Reference > Cambridge History > The Age of Johnson > Oliver Goldsmith > Contributions to The British Magazine and The Public Ledger, the Chinese Letters (reprinted as The Citizen of the World)
  The Bee, and its Verse and Prose Goldsmith in Wine Office Court; his friendship with Johnson  

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.

IX. Oliver Goldsmith.

§ 13. Contributions to The British Magazine and The Public Ledger, the Chinese Letters (reprinted as The Citizen of the World).


For Smollett, besides a number of minor efforts, Goldsmith wrote two of his best essays, A Reverie in the Boars’ Head Tavern at Eastcheap, and the semi-autobiographic Adventures of a Strolling Player; for Newbery, the Chinese Letters, afterwards collected as The Citizen of the World. This production was his first permanent success. With its assumed orientalism, as with what it borrows from Montesquieu or his imitators, we can dispense, although it may be noted that a summary of the vices of the contemporary novel, long supposed to be Goldsmith’s own, is a literal transcript of Du Halde. What is most enduring in the correspondence of Lien Chi Altangi is the fuller revelation, already begun in The Bee, of Goldsmith as a critic, a humourist and a social historiographer. It is Goldsmith on quacks and connoisseurs, on travellers’ tales and funeral pomp, on mad dogs, on letters and the theatre, on such graver themes as the penal laws and public morality, to whom we turn most eagerly now. And of even greater interest than their good sense and good humour, their graphic touches and kindly shrewdness, is the evidence which these passages afford of the coming creator of Dr. Primrose and Tony Lumpkin. In the admirable portrait of “the Man in Black,” with his reluctant benevolence and his Goldsmith family traits, there is a foretaste of some of the attractive peculiarities of the vicar of Wakefield, while, in the picture of the pinched and tarnished little beau, with his parrot chatter about the countess of All-Night and the duke of Piccadilly, set to the forlorn burden of “Lend me Half-a-Crown,” he adds a character sketch, however lightly touched, to that imperishable and, happily, inalienable gallery which contains the finished full-lengths of Parson Adams and Squire Western, of Matthew Bramble and “My Uncle Toby.”   16

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  The Bee, and its Verse and Prose Goldsmith in Wine Office Court; his friendship with Johnson  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors