The Life of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. from a Variety of Original Sources: From a Variety of Original Sources - Vol. 1

The Life of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. from a Variety of Original Sources: From a Variety of Original Sources - Vol. 1

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The Life of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. from a Variety of Original Sources: From a Variety of Original Sources - Vol. 1

The Life of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. from a Variety of Original Sources: From a Variety of Original Sources - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Biography has been justly characterised as combining much useful instruction with a large share of amusement; and no description of it has been more popular than the lives of literary men. One of the reasons of this preference probably is, that we are naturally curious about what is more particularly considered the history of Mind; and in such accounts we are often enabled to trace it in active operation while giving birth to productions that have won the admiration of mankind. Neither is the personal career of such persons without many, and sometimes uncommon vicissitudes: : from their lives we turn to their writings with increased interest; and delight in contrasting perhaps the follies and weaknesses that have marked the one, with the wisdom and excellence shown in the other.

To this agreeable department of literature, Ireland, though not deficient in eminent names, has contributed less than the sister countries; and her zeal has been thence thought lukewarm in celebrating the praises of her offspring. The cause however is not owing to indifference to their fame, but to the fact of the individuals having commonly transferred their talents to England, and thus lost something of that nationality which would have more particularly identified them with their native country. Among her divines, philosophers, and statesmen, there are several whose lives yet remain to be written. The remark applies equally to her poets: indeed, there are few of these whose history is familiar to the general reader. Of Roscommon, for instance, although a nobleman and necessarily moving in a sphere of life more open to observation than men of in-

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