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TO THE PRINTER

OF

THE ST. JAMES'S CHRONICLE.

JUNE, 1767.

SIR,

As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspapercontroversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published; but in that, it seems, I was misinformed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right. · Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, from one* by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago; and he (as we both considered these things as trifles at best) told me with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing: and were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

* “ The Friar of Orders Gray."

I am, sir,

Yours, &c.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

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“ Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,

And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale,

With hospitable ray.
" For here forlorn and lost I tread;

With fainting steps and slow; Where wilds, immeasurably spread,

Seem lengthening as I go.” “Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,

“To tempt the dangerous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies

To lure thee to thy doom.

“Here to the houseless child of want

My door is open still; .
And though my portion is but scant,

I give it with good will.
“ Then turn to-night, and freely share

Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,

My blessing and repose. " No flocks that range the valley free

To slaughter I condemn: Tanght by that Power that pities me,

I learn to pity them : “ But from the mountain's grassy side,

A guiltless feast I bring; A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,

And water from the spring. “ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;

All earth-born cares are wrong: Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long."
Soft as the dew from heaven descends,

His gentle accents fell:
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure

The lonely mansion lay;
A refuge to the neighbouring poor,

And strangers led astray.

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