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From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.
“I CANNOT help thinking that it is possible in Dublin, which was shared by many perto love one's country very zealously, and to sons of talent. In their amusements they feel deeply interested in her honor and hap exhibited no small fertility of invention, if all piness, without believing that the Irish was the their countrymen, Sir Jonah Barrington, has language spoken in Paradise—that our an. written about them is to be credited. There cestors were kind enough to polish the is a small island, or rather rock, on the south Greek-or that Avaris, the hyperborean, side of the bay of Dublin, called Dalkey Iswas a native of Ireland.” It is to Thomas land, lying off a town of the same name on Moore, who thus frankly and truly speaks, the main. A number of frolicsome spirits, that Ireland is indebted for at least the be- and among them Curran the Irish master of ginning of the association of her name with the rolls, suggested an annual visit to this elegant literature. He has been the defender island, and the coronation of a monarch of of her political and religious liberties; he has the fete, to be called the King of Dalkey, tosympathized with her wrongs, and pleaded gether with the attendant officers of a mock indignantly against her oppression ; he has court. The day was always humorously anheld up her claims to equitable treatment, nounced in the “ Dublin Morning Post.” Variveiled her foibles and vices, and inseparably ous regal ceremonies were performed, guns connected her in the imagination with all that were fired, a mock-heroic speech delivered is graceful in music and song.
from the throne, and the new monarch anointThomas Moore was born on the 28th of ed by pouring a beaker of whiskey upon his May, 1780. Genius, the French
say, head. Petitions and complaints accumulated pecially plebeian, and the poet was no excep- during the preceding year were heard and antion to the rule. His father was Garret Moore, swered, an archbishop preached a courtly ser. a respectable tradesman in Dublin, gifted with mon, a laureate ode was recited, and a dinner plain good sense, and possessing some ac- on the rocks concluded the business of the day. quirements. Nothing is recorded worthy of Some of the proceedings were very humorous. notice in regard to Moore's childhood ; none There was a Lord Minikir, dignified as lieuof those precocious evidences of talent that tenant of the town; and a periwinkle order have so frequently disappointed expectation of knighthood. The last coronation took place He was placed at school with a Mr. Whyte, in in 1797, just before the rebellion broke out, Grafton street, Dublin, where he made such when such proceedings might have been pun. satisfactory progress, that his father thought ished as treasonable. Moore was then in his he was justified in transplantiug him at four- 17th year, and contributed the last laureate teen to Trinity College. There, although in ode. The lines not being in his works, may the midst of much unblushing obsequiousness be worthy of record here :to authority of any and every kind, young Moore acquired and cherished that indepen- “ Hail, happy Dalkey! Queen of isles, dence of feeling which ever afterwards dis
Where justice reigns and freedom smiles ! tinguished him. He was remarkable, like
In Dalkey, justice holds her state wise, from his earlier years for his social tem-.
Unaided by the prison gate :
No subjects of King Stephen lie per, and distinguished for his conversational
In loathsome cells, they know not why ; talents and ready wit, at a time when the
Health, peace, good-humor in music's soft principles he professed were regarded with strains, an evil eye by the political party that ruled Invite and unite us on Dalkey's wide plains. Ireland under a system destitute of all prin
No flimsy bailiffs enters here-ciple
No trading justice dare appearAt that time, about the close of the cen- No soldier asks his comrade whether tury, there was a spirit of conviviality abroad The sheriff has yet cleaned his feather;
Our soldiers here deserve the name,
equally against law and reason, was a mild Nor wear a feather they don't pluck from fame! | proceeding to someothers taken about that
time. Many of the collegians were ready How much unlike those wretched realms Where wicked statesmen guide the helms !
to swear that they were not themselves disafHere no first-rate merchants breaking;
fected persons ; others would not swear one Here no first-rate vessels taking ;
way or the other, insisting upon the unconHere no shameful peace is making;
stitutional nature of such a requirement. On Here we snap no apt occasion
thus objecting, fifty were marked out for exOn pretences of invasion;
pulsion. Thomas Moore was one of the first Here informers get no pensions
who refused to be sworn. He objected until To repay their foul inventions ; Here no secret dark committee
the scene became ludicrous. He shook his Spreads corruption through the city.
head at the book which they wanted to thrust No placemen nor pensioners here are harangu- upon him, and put his hand behind his back; ing,
they then tried to put it into his left hand, No soldiers are shooting, no seamen are hang- and he placed that where his right was. They ing;
still pressed the book upon him, and he reNo mutiny reins in the army or fleet,
treated backward until the wall of the room For our orders are just, our commanders dis- forbade his retreating further. On the folcreet !"
lowing day the chancellor, probably feeling Thus young did the poet exhibit that spirit of he had presumed too far, modified the oath, political satire for which during his subse- and Moore consented to swear that he knew quent career he has been distinguished. Lord of no treasonable practices or societies withClare, the zealous supporter of constructive in the walls of the university. This conduct sedition in the sister island, could not pass exhibited remarkable firmness in a lad of sixunnoticed the presumption of any one calling teen. His acuteness, and his progress in clashimself “ king,” even of a rock. He kept sical acquirements at the college, are yet rethe eyes of a true minister of police upon membered by some of his contemporaries. Dalkey, and at last, full of official dread of In 1799 Moore quitted Ireland for London, something like treason, he sent for one of and entered himself of the Middle Temple, the mock court. The dialogue was excel-being in bis nineteenth year. In place of lent:
studying the law, however, he employed You, sir, are, I understand, connected himself in translating the Odes of Anawith this kingdom of Dalkey ?"
He was at this time a mere boy in “ I am, my lord.”
appearance, and his translation obtained for Pray, may I ask how are you recog- him the name of “ Anacreon Moore.” The pized ?"
" Anacreon” is a fluent and pleasing, rather \" I am Duke of Muglins.”
than a close translation. The Greek of “ And what post may you hold ?” “Anacreon," at all times too condensed for a “ Chief commissioner of revenue.” modern tongue, has always been paraphrased “What are your emoluments ?”
rather than translated—by Cowley and "I am allowed to import ten thousand Hawkes, for example-in English, none aphogsheads duty free."
proaching the brevity of the original. Not "How?-hogsheads of what?"
only did Moore shine as a translator at this “Of salt-water, my lord !” The lord chan- time, but also as a wit, a “ failing” fatal to the cellor made no further inquiry about Dalkey. due consideration demanded by Coke and
There is another anecdote of Lord Clare Littleton. His powers in this respect are on with which Thomas Moore was connected. record by one who was both bimself a wit, Moore was then at Trinity College. The lord and the cause of wit in others. Sheridan chancellor, hearing that an offensive paper highly praised his brilliant conversational had been circulated among the collegians, in- powers, and declared there was“ no man who sisted that they and their officers should take put so much of his heart into his fancy as an inquisitorial oath, called “ an oath of dis- Thomas Moore." covery ;' or, in other words, should swear Soon after this period Moore was destined before him, each and all of them, that they to exchange the gay life of London for a did not know who had written the document, very different scene; the congenial circle and that they had not written the seditious composed of the gay, and thoughtless, and paper themselves; and further, that they did frivolous, as well as of the learned and wise, not know of any disaffected persons or treason for the contemplation of nature in her granable societies in the university. Such an oath | deur, and society of a very mediocre de
scription. In 1803 he was appointed vice- 1 of those days as delightful, but the opera registrar of the Admiralty Court at Bermu- itself as being neither new nor interesting. da ; but what signified the fine climate and It was said to be the production of a “ Mr. the majestic rocks, the storms and calms of Moore, an Irish gentleman, who had publishsuch a region as the Bermudas, to one who ed some sonnets and songs,” the “ spirit of liked much better “the sweet shady side of which transcends Ovid as to excitement, and Pall Mall ?” Moore foolishly confided the even the Basia Secundi as to the force of duties of his office to another, who, acting
expression.” Thus it would seem his deputy, become a defaulter, and he was that the translation of Anacreon had been obliged to make good the loss, suffering great already forgotten, and that the fame of the pecuniary inconvenience in consequence. He poet depended wholly on what he had writwent from the Bermudas to the United ten subsequently. In the following year States; but it is not probable that the man- (1812) he surprised the world with the “ Inners of the American people, in a much tercepted Letters, or the Twopenny Postearlier period of their republic than the pre- bag." These met universal applause, and sent, would be seen by one like him in a bet- speedily ran through thirteen editions. The ter point of view than the social life of Ber- satire was playful, pungent, polished, and muda. He remained at New York only a while insinuating everything intended, said
. few days; and visiting several of the other nothing rude or vulgar to shock the ears of principal places of the Union, then very in- fastidious fashion. ferior in all respects to what they have be- The next work of Moore was of a higher come since, he returned to England in 1804. character—the “ Irish Melodies," written at His impressions upon this visit are found in Mayfield or Mathfield in Staffordshire. These his “Odes and Epistles," published about two are too well appreciated by all who feel the years afterwards. These were, as might be charms of music and song, and, above all
, expected, not very favorable to the American by the poet's countrymen, to need criticism. character. The poet had no doubt drawn in He was perhaps the only poet among all his idea a picture far too flattering of the social contemporaries who understood music, and state of America. He had thought of was able to set his own songs.
He had ancient republics realized in the new world; therefore peculiar advantages for undertakof primitive simplicity of manners in a ing such a work, although the present airs modern Arcadia ; and of a species of “golden were arranged by Sir John Stevenson. Moore age,” where freedom and Grecian high-mind was not only a composer, but played and edness were associated with modern comfort. sung with great taste, and his voice was re
Soon after his return he published his markably soft and pleasing. He translated two poems entitled " Corruption” and “ In- at this time a portion of Sallust for Murphy, tolerance.” The former was a political satire, and edited the work soon after the death of in which he boasted that he leaned to neither that author. The “ Skeptic,” an odd theme of the two great state parties, both having for the erratic muse of Moore, and a perbeen alike unjust to his country. The lines formance not very edifying either in its upon Intolerance were intended as part of a ethics or rhyme, was next published. series of essays which he never continued be- “ Lalla Rookh,” an Oriental romance, apyond them. In 1808 he published poems peared in 1817. For this poem Moore reby Thomas Little, Esq., unhappily of a very ceived three thousand guineas. It was read exceptionable character. He subsequently universally, and translated into several Euroexpressed his regret that he had sent this pean languages. Though an Eastern tale, volume into the world—the merit of which, it has none of the verisimilitude of “ Vathek" as poetry, in no way redeemed the immorality: as respects Eastern manners and objects. It Smoothly written, however, elegantly pointed, is in this respect for the most part wholly and artificially, not naturally passionate, it poetical, and is indebted to the richness of fitted so well the triling taste of the age, the author's fancy for its attraction, as he that it went through eleven editions in five has seized insulated objects belonging to years. “ A Letter to the Roman Catholics Eastern climes and manners, and strung them of Dublin,” and “M.P., or the Blue Stock- in his own way rather than in their natural ing,” were his next publications. This last associations. The poem has no lofty Milwas a comic opera in three acts, performed tonic flights—no hall of Eblis reaching the at the Lyceum Theatre in 1811. The poetry height of the sublime—but it is calculated to and music were characterized in the journals suit the taste of every order of mind.
Young and old, educated and uneducated, I lived for some time, not far from the noble alike comprehend its luxurious imagery, woods of Ilam and the entrance to Dovedale, sweet passages, fascinating descriptions, and renowned for the visits of Isaac Walton. gorgeous voluptuousness : hence the uncom. Latterly, his residence has been at Sloperton mon popularity of the poem. The gilding Cottage, near Devizes, Wilts. It is not so and carmine, the glare and riches, lavished picturesque as his Staffordshire retreat, but upon a feeble structure of story, are not at more convenient. It is within a short disfirst seen to be misplaced. The numbers tance of Bowood, the seat of the Marquis of flow harmoniously, and there is no surfeit Lansdowne, and not a great way from Bremfrom the
perfumes that are presented to the bill parsonage, the residence of the late Rev. senses. Those who have hearts for the deeper William Lisle Bowles, a brother poet. There things of humanity, wbose enjoyments come are two doors in front of the cottage, which is not from external color, Orient hues and very plain; both are surrounded with trellisTyrian purple, will prefer the heart which is work, and the whole covered with flowering shown in many of Moore's other productions. shrubs. As a host, Moore was hospitable, “ Lalla Rookh” is too merely sensuous for lively, and attentive to his guests : the “feast such as seek their pleasure in natural things. of reason and the flow of soul” every ac
“The Fudge Family in Paris” appeared in companying the grosser entertainment. He 1818, purporting to be letters in verse writ- was always full of animation, easy, and corten by Thomas Brown the Younger. Mr. dial, but in person so diminutive, that the Fudge, the author has hinted, was one of Prince of Wales (George IV.) is said to those “gentlemen” whom the Lord Castle have hinted in his own presence that a winereagh of that day delighted to honor with cooler would make an appropriate habitation pensions for certain offices which individuals for the Bacchanalian poet. with clean bands scorned to perform. The
Moore's acquaintance with Byron comletters are full of political allusions, but menced in an odd way. The latter had with interest generally of a temporary char- turned into ridicule, in his “ English Bards acter.
and Scotch Reviewers,” the bloodless duel “Sacred and National Songs and Ballads,” between Moore and Jeffrey, in the lines“ Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress," “ Trifles Reprinted in Verse," and " The Loves of the “When Little's leadless pistols met his eye, Angels," next appeared. “The Loves of the
And Bow Street myrmidons stood laughing by.” Angels” was written at the moment when Byron was about to publish his beautiful Moore's Milesian blood was immediately up; drama on the same subject; but in “Cain” and he addressed a letter on the subject to there is an intensity of feeling which in the noble poet, which (Byron being abroad Moore's poems is looked for in vain. at the time) did not reach him for a year
and “Rhymes on the Road."
“Evenings in a-half. When Byron at length received the Greece," Memoirs of Captain Rock,” in missive, he wrote a candid, manly reply, asprose, “The Epicurean,” “Life of Sheridan,” suring Moore that he would find him ready one of Byron, and it is said “A Letter from a to adopt any conciliatory proposition which Young Man in Search of a Religion,” have all should not compromise his honor. This led proceeded from his fertile pen. Moore's to a meeting at Roger's, when four poetsprose works, however, have not added to his Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and Byron--sat literary reputation.
down together to a friendly dinner. The poet married Miss Dyke, a lady of A singular circumstance in relation to beauty and accomplishments, by whom he Byron occurred in the life of Moore. There
were certain memoirs of the noble poet writresided at one period in a retired cottage at ten by himself, and placed in Moore's hands Mathfield or Mayfield, on the Staffordshire as a legacy, for his sole benefit. Moore, at side of the river Dove, two miles from Ash- the desire of his friend, lodged the manubourne in Derbyshire. His habitation was script with Mr. Murray, the bookseller, as a truly a cottage, squarely built, having an security for the sum of two thousand guinorchard on one side, and trellis work around “ Believing," said Moore, " that the the door. His small library was in a room manuscript was still mine, I placed it at the on one side, and from thence he dated No. 6 i disposal of Lord Byron's sister, Mrs. Leigh, of the “ Irish Melodies” in 1815. Here he , with the sole reservation of a protest against was only a mile from Oberon Hall, and but its total destruction—at least without prethree miles from Wootton, where Rousseau I vious perusal and consultation among the
had several children
, who are now dead. He !
parties. The majority of the persons present rapid as that of a northern summer, and as disagreed with me in opinion, and it was rich as the most golden harvest of the south, the only point upon which there did exist whose beautiful creations succeed each other any difference between us. The manuscript like fruits in Armida's enchanted gardenwas accordingly torn and burned before our one scarce is gathered ere another grows ? eyes, and I immediately paid to Mr. Murray, Shall I recall to you Rogers, who has hung in the presence of the gentlemen assembled, up his own name on the shrine of memory, two thousand guineas, with interest, &c., be among the most imperishable tablets there? ing the amouut of what I had owed him Southey (not the laureate) but the author of upon, the security of my bond," &c. The Don Roderick,'one of the noblest and most family of Byron proposed an arrangement eloquent poems in any language ? Campbell, by which Moore might be reimbursed; but the polished and spirited Campbell, whose this he declined. Moore’s conduct was ap- song of Innisfail is the very tears of our plauded by many, but not by all. It was own Irish muse, crystallized by the touch of pointed out that there was a duty owing to genius—made immortal ? Wordsworth, a the deceased poet, which had been neglected. poet even in his puerilities, whose capacious The proper course to have taken was for mind, like the great whirlpool of Norway, persons of judgment, totally unconnected draws into its vortex not only the mighty with the parties, to have read the papers, things of the deep, but its minute weeds and and if there were anything seriously objec- refuse ? Crabbe, who has shown what the tionable, to sanction their destruction. Byron more than galvanic power of talent can effect, seems to have concluded that the papers by giving not only motion, but life and soul, would be in safe custody in a friend's hands; to subjects that seemed incapable of it? I and farther, he had declared he was indif- could enumerate still more," &c. ferent about all the world knowing what they Moore visited Paris with his family in 1822, contained. “ There were few licentious ad- and resided there for some weeks, became ventures of his own, or scandalous anecdotes acquainted with many of the literary charthat would affect others, in the book.” “It acters of that capital, most of whom have is taken up from my earliest recollections—al. since since been taken away by death. A most from childhood—very incoherent, writ. dinner was given to him by some of his ten in a very loose and familiar style. The countrymen on this occasion, which was very second part will prove a good lesson to young numerously attended, and which he admen; for it treats of the irregular life I led at dressed with his accustomed facility and figone period, and the fatal consequences of dis- urativeness of expression.
On numerous sipation. There are few parts that may not, public occasions in the British metropolis, he and none that will not, be read by women. has also delivered speeches of more than or
In the year 1818 a public dinner was given dinary eloquence, especially where they have to Moore in Dublin.' The Earl of Charle- been connected with literary objects. mont was in the chair, and the poet and his Moore, bowever, is merely the poet of sovenerable father sat on his right and left ciety: he belongs to artificial life. Incapahand. The poet was welcomed to his native ble of a flight long sustained, his poetical land with the most flattering acclamations. talents are best displayed in poems of a few He replied in a very eloquent but short speech, pages, or even a few stanzas. He is evidently being much affected by the scene around him. the bard of the town circles—lively, witty, One of the passages in his speech on “ The fluttering, and brilliant. Nothing can be poet” being given as a toast, will explain his farther in idea from a Highland solitude, a manner, and it ran as follows :—"Can I name dashing brook, or the aspect of a sere auto you Byron without recalling to your hearts tumn, than the poetry of Moore. His songs recollections of all that his mighty genius are not full of natural truth, like those of has awakened there; his energy, his burning Burns, nor elevating, nor passionate, after words, his intense passion, that disposition of nature's simple guise. He makes love in the fine fancy to wandering among the ruins of drawing-room. His heroines are all town the heart, to dwell in places which the fire ladies, dressed by court tire-women in the of feeling has desolated, and like the chest newest mode from Madame Deville's. They nut-tree, that grows best on volcanic soils, are opera-haunters, ballet-dancers, and figu. to luxuriate most where the conflagration of rantes. In satire his excellence consists in passion has left its mark? Need I mention hitting--as a pugilist would say, the vanito you Scott, that fertile and fascinating ties, ignorance, and vulgarisms of high life, writer, the vegetation of whose mind is as and the inanities of great personages. Like