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gives a whimsical objection in his biography of the “ Man in Black”:—“To be obliged to wear a long wig when I liked a short one, or a black coat when I generally dressed in brown, thought such a restraint upon my liberty that I absolutely rejected the proposal.”
In effect, however, his scruples were overruled, and he agreed to qualify himself for the office. He was now only twenty-one, and must pass two years of probation. They were two years of rather loitering, unsettled life. Sometimes he was at Lissoy, participating with thoughtless enjoyment in the rural sports and occupations of his brother-in-law, Mr. Hodson; sometimes he was with his brother Henry, at the old goblin mansion at Pallas, assisting him occasionally in his school. The early marriage and unambitious retirement of Henry, though so subversive of the fond plans of his father, had proved happy in their results. He was already surrounded by a blooming family ; he was contented with his lot, beloved by his parishioners, and lived in the daily practice of all the amiable virtues, and the immediate enjoyment of their reward. Of the tender affection inspired in the breast of Goldsmith by the constant kindness of this excellent brother, and of the longing recollection with which, in the lonely wanderings of after-years, he looked back upon this scene of domestic felicity, we have a touching instance in the well-known opening to his poem of “ The Traveller":
“Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
LIFE AT LISSOY.
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
“Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And learn the luxury of doing good.” During this loitering life Goldsmith pursued no study, but rather amused himself with miscellaneous reading ; such as biography, travels, poetry, novels, plays — everything, in short, that administered to the imagination. Sometimes he strolled along the banks of the river Inny; where, in after-years, when he had become famous, his favorite seats and haunts used to be pointed out. Often he joined in the rustic sports of the villagers, and became adroit at throwing the sledge, a favorite feat of activity and strength in Ireland. Recollections of these “ healthful sports” we find in his “ Deserted Village":
" How often have I bless'd the coming day,
A buon companion in all his rural amusements was his cousin and college crony, Robert Bryanton, with whom he sojourned occasionally at Ballymulvey House in the neighborhood. They used to make excursions about the country on foot, sometimes fishing, sometimes hunting otter in the Inny. They got up a country club at the little inn of Ballymahon, of which Goldsmith soon became the oracle and prime wit; astonishing his unlettered associates by his learning, and being considered capital at a song and a story. From the rustic conviviality of the inn at Ballymahon, and the company which used to assemble there, it is surmised that he took some hints in afterlife for his picturing of Tony Lumpkin and his associates : “ Dick Muggins, the exciseman; Jack Slang, the horse-doctor ; little Aminidab, that grinds the music-box, and Tom Twist, that spins the pewter platter.” Nay, it is thought that Tony's drinking-song at the “ Three Jolly Pigeons” was but a revival of one of the convivial catches at Ballymahon:“Then come put the jorum about,
And let us be merry and clever,
Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons forever.
Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons,
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.” Notwithstanding all these accomplishments and this rural popularity, his friends began to shake their heads and shrug their shoulders when they
FONDNESS FOR CLUBS.
spoke of him; and his brother Henry noted with anything but satisfaction his frequent visits to the club at Ballymahon. He emerged, however unscathed from this dangerous ordeal, more fortunate in this respect than his comrade Bryanton ; but he retained throughout life a fondness for clubs : often, too, in the course of his checkered career, he looked back to this period of rural sports and careless enjoyments as one of the few sunny spots of his cloudy life; and though he ultimately rose to associate with birds of a finer feather, his heart would still yearn in secret after the “ THREF JOLLY PIGEONS."
Goldsmith rejected by the Bishop. — Second Sally to see the
World. – Takes Passage for America. — Ship sails without him. — Return on Fiddle-back. – A hospitable Friend. The Counsellor.
HE time had now arrived for Goldsmith
to apply for orders, and he presented
himself accordingly before the Bishop of Elphin for ordination. We have 'stated his great objection to clerical life, the obligation to wear a black coat; and, whimsical as it may appear, dress seems in fact to have formed an obstacle to his entrance into the Church. He had ever a passion for clothing his sturdy but awkward little person in gay colors ; and on this solemn occasion, when it was to be supposed his garb would be of suitable gravity, he appeared luminously arrayed in scarlet breeches ! He was rejected by the bishop : some say for want of sufficient studious preparation ; his rambles and frolics with Bob Bryanton, and his revels with the club at Ballymahon, having been much in the way of his theological studies; others attribute his rejection to reports of his college irregularities, which the Bishop had received from his old tyrant Wilder ; but those who look into the matter with more knowing eyes, pronounce the scarlet breeches to have been the fundamental