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have been better engaged than in the narra- self for the celebrity he won, and for the tion of his own vivacious story, seizes his social rank which he was not slow to attain. quill in the prime of life, resolved to do for Humble, however, as the parents of Moore himself and the public what nobody can do might be, his mother, at least, seems to have half so well for either; and charmingly de- been possessed of talents highly serviceable tails the course of his history, from its dawn to her son. In many respects she was a in 1779 until its noon in the year of grace remarkable woman. At a very early age the 1799, cruelly leaving the afternoon, the twi- child exhibited undoubted genius, and she light, and the black night, to be described by took extraordinary pains to cultivate the gift. other and less capable hands. He, like the She sent him early to school, and at home rest, withdraws from his great enterprise be encouraged his talents by every available fore it is fairly begun, content to add another means as they developed themselves. Two to the many monuments of the world as ex- mistakes, in her very pardonable and amiable pressive of the human weakness of the build- anxiety to advance the interests of her child, ers as of their ingenuity and skill.
Mrs. Moore committed. She was, perhaps, Why is it that the hearts of these writers, too eager to force him into the society of the which beat so stoutly at the beginning of the great, and somewhat too desirous to see him journey, suddenly flag even before the heat of ministering to the amusement of his betters. the day has come on? Can it be simply that The effect of such maternal teaching Moore, sunlight rests upon the distant scenes of boy- with all his admirable qualities, never thorhood; that memory has hoarded up the oughly outgrew. It is manifest in his diary, recollection of the unclouded time, and revels and overflows in his correspondence. At in it; that the spirit becomes depressed as every period, as we shall see, he was much the golden region is gradually quitted, and too solicitous for a seat at the high tables, and utterly beaten in presence of the storms for the privilege of winning approval from which first give note of vicissitude, and indi- exclusive lips by means of his accomplishcate the struggles, the battles, and the suffer- ments. Before he rhymed Tom was an actor; ings of life? Or is it that youth, which is as a mere child, he informs us, he was sin the season of the imagination, may lawfully gled out by the master of the Dublin grambe painted in the colors of fancy, while man- mar school on days of public examination as hood must content itself with the soberer one of the most popular and successful exhibhues of reason and judgment? Or is it, after itors in the academy. As a child, also, he · all, that when a distinguished poet or novel- put forth his first pretensions to poetry, since ist describes his own childhood, he disports in in the year 1789 he remembered to have a field exclusively his own, and that when he written his earliest verses. No wonder that ventures upon times familiar to his contempo- the vintner's wife felt proud of her son ; more raries he is subdued by the knowledge that marvellous that, with all her love and pride, his once all-credulous listeners have suddenly she did not utterly spoil the susceptible and become his well-informed and exacting critics ? ardent mind that submitted to her training. Be the explanation what it may, the fact is Indulgence, though excessive, happily stopped here. Our chief modern writers generously short of neglect of duty, or rather comprepromise us an account of their lives, and they hended the performance of the very first of put us off with a meagre chapter. The rule duties. Mrs. Moore, quick to discern that, is invariable, and admits of no exception. As without solid acquirements, her boy could certainly as they begin, so surely they stum- never retain the popularity won by his his ble on the threshold. Thomas Moore tells us trionic and other feats, evinced the greatest that he was born in Dublin on the twenty- solicitude to promote his school studies. She eighth of May, 1779. He was of the hum-herself examined him daily in his lessons, blest origin. His grandfather on his mother's and was vigilant to note his progress. Some side, who lived in Wexford, was engaged in curious instances of her affectionate zeal the provision trade, and had something to do Moore records. On more than one occasion, with weaving; but of his paternal grand- when the lad had gone to bed, the mother father he knew literally nothing, never hav- being away from home, the latter would take ing heard his name mentioned. His own care to visit the bedside on her return, and, father kept a small wine-store in Dublin ; so waking up the sleeper, induce him to repeat that the poet is indebted to no one but him- the lessons he had prepared for the following
day. Moore, who, to his last hour, loved | knowledge, and occasionally wrote poetry for his mother with a fine and manly affection, the gratification of his mother and the wonvividly remembered in his age how cheerfully der of her acquaintance. His college comand happily he had obeyed in his childhood panions were the ardent spirits of the time, the mother's nocturnal summons, and how and his best beloved friends those who were peacefully he slept after pleasing her with the most deeply implicated in revolutionary deperformance of his task.
signg. It is well for Moore that he con· A third faculty made itself evident. While trived to escape the subsequent fate of his still a child Moore discovered a taste for less fortunate companions ; there can be little music, as well as for recitation and poetic doubt that but for the strong maternal composition. The mother, quick to make injunctions, and his own good sense, his excitthe most of the talent, possessed herself of an able soul must have been drawn into the old harpsichord, employed a youth, who was troubles that proved so fatal to his fellows. in the service of a tuner in the nighborhood, Once only he identified himself with the Irish to give her son instruction, and encouraged conspirators by contributing a letter to the the child — as was her wont - to exhibit his columns of their organ ; but the horror of his musical powers to all her visitors - his taste mother at the discovery of his rashness was for singing corresponding with his passion for sufficient to arrest the pen forever afterwards. music. In due time, by dint of great econ- Better employment was that found by Moore omy, the good lady contrived to save money in Marsh's library, to which, through his enough to exchange the old harpsichord for a acquaintance with the son of the librarian, now pianoforte ; pleasant gatherings then our student obtained admittance during the took place in the private apartments of the months it was closed to the public, and wine-store, at which, after supper, the song where, by hunting through the old bookwent round, and little Tom would give, with shelves, he tells us he acquired “much of general applause, the best of Dibdin's songs, the odd, out-of-the-way sort of reading, that while his mother delighted all listeners with may be found scattered through some of his such approved ditties as “How sweet in the earlier works.” It was here that he accumuwoodlands !"
lated notes for the work upon which, at a But, as before stated, the main object of a very early period of his academical career, he useful life was still paramount in the sensible had set his heart — namely, the translation of mother's mind. In 1793, when Tom was the whole of the odes attributed to Anacreon. fourteen years old, an act of enfranchisement While Moore was thus occupied in the was passed which enabled Roman Catholics legitimate studies of the University his senthenceforward to enter the University and to sible mother continued her exertions on his go to the bar, and Mrs. Moore resolved at behalf out of doors. It was necessary that he once that her boy should receive such an should read French, and the indefatigable education as would enable him to distinguish lady accordingly procured the services of a himself in the profession of the law. In the French refugee, who, like, all the teachers of Dublin school there was a Latin usher. Mrs. the youthful poet, was forthwith made a Moore, in pursuance of her system, loaded friend of the house, and a partaker of the this teacher with civilities, invited him to her family cheer. In the course of five months house, and induced him, by other acts of Tom made rapid progress under the hands of kindness, to regard his pupil with somewhat the kindly treated and grateful M. La Fosse. of the affection she felt for her son. The Moore was nineteen years old when he consequence of this excusable diplomacy was took his degree. At this period he had made the rapid advance of Tom not only in the considerable advance in his Anacreon, and he learned languages, but in all the other studies ventured to hope that he might obtain for it of the school. He was well prepared when a classical premium from the University. he entered Trinity College, in 1794, a year The Provost, however, shook his head solemnly after his first printed poem had been pub- at the amatory and convivial production, and lished in the Anthologia Hibernica, in the Moore was fain to reserve his translation form of “ Verses to Zelia, on her charging for a more extended audience. He looked the author with writing too much on love." towards London. The scholastic apprentice
At the University Tom followed the bent ship over, it was time to begin the battle. of his genius ; he worked steadily, acquiring The lad was to be entered at the Temple, and
then to help himself on as best he might. sing with Stockdale, of Piccadilly, for the Siender was the purse which the adventurer publication of Anacreon, Moore made the best carried with him to the great city. The of his way back to his “dear Dublin home.” family resources were scanty at the best, and Not, however, to remain. the boy's inevitable expenses proved a serious
It was (Moore writes himself) on my next visit drain. But every penny was joyfully scraped to England, that having, through the medium of together, and the loving and dutiful son went another of my earliest and kindest friends, Joe forth. Part of the small sum which he car- Atkinson, been introduced to Lord Moira, I was ried with him was in guineas, and these the invited to pay a visit to Donington-park, on my solicitous mother carefully sewed up in the way to London. This was, of course, at that
time, a great event in my life, and among the waistband of his pantaloons. Sewed up in most vivid of my early English recollections is another part of his clothes was a scapula, or that of my first night at Donington, when Lord amall bit of cloth
— an unfailing remedy Moira, with that high courtesy for which he was against all harm — duly blessed by the priest. and there was this stately personage, stalking on
remarkable, lighted me himself to my bedroom ; Fortified by this, by his devoted mother's before me through the long lighted gallery, bear. prayers, and by his own consciousness of ing in his hand my bed candle, which he delivered power, he first trod the streets of London. to me at the door of my apartment. London was a dangerous scene for so warm
With this fine historical picture of the a nature as that of the young candidate for
great Lord Moira lighting the little poet to its applause. From his very childhood Moore his magnificent bed at Donington, we grieve had lived in gay society, had been flattered for his acting, for his singing, and for his doubt the imaginative youth had dreams that
to say the brief autobiography closes. No own original songs. His mother had made night as rich and Oriental as his own per him what is called " a show child,” and per- fumed Eastern tale. What wonder that, foct success had attended all his exhibitions. falling gratefully and sweetly to sleep upon Still, Moore was protected from the most his silken pillow, oblivious of wine-stores and baneful kind of dissipation by two fortunate London booksellers and coming struggles, the circumstances. From the commencement of blissful poet should be loath to rouse himself his musical displays he had accompanied him- again! We are remorseless, and must wake self on the pianoforte, so that he had become him. absolutely dependent upon his instrument, even
Brilliant, indeed, were the prospects of Tom in his convivial songs. This fact, and his Moore when he quitted Donington for London, natural disposition, which induced him always and said “Good by to Lord Moira, only to to prefer the society of women to that of
say “How do you do?” to the Prince of men, constituted his best defence against the
Wales. Anacreon was to be published by coarser seductions of the metropolis, and no
subscription : numberless were the fine people doubt preserved the refinement of his mind. who subscribed for the work, and, to crown Arrived in London, introductions to the best all, George, Prince of Wales, consented, in people were easy. In Ireland the lad had
person, to receive the dedication. The aflamixed, much to his mother's satisfaction, bility of the said George towards the young familiarly in society from which she and her songster was overwhelming, and one only husband were, of course, rigidly excluded.
marvels that Tom could have found the heart From his Irish friends and patrons letters at any time to satirize his once gracious were taken, and, although young Moore had patron. “I was yesterday,” writes the lad no better lodgings than"
a front room up of twenty-one, two-pair of stairs at No. 44, George-street, Portman-square, for which he paid six shil Introduced to his Royal Highness the Prince lings a week,” and although he lived with of Wales. He is, beyond doubt, a man of very all the economy his affection for the dear him, he said he was very happy to know a man
When I was presented to
fascinating manners. ones at home induced him to exercise, he of my abilities; and when I thanked him for the stopped at once into high regions, secured his honor he did me in permitting the dedication of footing, and remained there welcome to the Anacreon, he stopped me, and said the honor last.
was entirely his, in being allowed to put his
name to a work of such merit. He then said that The first visit to the metropolis must have he hoped, when he returned to town in the winter, been a brief one, for, after going through the we should have many opportunities of enjoying forms of initiation at the Temple, and arrang- each other's society; that he was passionately
The new year
fond of music, and had long heard of my talents have been at court before.” Lady Harringin that way. Is not all this very fine ?"
ton had got the ticket from one of the prinFine! It is superb. But familiarity in- cesses, and her ladyship's servant never rested
A few months afterwards prince until he had discovered the general favorite and poet meet at a ball. The salutation and deposited the precious talisman in his was, you do, Moore ? I am glad to hands.
may be assured I hurried see you ;" just as Tom's father would have home and dressed for the Ancient Music' said to the vintner over the way. And the immediately.” March 24th. — “What do you thing goes on! Tom on one occasion has think? Young Lord Forbes and another young only time to write a few lines to his mother. nobleman dine with me to-morrow. But what lines they are—every one a volume a thing put on me, and I shall do it with a in itself!
goes The prince was extremely kind to me last a great round out of his way to set the lad night at a small supper party at which I met down “at Sir Watkin's, from Mrs. Duff's. him ; every one noticed the cordiality with which where we met a large rout." he spoke to me. His words were these :-"I am begins quite as splendidly as the old year very glad to see you here agnin, Moore. From the reports I have heard I was afraid we had lost goes out. January 30, 1802. — “I go this you. I assure you” – laying his hand on my evening to a Blue Stocking supper, at Lady shoulder at the same time -- it was a subject of Mount-Edgecumbe’s : it is the first this season, general concern." Could anything be more flat- and I shall be initiated. I met all my old toring? I must say I felt rather happy at that fashionable friends at a rout last night, the moment.
opening of the season ; three hundred people." If Moore did not feel not only happy, but A year's experience, and Tom gives himself supremely blest, during the whole of his early airs. March 4, 1802, just one twelvemonth London career, he was not the lad we think after Lady Harrington's servant had rushed him. Never was aspirant for publio favor through the town after Moore with the “ An80 fêted and caressed. Never had the delib- cient Music” ticket in his hand, our young erate plans of a fond mother heen crowned so gentleman assumes the style and language of speedily with the most triumphant success! his set. “ The people !” the young coxcomb We literally envy the feelings with which the writes to the vintner's lady, whose head must absorbed lady must have contemplated letter really have become bewildered by this time, after letter, all bearing witness to the value “ the people will not let me stay at home as of her early arrangements and to the marvel- much as I wish, and I sometimes wish all the lous wisdom of her educational system. Tom duchesses and marchionesses chez le diable !" has hardly a shirt to his back, yet the great Have we no painter who will draw, for the world lies at his feet. We call the reader's next exhibition, good Mrs. Moore spelling this attention to the following proofs, gathered at epistle to her friends in the small drawingrandom from the letters : — January 27, 1801. room of Aungier-street, No. 12, at the corner
“What do you think? Lord Moira, who of Little Longford-street, Dublin? came to town but yesterday, called on me in We can afford space for only two moro person to-day, and left his card : is not this extracts ; but these will speak for all the excellent?” March 1st. “ Last night I had rest. On the 2d of June, 1802, Moore sir invitations. Everything goes on swim- writes to his mother an account of one day's mingly with me. I dined with the Bishop occupations :—“I breakfasted with the Lord of Meath on Friday last, and went to a party Mayor, dined with Lord Moira, and went in at Mrs. Crewe's in the evening." By the the evening to Mrs. Butler's, the Duchess of 6th of March, things have got to such a Athol's, Lady Mount-Edgecumbe's and Lady height that there is not a single night for Call's, which was ball, where I danced till which the young Irishman has not three five o'clock in the morning.” On the 17th invitations, but he "takes Hammersley's ad- of April following he gives her to understand vice, and sends showers of apologies. On that “ there are no less than three families the 4th of March Lady Harrington had sent about this country who are teazing me to her servant after the lad to two or three spend the spring at their houses.” The places, with a ticket for the “ Ancient Music,” lucky litterateur monopolizes the favor of which is the King's concert, and which is so country as of town! gelect that those “who go to it ought to Yet rack not your souls with envy, scribes
of the present time! We admit that duch-ically writes to his mother, “that people Essess and marchionesses do not plague you who value the silk so much should not feed with invitations until you are forced to wish the poor worm who wastes himself in spinning the inviters chez le diable. We grant that no it out to them." Five years after penning countess' lacqueys are seeking you in all the these syllables he writes to the same correhaunts of fashion in order to conduct you to spondent: “I have often said I was careless places still more select. We will take your about the attractions of gay society, but I word for it that great lords do not earn think, for the first time, I begin to feel really honor by lighting you to your couch, and so. I pass through the rows of fine carriages that royal princes do not lean on your in Bond-street without the slightest impashoulder while they assure you that your tience to renew my acquaintance with those temporary absence from the metropolis has inside of them.” The feeling of equanimity been “ a subject of general concern ;" but was, however, less fixed in the bosom of the we entreat you never to forget that the great ardent poet 'than it appears to have been in among us are traffickers of their favors, as the breasts of his patrons. He continued to the small are dealers in the commodities minister to the enjoyments of the great until by which they live. One acknowledgment it pleased God to darken his fine intellect, and creeps out again and again in the dazzling to render him unconscious equally of the epistles of Thomas Moore. If honor is good and the evil of this world. conferred upon him, he communicates still forgot him utterly before he died; for at his more delight to the givers. With the same grave there stood of them all not one solitary breath that he announces having dined with representative, even to mourn the loss of the the Bishop of Meath he states that “his music that had once lent such enchantment songs have taken such a rage ; even surpass to their halls. ing what they did in Dublin." While he In his youth Moore justly looked for makes a vaunt of shaking hands with the advancement from his princely entertainers. prince at Lady Harrington's supper, he also The majority of them were men of mark, of boasts that at that supper prince and lady, influence, and of power. He was poor; and, hostess and guests, are charmed beyond ex- | beyond the necessity he felt for providing as pression with his displays. “ Monk Lewis," securely as possible for his own maintenance, ho writes, was in the greatest agonies' he had always a commendable anxiety to the other night at Lady Donegall's, at having administer to the wants and comforts of those come in after my songs. * Pon his honor, he at home, who had sacrificed already so largely had come for the express purpose of hearing for him. He was well-informed - a scholar
As time wore on, Moore himself a poet. If patronage should fall to his aristobecame gradually aware of the tacit under-cratic friends he was willing to receive his standing that existed between him and his fair share of the goods of fortune.
One piece magnificent entertainers. Whatever may of patronage came in his way in 1803, at have been his first impressions, he was which, for a moment, he was ready to clutch, obliged to learn at last that the favors dis- although a minute afterwards he as eagerly pensed to him were matters of sale and bar- rejected it. We learn dimly from a letter, gain, just as if he had received them like dated May 20, 1803 — which, as usual, is so much gold over the counter. Although left to tell its own tale darkly without one Monre sang exquisitely, and with a pathos line of comment from the editor — that the and expression that cannot be understood by poet laureateship was at this time offered to those who were not privileged to hear him, Moore in a manner that “would disgust any yet, being a scholar and a gentleman, it man with the least spirit of independence was impossible to hire him like an opera about him ” — that poor Tom, thinking his singor. Aristocratic countenance was more parents were in immediate want of money, precious to the poet in his youth than any instantly accepted it nevertheless, and then, other coin, and for such countenance he sold hearing that his father had no instant neces to earthly buyers his heavenly gifts. How, sity for assistance, threw the situation up after as he grew older, he grew also weary of the enclosing an “ Ode for the Birthday," written hollow and barren remuneration, we gather in desolation of heart, we presume, by comfrom more than one significant passage in his mand of the authorities. letters. “It is strange," he once pathet Three months afterwards a more inviting