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GARRICK AS A MANAGER.

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heart of the public, were copied into numerous contemporary publications, and now they are garnered up among the choice productions of British literature.

In his “ Inquiry into the State of Polite Learning,” Goldsmith had given offence to David Garrick, at that time autocrat of the Drama, and was doomed to experience its effect. A clamor had been raised against Garrick for exercising a despotism over the stage, and bringing forward nothing but old plays to the exclusion of original productions. Walpole joined in this charge. “Garrick," said he, “is treating the town as it deserves and likes to be treated, with scenes, fire-works, and his own writings. A good new play I never expect

I to see more; nor have seen since the · Provoked Husband, which came out when I was at school.”. Goldsmith, who was extremely fond of the theatre, and felt the evils of this system, inveighed in his treatise against the wrongs experienced by authors at the hands of managers.

“Our poet's performance,” said he,“ must undergo a process truly chemical before it is presented to the public. It must be tried in the manager's fire ; strained through a licenser, suffer from repeated corrections, till it may be a mere caput mortuum when it arrives before the public.” Again, — "Getting a play on even in three or four

years

is a privilege reserved only for the happy few who have the arts of courting the manager as well as the Muse ; who have adulation to please his vanity,

; powerful patrons to support their merit, or money to indemnify disappointment. Our Saxon ances

tors had but one name for a wit and a witch. I will not dispute the propriety of uniting those characters then ; but the man who under present discouragements ventures to write for the stage, whatever claim he may have to the appellation of a wit, at least has no right to be called a conjurer.” But a passage which perhaps touched more sensibly than all the rest on the sensibilities of Garrick, was the following:

“I have no particular spleen against the fellow who sweeps the stage with the besom, or the hero who brushes it with his train. It were a matter of indifference to me, whether our heroines are in keeping, or our candle-snuffers burn their fingers, did not such make a great part of public care and polite conversation. 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.”

These strictures were considered by Garrick as intended for himself, and they were rankling in his mind when Goldsmith waited upon him and solicited his vote for the vacant secretaryship of the Society of Arts, of which the manager was a member. Garrick, puffed up by his dramatic renown and his intimacy with the great, and knowing Goldsmith only by his budding reputation, may not have considered him of sufficient importance to be conciliated. In reply to his solicitations, he observed that he could hardly expect his friendly exertions after the unprovoked attack he had made upon his management. Goldsmith re

THE CHINESE LETTERS."

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plied that he had indulged in no personalities, and had only spoken what he believed to be the truth. He made no further apology nor application ; failed to get the appointment, and considered Garrick his enemy. In the second edition of his treatise he expunged or modified the passages which had given the manager offence; but though the author and actor became intimate in afteryears, this false step at the outset of their intercourse was never forgotten.

About this time Goldsmith engaged with Dr. Smollett, who was about to launch the “ British Magazine.” Smollett was a complete schemer and speculator in literature, and intent upon enterprises that had money rather than reputation in view. Goldsmith has a good-humored hit at this propensity in one of his papers in the “ Bee,” in which he represents Johnson, Hume, and others taking seats in the stage-coach bound for Fame, while Smollett prefers that destined for Riches.

Another prominent employer of Goldsmith was Mr. John Newbery, who engaged him to contribute occasional essays to a newspaper entitled the “ Public Ledger," which made its first appearance on the 12th of January, 1760. His most valuable and characteristic contributions to this paper were his “ Chinese Letters,” subsequently modified into the “ Citizen of the World.” These lucubrations attracted general attention ; they were reprinted in the various periodical publications of the day, and met with great applause. The name of the author, however, was as yet but little known.

Being now easier in circumstances, and in the receipt of frequent sums from the booksellers, Goldsmith, about the middle of 1760, emerged from his dismal abode in Green Arbor Court, and took respectable apartments in Wine-Office Court, Fleet Street.

Still he continued to look back with considerate benevolence to the poor hostess, whose necessities he had relieved by pawning his gala coat, for we are told that “he often supplied her with food from his own table, and visited her frequently with the sole purpose to be kind to her.”

He now became a member of a debating club, called the Robin Hood, which used to meet near Temple Bar, and in which Burke, while yet a Temple student, had first tried his powers. Goldsmith spoke here occasionally, and is recorded in the Robin Hood archives as a candid disputant, with a clear head and an honest heart, though coming but seldom to the society." His relish was for clubs of a more social, jovial nature, and he was never fond of argument. An amusing anecdote is told of his first introduction to the club, by Samuel Derrick, an Irish acquaintance of some humor. On entering, Goldsmith was struck with the self-important appearance of the chairman ensconced in a large gilt chair. “ This,” said he,“ must be the Lord Chancellor at least.” “ No, no,” replied Derrick, “he 's only master of the rolls.- The chairman was a baker.

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CHAPTER XII.

New Lodgings. — Visits of Ceremony. - Hangers-on. - Pil.

kington and the White Mouse. - Introduction to Dr. Johnson. — Davies and his Bookshop. — Pretty Mrs. Davies. — Foote and his Projects. — Criticism of the Cudgel.

taxes upon

N his new lodgings in Wine-Office Court,

Goldsmith began to receive visits of

ceremony, and to entertain his literary friends. Among the latter he now numbered several names of note, such as Guthrie, Murphy, Christopher Smart, and Bickerstaff. He had also a numerous class of hangers-on, the small fry of literature; who, knowing his almost utter incapacity to refuse a pecuniary request, were apt, now that he was considered flush, to levy continual

his

purse. Among others, one Pilkington, an old college acquaintance, but now a shifting adventurer, duped him in the most ludicrous manner.

He called on him with a face full of perplexity. A lady of the first rank having an extraordinary fancy for curious animals, for which she was willing to give enormous sums, he had procured a couple of white mice to be forwarded to her from India. They were actually on board of a ship in the river. Her

grace had been apprised of their arrival, and was all impatience to see them. Unfortunately,

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