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be feared, his warmth of heart prevented even these trivial gains from benefiting him, and like the machine of pity" which his father had brought him up to be, he had parted with them to some importunate petitioner before he reached his home. Of his inconsiderate charity in this way a ludicrous anecdote is told. Once Edward Mills, coming to summon him to breakfast, was answered from within, that he must burst open the door, as his intended guest was unable to rise. He was, in fact, struggling to extricate himself from the ticking of his bed, into which, in the extreme cold, he had crawled, having surrendered his blankets to a poor woman who, on the preceding night, had vanquished him with a pitiful story.

On the 27th February, 1749, he was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and his college days came to an end. One of the relics of this epoch, a folio Scapula, scrawled liberally with signatures and “promises to pay," was, in 1837, in the possession of his first biographer, Prior. He also left his autograph on one of the panes of No. 35. When, fifty years ago, the old garrets disappeared, this treasure was transferred to the manuscript room of Trinity College, where it remains. But perhaps the most significant memorial of his Dublin life is to be found in a passage from one of his later letters to his brother Henry. “The reasons you have given me for breeding up your son a scholar are judicious and convincing. . If he be assiduous, and divested of strong passions, (for passions in youth always lead to pleasure,) he may do very well in your college ; for it must be owned, that the industrious poor have good encourage

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ment there, perhaps better than in any other in Europe. But if he has ambition, strong passions, and an exquisite sensibility of contempt, do not send him there, unless you have no other trade for him except your own.”

CHAPTER II.

W

HEN Oliver Goldsmith assembled his poor be

longings, and took his last, and possibly regretful, look at that scrawled signature on the window of No. 35 which was to become so precious a memento to posterity, his prospects were of the most indefinite kind. His father's death had broken up the old home at Lissoy; and the house itself was now occupied by Mr. Hodson, to whom the land had fallen in consequence of the arrangements made by Charles Goldsmith for endowing his daughter Catherine. Henry Goldsmith was domiciled in the farm at Pallas, serving the curacy of Kilkenny West, and teaching the village school. Mrs. Goldsmith, Oliver's mother, had retired to a little cottage at Ballymahon, and her circumstances were not such as enabled her to support her son, especially as she had other children. Obviously he must do something, but what? The church appeared to afford the only practicable opening; and he was urged by his relatives and his Uncle Contarine to qualify for orders. To this proposal he had himself strong objections. “To be obliged to wear a long wig, when he liked a short one, or a black coat, when he generally dressed in brown,”-he said afterwards in “The

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Citizen of the World,”—was “a restraint upon his liberty.” Perhaps also—to quote a reason he gave in later life for not reading prayers-he "did not think himself good enough.” Yet he yielded to the importunity of those about him; and as he was too young to be ordained, agreed to make the needful preparations. “There is reason to believe,” remarks Prior, gravely, “ that at this time he followed no systematic plan of study.” On the contrary, he seems to have occupied himself in a much more agreeable manner. From Ballymahon he wandered to Lissoy, from Lissoy to Pallas, from Pallas to Uncle Contarine's at Roscommon, leading, as Mr. Thackeray says, “the life of a buckeen,” which is a minor form of “squireen,” which again is the diminutive of 'squire. In most of its characteristics, his mode of existence must have resembled that of the typical eighteenth-century younger brother, Will Wimble. It was made up largely of journeyings from one house to another, of friendly fetching and carrying, of fishing and otter hunting in the isleted River Inny, of throwing the hammer at neighbouring fairs, of flute playing with his cousin, Jane Contarine, and, lastly, of taking the chair at the convivial meetings held nightly at one George Conway's Inn at Ballymahon. Here he was a triton among the minnows, the delight of horse doctors and bagmen, and the idol of his quondam college associate, Bob Bryanton, now of Ballymulvey. In days to come he would recur fondly to this disengaged, irresponsible time. It was of himself, not Tony Lumpkin, that he was thinking, when he attributed to that unlettered humourist the composition of the excellent drinking song in “She Stoops to Conquer." It was of himself, too,

that he wrote—though his biographers have ignored the fact—when he makes him declare that he “always lov'd Cousin Con's hazel eyes, and her pretty long fingers, that she twists this way and that, over the haspicholls, like a parcel of bobbins.” For who should “Cousin Con” be but Jane Contarine ?

There was, however, to be little romance of this kind in Oliver's chequered life. "Cousin Con” in time became Mrs. Lawder, and the inevitable hour at length arrived when the partner of her concerts must present himself for ordination to the Right Rev. Dr. Synge, Bishop of Elphin, by whom, sad to say, he was rejected. Whether, as is most probable, he had neglected the preliminary studies, whether the bishop had heard an ill report of his college career, or whether, as Dr. Strean asserted, he committed the solecism of appearing before his examiner in a pair of flaming scarlet breeches, are still debateable questions. The fact remains that he was refused acceptance as a clergyman, and must find a fresh vocation. Uncle Contarine, good at need, fitted him with a place as tutor to a gentleman of Roscommon of the name of Flinn. But he speedily, in consequence of the confinement, according to one account, in consequence of a quarrel about cards, according to another, relinquished this employ; and, with thirty pounds of savings in his pocket, a circumstance which, to some extent, negatives the card story, quitted his mother's house on a good horse, and an uncertain errand. In about six weeks he re-appeared, without money, and having substituted for his roadster a miserable animal which he had christened contemptuously by the name of Fiddleback. His mode of departure had

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