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But alas! your good worships, how could they be wiser, When both have been spoil'd in to-day's Advertiser ? 1 OLIVER GOLDSMITH.



I read your letter with all that allowance which critical candour could require, but after all find so much to object to, and so much to raise my indignation, that I cannot help giving it a serious answer.

I am not so ignorant, Madam, as not to see there are many sarcasms contained in it, and solecisms also. (Solecism is a word that comes from the town of Soleis in Attica, among the Greeks, built by Solon, and applied as we use the word Kidderminster for curtains from a town also of that name ;-but this is learning you have no taste for !)—I say, Madam, there are sarcasms in it, and solecisms also. But, not to seem an ill-natured critic, I'll take leave to quote your own words, and give you my remarks upon them as they occur. You begin as follows:


"I hope, my good Doctor, you soon will be here,
And your spring-velvet coat very smart will appear,
To open our ball the first day of the year.'

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Pray, Madam, where did you ever find the epithet 'good," applied to the title of Doctor? Had you called "learned Doctor," or 66 "grave Doctor," or noble Doctor," it might be allowable, because they belong to the profession. But, not to cavil at trifles, you talk of


[An allusion to some complimentary verses which appeared in that paper.]

This letter, "probably written in 1773 or 1774," was first printed by Prior in the Miscellaneous Works, 1837, iv. 148. It was addressed to the "Little Comedy" of p. 106, by this time married to H. W. Bunbury, the artist.]

[ Mrs. Bunbury had apparently invited the poet (in rhyme) to spend Christmas at the family seat of Great Barton in Suffolk.]

my "spring-velvet coat," and advise me to wear it the first day in the year,—that is, in the middle of winter !— a spring-velvet in the middle of winter !!! That would be a solecism indeed! and yet, to increase the inconsistence, in another part of your letter you call me a beau. Now, on one side or other, you must be wrong. If I am a beau, I can never think of wearing a springvelvet in winter: and if I am not a beau, why then, that explains itself. But let me go on to your two next strange lines:

"And bring with you a wig, that is modish and gay,
To dance with the girls that are makers of hay.'

The absurdity of making hay at Christmas you yourself seem sensible of: you say your sister will laugh; and so indeed she well may! The Latins have an expression for a contemptuous sort of laughter, "Naso contemnere adunco"; that is, to laugh with a crooked nose. She may laugh at you in a manner of the ancients if she thinks fit. But now I come to the most extraordinary of all extraordinary propositions, which is, to take your and your sister's advice in playing at loo. The presumption of the offer raises my indignation beyond the bounds of prose; it inspires me at once with verse and resentment. I take advice! and from whom?


You shall

First let me suppose, what may shortly be true,
The company set, and the word to be, Loo;
All smirking, and pleasant, and big with adventure,
And ogling the stake which is fix'd in the centre.

Round and round go the cards, while I inwardly damn
At never once finding a visit from Pam.

I lay down my stake, apparently cool,
While the harpies about me all pocket the pool.
I fret in my gizzard, yet, cautious and sly,
I wish all my friends may be bolder than I:
Yet still they sit snug, not a creature will aim
By losing their money to venture at fame.
"Tis in vain that at niggardly caution I scold,
"Tis in vain that I flatter the brave and the bold:


All play their own way, and they think me an ass,-
"What does Mrs. Bunbury?" "I, Sir? I pass.
"Pray what does Miss Horneck?1 take courage, come

"Who, I? let me see, Sir, why I must pass too."
Mr. Bunbury frets, and I fret like the devil,
To see them so cowardly, lucky, and civil.
Yet still I sit snug, and continue to sigh on,
Till made by my losses as bold as a lion,

I venture at all,-while my avarice regards

The whole pool as my own- "Come, give me five cards.”
"Well done!" cry the ladies; " Ah, Doctor, that's good!
The pool's very rich-ah! the Doctor is loo'd !"
Thus foil'd in my courage, on all sides perplex'd,
I ask for advice from the lady that's next:
"Pray, Ma'am, be so good as to give your advice;
Don't you think the best way is to venture for❜t twice?"
"I advise," cries the lady, "to try it, I own.-

Ah! the Doctor is loo'd! Come, Doctor, put down."
Thus, playing, and playing, I still grow more eager,
And so bold, and so bold, I'm at last a bold beggar.
Now, ladies, I ask, if law-matters you're skill'd in,
Whether crimes such as yours should not come before
Fielding ??

For giving advice that is not worth a straw,

May well be call'd picking of pockets in law;
And picking of pockets, with which I now charge ye,
Is, by quinto Elizabeth, Death without Clergy.
What justice, when both to the Old Bailey brought!
By the gods, I'll enjoy it; though 'tis but in thought!
Both are plac'd at the bar, with all proper decorum,
With bunches of fennel, and nosegays before 'em ;'
Both cover their faces with mobs and all that;
But the judge bids them, angrily, take off their hat.

Mary Horneck, see p. 106 and note. Colonel Gwyn, and survived until 1840. both painted her.]

She ultimately married Reynolds and Hoppner

[Sir John Fielding, d. 1780, Henry Fielding's blind half-brother and successor at Bow Street.]

[ To prevent infection,-
—a practice dating from the gaol-fever of

When uncover'd, a buzz of enquiry runs round,— "Pray what are their crimes?""They've been pilfering found."

"But, pray, whom have they pilfer'd?”—“A Doctor, I hear."

"What, yon solemn-faced, odd-looking man that stands

near !"

"The same."—"What a pity! how does it surprise one! Two handsomer culprits I never set eyes on!"

Then their friends all come round me with cringing and leering,

To melt me to pity, and soften my swearing.

First Sir Charles 1 advances with phrases well strung, "Consider, dear Doctor, the girls are but young." "The younger the worse," I return him again, "It shows that their habits are all dyed in grain." "But then they're so handsome, one's bosom it grieves." "What signifies handsome, when people are thieves ?" "But where is your justice? their cases are hard.” "What signifies justice? I want the reward.

There's the parish of Edmonton offers forty pounds; there's the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, offers forty pounds; there's the parish of Tyburn, from the Hog-inthe-Pound to St. Giles's watchhouse, offers forty pounds, -I shall have all that if I convict them!

"But consider their case,—it may yet be your own! And see how they kneel! Is your heart made of stone?" This moves-so at last I agree to relent,

For ten pounds in hand, and ten pounds to be spent.

I challenge you all to answer this: I tell you, you cannot. It cuts deep;-but now for the rest of the letter: and next-but I want room- -so I believe I shall battle the rest out at Barton some day next week.

I don't value you all!

O. G.

Sir Charles Bunbury, H. W. Bunbury's elder brother, died s.p. 1821.]




ARMIES of box that sportively engage
And mimic real battles in their rage,
Pleas'd I recount; how, smit with glory's charms,
Two mighty Monarchs met in adverse arms,
Sable and white; assist me to explore,

Ye Serian Nymphs, what ne'er was sung before.
No path appears: yet resolute I stray

Where youth undaunted bids me force my way.
O'er rocks and cliffs while I the task pursue,
Guide me, ye Nymphs, with your unerring clue.
For you the rise of this diversion know,
You first were pleas'd in Italy to show

This studious sport; from Scacchis was its name,
The pleasing record of your Sister's fame.

When Jove through Ethiopia's parch'd extent
To grace the nuptials of old Ocean went,
Each god was there; and mirth and joy around
To shores remote diffus'd their happy sound.
Then when their hunger and their thirst no more
Claim'd their attention, and the feast was o'er ;
Ocean, with pastime to divert the thought,
Commands a painted table to be brought.
Sixty-four spaces fill the chequer'd square;
Eight in each rank eight equal limits share.
Alike their form, but different are their dyes,
They fade alternate, and alternate rise,

White after black; such various stains as those
The shelving backs of tortoises disclose.

Then to the Gods that mute and wondering sate,
You see (says he) the field prepared for fate.

[This translation of Marco Vida's Scacchia Ludus was first printed by Mr. Peter Cunningham in 1854, from a manuscript in Goldsmith's handwriting then in the possession of Mr. Bolton Corney, who, with Mr. Forster, believed it to be by Goldsmith.]

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