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pursued. It has been objected, that at the time
th: Will oft
MSS. in his hands as a security, till I am able to pay it . . . . . I know I shall feel the happier when rid of the bargain.”
steady eye which he kept upon every transaction
to the delight of our fellow men are seldom brought forward by any inducements except those of profit; nor, in fact, will their possessors be persuaded to go through the severe probation needed in order to shine in any sphere of art, if blessed with fortune and the means of living at ease.
The following extracts will afford a sample of the familiar conversation of Bowood, where Moore was now continually a guest:—
“1824. Oct. 23rd. Dined at Bowood: company, Grosetts and Clutterbucks, Mrs. Clutterbuck looking very pretty. Clutterbuck's story of the old lady (his aunt) excellent. Being very nervous, she told Sir W. Farquhar she thought Bath would do her good. ‘It’s very odd,’ says Sir W., “but that's the very thing I was going to recommend to you. I will write the particulars of your case to a very clever man there, in whose hands you will be well taken care of.” The lady, furnished with the letter, sets off, and on arriving at Newbury, feeling, as usual, very nervous, she said to her confidant, “Long as Sir Walter has attended me, he has never explained to me what ails me. I have a great mind to open his letter and see what he has stated of my case to the Bath physician.” In vain her friend represented to her the breach of confidence this would be. She opened the letter, and read, ‘Dear Davis, keep the old lady three weeks, and send her back again.”
“1825. Jan. 3rd. Walked over to Bowood: company, Mackintosh and his daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Smith and Lewson Smith. e - © e. e. A good deal of conversation about Burke in the evening. Mentioned his address to the British colonists in North America. “Armed as you are, we embrace you as our friends and as our brothers, by the best and dearest ties of relation.” The tone of the other parts, however, is, I find, moderate enough. Burke was of opinion that Hume, if he had been alive, would have taken the side of the French Revolution. Dugald Stewart thinks the same. The grand part of Burke's life was between 1772 and the end of the American war; afterwards presumed upon his fame and let his imagination run away with him. Lord Charlemont said that Burke was a Whig upon Tory principles. Fox said it was lucky that Burke and Windham took the side against the French Revolution, as they would have got hanged on the other. Windham's speech on Curwen's motion for Reform—an ingenious defence of parliamentary corruption—like the pleading of a sophist. Burke gave the substance of the India Bill, and Pigot drew it up.”
“1833. Feb. 6th. An excellent mot of somebody to Fontenelle, on the latter saying that he flattered himself he had a good heart, ‘Yes, my dear Fontenelle, you have as good a heart as can be made out of brains.”
“In talking with Hallam afterwards, I put it to him why it was that this short way of expressing truths did not do with the world, often as it had been tried, even Rochefoucauld being kept alive chiefly by his ill-nature P There was in this one saying to Fontenelle all that I myself had expended many pages on in my Life of Byron, endeavouring to bring it out clearly; namely, the great difference there is between that sort of sensibility which is lighted up in the heads and imagination of men of genius, and the genuine natural sensibility whose seat is in the heart. Even now in thus explaining my meaning, how many superfluous words have I made use of P Talking of the Brahmins being such good chess-players (nobody, it seems, can stand before them at the game), Mrs. Hastings' naïveté was mentioned, in saying, “Well, people talk a good deal about the Brahmins playing well, but I assure you Mr. Hastings, who is very fond of chess, constantly plays those who come to the Government House, and always beats them.’”
For three editions of the Epicurean (which first came out in 1827), Messrs. Longman, we find, credited the author 700l. In 1828 Mr. Murray finally concludes a bargain with him to write a Life of Lord Byron, for which he is to receive 4000 guineas. Moore begins this in February, after having paid a visit to Newstead Abbey, and to Colwich, the residence of Mrs. Musters (formerly Miss Chaworth), with whom he conversed respecting Byron, as he has related in the Life. The usual gaddings, excursions, and pleasure-hunting characterise these years, the record of which is, however, interspersed with amusing notes of conversations, held chiefly at Holland House and Bowood; often valuable, though brief, from the light they shed upon transactions regarding which public channels of information have been of necessity imperfect ones. Many little touches reveal the state of political parties, too, in a way no out-of-doors organ could possibly do. The ill-assorted combinations of 1826-27-28, which succeeded on the break-up of Tory ascendancy, are curiously commented upon; and some good stories also find a place in the Diary. The sixth volume opens with 1829, and the death of his amiable daughter Anastasia, which plunged both her fond parents into deep affliction. The notices of the Life of Byron came out in the following year, after which Moore set to work to collect materials for that of Lord Edward Fitzgerald; in fact, he seems to have been more than commonly industrious about this time. He and his wife made a journey to Ireland in August, mainly on this errand, but also to visit Moore's mother once more. At a great meeting of from two to three thousand people, Moore being induced to make a speech on the subject of the late French Revolution of “the three days” (Bessy present among the auditors), it proved one of the happiest efforts in oratory that he ever essayed. “From this on to the end my display was most successful, and the consciousness that every word told on my auditory, reacted upon me with a degree of excitement which made me feel capable of anything. The shouts, the applause, the waving of hats, &c., after I had finished, lasted for some minutes. I heard Sheil, too, as I concluded, Say, with much warmth, “he is a most beautiful speaker!’” (Wol. vi. p. 140.) The enthusiasm felt for Moore by his countrymen is, indeed, universal, and proclaimed; and many of his admirers endeavoured to persuade him to try for a seat in Parliament for some Irish constituency. This temptation, which is renewed after his return to Sloperton, he steadily resists (although his inclination would have strongly urged him to accept the offer), on the ground of his utter want of fortune.