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exuberant fancy. This he employed with matchless grace in his splendid romance, “The Epicurean” (prose only in form), and in “Lalla Rookh,” as well as in some of his shorter poems. Like most other poets who are facile, he wrote too much, and in doing so, laid himself open to the charge of tawdry dressing and the application of the proverb, “All is not gold that glitters.” But he was a natural poet, born with the gift of song, and his education gave discrimination to his genius, without diminishing his facility of expression or the vividness and fertility of his imagination.

Thomas Moore was born in 1779 in Dublin, where his father was in business as a grocer. The boy was placed under the care of a tutor, who had also been the teacher of Sheridan. In 1793, by an act of the Legislature, Dublin University was opened to Roman Catholic students, and Moore's father, who was an adherent of the Irish patriotic party, placed him there. Although he gained some distinction, the fact of his being a Roman Catholic precluded him from taking a degree, and his political opinions, perhaps too freely expressed, were rebuked by the authorities. It was at the University that he became a friend of the unfortunate Robert Emmett, who paid the forfeit of his life for his subsequent attempts to sustain an Irish rebellion, and it was in reference to the young wife of Emmett that Moore afterwards wrote the poem, "She is far from the Land where her Young Hero sleeps.”

After graduating, Moore went to London, and entered at the Middle Temple to study law. In 1801 he published the “Odes of Anacreon,” which he had composed while at college; and in 1802 the

“Poetical Works of Thomas Little”

-a name which referred to his very small stature.

These poems were imitations of Catullus, which showed ability,

! but were otherwise objectionable.

In 1804 he went to Bermuda, where he entered on the duties of Registrar to the Admiralty Court-, a situation obtained through Lord Moira-but these duties soon becoming irksome, he appointed a deputy, and returned to England in 1806, where he published Odes and Epistles,” which were noticed with Moore's early writings in the Edinburgh Review, and spoken of by Jeffrey, who was the editor, with such severity that Moore sent him a challenge. By the "code of honour” of those days Jeffrey could not refuse, and the two little men (for Jeffrey was as diminutive as Moore) met early one morning at Chalk Farm in a field screened on one side by large trees. Moore had borrowed his pistols from the Hon. William Robert Spencer, and went with his second, Mr. Hume, in a coach to the place of meeting. Jeffrey with his second, Mr. Horner, and a surgeon was already there. The seconds, who knew very little about such affairs, retired to load the pistols, leaving Jeffrey and Moore together. They had bowed to each other, but had not spoken till Jeffrey said: “What a beautiful morning!” “Yes,” replied Moore with a smile; a morning made for better purposes.” Jeffrey replied only with a sort of assenting sigh ; but the seconds took so long in their preparations that the two combatants walked up and down together till they came within sight of them, and Moore related an anecdote to his antagonist about one Billy Egan, an Irish barrister, who, under similar circumstances, had

sauntered too near to the seconds, who angrily shouted to him to keep his ground. “Don't make yourself unaisy, my dear fellow,” replied Egan; “sure, isn't it bad enough to take the dose without being by at the mixing up ?”

Jeffrey had scarcely time to smile at the story before the seconds came up and placed their men; the pistols were raised, the combatants waited only for the signal to fire, when some Bow Street officers, who had been sent by Spencer, and had been hiding behind the trees, rushed up, and the two principals were carried before a magistrate at Bow Street.

Byron was satirically merry over the affair, which excited a good deal of ridicule; but Moore and Jeffrey became close friends, and Moore soon established a still more cordial friendship with Byron.

Moore had long been the favourite of London drawing-rooms, and was received everywhere with much welcome and no little flattery for his sparkling wit and his musical ability. He was sufficiently vain of his accomplishments—but that is scarcely to be wondered at, as they were in constant requisition. One rather droll episode was his introduction to Harriet Martineau, beside whom he sat for some time talking in his usual gay manner, and afterwards went to the pianoforte and offered to sing to her. As the lady was so deaf that she could only listen through an ear-trumpet, and as she probably cared nothing for Moore's persiflage, little for his poetry, and not much for his singing, it was rather a waste of trouble.

Moore, with his excellent wife (who had been Miss Bessy Dyke) and their young family, left London to live in a cottage near Ashbourne, in

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Derbyshire, and there wrote some of his best and more serious poems, including the earlier of the “ National Airs,” which appeared in 1815, and “Sacred Songs, Duets, and Trios," with music composed and selected by himself and Sir J. Stevenson It was there in comparative seclusion, and amidst the snows of two or three winters, in a lone cottage in the fields, that he gathered, with much research into books, the material for the gorgeous imagery and oriental splendour displayed in “ Lalla Rookh," for which he was paid three thousand guineas by the publishers. It was published in 1817, and consists of four tales, “The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan," “Paradise and the Peri,” “The Fire Worshippers,” and “ The Light of the Harem," connected by a brief prose narrative. The success of this work was enormous, and it was said to have been translated into Persian. Some serious defalcations of his deputy in Bermuda, led to a demand being made upon Moore, to make good the losses sustained by the Government, and for a time he was in great pecuniary difficulty, but while the case was pending he travelled with Lord John Russell in Switzerland and Italy, and from Milan visited Venice, where he remained for some time with Byron. His friends offered to come to his relief; the amount demanded was greatly reduced, and by assiduous industry and the handsome sums he received for his " Loves of the Angels,” and other works, he was able to meet his liabilities.

On leaving Venice he received as a parting gift the MS. of Byron's Memoirs, which he was to publish for his own benefit after Byron's death. In 1821 he took the MS. to Mr. Murray, and agreed to edit it for two thousand guineas. On Byron's death, in 1824, Lady Byron and some friends looked over the MS., and agreed with Mr. Murray that it should not be published, agreeing rather to repay the money which had been given to Moore; but this Moore would not allow, and he eventually refunded the amount, though it was understood that he was afterwards persuaded to accept a recompense.

The MS. was believed to be destroyed by Mr. Murray, and some years afterwards (in 1830), Moore wrote a “Life of Byron" for Longmans for a like sum. In the following year he wrote a “Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald.” During his later years Moore retired with his family to a cottage near Devizes, where he enjoyed a personal pension of three hundred pounds a year, and there he collected his poetical works which were published in ten volumes. For some time before his death his brilliant intellect and teeming fancy were clouded by mental affliction. He died in 1852. His memoirs, journal, and correspondence, were prepared by Lord John Russell, and published in 1853, in eight volumes. Moore's modern reputation is chiefly associated with his songs and melodies. “The Last Rose of Summer," "The Harp of Tara," and “The Minstrel Boy,” will probably survive along with others; nor will his sacred songs be soon forgotten. “Sound the loud timbrel,” “Thou art, O God, the life and light,” and “This world is all a fleeting show," are still said and sung by numbers of people who do not know that they were written by “Tom Moore."


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