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name of Best, who was attached to Mr. George, partly from his being an Irishman, and partly from esteem for his attainments.
Mr. Best communicated to me a few anecdotes relative to Goldsmith, which I minuted down in his
presence. “ The Deserted Village, said he, relates to
scenes in which Goldsmith was an actor. Auburn “ is a poetical name for the village of Lissoy, in “ the county of Westmeath Barony, Kilkenny West, “ The name of the schoolmaster was Paddy “ Burns. I remember him well. He was indeed
a man severe to view. A woman called Walsey 66 Cruse, kept the alehouse."
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
" I have been often in the house.
“ The hawthorn-bush was remarkably large, “ and stood opposite the alehouse. I was once “ riding with Brady, Titular Bishop of Ardagh, so when he observed to me, Ma foy, Best, this “huge, overgrown bush, is mightily in the way; " I will order it to be cut down. What, Sir, said “I, cut down Goldsmith's Hawthorn-Bush, that “ supplies so beautiful an image in the Deserted
Village! Ma foy! exclaimed the Bishop, is " that the hawthorn-bush ! Then ever let it be 6 sacred to the edge of the axe, and evil to him sí that would cut from it a branch."
Mr. Best also related to me some anecdotes
that would serve to illustrate the Traveller, which I regret are not preserved, for the Traveller is a Poem that is ever read with new rapture. The mind can scarcely refrain from picturing Goldsmith in the capacity of an Adventurer; travelling with an expansion to his mental powers, and feeling the impulse of his poetical genius ; observing with a philosophic eye the mingled scenes before him, and framing from their diversity the subject of his poem. .
The stone of Sisyphus calling my friend back to George-town, I was once more left to the tuition of William Henry, and his sisters. My pupil was not, I believe, content with his insular situation, but sighed for the woods, his dogs, and his gun.
Man laughs at the sports of children ; but even their most trifling pastimes form his most serious occupations; and their drums, and `rattles, and hobbyhorses, are but the emblems and mockery of the business of mature age.
No families are more migratory than those of Carolina. From Sullivan's island we went again to the mansion on Ashley River, where I had invitations to hunt, to feast and to dance. But nothing could sooth the despondency I felt on the approaching return of Mr. Drayton to the woods of Coosobatchie. He guessed the cause of my woe-begone looks, and, rather than be deprived of my services, politely offered to pass the winter on the banks of Ashley River : Nay, he even proposed to send his son, when the war termi
nated, to make with me the tour of the Continent of Europe. There are few men that in my situation would have resisted such allurements; but I dreaded the tainted atmosphere that had dispatched so many of my countrymen to the house appointed for all living; and, filled with apprehension, I left this charming family in whose bosom I had been so kindly cherished, to seek another climate, and brave again the rigours of adversity.*
* The mortality among foreigners during the summer months, at Charleston, is incredibly great. Few Europeans escape that plague of plagues the yellow fever. The attack is always sudden, and lays hold of the strongest. He whose veins glowed b:it yesterday with health, shall to-day be undergoing the agonies of the damned. The temporal arteries of the wretched victim re ready to burst; black vomiting ensues ; the skin turns yellow; the man so lately rioting in lustihood, is without the strength of a child ; and, his tongue lolling out, he dies delirious,
56 What now avail The strong-built sinewy limbs, and well-spread shoulders ? See how he tugs for life, and lays about him, Mad with his pain! The sight how hideous ! Oh! how his eyes stand out, and stare full ghastly ! Whilst the distemper's rank and deadly venom Shoots like a burning arrow cross his bowels, And drinks his marrow up.
that It was his last. See how the gteat Goliah, Just like a child that brawl'd itself to rest, Lies still."
The fifteenth of December, 1799, I rode from Ashley River to Charleston, with the design of proceeding to George-town, and visiting the academic bowers of my friend. I had again determined to travel on foot, and enjoy the meditations produced from walking and smoking amidst the awful solitude of the woods. Having provided myself with a pouch of Havannah segars, and put a poem into my pocket, which Mr. George had composed over the grave of a stranger on the road, I crossed the ferry at Cooper's-River, and began my journey from a spot that retains the aboriginal name of Hobcaw.
In travelling through an endless tract of pines, a man can find few objects to describe, but he may have some reflections to deliver. I was journeying through endless forests, that, once inhabited by numerous races of Indians, were now without any individual of their original possessors; for the diseases and luxuries introduced by the Colonist had exterminated the greater number, and the few wretches that survived, had sought a new country beyond the rivers and mountains.
For the first fifteen miles of my journey, I encountered no human being but a way-faring German; and heard no sound but that of the wood-pecker,* and the noise of the negroe's axe
* The wood-pecker of Carolina, in striking his beak against a tree, makes a quick, sharp noise, which he keeps up for some
felling trees. There was no other object to employ the sight, and no other noise to disturb the repose of the desert.
. I supped and slept at a solitary tavern kept by young Mr. Dubusk, whose three sisters might have sat to a painter for the Graces. Delicate were their shapes, transparent their skins, and the fire of their eyes drove the Traveller to madness.
. Finding my young landlord companionable, I asked him why he did not pull down the sign of General Washington, that was over his door, and put up the portrait of his youngest sister. That, said he, would be a want of modesty : and, besides, if Jemima is really handsome, she can want no effigy; for good wine, as we landlords say, requires no bush.
Mr. Dubusk was a mighty great dancer. Indeed, he would frequently fall a capering, unconscious of being observed. But he swore he would dance no more in the day-time, because it was ungenteel. We drew our chairs near the fire after supper, when Mr. Dubusk did his utmost to entertain me. He related that, only a few nights before, some sparks had put a black-pudding into his bed, which, by the moon-light through his window, his apprehension magnified into a black snake, and made him roar out murder !
time by repetition. An emigrant planter on first hearing it, was terrified beyond measure ; and ran pale and quaking to his house, calling out, a rattlesnake! oh! a rattlesnake !