1776 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Joshua Reynolds, 1776 ca.; Goldsmith: The Critical Heritage (1974) 167-68.



What Goldsmith intended for humour was purposely repeated as serious. However, to do justice to the world, a man seldom acquires the character of absurd without deserving it. As the bon mots of other wits are handed about the town, the Doctor's blunders and absurdities, circulated with equal success, helped to increase his fame and give everybody a desire of seeing the man, and this perhaps not without some mixture of self-congratulation to find a person whom they were obliged to look up to for superior talent sink below their own level when in conversation.