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A public dinner was given in his honour at Dublin, the Earl of Charlemont in the chair-the poet's venerable father, Garret Moore, being present on the chairman's right hand, the honoured and delighted witness of the enthusiastic welcome bestowed upon his son by his warm-hearted fellow-countrymen. Moore made a graceful, cleverly-turned speech; but he was no orator: few literary men are. He could not think upon his legs; and you could see by the abstraction of his look that he was not speaking in the popular sense, but reciting what had previously been carefully composed and committed to memory. Such speeches frequently read well, but if long, they are terrible things to sit and hear.
The following year Moore accompanied Lord John Russell on a continental tour, taking the road of the Simplon to Italy. Lord John went on to Genoa, and Moore directed his steps toward Venice, for the purpose of seeing Byron. It was during this visit that the noble lord made Moore a present of his personal memoirs, for publication after the writer's death. Moore gives the following account of the transaction :—'We were conversing together when Byron rose and went out. In a minute or two he returned carrying a white leathern bag. "Look here!" he said, holding it up, "this would be worth something to Murray, though you, I daresay, would not give sixpence for it." "What is it?" I asked. 66 My life and adventures," he answered. On hearing this I raised my hands in a gesture. "It is not a thing that can be published during my life, but you may have it if you like: then do whatever you please with it." In taking the bag, and thanking him most warmly, I added: "This will make a nice legacy for my little Tom, who shall astonish the latter end of the nineteenth century with it." He then added: "You may shew it to any of your friends you think worthy of it." This is as nearly as I can recollect all that passed.' These memoirs Moore sold to Mr Murray for two thousand guineas, but at Lord Byron's death, his executors and family induced Moore to repay Mr Murray, and destroy the manuscript. The precise reasons which decided Moore to yield to the solicitations of the deceased lord's friends and family are not known, but there can be little doubt that they were urgent, and in a moral sense irresistible. A man does not usually throw away two thousand guineas for a caprice, even of his own, much less for that of others. It is not likely that the world has lost much by the destruction of these memoirs. Lord Byron's life is sufficiently written in his published works for all purposes save that of the gratification of a morbid curiosity and vulgar appetite for scandal.
During the journey to and from Italy, Moore sketched the 'Rhymes on the Road,' which were soon afterwards published. There is nothing remarkable about them except his abuse of Rousseau and Madame Warens, à propos of a visit to Les Charmettes. Moore was violently assailed for this by writers, who held that as he had himself translated Anacreon, and written juvenile songs of an immoral tendency, he was thereby incapacitated from fy, fying naughty people in his maturer and better years. This seems hardly a reasonable maxim, and would, if strictly interpreted and enforced, silence much grave and learned eloquence, oral as well as written. His denunciations of the eccentric and fanciful author of the 'Confessions,' which twenty years before he would probably have called the enunciations of 'Virtue with her zone loosened,' were certainly violent and unmeasured,
and not perhaps in the very best taste. The following little bit is genuine Moore:
'And doubtless 'mong the grave and good,
But it is scarcely worth while continuing the quotation. The man in Goldsmith's play had nothing like the intense horror of anything low which Moore had, and this with him, if a weakness, was also a safeguard. The pity and indignation with which, now in his fortieth year of discretion, he looked upon literary talent if applied to other than pure and holy purposes, he traces in quite fiery lines
'Out on the craft! I'd rather be
One of those hinds that round me tread,
Poor Jean Jacques had little of the 'sublime' to boast of, and we have met in our time with much meaner people than the half-mad pauper, as Mr Moore pleasantly terms him.
During the journey to Italy Lord John Russell hinted to his companion that he seriously contemplated retiring from public life. Mr Moore was distressed by the contemplation of such a possibility, and addressed a miscellaneous poem soon afterwards to his lordship. It is called a 'Remonstrance,' and concludes with the following somewhat bizarre
'Like the boughs of that laurel by Delphic decree,
So the branches that spring from the old Russell tree,
This is certainly not one of Moore's most brilliant hits.
Pecuniary difficulties, arising from the misconduct of his deputy in Bermuda, now threatened Mr Moore, and flight to France-for process against him had issued from the Court of Admiralty-became immediately necessary. The deputy-registrar, from whom Mr Moore had exacted no securities, had made free with the cargoes of several American vessels, and immediately decamped with the proceeds, leaving his principal liable, it was feared, to the serious amount of six thousand pounds. Active and successful efforts were, however, made by Moore's friends to compromise the claims, and ultimately they were all adjusted by the payment of one thousand guineas. Three hundred pounds towards this sum were contributed by the delinquent's uncle, a London merchant; so that Moore's ultimate loss was seven hundred and fifty pounds only. During the progress, and at the close of these negotiations, numerous offers of pecuniary assistance were addressed to Mr Moore, all of which he gratefully but firmly declined.
Whilst the matter was pending, Moore resided near Paris at La Butte
Coaslin, on the road to Belle Vue. This was also the residence of some agreeable Spanish friends of the poet. Kenny the dramatic writer lived also in the neighbourhood. Here Moore composed his 'Loves of the Angels,' passing his days, when they were fine, in walking up and down the park of Saint Cloud, polishing verses and making them run easy,' and the evenings in singing Italian duets with his Spanish friends. Previous to leaving Paris at the close of 1822, he attended a banquet got up in his honour by many of the most distinguished and wealthy of the English residents in that gay city. His speech on this occasion was a high-flown panegyric upon England and everything English, and grievously astonished Byron, Shelley, Hunt, and others, when they read it in Italy. Either they thought the tone of some of the Irish melodies was wrong, or the speech was. They did not reflect that a judicious speaker always adapts his speech to his audience. Apt words in apt places are the essentials of true eloquence.
Moore's publishers' account, delivered in the following June, exhibited a very pleasing aspect. He was credited with one thousand pounds for the 'Loves of the Angels,' and five hundred pounds for 'Fables for the Holy Alliance.' These were the halcyon days of poetry. There was truth as well as mirthful jest in Sir Walter Scott's remark a few years afterwards, in reply to Moore's observation, 'that hardly a magazine is now published but contains verses which would once have made a reputation.' 'Ecod!'
exclaimed the baronet, ' we were very lucky to come before these fellows!' The Loves of the Angels' is throughout but a prolonged, melodious echo of Mr Moore's previous love-poetry. The angels talk of woman's eyes, lips, voices, grace, precisely after the manner of his amatory `songs. The opening lines, which are flowing and pretty, seem a kind of periphrasis of the Hebrew verse-'When the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy '—
'Twas when the world was in its prime,
Told his first birthdays by the sun.'
The three angel-stories, told in very graceful verse, are grounded upon rabbinical and mythological fables and precedents, and excite but the faintest interest in the reader. It is difficult to remember anything about them five minutes after their perusal—the sensation produced resembling that which one feels after listening for half an hour to the silvery murmuring of a brook in the summer month of June. Just as dreamy and inarticulate as that sound is the musical and cadenced flow of love-verses, destitute, or nearly so, of interest, true tenderness, or passion. In proof of our assertion that this poem is but a repetition of Mr Moore's early and earthly painting of female beauty, we have only to quote the following lines from the second angel's story :
You both remember well the day,
Can you forget her blush, when round
In this passage mere jingling exaggeration supplies the place of poetical enthusiasm; and were it not ungenerous to quote Milton twice against Moore, we should be tempted to contrast it with the awakening of the true Eve beside the fountain in the 'Paradise Lost.' But the reader's mind will have spontaneously referred to it, and that must suffice. As this is the last of Mr Moore's poetry we shall have to notice, we would fain take leave of it with a more favourable specimen. The following lines from the close of the book are pleasing, and, moreover, possess a touch of human feeling. One of the angels, we should say, is condemned to waste his immortality on earth; and to console him in his wanderings, the fair one for whom he has temporarily lost heaven is to be his undying companion :
"In what lone region of the earth
These pilgrims now may roam or dwell,
Who shine where'er they tread, and yet
That shines unseen, and were it not
So like itself we seek in vain
Which is the echo, which the strain;
Whose piety is love, whose love,
Though close as 'twere their soul's embrace,
Like two fair mirrors face to face,
Whose light from one to the other thrown
Is Heaven's reflection and their own:
Should we e'er meet with aught so fair,
'Tis Zaraph and his bride we see ;
Their pathway towards Eternity.'
In 1825 Moore paid a visit to Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford. The meeting was a cordial one, and the Baronet, Mr Lockhart informs us, pronounced Mr Moore to be the prettiest warbler' he ever knew. What somewhat diminishes the value of this praise is, that, according to the warbler himself, Sir Walter-but the thing seems incredible—had no genuine love or taste for music, except indeed for the Jacobite chorus of Hey tuttie, tattie,' now indissolubly united to 'Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled!' which, when sung after supper by the company, with hands clasped across each other, and waving up and down, he hugely delighted in. Scott accompanied Moore to Edinburgh, and both of them, with Mr Lockhart and his lady, went to the theatre on the same evening that it was honoured by the presence of the celebrated Mrs Coutts, afterwards Duchess of St Albans. Soon after their at first unmarked entrance, the attention of the audience, which had till then been engrossed by the ladymillionaire, was directed towards the new-comers, and according to a newspaper report, copied and published by Mr Moore in one of his last prefaces, considerable excitement immediately prevailed. 'Eh!' exclaimed a man in the pit-'eh! yon's Sir Walter, wi' Lockhart and his wife; and wha's the wee body wi' the pawkie een? Wow, but it's Tam Moore just!' 'Scott-Scott! Moore-Moore!' immediately resounded through the house. Scott would not rise: Moore did, and bowed several times with his hand on his heart. Scott afterwards acknowledged the plaudits of his countrymen, and the orchestra during the rest of the evening played alternately Scotch and Irish airs.
At the request of the Marquis of Lansdowne, who was desirous that he should reside near him, Moore at this period took a journey into Wiltshire, to look at a house in the village of Bromham, near Bowood, the seat of the noble Marquis, which it was thought might suit him. He, however, pronounced it to be too large, and declined taking it. On his return he told his wife there was a cottage in a thickly-wooded lane in the neighbourhood to let, which he thought might be made to do. Mrs Moore immediately left town, secured it, and there they shortly afterwards took up their permanent abode. They have greatly improved and enlarged Sloperton Cottage; and covered almost as its front and two porches are with roses and clematis, with the trim miniature lawn and garden in front, along which runs a raised walk enclosed with evergreens, from which a fine view is obtained, it presents an entirely satisfactory aspect of well-ordered neatness, prettiness, and comfort. It is situated within about two miles of Devizes, and is within easy reach of the country residence of Lord Lansdowne. It was here he wrote the biographies of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Lord Byron, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, of which we need only remark that they are industriously compiled and pleasantly written.
In 1824, five years before the passing of the Catholic Relief Act, Moore published The Memoirs of Captain Rock, written by Himself.' It is a bitter, rhapsodical, and of course one-sided commentary upon the government of Ireland by England, not only since the Reformation, but from the