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after-dinner songs of national sentimentalism to the applause of Whig lords and ladies, this American experience may be held to have been its deathblow. He now saw republicans face to face; and found that they were not for him, nor he for them. He returned to England in 1806; and soon afterwards published his Odes and Epistles, comprising many remarks, faithfully expressive of his perceptions, on American society and manners.
The volume was tart'y criticised in the Edinburgh Review by Jeffrey, who made some rather severe comments upon the improprieties chargeable to Moore's early writings. The consequence was a challenge, and what would have been a duel at Chalk Farm, but for unloaded pistols and police interference. This pasco soon led to an amicable understanding between Moore and Jeffrey; and a few years later, about the end of 1811, to a friendship of closer intimacy between the Irish songster and his great poetic contemporary Lord Byron. His lordship, in his youthful satire of English Baris and Scotch Reviewers, had made fun of the unbloody duel. This Moore resented, not so much as a mere matter of ridicule as because it involved an ignoring or a denial of a counter-statement of the matter put into print by himself. He accordingly wrote a letter to Byron on the ist of January 1810, calculated to lead to further hostilities. But, as the noble poet just then left England for his prolonged tour on the Continent, the missive did not reach him; and a little skirmishing, after his return in the following year, terminated in a hearty reconciliation, and a very intimate cordiality, almost deserving of the lofty name of friendship, on both sides.
Re-settled in London, and re-quartered upon the pleasant places of fashion, Moore was once more a favourite at Holland House, Lansdowne House, and Donington House, the residence of Lord Moira. His lordship obtained a comfortable post to soothe the declining years of Moore's father, and held out to the poet himself the prospect-which was not however realised-of another snug berth for his wn occupancy. The United Kingdom of Great Britain sind Ireland never received the benefits of the Irish patriot's services in any public capacity at home-only through the hands of a defaulting deputy in Bermuda : it did, however, at length give him the money without the official money’sworth, for in 1835, under Lord Melbourne's ministry, an annual literary pension of L300 was bestowed upon the then elderly poet. Nor can it be said that Moore's worth to his party, whether we regard him 3s political sharpshooter or as national lyrist, deserved a less recognition from the Whigs : he had at one time, with creditable independence,
refused to be indebted to the Tories for an appointment. Some obloquy has at times been cast upon him on account of his sarcasms against the Prince Regent, which, however well-merited on public grounds, have been held to come with an ill grace from the man whose first literary effort, the Anacreon, had been published under the auspices of his Royal Highness as dedicatee, no doubt a practical obligation of some moment to the writer. It does not appear, however, that the obligation went much beyond this simple acceptance of the dedication : Moore himself declared that the Regent's further civilities had consisted simply in asking him twice to dinner, and admitting him, in 1811, to a fête in honour of the regency.
The life of Moore for several years ensuing is one of literary success and social brilliancy, varied by his marrying in 1811 Miss Bessy Dyke, a lady who made an excellent and devoted wife, and to whom he was very affectionately attached, although the attractions and amenities of the fashionable world caused from time to time considerable inroads upon his domesticity. After a while, he removed from London, with his wife and young family, to Mayfield Cottage, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire—a somewhat lonely site. His Irish Velodies, the work by which he will continue best known, had their origin in 1797, when his attention was drawn to a publication named Bunting's Irish Mielodies, for which he occasionally wrote the words. In 1807 he entered into a definite agreement with Mr. Power on this subject, in combination with Sir J. Stevenson, who undertook to compose the accompaniments. The work was prolonged up to the year 1834; and contributed very materially to Moore's comfort in money matters and his general prominence-as his own singing of the Melodies in good society kept up his sentimental and patriotic prestige, and his personal lionising, in a remarkable degree. He played on the piano, and sang with taste, though in a style resembling recitative, and not with any great power of voice : in speaking, his voice had a certain tendency to hoarseness, but its quality became flute-like in singing. In 1811 he made another essay in the musical province; writing, at the request of the manager of the Lyceum Theatre, an operetia named M.P., or the Bluestocking: It was the reverse of a stage success; and Moore, in collecting his poems, excluded this work, save as regards some of the songs comprised in it. In 1808 had appeared, anonymously, the poems of Intolerance and Corruption, followed in 1809 by The Sceptic. Inter. cepted Letters, or The Twopenny Postbag, by Thomas Brown the Younger, came out in 1812 : it was a huge
success, and very intelligibly such, going through fourteen editions in one year. In the same year the project of writing an oriental poem-a class of work greatly in vogue now that Byron was inventing Giaours and Corsairs—was seriously entertained by Moore. This project took shape in Lalla Rookh, written chiefly at Mayfield Cottage--a performance for which Mr. Longman the publisher paid the extremely large sum of £3150 in advance : its publication hung over till 1817. The poem has been translated into ail sorts of languages, including Persian, and is said to have found many admirers among its oriental readers. Whatever may be thought of its poetic merits-and I for one disclaim in its behalf the traditional enthusiasm of an editor's feelings-or of its power in vitalizing the disjecta membra of orientalism, the stock-in-trade of the Asiatic curiosity-shop, there is no doubt that Moore worked very conscientiously upon this undertaking: he read up to any extent, -wrote, talked, and perhaps thought, saracenically --and he trips up his reader with some allusion verse after verse, tumbling him to the bottom of the page, with its quagmire of explanatory footnotes. In 1815 appeared the National Airs; in 1816, Sacred Songs, Duets, and Trios, the music composed and selected by Stevenson and Moore; in 1818, The Fudge Family in Paris, again a great hit. This work was composed in Paris, which capital Moore had been visiting in company with his friend Samuel Rogers
The easily earnea money and easily discharged duties of Te appointment in Bermuda began now to weigh heavy on Moore. Defalcations of his deputy, to the extent of £6000, were discovered, for which the nominal holder of the post was liable. Moore declined offers of assistance; and, pending a legal decision on the matter, he found it apposite io revisit the Continent. In France, Lord John (the present Earl) Russell was his travelling companion : they went on together through Switzerland, and parted at Milan. Moore then, on the 8th of October, joined in Venice his friend Byron, who had been absent from England ever since 1816. The poets met in the best of humour, and on Terms of hearty good fellowship-Moore staying with Byron for five or six days. On taking leave of him, Byron presented the Irish lyrist with the MS. of his autobiographical memoirs ; a sacred deposit which (as many people have thought ever since) Moore ought either to have used unflinchingly on the understanding on which it was tendered, or else to have at once declined. The stipulation made by Byron was that the memoirs should not be published till after his death; but that they should be published at some
time was his manifest intention. Moore sold the MS. in 1821 to Murray for £2100, after some negotiations with Longman; and consigned it to the publisher's hands in April 1824. Hardly had he done so when the news arrived of Byron's death. Murray now considered that the bad blood certain to be generated by the publishing of the memoirs rendered their suppression highly expedient. Mr. Wilmot Horton on the part of Lady Byron, Mr. Luttrell on that of Moore, Colonel Doyle on that of Mrs. Leigh, Lord Byron's half-sister, and Mr. Hobhouse (afterwards Lord Broughton) as a friend of the deceased poet, consulted on the subject. The result was that Murray, setting aside considerations of profit, burned the MS. (some principal portions of which nevertheless exist in print, in other forms of publication); and Moore immediately afterwards, also in a disinterested spirit, repaid him the purchase-money of £2100 with interest. It was quite fair that Moore should be reimbursed this large sum by some of the persons in whose interest he had made the sacrifice ; and there is reason to believe that this was not neglected. The upshot is that all parties concerned showed an honourable disregard of filthy lucre. Whether Murray (the prime mover in the affair) was justified in taking out of the mouth of Byron the posthumous words which he had resolved to speak, and whether his friend Moore was warranted in assisting the gagging process, are different questions, which will be diversely answered by various minds: for myself, I think the decision was both a weakness and a wrong.
To resume. Bidding adieu to Byron at Venice, Moore went on to Rome with the sculptor Chantrey and the portrait-painter Jackson. His tour supplied the materials for the Rhymes on the Road, published, as being extracted from the journal of a travelling member of the Pococurante Society, in 1820, along with the Fables for the Holy Alliance. Lawrence, Turner, and Eastlake, were also much with Moore in Rome: and here he made acquaintance with Canova. Hence he returned to Paris; and made that city his home up to 1822, expecting the outcome of the Bermuda affair. He also resided partly at Butte-Coaslin near Sèvres, with a rich and hospitable Spanish family named Villamil
. The debt of £6000 was eventually reduced to £750: both the Marquis of Lansdowne and Lord John Russell pressed Moore with their friendly offers, and the advance which he at last accepted was soon repaid out of the profits of the Loves of the Angels—which poem, chiefly written in Paris, was published in 1823. The Epicurean was composed about the same time, but did not issue from the press till 1827; the Memoirs of Captain Rock, in 1824.
He had been under an engagement with a bookseller to write a Life of Sheridan. During his stay in France the want of documents withheld him from proceeding with this work ; but he ultimately took it up, and brought it out in 1825. It has not availed to give Moore any reputation as a biographer, though the reader in search of amusement will pick out of it something to suit him. George the Fourth is credited with having made a neat bon mot upon this book. Some one having remarked to him that “Vioore has been murdering Sheridan,”—“No," replied his sacred majesty, “but he has certainly attempted his life.” A later biographical performance, published in 1830, and one of more enduring interest to posterity, was the Life of Byron. This is a very fascinating book; but more-which is indeed a matter of course--in virtue of the lavish amount of Byron's own writing which it embodies than on account of the Memoir-compiler's doings. However, there is a considerable share of good feeling in the book, as well as matter of permanent value from the personal knowledge that Moore had of Byron; and the avoidance of “posing” and of dealing with the subject for purposes of effect, in the case of a man whose career and genius lent themselves so insidiously to such a treatment, is highly creditable to the biographer's good sense and taste. The Life of Byron succeeded, in the list of Moore's writings, a History of Ireland contributed in 1827 to Lardner's Cyclopatia, and the Travels of an Irishman in Search of a Religion, published in the same year : and was followed by a Life of Lord Edward Fitsgerald, issued in 1831. This, supplemented by some minor productions, closes the sufficiently long list of writings of an industrious literary life.
In his latter years, Moore resided at Sloperton Cottage, near Devizes, in Wiltshire ; where he was near the refined social circle of Lord Lansdowne, at Bowood, as well as the lettered home of the Rev. Mr. Bowles, at Bremhill. Domestic sorrows clouded his otherwise cheerful and comfortable retirement. One of his sons died in the French military service in Algeria ; another of consumption in 1812. For some years before his own death, his mental powers had collapsed. The end came on the 25th of February 1852. He lies buried in Bromham Cemetery, in the neighbourhood of Sloperton.
Moore had a very fair share of learning, as well as steady application, greatly as he sacrificed to the graces of life, and especially of “good society." His face was not perhaps much more impressive in its contour than his diminutive figure. His eyes, however, were dark and fine; his forchead bony, and with what a phrenologist would recognise