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L E T T E R,

ADDRESSED TO THE

PRINTER OF THE ST. JAMES'S CHRONICLE,

APPEARED IN THAT PAPER, IN JUNE,

MDCC LXVII.

SIR, As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blain

, ville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one ; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published ; but in that, it seems, I was mil-informed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.

Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, from one * by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy fome

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years

VOL. II.

66

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* The Friar of Orders Gray. « Reliq. of Anc. Poetry," Vol. 1, Book 2. No. 18.

years ago ; and he (as we both considered these things as trifles at best) told me with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarcely worth printing : and, were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH,

Note, On the subject of the preceding letter, the reader is desired to consult « The Life of Dr. Goldsmith,” under the year 1765.

THE

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«TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,

“ And guide my lonely way, 66 “ To where yon taper chears the vale

çc With hospitable ray.

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6 For here forlorn and lost I tread,

“ With fainting steps and slow; 45 Where wilds, immeasurably spread,

« Seem length’ning as I go.”

III.

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« Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,

“ To tempt the dangerous gloom; “ For yonder faithless phantom flies

« To lure thee to thy doom.

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IV.

still;

6 Here to the houseless child of want “ My door is

open “ And though my portion is but fcant,

“ I give it with good will.

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" Then turn to-night, and freely share

" Whate'er my cell bestows;

66 « My rushy couch and frugal fare,

My blessing and repose,

VI.

“ No flocks that range the valley free,

“ To Naughter I condemn; “ Taught by that Power that pities me,

“ I learn to pity them :

VII.

But from the mountain's graffy side
" A guiltless feast I bring ;
A fcrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
" And water from the spring.

VIII,

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Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego ;

- All earth-born cares are wrong; * Iran wants but little here below,

* Nor wants that little long."

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Soft

IX.

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Soft as the dew from Heav'n descends,

His gentle accents fell :
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.

X.

Far in a wilderness obscure

The lonely mansion lay,
A refuge to the neighb'ring poor

And strangers led astray.

XI.

No stores beneath its humble thatch

Requir'd a master's care;
The wicket, op'ning with a latch,

Receiv'd the harmless pair.

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XII.

And now, when busy crowds retire

To take their ev’ning rest,
The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,

And chear'd his pensive guest:

XIII.

And spread his vegetable store,

And gayly press’d, and (mil'd; And skill'd in legendary lore

The ling’ring hours beguild.

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