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THE life of a scholar,” Dr. Goldsmith, has remarked, « feldom abounds “ with adventure; his fame is acquired in

* In the Memoirs, which were published in London, foon after the death of Dr. Goldsmith, were several mistakes, with respect to our author's age, the time of his admission into the college of Dublin, &c. which are here corrected from accurate information. VOL, Í.

a solitude

“ folitude, and the historian who only « views him at a distance, must be con“ tent with a dry detail of actions by “ which he is 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 sub“ject 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 fizer in Trinity-college, Dublin, on the 11th of June, 1744. While he resided there, he exhibited no specimens of that genius, which, in his maturer


years, raised his character so high. On the 27th of February, 1749, O. S. (two years

after the regular time) he obtained the degree of Batchelor of Arts. Soon after, he turned his thoughts to the profession of physic; and, after attending some courses of anatomy in Dublin, proceeded to Edinburgh, in the year 1751, where he studied the feveral branches of medicine under the different professors in that university. His beneficent dispofition 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 fellow-itudent.

A few days after, about the beginning of the year 1754, he arrived at Sunderland, near Newcastle, where he was ar


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arrested at the suit of one Barclay, a taylor in Edinburgh, to whom he had given security for his friend. By the friendship of Mr. Laughlin Maclane 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 Batchelor in phyfic, he accompanied an English gentleman to Geneva.

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It is undoubtedly a fact, that this ingenious, unfortunate man, made most part of his tour on foot. * He had left Eng


* “ Countries wear different appearances to travellers of different circumstances. A man who is


land with


money; and, being of a philosophical 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 feeing the manners of different countries. He had fome knowledge of the French language, and of music; he played tolerable well on the German flute; which, from an amusement, became at some times the means of subsistence. His learning produced him an hospitable reception at most of the religious houses that he visited; and his music made him welcome to the peasants of Flanders and Germany.

whirled through Europe in a post-chaise, and the
pilgrim who walks the grand tour on foot, will form
different conclusions. Haud inexpertus loquor.

Goldsmith's Present State of Learning in
Europe, 1758.

" When

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