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faultless style, and with such closeness of observation, that the characters in his

work will be intelligible, and appear natural, as long as the English language is understood and all this, without the slightest offence either to religion, virtue, or decorum. I allude to Oliver Goldsmith, and his novel, "The Vicar of Wakefield."

That it should be universally admired, ought not to excite astonishment in any who are acquainted with this incomparable work; though they might be pardoned for wondering (as I must own I do) how a nation, capable of re

lishing some of the novels mentioned in the preceding part of these observations, can likewise possess a true taste for the merits of such a performance as this of Goldsmith.

From the advertisement prefixed to the work by its author, we have a view of the plan he has so ably executed. But every admirer of his will rejoice to perceive that he was mistaken in supposing his book would obtain but little celebrity; a conjecture in which, if he was sincere, he does injustice to his own talents, and to the discernment of man


There are few to whom the Vicar of Wakefield is unknown; and I imagine that, amongst English readers, there does not exist an individual dull enough to refuse the tribute of unqualified praise to this novel.

"The hero of this piece," says the author, "unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth: he is a priest, a husbandman, and a father of a family; he is drawn as ready to teach, and ready to obey; as simple in affluence, and majestic in adversity. In this age of opulence and refinement, whom can such a character hope to please?

Such as are fond of high life, will turn with disdain from the simplicity of his country fire-side; such as mistake ribaldry for humour, will find no wit in his harmless conversation; and such as have been taught to deride religion, will laugh at one whose chief stores of comfort are drawn from futurity."

The above passages are full of matter and meaning: with infinite modesty, and in the happiest expressions, the writer has delineated his work; and while he describes what novels should be, points the keenest satire at those which are composed upon other princi

ples, and stamps a mark of opprobrium both on the authors of such and their


Goldsmith's declaration in his advertisement inclines me to say, that if there is a novel which should not be prohibited, and which should even be recommended to all, as pure, pleasing, and instructive, it is the Vicar of Wakefield. Every thing, indeed, which Goldsmith has written, deserves the same commendation as this charming tale. According to the first couplet in Pope's fine prologue to Cato, the aim of Goldsmith has constantly been,

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