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VICAR OF WAKEFIELD:
OLIVER GOLDSHIITE M. D.
THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR
BY DR. JOHNSON.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH, M. B.
“The life of a scholar,' Dr. Goldsmith has remark ed, seldom abounds with adventure; his fame is acquired in solitude, and the historian, who only views him at a distance, must be content with a dry detail of actions by which he scarce distinguished from the rest of mankind; but we are fond of talking of those who have given us pleasure, not that we have any thing important to say, but because the subject is pleasing.'
Oliver Goldsmith, son of the Reverend Charles Goldsmith, was born at Elphin, in the county of Roscommon, in Ireland, in the year 1729. His father had four sons, of whom Oliver was the third. After being well instructed in the classics, at the school of Mr. Hughes, he was admitted a sizer in Trinity College, Dublin, on the 11th of June, 1744. While he resided there, he exhibited no specimens of that genius which, in maturer years, raised his character so high. On the 20th of February, 1749 0. S. (two years after the regular time) he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Soon after he turned his thoughts to the profession of physic; and having attended some courses of anatomy in Dublin, proceeded to Edinburgh, in the year 1751, where he studied the several branches of medicine under the
different professors in that university. His beneficent disposition soon involved him in unexpected difficulties; and he was obliged precipitately to leave Scotland, in consequence of having engaged himself to pay a considerable sum of money for a fellowstudent.
The beginning of the year 1754, he arrived at Sunderland, near Newcastle, where he was arrested at the suit of one Barclay, a tailor, in Edinburgh, to whom he had given security for his friend. By the good offices of Laughlin Maclane, Esq. and Dr. Sleigh, who were then in the college, he was soon delivered out of the hands of the bailiff, and took his passage on board a Dutch ship to Rotterdam; where, after a short stay, he proceeded to Brussels. He then visited great part of Flanders; and after passing some time at Strasbourg and Louvain, where he obtained a degree of Bachelor in Physic, he accompanied an English gentleman to Geneva.
It is undoubtedly a fact, that this ingenious, unfortunate man made most of his tour on foot. He had left England with very little money; and being of a philosophic turn, and at that time possessing a body capable of sustaining every fatigue, and a heart not easily terrified by danger, he became an enthusiast to the design he had formed of seeing the manners of distant countries. He had some knowledge of the French language, and of music; he played tolerably well on the German flute, which from an amusement, sometimes became the means of subsistence. His learning procured him an hospitable reception at most of the religious houses he visited;