or fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of lace
ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back.' But
Goldsmith, as was his wont, had already himself employed the
same figure. 'Honours to one in my situation,' he says in a
letter to his brother Maurice, in January, 1770, when speaking
of his appointment as Professor of Ancient History to the Royal
Academy, 'are something like ruffles to a man that wants a
shirt' ('Percy Memoir', 1801, 87-8). His source was probably,
not Brown's 'Laconics', but those French 'ana' he knew so well.
According to M. J. J. Jusserand ('English Essays from a French
Pen', 1895, pp. 160-1), the originator of this conceit was M.
Samuel de Sorbieres, the traveller in England who was assailed
by Bishop Sprat. Considering himself inadequately rewarded by
his patrons, Mazarin, Louis XIV, and Pope Clement IX, he said
bitterly -- 'They give lace cuffs to a man without a shirt'; a
'consolatory witticism' which he afterwards remodelled into, 'I
wish they would send me bread for the butter they kindly
provided me with.' In this form it appears in the Preface to the
'Sorberiana', Toulouse, 1691.

"a flirt" is a jibe or jeer. 'He would sometimes...cast out a
jesting 'flirt' at me.' (Morley's 'History of Thomas Ellwood',
1895, p. 104.) Swift also uses the word.

l. 37. -----
"An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow, etc." The first
version reads --

A fine-spoken Custom-house Officer he,
Who smil'd as he gaz'd on the Ven'son and me.

l. 44. -----
"but I hate ostentation". Cf. Beau Tibbs:-- 'She was
bred, 'but that's between ourselves', under the inspection of
the Countess of All-night.' ('Citizen of the World', 1762, i.

l. 49. -----
"We'll have Johnson, and Burke". Cf. Boileau, 'Sat.'
iii. Ll. 25-6, which Goldsmith had in mind:--

Moliere avec Tartufe y doit jouer son role,
Et Lambert, qui plus est, m'a donne sa parole.

l. 53. -----
"What say you -- a pasty? It shall, and it must". The
first version reads --

I'll take no denial -- you shall, and you must.

Mr. J. H. Lobban, 'Goldsmith, Select Poems', 1900, notes a
hitherto undetected similarity between this and the 'It 'must',
and it 'shall' be a barrack, my life' of Swift's 'Grand Question
Debated'. See also ll. 56 and 91.

l. 56. "No stirring, I beg -- my dear friend -- my dear
friend". In the first edition --

No words, my dear GOLDSMITH! my very good Friend!

Mr. Lobban compares:--
'Good morrow, good captain.' 'I'll wait on you down,' --
'You shan't stir a foot.' 'You'll think me a clown.'

l. 60. -----
"'And nobody with me at sea but myself.'" This is
almost a textual quotation from one of the letters of Henry
Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, to Lady Grosvenor, a
correspondence which in 1770 gave great delight to contemporary
caricaturists and scandal-mongers. Other poets besides Goldsmith
seem to have been attracted by this particular lapse of his
illiterate Royal Highness, since it is woven into a ballad
printed in 'The Public Advertiser' for August 2 in the above

The Miser who wakes in a Fright for his Pelf,
And finds 'no one by him except his own Self', etc.

l. 67. -----
"When come to the place", etc.
Cf. Boileau, 'ut supra', ll. 31-4:--

A peine etais-je entre, que ravi de me voir,
Mon homme, en m'embrassant, m'est venu recevoir;
Et montrant a mes yeux une allegresse entiere,
Nous n'avons, m'a-t-il dit, ni Lambert ni Moliere.

Lambert the musician, it may be added, had the special
reputation of accepting engagements which he never kept.

l. 72. -----
"and t'other with Thrale". Henry Thrale, the Southwark
brewer, and the husband of Mrs. Thrale, afterwards Mrs. Piozzi.
Johnson first made his acquaintance in 1765. Strahan complained
to Boswell that, by this connexion, Johnson 'was in a great
measure absorbed from the society of his old friends.' (Birkbeck
Hill's 'Boswell', 1887, iii. 225.) Line 72 in the first edition
reads --

The one at the House, and the other with THRALE.

l. 76. -----
"They both of them merry and authors like you". 'They'
should apparently be 'they're.' The first version reads --

Who dabble and write in the Papers -- like you.

l. 78. -----
"Some think he writes Cinna -- he owns to Panurge".
'Panurge' and 'Cinna' are signatures which were frequently to be
found at the foot of letters addressed to the 'Public
Advertiser' in 1770-1 in support of Lord Sandwich and the
Government. They are said to have been written by Dr. W. Scott,
Vicar of Simonburn, Northumberland, and chaplain of Greenwich
Hospital, both of which preferments had been given him by
Sandwich. In 1765 he had attacked Lord Bute and his policy over
the signature of 'Anti-Sejanus.' 'Sandwich and his parson
Anti-Sejanus [are] hooted off the stage' -- writes Walpole to
Mann, March 21, 1766. According to Prior, it was Scott who
visited Goldsmith in his Temple chambers, and invited him to
'draw a venal quill' for Lord North's administration.
Goldsmith's noble answer, as reported by his reverend friend,
was -- 'I can earn as much as will supply my wants without
writing for any party; the assistance therefore you offer is
unnecessary to me.' ('Life', 1837, ii. 278.) There is a
caricature portrait of Scott at p. 141 of 'The London Museum'
for February, 1771, entitled 'Twitcher's Advocate,' 'Jemmy
Twitcher' being the nickname of Lord Sandwich.

l. 82. -----
"Swinging', great, huge. 'Bishop Lowth has just
finished the Dramas, and sent me word, that although I have paid
him the most 'swinging' compliment he ever received, he likes
the whole book more than he can say.' ('Memoirs of Hannah More',
1834, i. 236.)

l. 84. -----
"pasty". The first version has 'Ven'son.'

l. 87. -----
"So there I sat, etc." This couplet is not in the first

l. 91. -----
"And, 'Madam,' quoth he". Mr. Lobban again quotes
Swift's 'Grant Question Debated':--

And 'Madam,' says he, 'if such dinners you give
You'll ne'er want for parsons as long as you live.'

These slight resemblances, coupled with the more obvious
likeness of the 'Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff' of
'Retaliation' (ll. 145-6) to the 'Noveds' and 'Bluturks' and
'Omurs' and stuff' (also pointed out by Mr. Lobban) are
interesting, because they show plainly that Goldsmith remembered
the works of Swift far better than 'The New Bath Guide', which
has sometimes been supposed to have set the tune to the 'Haunch'
and 'Retaliation'.

l. 91. -----
"'may this bit be my poison.'" The gentleman in 'She
Stoops to Conquer', Act i, who is 'obligated to dance a bear.'
Uses the same asseveration. Cf. also Squire Thornhill's
somewhat similar formula in chap. vii of 'The Vicar of
Wakefield', 1766, i. 59.

l. 95. -----
"'The tripe,' quoth the Jew, etc". The first version
reads --

'Your Tripe!' quoth the 'Jew', 'if the truth I may speak,
I could eat of this Tripe seven days in the week.'

l. 103. -----
"Re-echoed", i.e. 'returned' in the first edition.

l. 104. -----
"thot". This, probably by a printer's error, is
altered to 'that' in the second version. But the first reading
is the more in keeping, besides being a better rhyme.

l. 110. -----
"Wak'd Priam". Cf. 2 'Henry IV', Act I, Sc. 1:--

Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night.
And would have told him half his Troy was burnt.

l. 120. -----
"sicken'd over by learning". Cf. 'Hamlet', Act iii,
Sc. 1:

And thus the native hue of resolution
Is 'sicklied o'er' with the pale cast of thought.

Notwithstanding the condemnation of Shakespeare in the 'Present
State of Polite Learning', and elsewhere, Goldsmith frequently
weaves Shakespearean recollections into his work. Cf. 'She
Stoops to Conquer', 1773, Act i, p. 13, 'We wanted no ghost to
tell us that' ('Hamlet', Act i, Sc. 5); and Act i, p. 9, where
he uses Falstaff's words (1 'Henry IV', Act v, Sc. 1):--

Would it were bed-time and all were well.

l. 121. -----
"as very well known". The first version has,

''tis very well known.'


This epitaph, apparently never used, was published with 'The Haunch of
Venison', 1776; and is supposed to have been written about 1770. In that
year Goldsmith wrote a 'Life of Thomas Parnell, D.D.', to accompany an
edition of his poems, printed for Davies of Russell Street. Parnell was
born in 1679, and died at Chester in 1718, on his way to Ireland. He was
buried at Trinity Church in that town, on the 24th of October. Goldsmith
says that his father and uncle both knew Parnell ('Life of Parnell',
1770, p. v), and that he received assistance from the poet's nephew, Sir
John Parnell, the singing gentleman who figures in Hogarth's 'Election
Entertainment'. Why Goldsmith should write an epitaph upon a man who
died ten years before his own birth, is not easy to explain. But Johnson
also wrote a Latin one, which he gave to Boswell. (Birkbeck Hill's
'Life', 1887, iv. 54.)

l. 1. -----
"gentle Parnell's Name". Mitford compares Pope on
Parnell ['Epistle to Harley', 1. iv]:--

With softest manners, gentlest Arts adorn'd.

Pope published Parnell's 'Poems' in 1722, and his sending them
to Harley, Earl of Oxford, after the latter's disgrace and
retirement, was the occasion of the foregoing epistle, from
which the following lines respecting Parnell may also be cited:--

For him, thou oft hast bid the World attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For SWIFT and him despis'd the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dext'rous the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from Flattery to Wit.

l. 3. -----
"his sweetly-moral lay". Cf. 'The Hermit', the 'Hymn to
Contentment', the 'Night Piece on Death' -- which Goldsmith
certainly recalled in his own 'City Night-Piece'. Of the
last-named Goldsmith says ('Life of Parnell', 1770, p. xxxii),
not without an obvious side-stroke at Gray's too-popular
'Elegy', that it 'deserves every praise, and I should suppose
with very little amendment, might be made to surpass all those
night pieces and church yard scenes that have since appeared.'
This is certainly (as Longfellow sings) to

.....rustling hear in every breeze
The laurels of Miltiades.

Of Parnell, Hume wrote ('Essays', 1770, i. 244) that 'after the
fiftieth reading; [he] is as fresh as at the first.' But Gray
(speaking -- it should be explained -- of a dubious volume of
his posthumous works) said: 'Parnell is the dung-hill of Irish
Grub Street' (Gosse's Gray's 'Works', 1884, ii. 372). Meanwhile,
it is his fate to-day to be mainly remembered by three words
(not always attributed to him) in a couplet from what Johnson
styled 'perhaps the meanest' of his performances, the 'Elegy --
to an Old Beauty':--

And all that's madly wild, or oddly gay,
We call it only 'pretty Fanny's way'.


This, though dated 'Edinburgh 1753,' was first printed in 'Poems
and Plays', 1777, p. 79.

l. 1. -----
"John Trott" is a name for a clown or commonplace
character. Miss Burney ('Diary', 1904, i. 222) says of Dr.
Delap:-- 'As to his person and appearance, they are much in the
'John-trot' style.' Foote, Chesterfield, and Walpole use the
phrase; Fielding Scotticizes it into 'John Trott-Plaid, Esq.';
and Bolingbroke employs it as a pseudonym.

l. 6. -----
"I shall ne'er see your graces". 'I shall never see a
Goose again without thinking on Mr. 'Neverout',' -- says the
'brilliant Miss Notable' in Swift's 'Polite Conversation', 1738,


Back to Full Books