ePub 版

he makes a mistake. These do not injure a country, but increase its wealth, population, and intelligence. When, however, he denounces luxury, which unfortunately he sometimes confounds with trade, he has the approval of all right-thinking men.

63. Trade's unfeeling train



those enriched by commerce and manu

81. Busy train = thronging reminiscences of the past.

85. These lines express a real wish of Goldsmith's, but one that was destined not to be fulfilled. The reality of the desire renders these lines pathetic. 88. By repose modifies keep.

[blocks in formation]

105. Guilty state.

State here means livery; and it is called guilty because regarded by the poet as an evidence of criminal avarice and luxury. 107. He the person spoken of in line 99.- Latter end: phrase meaning death. See Prov. xix. 20.


[blocks in formation]

122. Spoke

[ocr errors][merged small]

123. The shade the shadows of "evening's close."

126. Fluctuate in the gale:

128. Bloomy blooming.


130. Plashy puddle-like.



float on the breezes.

132. Mantling covering as with a cloak or mantle.
136. Pensive: expressing thoughtfulness with sadness.
137. Copse = a thicket of underwood. Cf. coppice.

139. Disclose = reveal, mark.

=a Biblical

140. Mansion = house, habitation; usually one of some size or pretensions.

142. Passing rich = more than rich, very rich.

144. Place post, position.

149. Vagrant train wandering company; tramps.

155. Broken

broken down by age, sickness, or some other cause.

[blocks in formation]

171. Parting. See line 4.

189. As some tall cliff, etc. - This has been pronounced one of the sublimest similes in the English language.

194. Furze = a thorny evergreen shrub. It is called "unprofitably gay "because, in spite of its beautiful yellow flowers, it is of no practical use. 196. The village master = Paddy Byrne. See sketch of Goldsmith. 199. Boding

[blocks in formation]

210. Gauge = measure the capacity of vessels.

221. Nut-brown draughts

draughts of nut-brown ale.

With his con

vivial habits, we may be sure that Goldsmith was not a stranger to the scenes he here describes.

229. Double debt to pay : to serve a double use.

231. For ornament and use. — They were probably used to hide defects in the walls.


232. Twelve good rules. These are worth repeating: I. Urge no 2. Profane no divine ordinances. 3. Touch no state matters. 4. Reveal no secrets. 5. Pick no quarrels. 6. Make no comparisons. 7. Maintain no ill opinions. 8. Keep no bad company. 9. Encourage no vice. 10. Make no long meals. 11. Repeat no grievances. 12. Lay no wagers.

[ocr errors]

- Game of goose

the game of the fox and the geese. 236. Chimney = fireplace.

243. Farmer's news. naturally make him the newsman.

- His visits to the neighboring markets would Barber's tale. - The endless loquacity


of barbers is a continual theme for jest or disgust among the writers of the time.

244. Woodman's ballad = perhaps some tale of Robin Hood.

[blocks in formation]

300. Band family.

305. Common

but to the public.


= enclosed tract of land belonging, not to an individual,

316. Artist= artisan.

[blocks in formation]

321. Blazing square, that is, filled with torches, which the rich used before the introduction of street-lights.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

355. Crouching tigers. These exist in Georgia only in the poet's imagination.

403. Shore, strand. — By strand the poet means the line of sand next the sea; by shore, the ground above the sand.

418. Torno's cliffs


the heights around Lake Tornea in the north of

Sweden. - Pambamarca = a mountain near Quito in South America.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]


THERE is no other English author with whom we are so intimately acquainted. Through the hero-worship of his biographer Boswell we are permitted to see and hear him as he appeared in the circle of his most intimate friends. We get close to the man as he actually was. We know his prejudices, foibles, and peculiarities; and, strange to say, this minute acquaintance does not lessen, but increase our admiration and love. He was a piece of rugged Alpine manhood. But his towering greatness was softened by a benevolence that never failed to reach out a helping hand to the needy; and his brusqueness of manner was relieved by an integrity of character that scorned every form of hypocrisy. In the midst of so much pettiness and cant it is delightful to contemplate his sturdy uprightness and independence; as Carlyle said of Luther, "a true son of nature and fact, for whom these centuries, and many that are to come yet, will be thankful to Heaven."

His peculiarities of person and manner are well known. He was ponderous in body as in intellect. A scrofulous affection, for which Queen Anne had laid royal hands upon him, had disfigured his face, and also tinged his mind, perhaps, with whim and melancholy. He had a rolling walk, and made it a habit to touch the posts as he passed. His appetite for tea was enormous; and he ate with an absorbing interest that might properly be called ravenous. His sight was defective; but when Reynolds painted him with a pen held close to his eye, he protested that he did not want to descend to posterity as "blinking Sam." He was singularly insensible to music; and when a musical performance was praised as being difficult,

« 上一頁繼續 »