Oliver Goldsmith: 1728-1774


Life
1728: b. 10 Nov., Pallasmore [Pallas], Forgney, Co. Longford (or poss. Ardnagowan near Elphin); a forebear called John Goldsmith was rector of Bourishoull, Co., Mayo, in 1641 and narrowly escaped death in the rebellion [‘Popish massacre’]; Oliver was 2nd son of a poor Anglican clergyman, and Anne Jones, dg. of Oliver Jones, of Smith Hill House, who was head of diocesan school at Elphin; had a br. Charles, who later followed him to London; the family moved to Lissoy on his father receiving the living of Kilkenny West, nr. Ballymahon, Co. Westmeath, 1730; ed. Lissoy [autograph var. Lishoy], under Thomas Byrne, and diocesan school of Elphin, Co. Roscommon; also briefly at Athlone, and later at Edgeworthstown under Rev. Patrick Hughes; contracts smallpox; enters TCD as a sizar, 11 June, 1745 [var. 1744], his tutor being Theaker Wilder, a mathematician; attends plays at Royal Theatre and neglects studies; falls to bottom of his class in theology and law; suffers death of his father 1747, after which the house at Lissoy passed to Mr. Hudson, married to OG’s sister Catherine; his mother settles at Ballymahon, in straightened circumstances; his br. Henry became curate in his father’s former living, taught school, living at Pallas - establishing a happy family and a reputation for kindness; OG put under the charge of an uncle, Contarine; makes money by selling songs to Hicks for printing [vide Colm Ó Lochlainn, More Irish Street Ballads, 1965]; friendship with college friend Robert Bryanton, the scion of Ballymulvey House, led to frolics in neighbourhood of Ballymahon;
 
wins college prize, and riots with the money by conducting a party with town women in his rooms; knocked down by his tutor, Wilder, and quits college; his re-entrance to college secured by his br. Henry, then already in orders; formally admonished in connection with the Black Dog riot, which left two townspeople dead and resulting the explusion of four students; grad. 27 BA Feb. 1749 [O.C. - vars. 1748; 1750, Swarbrick, ed.]; sets out walking to Cork with view to emigration, but turns back for Lissoy after three days, 1749; suffered a rift with his mother (‘I have a sneaking fondness for her still’); rejected for Holy Orders by Bishop of Elphin because of inappropriateness of his dress (red breeches), 1751; supplied with £50 by an uncle to study law in London (Inner Temple) but loses it on cards in Dublin; goes to Edinburgh to study medicine, again supported by his uncle, Sept. 1752-Feb. 1753; attends soirées of Duke of Hamilton and is regarded as ‘the facetious Irishman’; imprisoned Newcastle on suspicion of recruiting for French;
 
1755: OG travels to continent and remains at Leyden until 1755; wanders in France, Switzerland, and Italy, 1755-56 (‘remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow’); perhaps becomes MD at Louvain or Padua; visits Voltaire at Lausanne; returns to England, arriving at Dover, 1 Feb. 1756; reaches London destitute; sets up as physician in Southwark, and takes teaching work at Dr. Milner’s school at Peckham; there he meets the publisher Ralph Griffiths and commences writing for the Monthly Review, 1757, producing more than 90 notices, including a review of Burke’s Philosophical inquiry ... into the sublime and beautiful; seeks employment as surgeon’s mate in the Royal Navy, and found not qualifed at examination, 21 Dec. 1758; OG parts with Griffiths after seven months, accusing him of ‘falsifying’ his writing, 1759; engaged by Smollett on British Magazine, 1759; issues first independent work, Memoirs of a Protestant, condemned to the Galleys of France, for his Religion, a translation; fails to qualify for med. post in India Company, 1758; issues Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning (April 1759), makes acquaintance with Bishop Thomas Percy of Reliques fame, who would later write Memoir of Goldsmith (1801); OG writes short life of Bishop Berkeley, replete with Irish anecdote (1759); contribs. to Critical Review et al.; contribs. article on Carolan to British Magazine (July 1760);
 
1760: encounters John Newbery and worked for him on the Public Ledger, his first piece appearing 12 Jan. 1760; OG occupies upper room in Newbury’s home, Canonbury House, Islington at times during 1760-69; 123 “Chinese Letters” published in the Public Ledger, 1760-62, later collected as Citizen of the World; or Letters from a Chinese Philosopher residing in London to his Friends in the East (1762) and containing the characters Beau Tibbs, Mrs Tibbs, and ‘the Man in Black’, a self-portrait [1761]; moves from Green Arbour Court to better rooms at Wine Office Court, Fleet St.; becomes acquainted with Garrick, Murphy, Smart, Bickerstaff, and a member of Johnson’s Club, 1760; entertains a party incl. Percy and Johnson, 31 May 1761; writes abridgement of Voltaire (1761); writes a Life of Beau Nash (1762); experiences illness and visits spas, 1763; first meets Boswell, who disparaged him in his Life of Johnson, 1763; issued History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764), anonymously published and attributed on style to Chesterfield, Lord Orrery, and Lord Lyttleton [var. Aug. 1771 CAB]; secures patronage of Lord Clare with his Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (Dec. 1764), the first work to appear under his own name, and compared by Johnson to work of Pope; receives £20 for the poem, which Newbery sold through numerous editions; moves from Wine Court to the Temple; reputedly wrote Goody Two Shoes;
 
1765: an edition of his collected essays printed in 1765; enters dispute with a chemist over a prescription, being ejected from the house of a lady he had offered to help as a physician, 1765; Boswell reports that Johnson visited him in poverty and removes the manuscript of The Vicar of Wakefield for sale; known to have been purchased by Newbery with Collins and another, for £21 on 21 Oct. 1762, the copyright being sold to Francis Newbery, nephew of John, at a profit of £63; not published until 1766 (96th edn. 1889), probably in view of sale of The Traveller; Vicar of Wakefield quickly running to three editions during 1766, the fourth edn. starting at a loss; wrote a short English grammar for five guineas; wrote History of Rome (1769) [var. Roman History], for booksellers; death of Newbery, 1767;
 
1767: The Goodnatur’d Man was rejected by Garrick in favour of a comedy by Hugh Kelly, 1767, and then taken up by Colman the Elder to be performed at Covent Garden, 1768, with a gloomy prologue by Johnson who attended the rehearsals as an encouragement; ran for ten nights only; printed with a Preface attacking the fashion for sentimental drama or ‘genteel comedy’, supposedly by Goldsmith himself but probably by Arthur Murphy; used proceeds, c.£500, from play and publication, to move to newly-furnished chambers; occupied cottage on Edgeware Rd., returning in October; published History of Rome (May 1769); issued The Deserted Village (26 May 1770), running to a fifth edition by August; issued Life of Parnell (1770); travelled to Paris with the Horneck family (Mrs Horneck, Mary, and Catherine, 1770, Mary, whom he met at 14, being his ‘Jessamy Bride’ (later m. H. W. Bunbury); writes The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (publ. posthum 1776), in return for a gift of Lord Clare; agreed with Davies to write a Life of Bolingbroke (Dec. 1770);
 
1773: published anonymously “An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy in Westminster Gazette (Jan. 1773, pp.4-6), criticising the latter; increasingly plunged in death through expensive living; She Stoops to Conquer (Covent Garden, March 1773), a tale of ‘mistakes of the night’ concerning class confusions, and produced after interventions by Johnson; altercation with Thomas Evans and the editor of The London Packet, in which appeared ‘Tom Tickle’, an insulting letter mocking his tender feelings for ‘the lovely H-k’;
1774: publishes The Retaliation (1774), containing celebrated lines on Burke, Garrick, Cumberland, et al.; The History of Greece (1774); An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. (posthum. 1774), commissioned 1769, and paided for long before delivery, often ridiculed for its preposterous inventions; removed to country lodgings nr. Hyde to write and recoup his fortune; returned ill to London; embarked on “The Retaliation”, and is writing of Reynolds (‘by flattery unspoiled’) at the time when he suffers his final attack;d. 5.00 a.m., 4 April 1774, of strangury (congestion of bladder) and fever; reputed last words, ‘I am not at ease in my mind’; bur. Temple Church, monument at expense of The Club in Westminster Abbey, with Latin epitaph by Johnson (‘qui omnes fere scribendi genus tetigit, et nullum tetigit, quod non ornavit [there was almost no subject he did not write about, and he wrote on nothing without enhancing it]’ - who also remarked to Boswell, ‘Let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man’ (Prior, Life of Goldsmith); Samuel Johnson considered Goldsmith ‘a very great man’ and there are extensive references to him in Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson - often as a butt to contemporary literary men‘s humour; for Goethe he stood with Shakespeare and Sterne as leading influences;
 
Post-hum.: Miscellaneous Works of Goldsmith (1801), with Percy’s Memoir of Goldsmith; Dublin editions of poems and plays in 1777 and 1780; English edns. in 1831 and 1846; an edition of Vicar of Wakefield appeared in 1843 with ills. by William Mulready; the edition of Deserted Village by R. H. Newell (1811), contains the first account of the locality of the eponymous village, with engravings of same by Aitkin; remembered for his kindness to the common people among whom he lived; characterised as consummate booby in Boswell’s Life of Johnson; statue by J. H. Foley at College Green on front of TCD West Gate, 1864; James Prior wrote a life of Goldsmith (2 vols., 1836), to accompany an edition of the Works issued in (4 vols. 1836-37); others were written by Washington Irving (1844), John Foster (1848); Peter Cunningham’s edition of the Works (1854) was the first issue of Murray’s British Classics, and reissued with an introduction by Austin Dobson (1900); it fell to Sydney Owenson [later Lady Morgan], in The Wild Irish Girl (1806), to identify him as an Irish writer whose pen captured the scenes of his native country, a theme reiterated by John Montague and others; a modern edition of The Vicar of Wakefield was ill. by Hugh Thompson; Tom Murphy dramatised The Vicar of Wakefield [c.1975], and adapted She Stoops to Conquer to an Irish setting. RR CAB ODNB PI JMC ODQ DIB DIW DIL OCEL NCBE OCIL FDA
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1. Goldsmith by Reynolds (1770)
2. Goldmith by J. H. Foley (1864) 3. Summerfield (after Reynolds) 4. Foley’s Goldsmith (TCD)

[ Note: The bronze maquette by John Henry Foley was auctioned at Sotheby’s (London) for £23,000 in 2007. ]

Works
Individual editions, Citizen of the World (1760-61); The Traveller (1764); The Deserted Village (1770); The Vicar of Wakefield (1766); The Good Natur’d Man (1768); An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy (1773) [anon., Westminster Gazette, Jan. 1773]; She Stoops to Conquer (1774); History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. [see also infra]; The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (London: G. Kearsly & J. Ridley 1776), 4o. Also, Lives of Dr Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with The Bee (Belfast 1818), vi, 243pp.

RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - full-text editions
“The Deserted Village” (1770) The Vicar of Wakefield (1776)

Collected Editions: The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B., 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, C. & J. Robinson 1801); R. S. Crane, ed., New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (Chicago UP 1927); Katherine [Canby] Balderston, ed., The Collected Letters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1928); Arthur Friedman, The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon P. 1966); John Lucas, ed., Oliver Goldsmith, Selected Writings (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1990); Alan Rudrum & Peter Dixon, eds., Selected poems of Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith [Arnold’s English Texts] (London: Edward Arnold 1965), 146pp.

Bibliography, Temple Scott, Oliver Goldsmith Biographically and Bibliographically Considered (NY 1928); Katherine Canby Balderston, A Census of the Manuscripts of Oliver Goldsmith (NY 1926).

Miscellaneous Works” (var. edns.), The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems (London: W. Griffin 1775), iv, [9-]200pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Griffin 1778), vi, 225pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1780; 1782; 1784; 1786), vi, 225pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1786), 238pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin; Gainsbro’: H. Mozley 1789), 238pp.,. 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Consisting of his essays, poems, plays [ &c.], 2 vols. (Edinburgh, Perth: R. Morison & Sons 1791), 12o; The miscellaneous works, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Geo. Mudie 1792), 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith; now first uniformly collected, 7 vols. (Perth: R. Morison & Son; Edinburgh: A. Guthrie 1792) plates, port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems; with an account of the life and writings of the author. A new and correct edition (London: J. Deighton 1793), xli, 288pp., 12o; another edn. (Glasgow: J. & M. Robertson, et al. 1795), another edn. (Boston [Mass.]: Thomas & Andrews, 1795), 237pp. 12o; [Samuel Rose, ed.,] The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. A new edition, To which is prefixed, some account of his life and writings [by Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore], 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, et al. 1801; 1806), pls., port. 8o. . 4 vol.: plates; port. 8o; another edn. (London: W. Otridge & Son, 1812); another edn. (Glasgow: R. Chapman 1816); another edn. (London: F. C. & J. Rivington, et al. 1820); another edn., 6 vols. (London: Samuel Richards 1823), plates; port. 12o; Washington Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings. A new edition. 4 vols. (Paris: A. & W. Galignani; Jules Didot 1825), plate, port., 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, stereotyped from the Paris edition (Philadelphia: J. Crissy; Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836), 527pp., plate; port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, 4 vols. (Paris: Baudry’s European Library, &c. 1837), plate; port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Including a variety of pieces now first collected (London: John Murray 1837), 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings [extracted from the edition of 1823]; another edn. (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1840), xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. With a brief memoir of the author [ &c.] (London: Andrew Moffat; Glasgow: D. A. Borrenstein 1841), xii, 308pp.; illus. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings. A new edition, [etc.] (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1843) xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces now first collected, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1866), ill. plates.; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. With biographical introduction by Professor Masson [The Globe edition] (London & NY: Macmillan & Co. 1869 [1868]; 1871), lx, 695pp., 18cm.

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Dublin reprint editions
Poetry
  • The Citizen of the World, 2 vols. (Dublin: George and Alex. Ewing 1762); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1769); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: the United Company of Booksellers, 1775).
  • The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (Dublin: George Faulkner, 1767); Do., another edn. (Dublin: George Faulkner, 1770). The Deserted Village (Dublin: J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr, J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe, 1770); Do., another edn. 2nd edn. (Dublin: H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe, 1770); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784)
  • Poems (Belfast: printed by James Magee 1775); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Charles Downes, for Thomas Reilly, 1801).
  • The Haunch of Venison (Dublin: W. Whitestone, W. Watson, W. Sleater, J. Potts, J. Hoey, W. Colles, W. Wilson, R. Moncrieffe, G. Burnet, C. Jenkin, T. Walker, W. Hallhead, W. Spotswood, M. Mills,J. Exshaw, J. Beatty, and C. Talbot, 1776).
  • The Deserted Village: A Poem, by Dr Goldsmith [2nd. edn.] (Dublin: printed for J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, jun. J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe MDCCLXX. [1770]), ix, [1], 28pp. [being Todd"s "L" edition cited in ‘The Private Issues of The Deserted Village’, in Studies in Bibliography, 6 (1955), pp.25-44; Eng. Short Title Cat. T145771].
Drama
  • The Good Natur’d Man [A Comedy, As performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden] (Dublin: J. A. Husband, for J. Hoey, Snr., P. and W. Wilson, J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, W. Sleater, J. Williams, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, J. Mitchell, J. Sheppard, and W. Colles, 1768), 70pp. 12o, Do., another edn. (Dublin: J. Hoey, sen., et al., 1770); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784).
  • She Stoops to Conquer, Belfast: printed by James Magee, 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Exshaw, Saunders, Sleater, Potts, Chamberlaine, Williams, Wilson, Hoey, Jnr, Husband, Lynch, Vallance, Colles, Walker, Moncrieffe,Jenkin, Flin, and Hillary, 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Exshaw, et al. [excluding Colles], 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Bartholomew Corcoran, 1774); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, et al., 1785); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell, for William Jones, 1792).
Fiction
  • The Vicar of Wakefield, 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, A. Leathley, J. Hoey, Snr., P. Wilson, J. Exshaw, E. Watts, H. Saunders, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Potts, and J. Williams, 1766); Do., another edn. 2nd edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, et al., 1766); Do., another edn. 2 vols. Corke: printed by Eugene Swiney, 1766); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, et al., 1767); Do., another edn. (Dublin: the United Company of Booksellers, 1791); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: printed byJ. Stockdale, forJ. Moore, 1793); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: T. Henshall, [1794]); Do. [trans.]. Le curé de Wakefield (Dublin: G. Gilbert, 1797).
Prose
  • Essays. 2nd edn. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1767); Do., another edn. 3rd edn. (Dublin: James Williams, 1772); Do., another edn. 3 vols. (Dublin: J. Stockdale for J. Moore, 1793).
  • An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1776); Do., another edn. 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1777); Do., another edn. 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1782-83).
  • An History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son, 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Exshaw and H. Bradley, 1765); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Exshaw and H. Bradley, 1767); Do., another edn. 4th edn., 2 vols. (Dublin: J., Exshaw and W. Colles, 1784).
  • The History of England, from the Earliest Times to the Death of George II, 4 vols. (Dublin: A. Leathley, J. Exshaw, W. Wilson, H. Saunders, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Potts, J. Williams, J. Mitchell, J. A. Husband, W. Colles, T. Walker, R. Moncrieffe, and D. Hay, 1771); Do., another edn. 4th edn., 4 vols. (Dublin: W. Sleater, H. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, W. Colles, R. Moncrieffe, T. Walker, W. Wilson, J. Exshaw, and L. White, 1789); Do., another edn. 5th edn. 4 vols. (Dublin: William Porter, for W. Gilbert, P. Wogan, J. Exshaw, W. Porter, W. McKenzie, J. Moore, W. Jones, and J. Rice, 1796); Do., another edn. [as] An Abridgement of the History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar, to the Death of George II. 5th edn. (Dublin: James Williams, 1779).
  • The Roman History, 2 vols. (Dublin: S. Powel, J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Williams, and C. Ingham, 1769); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: S. Powel, et al., 1771); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: P. Wogan, J. Exshaw, W. Sleater, J. Rice, and R. White, 1792); Do., another edn. 2 vols. Cork: printed by J. Connor, 1800); Do. [another edn.], The Roman History, abridged for schools (Dublin: P. Wogan, 1798).
  • The Grecian History, 2 vols. (Dublin: printed forJames Williams, 1774); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: P. Wogan, 1801). [From Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers, 1740-1800 (London: Mansell Pub.; NJ: Atlantic Heights 1986), Appendix 4 [pp.245-47].
Collections
  • Poems and Plays (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, W. Colles, W. Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Hallhead, Exshaw, Spotswood, Burnet, P. Wilson, Armitage, E. Cross, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, T. Watson, Talbot, Higly, and Beatty, 1777); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Wm. Wilson, 1777); Do., another edn. new corrected edition (Dublin: Messrs. Price, et al., 1785).
  • The Beauties of Goldsmith (Dublin: J. Rea, for Messrs. S. Price, Walker, Exshaw, Beatty, Wilson, Wogan, Burton, Byrne, and Cash, 1783).

Modern Editions, William Henry Hudson, intro. & annot., Vicar of Wakefield [Heath’s English Classics] (Boston: D.C. Heath & Co. [1920]), xxxv, [1], 264, [2]pp, pls., port.; R. S. Crane, ed., New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (Chicago UP 1927); Katherine Balderston, ed., The Collected etters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1928); Arthur Friedman, ed., The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1966); The Deserted Village by [OG] with a note on the author and a summary of his life by Desmond Egan (Curragh: Goldsmith Press 1978), 44pp.; Tom Davis, ed., She Stoops to Conquer [New Mermaid Ser.] (London: A & C. Black 1996) [8th edn.]; The Deserted Village, ill. Blaise Drummond (Oldcastle: Gallery Press [2002]), 58pp.

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Criticism
  • [Bishop] Thomas Percy, Life of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (1801) [var Memoir], and Do. [rep.], ed., Richard Harp (Salzburg: Institüt f[ü]r Englische Sprache und Literatur 1976).
  • James Prior, Oliver Goldsmith, 2 vols. (1837).
  • John Foster, The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (London 1848 [another edn. 1855]).
  • Washington Irving, Oliver Goldsmith, A Biography (1849) [based in Prior; available at Wikisource online; accessed 08.03.2011].
  • William Black, Goldsmith (London 1881).
  • Mathias McDonnell Bodkin, In the Days of Goldsmith (1903).
  • M. P. Conant, The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteeth Century (NY: Random House 1908).
  • J. A. Strahan, “Oliver Goldsmith”, in Blackwood’s Magazine [Vol. CCX] (July-Dec. 1921), [p.221ff.; online; 23.11.2010].
  • H. J. Smith, Oliver Goldsmith’s Citizen of the World, A Study (Yale UP 1926).
  • Temple Scott [pseud. of J. H. Isaac], Oliver Goldsmith Bibliographically and Biographically Considered (NY: Bowling Green P. 1928).
  • Stephen Gwynn, Oliver Goldsmith (London: Thorton Butterworth 1935) [var. 1937].
  • R. W. Jackson, Goldsmith: Essays Towards an Interpretation (Dublin APCK 1951), and Do. [rep.] (Plainview, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press [1974]), 47pp.
  • Ralph M. Wardle, Oliver Goldsmith (Kansas UP; London: Constable 1957).
  • G. Sherburn, ‘the Periodicals and Oliver Goldsmith’, in A Literary History of England, ed. A. C. Baugh [2nd edn.] (NY: Knopf 1957), pp.1057-58.
  • Oscar Sherwin, The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (NY 1961).
  • Clara M. Kirk, Oliver Goldsmith (NY: Twayne 1967).
  • J. Dussinger, ‘Oliver Goldsmith, Citizen of the World’, in Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 55 (1967), pp.445-61.
  • Ricardo Quintana, Goldsmith: A Georgian Study (NY: Macmillan 1967; London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1969).
  • Robert Hopkins, The True Genius of Oliver Goldsmith (Johns Hopkins UP 1969).
  • A. Lytton Sells, Oliver Goldsmith, His Life and Works (London: Allen & Unwin; NY: Barnes & Noble 1974).
  • George Sebastian Rousseau, ed., Goldsmith: The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1974).
  • A N. Jeffares, ‘Goldsmith and the Good-Natured Man,’ in Hermathena, CXIX (Dublin 1975) [rep. as ‘Good-Natured Goldsmith’, in Images of Invention: Essays on Irish Writing (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996), pp.90-105].
  • John Ginger, The Notable Man: The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (London: Hamish Hamilton 1977).
  • J. B. Lyons, The Mystery of Oliver Goldsmith’s Medical Degree (Blackrock: Carraig Books 1978).
  • Samuel J. Woods, Jr., Oliver Goldsmith: A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall 1982).
  • Wolfgang Zach, ‘Oliver Goldsmith on Ireland and the Irish: Personal Views, Shifting Attitudes, Literary Stereotypes’, in Studies in Anglo-Irish Literature, ed. Heinz Kosok (Bonn: Bouvier 1982) [q.pp.].
  • Andrew Swarbrick, ed., The Art of Oliver Goldsmith [Critical Studies Series] (NJ: Barnes & Noble; London: Vision Press 1982) [var. 1984; incls. John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of the Deserted Village’, pp.90-107, also in The Figure in the Cave; infra].
  • Harold Bloom, ed., Oliver Goldsmith (NY: Chelsea 1987).
  • W. J. McCormack, ‘Goldsmith Biography and the Phenomenology of Anglo-Irish Literature’, in Oliver Goldsmith: The Gentle Master, ed., Seán Lucy, (Cork UP 1984) pp.168-93 [ incls. A. N. Jeffares, et al.].
  • John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of the Deserted Village’, in The Figure in the Cave (Dublin: Lilliput 1989), pp.61-77.
  • Katherine Worth, Sheridan and Goldsmith (NY: St. Martin’s Press 1992); E. H. Mikhail, ed., Goldsmith: Interviews and Recollections (NY: St. Martin’s Press 1993); Peter Dixon, Oliver Goldsmith Revisited (Boston: Twayne Publ. 1991) [q.pp.].
  • Richard C. Taylor, Goldsmith as Journalist (NJ: Farleigh Dickinson UP; London: Assoc. UP 1993), 205pp.
  • B. S. Pathania, Goldsmith and the Sentimental Comedy (New Delhi: Prestige Books 1998).
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village’’’ & ‘Radical Pastoral: Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer’, in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.107-23 & pp.124-36.
 
See also James Boswell, Life of Johnson [1791], G. B. Hill; revised L. C. Powell, 6 vols. (OUP 1939-50); Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.181-97; J. J. Kelly, The Early Haunts of Oliver Goldsmith (q.d.), and C. A. Moore, Backgrounds of English Literature 1700-1776 (Minnesota UP 1953);
 
See The New Cambridge Bibliography of English ..., Volume 2: 1660-1800, by George Watson (Cambridge UP 1971) - Essays and Pamphleteers, Goldsmith, pp.1191-1210ff. [Google Books online; accessed 08.03.2011].

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Commentary

Contemporaries and older critics
Samuel Johnson
James Hardiman
Joshua Reynolds
W. M. Thackeray
[Lord] Macaulay
Walter Scott
Mary Frances Cusack
James Joyce
T. S. Eliot
Modern commentators
Peter Kavanagh
W. B. Stanford
Seamus Deane
Richard Cargill Cole
Joseph Th. Leerssen
Andrew Swarbrick
John Montague
Geoffrey Tyack
Kevin Myers
Tom Davis
Declan Kiberd
Arthur Freeman
[ For Goldsmith’s attitude to emerging capitalist individualism see Ian Watt in The Rise of the Novel [... &c.] (1957) - infra.

[ See the life of Oliver Goldsmith by J. H. Plumb - online; accessed 08.03.2011 ]

Samuel Johnson: According to Boswell Johnson said that Goldsmith ‘seldom comes where he is not more ignorant than anyone else.’ [Var. ‘never in company where there was anyone more ignorant than himself.’] Johnson also said that ‘[n]o man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, nor more wise when he had’, while David Garrick famously remarked of Goldsmith: ‘He wrote like an Angel, but talked like poor Poll.’

James Hardiman, “Memoir of Carolan”, in Irish Minstrelsy (1831), calls Goldsmith’s article on Carolan a ‘trifling Essay’ [see rep. edn. IUP 1971, Vol. 1, p.lxiii].

Edmund Burke: ’As the Colonel [O’Moore] and Mr. Burke were proceeding to dine with Sir Joshua, they observed Goldsmith also on his way thither, standing near a crowd who were staring and shouting at some foreign women in the windows of a house in Leicester Square. “Observe Goldsmith,” said Burke to his companion, “and mark what passes between him and me by and by at Sir Joshua’s.” Proceeding forward, they reached the house before him, and when the poet came up to Mr. Burke, the latter affected to receive him coolly, when an explanation of the cause of offence was with some urgency requested. Burke appeared reluctant to speak, but after some pressing said, that he almost regretted keeping up an intimacy with one who could be guilty of such indiscretions as he had just exhibited in the square. The Poet with great earnestness protested he was unconscious of what was meant. “Why,” said Mr. Burke, “did you not exclaim, as you were looking up at those women, what stupid beasts the people must be for staring with such admiration at those painted jezebels while a man of your talents passed by unnoticed?” Goldsmith was astonished, “Surely, surely, my dear friend, I did not say so.” “Nay,” replied Mr. Burke, “if you had not said so how should I have known it?” “That’s true,” answered Gold smith with great humility; “l am very sorry - it was very foolish; I do recollect that something of the kind passed through my mind, but I did not think I had uttered it.”’ - Croker’s Boswell, vol. i. p. 423.
 
The story is quoted from Croker’s edition, where it it given in a footnote, in a review of Prior’s Life and Works of Goldsmith in the London Quarterly Review, Vol. CXIV, Dec 1836 [American Edn.] (NY: Theodore Foster, 1836), 149-77; p.174; available at Google Books online; acccessed 08.03.2011.

Joshua Reynolds, ‘No man’s company was so eagerly sought after, for in his company the ignorant and illiterate were not only easy and free from any mortifying restraint, but even their vanity was gratified to find so admirable a writer so much upon a level, or inferior to themselves, in the arts of conversation.’

W. M. Thackeray, The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century (1853): ‘Who, of the millions whom he has amused, does not love him? To be the most beloved of English writers, what a title that is for a man! A wild youth wayward but full of tenderness and affection, quits the country village where his boyhood has been passed in happy musing, in idle shelter, in fond longing to see the great world out of doors, and achieve name and fortune - and after years of dire struggle, and neglect, and poverty, his heart turning back fondly to his native place, as it had longed eager]y for change when sheltered there, he writes a book and a poem, full of the recollections and feelings of home - he paints the friends and scenes of his youth, and peoples Auburn and Wakefield with remembrances of Lissoy. Wander he must, but he carries away a home-relic with him, and dies with it on his breast. His nature is truant, in repose it longs for change: as on the journey it looks back for friends and quiet. He passes to-day in building an air-castle for to-morrow, or in writing yesterday’s elegy; and he would fly away this hour, but that a cage of necessity keeps him. What is the charm of his verse, of his style and humour? His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns? Your love for him is half pity. You come hot and tired from the day’s battle, and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Whom did he ever hurt? He carries no weapon - save the harp on which he plays to you, and with which he delights great and humble, young and old, the captains in the tents, or the soldiers round the fire, or the women and children in the villages, at whose porches he stops and sings his simple songs of love and beauty.’ (Quoted in biog. essay, subscribed C. W. [Charles Welch], in Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904, vol. IV, p.1301; note that Welsh is the author of a work on John Newbury, whom he defends rather irrelevantly in his biog. introduction to Oliver Goldsmith in the same anthology.)

W. M. Thackeray, ‘[G]entle, whimsical, incorrigible’; ‘His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns? Your love for him is half pity. You come hot and tired from the day’s battle and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Who did he ever hurt? He carries no weapon - save the harp on which he plays to you [...] his simple songs of love and beauty.’ (English Humourists; quoted in Frank O’Connor, Book of Ireland, 1979, p.180-183.)

Lord Macaulay [Thos. B. Macaulay] objected against The Deserted Village that, besides contradicting the political economists, it is made up of incongruous parts, a mixture between ‘a hamlet in Kent’ and ‘an ejectment in Munster’, which ‘belong to two different countries, and to two different stages in the progress of society.’

Further: ‘The village in its happy days is a true English village [...] The village in decay is an Irish village. By joining these two he has produced something which never was and never will be seen in any part of the world.’ Also’ ‘He knew nothing accurately, his reading had been desultory; nor had he meditated on what he had read [...] There have been many greater writers, but perhaps no writer was ever so uniformly agreeable. His style always easy and pure, and on the proper occasions, pointed and energetic [with] an occasional tinge of amiable sadness. About everything he wrote ... there was a certain natural grave and decorum, hardly to be expected from a man a great part of whose life had been spent among thieves and beggars and streetwalkers and merryandrews.’

Further: ‘Straight veracity was never one of his virtues; squalid distress and squalid dissipation.’ (Quoted [in part] in John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of The Deserted Village, in The Cave and Other Essays, Dublin: Lilliput Press 1989, p.74.)

Note: Declan Kiberd writes: ‘One could in fact reverse Macaulay’s reading, for when the speaker moves his evicted, exiled peasantry into a fallen, urban setting, there to witness a profusion in which they cannot share, the backdrop seems remarkably close to Goldsmith’s London.’ (‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”’, in Irish Classics, London: Granta 2000, p.117.)

Sir Walter Scott, ‘Lissoy, near Balymahon, where his brother the clergyman had a living, claims the honor [of being Auburn]; a hawthorn has suffered the penalty of poetical celebrity, being cut to pieces by those admirers of the bard who desire to have classical toothpick cases and tobacco stoppers. Much of the supposed locality may be fanciful but it is a pleasing tribute to the poet in the land of his fathers; further, Scott reported, ‘Even when George III was on the throne [Goldsmith] maintained that nothing but the restoration of the banished dynasty could save the country’.

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Mary Frances Cusack, Illustrated History of Ireland, 400-1800 (1868) - Chap. XXXV: ‘Goldsmith’s father was a Protestant clergyman. The poet was born at Pallas, in the county Longford. After a series of adventures, not always to his credit, and sundry wanderings on the Continent in the most extreme poverty, he settled in London. Here he met with considerable success as an author, and enjoyed the society of the first literary men of the day. After the first and inevitable struggles of a poor author, had he possessed even half as much talent for business as capacity for intellectual effort, he might soon have obtained a competency by his pen; but, unfortunately, though he was not seriously addicted to intemperance, his convivial habits, and his attraction for the gaming table, soon scattered his hard-won earnings. His “knack of hoping,” however, helped him through life. He died on the 4th April, 1774. His last words were sad indeed, in whatever sense they may be taken. He was suffering from fever, but his devoted medical attendant, Doctor Norton, perceiving his pulse to be unusually high even under such circumstances, asked, “Is your mind at ease?” “No, it is not,” was Goldsmith’s sad reply; and these were the last words he uttered.’ [Available at Gutenberg Project - online; accessed 30.08.2017; incls. ill. of Goldsmith’s Mill at Auburn.

James Joyce (Letter to Stanislaus Joyce, 19 July 1905): ‘The preface to The Vicar of Wakefield which I read yesterday gave me a moment of doubt as to the excellence of my literary manners. It seems improbable that Hardy, for example, will be spoken of in two hundred years. And yet when I arrived at page two of the narrative I saw the extreme putridity of the social system out of which Goldsmith had reared his flower. Is it possible that, after all, men of letters are no more than entertainers? These discouraging reflections arise perhaps from my surroundings.’ [Goes on to speak of Dubliners and the moral obtuseness of contemporary Irish writing.] (Letters, II, 1966, p.99; Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann, London: Faber 1975, p.70.)

T. S. Eliot, ‘Their [Goldsmith and Johnson’s] kind of originality is as remarkable as any other: indeed, to be original with the minimum of alteration is sometimes more distinguished than to be original with the maximum of alteration.’ (Quoted in The Art of Oliver Goldmith, London: Vision Press 1982, p.13.)

Ian Watt on Goldsmith, in The Rise of the Novel (1957)

‘This inclusive reordering of the components of human society tends to occur wherever industrial capitalism becomes the dominant force in the economic structure [9], and it naturally became evident particularly early in England. By the middle of the eighteenth century, indeed, it had already become something of a commonplace. Goldsmith, for instance, thus described the concomitants of England’s vaunted freedom in The Traveller (1764).’ [See lines as quoted here under Quotations - infra].

Further: ‘Unlike Goldsmith, Defoe was not a professed enemy of the new order - quite the reverse; nevertheless there is much in Robinson Crusoe that bears out Goldsmith’s picture, as can be seen in Defoe’s treatment of such group relationships as the family or the nation.’

Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding (1957), q.p.

Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962) [of Arthur Murphy and other writers of sentimental comedies]: ‘These comedies, which are merely a few selected from among many others, demonstrate that even the force of prevailing sentimentalism could not completly banish laughter from the playhouses. [...] Oliver Goldsmith first took up the cudgels against the sentimental drama in 1759 when he published his essay on The Present State of Polite Learning, and a decade later, in 1768, his The Good-natured Man directed its barbed shafts at the style of Kelly, Cumberland, and their kin. The audience realized fully the cleverness of the work, although their tastes were too squeamish to permit them to accept without protest the “low” scenes which Goldsmith had introduced into his play. Reading this comedy now, we may perhaps fail to discern wherein exactly Goldsmith departed from the sentimental camp. The concluding lines seem cast entirely in the spirit of the Cumberland (quotes as infra.) Certainly this shows that Goldsmith had not completely thrown over the shackles of the style he condemned. and similar passages may be found scattered throughout the play. But when we come to the bailiff scenes in the third act Goldsmith’s sly satire becomes dearly apparent. Says the minion of the law: “Looky, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time-no disparagement of you neither-men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. (...; &c.”, as infra.) / The Good-natured Man cannot be regarded as a truly successful play; the plot moves creakingly, much of the dialogue is stilted, and there are scenes which show that the author has not grasped fully the requirements of the stage. All these defects, however, are remedied in She Stoops to Conquer; or, The Mistakes of a Night (1773). This comedy, of richly deserved fame, presents a peculiar and interesting fusion of different forces. Clearly it owes part of its inspiration to the school of which Farquhar was the last true representative, but in essence it approaches more nearly to the spirit of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, which, it may be noted, were at that time winning an esteem they had not enjoyed since the early seventeenth century. In effect, the conception of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin, Diggory, and the lovers exhibits, not a witty intellectual approach, but the exercise of humour. Here are the sly smiles. the subtle sallies, the humane sensitiveness characteristic of that mood. Basically, Tony Lumpkin is born of Falstaff’s company: he is a fool and yet a wit; for his follies we laugh at him and at the same time we recognize that often the laugh is turned back upon ourselves. Although the setting and the persons of the comedy seem far off from Shakespeare’s Rosalinds and Orlandos, Bottoms and Dogberrys, it [193] seems certain that in penning its scenes Goldsmith was looking back fondly over a period of nearly two hundred years.’

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), Goldsmith criticised the sentimental drama in his Enquiry into the Polite State of Learning in Europe (1759), and carried his attack to the actors themselves so vigorously in one passage that it was cut from succeeding editions for the offence it gave. It now seems mild, ‘Our actors assume all that state off the stage which they do on it; and to use an expression borrowed from the Green Room, every one is up in his part. I am sorry to say it, they seem to forget their real characters; more provoking still, the public seem to forget them too.’ Further: He continued the attack on Aristotelian grounds in the Westminster Magazine (13 Jan 1773), defining ‘sentimental drama’ as that in which ‘the virtues of private life are exhibited, rather than the vices exposed; and the distresses rather than the faults of mankind made our interest in the piece. [...] the comic part is invading the province of the tragic muse [...] Of this however he is in no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits [...] It is, of all others, the most written. Those abilities that can hammer out a novel, are fully sufficient [...] and there is no doubt but all the ladies will cry, and all the gentlemen applaud.’ (From Essay on the Theatre or a Comparison between the Sentimental and Laughing Comedy.)

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), Oliver Goldsmith, entered College in 1745, in his Present State of Polite Learning (1759), approvd educational methods of Dublin University, in distinguishing between three types of university in Europe, ‘those upon the old scholastic establishment, where the pupils are immured, talk nothing but Latin, and support everyday syllogistical disputations in school-philosophy’, such as Prague, Louvain and Padua, others ‘where pupils are under few restrictions, where all scholastic jargon is banished’, and pupils took their degrees when they chose, like Leiden, Gottingen and Geneva, and a third being a mixture of the two. Goldsmith thought the third type best for rich, and the second type the best for poorer students. In the Life of Parnell, Goldsmith says the TCD entrance exam was harder than at Oxbridge. [50] Also, W. MacDonald, Reminiscences of a Maynooth Professor (London 1925), this writer found Pinnock’s edition of Goldsmith’s histories of Greece and Rome and oasis in his own arid education in the classics at Maynooth.

W. B. Stanford (Ireland and the Classical Tradition, IAP 1976; 1984 - cont.), on classical models, Goldsmith, Horace (narrative poems) [Stanford 93]. Goldsmith received instruction in Classics under Leland at TCD, 1745-50, and afterward made use of Leland’s Philip in his Grecian History. [...] His own Roman History from the Foundation of the City of Rome to the Destruction of the Roman Empire, 2 vols. (1769), he describes as ‘a compilation for schools’. Much criticised, it ran to 14 editions up to 1800, as well as many translations. His Grecian History from the Earliest Date to the Death of Alexander (1744) was completed at his death by another author who condensed the ensuing sixteen hundred years down to the Fall of Constantinople in a chapter of ten pages. The work went into 20 editions in fifty years [150] Note, It was in connection with his praise of Goldsmith as a historian to Boswell that Johnson cited the ‘old tutor’s’ advice, ‘Read your composition, and whenever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.’ Of Goldsmith, he said, ‘it is the excellence of a writer to put into his book as much as his book will hold. Goldsmith has done this in his history ... Goldsmith tell you shortly all you want to know [...] he has the art of compiling, and of saying everything he has to say in a pleasing manner.’ Johnson opens the dialogue with this remark, ‘What Goldsmith comically says of himself is very true - he always gets the better when he argues alone; meaning, that he is master of a subject in his study, and can write well upon it; but when he comes into company, grows confused, and unable to talk [...] as a comic writer, or as an historian, he stand in the first class.’ (Life of Johnson, chap. xxvii.) [150-51] Bibl, A. Friedman, ed., Oliver Goldsmith, Works (Oxford 1966); his translations from Latin, in vol. iv, 363. [notes, 179.]

Seamus Deane, ‘Oliver Goldsmith’, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature (Derry: Filed Day 1991), Vol. 1, pp.658-61: (on ‘Goldsmith’s essay ‘The Revolution of Low Life’), ‘[He] saw only that the new wealth from the Empire had increased the gap between the very rich and the very poor and had led to an increasingly rapid proliferation of feuds and fashions, which Goldsmith deplored as a symptom of profound instability.’ (p.659); further, ‘Like Burke, Goldsmith believed in the importance of affection in the preservation of social systems and, like many before and since, thought that the  “new” systems of selfishness were leading to economic developments at the expense of moral decay.’(idem); ‘Goldsmith was aware that the contrast between England and Ireland was one of the most painful examples of the discrepancy between rich and poor which modern Europe had to offer. He inclined to see this as deriving from the different national characteristics of the two races [...] His native land he viewed almost with the eyes of a foreigner, seeing it as attractive and cultured in ways not usually noticed or accepted by English commentators [... T]here is a degree of blandness in Goldsmith’s attitude towards Ireland, which disguises his success in effacing from his occasional writings on the country [...] the drastic effects of English misrule there. This is not the Ireland of the penal laws and of occasional famines, agrarian disturbances and judicial murders. It is an idyll, comparable to his view of Irish society of which The Deserted Village is the appealing remnant. It is therefore not surprising that Victorian commentators on Goldsmith, and later Yeats and many other Irish writers were able to use this pastoral version of Ireland to support the notion of the Anglo-Irish honeymoon which had intervened between the seventeenth-century wars and the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth century [...] Goldsmith was anxious to gain support for the idea that the form of liberty gained in England in 1688 was a commodity that had been exported to Ireland. Its sluggish reception [...] is, he claims, a consequence of the Irish national character [...] his rather naive Enlightenment faith [is] British not Irish in origin.’ [… &c.]

Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers, 1740-1800 (London: Mansell Pub.; NJ: Atlantic Heights), ‘Eighteenth-century reprints of Oliver Goldsmith’s works appear in thirty-seven institutional libaries almost entirely in the United States with 153 copies’ (p.xi); remarks in the context of the statement that ‘the Irish book trade in the eighteenth century was essentially a reprint industry’ (p.x); further, ‘The grievances of another Irish writer in exile, [Goldsmith], aginat the booksellers of his native land will be discuss in chapter six on Irish reprints of [his] works.’ (p.9.); bibl. Katherine C. Balderston, The History and Sources of Percy’s Memoirs of Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1926); Richard Harp, ed., Thomas Percy’s Life of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (Salzburg: Institüt f[ü]r Englische Sprache und Literatur, Universität Salzburg 1976) [n. 243].

Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael (1986), writes of Goldsmith that in ‘Descriptions of the manners and customs of the native Irish’ in the Weekly Magazine (1759), under the subtitle of ‘a letter from an English gentleman’, prefers the native character to that of the ‘Protestants’ who share in the traditional shortcomings of the Irish without having their ‘national virtues to recompense these defects’; includes a tale of hospitality in a humble cottage, and pretends to be agreeably surprised by the chastity of the comely daughter. Since Goldsmith never returned to Ireland after 1952, the narrative is self-evidently fictitious. Further, his review of a work called ‘Remains of the mythology and poetry of the Celtes [sic], particularily in Scandanavia’, in Works, Vol. 1, 5ff., cited in Leerssen, 1986, ftn. 414 [p.485].

Andrew Swarbrick, The Art of Oliver Goldmith, London: Vision Press 1982), writes: ‘The originality of Goldsmith consists in his having the old and the new in such just proportion that there is no conflict: he is Augustan and also sentimental and rural without discordance.’ (p.13).

John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy, A Study of The Deserted Village, in Dolmen Miscellany of Irish Writing, eds., J. Montague and T. Kinsella (1962), p.62-80, writes: ‘The rural virtues for Goldsmith, as for the agrarians in Ireland or America, are actually rooted virtures of the good society.’ (Do., rep. in The Cave and Other Essays, Lilliput 1989, p.74.)

Geoffrey Tyack, reviewing Nigel Everett, The Tory View of Landscape (Times Literary Supplement, 11 Nov. 1994) offers remarks: ‘Everitt [sic] does not quote Poet Laureate William Whitehead, who, in a poem entitled ‘The Removal of the Village of Nuneham’ (which Mavis Batey has shown to be the original of Goldsmith’s ‘sweet Auburn’), wrote that, “The careful matrons of the plain / Had left their cots without a sigh, / Well pleased to house their little train / In happier mansions warm and dry”. For all the possible bias of Whitehead, who was a frequent visitor at the “big house”, the cottages were well built, pleasing to the eye, and, what is more, they still survive as bijou residences alonside the Oxford-Reading road[ ...] as Tom Williamson and Liz Bellamy pointed out in their excellent Property and Landscape (1987), many eighteenth-century aristocratic landscapes were created out of ancient parkland, and some “deserted villages” were already depopulated before the local squire administered the final coup de grâce.’

Kevin Myers (Irish Times, 20 May 1995), reviews a production of She Stoops to Conquer (‘the most brilliantly funny theatrical production Dublin has seen for years’), and remarks that the song originally written for the part played by Rosaleen Linehan was omitted from the first production since Mrs Bulkeley couldn’t sing, and has never been replaced since; as follows, ‘Ah me! When shall I marry me?/He, fond youth, that could carry me, / Offers to love but means to deceive me’; sung to now-lost air of of ‘The Humours of Balamagairy’, acc. Boswell; Myers further characterises Goldsmith as a ‘citizen of the Middle Kingdom of Anglo-Irish writing’, and calls to evidence the setting of the play: ‘And is it not a curiously Irish phenomenon, that one’s host could be so gregarious and accommodating as to be confusable with an importunate innkeeper? Is it possible that an English squire could relinquish so much propriety and authority in his own house as to permit the impresson of innery?’

Tom Davis, Introduction, She Stoops to Conquer [Mermaid Edn.] (London: A & C Black 1996), ‘The plot is deeply concerned with the concept of class, and examines it by a whole series of […] reversals. In this distorted pastoral world, no one know which class they belong to.’ (p.xx); ‘What Goldsmith wanted from comedy was that it should be “perfectly satirical yet perfectly good-natured” at the same time. … The satire beneath the kindliness is felt but not perceived: the audience is too busy laughing.’ (p.xx; quoted in by C. Canniffe, course essay, MA Dip., UUC, 1997.)

Declan Kiberd, ‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”’, in Irish Classics, London: Granta 2000): ‘The knockabout treatrment of the mother figure Mrs Hardcaslte at the end of She Stoops to Conquer may have its source in the desire for revenge by a buffoon son, who is in the play but the half-son of the house. Perhaps Goldsmith sensed that his pattern of learned helplessness derived from his mother’s early cosseting. In the play Tony Lumpkin intuits something almost erotic in his mother’s drive towards him: the device of a mother who hides rom her son the knowledge that he has come of age suggests that he is being held in a posture of dependency against his real interests. Goldsmith may have feared a mother-love that was suffocating, denying him his youthful autonomy. / The family romance in Ireland often enables initial growth, but then prevents any further development within that structure. [...;’ p.100.) ‘Yet the family remained for him the ideal unit by whcih to measure the state of socier, being itself a haven in a heartless world. Goldsmith’s exile was more from the family than from any ideaof “Ireland” (for him that term was but a code word for family life). Over a century later, G. K. Chesterton would remark on the intensity of family life among Irish people, who could give their consent to no larger institution, whether the colonial state or the established church (Autobiography, NY 1936, p.136). Goldsmith understood early the subversive quality of hte family, whose members within the secrecy of the home’s four walls might enter into a conspiracy against the codes of a new commercial order. The more remote and secretive such people might be, the more subversive, finding in the family a unit of resistance. [Exiled from the intaimacies of family life, Goldsmith felt himself an outsider looking longingly in. So he idolised the family, much as de Valera would in the twentieth century and for similar reasons: his early uncertainties about his mother led him to idealise as an absolute moral value the parental world he lad “lost”. / Having gone, Goldsmith discovered that nobody really emigrates: people simply bring their native landscape and personal baggage with them wherever they go. [...]’ (pp.110.) Kiberd quotes: ‘As they had almost all the conveniences of life within themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities in search of superfluity. Remote from the polite, they still retained the primaeval simplicity of manners; and frugal by habit, they scare knew that temperance was a virtue. They wrought with cheerfulness on days of labour, but observed festivals as intervals of idleness and pleasure.’ (The Vicar of Wakefield; quoted in Boris Ford, “Oliver Goldsmith”, Pelican Guide to English Literature, Vol. 4, 1968, p.380.)

Arthur Freeman, ‘New Goldsmith?’, in Times Literary Supplement (15 Dec. 2006), pp.15-16. ‘Another “French Novel” translation is fully documented, however, through an autograph receipt undated but signed “Oliver Goldsmith”, for ten guineas paid him by the publisher Ralph Griffiths, “for the translation of a book entituled Memoirs of My Lady W” - and this supposedly lost title has long puzzled Goldsmith’s biographers and critics. (The original receipt, known to most scholars from its transcript and publication by Prior in 1837, is now in the Osborn Collection at Yale.) Prior thought it referred to the “French Novel” of 1758, but Katharine C. Balderston ( Collected Letters of Oliver Goldsmith, 1928) pointed out the impossibility of that, since the translation was listed among “New Books” in the Gentleman’s Magazine for January 1761 as “Memoirs of Lady B. from the F[rench] Griffiths”, and the original work, Mémoires de Miledi B., by Charlotte-Marie Anne Charhonnière de la Guesnerie, was not published until 1760. No trace of the English version, paid for by the notoriously tight-fisted Griffiths and advertised as forthcoming (no price is mentioned), has hitherto been identified. Ralph M. Wardle (Oliver Goldsmith, 1957) gave it up for lost, as did the Goldsmith editor Arthur B. Friedman, in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: “no copy known”. Freeman goes on to identify the lost translation with Memoirs of Lady Harriot Butler ... M.DCC.LXI [1761].’; see full text, infra.)

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Quotations

Works
“The Traveller”
“The Deserted Village”
She Stoops to Conquer
The Good-Natured Man
The Vicar of Wakefield
“Essay on the Theatre”

See full text of The Deserted Village in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - via index or as attached.

Remarks
Comedy defined
My early life
My present situation
Trinity Sizars

‘Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, / That founds’t me poor at first, and keep’st me so.’ (“To Poetry”; exordium to The Deserted Village, quoted by Anthony Cronin, in interview, The Irish Times, 26 Nov. 2004.)


Available on Internet ....

Works by Goldsmith on Our Civilisation website (ed. Philip Atkinson):
A Comparison between Laughing
      and Sentimental Comedy

Beau Tibbs at Home (from Citizens of the World)
The Fame Coach (from The Bee)
Letter To Mrs Bunbury
She Stoops To Conquer
The Man In Black (from The Citizens of The World)
The Vicar of Wakefield
“The Double Transformation”

The Traveller” (I): ‘Have we not seen at pleasure’s lordly call / The smiling long-frequented village fall?’; ‘Where’er I roam, whatever realms I see, / My heart untravell’d fondly turns to thee; / Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain, / And drags at each remove a lengthened chain’; ‘But where to find the happiest spot below, / Who can direct, whrn all pretend to know? / The shudd’ring tenant of the frigid zone / Boldly proclaims the happiest spot his own, / Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,.and his long nights of revelry and ease; / The naked Negro, panting at the lin, / Boats of his golden sands and palmy wine, / baks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, / And thanks his Gods for all the good they gave. / Such is the patriot’s boast where’er we roam, / His first best country every is at home.’ (Commencement of The Traveller); Also, ‘Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, / Who long was a bookseller’s hack; / he led such a damnable life in this word,- / I don’t think he’ll want to come back.’ (J. McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904, Vol. 4, p.1383].

The Traveller” (2): ‘Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, / And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; / Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire / To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire; / Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, / And every stranger finds a ready chair; / Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown’d, / Where all the ruddy family around / Laugh at the jests and pranks that never fail, / Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale, / Or press the bashful stranger to his food, / And learn the luxury of doing good.’

The Traveller
That independence Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
he self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell’d ...
Nor this the worst. As nature’s ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
The Traveller, ll. 339-352.

Quoted in Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding (1957). See Watt’s comment - supra.

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The Deserted Village: ‘Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, / Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; / Amidst thy bowers the tyrant’s hand is seen, / And Desolation saddens all thy green: / One only master grasps the whole domain, / And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain.’ [l.40]; ‘Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, / Where wealth accumulates, and men decay. / Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; / A breath can make them, as a breath has made: / But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride, / When once destroy’d, can never be supplied. [l.56] // ‘A time there was, ere England’s griefs began, / When every rood of ground maintain’d its man; / For him light Labour spread her wholesome store, / Just gave what life required, but gave no more: / His best companions, Innocence and Health; / And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. // But times are alter’d; Trade’s unfeeling train / Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain; / Along the lawn, where scatter’d hamlets rose, / Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose; / And every want to luxury allied, / And every pang that folly pays to pride. / Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, / Those calm desires that ask’d but little room, / Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene, / Lived in each look, and brighten’d all the green - / These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, / And rural mirth and manners are no more. // Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, / Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant’s power / ... [l.76]. [For full text, go to Irish Classics, infra.]

The Good-Natured Man (1768)

Preface: ‘When I undertook to write a comedy, I confess I was strongly prepossessed in favour of the poets of the last age, and strove to imitate them. The term genteel comedy was then unknown amongst us, and little more was desired by an audience than nature and humour, in whatever walks of life they were most conspicuous’ (quoted in Thomas Kilroy, ‘Anglo-Irish Playwrights and Comic Tradition’, in The Crane Bag, 3, 1979, pp.19-27; rep. in The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies, 1982, pp.439-47, p.444.)

Honeywood. Heavens! How can I have deserved all this? How express my happiness, my gratitude! A moment like this overpays an age of apprehension.
Croaker. Well, now I see content in every face; but Heaven send we be all better this day three months.
Sir William. Henceforth, nephew, learn to respect yourself. He who seeks only for applause from without has all his happiness in another’s keeping.
Honeywood. Yes, Sir, I now too plainly perceive my errors - my vanity, in attempting to please all, by fearing to offend any; my meanness in approving folly, lest fools should disapprove. Henceforth, therefore, it shall be my study to reserve my pity for real distress, my friendship for true merit, and my love for her, who first taught me what it is to be happy.

See also
Looky, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time - no disparagement of you neither - men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. I challenge the town to show a man in more genteeler practice than myself. ... I love to see a gentleman with a tender heart. I don’t know, but I think I have a tender heart myself. If all that I have lost by my heart was put together, it would make a-but no matter for that. ... Humanity, Sir, is a jewel. It’s better than gold. I love humanity. People may say, that we, in our way, have no humanity; but I’ll shew you my humanity this moment. There’s my follower here, little Flanigan, with a wife and four children; a guinea or two would be more to him, than twice as much to another. Now, as I can’t shew him any humanity myself, I must beg leave you’ll do it for me.... Sir, you’re a gentleman. I see you know what to do with your money.
Quoted in Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962); for longer extract on Murphy, Goldsmith and R. B. Sheridan, see in RICORSO Library, “Critics”, infra .

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She Stoops to Conquer (1773): Mr. Hardcastle, ‘I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home? In my time the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down not only as invisible passengers, but in the very basket.’ (Mr. Hardcastle; Act. 1, sc. I, l.8.); Tony Lumpkin, ‘The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time. If so be that a gentleman bees in a concantation accordingly.’ (Act. I, sc. ii, l.40.); Miss Neville: ‘Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I will obey as it dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I’m resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle’s compassion and justive for redress.’ (Davis, ed., She Stoops to Conquer, 1996, p.88); (Marlow), ‘It must not be, madam. I have already trifled too long with my heart. My very pride begins to submit to my passion. The disparity of education and fortune, the anger of a parent, and the contempt of my equals, begin to lose their weight; and nothing can restore me to myself, but this painful effort of resolution.’ (ibid., p.89).

She Stoops to Conquer (1773)
Tony Lumpkin’s song:
“Let school-masters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genius a better discerning.” (Act I.)
 

Hastings on Hardcastle: “So I find this fellow’s civilities begin to grow troublesome. But who can be angry at those assiduities which are meant to please him!” (Act II.)

Marlow to Kate: “Pardon me madam. I was always willing to be amused. The folly of most people is rather an object of mirth than uneasiness.” (Act II.)

Marlow to Kate: “True madam; those who have most virtue in their mouths, have least of it in their bosom.” (Act II.)

Tony on the letter from Hastings: “It’s very odd, I can read the outside of my letters, where my own name is, well enough. But when I come to open it, it’s all - buzz. That’s hard, very hard; for the inside of the letter is always the cream of the correspondence.” (Act IV.)

Hasting to Tony: “Ha, ha, ha, I understand; you took them in a round, while they supposed themselves going forward. And so you have at last brought them home again.” (Act V.)

Constance to Hastings: “Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I will obey its dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I’m resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle’s compassion and justice for redress.” (Act V.)

Marlow to Kate: “I have lived, indeed, in the world, madam; but I have kept little company. I have been but an observer upon life, madam, while others were enjoying it.” (Act II.)

Tony to Hastings: “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs. I procured them by the rule of thumb. If I had not a key to every drawer in mother’s bureau, how could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An honest man may rob himself of his own at any time.” (Act III.)

Mrs. Hardcastle: “Pshaw, pshaw! This is all but the whining end of a modern novel.” (Act V.)

Quotes found in Gradesaver - online; accessed 18.08.2020.

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The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Opening: ‘I was ever of the opinion that the honest man, who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population. From this [no]tice, I had scarcely taken orders a year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and choose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.’ ‘I cannot tell whether it were from the number of our penal laws, or the licentiousness of our people, that this country should show more convicts in one year than half the dominions of Europe united.’ (Ibid., the prison scene.) [See full-text copy in RICORSO Library > Irish Classics - via index or as attached.]

Essay on the Theatre [... &c.]” (1773): ‘Humour at present seems to be departing from the stage, and it will soon happen that our comic players will have nothing left for it but a fine coat and a song.’ (Viz., “Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy”; quoted in Thomas Kilroy, op. cit., 1979, idem.)

Carolan (Essay on Turlough O’Carolan): ‘His death was not more remarkable than his life. Homer was never more fond of a glass than he; he would drink whole pints of Usquebaugh, and, as he used to think, without any ill consequence. His intemperance, however, in this respect, at length brought on an incurable disorder, and when just at the pint of death, he called for a cup of his beloved liquor ... and when the bowl was brought him, attempted to drink but could not; wherefore, giving away the bowl he observed with a smile, that it would be hard if two such friends as he and the cup should part at least without kissing; and then expired.’ (q.source.)

 

Comedy defined: ‘Comedy is defined by Artistotle to be a picture of the Frailties of the lower part of Mankind, to distinguish it from Tragedy, which is an exhibition of the Misfortunes of the Great [...] The principal question therefore is, whether in describig Low or Middle Life, an exhibition of its Follies be not preferable to a detail of its Calamities? Or, in other words, Which deserves the preference? The Weeping Sentimental Comedy, so much in fashion at present, or the Laughing and even Low Comedy, which seems to have been last exhibited by Vanbrugh and Cibber?’ Yet, notwithstanding this weight of authority, and the universal practice of former ages [...] 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. These Comedies have had of late great success, perhaps from their novelty, and also from their flattering every man in his favourite foible. 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: in this manner we are likely to lose one great source of Entertainment on the Stage; for while the Comic Muse is invading the province of the Tragic Muse, he leaves his lovely Sister quite neglected. Of this, however, he is no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits. / But there is one Argument in Favour of Sentimental Comedy which will keep it on the Stage in spite of all that can be said against it. It is, of all others, the most easily written. Those abilities that can hammer out a Novel are fully sufficient for the production of a sentimental Comedy. It is only sufficient to raise the characters a little, to deck out the Hero with a Ribbon, or give the Heroine a Title; then to put an Insipid Dialogue, without Character or Humours into their mouths, give then mighty good hearts, very fine clothes, furnish a new set of Scenes, make a Pathetic Scene or two, with a sprinkling of tender Melancholy Conversation through the whole, and there is no doubt that all the Ladies will cry, and all the Gentlemen applaud.’ (Quoted in O’Leary, 1965, p.206; Works, VI, pp.104-106.)

Early life: ‘When I reflect on the unambitous retirement in which I passed the earlier part of my life in the country I cannot avoid feeling some pain in thinking that those happy days are never to return. In that retreat all nature seemed capable of affording pleasure; I then made no refinements on happiness, but could be pleased with the most awkward efforts of rustic mirth; thought cross-purposes the highest stretch of human wit, and question and commands the most rational amusement for spending the evening. Happy could so charming an illusion still continue! I find that age and knowledge only contribute to sour our dispositions. My present enjoyments may be more refined, but they are infinitely less pleasing. The pleasure Garrick gives can no way compare to that I had received from a country wag, who imitated a Quaker’s sermon. The music of Mattei is dissonance to what I felt when our old dairy-maid sung me into tears with Johnny Armstrong’s “Last Good Night” or “The Cruelty of Barbara Allen”. (Essay in The Bee, 1958; quoted in A. N. Jeffares, ‘Good-Natured Goldsmith’, in Images of Invention: Essays on Irish Writing, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996, pp.90-105; p.95.)

Present situation: ‘I suppose you desire to know my present situation. As there is nothing in it at which I should blush, or which mankind could censure, I see no reason for making it a secret. In short, by a very little practice as a physician, and a very little reputation as a poet, I make a shift to live. Nothing is more apt to introduce us to the gates of the Muses than poverty; but it were well if they only left us at the door. The mischief is, they sometimes choose to give us their company at the entertainment; and want, instead of being gentleman-usher, often turns master of ceremonies. /Thus, upon learning I write, no doubt you imagine I starve; and the name of an author naturally reminds you of a garrett. In this particular I do not think proper to undeceive my friends. But whether I eat or starve, live in a first-floor, or four pair of stairs high, I still remember them with ardour; nay, my very country comes in for a share of my affection. Unaccountable fondness for country, this maladie du pays, as the French call it! Unaccountable that he should still have an affection for a place who never, when in it, received above common civility; who never brought [98] any thing out of it except his brogue and his blunders. Surely my affection for it is equally ridiculous with the Scotchman who refused to be cured of the itch, because it made him unco’ thoughtful of his wife and bonny Inverary. / But now to be serious, - let me ask myself what gives me a wish to see Ireland again? The country is a fine one, perhaps? No. There are good company in Ireland? No. The conversation there is generally made up of a smutty toast or a bawdy song; the vivacity supported by some humble cousin, who has just folly enough to earn his dinner Then perhaps there’s more wit and learning among the Irish? Oh, lord, no! There has been more money spent in the encouragement of the Padareen mare there one season, than given in rewards to learned men since the times of Usher. All their productions in learning amount to perhaps, a translation, or a few tracts in divinities and all their productions in wit, to just nothing at all. Why the plague then so fond of Ireland? Then, all at once, - because you, my dear friend, and a few more who are exceptions to the general picture, have a residence there. This it is that gives me all the pangs I feel in separation. I confess I carry this spirit sometimes to the souring [of] the pleasures I at present possess. If I go to the opera where Signora Columba pours out all the mazes of melody, I sit and sigh for Lishoy’s fireside and Johnny Armstrong’s Last Good night,’ from Peggy Golden. If I climb Hampstead Hill, than where Nature never exhibited a more magnificent prospect I confess it fine; but then I had rather be placed on the little mount before Lishoy gate, and there take in - to me the most pleasing horizon in nature.’ (Letter to his brother Henry, 1758; quoted in A. N. Jeffares, op. cit., 1996, pp.97-98.)

Trinity Sizars: ‘Surely pride itself had dictated to the fellows of our colleges the absurd passion of being attended at meals, and on other public occasions by those poor men who, willing to be scholars, come in upon some chariable foundation. It implies a contradiction, for men to be at once learning the liberal arts and at the same time treated as slaves; at once studying freedom and practising servitude.’ (Present State of Polite Learning in Europe, quoted in Jeffares, op. cit., 1996, pp.90-105; p.94; note that Goldsmith was himself a college servant in this style.)

“An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog” [modernised]

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene’er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

The elegy is to be found in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chap. 17 -as attached.

“A Ballad”

‘Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale,
With hospitable ray.

‘For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,
Seem lengthening as I go.’

‘Forbear, my son,’ the hermit cries,
‘To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.

[...]

[...]

‘Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see,
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here, Restor’d
to love and thee.

‘Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And ev’ry care resign:
And shall we never, never part,
My life,-my all that’s mine.

‘No, never, from this hour to part,
We’ll live and love so true;
The sigh that tends thy constant heart,
Shall break thy Edwin’s too.’

The ballad is to be found in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chap. 7 -as attached.

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References

Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies, Vol.II [of 2] (London & Dublin 1821)
OLIVER GOLDSMITH

[...]
Among other noblemen to whose acquaintance this poem introduced our author, was Lord Nugent, afterwards Earl of Clare, by whose unsolicited friendship, he obtained an introduction to the Earl of Northumberland, then lord-lieutenant of Ireland. “I was invited, ” says Goldsmith, “to wait upon the Duke, in consequence of the satisfaction he had received from the perusal of one of my productions. I dressed myself in the best manner I could; and, after studying some compliments I thought necessary on such an occasion, proceeded on to Northumberland House, and acquainted the servants that I had particular business with his grace. They shewed me into an anti-chamber, where, after waiting some time, a gentleman very elegantly dressed, made his appearance: taking him for the Duke, I delivered all the fine things I had {191} composed in order to compliment him on the honour he had done to me; when to my great astonishment he told me that I had mistaken him for his master, who would see me immediately. At that instant the Duke came into the apartment, and I was so confounded on the occasion, that I wanted words, barely sufficient to express the sense I entertained of the Duke’s politeness, and went away exceedingly chagrined at the blunder I had committed.” Such is the Doctor’s own account of the interview; Sir John Hawkins, however, relates, that when the lord-lieutenant said, he should be glad to do him any kindness; Goldsmith answered, that “he had a brother in Ireland a clergyman, that stood in need of help; as for himself, he had no dependence on the promise of great men; he looked to the booksellers; they were his best friends, and he was not inclined to forsake them for others. ”. This was very characteristic of our author, who, as Sir John Hawkins adds, “was an idiot in the affairs of the world”; an epithet peculiarly harsh on such an occasion, when his affection for his brother, and his grateful remembrance of his former kindness to him, prompted him to endeavour to make him a suitable return by transferring his lordship’s favour and patronage to his benefit.

[...]

In 1769, he produced his elegant poem “The Deserted Village” which he finished with the greatest care and attention previous to its publication. How much it added to his reputation need scarcely be mentioned. A curious circumstance, however, relative to its publication, is highly interesting, as it evinces the peculiar simplicity and honesty of his character. Mr. Griffin had given him a note of one hundred guineas for the copy; a friend of Goldsmith’s to whom he mentioned it, observed, that it was a large sum for so short a poem; “In truth,” replied Goldsmith, “I think so too; it is near five shillings a couplet, which is much more than the honest man can afford, and indeed, more than any modern poetry is worth. I have not been easy since I received it; I will go back and return him his note;” which he actually did. The sale, however, was so rapid, that the bookseller soon paid him the hundred guineas, with proper acknowledgments for the generosity of his conduct.

For full-text copy of the Goldsmith article in Biographia Hibernica - see attached.


Dictionary of National Biography, cites Goldsmith under Sir William Petty [Lord Landowne and 2nd Earl Shelburne] (1737-1805), known as “Malagrida” by his enemies for his lack of sincerity, to whom Goldsmith addressed the unfortunate remark, ‘Do you know that I never could conceive the reason why they call you Malagrida, for Malagrida was [very] very good sort of man’. DNB also lists Robert Hasell Newell (1778-1852), amateur artist and author, ed. Cambridge, who illustrated the Goldsmith edn. of 1811-20.

Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature [1876-78]; There is a very circumstantial biographical notice in Cabinet of Irish Literature, ed. Charles Read (1876; Vol. 1), citing inter al. Prior’s biography which ‘did little to remove the impression of the author of The Traveller as a kind of inspired idiot’; also cites an edn. of The Vicar of Wakefield of 1843 with 32 ills. by William Mulready; edition of Poetical Works, ed. Rev. R. H. Newell [see DNB supra], in which the locality of The Deserted Village is traced, and ills. by seven engraving on the spot by Mr Aitkin (1811); also Prior’s edn. of the Works (1836), throwing the ‘legion’ editions before it ‘into the shade’; Cunningham Murray’s edn. of 1854 forms basis of Murray’s British Classics; lives by Washington Irving and Foster (viz, Life and Adventures).

Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), Vol., IV, quotes inter alia: ‘What we say of a thing which is just come in fashion,/And that which we do with the dead,/Is the name of the honestest man in creation;/What more of a man can be said?’ (Goldsmith, in a verse-charade on his employer John Newbury; cited in evidence that he was not exploited (p.1299).

D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary, (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); ‘Said to have been born at Pallas, near Ballymahon, Co. Longford, but more probably born in Co. Roscommon; ed. village schools, Elphin, Athlone, and Edgeworthstown; TCD; Edinburgh; Leyden.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1: selects from The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (London 1764) [433-35]; The Deserted Village [447-53]; She Stoops to Conquer; or, Mistakes of a Night (London 1773) [570-603]; Miscellaneous Writings [658-81]: An Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe (Lon 1759) [ 660-62]; The Bee (Lon 1759) [662-64]; A Description of the Manner and Customs of the Native Irish. In a Letter from An English Gentleman [evid. of Goldsmith authorship, see Friedman, ed., Works, III, p.24] [664-67]; The History of Carolan, the Last Irish Bard [667-68]; A Comparative View of Races and Nations [668-71]; The Citizen of the World; or, Letters from a Chinese Philsopher, Residing in London, to his Friends in the East (London 1762) [671-79]; A General History of the World [674-79]; An Essay on the Theatre [679-81]; The Vicar of Wakefield (Salisbury 1766); 746-51]; REMS at xxi, xxiii; 503 [exploitation of own personality, as in Good-natur’d Man, characteristic of Anglo-Irish playwrights]; 504-505 [playing with national characters, Tony Lumpkin, in answer to question, ‘Are they Londoners’, says, ‘I believe they may. They look woundily like Frenchmen’]; 506 [Goldsmith’s essay on theatre makes clear his objections to weeping comedy; constrained by normal tastes, tempering Goldsmith’s love of farcical or low scenes]; 546 [gathered with Murphy and Sheridan as opposed to sentimental comedy]; 566 [Kelly did not go for amusing mistakes, like Goldsmith]; 647 [O’Keeffe creates little farce in Tony Lumpkin in Town by sidestepping the stage-Irishman in depicting Lumpkin’s lively boorishness]; 654 [She Stoops to Conquer, Dublin 1st ed. 1773]; BIOG & COMM, [492 see supra]; 656 [as supra; ‘Oliver Goldsmith, Miscellaneous. Writings’, ed. essay, pp.658-61 [see infra]; 681 [add. bibl., as above]; 686 [Goldsmith as model for Anglo-Irish novelists]; 856 [the idea of citizenship was universal; man could become, in Goldsmith’s famous (if not original) phrase, a citizen of the world; eds., Deane, Carpenter, McCormack]; 962 [on Carolan]; 1000 [Thomas Campbell known to Goldsmith]; 1010 [Campbell wrote part of the memoir of Goldsmith in Percy’s work (1801)]; 1208n [Latin version of Johnson’s epitaph, cited by Isaac Butt, in Past and Present State of Literature in Ireland (1837), as supra].

Arthur Quiller Couch, ed., Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918 (new ed. 1929), item 559; Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), gives copious extracts incl. ‘The Haunch of Venison’.

Shell Guide (1967), b. Pallas, a little to the east of Ballymahon, 10 Nov. 1728; his father got the living of Kilkenny West in 1730, and moved to Lissoy, or ‘Sweet Auburn’, 5 miles south-west of Ballymahon in Westmeath, where the ruins of his house are still to be seen; ed. in village by Thomas Byrne, schoolmaster, who spent some years in Peninsular Wars; afterwards went to Athlone to prepare for university, passing later to Mostrim. Connected places, Ardagh, Elphin, Forgney, and Kilkenny West.

British Library (1957 Cat.) lists under MISCELLANEOUS WORKS: The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems (London: W. Griffin 1775), iv, [9-]200pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Griffin 1778), vi, 225pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1780; 1782; 1784; 1786), vi, 225pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1786), 238pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin; Gainsbro’: H. Mozley 1789), 238pp.,. 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Consisting of his essays, poems, plays [&c.], 2 vols. (Edinburgh, Perth: R. Morison & Sons 1791), 12o; The miscellaneous works, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Geo. Mudie 1792), 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith; now first uniformly collected, 7 vols. (Perth: R. Morison & Son; Edinburgh: A. Guthrie 1792) plates, port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems; with an account of the life and writings of the author. A new and correct edition (London: J. Deighton 1793), xli, 288pp., 12o; another edn. (Glasgow: J. & M. Robertson, et al. 1795), another edn. (Boston [Mass.]: Thomas & Andrews, 1795), 237pp. 12o; [Samuel Rose, ed.,] The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. A new edition, To which is prefixed, some account of his life and writings [by Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore], 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, et al. 1801; 1806), pls., port. 8o. . 4 vol.: plates; port. 8o; another edn. (London: W. Otridge & Son, 1812); another edn. (Glasgow: R. Chapman 1816); another edn. (London: F. C. & J. Rivington, et al. 1820); another edn., 6 vols. (London: Samuel Richards 1823), plates; port. 12o; Washington Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings. A new edition. 4 vols. (Paris: A. & W. Galignani; Jules Didot 1825), plate, port., 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, stereotyped from the Paris edition (Philadelphia: J. Crissy; Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836), 527pp., plate; port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, 4 vols. (Paris: Baudry’s European Library, &c. 1837), plate; port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Including a variety of pieces now first collected (London: John Murray 1837), 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings [extracted from the edition of 1823]; another edn. (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1840), xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. With a brief memoir of the author [&c.] (London: Andrew Moffat; Glasgow: D. A. Borrenstein 1841), xii, 308pp.; illus. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings. A new edition, [etc.] (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1843) xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces now first collected, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1866), ill. plates.; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. With biographical introduction by Professor Masson [The Globe edition] (London & NY: Macmillan & Co. 1869 [1868]; 1871), lx, 695pp., 18cm.

Booksellers
Eric Stevens Books (Cat. 166) lists The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), rep. (1843), being 1st edn. with Mulready ills.; another (1855); another, intro. George Saintsbury (1926), 25 Rowlandson col. ills.; also Le Vicaire de Wakefield, trad. par B.-H Gausseron, Paris, Quantin ca.1890, Royal 8vo, 297pp, ill. Poincon, hand-coloureds.

Emerald Isle Books (Cat. 1995) lists The Vicar of Wakefield (1843), 1st edn. with Mulready ills.; others edns. 1855; another edn. with intro. by George Saintsbury and Rowlandson col. ills, 1926. Also lists The Vicar of Wakefield (London: C. Ware 1777), 2 vols in 1 £75].

Hyland Books (Cat. 235) lists Lives of Dr. Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with “The Bee” (Belfast 1818), vi, 243pp., 6°.

Berg Collection (NYPL), holds edn. of The Haunch of Venison (London: Kearsly 1776), book pl. of Austin Dobson; also with ‘The Tears of Genius; occasiond by the death of Dr. Goldsmith, by Courtney Melmoth [pseud.]’ (London: for T. Becket 1774).

Libraries
Marsh’s Library holds The Monthly Review, Vol. XVI (London: for R. Griffiths 1757), 8o.

TCD Long Room (Spring 1978) cites The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (London: G. Kearsly & J. Ridley 1776), 4o.

Belfast Public Library holds 20 titles incl. Lives of Dr. Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with The Bee; var. Histories; Prospect of Society (1902); Works and Poems; and biographies by Stephen Gwynn (1935); T. P. C. Kirkpatrick (n.d.); W. Freeman (1951). MORRIS holds Dalziel’s Illustrated Goldsmith and a sketch of the life ... by H. M. Ducklen (Ward & Lock, 1865); Letters of a Citizen of the World, the Traveller, The Deserted Village (c.1930); The Vicar of Wakefield (c.1935).

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Notes
Patrick Delany: for a possible source of the plot of The Good-Natured Man, see remarks of Patrick Delany: “The Duty of Paying Debts”: ‘A good-natured villain will surfeit a sot and gorge a glutton, nay, will glut his horses and his hounds with that food for which the vendors are one day to starve to death in a dungeon; a good-natured monster will be gay in the spoils of widows and orphans. / Good-nature separated from virtue is absolutely the worst quality and character in life; at least, if this be good-nature, to feed a dog, and to murder a man. And therefore, if you have any pretence to good-nature, pay your debts and in so doing clothe those poor families that are no in rags for your finery ...’.]

Lady Morgan worked as a governess for a Mrs Margaret Featherstone, wife of James Featherstone, High Sherriff of Westmeath, at their home Bracklin Castle; Mrs Featherstone’s mother was a former beauty of the court of Lord Chesterfield in Dublin, Lady Steele of Dominick St. According to Mary Campbell, ‘Oliver Goldsmith, her father’s cousin, also came from this part of Ireland, and describes the landscape in “The Deserted Village”. Here he also set his most famous play, for it was a real life Squire Featherstone upon whom he based the theatrical Squire Hardcastle, in She Stoops to Conquer.’

William Carleton cites a line from Deserted Village (‘I dragged at each remove a lengthening chain’, in the Introduction to the 1843 edn. of Traits and Stories (p.xiv), descriptive of his setting out alone as a ‘poor scholar’ for Munster.

Sir John Gilbert, History of Dublin (1865), Vol. I: ‘A practical joke played by Kelly upon Oliver Goldsmith, who induced him from his representation to take the house of Sir Ralph Fetherstone at Ardagh for an inn, is believe to have suggested the plot of She Stoops to Conquer.’ (p.87). Note, the Oxford Companion to English Literature (ed. Drabble) notes that the mistaking of a private residence for inn was testified by Goldsmith’s sister Mrs Hodson.

W. B. Yeats placed Goldsmith in company with Burke, Berkeley, and Grattan, all in his conception Whigs though they did not know it: ‘Oliver Goldsmith sang what he had seen,/Roads full of beggars, cattle in the fields,/But never saw the trefoil stained with blood,/The avenging leaf those fields raised up against it.’ (“The Seven Sages”, 1932). Note that The Royal Theatre, Stockholm, played She Stoops to Conquer with Yeats’s Cathleen ni Houlihan, at the time when the poet received his Nobel Prize, Dec. 1923.

James Joyce: Goldsmith’s “Retaliation” was taught at Belvedere to James Joyce, giving rise to a pastiche-poem on a schoolmate, G. O’Donnell; Joyce also praised Goldsmith for his personal qualities (‘unassuming’), as retaled in Padraic Colum’s memoir in Ulick O’Connor, ed., The Joyce that We Knew (Cork: Mercier 1967), p.81f.

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Newbery’s profit: A History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764) was a popular success in its two pocket-size volumes, issued by Newbury [vars. Newbury; Newberry].

The March of Intellect” - a questionable attribution

Colm O’Lochlainn reprinted the comic song “The March of Intellect” in his More Irish Street Ballads (1965), identifying the authorship with Goldsmith on the basis of the language and humour alone. Claiming it as his greatest literary ‘find’, he writes that he found it ‘in one of a number of crudely printed song books issued in Dublin in the first decade of the last century.’ He does not name his source but the song has been found in Blackwood’s Magazine, Vol. 2 [No., XXIII] (Dec. 1825), p.764 [available online], in the course of a dialogue featuring North, Shepherd and Tickler [pp.751-65ff. running from front page of issue] - Tickler being the author of the ballad which he returns for another by North (“Crambamulee”) towards the close of their conversation, saying: “Bravo! One good turn deserves another!” before delivering his own. The whole article, commencing with an example of psuedo-Greek translation, has the character of a piece by William Maginn. [Cont.]

The March of Intellect” - cont.: See later rep. of “Noctes ambrosianae”, in The Works of Professor Wilson [...] edited by his son-in-law James Frederick Ferrier (Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons 1855), whose Advertisement [i.e., preface] reveals that The Tickler is modelled on Mr Robert Sym (1750-1844), citing James Hogg’s Reminiscence of Former Days, which is quoted by the Ettrick Shepherd in his Preface to Altrive Tales (May 1834; quoted in Ferrier, pref., op. cit., 1855, p.xiii.) Sym was a Writer to the Signet, who hosted his his house his nephews Prof. Wilson (model for Christopher North), Mr. Robert Sym Wilson (Mgr. of the Royal Bank of Scotland), along with Lockhart, Samuel Anderson and James Hogg. Of the derivation of the title [Noctes Ambrosianae], Ferrier writes: ‘Ambrose’s Hotel was indeed “a local habitation and a name’, and many were the meetings which Professor Ambrose and his friend had within its wall. But the true Ambrose’s must be looked for in the realms of the imagination - the veritable scene of the “Ambrosian Nights” existed nowhere but in their Author’s brain, and their flashing fire was struck out in solitude by genius wholly independent of the stimulus of companionship. / The same remark applies to the principal characters who take part in these dialogues. Although founded to so extent on the acutal, they are in the highest degree idealised. Christopher North was Professor Wilson himself, and here, therefore, the real and ideal may be viewed as coincident. But Timothy Tickler is a personage whose lineaments bear a resemblance to those of their original only in a few fine though unmistakable outlines, whiles James Hogg in the flesh was but a faint adumbration of the inspired Shepherd of the Noctes.’ (Ferrier, op. cit., p.xii.) Ferrier remarks in his Advertisement that the parts of Noctes Ambrosianae reprinted in his book are only those written by Wilson, all the contributions by others having been excluded [that is, 41 out of the original 71 produced in the whole series between 1822 and 1835 are attributed to Wilson and hence reprinted here].

Bibl.: The Works of Professor Wilson, edited by his-son-law Professor Ferrier / This day published, the The First Volume of Noctes Ambrosianae, to be comprised in Four vols., small octavo, price 6s. each / Advertisement. Note two half-title pages [The Works of Professor Wilson] follow the above, and are followed in turn by a full t.p.: The Works of Professor Wilson / edited by his son-in-law / Professor Ferrier / Vol. I / Noctes Ambrosianae / William Blackwood and Sons / Edinburgh and London / MDCCCLV. [1855 edition available at Google Books online; see also copy of 1856 Dutton edn. at Internet Archive online; accessed 07.03.2011.]

The March of Intellect” - cont.: See also Noctes Ambrosianae [rev. & coll.] (1863), pp.147-48 - where the ballad is attributed in a footnote to another writer - viz: ‘*This, I believe, was written by Theodore Hook. —M.’ [sometime available at Vanderbilt Univ. archive of Blackwood’s Magazine [online]. The text can also been found in M. J. Whitty’s journal Captain Rock in London, or, The Chieftain’s Gazette, No. 42 (Sat. Dec. 17 1825 - bound as Vol. 1, p.334) - frankly copied from the the “Noctes Ambrosianae” of Blackwood’s Magazine and copied from hence in in Blackwood’s Magazine but here appearing under the title the “Noctes Lambourniae” of Blackwood’s Magazine, No IV, a dialogue to which Captain Rock is party and in which a certain McGin. [abbrev], is asked by one O’Kavanagh: ‘Anything new in your Blackwood this month?’, to which he answers: ‘Very little. Just the song with Tickler sings is mine’, going on directly to sing “The March of Intellect” in all its verses. [Available online - accessed 07.03.2011; See under M. J. Whitty, infra.] Among other appearances, the ballad was reprinted by Robert Kidd in Vocal Culture and Elocution: with numerous exercises in reading and speaking (Cinncinnati & NY: Van Antwerp & Bragg 1857), p.446 - and there attributed to Blackwood’s Magazine. Kidd was the instructor in elocution at Princeton Theological Seminary, acc. the t.p.. [online].

The March of Intellect - A New Song* [Tune:“Through all the Employments of Life.”]

Oh! Learning’s a very fine thing,
    As also is wisdom and knowledge,
For a man is as great as a king,
    If he has but the airs of a college.
And now-a-days all must admit,
    In Learning we’re wondrously (wonderful) favor’d.
For you scarce o’er your window can spit,
    But some learned man is beslaver’d!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c
(Sing tol de rol ol de rol ay)

We’ll all of us shortly be doom’d
    To part with our plain understanding,
For Intellect now has assumed
    An attitude truly commanding !
All ranks are so dreadfully wise,
    Common sense is set quite at defiance,
And the child for its porridge that cries,
    Must cry in the language of Science.
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Weaver it surely becomes
    To talk of his web’s involution,
For doubtless the hero of thrums
    Is a member of some institution;
He speaks of supply and demand,
    With the airs (ease) of a great legislator,
And almost can tell you off-hand
    That the smaller is less than the greater!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Tailor, in cutting his cloth,
    Will speak of the true conic section,
And no tailor is now such a Goth
    But he talks of his trade’s genuflection!
If you laugh at his bandy-legg’d clan,
    He calls it unhandsome detraction,
And cocks up his chin like a man,
    Though we know that he’s only a fraction!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Blacksmith ’midst cinders and smoke,
    Whose visage is one of the dimmest,
His furnace profoundly will poke,
    With the air of a practical chemist;

Poor Vulcan has recently got
    A lingo that’s almost historic,
And can tell you that iron is hot,
    Because it is filled with caloric!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., , &c

The Mason, in book-learned tone,
    Describes in the very best grammar
The resistance that dwells in the stone,
    And the power that resides in the hammer,
For the son of the trowel and hod
    Looks as big as the Frog in the Fable
While he talks in a jargon as odd
    As his brethren the builders of Babel!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Cobbler who sits at your gate
    Now pensively points his hog’s bristle,
Though the very same cobbler of late
    O’er his work used to sing and to whistle;
But cobbling’s a paltry pursuit
    For a man of polite education—
His works may be trod under foot,
    Yet he’s one of the Lords of Creation!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

Oh! learning’s a very fine thing!
    It almost is treason (It is almost treason) to doubt it—
Yet many of whom I could sing,
    Perhaps might be as well without it!
And without it my days I will pass,
    For to me it was ne’er worth a dollar,
And I don’t wish to look like an Ass
    By trying to talk like a Scholar!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

Let schoolmasters bother their brains
    In their dry and their musty vocation;
But what can the rest of us gain
    By meddling with such botheration?
We cannot be very far wrong,
    If we live like our fathers before us,
Whose Learning went round in the (a) song,
    And whose cares were dispelled in the Chorus,
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c.
   
Note: A discussion of the ballad at The Mud Cat Café (17 Sept.2010 - thread 132203 [online]) casts doubt on the attribution to Goldsmith and quotes an entry by RBW in “The Traditional Ballad Index”, a collaborative annotated bibliography based at California State Univ, Fresco [online]. According to that source, the attribution made by O Lochlainn-More [sic] is associated with a first printing by Hicks of 1802. The author of the notice remarks: ‘O Lochlainn’s attribution to Oliver Goldsmith is difficult to assess. I’m fairly sure that the song he refers to is Tony Lumpkin’s song from Act I of She Stoops to Conquer, beginning: “Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain / With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; / Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, / Gives genus [for genius?] a better discerning. ... ”. But the song simply calls for drink and roast fowl - no conic sections mentioned. Did the song go into oral tradition and get modified? If so, why are there no other mentions? Or was it written somewhere along the way, perhaps by the printer Hicks?’
 The notes given here largely derive from brief remarks and further examination of internet links supplied in that discussion, in which the chief participants are Ruairi Ó Broin and Joe Offer. Note: the search-string used in relation to all the above online references is ‘an attitude truly commanding’, which seems to be unique to this song. As regards ‘conic sections’, the term was later popularised in undergraduate teaching by a textbook of 1848 by George Salmon, q.v.. [BS]
See under William Maginn for further information abot Ferrier’s edition of Noctes Ambrosianae, - infra.

The Gaiety Theatre (Dublin) opened its doors for the first time in Nov 1871 with a performance of Goldsmith’s comedy She Stoops to Conquer.

Ill Fares the Land: The book of that title by Tony Judt (NY: Penguin 2010) is an indictment of corporate greed in America, resulting in a revisitation of - in Galbraith’s phrase - private wealth and public squalor. Judt writes: ‘Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them. [...]’ (Extract in New York Times, 17 March 2010- online.) Reviewer Josef Joffe calls Judt’s book an example of the ‘classic fallacy of the liberal-left intelligentsia [...] the “Doctor State Syndrome”’ (review of same in NYT, 2 May 2010 [online: both accessed 11.09.2010].

Portraits: statue in bronze by J. H. Foley, 1861 [var 1864 CAB], at College Green (TCD); also, portrait in oil by Reynolds, of which there is a copy in Nat. Gallery of Ireland. (See Anne Crookshank, ed., Irish Portrait Exhibition [Catalogue] (Ulster Mus. 1965). See also an engraving after Wheatley, 1791, of a moment from Act V, sc. 3 of She Stoops to Conquer (rep. in Brian de Breffny, Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia, London: Thames & Hudson, p.238.)

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Oliver Goldsmith: 1728-1774


Life
1728: b. 10 Nov., Pallasmore [Pallas], Forgney, Co. Longford (or poss. Ardnagowan near Elphin); a forebear called John Goldsmith was rector of Bourishoull, Co., Mayo, in 1641 and narrowly escaped death in the rebellion [‘Popish massacre’]; Oliver was 2nd son of a poor Anglican clergyman, and Anne Jones, dg. of Oliver Jones, of Smith Hill House, who was head of diocesan school at Elphin; had a br. Charles, who later followed him to London; the family moved to Lissoy on his father receiving the living of Kilkenny West, nr. Ballymahon, Co. Westmeath, 1730; ed. Lissoy [autograph var. Lishoy], under Thomas Byrne, and diocesan school of Elphin, Co. Roscommon; also briefly at Athlone, and later at Edgeworthstown under Rev. Patrick Hughes; contracts smallpox; enters TCD as a sizar, 11 June, 1745 [var. 1744], his tutor being Theaker Wilder, a mathematician; attends plays at Royal Theatre and neglects studies; falls to bottom of his class in theology and law; suffers death of his father 1747, after which the house at Lissoy passed to Mr. Hudson, married to OG’s sister Catherine; his mother settles at Ballymahon, in straightened circumstances; his br. Henry became curate in his father’s former living, taught school, living at Pallas - establishing a happy family and a reputation for kindness; OG put under the charge of an uncle, Contarine; makes money by selling songs to Hicks for printing [vide Colm Ó Lochlainn, More Irish Street Ballads, 1965]; friendship with college friend Robert Bryanton, the scion of Ballymulvey House, led to frolics in neighbourhood of Ballymahon;
 
wins college prize, and riots with the money by conducting a party with town women in his rooms; knocked down by his tutor, Wilder, and quits college; his re-entrance to college secured by his br. Henry, then already in orders; formally admonished in connection with the Black Dog riot, which left two townspeople dead and resulting the explusion of four students; grad. 27 BA Feb. 1749 [O.C. - vars. 1748; 1750, Swarbrick, ed.]; sets out walking to Cork with view to emigration, but turns back for Lissoy after three days, 1749; suffered a rift with his mother (‘I have a sneaking fondness for her still’); rejected for Holy Orders by Bishop of Elphin because of inappropriateness of his dress (red breeches), 1751; supplied with £50 by an uncle to study law in London (Inner Temple) but loses it on cards in Dublin; goes to Edinburgh to study medicine, again supported by his uncle, Sept. 1752-Feb. 1753; attends soirées of Duke of Hamilton and is regarded as ‘the facetious Irishman’; imprisoned Newcastle on suspicion of recruiting for French;
 
1755: OG travels to continent and remains at Leyden until 1755; wanders in France, Switzerland, and Italy, 1755-56 (‘remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow’); perhaps becomes MD at Louvain or Padua; visits Voltaire at Lausanne; returns to England, arriving at Dover, 1 Feb. 1756; reaches London destitute; sets up as physician in Southwark, and takes teaching work at Dr. Milner’s school at Peckham; there he meets the publisher Ralph Griffiths and commences writing for the Monthly Review, 1757, producing more than 90 notices, including a review of Burke’s Philosophical inquiry ... into the sublime and beautiful; seeks employment as surgeon’s mate in the Royal Navy, and found not qualifed at examination, 21 Dec. 1758; OG parts with Griffiths after seven months, accusing him of ‘falsifying’ his writing, 1759; engaged by Smollett on British Magazine, 1759; issues first independent work, Memoirs of a Protestant, condemned to the Galleys of France, for his Religion, a translation; fails to qualify for med. post in India Company, 1758; issues Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning (April 1759), makes acquaintance with Bishop Thomas Percy of Reliques fame, who would later write Memoir of Goldsmith (1801); OG writes short life of Bishop Berkeley, replete with Irish anecdote (1759); contribs. to Critical Review et al.; contribs. article on Carolan to British Magazine (July 1760);
 
1760: encounters John Newbery and worked for him on the Public Ledger, his first piece appearing 12 Jan. 1760; OG occupies upper room in Newbury’s home, Canonbury House, Islington at times during 1760-69; 123 “Chinese Letters” published in the Public Ledger, 1760-62, later collected as Citizen of the World; or Letters from a Chinese Philosopher residing in London to his Friends in the East (1762) and containing the characters Beau Tibbs, Mrs Tibbs, and ‘the Man in Black’, a self-portrait [1761]; moves from Green Arbour Court to better rooms at Wine Office Court, Fleet St.; becomes acquainted with Garrick, Murphy, Smart, Bickerstaff, and a member of Johnson’s Club, 1760; entertains a party incl. Percy and Johnson, 31 May 1761; writes abridgement of Voltaire (1761); writes a Life of Beau Nash (1762); experiences illness and visits spas, 1763; first meets Boswell, who disparaged him in his Life of Johnson, 1763; issued History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764), anonymously published and attributed on style to Chesterfield, Lord Orrery, and Lord Lyttleton [var. Aug. 1771 CAB]; secures patronage of Lord Clare with his Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (Dec. 1764), the first work to appear under his own name, and compared by Johnson to work of Pope; receives £20 for the poem, which Newbery sold through numerous editions; moves from Wine Court to the Temple; reputedly wrote Goody Two Shoes;
 
1765: an edition of his collected essays printed in 1765; enters dispute with a chemist over a prescription, being ejected from the house of a lady he had offered to help as a physician, 1765; Boswell reports that Johnson visited him in poverty and removes the manuscript of The Vicar of Wakefield for sale; known to have been purchased by Newbery with Collins and another, for £21 on 21 Oct. 1762, the copyright being sold to Francis Newbery, nephew of John, at a profit of £63; not published until 1766 (96th edn. 1889), probably in view of sale of The Traveller; Vicar of Wakefield quickly running to three editions during 1766, the fourth edn. starting at a loss; wrote a short English grammar for five guineas; wrote History of Rome (1769) [var. Roman History], for booksellers; death of Newbery, 1767;
 
1767: The Goodnatur’d Man was rejected by Garrick in favour of a comedy by Hugh Kelly, 1767, and then taken up by Colman the Elder to be performed at Covent Garden, 1768, with a gloomy prologue by Johnson who attended the rehearsals as an encouragement; ran for ten nights only; printed with a Preface attacking the fashion for sentimental drama or ‘genteel comedy’, supposedly by Goldsmith himself but probably by Arthur Murphy; used proceeds, c.£500, from play and publication, to move to newly-furnished chambers; occupied cottage on Edgeware Rd., returning in October; published History of Rome (May 1769); issued The Deserted Village (26 May 1770), running to a fifth edition by August; issued Life of Parnell (1770); travelled to Paris with the Horneck family (Mrs Horneck, Mary, and Catherine, 1770, Mary, whom he met at 14, being his ‘Jessamy Bride’ (later m. H. W. Bunbury); writes The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (publ. posthum 1776), in return for a gift of Lord Clare; agreed with Davies to write a Life of Bolingbroke (Dec. 1770);
 
1773: published anonymously “An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy in Westminster Gazette (Jan. 1773, pp.4-6), criticising the latter; increasingly plunged in death through expensive living; She Stoops to Conquer (Covent Garden, March 1773), a tale of ‘mistakes of the night’ concerning class confusions, and produced after interventions by Johnson; altercation with Thomas Evans and the editor of The London Packet, in which appeared ‘Tom Tickle’, an insulting letter mocking his tender feelings for ‘the lovely H-k’;
1774: publishes The Retaliation (1774), containing celebrated lines on Burke, Garrick, Cumberland, et al.; The History of Greece (1774); An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. (posthum. 1774), commissioned 1769, and paided for long before delivery, often ridiculed for its preposterous inventions; removed to country lodgings nr. Hyde to write and recoup his fortune; returned ill to London; embarked on “The Retaliation”, and is writing of Reynolds (‘by flattery unspoiled’) at the time when he suffers his final attack;d. 5.00 a.m., 4 April 1774, of strangury (congestion of bladder) and fever; reputed last words, ‘I am not at ease in my mind’; bur. Temple Church, monument at expense of The Club in Westminster Abbey, with Latin epitaph by Johnson (‘qui omnes fere scribendi genus tetigit, et nullum tetigit, quod non ornavit [there was almost no subject he did not write about, and he wrote on nothing without enhancing it]’ - who also remarked to Boswell, ‘Let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man’ (Prior, Life of Goldsmith); Samuel Johnson considered Goldsmith ‘a very great man’ and there are extensive references to him in Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson - often as a butt to contemporary literary men‘s humour; for Goethe he stood with Shakespeare and Sterne as leading influences;
 
Post-hum.: Miscellaneous Works of Goldsmith (1801), with Percy’s Memoir of Goldsmith; Dublin editions of poems and plays in 1777 and 1780; English edns. in 1831 and 1846; an edition of Vicar of Wakefield appeared in 1843 with ills. by William Mulready; the edition of Deserted Village by R. H. Newell (1811), contains the first account of the locality of the eponymous village, with engravings of same by Aitkin; remembered for his kindness to the common people among whom he lived; characterised as consummate booby in Boswell’s Life of Johnson; statue by J. H. Foley at College Green on front of TCD West Gate, 1864; James Prior wrote a life of Goldsmith (2 vols., 1836), to accompany an edition of the Works issued in (4 vols. 1836-37); others were written by Washington Irving (1844), John Foster (1848); Peter Cunningham’s edition of the Works (1854) was the first issue of Murray’s British Classics, and reissued with an introduction by Austin Dobson (1900); it fell to Sydney Owenson [later Lady Morgan], in The Wild Irish Girl (1806), to identify him as an Irish writer whose pen captured the scenes of his native country, a theme reiterated by John Montague and others; a modern edition of The Vicar of Wakefield was ill. by Hugh Thompson; Tom Murphy dramatised The Vicar of Wakefield [c.1975], and adapted She Stoops to Conquer to an Irish setting. RR CAB ODNB PI JMC ODQ DIB DIW DIL OCEL NCBE OCIL FDA
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1. Goldsmith by Reynolds (1770)
2. Goldmith by J. H. Foley (1864) 3. Summerfield (after Reynolds) 4. Foley’s Goldsmith (TCD)

[ Note: The bronze maquette by John Henry Foley was auctioned at Sotheby’s (London) for £23,000 in 2007. ]

Works
Individual editions, Citizen of the World (1760-61); The Traveller (1764); The Deserted Village (1770); The Vicar of Wakefield (1766); The Good Natur’d Man (1768); An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy (1773) [anon., Westminster Gazette, Jan. 1773]; She Stoops to Conquer (1774); History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. [see also infra]; The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (London: G. Kearsly & J. Ridley 1776), 4o. Also, Lives of Dr Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with The Bee (Belfast 1818), vi, 243pp.

RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - full-text editions
“The Deserted Village” (1770) The Vicar of Wakefield (1776)

Collected Editions: The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B., 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, C. & J. Robinson 1801); R. S. Crane, ed., New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (Chicago UP 1927); Katherine [Canby] Balderston, ed., The Collected Letters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1928); Arthur Friedman, The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon P. 1966); John Lucas, ed., Oliver Goldsmith, Selected Writings (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1990); Alan Rudrum & Peter Dixon, eds., Selected poems of Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith [Arnold’s English Texts] (London: Edward Arnold 1965), 146pp.

Bibliography, Temple Scott, Oliver Goldsmith Biographically and Bibliographically Considered (NY 1928); Katherine Canby Balderston, A Census of the Manuscripts of Oliver Goldsmith (NY 1926).

Miscellaneous Works” (var. edns.), The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems (London: W. Griffin 1775), iv, [9-]200pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Griffin 1778), vi, 225pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1780; 1782; 1784; 1786), vi, 225pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1786), 238pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin; Gainsbro’: H. Mozley 1789), 238pp.,. 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Consisting of his essays, poems, plays [ &c.], 2 vols. (Edinburgh, Perth: R. Morison & Sons 1791), 12o; The miscellaneous works, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Geo. Mudie 1792), 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith; now first uniformly collected, 7 vols. (Perth: R. Morison & Son; Edinburgh: A. Guthrie 1792) plates, port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems; with an account of the life and writings of the author. A new and correct edition (London: J. Deighton 1793), xli, 288pp., 12o; another edn. (Glasgow: J. & M. Robertson, et al. 1795), another edn. (Boston [Mass.]: Thomas & Andrews, 1795), 237pp. 12o; [Samuel Rose, ed.,] The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. A new edition, To which is prefixed, some account of his life and writings [by Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore], 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, et al. 1801; 1806), pls., port. 8o. . 4 vol.: plates; port. 8o; another edn. (London: W. Otridge & Son, 1812); another edn. (Glasgow: R. Chapman 1816); another edn. (London: F. C. & J. Rivington, et al. 1820); another edn., 6 vols. (London: Samuel Richards 1823), plates; port. 12o; Washington Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings. A new edition. 4 vols. (Paris: A. & W. Galignani; Jules Didot 1825), plate, port., 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, stereotyped from the Paris edition (Philadelphia: J. Crissy; Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836), 527pp., plate; port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, 4 vols. (Paris: Baudry’s European Library, &c. 1837), plate; port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Including a variety of pieces now first collected (London: John Murray 1837), 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings [extracted from the edition of 1823]; another edn. (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1840), xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. With a brief memoir of the author [ &c.] (London: Andrew Moffat; Glasgow: D. A. Borrenstein 1841), xii, 308pp.; illus. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings. A new edition, [etc.] (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1843) xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces now first collected, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1866), ill. plates.; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. With biographical introduction by Professor Masson [The Globe edition] (London & NY: Macmillan & Co. 1869 [1868]; 1871), lx, 695pp., 18cm.

Dublin reprint editions
Poetry
  • The Citizen of the World, 2 vols. (Dublin: George and Alex. Ewing 1762); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1769); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: the United Company of Booksellers, 1775).
  • The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (Dublin: George Faulkner, 1767); Do., another edn. (Dublin: George Faulkner, 1770). The Deserted Village (Dublin: J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr, J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe, 1770); Do., another edn. 2nd edn. (Dublin: H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe, 1770); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784)
  • Poems (Belfast: printed by James Magee 1775); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Charles Downes, for Thomas Reilly, 1801).
  • The Haunch of Venison (Dublin: W. Whitestone, W. Watson, W. Sleater, J. Potts, J. Hoey, W. Colles, W. Wilson, R. Moncrieffe, G. Burnet, C. Jenkin, T. Walker, W. Hallhead, W. Spotswood, M. Mills,J. Exshaw, J. Beatty, and C. Talbot, 1776).
Drama
  • The Good Natur’d Man [A Comedy, As performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden] (Dublin: J. A. Husband, for J. Hoey, Snr., P. and W. Wilson, J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, W. Sleater, J. Williams, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, J. Mitchell, J. Sheppard, and W. Colles, 1768), 70pp. 12o, Do., another edn. (Dublin: J. Hoey, sen., et al., 1770); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784).
  • She Stoops to Conquer, Belfast: printed by James Magee, 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Exshaw, Saunders, Sleater, Potts, Chamberlaine, Williams, Wilson, Hoey, Jnr, Husband, Lynch, Vallance, Colles, Walker, Moncrieffe,Jenkin, Flin, and Hillary, 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Exshaw, et al. [excluding Colles], 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Bartholomew Corcoran, 1774); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, et al., 1785); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell, for William Jones, 1792).
Fiction
  • The Vicar of Wakefield, 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, A. Leathley, J. Hoey, Snr., P. Wilson, J. Exshaw, E. Watts, H. Saunders, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Potts, and J. Williams, 1766); Do., another edn. 2nd edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, et al., 1766); Do., another edn. 2 vols. Corke: printed by Eugene Swiney, 1766); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, et al., 1767); Do., another edn. (Dublin: the United Company of Booksellers, 1791); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: printed byJ. Stockdale, forJ. Moore, 1793); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: T. Henshall, [1794]); Do. [trans.]. Le curé de Wakefield (Dublin: G. Gilbert, 1797).
Prose
  • Essays. 2nd edn. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1767); Do., another edn. 3rd edn. (Dublin: James Williams, 1772); Do., another edn. 3 vols. (Dublin: J. Stockdale for J. Moore, 1793).
  • An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1776); Do., another edn. 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1777); Do., another edn. 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1782-83).
  • An History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son, 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Exshaw and H. Bradley, 1765); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Exshaw and H. Bradley, 1767); Do., another edn. 4th edn., 2 vols. (Dublin: J., Exshaw and W. Colles, 1784).
  • The History of England, from the Earliest Times to the Death of George II, 4 vols. (Dublin: A. Leathley, J. Exshaw, W. Wilson, H. Saunders, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Potts, J. Williams, J. Mitchell, J. A. Husband, W. Colles, T. Walker, R. Moncrieffe, and D. Hay, 1771); Do., another edn. 4th edn., 4 vols. (Dublin: W. Sleater, H. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, W. Colles, R. Moncrieffe, T. Walker, W. Wilson, J. Exshaw, and L. White, 1789); Do., another edn. 5th edn. 4 vols. (Dublin: William Porter, for W. Gilbert, P. Wogan, J. Exshaw, W. Porter, W. McKenzie, J. Moore, W. Jones, and J. Rice, 1796); Do., another edn. [as] An Abridgement of the History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar, to the Death of George II. 5th edn. (Dublin: James Williams, 1779).
  • The Roman History, 2 vols. (Dublin: S. Powel, J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Williams, and C. Ingham, 1769); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: S. Powel, et al., 1771); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: P. Wogan, J. Exshaw, W. Sleater, J. Rice, and R. White, 1792); Do., another edn. 2 vols. Cork: printed by J. Connor, 1800); Do. [another edn.], The Roman History, abridged for schools (Dublin: P. Wogan, 1798).
  • The Grecian History, 2 vols. (Dublin: printed forJames Williams, 1774); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: P. Wogan, 1801). [From Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers, 1740-1800 (London: Mansell Pub.; NJ: Atlantic Heights 1986), Appendix 4 [pp.245-47].
Collections
  • Poems and Plays (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, W. Colles, W. Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Hallhead, Exshaw, Spotswood, Burnet, P. Wilson, Armitage, E. Cross, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, T. Watson, Talbot, Higly, and Beatty, 1777); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Wm. Wilson, 1777); Do., another edn. new corrected edition (Dublin: Messrs. Price, et al., 1785).
  • The Beauties of Goldsmith (Dublin: J. Rea, for Messrs. S. Price, Walker, Exshaw, Beatty, Wilson, Wogan, Burton, Byrne, and Cash, 1783).

Modern Editions, William Henry Hudson, intro. & annot., Vicar of Wakefield [Heath’s English Classics] (Boston: D.C. Heath & Co. [1920]), xxxv, [1], 264, [2]pp, pls., port.; R. S. Crane, ed., New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (Chicago UP 1927); Katherine Balderston, ed., The Collected etters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1928); Arthur Friedman, ed., The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1966); The Deserted Village by [OG] with a note on the author and a summary of his life by Desmond Egan (Curragh: Goldsmith Press 1978), 44pp.; Tom Davis, ed., She Stoops to Conquer [New Mermaid Ser.] (London: A & C. Black 1996) [8th edn.]; The Deserted Village, ill. Blaise Drummond (Oldcastle: Gallery Press [2002]), 58pp.

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Criticism
  • [Bishop] Thomas Percy, Life of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (1801) [var Memoir], and Do. [rep.], ed., Richard Harp (Salzburg: Institüt f[ü]r Englische Sprache und Literatur 1976).
  • James Prior, Oliver Goldsmith, 2 vols. (1837).
  • John Foster, The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (London 1848 [another edn. 1855]).
  • Washington Irving, Oliver Goldsmith, A Biography (1849) [based in Prior; available at Wikisource online; accessed 08.03.2011].
  • William Black, Goldsmith (London 1881).
  • Mathias McDonnell Bodkin, In the Days of Goldsmith (1903).
  • M. P. Conant, The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteeth Century (NY: Random House 1908).
  • J. A. Strahan, “Oliver Goldsmith”, in Blackwood’s Magazine [Vol. CCX] (July-Dec. 1921), [p.221ff.; online; 23.11.2010].
  • H. J. Smith, Oliver Goldsmith’s Citizen of the World, A Study (Yale UP 1926).
  • Temple Scott [pseud. of J. H. Isaac], Oliver Goldsmith Bibliographically and Biographically Considered (NY: Bowling Green P. 1928).
  • Stephen Gwynn, Oliver Goldsmith (London: Thorton Butterworth 1935) [var. 1937].
  • R. W. Jackson, Goldsmith: Essays Towards an Interpretation (Dublin APCK 1951), and Do. [rep.] (Plainview, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press [1974]), 47pp.
  • Ralph M. Wardle, Oliver Goldsmith (Kansas UP; London: Constable 1957).
  • G. Sherburn, ‘the Periodicals and Oliver Goldsmith’, in A Literary History of England, ed. A. C. Baugh [2nd edn.] (NY: Knopf 1957), pp.1057-58.
  • Oscar Sherwin, The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (NY 1961).
  • Clara M. Kirk, Oliver Goldsmith (NY: Twayne 1967).
  • J. Dussinger, ‘Oliver Goldsmith, Citizen of the World’, in Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 55 (1967), pp.445-61.
  • Ricardo Quintana, Goldsmith: A Georgian Study (NY: Macmillan 1967; London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1969).
  • Robert Hopkins, The True Genius of Oliver Goldsmith (Johns Hopkins UP 1969).
  • A. Lytton Sells, Oliver Goldsmith, His Life and Works (London: Allen & Unwin; NY: Barnes & Noble 1974).
  • George Sebastian Rousseau, ed., Goldsmith: The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1974).
  • A N. Jeffares, ‘Goldsmith and the Good-Natured Man,’ in Hermathena, CXIX (Dublin 1975) [rep. as ‘Good-Natured Goldsmith’, in Images of Invention: Essays on Irish Writing (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996), pp.90-105].
  • John Ginger, The Notable Man: The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (London: Hamish Hamilton 1977).
  • J. B. Lyons, The Mystery of Oliver Goldsmith’s Medical Degree (Blackrock: Carraig Books 1978).
  • Samuel J. Woods, Jr., Oliver Goldsmith: A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall 1982).
  • Wolfgang Zach, ‘Oliver Goldsmith on Ireland and the Irish: Personal Views, Shifting Attitudes, Literary Stereotypes’, in Studies in Anglo-Irish Literature, ed. Heinz Kosok (Bonn: Bouvier 1982) [q.pp.].
  • Andrew Swarbrick, ed., The Art of Oliver Goldsmith [Critical Studies Series] (NJ: Barnes & Noble; London: Vision Press 1982) [var. 1984; incls. John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of the Deserted Village’, pp.90-107, also in The Figure in the Cave; infra].
  • Harold Bloom, ed., Oliver Goldsmith (NY: Chelsea 1987).
  • W. J. McCormack, ‘Goldsmith Biography and the Phenomenology of Anglo-Irish Literature’, in Oliver Goldsmith: The Gentle Master, ed., Seán Lucy, (Cork UP 1984) pp.168-93 [ incls. A. N. Jeffares, et al.].
  • John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of the Deserted Village’, in The Figure in the Cave (Dublin: Lilliput 1989), pp.61-77.
  • Katherine Worth, Sheridan and Goldsmith (NY: St. Martin’s Press 1992); E. H. Mikhail, ed., Goldsmith: Interviews and Recollections (NY: St. Martin’s Press 1993); Peter Dixon, Oliver Goldsmith Revisited (Boston: Twayne Publ. 1991) [q.pp.].
  • Richard C. Taylor, Goldsmith as Journalist (NJ: Farleigh Dickinson UP; London: Assoc. UP 1993), 205pp.
  • B. S. Pathania, Goldsmith and the Sentimental Comedy (New Delhi: Prestige Books 1998).
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village’’’ & ‘Radical Pastoral: Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer’, in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.107-23 & pp.124-36.
 
See also James Boswell, Life of Johnson [1791], G. B. Hill; revised L. C. Powell, 6 vols. (OUP 1939-50); Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.181-97; J. J. Kelly, The Early Haunts of Oliver Goldsmith (q.d.), and C. A. Moore, Backgrounds of English Literature 1700-1776 (Minnesota UP 1953);
 
See The New Cambridge Bibliography of English ..., Volume 2: 1660-1800, by George Watson (Cambridge UP 1971) - Essays and Pamphleteers, Goldsmith, pp.1191-1210ff. [Google Books online; accessed 08.03.2011].

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Commentary

Contemporaries and older critics
Samuel Johnson
James Hardiman
Joshua Reynolds
W. M. Thackeray
[Lord] Macaulay
Walter Scott
Mary Frances Cusack
James Joyce
T. S. Eliot
Modern commentators
Peter Kavanagh
W. B. Stanford
Seamus Deane
Richard Cargill Cole
Joseph Th. Leerssen
Andrew Swarbrick
John Montague
Geoffrey Tyack
Kevin Myers
Tom Davis
Declan Kiberd
Arthur Freeman
[ For Goldsmith’s attitude to emerging capitalist individualism see Ian Watt in The Rise of the Novel [... &c.] (1957) - infra.

[ See the life of Oliver Goldsmith by J. H. Plumb - online; accessed 08.03.2011 ]

Samuel Johnson: According to Boswell Johnson said that Goldsmith ‘seldom comes where he is not more ignorant than anyone else.’ [Var. ‘never in company where there was anyone more ignorant than himself.’] Johnson also said that ‘[n]o man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, nor more wise when he had’, while David Garrick famously remarked of Goldsmith: ‘He wrote like an Angel, but talked like poor Poll.’

James Hardiman, “Memoir of Carolan”, in Irish Minstrelsy (1831), calls Goldsmith’s article on Carolan a ‘trifling Essay’ [see rep. edn. IUP 1971, Vol. 1, p.lxiii].

Edmund Burke: ’As the Colonel [O’Moore] and Mr. Burke were proceeding to dine with Sir Joshua, they observed Goldsmith also on his way thither, standing near a crowd who were staring and shouting at some foreign women in the windows of a house in Leicester Square. “Observe Goldsmith,” said Burke to his companion, “and mark what passes between him and me by and by at Sir Joshua’s.” Proceeding forward, they reached the house before him, and when the poet came up to Mr. Burke, the latter affected to receive him coolly, when an explanation of the cause of offence was with some urgency requested. Burke appeared reluctant to speak, but after some pressing said, that he almost regretted keeping up an intimacy with one who could be guilty of such indiscretions as he had just exhibited in the square. The Poet with great earnestness protested he was unconscious of what was meant. “Why,” said Mr. Burke, “did you not exclaim, as you were looking up at those women, what stupid beasts the people must be for staring with such admiration at those painted jezebels while a man of your talents passed by unnoticed?” Goldsmith was astonished, “Surely, surely, my dear friend, I did not say so.” “Nay,” replied Mr. Burke, “if you had not said so how should I have known it?” “That’s true,” answered Gold smith with great humility; “l am very sorry - it was very foolish; I do recollect that something of the kind passed through my mind, but I did not think I had uttered it.”’ - Croker’s Boswell, vol. i. p. 423.
 
The story is quoted from Croker’s edition, where it it given in a footnote, in a review of Prior’s Life and Works of Goldsmith in the London Quarterly Review, Vol. CXIV, Dec 1836 [American Edn.] (NY: Theodore Foster, 1836), 149-77; p.174; available at Google Books online; acccessed 08.03.2011.

Joshua Reynolds, ‘No man’s company was so eagerly sought after, for in his company the ignorant and illiterate were not only easy and free from any mortifying restraint, but even their vanity was gratified to find so admirable a writer so much upon a level, or inferior to themselves, in the arts of conversation.’

W. M. Thackeray, The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century (1853): ‘Who, of the millions whom he has amused, does not love him? To be the most beloved of English writers, what a title that is for a man! A wild youth wayward but full of tenderness and affection, quits the country village where his boyhood has been passed in happy musing, in idle shelter, in fond longing to see the great world out of doors, and achieve name and fortune - and after years of dire struggle, and neglect, and poverty, his heart turning back fondly to his native place, as it had longed eager]y for change when sheltered there, he writes a book and a poem, full of the recollections and feelings of home - he paints the friends and scenes of his youth, and peoples Auburn and Wakefield with remembrances of Lissoy. Wander he must, but he carries away a home-relic with him, and dies with it on his breast. His nature is truant, in repose it longs for change: as on the journey it looks back for friends and quiet. He passes to-day in building an air-castle for to-morrow, or in writing yesterday’s elegy; and he would fly away this hour, but that a cage of necessity keeps him. What is the charm of his verse, of his style and humour? His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns? Your love for him is half pity. You come hot and tired from the day’s battle, and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Whom did he ever hurt? He carries no weapon - save the harp on which he plays to you, and with which he delights great and humble, young and old, the captains in the tents, or the soldiers round the fire, or the women and children in the villages, at whose porches he stops and sings his simple songs of love and beauty.’ (Quoted in biog. essay, subscribed C. W. [Charles Welch], in Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904, vol. IV, p.1301; note that Welsh is the author of a work on John Newbury, whom he defends rather irrelevantly in his biog. introduction to Oliver Goldsmith in the same anthology.)

W. M. Thackeray, ‘[G]entle, whimsical, incorrigible’; ‘His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns? Your love for him is half pity. You come hot and tired from the day’s battle and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Who did he ever hurt? He carries no weapon - save the harp on which he plays to you [...] his simple songs of love and beauty.’ (English Humourists; quoted in Frank O’Connor, Book of Ireland, 1979, p.180-183.)

Lord Macaulay [Thos. B. Macaulay] objected against The Deserted Village that, besides contradicting the political economists, it is made up of incongruous parts, a mixture between ‘a hamlet in Kent’ and ‘an ejectment in Munster’, which ‘belong to two different countries, and to two different stages in the progress of society.’

Further: ‘The village in its happy days is a true English village [...] The village in decay is an Irish village. By joining these two he has produced something which never was and never will be seen in any part of the world.’ Also’ ‘He knew nothing accurately, his reading had been desultory; nor had he meditated on what he had read [...] There have been many greater writers, but perhaps no writer was ever so uniformly agreeable. His style always easy and pure, and on the proper occasions, pointed and energetic [with] an occasional tinge of amiable sadness. About everything he wrote ... there was a certain natural grave and decorum, hardly to be expected from a man a great part of whose life had been spent among thieves and beggars and streetwalkers and merryandrews.’

Further: ‘Straight veracity was never one of his virtues; squalid distress and squalid dissipation.’ (Quoted [in part] in John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of The Deserted Village, in The Cave and Other Essays, Dublin: Lilliput Press 1989, p.74.)

Note: Declan Kiberd writes: ‘One could in fact reverse Macaulay’s reading, for when the speaker moves his evicted, exiled peasantry into a fallen, urban setting, there to witness a profusion in which they cannot share, the backdrop seems remarkably close to Goldsmith’s London.’ (‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”’, in Irish Classics, London: Granta 2000, p.117.)

Sir Walter Scott, ‘Lissoy, near Balymahon, where his brother the clergyman had a living, claims the honor [of being Auburn]; a hawthorn has suffered the penalty of poetical celebrity, being cut to pieces by those admirers of the bard who desire to have classical toothpick cases and tobacco stoppers. Much of the supposed locality may be fanciful but it is a pleasing tribute to the poet in the land of his fathers; further, Scott reported, ‘Even when George III was on the throne [Goldsmith] maintained that nothing but the restoration of the banished dynasty could save the country’.

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Mary Frances Cusack, Illustrated History of Ireland, 400-1800 (1868) - Chap. XXXV: ‘Goldsmith’s father was a Protestant clergyman. The poet was born at Pallas, in the county Longford. After a series of adventures, not always to his credit, and sundry wanderings on the Continent in the most extreme poverty, he settled in London. Here he met with considerable success as an author, and enjoyed the society of the first literary men of the day. After the first and inevitable struggles of a poor author, had he possessed even half as much talent for business as capacity for intellectual effort, he might soon have obtained a competency by his pen; but, unfortunately, though he was not seriously addicted to intemperance, his convivial habits, and his attraction for the gaming table, soon scattered his hard-won earnings. His “knack of hoping,” however, helped him through life. He died on the 4th April, 1774. His last words were sad indeed, in whatever sense they may be taken. He was suffering from fever, but his devoted medical attendant, Doctor Norton, perceiving his pulse to be unusually high even under such circumstances, asked, “Is your mind at ease?” “No, it is not,” was Goldsmith’s sad reply; and these were the last words he uttered.’ [Available at Gutenberg Project - online; accessed 30.08.2017; incls. ill. of Goldsmith’s Mill at Auburn.

James Joyce (Letter to Stanislaus Joyce, 19 July 1905): ‘The preface to The Vicar of Wakefield which I read yesterday gave me a moment of doubt as to the excellence of my literary manners. It seems improbable that Hardy, for example, will be spoken of in two hundred years. And yet when I arrived at page two of the narrative I saw the extreme putridity of the social system out of which Goldsmith had reared his flower. Is it possible that, after all, men of letters are no more than entertainers? These discouraging reflections arise perhaps from my surroundings.’ [Goes on to speak of Dubliners and the moral obtuseness of contemporary Irish writing.] (Letters, II, 1966, p.99; Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann, London: Faber 1975, p.70.)

T. S. Eliot, ‘Their [Goldsmith and Johnson’s] kind of originality is as remarkable as any other: indeed, to be original with the minimum of alteration is sometimes more distinguished than to be original with the maximum of alteration.’ (Quoted in The Art of Oliver Goldmith, London: Vision Press 1982, p.13.)

Ian Watt on Goldsmith, in The Rise of the Novel (1957)

‘This inclusive reordering of the components of human society tends to occur wherever industrial capitalism becomes the dominant force in the economic structure [9], and it naturally became evident particularly early in England. By the middle of the eighteenth century, indeed, it had already become something of a commonplace. Goldsmith, for instance, thus described the concomitants of England’s vaunted freedom in The Traveller (1764).’ [See lines as quoted here under Quotations - infra].

Further: ‘Unlike Goldsmith, Defoe was not a professed enemy of the new order - quite the reverse; nevertheless there is much in Robinson Crusoe that bears out Goldsmith’s picture, as can be seen in Defoe’s treatment of such group relationships as the family or the nation.’

Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding (1957), q.p.

Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962) [of Arthur Murphy and other writers of sentimental comedies]: ‘These comedies, which are merely a few selected from among many others, demonstrate that even the force of prevailing sentimentalism could not completly banish laughter from the playhouses. [...] Oliver Goldsmith first took up the cudgels against the sentimental drama in 1759 when he published his essay on The Present State of Polite Learning, and a decade later, in 1768, his The Good-natured Man directed its barbed shafts at the style of Kelly, Cumberland, and their kin. The audience realized fully the cleverness of the work, although their tastes were too squeamish to permit them to accept without protest the “low” scenes which Goldsmith had introduced into his play. Reading this comedy now, we may perhaps fail to discern wherein exactly Goldsmith departed from the sentimental camp. The concluding lines seem cast entirely in the spirit of the Cumberland (quotes as infra.) Certainly this shows that Goldsmith had not completely thrown over the shackles of the style he condemned. and similar passages may be found scattered throughout the play. But when we come to the bailiff scenes in the third act Goldsmith’s sly satire becomes dearly apparent. Says the minion of the law: “Looky, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time-no disparagement of you neither-men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. (...; &c.”, as infra.) / The Good-natured Man cannot be regarded as a truly successful play; the plot moves creakingly, much of the dialogue is stilted, and there are scenes which show that the author has not grasped fully the requirements of the stage. All these defects, however, are remedied in She Stoops to Conquer; or, The Mistakes of a Night (1773). This comedy, of richly deserved fame, presents a peculiar and interesting fusion of different forces. Clearly it owes part of its inspiration to the school of which Farquhar was the last true representative, but in essence it approaches more nearly to the spirit of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, which, it may be noted, were at that time winning an esteem they had not enjoyed since the early seventeenth century. In effect, the conception of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin, Diggory, and the lovers exhibits, not a witty intellectual approach, but the exercise of humour. Here are the sly smiles. the subtle sallies, the humane sensitiveness characteristic of that mood. Basically, Tony Lumpkin is born of Falstaff’s company: he is a fool and yet a wit; for his follies we laugh at him and at the same time we recognize that often the laugh is turned back upon ourselves. Although the setting and the persons of the comedy seem far off from Shakespeare’s Rosalinds and Orlandos, Bottoms and Dogberrys, it [193] seems certain that in penning its scenes Goldsmith was looking back fondly over a period of nearly two hundred years.’

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), Goldsmith criticised the sentimental drama in his Enquiry into the Polite State of Learning in Europe (1759), and carried his attack to the actors themselves so vigorously in one passage that it was cut from succeeding editions for the offence it gave. It now seems mild, ‘Our actors assume all that state off the stage which they do on it; and to use an expression borrowed from the Green Room, every one is up in his part. I am sorry to say it, they seem to forget their real characters; more provoking still, the public seem to forget them too.’ Further: He continued the attack on Aristotelian grounds in the Westminster Magazine (13 Jan 1773), defining ‘sentimental drama’ as that in which ‘the virtues of private life are exhibited, rather than the vices exposed; and the distresses rather than the faults of mankind made our interest in the piece. [...] the comic part is invading the province of the tragic muse [...] Of this however he is in no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits [...] It is, of all others, the most written. Those abilities that can hammer out a novel, are fully sufficient [...] and there is no doubt but all the ladies will cry, and all the gentlemen applaud.’ (From Essay on the Theatre or a Comparison between the Sentimental and Laughing Comedy.)

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), Oliver Goldsmith, entered College in 1745, in his Present State of Polite Learning (1759), approvd educational methods of Dublin University, in distinguishing between three types of university in Europe, ‘those upon the old scholastic establishment, where the pupils are immured, talk nothing but Latin, and support everyday syllogistical disputations in school-philosophy’, such as Prague, Louvain and Padua, others ‘where pupils are under few restrictions, where all scholastic jargon is banished’, and pupils took their degrees when they chose, like Leiden, Gottingen and Geneva, and a third being a mixture of the two. Goldsmith thought the third type best for rich, and the second type the best for poorer students. In the Life of Parnell, Goldsmith says the TCD entrance exam was harder than at Oxbridge. [50] Also, W. MacDonald, Reminiscences of a Maynooth Professor (London 1925), this writer found Pinnock’s edition of Goldsmith’s histories of Greece and Rome and oasis in his own arid education in the classics at Maynooth.

W. B. Stanford (Ireland and the Classical Tradition, IAP 1976; 1984 - cont.), on classical models, Goldsmith, Horace (narrative poems) [Stanford 93]. Goldsmith received instruction in Classics under Leland at TCD, 1745-50, and afterward made use of Leland’s Philip in his Grecian History. [...] His own Roman History from the Foundation of the City of Rome to the Destruction of the Roman Empire, 2 vols. (1769), he describes as ‘a compilation for schools’. Much criticised, it ran to 14 editions up to 1800, as well as many translations. His Grecian History from the Earliest Date to the Death of Alexander (1744) was completed at his death by another author who condensed the ensuing sixteen hundred years down to the Fall of Constantinople in a chapter of ten pages. The work went into 20 editions in fifty years [150] Note, It was in connection with his praise of Goldsmith as a historian to Boswell that Johnson cited the ‘old tutor’s’ advice, ‘Read your composition, and whenever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.’ Of Goldsmith, he said, ‘it is the excellence of a writer to put into his book as much as his book will hold. Goldsmith has done this in his history ... Goldsmith tell you shortly all you want to know [...] he has the art of compiling, and of saying everything he has to say in a pleasing manner.’ Johnson opens the dialogue with this remark, ‘What Goldsmith comically says of himself is very true - he always gets the better when he argues alone; meaning, that he is master of a subject in his study, and can write well upon it; but when he comes into company, grows confused, and unable to talk [...] as a comic writer, or as an historian, he stand in the first class.’ (Life of Johnson, chap. xxvii.) [150-51] Bibl, A. Friedman, ed., Oliver Goldsmith, Works (Oxford 1966); his translations from Latin, in vol. iv, 363. [notes, 179.]

Seamus Deane, ‘Oliver Goldsmith’, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature (Derry: Filed Day 1991), Vol. 1, pp.658-61: (on ‘Goldsmith’s essay ‘The Revolution of Low Life’), ‘[He] saw only that the new wealth from the Empire had increased the gap between the very rich and the very poor and had led to an increasingly rapid proliferation of feuds and fashions, which Goldsmith deplored as a symptom of profound instability.’ (p.659); further, ‘Like Burke, Goldsmith believed in the importance of affection in the preservation of social systems and, like many before and since, thought that the  “new” systems of selfishness were leading to economic developments at the expense of moral decay.’(idem); ‘Goldsmith was aware that the contrast between England and Ireland was one of the most painful examples of the discrepancy between rich and poor which modern Europe had to offer. He inclined to see this as deriving from the different national characteristics of the two races [...] His native land he viewed almost with the eyes of a foreigner, seeing it as attractive and cultured in ways not usually noticed or accepted by English commentators [... T]here is a degree of blandness in Goldsmith’s attitude towards Ireland, which disguises his success in effacing from his occasional writings on the country [...] the drastic effects of English misrule there. This is not the Ireland of the penal laws and of occasional famines, agrarian disturbances and judicial murders. It is an idyll, comparable to his view of Irish society of which The Deserted Village is the appealing remnant. It is therefore not surprising that Victorian commentators on Goldsmith, and later Yeats and many other Irish writers were able to use this pastoral version of Ireland to support the notion of the Anglo-Irish honeymoon which had intervened between the seventeenth-century wars and the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth century [...] Goldsmith was anxious to gain support for the idea that the form of liberty gained in England in 1688 was a commodity that had been exported to Ireland. Its sluggish reception [...] is, he claims, a consequence of the Irish national character [...] his rather naive Enlightenment faith [is] British not Irish in origin.’ [… &c.]

Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers, 1740-1800 (London: Mansell Pub.; NJ: Atlantic Heights), ‘Eighteenth-century reprints of Oliver Goldsmith’s works appear in thirty-seven institutional libaries almost entirely in the United States with 153 copies’ (p.xi); remarks in the context of the statement that ‘the Irish book trade in the eighteenth century was essentially a reprint industry’ (p.x); further, ‘The grievances of another Irish writer in exile, [Goldsmith], aginat the booksellers of his native land will be discuss in chapter six on Irish reprints of [his] works.’ (p.9.); bibl. Katherine C. Balderston, The History and Sources of Percy’s Memoirs of Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1926); Richard Harp, ed., Thomas Percy’s Life of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (Salzburg: Institüt f[ü]r Englische Sprache und Literatur, Universität Salzburg 1976) [n. 243].

Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael (1986), writes of Goldsmith that in ‘Descriptions of the manners and customs of the native Irish’ in the Weekly Magazine (1759), under the subtitle of ‘a letter from an English gentleman’, prefers the native character to that of the ‘Protestants’ who share in the traditional shortcomings of the Irish without having their ‘national virtues to recompense these defects’; includes a tale of hospitality in a humble cottage, and pretends to be agreeably surprised by the chastity of the comely daughter. Since Goldsmith never returned to Ireland after 1952, the narrative is self-evidently fictitious. Further, his review of a work called ‘Remains of the mythology and poetry of the Celtes [sic], particularily in Scandanavia’, in Works, Vol. 1, 5ff., cited in Leerssen, 1986, ftn. 414 [p.485].

Andrew Swarbrick, The Art of Oliver Goldmith, London: Vision Press 1982), writes: ‘The originality of Goldsmith consists in his having the old and the new in such just proportion that there is no conflict: he is Augustan and also sentimental and rural without discordance.’ (p.13).

John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy, A Study of The Deserted Village, in Dolmen Miscellany of Irish Writing, eds., J. Montague and T. Kinsella (1962), p.62-80, writes: ‘The rural virtues for Goldsmith, as for the agrarians in Ireland or America, are actually rooted virtures of the good society.’ (Do., rep. in The Cave and Other Essays, Lilliput 1989, p.74.)

Geoffrey Tyack, reviewing Nigel Everett, The Tory View of Landscape (Times Literary Supplement, 11 Nov. 1994) offers remarks: ‘Everitt [sic] does not quote Poet Laureate William Whitehead, who, in a poem entitled ‘The Removal of the Village of Nuneham’ (which Mavis Batey has shown to be the original of Goldsmith’s ‘sweet Auburn’), wrote that, “The careful matrons of the plain / Had left their cots without a sigh, / Well pleased to house their little train / In happier mansions warm and dry”. For all the possible bias of Whitehead, who was a frequent visitor at the “big house”, the cottages were well built, pleasing to the eye, and, what is more, they still survive as bijou residences alonside the Oxford-Reading road[ ...] as Tom Williamson and Liz Bellamy pointed out in their excellent Property and Landscape (1987), many eighteenth-century aristocratic landscapes were created out of ancient parkland, and some “deserted villages” were already depopulated before the local squire administered the final coup de grâce.’

Kevin Myers (Irish Times, 20 May 1995), reviews a production of She Stoops to Conquer (‘the most brilliantly funny theatrical production Dublin has seen for years’), and remarks that the song originally written for the part played by Rosaleen Linehan was omitted from the first production since Mrs Bulkeley couldn’t sing, and has never been replaced since; as follows, ‘Ah me! When shall I marry me?/He, fond youth, that could carry me, / Offers to love but means to deceive me’; sung to now-lost air of of ‘The Humours of Balamagairy’, acc. Boswell; Myers further characterises Goldsmith as a ‘citizen of the Middle Kingdom of Anglo-Irish writing’, and calls to evidence the setting of the play: ‘And is it not a curiously Irish phenomenon, that one’s host could be so gregarious and accommodating as to be confusable with an importunate innkeeper? Is it possible that an English squire could relinquish so much propriety and authority in his own house as to permit the impresson of innery?’

Tom Davis, Introduction, She Stoops to Conquer [Mermaid Edn.] (London: A & C Black 1996), ‘The plot is deeply concerned with the concept of class, and examines it by a whole series of […] reversals. In this distorted pastoral world, no one know which class they belong to.’ (p.xx); ‘What Goldsmith wanted from comedy was that it should be “perfectly satirical yet perfectly good-natured” at the same time. … The satire beneath the kindliness is felt but not perceived: the audience is too busy laughing.’ (p.xx; quoted in by C. Canniffe, course essay, MA Dip., UUC, 1997.)

Declan Kiberd, ‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”’, in Irish Classics, London: Granta 2000): ‘The knockabout treatrment of the mother figure Mrs Hardcaslte at the end of She Stoops to Conquer may have its source in the desire for revenge by a buffoon son, who is in the play but the half-son of the house. Perhaps Goldsmith sensed that his pattern of learned helplessness derived from his mother’s early cosseting. In the play Tony Lumpkin intuits something almost erotic in his mother’s drive towards him: the device of a mother who hides rom her son the knowledge that he has come of age suggests that he is being held in a posture of dependency against his real interests. Goldsmith may have feared a mother-love that was suffocating, denying him his youthful autonomy. / The family romance in Ireland often enables initial growth, but then prevents any further development within that structure. [...;’ p.100.) ‘Yet the family remained for him the ideal unit by whcih to measure the state of socier, being itself a haven in a heartless world. Goldsmith’s exile was more from the family than from any ideaof “Ireland” (for him that term was but a code word for family life). Over a century later, G. K. Chesterton would remark on the intensity of family life among Irish people, who could give their consent to no larger institution, whether the colonial state or the established church (Autobiography, NY 1936, p.136). Goldsmith understood early the subversive quality of hte family, whose members within the secrecy of the home’s four walls might enter into a conspiracy against the codes of a new commercial order. The more remote and secretive such people might be, the more subversive, finding in the family a unit of resistance. [Exiled from the intaimacies of family life, Goldsmith felt himself an outsider looking longingly in. So he idolised the family, much as de Valera would in the twentieth century and for similar reasons: his early uncertainties about his mother led him to idealise as an absolute moral value the parental world he lad “lost”. / Having gone, Goldsmith discovered that nobody really emigrates: people simply bring their native landscape and personal baggage with them wherever they go. [...]’ (pp.110.) Kiberd quotes: ‘As they had almost all the conveniences of life within themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities in search of superfluity. Remote from the polite, they still retained the primaeval simplicity of manners; and frugal by habit, they scare knew that temperance was a virtue. They wrought with cheerfulness on days of labour, but observed festivals as intervals of idleness and pleasure.’ (The Vicar of Wakefield; quoted in Boris Ford, “Oliver Goldsmith”, Pelican Guide to English Literature, Vol. 4, 1968, p.380.)

Arthur Freeman, ‘New Goldsmith?’, in Times Literary Supplement (15 Dec. 2006), pp.15-16. ‘Another “French Novel” translation is fully documented, however, through an autograph receipt undated but signed “Oliver Goldsmith”, for ten guineas paid him by the publisher Ralph Griffiths, “for the translation of a book entituled Memoirs of My Lady W” - and this supposedly lost title has long puzzled Goldsmith’s biographers and critics. (The original receipt, known to most scholars from its transcript and publication by Prior in 1837, is now in the Osborn Collection at Yale.) Prior thought it referred to the “French Novel” of 1758, but Katharine C. Balderston ( Collected Letters of Oliver Goldsmith, 1928) pointed out the impossibility of that, since the translation was listed among “New Books” in the Gentleman’s Magazine for January 1761 as “Memoirs of Lady B. from the F[rench] Griffiths”, and the original work, Mémoires de Miledi B., by Charlotte-Marie Anne Charhonnière de la Guesnerie, was not published until 1760. No trace of the English version, paid for by the notoriously tight-fisted Griffiths and advertised as forthcoming (no price is mentioned), has hitherto been identified. Ralph M. Wardle (Oliver Goldsmith, 1957) gave it up for lost, as did the Goldsmith editor Arthur B. Friedman, in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: “no copy known”. Freeman goes on to identify the lost translation with Memoirs of Lady Harriot Butler ... M.DCC.LXI [1761].’; see full text, infra.)

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Quotations

Works
“The Traveller”
“The Deserted Village”
She Stoops to Conquer
The Good-Natured Man
The Vicar of Wakefield
“Essay on the Theatre”

See full text of The Deserted Village in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - via index or as attached.

Remarks
Comedy defined
My early life
My present situation
Trinity Sizars

‘Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, / That founds’t me poor at first, and keep’st me so.’ (“To Poetry”; exordium to The Deserted Village, quoted by Anthony Cronin, in interview, The Irish Times, 26 Nov. 2004.)


Available on Internet ....

Works by Goldsmith on Our Civilisation website (ed. Philip Atkinson):
A Comparison between Laughing
      and Sentimental Comedy

Beau Tibbs at Home (from Citizens of the World)
The Fame Coach (from The Bee)
Letter To Mrs Bunbury
She Stoops To Conquer
The Man In Black (from The Citizens of The World)
The Vicar of Wakefield
“The Double Transformation”

The Traveller” (I): ‘Have we not seen at pleasure’s lordly call / The smiling long-frequented village fall?’; ‘Where’er I roam, whatever realms I see, / My heart untravell’d fondly turns to thee; / Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain, / And drags at each remove a lengthened chain’; ‘But where to find the happiest spot below, / Who can direct, whrn all pretend to know? / The shudd’ring tenant of the frigid zone / Boldly proclaims the happiest spot his own, / Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,.and his long nights of revelry and ease; / The naked Negro, panting at the lin, / Boats of his golden sands and palmy wine, / baks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, / And thanks his Gods for all the good they gave. / Such is the patriot’s boast where’er we roam, / His first best country every is at home.’ (Commencement of The Traveller); Also, ‘Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, / Who long was a bookseller’s hack; / he led such a damnable life in this word,- / I don’t think he’ll want to come back.’ (J. McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904, Vol. 4, p.1383].

The Traveller” (2): ‘Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, / And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; / Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire / To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire; / Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, / And every stranger finds a ready chair; / Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown’d, / Where all the ruddy family around / Laugh at the jests and pranks that never fail, / Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale, / Or press the bashful stranger to his food, / And learn the luxury of doing good.’

The Traveller
That independence Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
he self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell’d ...
Nor this the worst. As nature’s ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
The Traveller, ll. 339-352.

Quoted in Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding (1957). See Watt’s comment - supra.

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The Deserted Village: ‘Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, / Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; / Amidst thy bowers the tyrant’s hand is seen, / And Desolation saddens all thy green: / One only master grasps the whole domain, / And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain.’ [l.40]; ‘Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, / Where wealth accumulates, and men decay. / Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; / A breath can make them, as a breath has made: / But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride, / When once destroy’d, can never be supplied. [l.56] // ‘A time there was, ere England’s griefs began, / When every rood of ground maintain’d its man; / For him light Labour spread her wholesome store, / Just gave what life required, but gave no more: / His best companions, Innocence and Health; / And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. // But times are alter’d; Trade’s unfeeling train / Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain; / Along the lawn, where scatter’d hamlets rose, / Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose; / And every want to luxury allied, / And every pang that folly pays to pride. / Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, / Those calm desires that ask’d but little room, / Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene, / Lived in each look, and brighten’d all the green - / These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, / And rural mirth and manners are no more. // Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, / Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant’s power / ... [l.76]. [For full text, go to Irish Classics, infra.]

The Good-Natured Man (1768)

Preface: ‘When I undertook to write a comedy, I confess I was strongly prepossessed in favour of the poets of the last age, and strove to imitate them. The term genteel comedy was then unknown amongst us, and little more was desired by an audience than nature and humour, in whatever walks of life they were most conspicuous’ (quoted in Thomas Kilroy, ‘Anglo-Irish Playwrights and Comic Tradition’, in The Crane Bag, 3, 1979, pp.19-27; rep. in The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies, 1982, pp.439-47, p.444.)

Honeywood. Heavens! How can I have deserved all this? How express my happiness, my gratitude! A moment like this overpays an age of apprehension.
Croaker. Well, now I see content in every face; but Heaven send we be all better this day three months.
Sir William. Henceforth, nephew, learn to respect yourself. He who seeks only for applause from without has all his happiness in another’s keeping.
Honeywood. Yes, Sir, I now too plainly perceive my errors - my vanity, in attempting to please all, by fearing to offend any; my meanness in approving folly, lest fools should disapprove. Henceforth, therefore, it shall be my study to reserve my pity for real distress, my friendship for true merit, and my love for her, who first taught me what it is to be happy.

See also
Looky, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time - no disparagement of you neither - men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. I challenge the town to show a man in more genteeler practice than myself. ... I love to see a gentleman with a tender heart. I don’t know, but I think I have a tender heart myself. If all that I have lost by my heart was put together, it would make a-but no matter for that. ... Humanity, Sir, is a jewel. It’s better than gold. I love humanity. People may say, that we, in our way, have no humanity; but I’ll shew you my humanity this moment. There’s my follower here, little Flanigan, with a wife and four children; a guinea or two would be more to him, than twice as much to another. Now, as I can’t shew him any humanity myself, I must beg leave you’ll do it for me.... Sir, you’re a gentleman. I see you know what to do with your money.
Quoted in Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962); for longer extract on Murphy, Goldsmith and R. B. Sheridan, see in RICORSO Library, “Critics”, infra .

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She Stoops to Conquer (1773): Mr. Hardcastle, ‘I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home? In my time the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down not only as invisible passengers, but in the very basket.’ (Mr. Hardcastle; Act. 1, sc. I, l.8.); Tony Lumpkin, ‘The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time. If so be that a gentleman bees in a concantation accordingly.’ (Act. I, sc. ii, l.40.); Miss Neville: ‘Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I will obey as it dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I’m resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle’s compassion and justive for redress.’ (Davis, ed., She Stoops to Conquer, 1996, p.88); (Marlow), ‘It must not be, madam. I have already trifled too long with my heart. My very pride begins to submit to my passion. The disparity of education and fortune, the anger of a parent, and the contempt of my equals, begin to lose their weight; and nothing can restore me to myself, but this painful effort of resolution.’ (ibid., p.89).

She Stoops to Conquer (1773)
Tony Lumpkin’s song:
“Let school-masters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genius a better discerning.” (Act I.)
 

Hastings on Hardcastle: “So I find this fellow’s civilities begin to grow troublesome. But who can be angry at those assiduities which are meant to please him!” (Act II.)

Marlow to Kate: “Pardon me madam. I was always willing to be amused. The folly of most people is rather an object of mirth than uneasiness.” (Act II.)

Marlow to Kate: “True madam; those who have most virtue in their mouths, have least of it in their bosom.” (Act II.)

Tony on the letter from Hastings: “It’s very odd, I can read the outside of my letters, where my own name is, well enough. But when I come to open it, it’s all - buzz. That’s hard, very hard; for the inside of the letter is always the cream of the correspondence.” (Act IV.)

Hasting to Tony: “Ha, ha, ha, I understand; you took them in a round, while they supposed themselves going forward. And so you have at last brought them home again.” (Act V.)

Constance to Hastings: “Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I will obey its dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I’m resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle’s compassion and justice for redress.” (Act V.)

Marlow to Kate: “I have lived, indeed, in the world, madam; but I have kept little company. I have been but an observer upon life, madam, while others were enjoying it.” (Act II.)

Tony to Hastings: “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs. I procured them by the rule of thumb. If I had not a key to every drawer in mother’s bureau, how could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An honest man may rob himself of his own at any time.” (Act III.)

Mrs. Hardcastle: “Pshaw, pshaw! This is all but the whining end of a modern novel.” (Act V.)

Quotes found in Gradesaver - online; accessed 18.08.2020.

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The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Opening: ‘I was ever of the opinion that the honest man, who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population. From this [no]tice, I had scarcely taken orders a year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and choose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.’ ‘I cannot tell whether it were from the number of our penal laws, or the licentiousness of our people, that this country should show more convicts in one year than half the dominions of Europe united.’ (Ibid., the prison scene.) [See full-text copy in RICORSO Library > Irish Classics - via index or as attached.]

Essay on the Theatre [... &c.]” (1773): ‘Humour at present seems to be departing from the stage, and it will soon happen that our comic players will have nothing left for it but a fine coat and a song.’ (Viz., “Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy”; quoted in Thomas Kilroy, op. cit., 1979, idem.)

Carolan (Essay on Turlough O’Carolan): ‘His death was not more remarkable than his life. Homer was never more fond of a glass than he; he would drink whole pints of Usquebaugh, and, as he used to think, without any ill consequence. His intemperance, however, in this respect, at length brought on an incurable disorder, and when just at the pint of death, he called for a cup of his beloved liquor ... and when the bowl was brought him, attempted to drink but could not; wherefore, giving away the bowl he observed with a smile, that it would be hard if two such friends as he and the cup should part at least without kissing; and then expired.’ (q.source.)

 

Comedy defined: ‘Comedy is defined by Artistotle to be a picture of the Frailties of the lower part of Mankind, to distinguish it from Tragedy, which is an exhibition of the Misfortunes of the Great [...] The principal question therefore is, whether in describig Low or Middle Life, an exhibition of its Follies be not preferable to a detail of its Calamities? Or, in other words, Which deserves the preference? The Weeping Sentimental Comedy, so much in fashion at present, or the Laughing and even Low Comedy, which seems to have been last exhibited by Vanbrugh and Cibber?’ Yet, notwithstanding this weight of authority, and the universal practice of former ages [...] 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. These Comedies have had of late great success, perhaps from their novelty, and also from their flattering every man in his favourite foible. 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: in this manner we are likely to lose one great source of Entertainment on the Stage; for while the Comic Muse is invading the province of the Tragic Muse, he leaves his lovely Sister quite neglected. Of this, however, he is no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits. / But there is one Argument in Favour of Sentimental Comedy which will keep it on the Stage in spite of all that can be said against it. It is, of all others, the most easily written. Those abilities that can hammer out a Novel are fully sufficient for the production of a sentimental Comedy. It is only sufficient to raise the characters a little, to deck out the Hero with a Ribbon, or give the Heroine a Title; then to put an Insipid Dialogue, without Character or Humours into their mouths, give then mighty good hearts, very fine clothes, furnish a new set of Scenes, make a Pathetic Scene or two, with a sprinkling of tender Melancholy Conversation through the whole, and there is no doubt that all the Ladies will cry, and all the Gentlemen applaud.’ (Quoted in O’Leary, 1965, p.206; Works, VI, pp.104-106.)

Early life: ‘When I reflect on the unambitous retirement in which I passed the earlier part of my life in the country I cannot avoid feeling some pain in thinking that those happy days are never to return. In that retreat all nature seemed capable of affording pleasure; I then made no refinements on happiness, but could be pleased with the most awkward efforts of rustic mirth; thought cross-purposes the highest stretch of human wit, and question and commands the most rational amusement for spending the evening. Happy could so charming an illusion still continue! I find that age and knowledge only contribute to sour our dispositions. My present enjoyments may be more refined, but they are infinitely less pleasing. The pleasure Garrick gives can no way compare to that I had received from a country wag, who imitated a Quaker’s sermon. The music of Mattei is dissonance to what I felt when our old dairy-maid sung me into tears with Johnny Armstrong’s “Last Good Night” or “The Cruelty of Barbara Allen”. (Essay in The Bee, 1958; quoted in A. N. Jeffares, ‘Good-Natured Goldsmith’, in Images of Invention: Essays on Irish Writing, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996, pp.90-105; p.95.)

Present situation: ‘I suppose you desire to know my present situation. As there is nothing in it at which I should blush, or which mankind could censure, I see no reason for making it a secret. In short, by a very little practice as a physician, and a very little reputation as a poet, I make a shift to live. Nothing is more apt to introduce us to the gates of the Muses than poverty; but it were well if they only left us at the door. The mischief is, they sometimes choose to give us their company at the entertainment; and want, instead of being gentleman-usher, often turns master of ceremonies. /Thus, upon learning I write, no doubt you imagine I starve; and the name of an author naturally reminds you of a garrett. In this particular I do not think proper to undeceive my friends. But whether I eat or starve, live in a first-floor, or four pair of stairs high, I still remember them with ardour; nay, my very country comes in for a share of my affection. Unaccountable fondness for country, this maladie du pays, as the French call it! Unaccountable that he should still have an affection for a place who never, when in it, received above common civility; who never brought [98] any thing out of it except his brogue and his blunders. Surely my affection for it is equally ridiculous with the Scotchman who refused to be cured of the itch, because it made him unco’ thoughtful of his wife and bonny Inverary. / But now to be serious, - let me ask myself what gives me a wish to see Ireland again? The country is a fine one, perhaps? No. There are good company in Ireland? No. The conversation there is generally made up of a smutty toast or a bawdy song; the vivacity supported by some humble cousin, who has just folly enough to earn his dinner Then perhaps there’s more wit and learning among the Irish? Oh, lord, no! There has been more money spent in the encouragement of the Padareen mare there one season, than given in rewards to learned men since the times of Usher. All their productions in learning amount to perhaps, a translation, or a few tracts in divinities and all their productions in wit, to just nothing at all. Why the plague then so fond of Ireland? Then, all at once, - because you, my dear friend, and a few more who are exceptions to the general picture, have a residence there. This it is that gives me all the pangs I feel in separation. I confess I carry this spirit sometimes to the souring [of] the pleasures I at present possess. If I go to the opera where Signora Columba pours out all the mazes of melody, I sit and sigh for Lishoy’s fireside and Johnny Armstrong’s Last Good night,’ from Peggy Golden. If I climb Hampstead Hill, than where Nature never exhibited a more magnificent prospect I confess it fine; but then I had rather be placed on the little mount before Lishoy gate, and there take in - to me the most pleasing horizon in nature.’ (Letter to his brother Henry, 1758; quoted in A. N. Jeffares, op. cit., 1996, pp.97-98.)

Trinity Sizars: ‘Surely pride itself had dictated to the fellows of our colleges the absurd passion of being attended at meals, and on other public occasions by those poor men who, willing to be scholars, come in upon some chariable foundation. It implies a contradiction, for men to be at once learning the liberal arts and at the same time treated as slaves; at once studying freedom and practising servitude.’ (Present State of Polite Learning in Europe, quoted in Jeffares, op. cit., 1996, pp.90-105; p.94; note that Goldsmith was himself a college servant in this style.)

“An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog” [modernised]

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene’er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

The elegy is to be found in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chap. 17 -as attached.

“A Ballad”

‘Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale,
With hospitable ray.

‘For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,
Seem lengthening as I go.’

‘Forbear, my son,’ the hermit cries,
‘To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.

[...]

[...]

‘Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see,
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here, Restor’d
to love and thee.

‘Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And ev’ry care resign:
And shall we never, never part,
My life,-my all that’s mine.

‘No, never, from this hour to part,
We’ll live and love so true;
The sigh that tends thy constant heart,
Shall break thy Edwin’s too.’

The ballad is to be found in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chap. 7 -as attached.

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, cites Goldsmith under Sir William Petty [Lord Landowne and 2nd Earl Shelburne] (1737-1805), known as “Malagrida” by his enemies for his lack of sincerity, to whom Goldsmith addressed the unfortunate remark, ‘Do you know that I never could conceive the reason why they call you Malagrida, for Malagrida was [very] very good sort of man’. DNB also lists Robert Hasell Newell (1778-1852), amateur artist and author, ed. Cambridge, who illustrated the Goldsmith edn. of 1811-20.

Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature [1876-78]; There is a very circumstantial biographical notice in Cabinet of Irish Literature, ed. Charles Read (1876; Vol. 1), citing inter al. Prior’s biography which ‘did little to remove the impression of the author of The Traveller as a kind of inspired idiot’; also cites an edn. of The Vicar of Wakefield of 1843 with 32 ills. by William Mulready; edition of Poetical Works, ed. Rev. R. H. Newell [see DNB supra], in which the locality of The Deserted Village is traced, and ills. by seven engraving on the spot by Mr Aitkin (1811); also Prior’s edn. of the Works (1836), throwing the ‘legion’ editions before it ‘into the shade’; Cunningham Murray’s edn. of 1854 forms basis of Murray’s British Classics; lives by Washington Irving and Foster (viz, Life and Adventures).

Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), Vol., IV, quotes inter alia: ‘What we say of a thing which is just come in fashion,/And that which we do with the dead,/Is the name of the honestest man in creation;/What more of a man can be said?’ (Goldsmith, in a verse-charade on his employer John Newbury; cited in evidence that he was not exploited (p.1299).

D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary, (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); ‘Said to have been born at Pallas, near Ballymahon, Co. Longford, but more probably born in Co. Roscommon; ed. village schools, Elphin, Athlone, and Edgeworthstown; TCD; Edinburgh; Leyden.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1: selects from The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (London 1764) [433-35]; The Deserted Village [447-53]; She Stoops to Conquer; or, Mistakes of a Night (London 1773) [570-603]; Miscellaneous Writings [658-81]: An Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe (Lon 1759) [ 660-62]; The Bee (Lon 1759) [662-64]; A Description of the Manner and Customs of the Native Irish. In a Letter from An English Gentleman [evid. of Goldsmith authorship, see Friedman, ed., Works, III, p.24] [664-67]; The History of Carolan, the Last Irish Bard [667-68]; A Comparative View of Races and Nations [668-71]; The Citizen of the World; or, Letters from a Chinese Philsopher, Residing in London, to his Friends in the East (London 1762) [671-79]; A General History of the World [674-79]; An Essay on the Theatre [679-81]; The Vicar of Wakefield (Salisbury 1766); 746-51]; REMS at xxi, xxiii; 503 [exploitation of own personality, as in Good-natur’d Man, characteristic of Anglo-Irish playwrights]; 504-505 [playing with national characters, Tony Lumpkin, in answer to question, ‘Are they Londoners’, says, ‘I believe they may. They look woundily like Frenchmen’]; 506 [Goldsmith’s essay on theatre makes clear his objections to weeping comedy; constrained by normal tastes, tempering Goldsmith’s love of farcical or low scenes]; 546 [gathered with Murphy and Sheridan as opposed to sentimental comedy]; 566 [Kelly did not go for amusing mistakes, like Goldsmith]; 647 [O’Keeffe creates little farce in Tony Lumpkin in Town by sidestepping the stage-Irishman in depicting Lumpkin’s lively boorishness]; 654 [She Stoops to Conquer, Dublin 1st ed. 1773]; BIOG & COMM, [492 see supra]; 656 [as supra; ‘Oliver Goldsmith, Miscellaneous. Writings’, ed. essay, pp.658-61 [see infra]; 681 [add. bibl., as above]; 686 [Goldsmith as model for Anglo-Irish novelists]; 856 [the idea of citizenship was universal; man could become, in Goldsmith’s famous (if not original) phrase, a citizen of the world; eds., Deane, Carpenter, McCormack]; 962 [on Carolan]; 1000 [Thomas Campbell known to Goldsmith]; 1010 [Campbell wrote part of the memoir of Goldsmith in Percy’s work (1801)]; 1208n [Latin version of Johnson’s epitaph, cited by Isaac Butt, in Past and Present State of Literature in Ireland (1837), as supra].

Arthur Quiller Couch, ed., Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918 (new ed. 1929), item 559; Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), gives copious extracts incl. ‘The Haunch of Venison’.

Shell Guide (1967), b. Pallas, a little to the east of Ballymahon, 10 Nov. 1728; his father got the living of Kilkenny West in 1730, and moved to Lissoy, or ‘Sweet Auburn’, 5 miles south-west of Ballymahon in Westmeath, where the ruins of his house are still to be seen; ed. in village by Thomas Byrne, schoolmaster, who spent some years in Peninsular Wars; afterwards went to Athlone to prepare for university, passing later to Mostrim. Connected places, Ardagh, Elphin, Forgney, and Kilkenny West.

British Library (1957 Cat.) lists under MISCELLANEOUS WORKS: The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems (London: W. Griffin 1775), iv, [9-]200pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Griffin 1778), vi, 225pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1780; 1782; 1784; 1786), vi, 225pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1786), 238pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin; Gainsbro’: H. Mozley 1789), 238pp.,. 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Consisting of his essays, poems, plays [&c.], 2 vols. (Edinburgh, Perth: R. Morison & Sons 1791), 12o; The miscellaneous works, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Geo. Mudie 1792), 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith; now first uniformly collected, 7 vols. (Perth: R. Morison & Son; Edinburgh: A. Guthrie 1792) plates, port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems; with an account of the life and writings of the author. A new and correct edition (London: J. Deighton 1793), xli, 288pp., 12o; another edn. (Glasgow: J. & M. Robertson, et al. 1795), another edn. (Boston [Mass.]: Thomas & Andrews, 1795), 237pp. 12o; [Samuel Rose, ed.,] The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. A new edition, To which is prefixed, some account of his life and writings [by Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore], 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, et al. 1801; 1806), pls., port. 8o. . 4 vol.: plates; port. 8o; another edn. (London: W. Otridge & Son, 1812); another edn. (Glasgow: R. Chapman 1816); another edn. (London: F. C. & J. Rivington, et al. 1820); another edn., 6 vols. (London: Samuel Richards 1823), plates; port. 12o; Washington Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings. A new edition. 4 vols. (Paris: A. & W. Galignani; Jules Didot 1825), plate, port., 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, stereotyped from the Paris edition (Philadelphia: J. Crissy; Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836), 527pp., plate; port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, 4 vols. (Paris: Baudry’s European Library, &c. 1837), plate; port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Including a variety of pieces now first collected (London: John Murray 1837), 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings [extracted from the edition of 1823]; another edn. (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1840), xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. With a brief memoir of the author [&c.] (London: Andrew Moffat; Glasgow: D. A. Borrenstein 1841), xii, 308pp.; illus. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings. A new edition, [etc.] (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1843) xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces now first collected, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1866), ill. plates.; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. With biographical introduction by Professor Masson [The Globe edition] (London & NY: Macmillan & Co. 1869 [1868]; 1871), lx, 695pp., 18cm.

Booksellers
Eric Stevens Books (Cat. 166) lists The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), rep. (1843), being 1st edn. with Mulready ills.; another (1855); another, intro. George Saintsbury (1926), 25 Rowlandson col. ills.; also Le Vicaire de Wakefield, trad. par B.-H Gausseron, Paris, Quantin ca.1890, Royal 8vo, 297pp, ill. Poincon, hand-coloureds.

Emerald Isle Books (Cat. 1995) lists The Vicar of Wakefield (1843), 1st edn. with Mulready ills.; others edns. 1855; another edn. with intro. by George Saintsbury and Rowlandson col. ills, 1926. Also lists The Vicar of Wakefield (London: C. Ware 1777), 2 vols in 1 £75].

Hyland Books (Cat. 235) lists Lives of Dr. Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with “The Bee” (Belfast 1818), vi, 243pp., 6°.

Berg Collection (NYPL), holds edn. of The Haunch of Venison (London: Kearsly 1776), book pl. of Austin Dobson; also with ‘The Tears of Genius; occasiond by the death of Dr. Goldsmith, by Courtney Melmoth [pseud.]’ (London: for T. Becket 1774).

Libraries
Marsh’s Library holds The Monthly Review, Vol. XVI (London: for R. Griffiths 1757), 8o.

TCD Long Room (Spring 1978) cites The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (London: G. Kearsly & J. Ridley 1776), 4o.

Belfast Public Library holds 20 titles incl. Lives of Dr. Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with The Bee; var. Histories; Prospect of Society (1902); Works and Poems; and biographies by Stephen Gwynn (1935); T. P. C. Kirkpatrick (n.d.); W. Freeman (1951). MORRIS holds Dalziel’s Illustrated Goldsmith and a sketch of the life ... by H. M. Ducklen (Ward & Lock, 1865); Letters of a Citizen of the World, the Traveller, The Deserted Village (c.1930); The Vicar of Wakefield (c.1935).

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Notes
Patrick Delany: for a possible source of the plot of The Good-Natured Man, see remarks of Patrick Delany: “The Duty of Paying Debts”: ‘A good-natured villain will surfeit a sot and gorge a glutton, nay, will glut his horses and his hounds with that food for which the vendors are one day to starve to death in a dungeon; a good-natured monster will be gay in the spoils of widows and orphans. / Good-nature separated from virtue is absolutely the worst quality and character in life; at least, if this be good-nature, to feed a dog, and to murder a man. And therefore, if you have any pretence to good-nature, pay your debts and in so doing clothe those poor families that are no in rags for your finery ...’.]

Lady Morgan worked as a governess for a Mrs Margaret Featherstone, wife of James Featherstone, High Sherriff of Westmeath, at their home Bracklin Castle; Mrs Featherstone’s mother was a former beauty of the court of Lord Chesterfield in Dublin, Lady Steele of Dominick St. According to Mary Campbell, ‘Oliver Goldsmith, her father’s cousin, also came from this part of Ireland, and describes the landscape in “The Deserted Village”. Here he also set his most famous play, for it was a real life Squire Featherstone upon whom he based the theatrical Squire Hardcastle, in She Stoops to Conquer.’

William Carleton cites a line from Deserted Village (‘I dragged at each remove a lengthening chain’, in the Introduction to the 1843 edn. of Traits and Stories (p.xiv), descriptive of his setting out alone as a ‘poor scholar’ for Munster.

Sir John Gilbert, History of Dublin (1865), Vol. I: ‘A practical joke played by Kelly upon Oliver Goldsmith, who induced him from his representation to take the house of Sir Ralph Fetherstone at Ardagh for an inn, is believe to have suggested the plot of She Stoops to Conquer.’ (p.87). Note, the Oxford Companion to English Literature (ed. Drabble) notes that the mistaking of a private residence for inn was testified by Goldsmith’s sister Mrs Hodson.

W. B. Yeats placed Goldsmith in company with Burke, Berkeley, and Grattan, all in his conception Whigs though they did not know it: ‘Oliver Goldsmith sang what he had seen,/Roads full of beggars, cattle in the fields,/But never saw the trefoil stained with blood,/The avenging leaf those fields raised up against it.’ (“The Seven Sages”, 1932). Note that The Royal Theatre, Stockholm, played She Stoops to Conquer with Yeats’s Cathleen ni Houlihan, at the time when the poet received his Nobel Prize, Dec. 1923.

James Joyce: Goldsmith’s “Retaliation” was taught at Belvedere to James Joyce, giving rise to a pastiche-poem on a schoolmate, G. O’Donnell; Joyce also praised Goldsmith for his personal qualities (‘unassuming’), as retaled in Padraic Colum’s memoir in Ulick O’Connor, ed., The Joyce that We Knew (Cork: Mercier 1967), p.81f.

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Newbery’s profit: A History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764) was a popular success in its two pocket-size volumes, issued by Newbury [vars. Newbury; Newberry].

The March of Intellect” - a questionable attribution

Colm O’Lochlainn reprinted the comic song “The March of Intellect” in his More Irish Street Ballads (1965), identifying the authorship with Goldsmith on the basis of the language and humour alone. Claiming it as his greatest literary ‘find’, he writes that he found it ‘in one of a number of crudely printed song books issued in Dublin in the first decade of the last century.’ He does not name his source but the song has been found in Blackwood’s Magazine, Vol. 2 [No., XXIII] (Dec. 1825), p.764 [available online], in the course of a dialogue featuring North, Shepherd and Tickler [pp.751-65ff. running from front page of issue] - Tickler being the author of the ballad which he returns for another by North (“Crambamulee”) towards the close of their conversation, saying: “Bravo! One good turn deserves another!” before delivering his own. The whole article, commencing with an example of psuedo-Greek translation, has the character of a piece by William Maginn. [Cont.]

The March of Intellect” - cont.: See later rep. of “Noctes ambrosianae”, in The Works of Professor Wilson [...] edited by his son-in-law James Frederick Ferrier (Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons 1855), whose Advertisement [i.e., preface] reveals that The Tickler is modelled on Mr Robert Sym (1750-1844), citing James Hogg’s Reminiscence of Former Days, which is quoted by the Ettrick Shepherd in his Preface to Altrive Tales (May 1834; quoted in Ferrier, pref., op. cit., 1855, p.xiii.) Sym was a Writer to the Signet, who hosted his his house his nephews Prof. Wilson (model for Christopher North), Mr. Robert Sym Wilson (Mgr. of the Royal Bank of Scotland), along with Lockhart, Samuel Anderson and James Hogg. Of the derivation of the title [Noctes Ambrosianae], Ferrier writes: ‘Ambrose’s Hotel was indeed “a local habitation and a name’, and many were the meetings which Professor Ambrose and his friend had within its wall. But the true Ambrose’s must be looked for in the realms of the imagination - the veritable scene of the “Ambrosian Nights” existed nowhere but in their Author’s brain, and their flashing fire was struck out in solitude by genius wholly independent of the stimulus of companionship. / The same remark applies to the principal characters who take part in these dialogues. Although founded to so extent on the acutal, they are in the highest degree idealised. Christopher North was Professor Wilson himself, and here, therefore, the real and ideal may be viewed as coincident. But Timothy Tickler is a personage whose lineaments bear a resemblance to those of their original only in a few fine though unmistakable outlines, whiles James Hogg in the flesh was but a faint adumbration of the inspired Shepherd of the Noctes.’ (Ferrier, op. cit., p.xii.) Ferrier remarks in his Advertisement that the parts of Noctes Ambrosianae reprinted in his book are only those written by Wilson, all the contributions by others having been excluded [that is, 41 out of the original 71 produced in the whole series between 1822 and 1835 are attributed to Wilson and hence reprinted here].

Bibl.: The Works of Professor Wilson, edited by his-son-law Professor Ferrier / This day published, the The First Volume of Noctes Ambrosianae, to be comprised in Four vols., small octavo, price 6s. each / Advertisement. Note two half-title pages [The Works of Professor Wilson] follow the above, and are followed in turn by a full t.p.: The Works of Professor Wilson / edited by his son-in-law / Professor Ferrier / Vol. I / Noctes Ambrosianae / William Blackwood and Sons / Edinburgh and London / MDCCCLV. [1855 edition available at Google Books online; see also copy of 1856 Dutton edn. at Internet Archive online; accessed 07.03.2011.]

The March of Intellect” - cont.: See also Noctes Ambrosianae [rev. & coll.] (1863), pp.147-48 - where the ballad is attributed in a footnote to another writer - viz: ‘*This, I believe, was written by Theodore Hook. —M.’ [sometime available at Vanderbilt Univ. archive of Blackwood’s Magazine [online]. The text can also been found in M. J. Whitty’s journal Captain Rock in London, or, The Chieftain’s Gazette, No. 42 (Sat. Dec. 17 1825 - bound as Vol. 1, p.334) - frankly copied from the the “Noctes Ambrosianae” of Blackwood’s Magazine and copied from hence in in Blackwood’s Magazine but here appearing under the title the “Noctes Lambourniae” of Blackwood’s Magazine, No IV, a dialogue to which Captain Rock is party and in which a certain McGin. [abbrev], is asked by one O’Kavanagh: ‘Anything new in your Blackwood this month?’, to which he answers: ‘Very little. Just the song with Tickler sings is mine’, going on directly to sing “The March of Intellect” in all its verses. [Available online - accessed 07.03.2011; See under M. J. Whitty, infra.] Among other appearances, the ballad was reprinted by Robert Kidd in Vocal Culture and Elocution: with numerous exercises in reading and speaking (Cinncinnati & NY: Van Antwerp & Bragg 1857), p.446 - and there attributed to Blackwood’s Magazine. Kidd was the instructor in elocution at Princeton Theological Seminary, acc. the t.p.. [online].

The March of Intellect - A New Song* [Tune:“Through all the Employments of Life.”]

Oh! Learning’s a very fine thing,
    As also is wisdom and knowledge,
For a man is as great as a king,
    If he has but the airs of a college.
And now-a-days all must admit,
    In Learning we’re wondrously (wonderful) favor’d.
For you scarce o’er your window can spit,
    But some learned man is beslaver’d!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c
(Sing tol de rol ol de rol ay)

We’ll all of us shortly be doom’d
    To part with our plain understanding,
For Intellect now has assumed
    An attitude truly commanding !
All ranks are so dreadfully wise,
    Common sense is set quite at defiance,
And the child for its porridge that cries,
    Must cry in the language of Science.
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Weaver it surely becomes
    To talk of his web’s involution,
For doubtless the hero of thrums
    Is a member of some institution;
He speaks of supply and demand,
    With the airs (ease) of a great legislator,
And almost can tell you off-hand
    That the smaller is less than the greater!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Tailor, in cutting his cloth,
    Will speak of the true conic section,
And no tailor is now such a Goth
    But he talks of his trade’s genuflection!
If you laugh at his bandy-legg’d clan,
    He calls it unhandsome detraction,
And cocks up his chin like a man,
    Though we know that he’s only a fraction!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Blacksmith ’midst cinders and smoke,
    Whose visage is one of the dimmest,
His furnace profoundly will poke,
    With the air of a practical chemist;

Poor Vulcan has recently got
    A lingo that’s almost historic,
And can tell you that iron is hot,
    Because it is filled with caloric!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., , &c

The Mason, in book-learned tone,
    Describes in the very best grammar
The resistance that dwells in the stone,
    And the power that resides in the hammer,
For the son of the trowel and hod
    Looks as big as the Frog in the Fable
While he talks in a jargon as odd
    As his brethren the builders of Babel!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Cobbler who sits at your gate
    Now pensively points his hog’s bristle,
Though the very same cobbler of late
    O’er his work used to sing and to whistle;
But cobbling’s a paltry pursuit
    For a man of polite education—
His works may be trod under foot,
    Yet he’s one of the Lords of Creation!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

Oh! learning’s a very fine thing!
    It almost is treason (It is almost treason) to doubt it—
Yet many of whom I could sing,
    Perhaps might be as well without it!
And without it my days I will pass,
    For to me it was ne’er worth a dollar,
And I don’t wish to look like an Ass
    By trying to talk like a Scholar!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

Let schoolmasters bother their brains
    In their dry and their musty vocation;
But what can the rest of us gain
    By meddling with such botheration?
We cannot be very far wrong,
    If we live like our fathers before us,
Whose Learning went round in the (a) song,
    And whose cares were dispelled in the Chorus,
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c.
   
Note: A discussion of the ballad at The Mud Cat Café (17 Sept.2010 - thread 132203 [online]) casts doubt on the attribution to Goldsmith and quotes an entry by RBW in “The Traditional Ballad Index”, a collaborative annotated bibliography based at California State Univ, Fresco [online]. According to that source, the attribution made by O Lochlainn-More [sic] is associated with a first printing by Hicks of 1802. The author of the notice remarks: ‘O Lochlainn’s attribution to Oliver Goldsmith is difficult to assess. I’m fairly sure that the song he refers to is Tony Lumpkin’s song from Act I of She Stoops to Conquer, beginning: “Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain / With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; / Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, / Gives genus [for genius?] a better discerning. ... ”. But the song simply calls for drink and roast fowl - no conic sections mentioned. Did the song go into oral tradition and get modified? If so, why are there no other mentions? Or was it written somewhere along the way, perhaps by the printer Hicks?’
 The notes given here largely derive from brief remarks and further examination of internet links supplied in that discussion, in which the chief participants are Ruairi Ó Broin and Joe Offer. Note: the search-string used in relation to all the above online references is ‘an attitude truly commanding’, which seems to be unique to this song. As regards ‘conic sections’, the term was later popularised in undergraduate teaching by a textbook of 1848 by George Salmon, q.v.. [BS]
See under William Maginn for further information abot Ferrier’s edition of Noctes Ambrosianae, - infra.

The Gaiety Theatre (Dublin) opened its doors for the first time in Nov 1871 with a performance of Goldsmith’s comedy She Stoops to Conquer.

Ill Fares the Land: The book of that title by Tony Judt (NY: Penguin 2010) is an indictment of corporate greed in America, resulting in a revisitation of - in Galbraith’s phrase - private wealth and public squalor. Judt writes: ‘Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them. [...]’ (Extract in New York Times, 17 March 2010- online.) Reviewer Josef Joffe calls Judt’s book an example of the ‘classic fallacy of the liberal-left intelligentsia [...] the “Doctor State Syndrome”’ (review of same in NYT, 2 May 2010 [online: both accessed 11.09.2010].

Portraits: statue in bronze by J. H. Foley, 1861 [var 1864 CAB], at College Green (TCD); also, portrait in oil by Reynolds, of which there is a copy in Nat. Gallery of Ireland. (See Anne Crookshank, ed., Irish Portrait Exhibition [Catalogue] (Ulster Mus. 1965). See also an engraving after Wheatley, 1791, of a moment from Act V, sc. 3 of She Stoops to Conquer (rep. in Brian de Breffny, Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia, London: Thames & Hudson, p.238.)

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Oliver Goldsmith: 1728-1774


Life
1728: b. 10 Nov., Pallasmore [Pallas], Forgney, Co. Longford (or poss. Ardnagowan near Elphin); a forebear called John Goldsmith was rector of Bourishoull, Co., Mayo, in 1641 and narrowly escaped death in the rebellion [‘Popish massacre’]; Oliver was 2nd son of a poor Anglican clergyman, and Anne Jones, dg. of Oliver Jones, of Smith Hill House, who was head of diocesan school at Elphin; had a br. Charles, who later followed him to London; the family moved to Lissoy on his father receiving the living of Kilkenny West, nr. Ballymahon, Co. Westmeath, 1730; ed. Lissoy [autograph var. Lishoy], under Thomas Byrne, and diocesan school of Elphin, Co. Roscommon; also briefly at Athlone, and later at Edgeworthstown under Rev. Patrick Hughes; contracts smallpox; enters TCD as a sizar, 11 June, 1745 [var. 1744], his tutor being Theaker Wilder, a mathematician; attends plays at Royal Theatre and neglects studies; falls to bottom of his class in theology and law; suffers death of his father 1747, after which the house at Lissoy passed to Mr. Hudson, married to OG’s sister Catherine; his mother settles at Ballymahon, in straightened circumstances; his br. Henry became curate in his father’s former living, taught school, living at Pallas - establishing a happy family and a reputation for kindness; OG put under the charge of an uncle, Contarine; makes money by selling songs to Hicks for printing [vide Colm Ó Lochlainn, More Irish Street Ballads, 1965]; friendship with college friend Robert Bryanton, the scion of Ballymulvey House, led to frolics in neighbourhood of Ballymahon;
 
wins college prize, and riots with the money by conducting a party with town women in his rooms; knocked down by his tutor, Wilder, and quits college; his re-entrance to college secured by his br. Henry, then already in orders; formally admonished in connection with the Black Dog riot, which left two townspeople dead and resulting the explusion of four students; grad. 27 BA Feb. 1749 [O.C. - vars. 1748; 1750, Swarbrick, ed.]; sets out walking to Cork with view to emigration, but turns back for Lissoy after three days, 1749; suffered a rift with his mother (‘I have a sneaking fondness for her still’); rejected for Holy Orders by Bishop of Elphin because of inappropriateness of his dress (red breeches), 1751; supplied with £50 by an uncle to study law in London (Inner Temple) but loses it on cards in Dublin; goes to Edinburgh to study medicine, again supported by his uncle, Sept. 1752-Feb. 1753; attends soirées of Duke of Hamilton and is regarded as ‘the facetious Irishman’; imprisoned Newcastle on suspicion of recruiting for French;
 
1755: OG travels to continent and remains at Leyden until 1755; wanders in France, Switzerland, and Italy, 1755-56 (‘remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow’); perhaps becomes MD at Louvain or Padua; visits Voltaire at Lausanne; returns to England, arriving at Dover, 1 Feb. 1756; reaches London destitute; sets up as physician in Southwark, and takes teaching work at Dr. Milner’s school at Peckham; there he meets the publisher Ralph Griffiths and commences writing for the Monthly Review, 1757, producing more than 90 notices, including a review of Burke’s Philosophical inquiry ... into the sublime and beautiful; seeks employment as surgeon’s mate in the Royal Navy, and found not qualifed at examination, 21 Dec. 1758; OG parts with Griffiths after seven months, accusing him of ‘falsifying’ his writing, 1759; engaged by Smollett on British Magazine, 1759; issues first independent work, Memoirs of a Protestant, condemned to the Galleys of France, for his Religion, a translation; fails to qualify for med. post in India Company, 1758; issues Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning (April 1759), makes acquaintance with Bishop Thomas Percy of Reliques fame, who would later write Memoir of Goldsmith (1801); OG writes short life of Bishop Berkeley, replete with Irish anecdote (1759); contribs. to Critical Review et al.; contribs. article on Carolan to British Magazine (July 1760);
 
1760: encounters John Newbery and worked for him on the Public Ledger, his first piece appearing 12 Jan. 1760; OG occupies upper room in Newbury’s home, Canonbury House, Islington at times during 1760-69; 123 “Chinese Letters” published in the Public Ledger, 1760-62, later collected as Citizen of the World; or Letters from a Chinese Philosopher residing in London to his Friends in the East (1762) and containing the characters Beau Tibbs, Mrs Tibbs, and ‘the Man in Black’, a self-portrait [1761]; moves from Green Arbour Court to better rooms at Wine Office Court, Fleet St.; becomes acquainted with Garrick, Murphy, Smart, Bickerstaff, and a member of Johnson’s Club, 1760; entertains a party incl. Percy and Johnson, 31 May 1761; writes abridgement of Voltaire (1761); writes a Life of Beau Nash (1762); experiences illness and visits spas, 1763; first meets Boswell, who disparaged him in his Life of Johnson, 1763; issued History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764), anonymously published and attributed on style to Chesterfield, Lord Orrery, and Lord Lyttleton [var. Aug. 1771 CAB]; secures patronage of Lord Clare with his Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (Dec. 1764), the first work to appear under his own name, and compared by Johnson to work of Pope; receives 20 for the poem, which Newbery sold through numerous editions; moves from Wine Court to the Temple; reputedly wrote Goody Two Shoes;
 
1765: an edition of his collected essays printed in 1765; enters dispute with a chemist over a prescription, being ejected from the house of a lady he had offered to help as a physician, 1765; Boswell reports that Johnson visited him in poverty and removes the manuscript of The Vicar of Wakefield for sale; known to have been purchased by Newbery with Collins and another, for 21 on 21 Oct. 1762, the copyright being sold to Francis Newbery, nephew of John, at a profit of 63; not published until 1766 (96th edn. 1889), probably in view of sale of The Traveller; Vicar of Wakefield quickly running to three editions during 1766, the fourth edn. starting at a loss; wrote a short English grammar for five guineas; wrote History of Rome (1769) [var. Roman History], for booksellers; death of Newbery, 1767;
 
1767: The Goodnatur’d Man was rejected by Garrick in favour of a comedy by Hugh Kelly, 1767, and then taken up by Colman the Elder to be performed at Covent Garden, 1768, with a gloomy prologue by Johnson who attended the rehearsals as an encouragement; ran for ten nights only; printed with a Preface attacking the fashion for sentimental drama or ‘genteel comedy’, supposedly by Goldsmith himself but probably by Arthur Murphy; used proceeds, c.500, from play and publication, to move to newly-furnished chambers; occupied cottage on Edgeware Rd., returning in October; published History of Rome (May 1769); issued The Deserted Village (26 May 1770), running to a fifth edition by August; issued Life of Parnell (1770); travelled to Paris with the Horneck family (Mrs Horneck, Mary, and Catherine, 1770, Mary, whom he met at 14, being his ‘Jessamy Bride’ (later m. H. W. Bunbury); writes The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (publ. posthum 1776), in return for a gift of Lord Clare; agreed with Davies to write a Life of Bolingbroke (Dec. 1770);
 
1773: published anonymously “An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy in Westminster Gazette (Jan. 1773, pp.4-6), criticising the latter; increasingly plunged in death through expensive living; She Stoops to Conquer (Covent Garden, March 1773), a tale of ‘mistakes of the night’ concerning class confusions, and produced after interventions by Johnson; altercation with Thomas Evans and the editor of The London Packet, in which appeared ‘Tom Tickle’, an insulting letter mocking his tender feelings for ‘the lovely H-k’;
1774: publishes The Retaliation (1774), containing celebrated lines on Burke, Garrick, Cumberland, et al.; The History of Greece (1774); An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. (posthum. 1774), commissioned 1769, and paided for long before delivery, often ridiculed for its preposterous inventions; removed to country lodgings nr. Hyde to write and recoup his fortune; returned ill to London; embarked on “The Retaliation”, and is writing of Reynolds (‘by flattery unspoiled’) at the time when he suffers his final attack;d. 5.00 a.m., 4 April 1774, of strangury (congestion of bladder) and fever; reputed last words, ‘I am not at ease in my mind’; bur. Temple Church, monument at expense of The Club in Westminster Abbey, with Latin epitaph by Johnson (‘qui omnes fere scribendi genus tetigit, et nullum tetigit, quod non ornavit [there was almost no subject he did not write about, and he wrote on nothing without enhancing it]’ - who also remarked to Boswell, ‘Let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very great man’ (Prior, Life of Goldsmith); Samuel Johnson considered Goldsmith ‘a very great man’ and there are extensive references to him in Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson - often as a butt to contemporary literary men‘s humour; for Goethe he stood with Shakespeare and Sterne as leading influences;
 
Post-hum.: Miscellaneous Works of Goldsmith (1801), with Percy’s Memoir of Goldsmith; Dublin editions of poems and plays in 1777 and 1780; English edns. in 1831 and 1846; an edition of Vicar of Wakefield appeared in 1843 with ills. by William Mulready; the edition of Deserted Village by R. H. Newell (1811), contains the first account of the locality of the eponymous village, with engravings of same by Aitkin; remembered for his kindness to the common people among whom he lived; characterised as consummate booby in Boswell’s Life of Johnson; statue by J. H. Foley at College Green on front of TCD West Gate, 1864; James Prior wrote a life of Goldsmith (2 vols., 1836), to accompany an edition of the Works issued in (4 vols. 1836-37); others were written by Washington Irving (1844), John Foster (1848); Peter Cunningham’s edition of the Works (1854) was the first issue of Murray’s British Classics, and reissued with an introduction by Austin Dobson (1900); it fell to Sydney Owenson [later Lady Morgan], in The Wild Irish Girl (1806), to identify him as an Irish writer whose pen captured the scenes of his native country, a theme reiterated by John Montague and others; a modern edition of The Vicar of Wakefield was ill. by Hugh Thompson; Tom Murphy dramatised The Vicar of Wakefield [c.1975], and adapted She Stoops to Conquer to an Irish setting. RR CAB ODNB PI JMC ODQ DIB DIW DIL OCEL NCBE OCIL FDA
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1. Goldsmith by Reynolds (1770)
2. Goldmith by J. H. Foley (1864) 3. Summerfield (after Reynolds) 4. Foley’s Goldsmith (TCD)

[ Note: The bronze maquette by John Henry Foley was auctioned at Sotheby’s (London) for £23,000 in 2007. ]

Works
Individual editions, Citizen of the World (1760-61); The Traveller (1764); The Deserted Village (1770); The Vicar of Wakefield (1766); The Good Natur’d Man (1768); An Essay on the Theatre; or, A Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy (1773) [anon., Westminster Gazette, Jan. 1773]; She Stoops to Conquer (1774); History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. [see also infra]; The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (London: G. Kearsly & J. Ridley 1776), 4o. Also, Lives of Dr Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with The Bee (Belfast 1818), vi, 243pp.

RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - full-text editions
“The Deserted Village” (1770) The Vicar of Wakefield (1776)

Collected Editions: The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B., 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, C. & J. Robinson 1801); R. S. Crane, ed., New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (Chicago UP 1927); Katherine [Canby] Balderston, ed., The Collected Letters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1928); Arthur Friedman, The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon P. 1966); John Lucas, ed., Oliver Goldsmith, Selected Writings (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1990); Alan Rudrum & Peter Dixon, eds., Selected poems of Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith [Arnold’s English Texts] (London: Edward Arnold 1965), 146pp.

Bibliography, Temple Scott, Oliver Goldsmith Biographically and Bibliographically Considered (NY 1928); Katherine Canby Balderston, A Census of the Manuscripts of Oliver Goldsmith (NY 1926).

Miscellaneous Works” (var. edns.), The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems (London: W. Griffin 1775), iv, [9-]200pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Griffin 1778), vi, 225pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1780; 1782; 1784; 1786), vi, 225pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1786), 238pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin; Gainsbro’: H. Mozley 1789), 238pp.,. 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Consisting of his essays, poems, plays [ &c.], 2 vols. (Edinburgh, Perth: R. Morison & Sons 1791), 12o; The miscellaneous works, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Geo. Mudie 1792), 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith; now first uniformly collected, 7 vols. (Perth: R. Morison & Son; Edinburgh: A. Guthrie 1792) plates, port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems; with an account of the life and writings of the author. A new and correct edition (London: J. Deighton 1793), xli, 288pp., 12o; another edn. (Glasgow: J. & M. Robertson, et al. 1795), another edn. (Boston [Mass.]: Thomas & Andrews, 1795), 237pp. 12o; [Samuel Rose, ed.,] The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. A new edition, To which is prefixed, some account of his life and writings [by Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore], 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, et al. 1801; 1806), pls., port. 8o. . 4 vol.: plates; port. 8o; another edn. (London: W. Otridge & Son, 1812); another edn. (Glasgow: R. Chapman 1816); another edn. (London: F. C. & J. Rivington, et al. 1820); another edn., 6 vols. (London: Samuel Richards 1823), plates; port. 12o; Washington Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings. A new edition. 4 vols. (Paris: A. & W. Galignani; Jules Didot 1825), plate, port., 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, stereotyped from the Paris edition (Philadelphia: J. Crissy; Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836), 527pp., plate; port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, 4 vols. (Paris: Baudry’s European Library, &c. 1837), plate; port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Including a variety of pieces now first collected (London: John Murray 1837), 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings [extracted from the edition of 1823]; another edn. (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1840), xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. With a brief memoir of the author [ &c.] (London: Andrew Moffat; Glasgow: D. A. Borrenstein 1841), xii, 308pp.; illus. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings. A new edition, [etc.] (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1843) xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces now first collected, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1866), ill. plates.; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. With biographical introduction by Professor Masson [The Globe edition] (London & NY: Macmillan & Co. 1869 [1868]; 1871), lx, 695pp., 18cm.

Dublin reprint editions
Poetry
  • The Citizen of the World, 2 vols. (Dublin: George and Alex. Ewing 1762); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1769); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: the United Company of Booksellers, 1775).
  • The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (Dublin: George Faulkner, 1767); Do., another edn. (Dublin: George Faulkner, 1770). The Deserted Village (Dublin: J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr, J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe, 1770); Do., another edn. 2nd edn. (Dublin: H. Saunders, B. Grierson, J. Potts, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Williams, C. Ingham, J. Porter, and R. Moncrieffe, 1770); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784)
  • Poems (Belfast: printed by James Magee 1775); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Charles Downes, for Thomas Reilly, 1801).
  • The Haunch of Venison (Dublin: W. Whitestone, W. Watson, W. Sleater, J. Potts, J. Hoey, W. Colles, W. Wilson, R. Moncrieffe, G. Burnet, C. Jenkin, T. Walker, W. Hallhead, W. Spotswood, M. Mills,J. Exshaw, J. Beatty, and C. Talbot, 1776).
Drama
  • The Good Natur’d Man [A Comedy, As performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden] (Dublin: J. A. Husband, for J. Hoey, Snr., P. and W. Wilson, J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, W. Sleater, J. Williams, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, J. Mitchell, J. Sheppard, and W. Colles, 1768), 70pp. 12o, Do., another edn. (Dublin: J. Hoey, sen., et al., 1770); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784).
  • She Stoops to Conquer, Belfast: printed by James Magee, 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Exshaw, Saunders, Sleater, Potts, Chamberlaine, Williams, Wilson, Hoey, Jnr, Husband, Lynch, Vallance, Colles, Walker, Moncrieffe,Jenkin, Flin, and Hillary, 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Exshaw, et al. [excluding Colles], 1773); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Bartholomew Corcoran, 1774); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, Colles, Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Exshaw, Burnet, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, Higly, and Beatty, 1784); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Messrs. Price, et al., 1785); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell, for William Jones, 1792).
Fiction
  • The Vicar of Wakefield, 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, A. Leathley, J. Hoey, Snr., P. Wilson, J. Exshaw, E. Watts, H. Saunders, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Potts, and J. Williams, 1766); Do., another edn. 2nd edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, et al., 1766); Do., another edn. 2 vols. Corke: printed by Eugene Swiney, 1766); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: W. and W. Smith, et al., 1767); Do., another edn. (Dublin: the United Company of Booksellers, 1791); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: printed byJ. Stockdale, forJ. Moore, 1793); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: T. Henshall, [1794]); Do. [trans.]. Le curé de Wakefield (Dublin: G. Gilbert, 1797).
Prose
  • Essays. 2nd edn. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1767); Do., another edn. 3rd edn. (Dublin: James Williams, 1772); Do., another edn. 3 vols. (Dublin: J. Stockdale for J. Moore, 1793).
  • An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1776); Do., another edn. 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1777); Do., another edn. 8 vols. (Dublin: J. Williams, 1782-83).
  • An History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son, 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Exshaw and H. Bradley, 1765); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: J. Exshaw and H. Bradley, 1767); Do., another edn. 4th edn., 2 vols. (Dublin: J., Exshaw and W. Colles, 1784).
  • The History of England, from the Earliest Times to the Death of George II, 4 vols. (Dublin: A. Leathley, J. Exshaw, W. Wilson, H. Saunders, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Potts, J. Williams, J. Mitchell, J. A. Husband, W. Colles, T. Walker, R. Moncrieffe, and D. Hay, 1771); Do., another edn. 4th edn., 4 vols. (Dublin: W. Sleater, H. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, W. Colles, R. Moncrieffe, T. Walker, W. Wilson, J. Exshaw, and L. White, 1789); Do., another edn. 5th edn. 4 vols. (Dublin: William Porter, for W. Gilbert, P. Wogan, J. Exshaw, W. Porter, W. McKenzie, J. Moore, W. Jones, and J. Rice, 1796); Do., another edn. [as] An Abridgement of the History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Caesar, to the Death of George II. 5th edn. (Dublin: James Williams, 1779).
  • The Roman History, 2 vols. (Dublin: S. Powel, J. Exshaw, H. Saunders, B. Grierson, W. Sleater, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, J. Hoey, Jnr., J. Williams, and C. Ingham, 1769); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: S. Powel, et al., 1771); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: P. Wogan, J. Exshaw, W. Sleater, J. Rice, and R. White, 1792); Do., another edn. 2 vols. Cork: printed by J. Connor, 1800); Do. [another edn.], The Roman History, abridged for schools (Dublin: P. Wogan, 1798).
  • The Grecian History, 2 vols. (Dublin: printed forJames Williams, 1774); Do., another edn. 2 vols. (Dublin: P. Wogan, 1801). [From Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers, 1740-1800 (London: Mansell Pub.; NJ: Atlantic Heights 1986), Appendix 4 [pp.245-47].
Collections
  • Poems and Plays (Dublin: Messrs. Price, Sleater, W. Watson, Whitestone, Chamberlaine, S. Watson, Burrowes, Potts, Williams, Hoey, Wilkinson, Sheppard, W. Colles, W. Wilson, Moncrieffe, Walker, Jenkin, Hallhead, Exshaw, Spotswood, Burnet, P. Wilson, Armitage, E. Cross, Hillary, Wogan, Mills, White, T. Watson, Talbot, Higly, and Beatty, 1777); Do., another edn. (Dublin: Wm. Wilson, 1777); Do., another edn. new corrected edition (Dublin: Messrs. Price, et al., 1785).
  • The Beauties of Goldsmith (Dublin: J. Rea, for Messrs. S. Price, Walker, Exshaw, Beatty, Wilson, Wogan, Burton, Byrne, and Cash, 1783).

Modern Editions, William Henry Hudson, intro. & annot., Vicar of Wakefield [Heath’s English Classics] (Boston: D.C. Heath & Co. [1920]), xxxv, [1], 264, [2]pp, pls., port.; R. S. Crane, ed., New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (Chicago UP 1927); Katherine Balderston, ed., The Collected etters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1928); Arthur Friedman, ed., The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1966); The Deserted Village by [OG] with a note on the author and a summary of his life by Desmond Egan (Curragh: Goldsmith Press 1978), 44pp.; Tom Davis, ed., She Stoops to Conquer [New Mermaid Ser.] (London: A & C. Black 1996) [8th edn.]; The Deserted Village, ill. Blaise Drummond (Oldcastle: Gallery Press [2002]), 58pp.

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Criticism
  • [Bishop] Thomas Percy, Life of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (1801) [var Memoir], and Do. [rep.], ed., Richard Harp (Salzburg: Institüt f[ü]r Englische Sprache und Literatur 1976).
  • James Prior, Oliver Goldsmith, 2 vols. (1837).
  • John Foster, The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (London 1848 [another edn. 1855]).
  • Washington Irving, Oliver Goldsmith, A Biography (1849) [based in Prior; available at Wikisource online; accessed 08.03.2011].
  • William Black, Goldsmith (London 1881).
  • Mathias McDonnell Bodkin, In the Days of Goldsmith (1903).
  • M. P. Conant, The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteeth Century (NY: Random House 1908).
  • J. A. Strahan, “Oliver Goldsmith”, in Blackwood’s Magazine [Vol. CCX] (July-Dec. 1921), [p.221ff.; online; 23.11.2010].
  • H. J. Smith, Oliver Goldsmith’s Citizen of the World, A Study (Yale UP 1926).
  • Temple Scott [pseud. of J. H. Isaac], Oliver Goldsmith Bibliographically and Biographically Considered (NY: Bowling Green P. 1928).
  • Stephen Gwynn, Oliver Goldsmith (London: Thorton Butterworth 1935) [var. 1937].
  • R. W. Jackson, Goldsmith: Essays Towards an Interpretation (Dublin APCK 1951), and Do. [rep.] (Plainview, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press [1974]), 47pp.
  • Ralph M. Wardle, Oliver Goldsmith (Kansas UP; London: Constable 1957).
  • G. Sherburn, ‘the Periodicals and Oliver Goldsmith’, in A Literary History of England, ed. A. C. Baugh [2nd edn.] (NY: Knopf 1957), pp.1057-58.
  • Oscar Sherwin, The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (NY 1961).
  • Clara M. Kirk, Oliver Goldsmith (NY: Twayne 1967).
  • J. Dussinger, ‘Oliver Goldsmith, Citizen of the World’, in Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 55 (1967), pp.445-61.
  • Ricardo Quintana, Goldsmith: A Georgian Study (NY: Macmillan 1967; London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1969).
  • Robert Hopkins, The True Genius of Oliver Goldsmith (Johns Hopkins UP 1969).
  • A. Lytton Sells, Oliver Goldsmith, His Life and Works (London: Allen & Unwin; NY: Barnes & Noble 1974).
  • George Sebastian Rousseau, ed., Goldsmith: The Critical Heritage (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1974).
  • A N. Jeffares, ‘Goldsmith and the Good-Natured Man,’ in Hermathena, CXIX (Dublin 1975) [rep. as ‘Good-Natured Goldsmith’, in Images of Invention: Essays on Irish Writing (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996), pp.90-105].
  • John Ginger, The Notable Man: The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith (London: Hamish Hamilton 1977).
  • J. B. Lyons, The Mystery of Oliver Goldsmith’s Medical Degree (Blackrock: Carraig Books 1978).
  • Samuel J. Woods, Jr., Oliver Goldsmith: A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall 1982).
  • Wolfgang Zach, ‘Oliver Goldsmith on Ireland and the Irish: Personal Views, Shifting Attitudes, Literary Stereotypes’, in Studies in Anglo-Irish Literature, ed. Heinz Kosok (Bonn: Bouvier 1982) [q.pp.].
  • Andrew Swarbrick, ed., The Art of Oliver Goldsmith [Critical Studies Series] (NJ: Barnes & Noble; London: Vision Press 1982) [var. 1984; incls. John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of the Deserted Village’, pp.90-107, also in The Figure in the Cave; infra].
  • Harold Bloom, ed., Oliver Goldsmith (NY: Chelsea 1987).
  • W. J. McCormack, ‘Goldsmith Biography and the Phenomenology of Anglo-Irish Literature’, in Oliver Goldsmith: The Gentle Master, ed., Seán Lucy, (Cork UP 1984) pp.168-93 [ incls. A. N. Jeffares, et al.].
  • John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of the Deserted Village’, in The Figure in the Cave (Dublin: Lilliput 1989), pp.61-77.
  • Katherine Worth, Sheridan and Goldsmith (NY: St. Martin’s Press 1992); E. H. Mikhail, ed., Goldsmith: Interviews and Recollections (NY: St. Martin’s Press 1993); Peter Dixon, Oliver Goldsmith Revisited (Boston: Twayne Publ. 1991) [q.pp.].
  • Richard C. Taylor, Goldsmith as Journalist (NJ: Farleigh Dickinson UP; London: Assoc. UP 1993), 205pp.
  • B. S. Pathania, Goldsmith and the Sentimental Comedy (New Delhi: Prestige Books 1998).
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village’’’ & ‘Radical Pastoral: Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer’, in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.107-23 & pp.124-36.
 
See also James Boswell, Life of Johnson [1791], G. B. Hill; revised L. C. Powell, 6 vols. (OUP 1939-50); Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.181-97; J. J. Kelly, The Early Haunts of Oliver Goldsmith (q.d.), and C. A. Moore, Backgrounds of English Literature 1700-1776 (Minnesota UP 1953);
 
See The New Cambridge Bibliography of English ..., Volume 2: 1660-1800, by George Watson (Cambridge UP 1971) - Essays and Pamphleteers, Goldsmith, pp.1191-1210ff. [Google Books online; accessed 08.03.2011].

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Commentary

Contemporaries and older critics
Samuel Johnson
James Hardiman
Joshua Reynolds
W. M. Thackeray
[Lord] Macaulay
Walter Scott
Mary Frances Cusack
James Joyce
T. S. Eliot
Modern commentators
Peter Kavanagh
W. B. Stanford
Seamus Deane
Richard Cargill Cole
Joseph Th. Leerssen
Andrew Swarbrick
John Montague
Geoffrey Tyack
Kevin Myers
Tom Davis
Declan Kiberd
Arthur Freeman
[ For Goldsmith’s attitude to emerging capitalist individualism see Ian Watt in The Rise of the Novel [... &c.] (1957) - infra.

[ See the life of Oliver Goldsmith by J. H. Plumb - online; accessed 08.03.2011 ]

Samuel Johnson: According to Boswell Johnson said that Goldsmith ‘seldom comes where he is not more ignorant than anyone else.’ [Var. ‘never in company where there was anyone more ignorant than himself.’] Johnson also said that ‘[n]o man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, nor more wise when he had’, while David Garrick famously remarked of Goldsmith: ‘He wrote like an Angel, but talked like poor Poll.’

James Hardiman, “Memoir of Carolan”, in Irish Minstrelsy (1831), calls Goldsmith’s article on Carolan a ‘trifling Essay’ [see rep. edn. IUP 1971, Vol. 1, p.lxiii].

Edmund Burke: ’As the Colonel [O’Moore] and Mr. Burke were proceeding to dine with Sir Joshua, they observed Goldsmith also on his way thither, standing near a crowd who were staring and shouting at some foreign women in the windows of a house in Leicester Square. “Observe Goldsmith,” said Burke to his companion, “and mark what passes between him and me by and by at Sir Joshua’s.” Proceeding forward, they reached the house before him, and when the poet came up to Mr. Burke, the latter affected to receive him coolly, when an explanation of the cause of offence was with some urgency requested. Burke appeared reluctant to speak, but after some pressing said, that he almost regretted keeping up an intimacy with one who could be guilty of such indiscretions as he had just exhibited in the square. The Poet with great earnestness protested he was unconscious of what was meant. “Why,” said Mr. Burke, “did you not exclaim, as you were looking up at those women, what stupid beasts the people must be for staring with such admiration at those painted jezebels while a man of your talents passed by unnoticed?” Goldsmith was astonished, “Surely, surely, my dear friend, I did not say so.” “Nay,” replied Mr. Burke, “if you had not said so how should I have known it?” “That’s true,” answered Gold smith with great humility; “l am very sorry - it was very foolish; I do recollect that something of the kind passed through my mind, but I did not think I had uttered it.”’ - Croker’s Boswell, vol. i. p. 423.
 
The story is quoted from Croker’s edition, where it it given in a footnote, in a review of Prior’s Life and Works of Goldsmith in the London Quarterly Review, Vol. CXIV, Dec 1836 [American Edn.] (NY: Theodore Foster, 1836), 149-77; p.174; available at Google Books online; acccessed 08.03.2011.

Joshua Reynolds, ‘No man’s company was so eagerly sought after, for in his company the ignorant and illiterate were not only easy and free from any mortifying restraint, but even their vanity was gratified to find so admirable a writer so much upon a level, or inferior to themselves, in the arts of conversation.’

W. M. Thackeray, The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century (1853): ‘Who, of the millions whom he has amused, does not love him? To be the most beloved of English writers, what a title that is for a man! A wild youth wayward but full of tenderness and affection, quits the country village where his boyhood has been passed in happy musing, in idle shelter, in fond longing to see the great world out of doors, and achieve name and fortune - and after years of dire struggle, and neglect, and poverty, his heart turning back fondly to his native place, as it had longed eager]y for change when sheltered there, he writes a book and a poem, full of the recollections and feelings of home - he paints the friends and scenes of his youth, and peoples Auburn and Wakefield with remembrances of Lissoy. Wander he must, but he carries away a home-relic with him, and dies with it on his breast. His nature is truant, in repose it longs for change: as on the journey it looks back for friends and quiet. He passes to-day in building an air-castle for to-morrow, or in writing yesterday’s elegy; and he would fly away this hour, but that a cage of necessity keeps him. What is the charm of his verse, of his style and humour? His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns? Your love for him is half pity. You come hot and tired from the day’s battle, and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Whom did he ever hurt? He carries no weapon - save the harp on which he plays to you, and with which he delights great and humble, young and old, the captains in the tents, or the soldiers round the fire, or the women and children in the villages, at whose porches he stops and sings his simple songs of love and beauty.’ (Quoted in biog. essay, subscribed C. W. [Charles Welch], in Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904, vol. IV, p.1301; note that Welsh is the author of a work on John Newbury, whom he defends rather irrelevantly in his biog. introduction to Oliver Goldsmith in the same anthology.)

W. M. Thackeray, ‘[G]entle, whimsical, incorrigible’; ‘His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns? Your love for him is half pity. You come hot and tired from the day’s battle and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Who did he ever hurt? He carries no weapon - save the harp on which he plays to you [...] his simple songs of love and beauty.’ (English Humourists; quoted in Frank O’Connor, Book of Ireland, 1979, p.180-183.)

Lord Macaulay [Thos. B. Macaulay] objected against The Deserted Village that, besides contradicting the political economists, it is made up of incongruous parts, a mixture between ‘a hamlet in Kent’ and ‘an ejectment in Munster’, which ‘belong to two different countries, and to two different stages in the progress of society.’

Further: ‘The village in its happy days is a true English village [...] The village in decay is an Irish village. By joining these two he has produced something which never was and never will be seen in any part of the world.’ Also’ ‘He knew nothing accurately, his reading had been desultory; nor had he meditated on what he had read [...] There have been many greater writers, but perhaps no writer was ever so uniformly agreeable. His style always easy and pure, and on the proper occasions, pointed and energetic [with] an occasional tinge of amiable sadness. About everything he wrote ... there was a certain natural grave and decorum, hardly to be expected from a man a great part of whose life had been spent among thieves and beggars and streetwalkers and merryandrews.’

Further: ‘Straight veracity was never one of his virtues; squalid distress and squalid dissipation.’ (Quoted [in part] in John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of The Deserted Village, in The Cave and Other Essays, Dublin: Lilliput Press 1989, p.74.)

Note: Declan Kiberd writes: ‘One could in fact reverse Macaulay’s reading, for when the speaker moves his evicted, exiled peasantry into a fallen, urban setting, there to witness a profusion in which they cannot share, the backdrop seems remarkably close to Goldsmith’s London.’ (‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”’, in Irish Classics, London: Granta 2000, p.117.)

Sir Walter Scott, ‘Lissoy, near Balymahon, where his brother the clergyman had a living, claims the honor [of being Auburn]; a hawthorn has suffered the penalty of poetical celebrity, being cut to pieces by those admirers of the bard who desire to have classical toothpick cases and tobacco stoppers. Much of the supposed locality may be fanciful but it is a pleasing tribute to the poet in the land of his fathers; further, Scott reported, ‘Even when George III was on the throne [Goldsmith] maintained that nothing but the restoration of the banished dynasty could save the country’.

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Mary Frances Cusack, Illustrated History of Ireland, 400-1800 (1868) - Chap. XXXV: ‘Goldsmith’s father was a Protestant clergyman. The poet was born at Pallas, in the county Longford. After a series of adventures, not always to his credit, and sundry wanderings on the Continent in the most extreme poverty, he settled in London. Here he met with considerable success as an author, and enjoyed the society of the first literary men of the day. After the first and inevitable struggles of a poor author, had he possessed even half as much talent for business as capacity for intellectual effort, he might soon have obtained a competency by his pen; but, unfortunately, though he was not seriously addicted to intemperance, his convivial habits, and his attraction for the gaming table, soon scattered his hard-won earnings. His “knack of hoping,” however, helped him through life. He died on the 4th April, 1774. His last words were sad indeed, in whatever sense they may be taken. He was suffering from fever, but his devoted medical attendant, Doctor Norton, perceiving his pulse to be unusually high even under such circumstances, asked, “Is your mind at ease?” “No, it is not,” was Goldsmith’s sad reply; and these were the last words he uttered.’ [Available at Gutenberg Project - online; accessed 30.08.2017; incls. ill. of Goldsmith’s Mill at Auburn.

James Joyce (Letter to Stanislaus Joyce, 19 July 1905): ‘The preface to The Vicar of Wakefield which I read yesterday gave me a moment of doubt as to the excellence of my literary manners. It seems improbable that Hardy, for example, will be spoken of in two hundred years. And yet when I arrived at page two of the narrative I saw the extreme putridity of the social system out of which Goldsmith had reared his flower. Is it possible that, after all, men of letters are no more than entertainers? These discouraging reflections arise perhaps from my surroundings.’ [Goes on to speak of Dubliners and the moral obtuseness of contemporary Irish writing.] (Letters, II, 1966, p.99; Selected Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann, London: Faber 1975, p.70.)

T. S. Eliot, ‘Their [Goldsmith and Johnson’s] kind of originality is as remarkable as any other: indeed, to be original with the minimum of alteration is sometimes more distinguished than to be original with the maximum of alteration.’ (Quoted in The Art of Oliver Goldmith, London: Vision Press 1982, p.13.)

Ian Watt on Goldsmith, in The Rise of the Novel (1957)

‘This inclusive reordering of the components of human society tends to occur wherever industrial capitalism becomes the dominant force in the economic structure [9], and it naturally became evident particularly early in England. By the middle of the eighteenth century, indeed, it had already become something of a commonplace. Goldsmith, for instance, thus described the concomitants of England’s vaunted freedom in The Traveller (1764).’ [See lines as quoted here under Quotations - infra].

Further: ‘Unlike Goldsmith, Defoe was not a professed enemy of the new order - quite the reverse; nevertheless there is much in Robinson Crusoe that bears out Goldsmith’s picture, as can be seen in Defoe’s treatment of such group relationships as the family or the nation.’

Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding (1957), q.p.

Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962) [of Arthur Murphy and other writers of sentimental comedies]: ‘These comedies, which are merely a few selected from among many others, demonstrate that even the force of prevailing sentimentalism could not completly banish laughter from the playhouses. [...] Oliver Goldsmith first took up the cudgels against the sentimental drama in 1759 when he published his essay on The Present State of Polite Learning, and a decade later, in 1768, his The Good-natured Man directed its barbed shafts at the style of Kelly, Cumberland, and their kin. The audience realized fully the cleverness of the work, although their tastes were too squeamish to permit them to accept without protest the “low” scenes which Goldsmith had introduced into his play. Reading this comedy now, we may perhaps fail to discern wherein exactly Goldsmith departed from the sentimental camp. The concluding lines seem cast entirely in the spirit of the Cumberland (quotes as infra.) Certainly this shows that Goldsmith had not completely thrown over the shackles of the style he condemned. and similar passages may be found scattered throughout the play. But when we come to the bailiff scenes in the third act Goldsmith’s sly satire becomes dearly apparent. Says the minion of the law: “Looky, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time-no disparagement of you neither-men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. (...; &c.”, as infra.) / The Good-natured Man cannot be regarded as a truly successful play; the plot moves creakingly, much of the dialogue is stilted, and there are scenes which show that the author has not grasped fully the requirements of the stage. All these defects, however, are remedied in She Stoops to Conquer; or, The Mistakes of a Night (1773). This comedy, of richly deserved fame, presents a peculiar and interesting fusion of different forces. Clearly it owes part of its inspiration to the school of which Farquhar was the last true representative, but in essence it approaches more nearly to the spirit of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, which, it may be noted, were at that time winning an esteem they had not enjoyed since the early seventeenth century. In effect, the conception of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin, Diggory, and the lovers exhibits, not a witty intellectual approach, but the exercise of humour. Here are the sly smiles. the subtle sallies, the humane sensitiveness characteristic of that mood. Basically, Tony Lumpkin is born of Falstaff’s company: he is a fool and yet a wit; for his follies we laugh at him and at the same time we recognize that often the laugh is turned back upon ourselves. Although the setting and the persons of the comedy seem far off from Shakespeare’s Rosalinds and Orlandos, Bottoms and Dogberrys, it [193] seems certain that in penning its scenes Goldsmith was looking back fondly over a period of nearly two hundred years.’

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), Goldsmith criticised the sentimental drama in his Enquiry into the Polite State of Learning in Europe (1759), and carried his attack to the actors themselves so vigorously in one passage that it was cut from succeeding editions for the offence it gave. It now seems mild, ‘Our actors assume all that state off the stage which they do on it; and to use an expression borrowed from the Green Room, every one is up in his part. I am sorry to say it, they seem to forget their real characters; more provoking still, the public seem to forget them too.’ Further: He continued the attack on Aristotelian grounds in the Westminster Magazine (13 Jan 1773), defining ‘sentimental drama’ as that in which ‘the virtues of private life are exhibited, rather than the vices exposed; and the distresses rather than the faults of mankind made our interest in the piece. [...] the comic part is invading the province of the tragic muse [...] Of this however he is in no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits [...] It is, of all others, the most written. Those abilities that can hammer out a novel, are fully sufficient [...] and there is no doubt but all the ladies will cry, and all the gentlemen applaud.’ (From Essay on the Theatre or a Comparison between the Sentimental and Laughing Comedy.)

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), Oliver Goldsmith, entered College in 1745, in his Present State of Polite Learning (1759), approvd educational methods of Dublin University, in distinguishing between three types of university in Europe, ‘those upon the old scholastic establishment, where the pupils are immured, talk nothing but Latin, and support everyday syllogistical disputations in school-philosophy’, such as Prague, Louvain and Padua, others ‘where pupils are under few restrictions, where all scholastic jargon is banished’, and pupils took their degrees when they chose, like Leiden, Gottingen and Geneva, and a third being a mixture of the two. Goldsmith thought the third type best for rich, and the second type the best for poorer students. In the Life of Parnell, Goldsmith says the TCD entrance exam was harder than at Oxbridge. [50] Also, W. MacDonald, Reminiscences of a Maynooth Professor (London 1925), this writer found Pinnock’s edition of Goldsmith’s histories of Greece and Rome and oasis in his own arid education in the classics at Maynooth.

W. B. Stanford (Ireland and the Classical Tradition, IAP 1976; 1984 - cont.), on classical models, Goldsmith, Horace (narrative poems) [Stanford 93]. Goldsmith received instruction in Classics under Leland at TCD, 1745-50, and afterward made use of Leland’s Philip in his Grecian History. [...] His own Roman History from the Foundation of the City of Rome to the Destruction of the Roman Empire, 2 vols. (1769), he describes as ‘a compilation for schools’. Much criticised, it ran to 14 editions up to 1800, as well as many translations. His Grecian History from the Earliest Date to the Death of Alexander (1744) was completed at his death by another author who condensed the ensuing sixteen hundred years down to the Fall of Constantinople in a chapter of ten pages. The work went into 20 editions in fifty years [150] Note, It was in connection with his praise of Goldsmith as a historian to Boswell that Johnson cited the ‘old tutor’s’ advice, ‘Read your composition, and whenever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.’ Of Goldsmith, he said, ‘it is the excellence of a writer to put into his book as much as his book will hold. Goldsmith has done this in his history ... Goldsmith tell you shortly all you want to know [...] he has the art of compiling, and of saying everything he has to say in a pleasing manner.’ Johnson opens the dialogue with this remark, ‘What Goldsmith comically says of himself is very true - he always gets the better when he argues alone; meaning, that he is master of a subject in his study, and can write well upon it; but when he comes into company, grows confused, and unable to talk [...] as a comic writer, or as an historian, he stand in the first class.’ (Life of Johnson, chap. xxvii.) [150-51] Bibl, A. Friedman, ed., Oliver Goldsmith, Works (Oxford 1966); his translations from Latin, in vol. iv, 363. [notes, 179.]

Seamus Deane, ‘Oliver Goldsmith’, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature (Derry: Filed Day 1991), Vol. 1, pp.658-61: (on ‘Goldsmith’s essay ‘The Revolution of Low Life’), ‘[He] saw only that the new wealth from the Empire had increased the gap between the very rich and the very poor and had led to an increasingly rapid proliferation of feuds and fashions, which Goldsmith deplored as a symptom of profound instability.’ (p.659); further, ‘Like Burke, Goldsmith believed in the importance of affection in the preservation of social systems and, like many before and since, thought that the  “new” systems of selfishness were leading to economic developments at the expense of moral decay.’(idem); ‘Goldsmith was aware that the contrast between England and Ireland was one of the most painful examples of the discrepancy between rich and poor which modern Europe had to offer. He inclined to see this as deriving from the different national characteristics of the two races [...] His native land he viewed almost with the eyes of a foreigner, seeing it as attractive and cultured in ways not usually noticed or accepted by English commentators [... T]here is a degree of blandness in Goldsmith’s attitude towards Ireland, which disguises his success in effacing from his occasional writings on the country [...] the drastic effects of English misrule there. This is not the Ireland of the penal laws and of occasional famines, agrarian disturbances and judicial murders. It is an idyll, comparable to his view of Irish society of which The Deserted Village is the appealing remnant. It is therefore not surprising that Victorian commentators on Goldsmith, and later Yeats and many other Irish writers were able to use this pastoral version of Ireland to support the notion of the Anglo-Irish honeymoon which had intervened between the seventeenth-century wars and the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth century [...] Goldsmith was anxious to gain support for the idea that the form of liberty gained in England in 1688 was a commodity that had been exported to Ireland. Its sluggish reception [...] is, he claims, a consequence of the Irish national character [...] his rather naive Enlightenment faith [is] British not Irish in origin.’ [… &c.]

Richard Cargill Cole, Irish Booksellers and English Writers, 1740-1800 (London: Mansell Pub.; NJ: Atlantic Heights), ‘Eighteenth-century reprints of Oliver Goldsmith’s works appear in thirty-seven institutional libaries almost entirely in the United States with 153 copies’ (p.xi); remarks in the context of the statement that ‘the Irish book trade in the eighteenth century was essentially a reprint industry’ (p.x); further, ‘The grievances of another Irish writer in exile, [Goldsmith], aginat the booksellers of his native land will be discuss in chapter six on Irish reprints of [his] works.’ (p.9.); bibl. Katherine C. Balderston, The History and Sources of Percy’s Memoirs of Goldsmith (Cambridge UP 1926); Richard Harp, ed., Thomas Percy’s Life of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (Salzburg: Institüt f[ü]r Englische Sprache und Literatur, Universität Salzburg 1976) [n. 243].

Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael (1986), writes of Goldsmith that in ‘Descriptions of the manners and customs of the native Irish’ in the Weekly Magazine (1759), under the subtitle of ‘a letter from an English gentleman’, prefers the native character to that of the ‘Protestants’ who share in the traditional shortcomings of the Irish without having their ‘national virtues to recompense these defects’; includes a tale of hospitality in a humble cottage, and pretends to be agreeably surprised by the chastity of the comely daughter. Since Goldsmith never returned to Ireland after 1952, the narrative is self-evidently fictitious. Further, his review of a work called ‘Remains of the mythology and poetry of the Celtes [sic], particularily in Scandanavia’, in Works, Vol. 1, 5ff., cited in Leerssen, 1986, ftn. 414 [p.485].

Andrew Swarbrick, The Art of Oliver Goldmith, London: Vision Press 1982), writes: ‘The originality of Goldsmith consists in his having the old and the new in such just proportion that there is no conflict: he is Augustan and also sentimental and rural without discordance.’ (p.13).

John Montague, ‘The Sentimental Prophecy, A Study of The Deserted Village, in Dolmen Miscellany of Irish Writing, eds., J. Montague and T. Kinsella (1962), p.62-80, writes: ‘The rural virtues for Goldsmith, as for the agrarians in Ireland or America, are actually rooted virtures of the good society.’ (Do., rep. in The Cave and Other Essays, Lilliput 1989, p.74.)

Geoffrey Tyack, reviewing Nigel Everett, The Tory View of Landscape (Times Literary Supplement, 11 Nov. 1994) offers remarks: ‘Everitt [sic] does not quote Poet Laureate William Whitehead, who, in a poem entitled ‘The Removal of the Village of Nuneham’ (which Mavis Batey has shown to be the original of Goldsmith’s ‘sweet Auburn’), wrote that, “The careful matrons of the plain / Had left their cots without a sigh, / Well pleased to house their little train / In happier mansions warm and dry”. For all the possible bias of Whitehead, who was a frequent visitor at the “big house”, the cottages were well built, pleasing to the eye, and, what is more, they still survive as bijou residences alonside the Oxford-Reading road[ ...] as Tom Williamson and Liz Bellamy pointed out in their excellent Property and Landscape (1987), many eighteenth-century aristocratic landscapes were created out of ancient parkland, and some “deserted villages” were already depopulated before the local squire administered the final coup de grâce.’

Kevin Myers (Irish Times, 20 May 1995), reviews a production of She Stoops to Conquer (‘the most brilliantly funny theatrical production Dublin has seen for years’), and remarks that the song originally written for the part played by Rosaleen Linehan was omitted from the first production since Mrs Bulkeley couldn’t sing, and has never been replaced since; as follows, ‘Ah me! When shall I marry me?/He, fond youth, that could carry me, / Offers to love but means to deceive me’; sung to now-lost air of of ‘The Humours of Balamagairy’, acc. Boswell; Myers further characterises Goldsmith as a ‘citizen of the Middle Kingdom of Anglo-Irish writing’, and calls to evidence the setting of the play: ‘And is it not a curiously Irish phenomenon, that one’s host could be so gregarious and accommodating as to be confusable with an importunate innkeeper? Is it possible that an English squire could relinquish so much propriety and authority in his own house as to permit the impresson of innery?’

Tom Davis, Introduction, She Stoops to Conquer [Mermaid Edn.] (London: A & C Black 1996), ‘The plot is deeply concerned with the concept of class, and examines it by a whole series of […] reversals. In this distorted pastoral world, no one know which class they belong to.’ (p.xx); ‘What Goldsmith wanted from comedy was that it should be “perfectly satirical yet perfectly good-natured” at the same time. … The satire beneath the kindliness is felt but not perceived: the audience is too busy laughing.’ (p.xx; quoted in by C. Canniffe, course essay, MA Dip., UUC, 1997.)

Declan Kiberd, ‘Nostalgia as Protest: Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”’, in Irish Classics, London: Granta 2000): ‘The knockabout treatrment of the mother figure Mrs Hardcaslte at the end of She Stoops to Conquer may have its source in the desire for revenge by a buffoon son, who is in the play but the half-son of the house. Perhaps Goldsmith sensed that his pattern of learned helplessness derived from his mother’s early cosseting. In the play Tony Lumpkin intuits something almost erotic in his mother’s drive towards him: the device of a mother who hides rom her son the knowledge that he has come of age suggests that he is being held in a posture of dependency against his real interests. Goldsmith may have feared a mother-love that was suffocating, denying him his youthful autonomy. / The family romance in Ireland often enables initial growth, but then prevents any further development within that structure. [...;’ p.100.) ‘Yet the family remained for him the ideal unit by whcih to measure the state of socier, being itself a haven in a heartless world. Goldsmith’s exile was more from the family than from any ideaof “Ireland” (for him that term was but a code word for family life). Over a century later, G. K. Chesterton would remark on the intensity of family life among Irish people, who could give their consent to no larger institution, whether the colonial state or the established church (Autobiography, NY 1936, p.136). Goldsmith understood early the subversive quality of hte family, whose members within the secrecy of the home’s four walls might enter into a conspiracy against the codes of a new commercial order. The more remote and secretive such people might be, the more subversive, finding in the family a unit of resistance. [Exiled from the intaimacies of family life, Goldsmith felt himself an outsider looking longingly in. So he idolised the family, much as de Valera would in the twentieth century and for similar reasons: his early uncertainties about his mother led him to idealise as an absolute moral value the parental world he lad “lost”. / Having gone, Goldsmith discovered that nobody really emigrates: people simply bring their native landscape and personal baggage with them wherever they go. [...]’ (pp.110.) Kiberd quotes: ‘As they had almost all the conveniences of life within themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities in search of superfluity. Remote from the polite, they still retained the primaeval simplicity of manners; and frugal by habit, they scare knew that temperance was a virtue. They wrought with cheerfulness on days of labour, but observed festivals as intervals of idleness and pleasure.’ (The Vicar of Wakefield; quoted in Boris Ford, “Oliver Goldsmith”, Pelican Guide to English Literature, Vol. 4, 1968, p.380.)

Arthur Freeman, ‘New Goldsmith?’, in Times Literary Supplement (15 Dec. 2006), pp.15-16. ‘Another “French Novel” translation is fully documented, however, through an autograph receipt undated but signed “Oliver Goldsmith”, for ten guineas paid him by the publisher Ralph Griffiths, “for the translation of a book entituled Memoirs of My Lady W” - and this supposedly lost title has long puzzled Goldsmith’s biographers and critics. (The original receipt, known to most scholars from its transcript and publication by Prior in 1837, is now in the Osborn Collection at Yale.) Prior thought it referred to the “French Novel” of 1758, but Katharine C. Balderston ( Collected Letters of Oliver Goldsmith, 1928) pointed out the impossibility of that, since the translation was listed among “New Books” in the Gentleman’s Magazine for January 1761 as “Memoirs of Lady B. from the F[rench] Griffiths”, and the original work, Mémoires de Miledi B., by Charlotte-Marie Anne Charhonnière de la Guesnerie, was not published until 1760. No trace of the English version, paid for by the notoriously tight-fisted Griffiths and advertised as forthcoming (no price is mentioned), has hitherto been identified. Ralph M. Wardle (Oliver Goldsmith, 1957) gave it up for lost, as did the Goldsmith editor Arthur B. Friedman, in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: “no copy known”. Freeman goes on to identify the lost translation with Memoirs of Lady Harriot Butler ... M.DCC.LXI [1761].’; see full text, infra.)

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Quotations

Works
“The Traveller”
“The Deserted Village”
She Stoops to Conquer
The Good-Natured Man
The Vicar of Wakefield
“Essay on the Theatre”

See full text of The Deserted Village in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - via index or as attached.

Remarks
Comedy defined
My early life
My present situation
Trinity Sizars

‘Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, / That founds’t me poor at first, and keep’st me so.’ (“To Poetry”; exordium to The Deserted Village, quoted by Anthony Cronin, in interview, The Irish Times, 26 Nov. 2004.)


Available on Internet ....

Works by Goldsmith on Our Civilisation website (ed. Philip Atkinson):
A Comparison between Laughing
      and Sentimental Comedy

Beau Tibbs at Home (from Citizens of the World)
The Fame Coach (from The Bee)
Letter To Mrs Bunbury
She Stoops To Conquer
The Man In Black (from The Citizens of The World)
The Vicar of Wakefield
“The Double Transformation”

The Traveller” (I): ‘Have we not seen at pleasure’s lordly call / The smiling long-frequented village fall?’; ‘Where’er I roam, whatever realms I see, / My heart untravell’d fondly turns to thee; / Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain, / And drags at each remove a lengthened chain’; ‘But where to find the happiest spot below, / Who can direct, whrn all pretend to know? / The shudd’ring tenant of the frigid zone / Boldly proclaims the happiest spot his own, / Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,.and his long nights of revelry and ease; / The naked Negro, panting at the lin, / Boats of his golden sands and palmy wine, / baks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, / And thanks his Gods for all the good they gave. / Such is the patriot’s boast where’er we roam, / His first best country every is at home.’ (Commencement of The Traveller); Also, ‘Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed, / Who long was a bookseller’s hack; / he led such a damnable life in this word,- / I don’t think he’ll want to come back.’ (J. McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904, Vol. 4, p.1383].

The Traveller” (2): ‘Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, / And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; / Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire / To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire; / Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, / And every stranger finds a ready chair; / Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown’d, / Where all the ruddy family around / Laugh at the jests and pranks that never fail, / Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale, / Or press the bashful stranger to his food, / And learn the luxury of doing good.’

The Traveller
That independence Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
he self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell’d ...
Nor this the worst. As nature’s ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
The Traveller, ll. 339-352.

Quoted in Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding (1957). See Watt’s comment - supra.

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The Deserted Village: ‘Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, / Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; / Amidst thy bowers the tyrant’s hand is seen, / And Desolation saddens all thy green: / One only master grasps the whole domain, / And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain.’ [l.40]; ‘Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, / Where wealth accumulates, and men decay. / Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; / A breath can make them, as a breath has made: / But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride, / When once destroy’d, can never be supplied. [l.56] // ‘A time there was, ere England’s griefs began, / When every rood of ground maintain’d its man; / For him light Labour spread her wholesome store, / Just gave what life required, but gave no more: / His best companions, Innocence and Health; / And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. // But times are alter’d; Trade’s unfeeling train / Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain; / Along the lawn, where scatter’d hamlets rose, / Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose; / And every want to luxury allied, / And every pang that folly pays to pride. / Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, / Those calm desires that ask’d but little room, / Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene, / Lived in each look, and brighten’d all the green - / These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, / And rural mirth and manners are no more. // Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, / Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant’s power / ... [l.76]. [For full text, go to Irish Classics, infra.]

The Good-Natured Man (1768)

Preface: ‘When I undertook to write a comedy, I confess I was strongly prepossessed in favour of the poets of the last age, and strove to imitate them. The term genteel comedy was then unknown amongst us, and little more was desired by an audience than nature and humour, in whatever walks of life they were most conspicuous’ (quoted in Thomas Kilroy, ‘Anglo-Irish Playwrights and Comic Tradition’, in The Crane Bag, 3, 1979, pp.19-27; rep. in The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies, 1982, pp.439-47, p.444.)

Honeywood. Heavens! How can I have deserved all this? How express my happiness, my gratitude! A moment like this overpays an age of apprehension.
Croaker. Well, now I see content in every face; but Heaven send we be all better this day three months.
Sir William. Henceforth, nephew, learn to respect yourself. He who seeks only for applause from without has all his happiness in another’s keeping.
Honeywood. Yes, Sir, I now too plainly perceive my errors - my vanity, in attempting to please all, by fearing to offend any; my meanness in approving folly, lest fools should disapprove. Henceforth, therefore, it shall be my study to reserve my pity for real distress, my friendship for true merit, and my love for her, who first taught me what it is to be happy.

See also
Looky, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time - no disparagement of you neither - men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. I challenge the town to show a man in more genteeler practice than myself. ... I love to see a gentleman with a tender heart. I don’t know, but I think I have a tender heart myself. If all that I have lost by my heart was put together, it would make a-but no matter for that. ... Humanity, Sir, is a jewel. It’s better than gold. I love humanity. People may say, that we, in our way, have no humanity; but I’ll shew you my humanity this moment. There’s my follower here, little Flanigan, with a wife and four children; a guinea or two would be more to him, than twice as much to another. Now, as I can’t shew him any humanity myself, I must beg leave you’ll do it for me.... Sir, you’re a gentleman. I see you know what to do with your money.
Quoted in Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962); for longer extract on Murphy, Goldsmith and R. B. Sheridan, see in RICORSO Library, “Critics”, infra .

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She Stoops to Conquer (1773): Mr. Hardcastle, ‘I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home? In my time the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down not only as invisible passengers, but in the very basket.’ (Mr. Hardcastle; Act. 1, sc. I, l.8.); Tony Lumpkin, ‘The genteel thing is the genteel thing at any time. If so be that a gentleman bees in a concantation accordingly.’ (Act. I, sc. ii, l.40.); Miss Neville: ‘Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I will obey as it dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I’m resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle’s compassion and justive for redress.’ (Davis, ed., She Stoops to Conquer, 1996, p.88); (Marlow), ‘It must not be, madam. I have already trifled too long with my heart. My very pride begins to submit to my passion. The disparity of education and fortune, the anger of a parent, and the contempt of my equals, begin to lose their weight; and nothing can restore me to myself, but this painful effort of resolution.’ (ibid., p.89).

She Stoops to Conquer (1773)
Tony Lumpkin’s song:
“Let school-masters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genius a better discerning.” (Act I.)
 

Hastings on Hardcastle: “So I find this fellow’s civilities begin to grow troublesome. But who can be angry at those assiduities which are meant to please him!” (Act II.)

Marlow to Kate: “Pardon me madam. I was always willing to be amused. The folly of most people is rather an object of mirth than uneasiness.” (Act II.)

Marlow to Kate: “True madam; those who have most virtue in their mouths, have least of it in their bosom.” (Act II.)

Tony on the letter from Hastings: “It’s very odd, I can read the outside of my letters, where my own name is, well enough. But when I come to open it, it’s all - buzz. That’s hard, very hard; for the inside of the letter is always the cream of the correspondence.” (Act IV.)

Hasting to Tony: “Ha, ha, ha, I understand; you took them in a round, while they supposed themselves going forward. And so you have at last brought them home again.” (Act V.)

Constance to Hastings: “Prudence once more comes to my relief, and I will obey its dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I’m resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle’s compassion and justice for redress.” (Act V.)

Marlow to Kate: “I have lived, indeed, in the world, madam; but I have kept little company. I have been but an observer upon life, madam, while others were enjoying it.” (Act II.)

Tony to Hastings: “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs. I procured them by the rule of thumb. If I had not a key to every drawer in mother’s bureau, how could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An honest man may rob himself of his own at any time.” (Act III.)

Mrs. Hardcastle: “Pshaw, pshaw! This is all but the whining end of a modern novel.” (Act V.)

Quotes found in Gradesaver - online; accessed 18.08.2020.

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The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Opening: ‘I was ever of the opinion that the honest man, who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population. From this [no]tice, I had scarcely taken orders a year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and choose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.’ ‘I cannot tell whether it were from the number of our penal laws, or the licentiousness of our people, that this country should show more convicts in one year than half the dominions of Europe united.’ (Ibid., the prison scene.) [See full-text copy in RICORSO Library > Irish Classics - via index or as attached.]

Essay on the Theatre [... &c.]” (1773): ‘Humour at present seems to be departing from the stage, and it will soon happen that our comic players will have nothing left for it but a fine coat and a song.’ (Viz., “Comparison between the Laughing and Sentimental Comedy”; quoted in Thomas Kilroy, op. cit., 1979, idem.)

Carolan (Essay on Turlough O’Carolan): ‘His death was not more remarkable than his life. Homer was never more fond of a glass than he; he would drink whole pints of Usquebaugh, and, as he used to think, without any ill consequence. His intemperance, however, in this respect, at length brought on an incurable disorder, and when just at the pint of death, he called for a cup of his beloved liquor ... and when the bowl was brought him, attempted to drink but could not; wherefore, giving away the bowl he observed with a smile, that it would be hard if two such friends as he and the cup should part at least without kissing; and then expired.’ (q.source.)

 

Comedy defined: ‘Comedy is defined by Artistotle to be a picture of the Frailties of the lower part of Mankind, to distinguish it from Tragedy, which is an exhibition of the Misfortunes of the Great [...] The principal question therefore is, whether in describig Low or Middle Life, an exhibition of its Follies be not preferable to a detail of its Calamities? Or, in other words, Which deserves the preference? The Weeping Sentimental Comedy, so much in fashion at present, or the Laughing and even Low Comedy, which seems to have been last exhibited by Vanbrugh and Cibber?’ Yet, notwithstanding this weight of authority, and the universal practice of former ages [...] 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. These Comedies have had of late great success, perhaps from their novelty, and also from their flattering every man in his favourite foible. 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: in this manner we are likely to lose one great source of Entertainment on the Stage; for while the Comic Muse is invading the province of the Tragic Muse, he leaves his lovely Sister quite neglected. Of this, however, he is no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits. / But there is one Argument in Favour of Sentimental Comedy which will keep it on the Stage in spite of all that can be said against it. It is, of all others, the most easily written. Those abilities that can hammer out a Novel are fully sufficient for the production of a sentimental Comedy. It is only sufficient to raise the characters a little, to deck out the Hero with a Ribbon, or give the Heroine a Title; then to put an Insipid Dialogue, without Character or Humours into their mouths, give then mighty good hearts, very fine clothes, furnish a new set of Scenes, make a Pathetic Scene or two, with a sprinkling of tender Melancholy Conversation through the whole, and there is no doubt that all the Ladies will cry, and all the Gentlemen applaud.’ (Quoted in O’Leary, 1965, p.206; Works, VI, pp.104-106.)

Early life: ‘When I reflect on the unambitous retirement in which I passed the earlier part of my life in the country I cannot avoid feeling some pain in thinking that those happy days are never to return. In that retreat all nature seemed capable of affording pleasure; I then made no refinements on happiness, but could be pleased with the most awkward efforts of rustic mirth; thought cross-purposes the highest stretch of human wit, and question and commands the most rational amusement for spending the evening. Happy could so charming an illusion still continue! I find that age and knowledge only contribute to sour our dispositions. My present enjoyments may be more refined, but they are infinitely less pleasing. The pleasure Garrick gives can no way compare to that I had received from a country wag, who imitated a Quaker’s sermon. The music of Mattei is dissonance to what I felt when our old dairy-maid sung me into tears with Johnny Armstrong’s “Last Good Night” or “The Cruelty of Barbara Allen”. (Essay in The Bee, 1958; quoted in A. N. Jeffares, ‘Good-Natured Goldsmith’, in Images of Invention: Essays on Irish Writing, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996, pp.90-105; p.95.)

Present situation: ‘I suppose you desire to know my present situation. As there is nothing in it at which I should blush, or which mankind could censure, I see no reason for making it a secret. In short, by a very little practice as a physician, and a very little reputation as a poet, I make a shift to live. Nothing is more apt to introduce us to the gates of the Muses than poverty; but it were well if they only left us at the door. The mischief is, they sometimes choose to give us their company at the entertainment; and want, instead of being gentleman-usher, often turns master of ceremonies. /Thus, upon learning I write, no doubt you imagine I starve; and the name of an author naturally reminds you of a garrett. In this particular I do not think proper to undeceive my friends. But whether I eat or starve, live in a first-floor, or four pair of stairs high, I still remember them with ardour; nay, my very country comes in for a share of my affection. Unaccountable fondness for country, this maladie du pays, as the French call it! Unaccountable that he should still have an affection for a place who never, when in it, received above common civility; who never brought [98] any thing out of it except his brogue and his blunders. Surely my affection for it is equally ridiculous with the Scotchman who refused to be cured of the itch, because it made him unco’ thoughtful of his wife and bonny Inverary. / But now to be serious, - let me ask myself what gives me a wish to see Ireland again? The country is a fine one, perhaps? No. There are good company in Ireland? No. The conversation there is generally made up of a smutty toast or a bawdy song; the vivacity supported by some humble cousin, who has just folly enough to earn his dinner Then perhaps there’s more wit and learning among the Irish? Oh, lord, no! There has been more money spent in the encouragement of the Padareen mare there one season, than given in rewards to learned men since the times of Usher. All their productions in learning amount to perhaps, a translation, or a few tracts in divinities and all their productions in wit, to just nothing at all. Why the plague then so fond of Ireland? Then, all at once, - because you, my dear friend, and a few more who are exceptions to the general picture, have a residence there. This it is that gives me all the pangs I feel in separation. I confess I carry this spirit sometimes to the souring [of] the pleasures I at present possess. If I go to the opera where Signora Columba pours out all the mazes of melody, I sit and sigh for Lishoy’s fireside and Johnny Armstrong’s Last Good night,’ from Peggy Golden. If I climb Hampstead Hill, than where Nature never exhibited a more magnificent prospect I confess it fine; but then I had rather be placed on the little mount before Lishoy gate, and there take in - to me the most pleasing horizon in nature.’ (Letter to his brother Henry, 1758; quoted in A. N. Jeffares, op. cit., 1996, pp.97-98.)

Trinity Sizars: ‘Surely pride itself had dictated to the fellows of our colleges the absurd passion of being attended at meals, and on other public occasions by those poor men who, willing to be scholars, come in upon some chariable foundation. It implies a contradiction, for men to be at once learning the liberal arts and at the same time treated as slaves; at once studying freedom and practising servitude.’ (Present State of Polite Learning in Europe, quoted in Jeffares, op. cit., 1996, pp.90-105; p.94; note that Goldsmith was himself a college servant in this style.)

“An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog” [modernised]

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene’er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

The elegy is to be found in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chap. 17 -as attached.

“A Ballad”

‘Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale,
With hospitable ray.

‘For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,
Seem lengthening as I go.’

‘Forbear, my son,’ the hermit cries,
‘To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.

[...]

[...]

‘Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see,
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here, Restor’d
to love and thee.

‘Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And ev’ry care resign:
And shall we never, never part,
My life,-my all that’s mine.

‘No, never, from this hour to part,
We’ll live and love so true;
The sigh that tends thy constant heart,
Shall break thy Edwin’s too.’

The ballad is to be found in The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chap. 7 -as attached.

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, cites Goldsmith under Sir William Petty [Lord Landowne and 2nd Earl Shelburne] (1737-1805), known as “Malagrida” by his enemies for his lack of sincerity, to whom Goldsmith addressed the unfortunate remark, ‘Do you know that I never could conceive the reason why they call you Malagrida, for Malagrida was [very] very good sort of man’. DNB also lists Robert Hasell Newell (1778-1852), amateur artist and author, ed. Cambridge, who illustrated the Goldsmith edn. of 1811-20.

Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature [1876-78]; There is a very circumstantial biographical notice in Cabinet of Irish Literature, ed. Charles Read (1876; Vol. 1), citing inter al. Prior’s biography which ‘did little to remove the impression of the author of The Traveller as a kind of inspired idiot’; also cites an edn. of The Vicar of Wakefield of 1843 with 32 ills. by William Mulready; edition of Poetical Works, ed. Rev. R. H. Newell [see DNB supra], in which the locality of The Deserted Village is traced, and ills. by seven engraving on the spot by Mr Aitkin (1811); also Prior’s edn. of the Works (1836), throwing the ‘legion’ editions before it ‘into the shade’; Cunningham Murray’s edn. of 1854 forms basis of Murray’s British Classics; lives by Washington Irving and Foster (viz, Life and Adventures).

Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), Vol., IV, quotes inter alia: ‘What we say of a thing which is just come in fashion,/And that which we do with the dead,/Is the name of the honestest man in creation;/What more of a man can be said?’ (Goldsmith, in a verse-charade on his employer John Newbury; cited in evidence that he was not exploited (p.1299).

D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary, (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); ‘Said to have been born at Pallas, near Ballymahon, Co. Longford, but more probably born in Co. Roscommon; ed. village schools, Elphin, Athlone, and Edgeworthstown; TCD; Edinburgh; Leyden.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1: selects from The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (London 1764) [433-35]; The Deserted Village [447-53]; She Stoops to Conquer; or, Mistakes of a Night (London 1773) [570-603]; Miscellaneous Writings [658-81]: An Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe (Lon 1759) [ 660-62]; The Bee (Lon 1759) [662-64]; A Description of the Manner and Customs of the Native Irish. In a Letter from An English Gentleman [evid. of Goldsmith authorship, see Friedman, ed., Works, III, p.24] [664-67]; The History of Carolan, the Last Irish Bard [667-68]; A Comparative View of Races and Nations [668-71]; The Citizen of the World; or, Letters from a Chinese Philsopher, Residing in London, to his Friends in the East (London 1762) [671-79]; A General History of the World [674-79]; An Essay on the Theatre [679-81]; The Vicar of Wakefield (Salisbury 1766); 746-51]; REMS at xxi, xxiii; 503 [exploitation of own personality, as in Good-natur’d Man, characteristic of Anglo-Irish playwrights]; 504-505 [playing with national characters, Tony Lumpkin, in answer to question, ‘Are they Londoners’, says, ‘I believe they may. They look woundily like Frenchmen’]; 506 [Goldsmith’s essay on theatre makes clear his objections to weeping comedy; constrained by normal tastes, tempering Goldsmith’s love of farcical or low scenes]; 546 [gathered with Murphy and Sheridan as opposed to sentimental comedy]; 566 [Kelly did not go for amusing mistakes, like Goldsmith]; 647 [O’Keeffe creates little farce in Tony Lumpkin in Town by sidestepping the stage-Irishman in depicting Lumpkin’s lively boorishness]; 654 [She Stoops to Conquer, Dublin 1st ed. 1773]; BIOG & COMM, [492 see supra]; 656 [as supra; ‘Oliver Goldsmith, Miscellaneous. Writings’, ed. essay, pp.658-61 [see infra]; 681 [add. bibl., as above]; 686 [Goldsmith as model for Anglo-Irish novelists]; 856 [the idea of citizenship was universal; man could become, in Goldsmith’s famous (if not original) phrase, a citizen of the world; eds., Deane, Carpenter, McCormack]; 962 [on Carolan]; 1000 [Thomas Campbell known to Goldsmith]; 1010 [Campbell wrote part of the memoir of Goldsmith in Percy’s work (1801)]; 1208n [Latin version of Johnson’s epitaph, cited by Isaac Butt, in Past and Present State of Literature in Ireland (1837), as supra].

Arthur Quiller Couch, ed., Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918 (new ed. 1929), item 559; Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (1904), gives copious extracts incl. ‘The Haunch of Venison’.

Shell Guide (1967), b. Pallas, a little to the east of Ballymahon, 10 Nov. 1728; his father got the living of Kilkenny West in 1730, and moved to Lissoy, or ‘Sweet Auburn’, 5 miles south-west of Ballymahon in Westmeath, where the ruins of his house are still to be seen; ed. in village by Thomas Byrne, schoolmaster, who spent some years in Peninsular Wars; afterwards went to Athlone to prepare for university, passing later to Mostrim. Connected places, Ardagh, Elphin, Forgney, and Kilkenny West.

British Library (1957 Cat.) lists under MISCELLANEOUS WORKS: The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems (London: W. Griffin 1775), iv, [9-]200pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Griffin 1778), vi, 225pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1780; 1782; 1784; 1786), vi, 225pp., 8o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin 1786), 238pp., 12o; another edn. (London: W. Osborne & T. Griffin; Gainsbro’: H. Mozley 1789), 238pp.,. 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Consisting of his essays, poems, plays [&c.], 2 vols. (Edinburgh, Perth: R. Morison & Sons 1791), 12o; The miscellaneous works, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Geo. Mudie 1792), 12o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith; now first uniformly collected, 7 vols. (Perth: R. Morison & Son; Edinburgh: A. Guthrie 1792) plates, port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his essays and poems; with an account of the life and writings of the author. A new and correct edition (London: J. Deighton 1793), xli, 288pp., 12o; another edn. (Glasgow: J. & M. Robertson, et al. 1795), another edn. (Boston [Mass.]: Thomas & Andrews, 1795), 237pp. 12o; [Samuel Rose, ed.,] The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. A new edition, To which is prefixed, some account of his life and writings [by Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore], 4 vols. (London: J. Johnson, et al. 1801; 1806), pls., port. 8o. . 4 vol.: plates; port. 8o; another edn. (London: W. Otridge & Son, 1812); another edn. (Glasgow: R. Chapman 1816); another edn. (London: F. C. & J. Rivington, et al. 1820); another edn., 6 vols. (London: Samuel Richards 1823), plates; port. 12o; Washington Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings. A new edition. 4 vols. (Paris: A. & W. Galignani; Jules Didot 1825), plate, port., 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, stereotyped from the Paris edition (Philadelphia: J. Crissy; Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836), 527pp., plate; port. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, with an account of his life and writings, 4 vols. (Paris: Baudry’s European Library, &c. 1837), plate; port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Including a variety of pieces now first collected (London: John Murray 1837), 8o; Irving, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings [extracted from the edition of 1823]; another edn. (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1840), xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. With a brief memoir of the author [&c.] (London: Andrew Moffat; Glasgow: D. A. Borrenstein 1841), xii, 308pp.; illus. 8o; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. To which is prefixed some account of his life and writings. A new edition, [etc.] (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson 1843) xxii, 458pp., plate, port., 8o; James Prior, ed., The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces now first collected, 4 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1866), ill. plates.; The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. With biographical introduction by Professor Masson [The Globe edition] (London & NY: Macmillan & Co. 1869 [1868]; 1871), lx, 695pp., 18cm.

Booksellers
Eric Stevens Books (Cat. 166) lists The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), rep. (1843), being 1st edn. with Mulready ills.; another (1855); another, intro. George Saintsbury (1926), 25 Rowlandson col. ills.; also Le Vicaire de Wakefield, trad. par B.-H Gausseron, Paris, Quantin ca.1890, Royal 8vo, 297pp, ill. Poincon, hand-coloureds.

Emerald Isle Books (Cat. 1995) lists The Vicar of Wakefield (1843), 1st edn. with Mulready ills.; others edns. 1855; another edn. with intro. by George Saintsbury and Rowlandson col. ills, 1926. Also lists The Vicar of Wakefield (London: C. Ware 1777), 2 vols in 1 £75].

Hyland Books (Cat. 235) lists Lives of Dr. Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with “The Bee” (Belfast 1818), vi, 243pp., 6°.

Berg Collection (NYPL), holds edn. of The Haunch of Venison (London: Kearsly 1776), book pl. of Austin Dobson; also with ‘The Tears of Genius; occasiond by the death of Dr. Goldsmith, by Courtney Melmoth [pseud.]’ (London: for T. Becket 1774).

Libraries
Marsh’s Library holds The Monthly Review, Vol. XVI (London: for R. Griffiths 1757), 8o.

TCD Long Room (Spring 1978) cites The Haunch of Venison, a poetical epistle to Lord Clare (London: G. Kearsly & J. Ridley 1776), 4o.

Belfast Public Library holds 20 titles incl. Lives of Dr. Parnell and Lord Bolingbroke, with The Bee; var. Histories; Prospect of Society (1902); Works and Poems; and biographies by Stephen Gwynn (1935); T. P. C. Kirkpatrick (n.d.); W. Freeman (1951). MORRIS holds Dalziel’s Illustrated Goldsmith and a sketch of the life ... by H. M. Ducklen (Ward & Lock, 1865); Letters of a Citizen of the World, the Traveller, The Deserted Village (c.1930); The Vicar of Wakefield (c.1935).

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Notes
Patrick Delany: for a possible source of the plot of The Good-Natured Man, see remarks of Patrick Delany: “The Duty of Paying Debts”: ‘A good-natured villain will surfeit a sot and gorge a glutton, nay, will glut his horses and his hounds with that food for which the vendors are one day to starve to death in a dungeon; a good-natured monster will be gay in the spoils of widows and orphans. / Good-nature separated from virtue is absolutely the worst quality and character in life; at least, if this be good-nature, to feed a dog, and to murder a man. And therefore, if you have any pretence to good-nature, pay your debts and in so doing clothe those poor families that are no in rags for your finery ...’.]

Lady Morgan worked as a governess for a Mrs Margaret Featherstone, wife of James Featherstone, High Sherriff of Westmeath, at their home Bracklin Castle; Mrs Featherstone’s mother was a former beauty of the court of Lord Chesterfield in Dublin, Lady Steele of Dominick St. According to Mary Campbell, ‘Oliver Goldsmith, her father’s cousin, also came from this part of Ireland, and describes the landscape in “The Deserted Village”. Here he also set his most famous play, for it was a real life Squire Featherstone upon whom he based the theatrical Squire Hardcastle, in She Stoops to Conquer.’

William Carleton cites a line from Deserted Village (‘I dragged at each remove a lengthening chain’, in the Introduction to the 1843 edn. of Traits and Stories (p.xiv), descriptive of his setting out alone as a ‘poor scholar’ for Munster.

Sir John Gilbert, History of Dublin (1865), Vol. I: ‘A practical joke played by Kelly upon Oliver Goldsmith, who induced him from his representation to take the house of Sir Ralph Fetherstone at Ardagh for an inn, is believe to have suggested the plot of She Stoops to Conquer.’ (p.87). Note, the Oxford Companion to English Literature (ed. Drabble) notes that the mistaking of a private residence for inn was testified by Goldsmith’s sister Mrs Hodson.

W. B. Yeats placed Goldsmith in company with Burke, Berkeley, and Grattan, all in his conception Whigs though they did not know it: ‘Oliver Goldsmith sang what he had seen,/Roads full of beggars, cattle in the fields,/But never saw the trefoil stained with blood,/The avenging leaf those fields raised up against it.’ (“The Seven Sages”, 1932). Note that The Royal Theatre, Stockholm, played She Stoops to Conquer with Yeats’s Cathleen ni Houlihan, at the time when the poet received his Nobel Prize, Dec. 1923.

James Joyce: Goldsmith’s “Retaliation” was taught at Belvedere to James Joyce, giving rise to a pastiche-poem on a schoolmate, G. O’Donnell; Joyce also praised Goldsmith for his personal qualities (‘unassuming’), as retaled in Padraic Colum’s memoir in Ulick O’Connor, ed., The Joyce that We Knew (Cork: Mercier 1967), p.81f.

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Newbery’s profit: A History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son (1764) was a popular success in its two pocket-size volumes, issued by Newbury [vars. Newbury; Newberry].

The March of Intellect” - a questionable attribution

Colm O’Lochlainn reprinted the comic song “The March of Intellect” in his More Irish Street Ballads (1965), identifying the authorship with Goldsmith on the basis of the language and humour alone. Claiming it as his greatest literary ‘find’, he writes that he found it ‘in one of a number of crudely printed song books issued in Dublin in the first decade of the last century.’ He does not name his source but the song has been found in Blackwood’s Magazine, Vol. 2 [No., XXIII] (Dec. 1825), p.764 [available online], in the course of a dialogue featuring North, Shepherd and Tickler [pp.751-65ff. running from front page of issue] - Tickler being the author of the ballad which he returns for another by North (“Crambamulee”) towards the close of their conversation, saying: “Bravo! One good turn deserves another!” before delivering his own. The whole article, commencing with an example of psuedo-Greek translation, has the character of a piece by William Maginn. [Cont.]

The March of Intellect” - cont.: See later rep. of “Noctes ambrosianae”, in The Works of Professor Wilson [...] edited by his son-in-law James Frederick Ferrier (Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons 1855), whose Advertisement [i.e., preface] reveals that The Tickler is modelled on Mr Robert Sym (1750-1844), citing James Hogg’s Reminiscence of Former Days, which is quoted by the Ettrick Shepherd in his Preface to Altrive Tales (May 1834; quoted in Ferrier, pref., op. cit., 1855, p.xiii.) Sym was a Writer to the Signet, who hosted his his house his nephews Prof. Wilson (model for Christopher North), Mr. Robert Sym Wilson (Mgr. of the Royal Bank of Scotland), along with Lockhart, Samuel Anderson and James Hogg. Of the derivation of the title [Noctes Ambrosianae], Ferrier writes: ‘Ambrose’s Hotel was indeed “a local habitation and a name’, and many were the meetings which Professor Ambrose and his friend had within its wall. But the true Ambrose’s must be looked for in the realms of the imagination - the veritable scene of the “Ambrosian Nights” existed nowhere but in their Author’s brain, and their flashing fire was struck out in solitude by genius wholly independent of the stimulus of companionship. / The same remark applies to the principal characters who take part in these dialogues. Although founded to so extent on the acutal, they are in the highest degree idealised. Christopher North was Professor Wilson himself, and here, therefore, the real and ideal may be viewed as coincident. But Timothy Tickler is a personage whose lineaments bear a resemblance to those of their original only in a few fine though unmistakable outlines, whiles James Hogg in the flesh was but a faint adumbration of the inspired Shepherd of the Noctes.’ (Ferrier, op. cit., p.xii.) Ferrier remarks in his Advertisement that the parts of Noctes Ambrosianae reprinted in his book are only those written by Wilson, all the contributions by others having been excluded [that is, 41 out of the original 71 produced in the whole series between 1822 and 1835 are attributed to Wilson and hence reprinted here].

Bibl.: The Works of Professor Wilson, edited by his-son-law Professor Ferrier / This day published, the The First Volume of Noctes Ambrosianae, to be comprised in Four vols., small octavo, price 6s. each / Advertisement. Note two half-title pages [The Works of Professor Wilson] follow the above, and are followed in turn by a full t.p.: The Works of Professor Wilson / edited by his son-in-law / Professor Ferrier / Vol. I / Noctes Ambrosianae / William Blackwood and Sons / Edinburgh and London / MDCCCLV. [1855 edition available at Google Books online; see also copy of 1856 Dutton edn. at Internet Archive online; accessed 07.03.2011.]

The March of Intellect” - cont.: See also Noctes Ambrosianae [rev. & coll.] (1863), pp.147-48 - where the ballad is attributed in a footnote to another writer - viz: ‘*This, I believe, was written by Theodore Hook. —M.’ [sometime available at Vanderbilt Univ. archive of Blackwood’s Magazine [online]. The text can also been found in M. J. Whitty’s journal Captain Rock in London, or, The Chieftain’s Gazette, No. 42 (Sat. Dec. 17 1825 - bound as Vol. 1, p.334) - frankly copied from the the “Noctes Ambrosianae” of Blackwood’s Magazine and copied from hence in in Blackwood’s Magazine but here appearing under the title the “Noctes Lambourniae” of Blackwood’s Magazine, No IV, a dialogue to which Captain Rock is party and in which a certain McGin. [abbrev], is asked by one O’Kavanagh: ‘Anything new in your Blackwood this month?’, to which he answers: ‘Very little. Just the song with Tickler sings is mine’, going on directly to sing “The March of Intellect” in all its verses. [Available online - accessed 07.03.2011; See under M. J. Whitty, infra.] Among other appearances, the ballad was reprinted by Robert Kidd in Vocal Culture and Elocution: with numerous exercises in reading and speaking (Cinncinnati & NY: Van Antwerp & Bragg 1857), p.446 - and there attributed to Blackwood’s Magazine. Kidd was the instructor in elocution at Princeton Theological Seminary, acc. the t.p.. [online].

The March of Intellect - A New Song* [Tune:“Through all the Employments of Life.”]

Oh! Learning’s a very fine thing,
    As also is wisdom and knowledge,
For a man is as great as a king,
    If he has but the airs of a college.
And now-a-days all must admit,
    In Learning we’re wondrously (wonderful) favor’d.
For you scarce o’er your window can spit,
    But some learned man is beslaver’d!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c
(Sing tol de rol ol de rol ay)

We’ll all of us shortly be doom’d
    To part with our plain understanding,
For Intellect now has assumed
    An attitude truly commanding !
All ranks are so dreadfully wise,
    Common sense is set quite at defiance,
And the child for its porridge that cries,
    Must cry in the language of Science.
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Weaver it surely becomes
    To talk of his web’s involution,
For doubtless the hero of thrums
    Is a member of some institution;
He speaks of supply and demand,
    With the airs (ease) of a great legislator,
And almost can tell you off-hand
    That the smaller is less than the greater!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Tailor, in cutting his cloth,
    Will speak of the true conic section,
And no tailor is now such a Goth
    But he talks of his trade’s genuflection!
If you laugh at his bandy-legg’d clan,
    He calls it unhandsome detraction,
And cocks up his chin like a man,
    Though we know that he’s only a fraction!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Blacksmith ’midst cinders and smoke,
    Whose visage is one of the dimmest,
His furnace profoundly will poke,
    With the air of a practical chemist;

Poor Vulcan has recently got
    A lingo that’s almost historic,
And can tell you that iron is hot,
    Because it is filled with caloric!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., , &c

The Mason, in book-learned tone,
    Describes in the very best grammar
The resistance that dwells in the stone,
    And the power that resides in the hammer,
For the son of the trowel and hod
    Looks as big as the Frog in the Fable
While he talks in a jargon as odd
    As his brethren the builders of Babel!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

The Cobbler who sits at your gate
    Now pensively points his hog’s bristle,
Though the very same cobbler of late
    O’er his work used to sing and to whistle;
But cobbling’s a paltry pursuit
    For a man of polite education—
His works may be trod under foot,
    Yet he’s one of the Lords of Creation!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

Oh! learning’s a very fine thing!
    It almost is treason (It is almost treason) to doubt it—
Yet many of whom I could sing,
    Perhaps might be as well without it!
And without it my days I will pass,
    For to me it was ne’er worth a dollar,
And I don’t wish to look like an Ass
    By trying to talk like a Scholar!
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c

Let schoolmasters bother their brains
    In their dry and their musty vocation;
But what can the rest of us gain
    By meddling with such botheration?
We cannot be very far wrong,
    If we live like our fathers before us,
Whose Learning went round in the (a) song,
    And whose cares were dispelled in the Chorus,
Sing, tol de rol lol, &c., &c., &c.
   
Note: A discussion of the ballad at The Mud Cat Café (17 Sept.2010 - thread 132203 [online]) casts doubt on the attribution to Goldsmith and quotes an entry by RBW in “The Traditional Ballad Index”, a collaborative annotated bibliography based at California State Univ, Fresco [online]. According to that source, the attribution made by O Lochlainn-More [sic] is associated with a first printing by Hicks of 1802. The author of the notice remarks: ‘O Lochlainn’s attribution to Oliver Goldsmith is difficult to assess. I’m fairly sure that the song he refers to is Tony Lumpkin’s song from Act I of She Stoops to Conquer, beginning: “Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain / With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; / Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, / Gives genus [for genius?] a better discerning. ... ”. But the song simply calls for drink and roast fowl - no conic sections mentioned. Did the song go into oral tradition and get modified? If so, why are there no other mentions? Or was it written somewhere along the way, perhaps by the printer Hicks?’
 The notes given here largely derive from brief remarks and further examination of internet links supplied in that discussion, in which the chief participants are Ruairi Ó Broin and Joe Offer. Note: the search-string used in relation to all the above online references is ‘an attitude truly commanding’, which seems to be unique to this song. As regards ‘conic sections’, the term was later popularised in undergraduate teaching by a textbook of 1848 by George Salmon, q.v.. [BS]
See under William Maginn for further information abot Ferrier’s edition of Noctes Ambrosianae, - infra.

The Gaiety Theatre (Dublin) opened its doors for the first time in Nov 1871 with a performance of Goldsmith’s comedy She Stoops to Conquer.

Ill Fares the Land: The book of that title by Tony Judt (NY: Penguin 2010) is an indictment of corporate greed in America, resulting in a revisitation of - in Galbraith’s phrase - private wealth and public squalor. Judt writes: ‘Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them. [...]’ (Extract in New York Times, 17 March 2010- online.) Reviewer Josef Joffe calls Judt’s book an example of the ‘classic fallacy of the liberal-left intelligentsia [...] the “Doctor State Syndrome”’ (review of same in NYT, 2 May 2010 [online: both accessed 11.09.2010].

Portraits: statue in bronze by J. H. Foley, 1861 [var 1864 CAB], at College Green (TCD); also, portrait in oil by Reynolds, of which there is a copy in Nat. Gallery of Ireland. (See Anne Crookshank, ed., Irish Portrait Exhibition [Catalogue] (Ulster Mus. 1965). See also an engraving after Wheatley, 1791, of a moment from Act V, sc. 3 of She Stoops to Conquer (rep. in Brian de Breffny, Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia, London: Thames & Hudson, p.238.)

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