Sidor som bilder

assistant to a chemist on Fish-street-hill; and to have been, according to his own account, “practising physic, and doing very well”—there is no little difficulty in hurrying him through all these vocations in time to be of any use at all to Dr. Milner, especially as this worthy man, beyond all question, died in June 1757. This error is the more unpardonable, as in relating his own adventures in the character of George, in the · Vicar of Wakefield,' Goldsmith places his attempt to procure an usher's situation prior to his life on the continent, and indeed in the very outset of his career.

" It is not precisely known when Goldsmith first came to Peckham, though quite certain that he was there in 1751; six years earlier than is usually supposed. The probability is that that he succeeded Mr. Robinson, Dr. Milner's former assistant, who appears to have left about the middle of the preceding year. Mr. Robinson preached occasionally for the Doctor at Peckham : his last sermon was in July, 1750, and he probably left soon afterwards.

“I am enabled to authenticate the statement just made, by means of some cotemporary memoranda, furnished by a gentleman who had two sons under Goldsmith's care, in reply to my enquiries on the subject, by his grand-daughter, the niece of one, and daughter of the other of these pupils. “My father,' writes this lady, 'went to Dr. Milner's school on the 28th January, 1750. On the 15th April, 1751, his brother also went, and was put under Goldsmith's care, who, was very mild, and had a winning way with children, and they learnt from him without much study of books.' Two more brothers were also pupils at Dr. Milner's.'

“ As these data were altogether new to me, and contradicted all that I read upon the subject, I was unwilling to admit their testimony without farther enquiry, which, however, soon satisfied me that there could be no mistake. 'My grandfather,' says the reply, kept this short diary from which I send the dates, &c. His three first children died : then came my father, who was born 13th March, 1743-4, and my husband's father, (my uncle,) born 25th May, 1745. The first went to Dr. Milner's school on the 28th January, 1750-51 : the other, the first week after Easter, 15th April, 1751. He said, “Mr. Goldsmith was about twenty-three; a heavy, dull-looking man :' he was placed under his care. On the 4th July, 1754, my good grandfather removed from Peckham to Wokingham, taking his two sons with him, so that it is quite clear Oliver Goldsmith was at Dr. Milner's between the years 1751 and 1754.

“ About fifteen years ago,* a relic of great interest as associated with Goldsmith's residence at Peckham, was removed from the premises by the late occupant. This was a piece of glass, not quite seven inches long, by three wide,' inscribed with the well known lines froin Thompson :

Father of light and life; thou good supreme,
O teach me what is good; teach me thyself!
Keep me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low pursuit, and feed my soul
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure,

Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss.-Winter, lines 217-22. “ These lines are boldly flourished with a diamond ; and the gentleman who has indulged me with a fac-simile, says of the original — I have no reason to doubt of its being the production of Goldsmith. It was presented to me by the lady who had it taken from a window in the house at Peckham, in which Dr. Goldsmith resided, in order to preserve it from mischance-it was the current tradition that the poet had traced the lines upon it. The handwriting is sufficiently peculiar in my opinion to settle the point with those familiar with his autograph : own part, I have no opportunity of making the comparison.'

“There is considerable difficulty in procuring a specimen of the poet's handwriting at this early period of his life, though much curious and interesting evidence may be adduced in favor of this relic. The pug-tailed d, the long s, and the absence of stops were characteristic of his hand at an after period : the latter point, indeed, always distinguished it, for he usually wrote with great haste and carelessness. Mr. James Prior, author of the able Life of Goldsmith before mentioned, to whom a copy of the first two lines was sent, says of it, “The fac-simile forwarded, bears certainly some resemblance to the handwriting of Goldsmith, but by no means enough to decide the point. There is a degree of light-heartedness and flourish about it, which the

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peace Svirtie pures e Lopukilantial-nue Jeding. Olefini


troubles of after life would greatly tend to modify. But one or the strongest arguments arises from the occurrence of the mispelt word “supream,' in the first line : his orthography being remarkable for its inaccuracy. The words comerce, allarms, oppulence, inrich, inforce, efects, ecchoes, atractions, comodities, unactive, and undoe, are especially mentioned as instances by Prior. Another, and still more interesting proof is furnished by the partial erasure of the last line - an erasure which, by the way, subverts the proper import of the passage, and classes even knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure,' with those illusions which constitute “fading bliss.' That the sentiment thus elicited was precisely that of poor Goldsmith after the repeated buffetings to which he was subject on his return to England, appears very evident, from a letter to his brother, the Rev. H. Goldsmith, written in February, 1759, in which he gives the following directions relative to the education of his son. Above all things let him never touch a romance or a novel : these paint beauty in colours more charming than nature, and describe happiness that man never tastes. How delusive, how destructive are those pictures of consummate bliss !""

This extract is sufficiently exact and circumstantial to be its own witness. I have, therefore, nothing to add, but that I am, Your most obedient servant,


Enquiries and Correspondence.

John ix. 2. Sir,-Will you kindly tell me the meaning of the question proposed by the disciples to Christ, as recorded in John ix. 2. Surely they did not believe in the transmigration of souls? Or may the passage be taken as an ellipsis, the full meaning beingDid this man sin, that blindness is come upon him, or his parents, that he was born blind ?

Your's obliged,


Our correspondent has shewn us how ingeniously the simplest text may be mystified, by suggesting the first alternative. The second conveys the true meaning of the passage, though it seems

to us no improvement on the original expression “ Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind ?"

Blindness, like other natural infirmities, was looked upon by the Jews, in most cases, as a judicial visitation for sins committed either by the sufferer himself, or his parents; though, in this particular instance, they appear, from our Saviour's answer, to have judged uncharitably.

Various enquiries. DEAR SIR,-1. In James i. 26, it says, “ Man's religion is vain.” By what rule can we determine the cases of vain religion? Is there any infallible law by which we may ascertain what will render our profession of religion abortive ?

2. Reconcile Luke i. 33, “He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” with 1 Cor. xv. 24, “Then cometh the end, &c:

3. Reconcile 2 Tim. iii. 12, “ All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution,” with Proverbs xvi. 7, “When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

4. Reconcile Hebrews xi. 33, “Who through faith obtained promises," with verse 39, “And these all received not the promise.”

Answers to the above in your next miscellany, would enlighten

Your's truly,


1. Yes :—Read the whole chapter; or better still, the whole epistle.

2. When the mediatorial work of Christ shall end, there will of course be an end of his mediatorial kingdom. When the house of Jacob is merged into the one family of the redeemed, it can need no other king than the God who rules heaven and earth. Yet in one sense, the kingdom commenced on earth will be perpetuated in heaven. Light, love, and loyalty to the Great King of Kings, which constitute us heirs of it here, will distinguish us as its possessors hereafter.

3. Both are true as matters of history. Whilst the world

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