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male,” he would say when Oliver was under examination, though sometimes he was forced to end with “Valde bene." But the death of Oliver's father early in 1747, in the very middle of Oliver's college-course, was a greater cause of break-down than Wilder's rough tutorship. The main income of the family thus failed, and the family-group was scattered-Mr. and Mrs. Hodson remaining, indeed, in possession of the house at Lissoy; but Goldsmith's mother settling in Ballymahon, and his brother Henry taking the curacy of his father's old parish of Pallasmore, with 401. a year of salary and the chance of pupils. In these circumstances, such small supplies as had till now reached Oliver from home were no longer forthcoming. Uncle Contarine seems to have done what he could ; but, with such lax husbandry as Oliver's, it was like putting water in driblets into a sieve. The latter half of his stay at the University was, consequently, worse than the first. It was one series of mishaps and hardships. In May 1747, a month or two after the death of Oliver's father, there was a college riot in Dublin against the police, in retaliation for the arrest of a student; and it ended in an attempt to break open the prison and the deaths of several townsmen. Four of the ringleaders were expelled from the University; and among four others who were publicly rebuked for their share in the affair was Oliver Goldsmith-the Latin record in the University-books bearing that he had “favoured the sedition and given aid to the rioters.” The next month he tried for a scholarship and failed. He did obtain a small exhibition, worth about thirty shillings a year, but even this he lost by subsequent negligence. He had to pawn his books, and resort to every other haggard shift for raising now and then a half-crown. Nothing can be more doleful than the account of the poor sizar's life at this time. But he was blessed, as he himself said afterwards, with “a knack at hoping.” A copy of Scapula's Greek Lexicon, which was one of his college class-books, and is still preserved somewhere, attests this very characteristically. It is scribbled over with his signature in various forms, and especially in such forms as these-“ Free: Oliver Goldsmith." “I promise to pay, &c. : Oliver Goldsmith "-showing how, in his college-rooms, the poor fellow would dream of one day being a member on Parliament and being able to frank letters, or of being in a position to be accommodated easily with any desired sum. Meanwhile, too, at least one of his actual | shifts for instant money-making had a relish of superior pleasure in it. This was the writing of ballads, to be sold, at a particular shop he knew of, for five shillings each, and thence retailed, in coarse print, to the Dublin ballad-singers. Every five shillings was something in itself ; but to go out at nights, and, leaning against a lamp-post, feel one of the shillings still in your pocket, and at the same time hear a ballad of your own sung to a ragged crowd of men and girls, and be able to buy a copy of it for a penny-this was a delight worth all the pains of sizarship, and the tyranny of ten Wilders! So sometimes Oliver felt; but the one Wilder had almost proved more than enough. One evening, in the flush of some little success, Oliver was giving a supper and a dance in his rooms to a party of young friends of both sexes from the city," when the tutor, hearing of the breach of rule, burst in, and not only abused him in gross terms before his guests, but actually collared and thrashed
him. Next day Oliver was off. He sold his books and spare clothes, hung about Dublin till he had but a single shilling left, and then set out to walk to Cork, meaning to get to America. He subsisted on the shilling for three days; after which he wandered about, living no one knows how-save that he used afterwards to tell that the most delicious meal he had ever tasted was a handful of grey peas giren him in this wild walk by a girl at a wake after twenty-four hours of fasting. A: length he was sensible enough to think of going home; his brother Henry met him by appointment; and after a little time they went back to Dublin together, and rade it up so far with Wilder that Oliver was re-admitted into college. Things than went on very much as before-Oliver again and again “cautioned,” and fines pearing against him in the buttery-books. Once more we hear of an encounter between him and Wilder, and not so unsuccessfully for Goldsmith this time. The tutor had been lecturing on the subject of the Centre of Gravity, and had asked Goldsmith for a restatement what had been said. Utterly in the dark, Goldsmith had groped in vain for some answer that would pass, when the tutor took the trouble to go over the explanation again, winding up, “And now, you blockhead, where is Four centre of gravity ?” As if not doubting that the question was intended literally, “Why, Doctor, from your definition,” said Goldy in a slow voice, “I should think—” and he went on to name, in the frankest possible manner, the supposed whereabouts of the point required. There was a roar of laughter from the class; and, furious as Wilder was, he could only call Oliver impertinent as well as ignorant, and turn him down to the lowest place. The date of this incident, which Goldsmith used afterwards to relate with glee, is ascertained to have been May 9, 1748. Less than a year afterwards, i.e. in February 1749, he reached the end of his University-course and was admitted to the B.A. degree. He was the lowest in the list of those who took the degree. The wonder is that, having been so often in the black books, he obtained it at all.
And now, at the age of one-and-twenty, Goldsmith could go forth to the world as a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. Of what use had his four years at the University been to him? Apparently, in his own opinion, of very little. Not only did he never forget the indignities attached to sizarship in those days, but he seems to have formed a theory that much of the education received at Universities *as quite unnecessary. “A boy,” he afterwards wrote, “who understands perfectly Well Latin, French, arithmetic, and the principles of civil law, and can write a fine haord, has an education that may qualify him for any undertaking.” And yet, with all bis hardships at college and all his indolence, he had probably got a good deal there that remained useful to him. In mathematics he did nothing, consoling himself with the odd opinion that “this seems a science to which the meanest intellats are equal ;” and to all forms of metaphysical or philosophical study, “the cold logic of Burgersdicius, or the dreary subtleties of Smiglesius”-he professed a dislike. But in scholarship and general literary accomplishment he cannot have been among the worst. He could “turn an ode of Horace into English better | ihan any of them," he afterwards told Malone, and there is no reason to doubt it.
1 This vaga
In Greek, too, he must have sometimes been rewarded with a Valde bene.
In short, at college, as previously at school, though the general opinion of Goldsmith always expressed itself in the phrase, quoted by himself more than once, “that he was very good-natured and had not the least harm in him,” there must have been occasional flashes from him causing people to doubt whether he was not a much cleverer fellow than he looked. And then there were his private scribblings in prose and verse for his own amusement at nights, and those precious and now unknown ballads that were hawked about the Dublin streets.
For about two years, after leaving college, Goldsmith led what Thackeray calls “the life of a buckeen,” hanging on his relatives. He lived chiefly in his mother's house in Ballymahon--close to which there was a convenient inn, where he could be jovial in the evenings, and sing songs and tell stories to the choice rustic spirits that gathered round him. But sometimes he was with his sister and brother-in-law at Lissoy, fishing, otter-hunting, or lounging about the farm; and at other times he went over to his brother Henry's at Pallasmore, and tried his hand for a week or two at helping that good man with his pupils. bondage of Oliver seems to have been a sore trouble to all the family. They had looked forward to his taking holy orders; but, to his own secret satisfaction, that project had failed through the refusal of the Bishop of Elphin to ordain him. Some said the resusal was because of reports of his conduct that had reached the bishop ; others thought it was because he had stupidly gone to the bishop in flaming scarlet breeches. Anyhow, the Established Church of Ireland lost the services of Oliver Goldsmith. Uncle Contarine, who had been the chief hand in persuading him so far to the clerical project, next suggested a tutorship, and did at length get him, as tutor, into the family of a Mr. Flinn in Roscommon county. Here he seemed to be all right for about a year ; but, suddenly tiring of the work, or quarrelling with the family, he set out, on a good horse and with thirty pounds in his pocket, bound a second time (so he gave out) for America via Cork. Nothing was heard of him for six weeks, when unexpectedly he turned up at his mother's door, without a penny, and riding on a bony animal which he called Fiddleback. He gave his mother a long rigmarole account of his adventures-how he had gone to Cork, taken his passage and sent his kit on board, and how, the captain having sailed without him, he had had to sell his good horse, buy the wretched beast Fiddleback, and all but beg his way through the country to Ballymahon.
"And now, my dear mother,” he ended, seeing the old lady's face gloom, “after having struggled so hard to come home to you, I wonder you are not more rejoiced to see me." Little wonder that, from this moment, there was a coolness on Mrs. Goldsmith's part to her young prodigal, and a wish to get rid of him anyhow. Even his good brother Henry ceased to have anything to say to him. Only Uncle Contarine stuck by him. He suggested that Oliver should go to London and study law at the Temple; and Oliver, having readily acquiesced, was provided with 501. by Uncle Contarine for his first expenses, and duly set off. But he never got any farther than Dublin. Falling into bad hands there, he lost all he had
by garnbling and what not, and had to return with real shame and contrition He was forgiven, again provided with some outfit of money, and again sent off— 11:36, however, this time to London to study law; but to Edinburgh, to qualify himself for the medical profession. And this time Ireland and the circle of Irish relatives did get rid of their troublesome Oliver-rid of him for ever. He was but frar-and-twenty years of age, and he lived twenty years longer ; but he never again
Ireland, or the face of any one of his family, save when, some five years afterwards, his younger brother Charles, a lad of twenty, knocked at the door of the wretched + lodon garret in which he then was, and came in ruefully to spend a day or two with him on his way to Jamaica. All through Oliver's future life, however, Liere was a warm corner in his heart for recollections of his native Ireland, and ze he had left there-his mother, his brother Henry, Uncle Contarine, and the
He would think of them often till the tears came; he never quite ceased to correspond with them; and he had a cherished dream of revisiting them all me day, and again resting his eyes on dear Lissoy and the green landscape
ind it, “the most pleasing horizon in Nature.” Ere the dream could be accomlished, the mother, Uncle Contarine, and brother Henry were all dead, and it *is no longer worth while.
Goldsmith as a medical student in Edinburgh might be a good theme for a little i mi-historical novel to any one who chose to write a variation of some of the napters of Guy Mannering, twining the quaint traditions and queer social habits of the picturesque old Scottish capital, in the middle of the eighteenth century, round the figure of the humorous Irish lad, of subsequent celebrity, who had come into the inidst of them. He was there for about eighteen months, or from the autumn of : 1752 to the beginning of 1754. He was boarded and lodged, no doubt, high up some stair in one of the unsavoury old courts, going off from the High Street, that ull amaze the stranger in Edinburgh. His letters do not tell the exact spot-the address “Student in Physic, in Edinburgh,” being enough to ensure that return letters would reach him at the University ; but he gives a satirical description in one of them of his landlady and her economical style of cookery. There were other Irish students of medicine in the town besides himself; for the Edinburgh School of Medicine was then famous throughout the world and drew students from all countries. Much of this fame depended on the great reputation of Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy-the first of three Alexander Monros (grandfather, father, and son) who held the same Professorship in succession from 1720 to 1846. The other medical Professors were Dr. Charles Alston (Botany and Materia Medica), · Robert Whytt (Institutes of Medicine), Dr. John Rutherford (Practice of Physic), Dr. Andrew Plummer (Chemistry), and Dr. Robert Smith (Midwifery). There is proof that Goldsmith, during the two sessions of his stay in Edinburgh, attended all the medical classes, or all but the last. Of most of the Professors he did not think highly, but he was enthusiastic in praise of Monro. “This man,” he writes, “has brought the science he teaches to as much perfection as it is capable of; 'tis he, I may venture to say, that draws hither such a number of students from most parts of the world, even from Russia.” That Goldsmith, while thus attending Monro's lectures, really took some interest in medical studies generally, is proved by the fact that he was a member of the “Medical Society”—an association of the young hopes of the profession, for medical debate and dissertation, which still exists in Edinburgh in high repute. His admission into this society is entered in its books under the date Jan. 13, 1753. The future great chemist, Dr. Joseph Black, was one of Goldsmith's fellow-students at Edinburgh, and remembered him well ; and other fellow-students with him, afterwards more or less known, were Dr. William Farr, Dr. Joseph Fenn Sleigh, and Lauchlan Macleane, his former co-mate at Trinity College, Dublin, and now also thinking of medicine as a profession. But, as may be supposed, it was not all medical study and preparation for the profession with Goldy in Edinburgh. We hear of him, naturally enough, as gathering the young Irishmen of the University about him, and leading in their suppers and their songs.
He must have got somehow also into what was then the more select and stately society of the Scottish metropolis ; for there is a letter of his to a friend in Ireland giving an amusing description of the fashionable Edinburgh balls and assemblies—the deathlike solemnity of the dancers of both sexes, the leanness and high cheek-bones of the men, and the ravishing effect of the Scottish dialect when spoken by a Scottish belle. “For instance, teach one of your young ladies to pronounce 'Whoar wull I gong? with a becoming widening of the mouth, and I'll lay my life she'll wound every hearer." There is something also about some brief and unsuccessful connexion of his, or proposal of connexion, in some capacity, with the household of the Duke of Hamilton ; and he had leisure for at least one walking-tour into some part of the Scottish Highlands. Very probably, by some exertions of his own, in teaching or the like, he helped to pay his expenses in Edinburgh, though obliged to draw now and then on Uncle Contarine for 61. or 41. His last draft on the excellent man was late in the winter of 1753. “As I shall not have another opportunity of receiving money from your bounty,” he writes to Uncle Contarine about that date, “so I have drawn for the last sum that I hope I shall ever trouble you for ; 'tis 201. And now, dear Sir, let me here acknowledge" :—what is acknowledged may be easily guessed eternal sense of obligation to the good uncle. The 20/. were wanted, as he explains in the same letter, to carry him to the Continent, for the completion of his medical education. “I have seen all that this country can exhibit in the medical way, and therefore intend to visit Paris, where the great M. Farhein, Petit, and Du Hamınel de Monceau, instruct their pupils in all the branches of medicine.” That the lectures in Paris were in French, which he understood perfectly, and not in Latin, as the lectures at most other foreign Universities were, would, he hinted, be of great advantage to him; and this was the reason for his determining on Paris, rather than on Leyden, which he had also been thinking of on account of its “great professor,” Albinus. The fact is, it was restlessness, restlessness. Ile had always had a desire to travel, and "the great M. Farhein " and "the great Albinus” were convenient as an excuse.
Of course, as it was Paris that Goldsmith wanted to go to, it was at Leyden that