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something to relate in kind. Goldsmith's brother, the clergyman in whom he had such implicit confidence, had assured him of his having seen an apparition. Johnson also had a friend, old Mr. - Cave, the printer, at St. John's Gate, an honest man, and a sensible man,” who told him he had seen a ghost ; he did not, however, like to talk of it, and seemed to be in great horror whenever it was mentioned. “ And pray, sir,” asked Boswell, “what did he say was the appearance ?” “Why, sir, something of a shadowy being."
The reader will not be surprised at this superstitious turn in the conversation of such intelligent men, when he recollects that, but a few years before this time, all London had been agitated by the absurd story of the Cock-lane ghost ; a matter which Dr. Johnson had deemed worthy of his serious investigation, and about which Goldsmith had written a pamphlet.
Mr. Joseph Cradock.- An Author's Confidings. — An Aman.
uensis. - Life at Edgeware. — Goldsmith Conjuring. – George Colman. — The Fantoccini.
MONG the agreeable acquaintances made
by Goldsmith about this time was a Mr.
Joseph Cradock, a young gentleman of Leicestershire, living at his ease, but disposed to “ make himself uneasy,” by meddling with literature and the theatre ; in fact, he had a passion for plays and players, and had come up to town with a modified translation of Voltaire's tragedy of “ Zobeide,” in a view to get it acted. There was no great difficulty in the case, as he was a man of fortune, had letters of introduction to persons of note, and was altogether in a different position from the indigent man of genius whom managers might harass with impunity. Goldsmith met him at the house of Yates, the actor, and finding that he was a friend of Lord Clare, soon became sociable with him. Mutual tastes quickened the intimacy, especially as they found means of serving each other. Goldsmith wrote an epilogue for the tragedy of “Zobeide”; and Cradock, who was an amateur musician, arranged the music for the “ Threnodia Augustalis,” a Lament on the death of the Princess Dowager of Wales, the political
a very fash
mistress and patron of Lord Clare, which Gold. smith had thrown off hastily to please that nobleman. The tragedy was played with some success at Covent Garden ; the Lament was recited and sung at Mrs. Cornelys' rooms ionable resort in Soho Square, got up by a woman of enterprise of that name. It was in whimsical parody of those gay and somewhat promiscuous assemblages that Goldsmith used to call the motley evening parties at his lodgings " little Cornelys."
The “ Threnodia Augustalis” was not publicly known to be by Goldsmith until several years after his death.
Cradock was one of the few polite intimates who felt more disposed to sympathize with the generous qualities of the poet than to sport with his eccentricities. He sought his society whenever he came to town, and occasionally had him to his seat in the country. Goldsmith appreciated his sympathy, and unburdened himself to him without reserve. Seeing the lettered ease in which this amateur author was enabled to live, and the time he could bestow on the elaboration of a manuscript, " Ah! Mr. Cradock," cried he,
“ “think of me, that must write a volume every month!” He complained to him of the attempts made by inferior writers, and by others who could scarcely come under that denomination, not only to abuse and depreciate his writings, but to render him ridiculous as a man ; perverting every harmless sentiment and action into charges of absurdity, malice, or folly. “Sir,” said he, in the fulness of bis heart, “ I am as a lion baited by curs ! ”
RECOLLECTIONS OF M’DONNELL.
Another acquaintance, which he made about this time, was a young countryman of the name of M‘Donnell, whom he met in a state of destitution, and, of course, befriended. The following grateful recollections of his kindness and his merits were furnished by that person in after years :
“ It was in the year 1772," writes he, “ that the death of my elder brother when in London, on my way to Ireland - left me in a most forlorn situation; I was then about eighteen ; I possessed neither friends nor money, nor the means of getting to Ireland, of which or of England I knew scarcely anything, from having so long resided in France. In this situation I had strolled about for two or three days, considering what to do, but unable to come to any determination, when Providence directed me to the Temple Gardens. I threw myself on a seat, and, willing to forget my miseries for a moment, drew out a book ; that book was a volume of Boileau. I had not been there long when a gentleman, strolling about, passed near me, and observing, perhaps, something Irish or foreign in my garb or countenance, addressed me : Sir, you seem studious ; I hope you
find this a favorable place to pursue it.' Not very studious, sir ; I fear it is the want of society that brings me hither; I am solitary and unknown in this metropolis ;' and a passage from Cicero Oratio pro Archia — occurring to me, I quoted it: Hæc studia pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur.' • You are a scholar, too, sir, I perceive.' • A piece of one, sir ; but I
ought still to have been in the college where I had the good fortune to pick up the little I know.' A good deal of conversation ensued; I told him part of my history, and he, in return, gave his address in the Temple, desiring me to call soon, froin which, to my infinite surprise and gratification, I found that the person who thus seemed to take an interest in my fate was my countryman, and a distinguished ornament of letters.
“ I did not fail to keep the appointment, and was received in the kindest manner. He told me, smilingly, that he was not rich ; that he could
l do little for me in direct pecuniary aid, but would endeavor to put me in the way of doing something for myself; observing, that he could at least furnish me with advice not wholly useless to a young man placed in the heart of a great metropolis. “In London,' he continued, ' nothing is to be got for nothing ; you must work ; and no man who chooses to be industrious need be under obligations to another, for here labor of every kind commands its reward. If you think proper to assist me occasionally as amanuensis, I shall be obliged, and you will be placed under no obligation, until something more permanent can be secured for you. This employment, which I pursued for some time, was to translate passages from Buffon, which were abridged or altered, according to circumstances, for his · Natural History.”
Goldsmith’s literary tasks were fast getting ahead of him, and he began now to “ toil after them in vain.”