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LONDON:
JOHN DICKS, 313, STRAND; AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.

1869.

270. f. 208

SKETCH

OF THE

LIFE OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH-whose complete works are the only one that followed his father's calling herewith issued to the world at a cheaper rate was Henry, and he died, after a plodding, arduous than was ever before attempted was born at an life, a village preacher and schoolmaster, in the isolated and almost inaccessible village in Ire- / year 1708. land, called Pallas, or Pallasmore, in the county Having thus chronicled the fortunes of some of of Longford, on the loth of November, 1728. His Oliver's brothers and sisters, we leave them for father, the Rev. Charles Goldsmith, was a Pro a time to return to the boy who was one day to testant clergyman

earn for himself a proud niche in the Poet's "Passing rich on forty pounds a year!"

Corner of Westminster Abbey.

According to all accounts, Master Oliver GoldHis stipend, however, from his clerical duties, smith was an exceedingly dull boy." A serwas uncertain; and the above small income was vant in the family, afterwards known as Elizamade up by farming operations on a few fieldsbeth Delap, who became a schoolmistress at which he cultivated. While upon this farm, five | Lissoy, first took the boy in hand, and endeachildren were born to the worthy clergyman: voured to teach him his letters; but, as she says, Margaret, who died in childhood, Catherine, he seemed impenetrably stupid." She made Henry, Jane, and Oliver, whose life we are now but very little progress with him; bnt ultimately recording.

lived to the age of ninety; and it was her When the young Oliver had reached the age greatest source of joy, in the garrulity of her old of two years, the circumstances of his father age, even thirteen years after the poet's death, were materially improved. On the death of the to recount how it was she that taaght the great rector of Kilkenny West, the living of the place Dr. Oliver Goldsmith to read. was given to the Rev. Mr. Goldsmith. This At the age of six years, Oliver was placed living was the gift of his wife's uncle, and was under the care of the village schoolmaster of worth nearly two hundred a year. Upon this Lissoy, a Mr. Thomas Byrne. He, however, had improvement of the fortunes of the family, in served as quarter-master of an Irish regiment, 1730. they removed from Pallasmore to the more through the wars of Marlborongh, and was delightfäl village of Lessoy, where they had a fonder of telling the boys the adventures and respectable house and farm in the county of * warlike scrapes" he had gone through, than Westmeath, barony of Kilkenny, about midway teaching them to "read, write and spell." It is between the towns of Ballymahon and Athlone. surmised that much that was told him here led, Three additional children were born here during to a great extent, to the wandering life which, the next ten years: Maurice, Charles, and John. for a considerable time, was the chief event in The latter died in early years; and, with the Goldsmith's career. Oliver had never been a exception of one, all the other children, as they good-looking boy-in fact, he was decidedly grew up, passed through a life of viscissitude, plain; and while at this school he suffered from and, in some cases, privation. At the age of an attack of small-pox, which brought him twenty, Charles went, as a friendless adven nearly to death's door, and left him with featurer, to Jamaica ; and after an absence of some tures which too many of his schoolfellows called years, came to London, where he ultimately ugly. The kind-hearted old soldier pedagogue died, about fifty years ago, miserably poor, at a took pity on the boy, humoured his shy and humble lodging in Somers Town. Catherine was awkward, unscholarly ways, and left him to purfortunate enough to secure a wealthy husband, sue much of his own course. Hence it was that Mr. Hodson ; but Jane married a poor man Oliver learned very little here. named Johnson. Both these sisters died at He was next removed to a superior sehool at Athlone, some few years after the death of their Elphin, kept by the Rev. Mr. Griffin, where, brother Oliver. They had lived long enough to much to his distaste, Oliver, for the first time, was rejoice in the celebrity of his name, and to asso put to study Horace and Ovid. He was still the ciate with themselves many a little incident in pale, sickly, ill-favoured boy, and all considered connection with the immortal pages of "The him "a stupid, heavy, blockhead, little better Vicar of Wakefield." Maurice had been brought than a fool, whom every one inade fun of." The up as a cabinet-inaker, and ultimately kept a treatment he received here was never forgotten. small shop in Charlestown, county of Roscom- It made him peevish and irritable; yet at times mon, dying in very poor circumstances, in 1792. The was good-natured and even good-humoured.

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