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time of Pope Adrian's famous bull, which is twisted into an exclusively English grievance and insult. Captain Rock, assisted at the commencement by a sour gentleman in a flaxen wig and green spectacles, is of course the grim mouthpiece through which Mr Moore pours the amauris liquidus of his unpent wrath upon the devoted heads of the oppressors of his country. Truly a terrible fellow, if one were to believe him in serious earnest, is this tremendous captain—

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'Through Connaught, Leinster, Ulster, Munster,
He's the boy to make the fun stir.'

But to take him at his word would be a very great mistake indeed, and especially, we are sure, annoying, if not alarming to himself. He is not half such a terrible desperado as he looks, for all his cut-throat-looking beard and whiskers. They are shams put on for the nonce to hide a decidedly festive physiognomy-' a mouth good-humoured, with dimples, and a nose not aquiline, but,' says the literal painter, ' with a character of scenting feasts and orchards.' These are not the features of men fitted to the pulling down of strongholds and plucking kings by the beard. In truth, rebellion was never at all in Mr Moore's line. It lay in his way; he foolishly stumbled over it; and instantly cut its acquaintance, except in so far as a pretty song or musical sentiment may be held to constitute the continuance of a tender and fragile connection. A poet less likely than Moore to kindle a nation into a blaze never perhaps existed. 'Revolutions,' said Napoleon, are not made with rose-water.' Nor with rose-verse neither, fortunately, or the Bard of Erin might have found himself suddenly raised upon bucklers to a position in which he would have made the strangest figure, and one too as difficult to get down from as to climb up to. Happily, much of the injustice of which Captain Rock is made to declaim so scholarly against has been remedied since the book was written; and as the irritating memories of the dead and buried past, fade away, we may hope to see no more editions of a gentleman who, however amiably disposed in reality, certainly talks in a very fierce and alarming manner. The style of the book, moreover, proves very clearly that its author, unlike Molière's Bourgeois Gentilhomme,' had not been talking prose all his life; for intelligible, honest prose it is not. Neither is it verse; for the lines are not cut into quantities and rhymed, but it has all the tropes and figures which are found in certain kinds of poetry. Changes in the personality of the vice-regal government are said to resemble Penelope's web! The ignoring the existence of an Irish Catholic-Meres Hibernus-by certain of the penal statutes, finds a parallel in Milton's devils, who occupied no space in Pandemonium. The death of Lord Strafford, with which wicked or righteous deed the Irish certainly had nothing to do, is like the awful mementos in the Egyptian banqueting-rooms-placed there to chasten pride and check the exuberance of riot; and throughout the book Cleopatra and the Rapparees, Pericles and Irish Grand-Juries, Limerick and Pharsalia, Orangemen and the Bucentaur of Venice, jostle each other in the oddest manner conceivable; presenting a partycoloured mélange which, but for the sad truths it occasionally sets forth, and the vigorous blows now and then struck at enactments which no longer stain the statute-book, would be purely ludicrous.


The next considerable work of Moore's-for his light, Parthian warfare in the politics of the hour continued as usual, and with about the same success, as in his younger days-was 'The Travels of an Irish Gentleman in Search of a Religion'—a perfectly serious and earnest book in defence of the Roman Catholic faith. There is a vast amount of erudition displayed in its pages; and remembering how slow and painstaking a workman Moore declared himself to be, it must, one would suppose, have been the work of years. The author's object is to prove, from the writings of the early fathers and other evidence, that the peculiar dogmas and discipline and practice of the Church of Rome date from the apostolic age, or at least from the first centuries of the Christian era, and are consequently true. This the writer does entirely, at least to his own satisfaction, which is the case, we believe, with controversial writers generally. The book concludes with the following words, addressed to the Catholic Church, which his after-life proves to have been earnest and sincere:-'In the shadow of thy sacred mysteries let my soul henceforth repose, remote alike from the infidel who scoffs at their darkness, and the rash believer who would pry into its recesses.'

These imaginary travels were published anonymously, but the book was always known to be Moore's. Apart from any other evidence, the poetic translations of portions of the writings of ancient bishops would have amply sufficed to determine the authorship. Without adverting to the elegant and tender stanzas addressed to 'A Fallen Virgin' by St Basil, which the gravest bishop might be proud of, who, let us ask, save the author of the 'Loves of the Angels,' would have raked amongst the homilies of St Chrysostom till he lit upon the following one, and who but Moore would have paraphrased it into such verse? The homily selected is one which is said to have been composed by St Chrysostom in reprobation of the ladies of Constantinople, who in his day, before the cross had sunk before the crescent in the Eastern metropolis, were accustomed to go too finely dressed to church. Moore's version begins thus :

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This is very well, and may likely enough have been fairly rendered from the venerable bishop's homily; but if the following be not pretty nearly unadulterated Moore-Chrysostom's prose bearing about the same proportion to the verse as Falstaff's ha'porth of bread to the intolerable quantity of sack—we have been strangely misled as to the stern and ascetic character of the celebrated opponent and victim of the Empress Eudoxia. Chrysostom is made to reply as follows to the supposed excuses of the more plainlydressed females of his congregation :—

'Behold! thou say'st my gown is plain,
My sandals are of texture rude:
Is this like one whose heart is vain,
Like one who dresses to be wooed?
Deceive not thus, young maid, thy heart;
For far more oft in simple gown
Doth beauty play the Tempter's part
Than in brocades of rich renown;
And homeliest garb hath oft been found,
When typed and fitted to the shape,

To deal such shafts of mischief round
As wisest men can scarce escape.'

There is nothing objectionable in these lines in themselves, nor in these
which Mr Moore attributes, though with some hesitation, to St Basil—
'Not charming only when she talks,
Her very silence speaks and shines-

Love gilds her pathway when she walks,
And lights her couch when she reclines.'

But it does startle one to find such words placed in the mouths of the great bishops of Constantinople and Cesarea, who, according to other authorities, were hardly conscious of the existence of any beauty save that of holiness, or that there was any deformity in the world but that of sin. The style of these travels is a great improvement on the ornate slipshod of Captain Rock. Great liveliness of manner is exhibited throughout, and some of the political hits are capital.


The last, and, according to Moore's own authority, one of the most successful of his works, as far as a great sale constitutes success, was the prose romance of 'The Epicurean.' There is much learning displayed in this book, and it contains some striking descriptions. We also meet occasionally with passages of simple and natural beauty and eloquence, the more striking and effective from the contrast they afford to the cumbrous and ambitious rhetoric through which they are sparsely scattered. It was commenced in verse, and gradually reached to a considerable length in that form, but ultimately, like the Peri's Daughter,' broke down irretrievably. No one who respects Mr Moore's poetical fame will regret this after reading the fragment which has been published. "The Epicurean' is a moral and religious story; and it has this great merit, that it has very little of the merely sensuous imagery in which Mr Moore generally indulged. The plot is of the most commonplace kind, and the conduct of the story so entirely languid and lulling, that it may be freely indulged in without the slightest fear of ill consequences by the most nervous and impressionable lady-reader in the three kingdoms. Let us glance it through. The hero is Alciphron, the chief of the sect of Epicureans established at Athens. Those philosophic votaries of Pleasure, whilst following out the essential principle of their founder-a dangerous deceit, if there was ever one, plausibly and ingeniously as it has been defended, necessarily rejecting, as it does, self-sacrifice, without which virtue is a mere sound-these votaries, we repeat, whilst adhering strictly to the principle of their founder, that pleasure is the highest good, had neglected his subsidiary, and, strictly speaking, inconsequent teachings, that the highest pleasure must be found in the gratification of the purest and simplest tastes. Upon that the goal to be obtained, pleasure, being the prime end of the philosophy-each disciple would of course have his

own opinion. Well, Alciphron had drunk deep of 'pleasure,' had drained the cup of indulgence to its dregs, and was unsatisfied. Man delighted not him, nor woman neither, and he was weary of all things beneath the sun. A passionate longing to throw off the burthen of the mystery, which to his eyes hung like a pall over a world without a purpose, an existence without an object, possessed and consumed him.

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The perhaps' of Hamlet incarnated, or, more correctly speaking, shadowed forth in that divine soliloquy, was with Alciphron, as with all of us who think, 'the question.' Finally, determined by a dream, he journeys to Egypt, with a view to discover if possible the sacred interior meaning' of the religion of its priests, and ascertain if therein lay the key to the riddle of the universe. Alciphron, not long after his arrival in Egypt, penetrates by accident into the subterranean Elysium of the priests, beneath the Pyramids. Once there, the thousand-and-one magical deceptions of heathen priestcraft familiar to most readers are played off upon the distinguished Greek, whom Orcus, the Egyptian high priest, and an irredeemable villain of course, is desirous of winning to the faith of the Pharaohs. His high-flying verbosities, however, produce but slight effect upon the refined and subtle Epicurean—the dark riddle appears as insoluble as ever-and of all that surrounds him he believes only in the beauty of a young priestess of the moon, Alethe, with whom he falls desperately in love; which sentiment, we need hardly say, is fervently reciprocated by Alethe. Even the eager questioning of Alciphron's restless spirit upon creation, destiny, life, and death, is hushed in the presence of the young beauty, and the Athenian philosopher is made to rhapsodise thus: "The future was now but of secondary consideration; the present, and that deity of the present, woman, were the objects that engrossed my whole soul. It was indeed for the sake of such beings alone that I considered immortality desirable; nor without them would eternal life have appeared worth a single prayer.' The fair priestess of the moon is secretly attached to the religion of Christ, though as yet but dimly so; a glimpse only of its radiant and consoling light and truth having reached her from her mother, who had some time before her death been instructed in the new and elevating faith then dawning upon the dark horrors of bewildered and bewildering heathenism. She bears about with her the emblem of the religion of sorrow, and hope, and love a small gold cross, of which Alciphron once or twice obtains a glimpse. Finally, Alethe, during the progress of one of the gorgeous illusions got up for the especial edification of Alciphron, contrives her own and his escape from the subterranean Elysium. They fortunately reach undiscovered a very curious and convenient carriage, used by the highpriest in his journeys to the outer world. It runs in grooves, and when they have comfortably seated themselves, it at once flies down the inclined plain immediately before it, and by the impetus of its descent climbs up the next acclivity; and so on, up and down, without pause or intermission. As there was only one of these surprising carriages in the establishment, successful pursuit was out of the question. They get clear off, ascend the Nile, and reach a Christian hermitage. The venerable recluse dwelling there knew Alethe's mother, and receives her with great joy. Alciphron is also warmly welcomed. The venerable father discourses to him of the Christian faith, and supplies him with a copy of the Scriptures, which, read

by the light of Alethe's eyes, rapidly produce conviction in the mind of the enamoured Greek. The lovers are ultimately betrothed to each other; and we seem to be approaching a pleasant, matrimonial catastrophe, when the bright prospect is suddenly overcast-gloom, thunder, and eclipse succeed, and continue till the curtain falls. A terrible decree of the Roman emperor against the Christians is fulminated, and the ferocious edict is as remorselessly enforced on the banks of the Nile as on those of the Tiberthe facile polytheism of Rome tolerating and enforcing all religions save that alone, which not only glides into the cell of the captive, whispering hope and consolation, but mounts the steps of the loftiest throne to speak of life, death, and judgment to come. The recluse and Alethe are seized, with many others-hurried before the Roman governor and Orcus the highpriest—and commanded, as a proof of their renunciation of Christianity, to burn incense before idols. They refuse, and the old man is instantly sacrificed. Alethe is about to undergo the same fate, when the Roman governor, touched by her beauty and gentleness, adjourns her punishment till the morrow, spite of the opposition of Orcus, who is furious at the thought of the renegade priestess escaping her terrible doom. The Roman chief expresses a hope that reflection will induce Alethe to save her life by an act so easy of performance as that of casting a few grains of incense upon the idol altars, and she is borne away in custody; not, however, till after Orcus, in mockery of an ornament and ceremony usual with Christian maidens when about to suffer martyrdom, has caused a fillet of coralberries to be fastened round her brows. Alciphron, who in the meanwhile had been distracted with grief and terror, obtains access to Alethe through the intervention of a Roman officer whom he had known at Athens, and finds her resigned, constant, and cheerful, but for a burning, throbbing pain in her temples. Alciphron fancying the coral-chaplet might be too tightly bound, unties and endeavours to take it off. It resists his efforts.

'It would not come away!' exclaims Alciphron; and he repeats these passionate, despairing, agonising words, wrung from him by the overwhelming bitterness and horror of the moment—' It would not come away!' The berries, it is discovered, had been saturated with a deadly poison by order of Orcus, in order to insure the destruction of his victim. Alethe, after smiling placidly upon her betrothed husband, dies. This is the catastrophe of the Epicurean-melancholy and distressing, no doubt, but so feebly, so inartistically told, that it merely shocks the reader; and the tumultuous emotions of pity, love, grief, indignation, which the death of the beautiful, the innocent, the young, brought about by violence, should excite, are scarcely more awakened than by a newspaper report of a fatal accident having befallen a person whom the reader had never seen or heard of before. The book has already virtually fallen out of the literature of the country. Fashion and the influence of a popular name may rule for a time, but in the long-run common-sense and a cultivated taste will pronounce the irreversible verdict.

On the 30th of June 1827, the day after the publication of 'The Epicurean,' Moore was one of the gay and distinguished assemblage at a magnificent fête at Boyle Farm, in the environs of London, the cost of which had been clubbed by five or six rich young lords. It appears by Mr Moore's description to have been a very brilliant affair. There were crowds of the

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