The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 4. College life at Trinity, Dublin
At this date, he must have been between fourteen and fifteen; and, whatever his ability, it seems to have been decided that he should follow his elder brother Henry to Trinity college, Dublin, though not with the same advantages. Henry Goldsmith, who was five or six years his brother’s senior, had gone as a pensioner and obtained a scholarship. For Oliver, this was impracticable. His father, a poor man, had, from family pride, further crippled himself by undertaking to portion his second daughter, Catherine, who had clandestinely married the son of a rich neighbour. In these circumstances, nothing was open to Goldsmith but to obtain his university education as a poor scholar, a semi-menial condition which, to one already morbidly sensitive, could not fail to be distasteful. For a long time, he fought doggedly against his fate; but, at length, yielding to the persuasions of a friendly uncle Contarine, who had himself gone through the same ordeal, he was admitted to Trinity college as a sizar on 11 June, 1744, taking up his abode in one of the garrets of what was then the eastern side of Parliament square.