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Still born to improve us in every part,
After the fourth edition of this Poem was printed, the publisher received
the following epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord, from a friend of the late Dr. Goldsmith.
HERE Whitefoord reclines, and deny it who can,
Goldsmith alludes, when, in describing Sir Joshua Reynolds, he employed the epithet bland—a word eminently happy, and characteristic of his easy and placid manner; but, taking into our consideration at once the soundness of his understanding, and the mildness and suavity of his deportment, perhaps Horace's description of the amiable friend of the younger Scipio—the ‘mitis sapientia Læli, —may convey to posterity a more perfect idea of our illustrious painter, than the unfinished delineation of his poetical friend.”—Malone, Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds.]
* Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf, as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.
+ [" These were the last lines Goldsmith ever wrote. He had written half a line more of this character, when he was seized with the fever which carried him in a few days to the grave. He intended to have concluded with his own character.”—MALONE.]
Mr. Caleb Whitefoord, author of many humorous essays. & Mr. Whitefoord was so notorious a punster, that Dr. Goldsmith used to say it was impossible to keep him company, without being infected with the itch of punning.
Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun!
What pity, alas! that so lib’ral a mind
Ye newspaper witlings ! ye pert scribbling folks!
Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for thy sake I admit
may have humor, I had almost said wit:
* Mr. H. S. Woodfall, printer of the Public Advertiser.
† Mr. Whitefoord has frequently indulged the town with humorous pieces under those titles in the Public Advertiser.
1 [The wit of Goldsmith in this poem produced, as such things frequently
do, an effusion of wit from other men. Garrick, who had a turn for epigram, was the first in the field ? led by the skill and keenness with which his own character had been analyzed, but unprepared for reply, his first feeling seems to have been one of mere discontent, which he expressed in the following
« JEU D'ESPRIT,
Is this the great poet whose works so content us?
Further reflection convinced Garrick of the enduring nature of the satire ; and he soon found that it was thought by others to contain much truth. This prompted a more labored effusion in the form of attack on his assailant; for the idea and point of which, however, he is indebted to Swift. It was not printed, and probably not written, before 1776.
“ JUPITER AND MERCURY.
“Here, Hermes, says Jove, who with nectar was mellow,
Go fetch me some clay-I will make an odd fellow!
Cumberland, having no resentments to gratify, ventured to imitate his original, by applying to wines the characters appropriated by Goldsmith to dishes. The idea was good: and in the following piece, which was first printed about 1777, is cleverly executed, though infinitely inferior to the humor, discrimination, and talent that pervades · Retaliation.'
“ POETICAL EPISTLE TO DR. GOLDSMITH, OR SUPPLEMENT TO HIS
" To Cradock* next in order turn ye,
“Now, Doctor, you're an honest sticker,
So take your glass, and choose your liquor.
Dean Barnard, who wrote verses with facility, printed the following lines after perusing those of Goldsmith and Cumberland :
* Dear Noll and dear Dick, since you've made us so merry,
Accept the best thanks of the poor Dean of Derry!
(Joseph Cradock, Esq. The allusion is to his having altered and adapted Voltaire's • Zobeide to the English stage.')