Life Of Oliver Goldsmith

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At Sunnyside, Irving wrote his " Life of Oliver Goldsmith." Putnam, the bookseller, had said to him one day : "Here is Foster's ' Life of Goldsmith ;' I think of republishing it." "I once wrote a Memoir of Goldsmith," answered Irving, " which was prefixed to an edition of his works printed at Paris ; and I have thought of enlarging it and making it more perfect." " If you will do that," was the reply of the bookseller, "I shall not republish the Life by Foster." Within three months afterward, Irving's " Life of Goldsmith" was finished and in press. It was so much superior to the original sketch, in the exactness of the particulars, the entertainment of the anecdotes, and the beauty of the style, that it was really a new work. There is no biographical memoir which carries forward the reader so delightfully and with so little tediousness of recital or reflection. The reader is always being tempted to wish that Irving had written more works of the kind; but this could hardly be ; for Where could he have found another Goldsmith ?



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