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THE FOLLOWING LETTER,

ADDRESSED TO THE

Printer of the St. James's Chronicle,

APPEARED IN THAT PAPER,

IN JUNE, MDCC LXVII.

SIR, As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one ; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published ; but in that, it seems, I was misinform’d, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.

Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago from one * by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his Ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago ; and he (as we both considered these things as trifles at best,) told me, with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a Ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as

Reliq. of Anc. Poetry."

• The Friar of Orders Gray. Vol. I. Book 2. No. 18.

these, are scarcely worth printing : and were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his Ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

Note. On the subject of the preceding letter, the reader is desired to consult « The Life of Dr. Goldsmith,” under the year 1765.

THE HERMIT.

A BALLAD.

I.

URN, gentle Hermit of the dale, " And guide my lonely way, 6 To where yon taper cheers the vale,

6 With hospitable ray.

II.

« For here forlorn and lost I tread,

( With fainting steps and slow; " Where wilds, immeasurably spread,

“ Seem length’ning as I go."

III.

“ Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,

« To tempt the dangerous gloom; “ For yonder faithless phantom flies

« To lure thee to thy doom.

IV.

« Here to the houseless child of want

« My door is open still ; " And though my portion is but scant,

I give it with good will.

V.

« Then turn to-night, and freely share

6 Whate'er my cell bestows; 66 My rushy couch and frugal fare,

“ My blessing and repose.

VI.

“ No flocks that range the valley free,

“ To slaughter I condemn; “ Taught by that power that pities me,

“ I learn to pity them :

VII.

( But from the mountain's

grassy

side " A guiltless feast I bring; “ A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,

“ And water from the spring.

VIII.

Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;

66 All earth-born cares are wrong; U Man wants but little here below,

« Nor wants that little long."

IX.

Soft as the dew from Heav'n descends,

His gentle accents fell :
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.

Far in a wilderness obscure

The lonely mansion lay,
A refuge to the neighb'ring poor

And strangers led astray.

XI.

No stores beneath its humble thatch

Requir'd a master's care;
The wicket, op'ning with a latch,

Receiv'd the harmless pair.

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