chapter  73
1 Pages

Thomas Carlyle on the poetry of the eighteenth century —especially Goldsmith, in an essay on Goethe, 1832

Thomas Carlyle (I795-I88I), the prolific writer and author of many works including Sartor Resartus (1833-4) and Past and Present (1843), never wrote exclusively about Goldsmith but he did comment briefly on his niche in the British pantheon. In his essay on 'Boswell's Life of johnson,' Carlyle compared Johnson ('Dr. Major') and Goldsmith ('Dr. Minor'): 'the Author of the genuine Vicar of Wakefield, nill he, will he, must needs fly towards such a mass of genuine Manhood; and Dr. Minor keep gyrating round Dr. Major, alternately attracted and repelled' (Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 1888, iii, pp. 9o-1). Theselectionincludedhere, equally brief, is cited from Carlyle's Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 4 vols, Boston, 1838, i, p. 214.