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success he had in poetry and the products of his muse was absolutely counterbalanced by a great misfortune that now overwhelmed him. He still held his Bermuda office. It proved to be for him “the vex'd Bermoothes." His deputy, who sent him occasional remittances, was apparently left to his own unguided will. In April, 1818, he was found to be a defaulter and embezzler, and Moore was called upon to make good the £6000 missing.
The matter was carried into the courts, and while the suit dragged its slow length along Moore kept up his usual round of gay and innocent dissipations.
Now began that minute diary of his actions and sayings which fills so large a part of Earl Russell's portentous and ill-digested “Life of Moore."
At the end of a year, during which a son was born to him, he received word that the case was likely to go against him. Moore, for the first time in his life, confessed to feeling blue, and “ wished he had a good cause to die in."
The adverse decision was rendered in July, and though hosts of his friends offered to help him out, and his publishers gladly volunteered to advance on account whatever sum he needed, he declined all such aid and - ran off to the Continent in company with Lord John Russell. He spent ten days in Paris, then went to visit Lord Byron near Venice. After spending three months in Italy he returned to Paris, and wrote his wife to join him. He and his family settled in a pleasant cottage near the Champs Elysées. He tried hard to work and refrain from expensive society, but temptations were too much for him. His promised poems, “The Fudge Family in Italy," and his long delayed “Life of Sheridan” were suspended, and the only result of his labors was the first letter of Alciphron and a dozen melodies.
In 1821 he disguised himself with a pair of false mustaches and went to London. under the name of Dyke. He called on his publishers and authorized them to offer the American claimant 1000 guineas. Then he ran across to Dublin and visited his parents. On his return he found the arrangements made. Lord Lansdowne advanced the greater part of the needed sum, an uncle of the absconded deputy contributed £300, and Moore was a free man.
Moore, during his visit to Italy, had received as a gift Byron's Autobiographical Memoirs. He offered them to Murray, who agreed to pay Moore 2000 guineas as editor of the memoirs and historian of Byron's life. A second agreement was made whereby Byron or Moore might, during Lord Byron's life, repay Murray the 2000 guineas advanced, and recover the manuscript. Otherwise Murray was free to publish the Memoirs within three months after Byron's death.
Shortly after this Moore finished his “Loves of the Angels,” which was published in December, 1822, about a month after his final return to England.
The following May appeared the “ Fables for the Holy Alliance.” The two volumes together reduced his indebtedness to Murray by the handsome sum of £1500. The same month his second son, the last of his children, was born.
In April, 1824, Lord Byron died. Moore claimed the manuscript of the memoirs. The story of the final destruction of the manuscript is told most interestingly in the recently published life of Murray the publisher. Moore certainly in this matter showed a very noble and lofty sense of honor.
In 1825 his life of Sheridan, on which he had been so long engaged, was published. During the last months of its preparation he wrote many songs for Powers, who was glad to renew the engagement. In October he made a trip to Scotland, spending three or four days with Scott at Abbotsford, and nine or ten with Jeffrey. He was innocently delighted to find himself the greatest man in Scotland. At the theatre the whole pit rose and cheered him vociferously.
His principal occupation on his return was in writing “The Epicurean," which he had planned while in France. It was published in June, 1827, and four editions were sold in eight months, bringing him in £700. Meantime he was adding to his
precarious and varying income by writing songs and satires, as pot-boilers, which sold readily.
In February, 1828, he arranged with Murray to write the life of Byron. Besides putting a large amount of material in his hands, Murray offered him £4000, advancing for the Longmans upwards of £3000, settling Moore's debts in that quarter.
The task occupied Moore three years: the first volume was issued in January, 1830; the second in the following December. The publishers lost on it, owing principally to the popular dislike of Byron.
In 1830, he wrote a life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, which was published in midsummer, 1831; and the following year a subscription was set on foot for the purchase on his behalf of an estate in Limerick, the electors of that place having expressed a desire to return him to Parliament. He was also proposed as a member to represent Trinity College. But Moore wisely declined.
The latter part of Moore's life was saddened by misfortunes. In 1832 his mother died, saying with her dying breath: “ Tom, you have from the first to the last done your duty, and far more than your duty, by me and all connected with you.” When he was fifty-five the arrangement for furnishing songs to Powers came to an end. The following year he was given a government pension of £300. In 1840-41 the ten volumes of his poetical works were published. The only other literary work of consequence was his history of Ireland, which had dragged along unsatisfactorily for years. The first volume was published in 1835: he received £750 for it; for the three other volumes he got £ 500 apiece.
Moore's sons brought him sorrow and disappointment: 't was a sad story of illness and premature death, of unworthy behavior and reckless extravagance.
Moore himself gradually lost the use of his faculties, and died on the 26th of February, 1852. During his feeble condition his wife, by patient economy, paid his debts, and when he died, with the £ 3000 which Longmans had paid for his diary and letters, and a crown pension, she was enabled to end her days in comfort.
Tom Moore was a little man: Gerald Griffin thus described him in 1835:
"A little man, but full of spirits, with eyes, hands, feet, and frame forever in motion, looking as if it would be a feat for him to sit for three minutes quiet in his chair. I am no great observer of proportions, but he seemed to me to be a neat-made little fellow, tidily buttoned up, young as fifteen at heart, though with hair that reminded me of Alps in the sunset; not handsome, perhaps, but without an actor's affectation; easy as a gentleman, but without some gentlemen's formality.”
N. P. Willis, who met him in 1834, declared himself surprised at the dimin. utiveness of his person:
“He is much below the middle size, and with his white hat and long chocolate frock coat, was far from prepossessing in appearance.
near-sighted, and had the frank, merry manner of a confident favorite." He thus describes meeting him at Lady Blessington's:
“Moore's head is distinctly before me while I write, but I shall find it difficult to describe his hair, which curled once all over it in long tendrils, unlike any body else's in the world, and which, probably, suggested his sobriquet of 'Bacchus,' is diminished now to a few curls, sprinkled with gray, and scattered in a single ring above his ears. His forehead is wrinkled, with the exception of a most prominent development of the organ of gayety, which, singularly enough, shines with the lustre and smooth polish of a pearl, and is surrounded by a semicircle of lines drawn close about it, like intrenchments against Time. His eyes still sparkle like a champagne bubble, though the invader has drawn his pencillings about the corners, and there is a kind of wintry red, of the tinge of an October leaf, that seems enamelled on his cheek, the eloquent record of the claret his wit has brightened. His mouth is the most characteristic feature of all. The lips are delicately cut, slight and changeable as an aspen; but there is a set-up look about the lower lip --- a determination of the muscles to a particular expression, and you fancy that you can almost see wit astride upon it. It is written legibly, with the imprint of political success. It is arch, confident, and half diffident, as if he were disguising his pleasure at applause, while another bright gleam of fancy was breaking on him. The slightly tossed nose confirms the fun of the expression, and altogether it is a face that sparkles, beams, radiates."
Leigh Hunt said :
“His forehead is long and full of character, with 'bumps' of wit, large and radiant enough to transport a phrenologist. His eyes are as dark and fine as you would wish to see under a set of vine leaves; his mouth generous and good-humored, with dimples; his nose sensual, prominent, and at the same time the reverse of aquiline. There is a very peculiar character in it, as if it were looking forward, and scenting a feast or an orchard. The face, upon the whole, is bright, not unruffled with care and passion; but festivity is the predominant expression.”
He was born and bred a Catholic, and generally attended the Roman Catholic chapel in Wardour Street, but no one could have been more liberal. He often went to the churches of other denominations, and his children were educated as Protestants.
Every one was fond of Moore. Byron said:-
“There is nothing Moore may not do if he will but seriously set about it. In society he is gentleman, gentle, and, altogether, more pleasing than any individual with whom I am acquainted. For his honor, principle, and independence, his conduct to Hunt speaks ‘trumpet-tongued.
“There is a manly frankness with perfect ease and good breeding about him which is delightful. Not the least touch of the poet or the pedant. A little, very little man, his countenance is plain, but the expression is very animated, especially in speaking or singing."
But the pleasantest testimony as to Moore's character is what Miss Godfrey wrote him:
“You have contrived, God knows how! amidst the pleasures of the world to preserve all your home fireside affections true and genuine as you brought them out with you; and this is a trait in your character that I think beyond all praise : it is a perfection that never goes alone; and I believe you will turn out a saint or an angel after all.'
And this is confirmed by Earl Russell's words:
“Rightly did Mr. Moore understand the dignity of the laurel. He never would barter his freedom away for any favor from any quarter."
And he adds:
“Never did he make his wife and family a pretext for political shabbiness; never did he imagine that to leave a disgraced name as an inheritance to his children was his duty as a father. Neither did he, like many a richer man, with a negligence amounting to crime, leave his tradesmen to suffer for his want of fortune. Mingling careful economy with an intense love of all the enjoyments of society, he managed, with the assistance of his excellent wife, who carried on for him the details of his household, to struggle through all the petty annoyances attendant on narrow means, to support his father, mother, and sister, besides his own family; and at his death he left no debt behind him."
Much of Moore's poetry is of course of ephemeral interest. He had the fatal gift of fluency; but at his he was a born singer, and his sweetest songs will never pass from the memory of men. One may almost agree with Byron, who said, some of his Irish melodies are worth all the epics ever composed.'
NATHAN HASKELL DOLE. BOSTON, July 26, 1895.