The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M B

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 402 Seiten
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1837 Excerpt: ... INTRODUCTION, &c. PART I.--Of Quadrupeds In General, And Their Way Of Living. When we turn our eyes to that variety of beings endued with life, which share with us the globe we inhabit, we shall find that Quadrupeds demand the foremost place. The similitude between the structure of their bodies and our own; those instincts which they seem to enjoy in a superior degree to the other classes that live in air or water; their constant services to man, or the unceasing enmity they bear him, all render them the foremost objects of his curiosity, the most interesting part of animated nature. In the first ages of the world it is probable, that all living creatures were nearer an equality than at present. Man, while vet savage himself, was but ill-qualified to civilize the forest. While yet naked, unarmed, and without shelter, every wild beast was a formidable rival, and the destruction of such was the first employment of heroes. But when he began to multiply, and arts to accumulate, he soon cleared the plains of its brute inhabitants; he soon established an empire over all the orders of animated nature: a part was taken under his protection and care, while the rest found a precarious refuge in the burning desert of the howling wilderness. The most obvious and simple division therefore of Quadrupeds, is into the domestic and savage: by domestic I mean, such as man has taken into friendship, or reduced to obedience; by the savage, those who still preserve their natural independence and ferocity; who either oppose force by force, or find safety in swiftness or cunning. The savage animal preserves at once his liberty and instinct, but man seems to have changed the very nature of domestic animals by cultivation and care. A domestic animal is a slave, which has few other ...

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Über den Autor (2012)

As Samuel Johnson said in his famous epitaph on his Irish-born and educated friend, Goldsmith ornamented whatever he touched with his pen. A professional writer who died in his prime, Goldsmith wrote the best comedy of his day, She Stoops to Conquer (1773). Amongst a plethora of other fine works, he also wrote The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), which, despite major plot inconsistencies and the intrusion of poems, essays, tales, and lectures apparently foreign to its central concerns, remains one of the most engaging fictional works in English. One reason for its appeal is the character of the narrator, Dr. Primrose, who is at once a slightly absurd pedant, an impatient traditional father of teenagers, a Job-like figure heroically facing life's blows, and an alertly curious, helpful, loving person. Another reason is Goldsmith's own mixture of delight and amused condescension (analogous to, though not identical with, Laurence Sterne's in Tristram Shandy and Johnson's in Rasselas, both contemporaneous) as he looks at the vicar and his domestic group, fit representatives of a ludicrous but workable world. Never married and always facing financial problems, he died in London and was buried in Temple Churchyard.

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