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Edinburgh, to whom he had given security for his friend. By the friendship of Mr. Laughlin Maclane and Dr. Sleigh, who were then in the College, he was soon delivered out of the hands of the bailiff, and took his passage on board a Dutch ship to Rotterdam, whence, after a short stay, he proceeded to Brussels. He then visited great part of Flanders; and, after passing some time at Strasbourg and Louvain, where he obtained a degree of Bachelor in Physic, he accompanied an English gentleman to Geneva.
It is undoubtedly a fact, that this ingenious, unfortunate man, made most part of his tour on foot. He had left England with very little money; and, being of a philosophical turn, and at that time possessing a body capable of sustaining every fatigue, and a heart not easily terrified by danger, he became an enthusiast to the design he had formed of seeing the manners of different countries. He had some knowledge of the French language, and of music: he played tolerably well on the German flute; which, from an amusement, became at some times the means of subsistence. His learning produced him an hospitable reception at most of the religious houses that he visited; and his music made him welcome to the peasants of Flanders and Germany. "Whenever I approached a peasant's house towards night-fall," he used to say, "I played one of my most merry tunes, and that generally procured me not only a lodging, but subsistence for the next day : but, IN TRUTH," (his constant expression,) "I must own, whenever I attempted to entertain persons of a higher rank, they always thought my performance odious, and never made me any return for my endeavours to please them."
On his arrival at Geneva, he was recommended as a proper person for a travelling tutor to a young man, who had been unexpectedly left a considerable sum of money by his uncle, Mr. S------, a pawnbroker, near Holborn. This youth, who was articled to an attorney, on receipt of his fortune determined to see the world; and, on his engaging with his preceptor, made a proviso, that he should be permitted to govern himself— and our traveller soon found his pupil understood the art of directing in money concerns extremely well, as avarice was his prevailing passion.
During Goldsmith's continuance in Switzerland, hẹ assiduously cultivated his poetical talent-of which he had given some striking proofs at the College of Edinburgh; and it was from hence he sent the first sketch of his delightful epistle, called The Traveller, to his brother Henry, a clergyman in Ireland.
From Geneva, Mr. Goldsmith and his pupil proceeded to the south of France, where the young man, upon some disagreement with his preceptor, paid him the small part of his salary which was due, and embarked at Marseilles for England. Our wanderer was left once more upon the world at large, and passed through a number of difficulties in traversing the greatest part of France. At length, his curiosity being gratified, he bent his course towards England, and arrived at Dover, the beginning of the winter, in the year 1758.
His finances were so low on his return to England, that he with difficulty got to the metropolis, his whole stock of cash amounting to no more than a few halfpence. An entire stranger in London, his mind was filled with the most gloomy reflections in consequence of his embarrassed situation. He applied to several
apothecaries, in hopes of being received in the capacity of a journeyman; but his broad Irish accent, and the uncouthness of his appearance, occasioned him to meet with insult from most of the medicinal tribe. The next day, however, a chymist near Fish-street-hill, struck with his forlorn condition, and the simplicity of his manner, took him into his laboratory, where he continued till he discovered that his old friend. Dr. Sleigh was in London. That gentleman received him with the warmest affection, and liberally invited him to share his purse till some establishment could be procured for him. Goldsmith, unwilling to be a burden to his friend, a short time after eagerly embraced an offer which was made him to assist the late Rev. Dr. Milner, in instructing the young gentlemen at the academy at Peckham; and acquitted himself greatly.to the Doctor's satisfaction for a short time; but, having obtained some reputation by the criticisms he had written in the Monthly Review, Mr. Griffith, the principal proprietor, engaged him in the compilation of it; and, resolving to pursue the profession of writing, he returned to London, as the mart where abilities of every kind were sure of meeting distinction and reward. Here he determined to adopt a plan of the strictest œconomy, and, at the close of the year 1759, took lodgings in Green-Arbour-court, in the Old Bailey, where he wrote several ingenious pieces. The late Mr. Newbery, who, at that time gave great encouragement to men of literary abilities, became a kind of patron to our young author, and introduced him, at a salary of 100l. a year, as one of the writers in the Public Ledger, in which his Čitizen of the World originally appeared, under the title of "Chinese Letters."
"Fortune now seemed to take some notice of a man she had long neglected.
The simplicity of his character, the integrity of his heart, and the merit of his productions, made his company very acceptable to a number of respectable persons; and, about the middle of the year 1762, he emerged from his mean apartments near the Old Bailey, to a decent lodging in Wine-office Court, Fleetstreet, dropped the plain Mister, dubbed himself Doctor, and was afterwards commonly known and addressed as Dr. Goldsmith. In 1764, he removed his abode to the Inner Temple, where he took handsome chambers, and lived in a genteel style. Among many other persons of distinction who were desirous to know him, was the Duke of Northumberland; and the circumstance that attended his introduction to that nobleman, is worthy of being related, in order to shew a striking trait in his character. "I was invited," said the Doctor," by my friend Percy, 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 antichamber, 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 composed, in order to compliment him on the honour he had done me; when, to my great astonishment, he told me 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."
The Doctor, at the time of this visit, was much embarrassed in his circumstances-but, vain of the honour done him, was continually mentioning it. One of the ingenious executors of the law, a bailiff, who had a writ against him, determined to turn this circumstance to his own advantage: he wrote him a letter, that he was steward to a nobleman who was charmed with reading his last production, and had ordered him to desire the Doctor to appoint a place where he might have the honour of meeting him, to conduct him to his Lordship. The vanity of poor Goldsmith immediately swallowed the bait: he appointed the British Coffee house, to which he was accompanied by his friend Mr. Hamilton, the printer of the Critical Review, who in vain remonstrated on the singularity of the application. On entering the coffee-room, the bailiff paid his respects to the Doctor, and desired that he might have the honour of immediately attending him. They had scarce entered Pall-mall, in their way to his Lordship, when the bailiff produced his writ. Mr. Hamilton generously paid the money, and redeemed the Doctor from captivity.
The publication of his Traveller, his Vicar of Wakefield, and his History of England, was followed by the performance of his comedy of The Good-Natured Man, at Covent-Garden Theatre, and placed him in the first rank of the poets of the present age.
The Doctor had a constant levee of his distressed countrymen, whose wants, as far as he was able, he always relieved; and he has often been known to leave