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rious man of letters spends his working hours alone, in silence, within his own four walls; when the sand of his intellectual hour-glass has run out, he needs variety, and the reviving influences afforded by social and festive pleasures. If the Irish temperament happen to be superadded, the want is, by so much, intensified. Again, the strongest endeavours were used to prevail on Mrs. Moore to accompany her husband into the world ; to Bowood especially, the house at which he was the most frequently himself a guest, Moore often strove to persuade her to accept Lord and Lady Lansdowne's many cordial invitations, but to little purpose. We cannot wonder at this. Mrs. Moore wanted the inclination to mix in the society of persons with whom she had no familiar acquaintance, and she was too proud (Moore says) to be at her ease with such as she knew and felt to be her superiors in birth and education, though not in personal beauty or native talent. Farther, she could afford neither fine clothes nor carriage; she was the habitual nursemother to sickly children, whilst her own health gave her but too frequent cause for avoiding social engagements. Thus Moore must have gone into company without her or stayed by her side; an alternative which, as a rule of conduct, both he and Mrs. Moore knew and felt to be far from advantageous to either, however glad he might feel to fly back to it when the needful stimulus was over. Moore might be said to belong to a numerous proprietary,' among whom his wife unquestionably held the greatest number of shares.' But Mrs. Moore had far too much sense and feeling to wish or expect to monopolise all the leisure hours of so gifted, so mercurial a being. She was, nevertheless, throughout life, the sole object of his tender, admiring affection, as well as of his grateful esteem. She alone possessed his heart, though others shared in his society. It may be added that Mrs. Moore's ambition for her husband was, gratified by the homage paid to him by the world, and that she enjoyed his social successes, though she declined to share them. .
Moore, as we have seen, lived in the most agreeable and refined society of his day in London: his Diary contains few original comments on passing political events, or on the characters of persons with whom he is brought in contact; but he registers many of the most amusing anecdotes, jokes, repartees, and remarks on various subjects, which he has heard in conversation. Hence he has preserved not only many of the anonymous witticisms of the day, but many excellent sayings of Sydney Smith, Luttrell, Rogers, Robert Smith, Jekyll, and others, which might otherwise have remained unrecorded. It would be easy to make a large selection of such passages. The following, chosen from the last two volumes, may serve as specimens:
As an instance of confusion between history and romance, he (Lord Lansdowne) mentioned some old lady, who used always to be talking of Sir Charles Grandison, having persuaded herself that she had known him and danced with him when a young girl.
Rogers mentioned a clever thing said by Lord Dudley, on some Vienna lady remarking impudently to him, “What wretchedly bad “ French you all speak in London!” “It is true, Madame," he answered; "we have not enjoyed the advantage of having the French “ twice in our capital!”
• Mackintosh mentioned, as one of the happiest applications of a classic quotation that he knew anywhere, that of Leibnitz in his answer to Bayle's objections against Theism in his “ Théodicée." Bayle had died before Leibnitz published this work; and, in speaking of this event, the latter said that it was but natural to suppose one of the rewards of his candid spirit, in its present state of bliss, would be the happiness of seeing all his former doubts on divine subjects cleared away:~
• Candidus insuetum miratur limen Olympi,
Sub pedibusque videt nubes et sidera.' · Talked of the excessive stupidity of the Tories in their misrepresentation of what Plunkett said of their “turning history into an is old almanack," as if he had meant himself to assert that history was no more than an old almanack. There is, however, quite as much of Tory craft as of Tory stupidity in this wilful mistake.'
In talking of O'Connell, of the mixture there is in him of high and low, formidable and contemptible, mighty and mean, [Bobus] Smith summed all by saying, “ The only way to deal with such a “ man is to hang him up and erect a statue to him under his gal“ lows."
• Henry Bushe's account of his place to the Sinecure Committee, that he was “ Resident Surveyor, with perpetual leave of absence! 6 Don't you do any work for it?” “Nothing, but receive my salary “ four times a year.” “Do you receive that yourself?" "No, by 6 deputy."
• Brougham mentioned to-day that, on the Princess of Wales' coming over to England, it was a matter of discussion among a party where Lady Charlotte Lindsay was, what one word of English her Royal Highness (who was totally ignorant of the language) should be first taught to speak. The whole company agreed that "yes" was the most useful word, except Lady Charlotte, who suggested that “no” was twice as useful, as it often stood for "yes,” [whereas "yes" never stood for “no.”] This story, Brougham said, he once made use of in Court, in commenting on the manner in which a witness had said “no.”
Moore, in a note to Sydney Smith, had alluded to his having
gone away from an evening party while he (Moore) was singing. This produced the following answer:
MY DEAR MOORE, — By the beard of the Prelate of Canterbury, by the cassock of the Prelate of York, by the breakfasts of Rogers, by Luttrell's love of side-dishes, I swear that I had rather hear you sing than any person I ever heard in my life, male or female. For what is your singing but beautiful poetry floating in fine music, and guided by exquisite feeling? Call me Dissenter, say that my cassock is ill put on, that I know not the delicacies of decimation, and confound the greater and the smaller tithes; but do not think or say that I am insensible to your music. The truth is, that I took a solemn oath to Mrs. Beauclerk to be there by ten, and set off, to prevent perjury, at eleven ; but was seized with a violent pain in the stomach by the way, and went to bed. “Yours ever, my dear Moore, very sincerely,
SYDNEY SMITH.' "Jekyll, in talking of figurative oratory, mentioned the barrister before Lord Ellenborough :— "My Lord, I appear before you in the “ character of an advocate from the City of London. My Lord, the “ City of London herself appears hefore you as a suppliant for justice. “ My Lord, it is written in the Book of Nature, “What book ?” says Lord E. “ The Book of Nature.” “Name the page," says Lord E., holding his pen uplifted, as if to note the page down.
• Talking of the small potentates of the Continent. The Prince de Reuss one of the first to acknowledge the French Republic. The terms of his recognition as follows:-“Le Prince de Reuss recon“ nâit la république Française.” To which Talleyrand returned for answer, “La république Française est bien aise de faire connaissance * avec le Prince de Reuss.'
• Rogers's story of the young couple at Berlin in their opera-box, between whom, at a distance, there always appeared to be a person sitting, though, on going into their box, it was found that there was no one there but themselves. From all parts of the house this supernatural intruder could be seen, but people differed as to its appearance; some saying it was a fair man, others a dark; some maintaining that he was old, and others that he was young. It should be mentioned that there was some guilty mystery hanging over the connexion between these young people ; and as, at last, no one ventured to visit their box, they disappeared from Berlin.'
• Lord Lansdowne remarked that though I had not [in the “Life “ of Sheridan ”) professedly drawn any parallel between the talents of Fox as a statesman, and those of Burke and Sheridan, yet he thought it might be deduced from my general sentiments, that I was not inclined to place Fox so far above the other two as he (Lord L.) thought he deserved. To this I answered, that neither had I in my book, nor would I venture now, to draw any parallel between Fox and Sheridan, with respect to political sagacity, but that I recollected
Tierney once telling me that Pitt looked upon Sheridan as a much abler man than Fox. This surprised Lord Lansdowne.'
• Lord Holland told of Mr. Fox 'saying one night in the House, that his person had been frequently caricatured, but that he defied any one (and, in saying this, he placed his hands on his fat sides) to paint him in the character of Envy. ..... In speaking of Burke he said, “You all overrate Burke; you, too, Master Moore, “ among the number, particularly in saying that he ever could have “ been trusted as leader of a great party.” This I, of course, denied having said ; the fact being, as well I can recollect, that I have maintained the direct contrary.'
* In talking of the vanity of great men, Denman said that Mr. Fox was an instance of a great man without a particle of vanity: Pitt, he believed also. In talking of Junius, was glad to find that Brougham considers this writer much overrated : said that he had declared this opinion once in the House of Commons . . . . . Brougham was by when Francis made the often-quoted answer to Rogers “ There is a question, Sir Philip,” said R., “which I should much “ like to ask, if you will allow me.” “You had better not, sir," answered Francis, “ you may have reason to be sorry for it (or “ repent of it.") The addition to this story is, that Rogers, on leaf. ing him, muttered to himself, “If he is Junius, it must be Junius “ Brutus." Brougham himself asked him one day, “Is it a thing " quite ridiculous to suppose that you might be the Author?” “Why, “ sir," he replied, “ if the world is determined to make me out such “ a ruffian, I can't help them." He never, Brougham thinks, actually denied the charge; but at all times, in this sort of angry way, evaded it. To Lady Holland, too, who tried him with the question, he answered, “Now that I am old, people think they may with im" punity impute to me such rascality; but they durst not have done “So when I was young.” Francis's vanity, it appears, led him to think that it was no great addition to his fame to have the credit of “ Junius," having done, according to his own notion, much better things. This gets over one of the great difficulties in accounting for the concealment; and it must have been, at all events, either some very celebrated man who could dispense with such fame, or some very vain man who thought he could.'
The duties of editorship of the volumes hitherto published have been limited by Lord John Russell to the selection of letters and the preparation of the text of the Diary for the printer (after making a tolerably free, though perhaps too sparing use of the scissors), and the composing a friendly introduction to the first and sixth volumes. What additional value might have been imparted to the book by copious commentary and illustration, we will not inquire; since, if a man will have a Minister of the Crown, and nothing less, for his executor, it is not to be expected that his remains' should be so diligently prepared for publication as by an editor, whose entire time is at his command. If, indeed, Lord John had been able to devote many spare hours to the composition of
editorial notes, the Preface to the sixth volume shows how much the value of the work would have been enhanced by such additions. The few pages, indeed, of that short notice .well deserve to be ranked among the most interesting in the book, containing, as they do, not only the apology for the innocent and unenvious vanity of Moore, but also some excellent sketches of character - sketches which vividly place the originals before the reader, and are suggested by the friendly recollection of pleasant hours passed in their company. The portraits of such distinguished men as Sir Walter Scott, Sir James Mackintosh, Sydney Smith, and Lord Holland, as they
sintosh, Sydneysked men as Sire Ww.company. The
respect from one who had lived in their intimacy. They show that Lord John had well observed and noted in his earlier days the peculiar merits and qualities of men whom it was an honour to him to have known and appreciated, and to whose memory he now does honour in return by thus preserving their likeness. The generous and frank nature of Scott, superior to all literary jealousies and literary affectations, is well pourtrayed. We will, however, conclude our notice of this agreeable work by extracting from Lord John's preface the description of Sydney Smith's colloquial powers, which give as accurate an idea of them as can be conveyed by words: —
* If it is difficult to convey any notion of the conversation of Sir James Mackintosh, it is hardly possible to describe that of Sydney Smith. There are two kinds of colloquial wit which equally contribute to fame, though not equally to agreeable conversation. The one is like a rocket in a dark air which shoots at once into the sky, and is the more surprising from the previous silence and gloom; the other is like that kind of firework which blazes and bursts out in every direction, exploding at one moment and shining brightly at another, eccentric in its course, and changing its shape and colour to many forms and many hues. Or, as a dinner is set out with two kinds of champagne, so these two kinds of wit, the still and the sparkling, are to be found in good company. Sheridan and Talleyrand were among the best examples of the first; Hare (as I have heard) and Sydney Smith were brilliant instances of the second. Hare I knew only by tradition ; but with Sydney Smith I long lived intimately. His great delight was to produce a succession of ludicrous images; these followed each other with a rapidity that scarcely left time to laugh; he himself laughing louder and with more enjoyment than any one. This electric contact of mirth came and went with the occasion; it cannot be repeated or reproduced. Anything would give occasion to it. His powers of fun were at the same time united with the strongest and most practical common sense. So that while he laughed away seriousness at one minute, he destroyed