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It was at this period that I first had the happiness of seeing and becoming acquainted with Lord Byron. The correspondence in which our acquaintance originated is, in a high degree, illustrative of the frank manliness of his character; and as it was begun on my side, some egotism must be tolerated in the detail which I have to give of the circumstances that led to it. So far back as the year 1806, on the occasion of a meeting which took place at Chalk Farm between Mr. Jeffrey and myself, a good deal of ridicule and raillery, founded on a false representation of what occurred before the magistrates at Bow Street, appeared in almost all the public prints. In consequence of this, I was induced to address a letter to the Editor of one of the Journals, contradicting the falsehood that had been circulated, and stating briefly the real circumstances of the case. For some time my letter seemed to produce the intended effect, but, unluckily, the original story was too tempting a theme for humour and sarcasm to be so easily superseded by mere matter of fact. cordingly, after a little time, whenever the subject was publicly alluded to, especially by those who were at all "willing to wound," the old falsehood was, for the sake of its ready sting, revived.



In the year 1809, on the first appearance of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," I found the author, who was then generally understood to be Lord Byron, not only jesting on the subject—and with sufficiently provoking pleasantry and cleverness-in his verse, but giving also, in the more responsible form of a note', an outline of the transaction in accordance with the original misreport, and, therefore, in direct contradiction to my published statement. Still, as the Satire was anonymous and unacknowledged, I did not feel that I was, in any way, called upon to notice it, and therefore dismissed the matter entirely from my mind. In the summer of the same year appeared the Second Edition of the work, with Lord Byron's name prefixed to it. I was, at the time, in Ireland, and but little in the way of literary society; and it so happened that


[The following are the lines and note referred to:"Can none remember that eventful day,

That ever glorious, almost fatal fray,
When Little's leadless pistol met his eye,
And Bow-street myrmidons stood laughing by ?

"In 1806, Messrs. Jeffrey and Moore met at Chalk Farm. The duel was prevented by the interference of the magistracy; and, on examination, the balls of the pistols were found to have evaporated. This incident gave

some months passed away before the appearance of this new edition was known to me. Immediately on being apprised of it,-the offence now assuming a different form,-I addressed the following letter to Lord Byron, and, transmitting it to a friend in London, requested that he would have it delivered into his Lordship's hands. 2


"Dublin, January 1. 1810.

My Lord,


Having just seen the name of 'Lord Byron' prefixed to a work entitled 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,' in which, as it appears to me, the lie is given to a public statement of mine, respecting an affair with Mr. Jeffrey some years since, I beg you will have the goodness to inform me whether I may consider your Lordship as the author of this publication.

"I shall not, I fear, be able to return to London for a week or two; but, in the mean time, I trust your Lordship will not deny me the satisfaction of knowing whether you avow the insult contained in the passages alluded to.

"It is needless to suggest to your Lordship the propriety of keeping our correspondence secret.

"I have the honour to be "Your Lordship's very humble servant, "THOMAS MOORE

"22. Molesworth Street."

In the course of a week, the friend to whom I intrusted this letter wrote to inform me that Lord Byron had, as he learned on inquiring of his publisher, gone abroad immediately on the publication of his Second Edition; but that my letter had been placed in the hands of a gentleman, named Hodgson, who had undertaken to forward it carefully to his Lordship. Though the latter step was not exactly what I could have wished, I thought it as well, on the whole, to let my letter take its chance, and again postponed all consideration of the matter.

During the interval of a year and a half which elapsed before Lord Byron's return, I had taken upon myself obligations, both as

occasion to much waggery in the daily prints."- See Works, p. 428.]

2 This is the only entire lettter of my own that, in the course of this work, I mean to obtrude upon my readers. Being short, and in terms more explanatory of the feeling on which I acted than any others that could be substituted, it might be suffered, I thought, to form the single exception to my general rule. In all other cases, I shall merely give such extracts from my own letters as may be necessary to elucidate those of my correspondent.

Er. 23.


husband and father, which make most men, and especially those who have nothing to bequeath, — less willing to expose themselves unnecessarily to danger. On hearing, therefore, of the arrival of the noble traveller from Greece, though still thinking it due to myself to follow up my first request of an explanation, I resolved, in prosecuting that object, to adopt such a tone of conciliation as should not only prove my sincere desire of a pacific result, but show the entire freedom from any angry or resentful feeling with which I took the step. The death of Mrs. Byron, for some time, delayed my purpose. But as soon after that event as was consistent with decorum, I addressed a letter to Lord Byron, in which, referring to my former communication, and expressing some doubts as to its having ever reached him, I re-stated, in pretty nearly the same words, the nature of the insult, which, as it appeared to me, the passage in his note was calculated to convey. "It is now useless," I continued," to speak of the steps with which it was my intention to follow up that letter. The time which has elapsed since then, though it has done away neither the injury nor the feeling of it, has, in many respects, materially altered my situation; and the only object which I have now in writing to your Lordship is to preserve some consistency with that former letter, and to prove to you that the injured feeling still exists, however circumstances may compel me to be deaf to its dictates, at present. When I say injured feeling,' let me assure your Lordship that there is not a single vindictive sentiment in my mind towards you. I mean but to express that uneasiness, under (what I consider to be) a charge of falsehood, which must haunt a man of any feeling to his grave, unless the insult be tetracted or atoned for; and which, if I did not feel, I should, indeed, deserve far worse than your Lordship's satire could inflict upon me." In conclusion I added, that so far from being influenced by any angry or resentful feeling towards him, it would give me sincere pleasure if, by any satisfactory explanation, he would enable me to seek the honour of being henceforward ranked among his acquaintance.

To this letter, Lord Byron returned the following answer : —

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delay of my reply. Your former letter I never had the honour to receive; - be assured in whatever part of the world it had found me, I should have deemed it my duty to return and answer it in person.

"The advertisement you mention, I know nothing of. At the time of your meeting with Mr. Jeffrey, I had recently entered College, and remember to have heard and read a number of squibs on the occasion; and from the recollection of these I derived all my knowledge on the subject, without the slightest idea of giving the lie' to an address which I never beheld. When I put my name to the production, which has occasioned this correspondence, I became responsible to all whom it might concern, to explain where it requires explanation, and, where insufficiently or too sufficiently explicit, at all events to satisfy. My situation leaves me no choice; it rests with the injured and the angry to obtain reparation in their own way.


"With regard to the passage in question, you were certainly not the person towards whom I felt personally hostile. On the contrary, my whole thoughts were engrossed by one, whom I had reason to consider as my worst literary enemy, nor could I foresee that his former antagonist was about to become his champion. You do not specify what you would wish to have done: I can neither retract nor apologise for a charge or falsehood which I never advanced.

"In the beginning of the week, I shall be at No. 8. St. James's Street. Neither the letter nor the friend to whom you stated your intention ever made their appearance.

"Your friend, Mr. Rogers, or any other gentleman delegated by you, will find me most ready to adopt any conciliatory proposition which shall not compromise my own honour, — or, failing in that, to make the atonement you deem it necessary to require.

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"I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient, humble servant, "BYRON."

In my reply to this, I commenced by saying, that his Lordship's letter was, upon the whole, as satisfactory as I could expect. It contained all that, in the strict diplomatique of explanation, could be required, namely,that he had never seen the statement which I supposed him wilfully to have contradicted, that he had no intention of bringing against me any charge of falsehood, and that the objectionable passage of his work was not levelled personally at me. This, I added,

terms employed; but have little doubt that they are here given correctly.

was all the explanation I had a right to expect, and I was, of course, satisfied with it.

I then entered into some detail relative to the transmission of my first letter from Dublin, -giving, as my reason for descending to these minute particulars, that I did not, I must confess, feel quite easy under the manner in which his Lordship had noticed the miscarriage of that first application to him.

My reply concluded thus: - "As your Lordship does not show any wish to proceed beyond the rigid formulary of explanation, it is not for me to make any further advances. We Irishmen, in businesses of this kind, seldom know any medium between decided hostility and decided friendship ; but, as any approaches towards the latter alternative must now depend entirely on your Lordship, I have only to repeat that I am satisfied with your letter, and that I have the honour to be," &c. &c.

On the following day I received the annexed rejoinder from Lord Byron :



"8. St. James's Street, October 29. 1811.


"Soon after my return to England, my friend, Mr. Hodgson, apprised me that a letter for me was in his possession; but a domestic event hurrying me from London, immediately after, the letter (which may most probably be your own) is still unopened in his keeping. If, on examination of the address, the similarity of the handwriting should lead to such a conclusion, it shall be opened in your presence, for the satisfaction of all parties. Mr. H. is at present out of town; on Friday I shall see him, and request him to forward it to my address.

"With regard to the latter part of both your letters, until the principal point was discussed between us, I felt myself at a loss in what manner to reply. Was I to anticipate friendship from one, who conceived me to have charged him with falsehood? Were not advances, under such circumstances, to be misconstrued, not, perhaps, by the person to whom they were addressed, but by others? In my case such a step was impracticable. If you, who conceived yourself to be the offended person, are satisfied that you had no cause for offence, it will not be difficult to convince me of it. My situation, as I have before stated, leaves me no choice. I should have felt proud of your acquaintance, had it commenced under other circumstances; but it must rest with you to determine how far it may proceed after so auspicious a beginning. I have the honour to be," &c.

Somewhat piqued, I own, at the manner in which my efforts towards a more friendly understanding, ill-timed as I confess them to have been,- were received, I hastened to close our correspondence by a short note, saying, that his Lordship had made me feel the imprudence I was guilty of, in wandering from the point immediately in discussion between us; and I should now, therefore, only add, that if, in my last letter, I had correctly stated the substance of his explanation, our correspondence might, from this moment, cease for ever, as with that explanation I declared myself satisfied.

This brief note drew immediately from Lord Byron the following frank and openhearted reply


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"8. St. James's Street, October 30. 1811.


"You must excuse my troubling you once more upon this very unpleasant subject. It would be a satisfaction to me, and I should think to yourself, that the unopened letter in Mr. Hodgson's possession (supposing it to prove your own) should be returned 'in statu quo' to the writer; particularly as you expressed yourself 'not quite easy under the manner in which I had dwelt on its miscarriage.'

"A few words more, and I shall not trouble you further. I felt, and still feel, very much flattered by those parts of your correspondence, which held out the prospect of our becoming acquainted. If I did not meet them in the first instance as perhaps I ought, let the situation I was placed in be my defence. You have now declared yourself satisfied, and on that point we are no longer at issue. If, therefore, you still retain any wish to do me the honour you hinted at, I shall be most happy to meet you, when, where, and how you please, and I presume you will not attribute my saying thus much to any unworthy motive. I have the honour to remain," &c.

On receiving this letter, I went instantly to my friend, Mr. Rogers, who was, at that time, on a visit at Holland House, and, for the first time, informed him of the correspondence in which I had been engaged. With his usual readiness to oblige and serve, he proposed that the meeting between Lord Byron and myself should take place at his table, and requested of me to convey to the noble Lord his wish, that he would do him the honour of naming some day for that purpose. The following is Lord Byron's answer to the note which I then wrote:

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8. St. James's Street, November 1. 1811.

"As I should be very sorry to interrupt your Sunday's engagement, if Monday, or any other day of the ensuing week, would be equally convenient to yourself and friend, I will then have the honour of accepting his invitation. Of the professions of esteem with which Mr. Rogers has honoured me, I cannot but feel proud, though undeserving. I should be wanting to myself, if insensible to the praise of such a man; and, should my approaching interview with him and his friend lead to any degree of intimacy with both or either, I shall regard our past correspondence as one of the happiest events of my life. I have the honour to be,

Your very sincere and obedient servant,


It can hardly, I think, be necessary to call the reader's attention to the good sense, self-possession, and frankness, of these letters of Lord Byron. I had placed him,-by the somewhat national confusion which I had made of the boundaries of peace and war, of hostility and friendship, in a position which, ignorant as he was of the character of the person who addressed him, it required all the watchfulness of his sense of honour to guard from surprise or snare. Hence, the judicious reserve with which he abstained from noticing my advances towards acquaintance, till he should have ascertained exactly whether the explanation which he was will ing to give would be such as his correspondent would be satisfied to receive. The moment he was set at rest on this point, the frankness of his nature displayed itself; and the disregard of all further mediation or etiquette with which he at once professed himself ready to meet me, "when, where, and how" I pleased, showed that he could be as pliant and confiding after such an understanding, as he had been judiciously reserved and punctilious before it.

Such did I find Lord Byron, on my first experience of him; and such, so open and manly-minded, — did I find him to the


It was, at first, intended by Mr. Rogers that his company at dinner should not extend beyond Lord Byron and myself; but Mr.

1 In speaking thus, I beg to disclaim all affected modesty. Lord Byron had already made the same distinction himself in the opinions which he expressed of the living poets; and I cannot but be aware that, for the praises which he afterwards bestowed on my writings, I was, in a great degree, indebted to his partiality to myself.


Thomas Campbell, having called upon our host that morning, was invited to join the party, and consented. Such a meeting could not be otherwise than interesting to us all. It was the first time that Lord Byron was ever seen by any of his three companions; while he, on his side, for the first time, found himself in the society of persons, whose names had been associated with his first literary dreams, and to two of whom he looked up with that tributary admiration which youthful genius is ever ready to pay its precursors.

Among the impressions which this meeting left upon me, what I chiefly remember to have remarked was the nobleness of his air, his beauty, the gentleness of his voice and manners, and — what was naturally not the least attraction - his marked kindness to myself. Being in mourning for his mother, the colour, as well of his dress, as of his glossy, curling, and picturesque hair, gave more effect to the pure, spiritual paleness of his features, in the expression of which, when he spoke, there was a perpetual play of lively thought, though melancholy was their habitual character when in repose.

As we had none of us been apprised of his peculiarities with respect to food, the embarrassment of our host was not a little, on discovering that there was nothing upon the table which his noble guest could eat or drink. Neither meat, fish, nor wine, would Lord Byron touch; and of biscuits and soda-water, which he asked for, there had been, unluckily, no provision. He professed, however, to be equally well pleased with potatoes and vinegar; and of these meagre materials contrived to make rather a hearty dinner.

I shall now resume the series of his correspondence with other friends.

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morrow. I shall certainly endeavour to bring them together.-You are censorious, child; when you are a little older, you will learn to dislike every body, but abuse nobody.

"With regard to the person of whom you speak, your own good sense must direct you. I never pretend to advise, being an implicit believer in the old proverb. This present frost is detestable. It is the first I have felt for these three years, though I longed for one in the oriental summer, when no such thing is to be had, unless I had gone to the top of Hymettus for it.

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"St. James's Street, Dec. 8. 1811. 'Behold a most formidable sheet, without gilt or black edging, and consequently very vulgar and indecorous, particularly to one of your precision; but this being Sunday, I can procure no better, and will atone for its length by not filling it. Bland I have not seen since my last letter; but on Tuesday he dines with me, and will meet M**e [Moore], the epitome of all that is exquisite

lections," he published a volume of original poems, among which are " Edwy and Elgiva," and the "Four Slaves of Cytheria."]

[The Honourable William Wellesley-Pole, son of

in poetical or personal accomplishments. How Bland has settled with Miller, I know not. I have very little interest with either, and they must arrange their concerns according to their own gusto. I have done my endeavours, at your request, to bring them together, and hope they may agree to their mutual advantage.

"Coleridge has been lecturing against Campbell. Rogers was present, and from him I derive the information. We are going to make a party to hear this Manichean of poesy. Pole is to marry Miss Long, and will be a very miserable dog for all that.' The present ministers are to continue, and his Majesty does continue in the same state; so there's folly and madness for you, both in a breath.

"I never heard but of one man truly fortunate, and he was Beaumarchais, the author of Figaro, who buried two wives and gained three lawsuits before he was thirty.

“And now, child, what art thou doing? Reading, I trust. I want to see you take a degree. Remember, this is the most imappoint your papa and your aunt, and all portant period of your life; and don't disyour kin-besides myself. Don't you know that all male children are begotten for the express purpose of being graduates ? and that even I am an A.M., though how I beBesides, you are to be a priest; and to concame so the Public Orator only can resolve. fute Sir William Drummond's late book about the Bible, (printed, but not published,) and all other infidels whatever. Now leave Master H.'s gig, and Master S.'s Sapphics, and become as immortal as Cambridge can make you. You see,


Mio Carissimo, what a pestilent correspondent I am likely to become; but then you shall be as quiet at Newstead as you please, and I won't disturb your studies as I do now. When do you fix the day, that I may take you up according to contract? Hodgson talks of making a third in our journey; but we can't stow him, inside at least. Positively you shall go with me as was agreed, and don't let me have any of your politesse to H. on the occasion. I shall manage to arrange for both with a little contrivance. I wish H. was not quite so fat, and we should pack better. You will want to know what I am doing — chewing tobacco.


You see nothing of my allies, Scrope

Lord Maryborough, married, in March 1812, Catherine, daughter and heir of the late Sir James Tylney-Long. Bart.; upon which occasion he assumed the additional names of Tylney and Long. The lady terminated a most unhappy life in Sept. 1825.]

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