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its permenant pedestal, and in all its artistic beauty, amid enthusiastic applause.


It is now about six years ago since I stood a short distance from a spot not out of sight of us, to do honour to a truly Irish and most delightful poet, Thomas Moore. In the performance of that grateful act of homage, I took it upon me to suggest that on the spot where we now are there should be raised a Statue of Oliver Goldsmith. The proposal seemed to be at once approved of: I will not say it has been hurried into completion; still, by the zeal and liberality of the many interested, it has been accomplished. Though not exposed for the first time to the view of the citizens, the figure now stands upon its appropriate pedestal, and I think we shall agree that any delay which may have occurred in the proceedings has been amply made up for by the grace, dignity, and excellence of the finished work. Look on him as he stands before you : the genial-hearted Irishman, the gentle moralist, the consummate poet stands in front of that College which gave him shelter in his early youth, but which I cannot affirm that he repaid with uniform docility. His subsequent fame, however, has more than made up that debt. Happily, indeed, for myself, and most happily for you, under this wintry sky, I am spared all necessity of detailing to you the adventures of his various career, or of dilating upon the characteristics of his no less various genius. Living biographers have done full justice to his history; and an eminent orator, at once the representative and ornament of this University, has unfolded all his high gifts of mind, and filial reverence, and congenial ability. We contemplate a career not free from imprudence, from error, nor even from ridicule, but redeemed by the most guileless simplicity, by the most romantic benevolence, by the most manly independence. We contemplate a genius of which no more accurate or pithy a summary can be given than in the words which his great friend, Dr. Johnson, inscribed upon the stone which bears his name in Westminster Abbey. "There was no style of composition he did not essay; none he essayed which he did not adorn." Out of so much variety, and so much excellence, if I were called upon to select the most striking specimens, I should naturally name the "Deserted Village," the "Traveller," and above all, perhaps, the "Vicar of Wakefield." Why, the walls of the Royal Academy of England would

not know themselves if a single year came round without exhibiting a subject from the "Vicar of Wakefield." Still, novelist, historian, satirist, essayist, dramatist, as he was, it is mainly as a poet that we represent to ourselves Oliver Goldsmith. If I were to seek for an adjective by which to distinguish his poetry, I do not think I could find one so fitting as "exquisite." Others have soared to greater heights, and shed intenser light in the poetical heaven; but where was ever combined more perfect rhythm, more mellow harmony, more refined simplicity, more graceful truth? Short as my limits must needs be, I would justify my praise by the most convincing process I could use by recalling a few notes of the music of his strains to your, I feel sure, not unaccustomed ears. Take the decline of a virtuous old age, lines I once heard with singular effect applied by Lord Brougham to Mr. Wilberforce :"For him no wretches, born to work and weep, Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep; No surly porter stands, in guilty state, To spurn imploring famine from the gate; But on he moves, to meet his latter end, Angels around befriending virtue's friend, Bends to the grave with unperceiv'd decay, While resignation gently slopes the way; And, all his prospects brightening to the last,

His heaven commences ere the world be pass'd."

From this it is no violent transition to the Country Clergyman. It is very refreshing to observe how Goldsmith, amidst all his own irregularities and weaknesses, cherishes in his heart of hearts the most genuine and fervid sympathy with goodness. In the case before us this feeling is probably heightened by both his filial and fraternal affection :

"At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place,

Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
The service pass'd, around the pious man,

With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;

E'en children followed with endearing wile

And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd,
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distress'd;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.

As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,

Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm;
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head."

Goldsmith had a most happy gift of satire. I consider Pope to have been the greatest master that ever lived both of the most exquisite panegyric and of the most fierce and flaying invective. Between these two extremes Goldsmith could hit off the character of his acquaintance with a touch that was keen, incisive, but never ungentle. Thus, of his great friend Edmund Burke, of whom I shall still have to say a word more

"There lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much;
Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit;
For a patriot too cool, for a drudge disobedient,
And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient."

Then of Garrick

"There lies David Garrick, describe him who can,
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man.
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
'Twas only that when he was off he was acting.
With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day;
Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick
If they were not his own by finessing and trick:

He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,

For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back."

It is difficult to say in these instances whether the praise or blame predominates, as must naturally happen when mixed characters are the subject, save only when he comes to Sir Jeshua Reynolds, of whom he felt and delighted to feel that there was nothing but praise to be spoken :

"There Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,

He has not left a wiser or better behind,
Still born to improve us in every part-
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart."

I remember no English poet, except indeed it be Milton, who made more harmonious use of proper names in his verses.

"On Idria's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side,"

"The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel;

Zeck's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of steel."

"Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,

And Niagara stuns with thundering sound."



"Through torrid tracks with fainting steps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe."

I remember consoling myself with that last couplet for a whole day when I was becalmed off the mouth of the Altama. But, above all, his skill in producing harmonious sounds is manifest in a passage which I shall quote for other reasons, not the least of them being that it seems to me to be strung to the loftiest chord in the whole compass of his lyre.

"And thou, sweet poetry! thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame.
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride!
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel-
Thou nurse of every virtue-fare thee well!"

Now for the full burst of harmony

"Farewell! and oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torpea's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the Polar world in snow-
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of th' inclement clime.
Aid slighted truth: with thy persuasive strain,
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach him that states of native strength possess'd,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;

That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away--
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky."

Just let us pause to consider his reference to poetry :

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Well, these tables are turned, at all events. Why are we met here today, the goodliest of the city-rank, authority, talent, beauty-but to pay honour to what he thought neglected and decried, to what was his shame in crowds; here, in front of his own University, where he was the obscure sizar, but where he has given occasion to every sizar since to feel proud of his position; even here, where we are told that he was laid prostrate on the floor by his brutal tutor, Mr. Wilder ?-there are no such tutors in Trinity College now, the home of all dignified and gentle learning under the mild sway of the venerable Provost-even here we are gathered round the poet's Statue, before London has erected a single statue in the open air to one of England's mighty bards. Mr. Foley has amply atoned for Mr. Wilder. At the beginning of these remarks I referred to the fact, that, while engaged in the inauguration of the Statue of Moore, I ventured to anticipate our work of this day in presenting to Dublin the Statue of Goldsmith. This was six years ago; but let not six years now elapse before we shall have erected the Statue of Burke. See, the College authorities have most wisely and considerately left a corresponding space, which absolutely requires some one to fill it; and who so fit for it as he who was probably the greatest intellect of Ireland, the consummate orator, philosopher, and statesman, Edmund Burke? See, the very Statue of our Goldsmith seems to invite the presence of him who was both the most cherished companion of his social hours, and the readiest and the truest friend in his sore and frequent need. I know my sympathizing hearers-men of high station, men of various bearing, men of large heart-nor will I wholly omit you, fair daughters of Dublin, who have full sympathies for genius and for virtue, you will not be wanting to this most obvious and most patriotic duty. I know that this work has already enlisted the sympathy and exertions of many eminent and public-spirited citizens. I trust that no long time will elapse before, on this very spot, where the historic recollections, the architectural beauties, the main thoroughfares, all the pulses of Dublin life most converge, the passer-by as he halts for a moment, may look up, not without patriotic pride and emotion, to the Statues of Goldsmith and Burke.

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