chapter  64
3 Pages

An artist writing memoirs of Sir Joshua Reynolds comments on Goldsmith, in Memoirs of Sir Joshua Reynolds . . . by James Northcote, Esq., R.A., 1813

Reynolds and Goldsmith, despite constant disagreement, remained good friends and Reynolds seemed to understand Goldsmith better than most (see No. 43). When James Northcote (1746-I831), a painter and author, wrote memoirs ofReynolds it seemed impossible to leave out Goldsmith-so intimate were the literary relations of the two men. Northcote later told William Hazlitt (see Conversations of James Northcote, Esq., R.A. in Hazlitt, The Collected Works, 12 vols, 1903, vi, p. 421) in an interview that Goldsmith and Johnson had undergone a radical reappraisal since the last quarter of the eighteenth century: 'These men were not looked upon in their age as they are at present [i.e. in 1826]: Johnson had his "Lexiphanes,'' and Goldsmith was laughed at-their merits were to the full as much called in question, nay, more so, than those of the Author of Waverly have ever been, who has been singularly fortunate in himself or in lighting upon a barren age: but because their names have since been established, and as it were sacred, we think they were always so .. .' Goldsmith appears in Memoirs of Sir Joshua Reynolds on pp. 84-5, 100-1, 106-9, 126-9, 136-7, 146-7, 166-7, 170-5, and 240-1, but for the purposes of this volume these selections have been greatly abbreviated.