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of those days as delightful, but the opera itself as being neither new nor interesting. It was said to be the production of a "Mr. Moore, an Irish gentleman, who had published some sonnets and songs," the "spirit of which transcends Ovid as to excitement, and even the Basia Secundi as to the force of descriptive expression." Thus it would seem that the translation of Anacreon had been already forgotten, and that the fame of the poet depended wholly on what he had written subsequently. In the following year (1812) he surprised the world with the tercepted Letters, or the Twopenny Postbag." These met universal applause, and speedily ran through thirteen editions. The satire was playful, pungent, polished, and while insinuating everything intended, said nothing rude or vulgar to shock the ears of fastidious fashion.
scription. In 1803 he was appointed vice- |
The next work of Moore was of a higher character-the "Irish Melodies," written at Mayfield or Mathfield in Staffordshire. These are too well appreciated by all who feel the charms of music and song, and, above all, by the poet's countrymen, to need criticism. He was perhaps the only poet among all his contemporaries who understood music, and was able to set his own songs. He had therefore peculiar advantages for undertaking such a work, although the present airs were arranged by Sir John Stevenson. Moore was not only a composer, but played and sung with great taste, and his voice was remarkably soft and pleasing. He translated at this time a portion of Sallust for Murphy, and edited the work soon after the death of that author. The "Skeptic," an odd theme for the erratic muse of Moore, and a performance not very edifying either in its ethics or rhyme, was next published.
"Lalla Rookh," an Oriental romance, appeared in 1817. For this poem Moore received three thousand guineas. It was read universally, and translated into several European languages. Though an Eastern tale, it has none of the verisimilitude of “ Vathek" as respects Eastern manners and objects. It is in this respect for the most part wholly poetical, and is indebted to the richness of the author's fancy for its attraction, as he has seized insulated objects belonging to Eastern climes and manners, and strung them
his own way rather than in their natural associations. The poem has no lofty Miltonic flights-no hall of Eblis reaching the height of the sublime-but it is calculated to suit the taste of every order of mind.
woods of Ilam and the entrance to Dovedale, renowned for the visits of Isaac Walton. Latterly, his residence has been at Sloperton Cottage, near Devizes, Wilts. It is not so picturesque as his Staffordshire retreat, but more convenient. It is within a short distance of Bowood, the seat of the Marquis of Lansdowne, and not a great way from Bremhill parsonage, the residence of the late Rev. William Lisle Bowles, a brother poet. There are two doors in front of the cottage, which is very plain; both are surrounded with trelliswork, and the whole covered with flowering shrubs. As a host, Moore was hospitable, lively, and attentive to his guests: the "feast of reason and the flow of soul" every accompanying the grosser entertainment. He was always full of animation, easy, and cordial, but in person so diminutive, that the Prince of Wales (George IV.) is said to have hinted in his own presence that a winecooler would make an appropriate habitation for the Bacchanalian poet.
Young and old, educated and uneducated, | lived for some time, not far from the noble alike comprehend its luxurious imagery, sweet passages, fascinating descriptions, and gorgeous voluptuousness: hence the uncommon popularity of the poem. The gilding and carmine, the glare and riches, lavished upon a feeble structure of story, are not at first seen to be misplaced. The numbers flow harmoniously, and there is no surfeit from the perfumes that are presented to the senses. Those who have hearts for the deeper things of humanity, whose enjoyments come not from external color, Orient hues and Tyrian purple, will prefer the heart which is shown in many of Moore's other productions. "Lalla Rookh" is too merely sensuous for such as seek their pleasure in natural things. "The Fudge Family in Paris" appeared in 1818, purporting to be letters in verse written by Thomas Brown the Younger. Mr. Fudge, the author has hinted, was one of those "gentlemen" whom the Lord Castlereagh of that day delighted to honor with pensions for certain offices which individuals with clean hands scorned to perform. The letters are full of political allusions, but with interest generally of a temporary char
Sacred and National Songs and Ballads," "Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress," "Trifles Reprinted in Verse," and "The Loves of the Angels," next appeared. "The Loves of the Angels" was written at the moment when Byron was about to publish his beautiful drama on the same subject; but in Cain" there is an intensity of feeling which in Moore's poems is looked for in vain. 'Rhymes on the Road." "Evenings in Greece," "Memoirs of Captain Rock," in prose, "The Epicurean,' Life of Sheridan," one of Byron, and it is said "A Letter from a Young Man in Search of a Religion," have all proceeded from his fertile pen. Moore's prose works, however, have not added to his literary reputation.
The poet married Miss Dyke, a lady of beauty and accomplishments, by whom he had several children, who are now dead. He resided at one period in a retired cottage at Mathfield or Mayfield, on the Staffordshire side of the river Dove, two miles from Ashbourne in Derbyshire. His habitation was truly a cottage, squarely built, having an orchard on one side, and trellis work around the door. His small library was in a room on one side, and from thence he dated No. 6 of the "Irish Melodies" in 1815. Here he was only a mile from Oberon Hall, and but three miles from Wootton, where Rousseau
Moore's acquaintance with Byron commenced in an odd way. The latter had turned into ridicule, in his "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," the bloodless duel between Moore and Jeffrey, in the lines
"When Little's leadless pistols met his eye,
Moore's Milesian blood was immediately up; and he addressed a letter on the subject to the noble poet, which (Byron being abroad at the time) did not reach him for a year and a-half. When Byron at length received the missive, he wrote a candid, manly reply, assuring Moore that he would find him ready to adopt any conciliatory proposition which should not compromise his honor. This led to a meeting at Roger's, when four poets— Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and Byron-sat down together to a friendly dinner.
A singular circumstance in relation to Byron occurred in the life of Moore. There were certain memoirs of the noble poet written by himself, and placed in Moore's hands as a legacy, for his sole benefit. Moore, at the desire of his friend, lodged the manuscript with Mr. Murray, the bookseller, as a security for the sum of two thousand guineas. "Believing," said Moore, "that the manuscript was still mine, I placed it at the disposal of Lord Byron's sister, Mrs. Leigh, with the sole reservation of a protest against its total destruction-at least without previous perusal and consultation among the
parties. The majority of the persons present disagreed with me in opinion, and it was the only point upon which there did exist any difference between us. The manuscript was accordingly torn and burned before our eyes, and I immediately paid to Mr. Murray, in the presence of the gentlemen assembled, two thousand guineas, with interest, &c., being the amouut of what I had owed him upon the security of my bond," &c. The family of Byron proposed an arrangement by which Moore might be reimbursed; but this he declined. Moore's conduct was applauded by many, but not by all. It was pointed out that there was a duty owing to the deceased poet, which had been neglected. The proper course to have taken was for persons of judgment, totally unconnected with the parties, to have read the papers, and if there were anything seriously objectionable, to sanction their destruction. Byron seems to have concluded that the papers would be in safe custody in a friend's hands; and farther, he had declared he was indifferent about all the world knowing what they contained. "There were few licentious adventures of his own, or scandalous anecdotes that would affect others, in the book." "It is taken up from my earliest recollections-almost from childhood-very incoherent, written in a very loose and familiar style. The second part will prove a good lesson to young men; for it treats of the irregular life I led at one period, and the fatal consequences of sipation. There are few parts that may not, and none that will not, be read by women.'
rapid as that of a northern summer, and as rich as the most golden harvest of the south, whose beautiful creations succeed each other like fruits in Armida's enchanted garden— one scarce is gathered ere another grows? Shall I recall to you Rogers, who has hung up his own name on the shrine of memory, among the most imperishable tablets there? Southey (not the laureate) but the author of Don Roderick,' one of the noblest and most eloquent poems in any language? Campbell, the polished and spirited Campbell, whose song of Innisfail' is the very tears of our own Irish muse, crystallized by the touch of genius-made immortal? Wordsworth, a poet even in his puerilities, whose capacious mind, like the great whirlpool of Norway, draws into its vortex not only the mighty things of the deep, but its minute weeds and refuse? Crabbe, who has shown what the more than galvanic power of talent can effect, by giving not only motion, but life and soul, to subjects that seemed incapable of it? I could enumerate still more," &c.
Moore visited Paris with his family in 1822, and resided there for some weeks, became acquainted with many of the literary characters of that capital, most of whom have since since been taken away by death. A dinner was given to him by some of his countrymen on this occasion, which was very numerously attended, and which he addressed with his accustomed facility and figdis-urativeness of expression. On numerous public occasions in the British metropolis, he has also delivered speeches of more than ordinary eloquence, especially where they have been connected with literary objects.
In the year 1818 a public dinner was given to Moore in Dublin. The Earl of Charlemont was in the chair, and the poet and his venerable father sat on his right and left hand. The poet was welcomed to his native land with the most flattering acclamations. He replied in a very eloquent but short speech, being much affected by the scene around him. One of the passages in his speech on "The poet" being given as a toast, will explain his manner, and it ran as follows:-" Can I name to you Byron without recalling to your hearts recollections of all that his mighty genius has awakened there; his energy, his burning words, his intense passion, that disposition of fine fancy to wandering among the ruins of the heart, to dwell in places which the fire of feeling has desolated, and like the chestnut-tree, that grows best on volcanic soils, to luxuriate most where the conflagration of passion has left its mark? Need I mention to you Scott, that fertile and fascinating writer, the vegetation of whose mind is as
Moore, however, is merely the poet of society: he belongs to artificial life. Incapable of a flight long sustained, his poetical talents are best displayed in poems of a few pages, or even a few stanzas. He is evidently the bard of the town circles-lively, witty, fluttering, and brilliant. Nothing can be farther in idea from a Highland solitude, a dashing brook, or the aspect of a sere autumn, than the poetry of Moore. His songs are not full of natural truth, like those of Burns, nor elevating, nor passionate, after nature's simple guise. He makes love in the drawing-room. His heroines are all town ladies, dressed by court tire-women in the newest mode from Madame Deville's. They are opera-haunters, ballet-dancers, and figurantes. In satire his excellence consists in hitting-as a pugilist would say-the vanities, ignorance, and vulgarisms of high life, and the inanities of great personages. Like
the vain regent's own sword, Moore's sallies, a sick-bed. Something similar may be said. flash upon the vision, and wound while they of the works of Moore, whether serious or playfully wave in mere show of warfare. witty; in which latter style he has not been Contempt was never so gracefully concealed approached since the days of Sheridan and under one of Stultz's best-cut garments. Wolcot, although he resembles neither of George IV. was painfully alive to it; and those cotemporaries in early life. This gifted Moore, who was at one time the visitor of person has now completed his seventieth the Prince of Wales, did not spare him when year, and the state of his health seems to he became regent, and turned his back on announce that he has reached the last term the Whigs. It is said that when he was first of life. There has been much controintroduced to the Prince of Wales, the latter versy as to the real merit of his poetry; but asked him if he was the son of Dr. Moore, the public voice, we apprehend, will decide the author of "Zeluco," when Moore re- the question, and the "Irish Melodies" more plied, "No, sir; I am the son of a grocer in especially will long survive the author. In Dublin !" person, we have said, he is diminutive; but in middle age he arrived at a full habit of body. His forehead is good, his eyes dark, nose prominent, the reverse of aquiline; the character of mouth good-humored, and somewhat voluptuous; and the stamp of the whole person decidedly Irish.
It is no small merit to have contributed so much as he has done to the stock of human enjoyment. A distinguished individual in society said he could not tell how to express his gratitude to Scott for the delightful forgetfulness of his ailments which "Waverley" had caused, while perusing that work upon
A ROMANCE OF THE HAREM.
THE following narrative is given in a late letter to the Semaphore of Marseilles :--
"A few years ago, a Greek girl of uncommon beauty was married to Mr. Melinger, an English physician residing at Constantinople, where he had acquired a high reputation. Several children were borne of this marriage, which, to all appearances, seemed likely to continue a happy one. Thanks to his profession and to his distinguished merits, Mr. Melinger received frequent visits from the highest dignitaries of the empire, and among others from His Excellency Féthi-Pasha, now son-in-law of the Sultan. It would appear that the doctor having discovered the existence of an intrigue between this gentleman and his wife, resolved upon quitting Constantinople, and taking the guilty one over to England, but the Greek refused to submit, doubtless already bent upon other schemes, for she soon after obtained a divorce, and abandoned her children and her husband. After her divorce, the connection of Madame Melinger with Fethi-Pasha was but of short duration. But she shortly accomplished the conquest of Mehemet Pasha, who had just been appointed to the Governorship of Belgrade; and in order the more entirely to captivate this distinguished personage, she became a Mussulman-a circumstance which
immediately induced the enamored Pasha to take her with him to his seat of government, and finally, to make her his wife Although greatly attached to his wife, Mehemet's happiness was not complete, as there was reason to fear that their union would be sterile. Accordingly, he one day ventured a kind of reproach to his wife on the subject, who immediately replied with a smile, "Is this the cause of your dejection, my lord? why did you not mention it sooner?' 'How so?' Would you prefer a boy or a girl?' A boy by all means.' You shall have one.' After a short interval, the crafty Greek feigned to be in the condition her lord desired, while every means were employed prudently to exile him from his wife's apartment. The blindness of his passion rendered this an easy task, nor did a doubt cross his mind as to the legitimacy of the infant presented to him, which he named Belgrade Bey, and the town showed itself duly sensible of its sponsorial honors by the most splendid rejoicings. A short time afterwards his Excellency, Mehemet Pasha, was recalled to Constantinople, and subsequently appointed Ambassador of the Ottoman Porte in London. But previous to his departure he expressed a wish that he might have another boy, a brother and companion for the beloved Belgrade. His happiness, he said,
would not be completed unless he had two fine children almost of the same age, of whose future career he already formed the most brilliant anticipations. As she had done in the first instance, his wife replied, You shall have one.' Impossible!' exclaimed the husband, at first astounded. As truly as Mahomet is our prophet.' Well,' replied Mehemet, God is great! and it was thus that you announced my first-born. At the end of a month she again declared herself enciente, and the Pasha was the most delighted of men; but he was soon obliged to set out for London, and his wife was left at Constantinople to complete her accouchement. This was all the Greek desired, and using the same means as before, she presented one fine morning to her assembled slaves, and to a few persons of her husband's family, a fine child of the male sex, who received the name of Usnud Bey. After the lapse of a few days the child fell seriously ill, and was sent, by order of the physicians, to Pera, under the care of its governess. Pera, as every one knows, is a suburb of Constantinople, inhabited by the mercantile community and by the European Ambassadors. Its air is purer than that of the city, and, accordingly, young Usnud was soon brought back in perfect health by his governess-the same woman who had performed the office of nurse at the birth of Belgrade. Singularly enough, however, an old black eunuch, who had brought up the Pasha, possessed his entire confidence, and managed his entire household, could by no means recognize Usnud Bey in the child which was thus brought back, and in the presence of several slaves said to his mistress, Well, my lady, if that child be Usnud' Bey, he has become singularly altered by his sojourn at Pera, among the infidels.' The mother remained silent, and carried off the child, directing a fierce glance at the eunuch. Doubt had established itself, however, in the old man's mind; moreover, he had long been enlightened with respect to his mistress's doings; he knew the whole history of Belgrade Bey, and the reason he had not mentioned it to his master was, that at the time he discovered the trick the Pasha had already grown fond of the little being whom he believed to be his son, and the eunuch had not had the courage to undeceive him. But two supposititious children in the first place, and then the impudent substitution of another child to the one which had been received as a legitimate offspring, formed a complication of knavery of which the indig
nant old man refused to render himself an accomplice by remaining longer inactive. He betook himself to Pera, and proceeding step by step in his investigations with that cautious prudence and insinuating artifice so peculiar to the people of the East, and especially to the inmates of the harem, he succeeded in acquiring positive evidence of the death of the veritable Usnud Bey, and of the substitution of a child of the same age, purchased of parents in the lowest grade of life. The eunuch then returned, and, pointing to the pretended Usnud Bey, said to his mistress, Madame, let me beg of you to send that child back to his father-Mossul, the fisherman. I know all.' At these words the woman became livid, and left him, saying, It is well.'
what you discovered?'
"Shortly before the time of afternoon prayer she sent for the eunuch, and was told that he was taking a bath. No sooner did she hear this than her project was immediately formed. The old man, as we have said, was governor of the Pasha's household, and as such occupied a sumptuous apartment, to which a bath-room was attached for his private use; it was here that his mistress sought him out. The eunuch was attended by two slaves; she dismissed them with an imperious gesture, and remained alone with the old man. You were determined to find it out then?' she said. 'Yes, and I did find it out.' To whom have you spoken about To no one yet, but I shall write to my master.' "How much do you want to hold your tongue?' Nothing, I am determined to speak.' And to write?' 'Yes, I mean to write.' Then take that to seal your letter with!' At these words she threw a noose round the neck of the wretched old man, and commenced strangling him. The eunuch was feeble, and taken by surprise, could offer but little resistance. He struggled in vain; his assassin continued to draw the fatal noose tighter and tighter still, and as she redoubled her efforts, she exclaimed with the rage of a fury, Ah! you wanted to know all-you shall know more than you bargained for! You sought for light, did you? here's eternal darkness for you! Now write to your master! write, old fool!' At the vociferations of the assassin and the groans of the victim, one of the slaves returned into the apartment, and at the sight of the horrible scene, rushed out and began crying all over the house. A courier was then immediately despatched to London, to apprise Mehemet Pasha of the fatal occurrence."