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dedicated, by “permission”), pays a visit at Donington Park, is so much liked there that it is with difficulty he can get away; and, in short, finds himself completely launched upon the great world. Here are extracts from letters addressed to his mother early in 1801, at the age of two-and-twenty:—
“MY DEAREST MoTHER,-You may imagine I do not want society here, when I tell you that last night I had six invitations. Everything goes on swimmingly with me. I dined with the Bishop of Meath on Friday last, and went to a party at Mrs. Crewe's in the evening. My songs have taken such a rage : even surpassing what they did in Dublin. . . . . “There is not a night that I have not three parties on my string, but I take Hammersley's advice and send showers of apologies. The night before last, Lady Harrington sent her servant after me to two or three places, with a ticket for the ‘Ancient Music,’ which is the king's concert, and which is so select, that those who go to it ought to have been at court before. Lady H. got the ticket from one of the princesses, and the servant at last found me where I dined,” &c. &c. . . . . “Never was there any wight so idly busy as I am. Nothing but racketting; it is, indeed, too much, and I intend stealing at least a fortnight's seclusion, by leaving word at my door that I am gone into the country. I last night went to a little supper after the Opera, where the Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert were ; I was introduced to her. . . . . “I dine with Lord Moira to-morrow, and go in the evening with Iady Charlotte to an assembly at the Countess of Cork's. . . . . “I assure you I am six feet high to-day, after discharging my debt of 701, yesterday, and I have still some copies on my hand to dispose of for myself. The new edition will soon be out,” &c. . . . . “I was last night at a ball—everybody was there—two or three of the princes, the stadtholder, &c. &c. You may imagine the affability of the Prince of Wales, when his address to me was, ‘How do you do, Moore? I am glad to see you.' . . . . “I go on as usual; I am happy, eareless, comical,—everything I could wish : not very rich, nor yet quite poor; all I desire is that my dear ones at home may be as contented and easy in mind as I am.” . . . .
Such an extraordinary start into popularity and favour with the London world afforded the young poet of two-and-twenty a hopeful glance into a literary career, and he seems accordingly to have neglected the pursuit of “Grim Gribber” for the flowery paths of imaginative composition. In this mood he gladly avails himself of Lord Moira's kind hospitality, and spends three or four weeks alone at Donington, storing his mind by assiduous reading, for which a fine library supplied ample resources. Strange to say, during this studious seclusion, Moore appears to have had but slender longings after the excitement of the London Salons: and evidences are thickly strewn throughout the pages of his Diary that a taste for rational and even simple occupations was not wanting when his friends would permit him its exercise. Lord Moira was not long in procuring for his countryman, what was hailed by the latter as a piece of most gratifying good fortune, the appointment of Registrar of the Admiralty Court of Bermuda. In spite of the sneers with which this piece of preferment has been mentioned, as having been productive of more injury than benefit to the recipient, Moore himself never regarded it but with becoming gratitude towards his noble patron. He thus writes to his mother on learning the news of his appointment :— “September 12, 1803.
“MY DEAREST MOTHER,--I enclose you a note I received from Merry yesterday, by which you will perceive that everything is in train for my departure. Nothing could be more lucky. . . . .
“Heaven smiles upon my project, and I see nothing in it now but
hope and happiness. . . . . - * “If I did not make a shilling by it, the new character it gives to my pursuits, the claim it affords me upon Government, the absence I shall
* So Jeremy Bentham called the study of Law.
have from all the frippery follies that would hang on my career for ever in this country,<-all these are objects invaluable in themselves, abstracted from the pecuniary. . . . . “My dear father should write to Carpenter, and thank him for the very friendly assistance he has given me; without that assistance the breeze would be fair in vain for me,” &c. &c.
After a year's absence, chiefly at his post in the confessedly delicious island of Bermuda, but making besides an agreeable tour in the United States and in Canada, in his way to embark for England, Moore returned, to the undisguised joy of all his friends. He was allowed to appoint a deputy in his place at Bermuda, and began to turn his mind to bookmaking as a means of earning money. On Mr. Pitt's death a new political combination seemed to promise some advantage to Moore, and in fact, Lord Moira did obtain the comfortable berth of barrack-master in Dublin for the father, pending some suitable promotion in favour of the son. The latter, on the qui vive of expectation, writes to his friend Miss Godfrey (July, 1806), “Lord Moira has told me that the commissionership intended for me is to be in Ireland, and that if there are any such appointments, I am to have one of them. Such are my plans, and such are my hopes. I wait but for the arrival of the Edinburgh Review, and then ‘a long farewell to all my greatness.' London shall never see me act the farce of gentlemanship in it any more,” &c. &c. The Edinburgh Review arrives, and contains, to Moore's infinite mortification, a somewhat contemptuous notice of his new production (Odes and Epistles). Hence the well-known duel with Jeffrey; or, rather, the prelude to one, for the belligerent parties
were interrupted by peace officers. And at this point of Moore's history there enters upon the scene one whoseconstant kindness, whose undeviating attachment, friendly counsel and assistance, must be counted among the most precious possessions of the poet throughout his life. We allude to Mr. Rogers, who stepped in to offer bail for Moore's appearance if called upon. However, the less that is added about this silly affair the better. The would-be combatants became firm friends within a year or two, and when Moore's unfortunate affair of the Bermuda defalcation fell out (in 1818), Jeffrey was among the first to tender his contribution in aid. We gather from the Letters that Moore spent great part of the years 1807-8 at Donington Park, by permission of its usually absent lord, amusing himself, and working at the same time, on Lordknows-what literary projects. “I read” (he says to Miss Godfrey in a letter dated March, 1807) “much more than I write, and think much more than either.” Again, to his mother (April in this year):— “The time flies over me as swift as if I was in the midst of dissipation, which is a tolerable proof that I am armed for either field, for folly or for thought. The family do not talk of coming till June, and if that be the case, I shall not budge.” But few letters are to be found relating to th period from 1807 to 1811 inclusive, which Moore
seems to have distributed between Donington Park,
Dublin, and lodgings in London. We learn, however, by looking into his Notices of the Life of Lord Byron, that it was in the autumn of the year 1811 that he formed the acquaintance of that distinguished genius. It arose out of a little epistolary skirmish between them about a supposed imputation upon Moore's veracity, which ended by an offer from the noble poet (having meanwhile “explained” it to the satisfaction of his correspondent) to meet him on amicable terms. It was at the dinner-table of Mr. Rogers that Byron and Moore first came together; the fourth member of the party being Thomas Campbell, who (as was, indeed, the case with Mr. Rogers himself) also enjoyed Lord Byron's company on that day for the first time. This memorable introduction between Moore and Byron resulted in an intimacy and an attachment on both sides, which never lost its charm to the latest moment of Byron's existence. The rapidity with which their mutual friendship grew up was somewhat extraordinary, as Moore himself admits. But it is not so surprising when we recall the captivations of Moore's society on the one side, and the admiration which Byron excited in the breast of “Anacreon” on the other; opportunities of meeting, too, were furnished in abundance, since they frequented the same circles, and were at this period both plunged in dissipation and folly; that is to say, in 1812, and again in the London season of 1813, wherein Lord Byron's fame first rose to its full height (on the appearance of Childe Harold), and the London World pursued him with the most extravagant homage and adulation. Moore's Life of Byron tells us, indeed, more of himself at this stage of his history than is revealed by the present publication, whilst Lord Byron's fondness for his friend's company is thus attested: “Moore, the epitome,” writes Byron