Retaliation (Goldsmith)/Explanatory Notes and Observations

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by Oliver Goldsmith
Explanatory Notes and Observations
4294386Retaliation — Explanatory Notes and ObservationsOliver Goldsmith

Explanatory Notes and Observations





If our landlord supplies us with beef and with fish," page 1, line 3] The master of the St. James's coffee-house, where the Doctor, and the friends he has characterised in this Poem, held an occasional club.

"That Ridge is anchovy," page 6, line 10] Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar, the relish of whose agreeable and pointed conversation, is admitted by all his acquaintance, to be very properly compared to the above sauce.

"Here lies the good Dean," page 7, line 5] Dr. Bernard, Dean of Derry, in Ireland, author of many ingenious pieces, particularly a reply to Macpherson's Antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland.

"Here lies our good Edmund," page 7, line 11] Mr. Edmund Burke.

"To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote," page 8, line 2] Mr. T. Townshend Junior, Member for Whitchurch, Hampshire.

"Here lies honest William, page 8, line 11] Mr. William Burke, late Secretary to General Conway, and Member for Bedwin, Wiltshire.

"Here lies honest Richard," page 9, line 5] Mr. Richard Burke, Collector of Granada, no less remarkable in the walks of wit and humour, than his brother Mr. Edmund Burke is justly distinguished in all the branches of useful and polite literature.

"Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb," page 9, line 8] the above Gentleman having slightly fractured one of his arms and legs, at different times, the Doctor has rallied him on those accidents, as a kind of retributive justice for breaking his jests upon other people.

"Here Cumberland lies," page 10, line 1] Doctor Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, and other dramatic pieces.

"Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
"The scourge of Impostors, the terror of Quacks,"—page 11, lines 5 and 6] Doctor Douglas, an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a Citizen of the World, than a sound Critic, in detecting several literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bowyer's History of the Popes.

"Macpherson writes bombast, and calls it a style, p. 11, line 13] David Macpherson, Esq; who lately, from the mere force of his style, wrote down the first poet of all antiquity.

"Here lies David Garrick," page 12, line 5] David Garrick, Esq; joint Patentee and acting Manager of the Theatre-Royal, Drury-lane. For the other parts of his character, vide the Poem.

"Here Hickey reclines," page 14, line 9] A gentleman whose hospitality and good-humour have acquired him, in this Club, the title of 'honest Tom Hickey.' His profession, the Doctor tells us, is that of an attorney, but whether he meant the words an echo to the sense or not, he has told us so in, perhaps, the only indifferent couplet of the whole Poem. To soften this censure, however, in some respect, the English Reader is to be told, that the phrase of "burn ye," in the 5th line of the 15th page, tho' it may seem forced to rhyme to "attorney," is a familiar method of salutation in Ireland amongst the lower classes of the people.

"He shifted his Trumpet and only took snuff," page the last, line the last] Sir Joshua Reynolds, on whom this observation was made, is so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear trumpet mostly in company; he is, at the same time, equally remarkable for using a great quantity of snuff; his manner in both of which, taken in the point of time described, must be allowed, by those who have been witnesses of such a scene, to be as happily given upon Paper, as that great Artist himself, perhaps, could exhibit upon Canvass.