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most thoroughly original productions are his comedies and minor poems, particularly She Sloops to Conquer, and the two pieces of wit and humor extracted into this volume. His comic writing is of the class which is perhaps as much preferred to that of a staider sort by people in general, as it is by the writer of these pages,comedy running into farce ; that is to say, truth richly colored and overflowing with animal spirits. It is that of the prince of comic writers, Molière (always bearing in mind that Molière beats every one of them in expression, and is a great verse writer to boot). The English have no dramatists to compare in this re. spect with the Irish. Farquhar, Goldsmith, and Sheridan, sur- . pass them all; and O'Keefe, as a farce-writer, stands alone.
Goldsmith, with all his imprudences, never forgot the one thing needful to a good author,—the “ Porro unum necessarium," -style,
Observe in the following poems how all the words fall in their right places, and what an absence there is of the unfit and super. fluous.
of old, when Scarron' his companions invited,
Here, waiter, more wine, let me sit while I'm able,
Here lies the good dean, re-united to earth,
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; Who born for the universe, narrow'd his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind, Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining • Though equal to all things, for all things unfit, Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit; For a patriot too cool; for a drudge, disobedient; And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient In short ’t was his fate, unemployd, or in place, sir, To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.10
Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint, While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in 't; The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along, His conduct still right, with his arguments wrong; Still aiming at honor, yet fearing to roam, The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home : Would you ask for his merits ? alas ! he had none; What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.
Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at;
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can, An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man; As an actor, confest without rival to shine; As a wit, if not first, in the very first line : Yet with talents like these, and an excellent heart, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art; Like an ill-judging beauty, his colors he spread, And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red. On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting ; 'Twas only that when he was off, he was acting. With no reason on earth to go out of his way, He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day: Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick, If they were not his own by finessing and trick, He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack, For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back. of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came, And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame;
Till his relish grown callous almost to disease,
Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature,
Here Reynolds is laid, and to tell you my mind,
“ First printed in 1774, after the author's death. Dr. Gold. sınith, and some of his friends, occasionally dined at St. James's Coffee-house. One day it was proposed to write epitaphs on him. Iis country dialect, and person, furnished subjects of witticism. He was called on for Retaliation, and, at the next meeting, pru duced the poem.”—(Note in old edition.)
? Scarron, the famous French wit, who was so poor that his friends made a pic-nic of their dinners at his house.
3 Dr. Barnard, Dean of Derry, in Ireland, afterwards Bishop of Limerick, and of Killaloe.
4 William Burke. • Richard Burke.
• Dr. afterwards Bishop Douglas, who detected the forgeries of Lauder's pretended plagiarism, and Bower's History of the Popes.
A gentleman at the Irish bar. 8 An eminent attorney. 9 The once famous statesman.
10 Burke's digestion was delicate, and cold mutton his standing dish.
1 Dr. Dodd, the unhappy clergyman.
* Dr. Kenrick, a petty author, and troublesome critic of that day. 13 The famous compiler of Ossian.
Hugh Kelly, author of some clever sentimcual comedies, of the success of which Goldsmith condescended to be jealous.
• William Woodfall, printer of the Morning Chronicle.
16 Sir Joshua Reynolds was so deaf as to be under the neoes sity of using an ear-trumpet.
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON.
A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE, 1765.
Thanks, my lord, for your venison; for finer or fatter