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to another friend, “of all that is exquisite in personal or poetical accomplishments.” During one of Moore's Irish trips he formed part of that famed theatrical society which figured on the Kilkenny boards; the male actors being amateurs, and the female ones mostly, if not all, professional, having at their head the “star" of the hour, the celebrated Miss O'Neil. Moore acted well, especially in comedy, as we have been informed by one who was fortunate enough to witness those remarkable performances about the year 1810. Among other parts, his personation of Mungo in the agreeable opera of The Padlock, was, it is said, eminently happy. Two sisters, both of them extremely attractive in person, as well as irreproachable in conduct, also formed a part of this “corps;” acting, singing, and ever and anon dancing, to the delight of the audience. With one of these Moore fell desperately in love, and being regarded favourably in return by Miss Elizabeth Dyke, he a few months later united himself with her in marriage, without, it would seem, acquainting his parents with his intention. The ceremony took place at St. Martin's church, in London, in March, 1811, and Mrs. Thomas Moore was introduced to her husband's London friends during the same spring. By these she was cordially received, although there was but one opinion among them as to the imprudence of the step in Moore's notoriously narrow circumstances. Not to lose his privilege of using Donington library, the young couple established themselves in a small cottage at Kegworth, within a few miles of the park, Moore working continually in the library for many months. But towards the end of 1812 all hopes of advancement through the favour of Lord Moira, after many an anxious ebb and flow, finally vanished. That nobleman, whose affairs had become irremediably embarrassed, came to a compromise, as one may say, with his political principles. Not liking to throw them overboard, by joining a government resolutely opposed to Catholic emancipation, he judged it nowise disreputable to him to accept at its hands the Governor-Generalship of India, which he endeavoured to persuade his friends to regard as more a military than a civil appointment. On learning Lord Moira's acceptance of this splendid post, both Moore and his friends appear to have cherished an expectation that his Lordship would propose to take Moore with him to India in some capacity or another, whereby his fortunes might be materially improved. One can hardly comprehend how “friends” such as Miss Godfrey and Lady Donegal, for instance, or, indeed, how Moore himself, could have failed to perceive that Lord Moira, the avowed intimate of the Regent, owing this appointment to the personal will and protection of his royal master, was utterly incapacitated from extending his patronage to the notorious satirist of that master. Without going so far as to ascribe to the Prince any interposition in the matter, the simple fact of Moore's having kept up a running fire of ridicule and amused the town with lampoons against the Regent, for many months previous, ought, we should have imagined, to have been amply sufficient to account for Lord Moira’s conduct.” And when we recall the peculiarly stinging and personal quality of those epigrammatic thrusts, we cannot but wonder at Lord John's mild manner of characterizing them, saying, in a note referring to the Twopenny Post-Bag, that “they are full of fun and humour, but without ill-nature!”f But whatever he felt, or his friends thought, about this constructive desertion on the part of Lord Moira, the truth was that Moore found himself thereby
* Life of Byron, vol. ii. p. 95.
* The following entry, under Dec. 19, 1825, throws some illustration upon Lord Moira's reasons for the course which he took on this occasion :-‘The night before last I received a letter from Crampton, enclosing one from Shaw (the Lord-Lieutenant's secretary), the purport of which was, that the Lord-Lieutenant meant to continue my father's half-pay in the shape of a pension to my sister. Resolved, of course, to decline this favour, but wrote a letter full of thankfulness to Crampton. Find since that this was done at Crampton's suggestion: that Lord Wellesley spoke of the difficulty there was in the way, from the feelings the King most naturally entertained towards me, and from himself being the personal friend of the King, but that, on further consideration, he saw he could do it without any reference to the other side of the Channel, and out of the pension-fund placed at his disposal as Lord-Lieutenant.” (Vol. v. p. 24.) + In the preface to Moore's ninth vol. of Works, &c., the author takes pains to disavow having been actuated by any malignant feeling against the Government of that day; and, indeed, seeks to excuse himself by saying he wrote these squibs as party missiles, without wishing any harm to their subjects; adding, that the late Lord Holland also regretted the acrimony with which the Whig party waged their warfare in 1812 and following years against the Prince, his government, and friends. We are inclined to credit Moore's assertion, that he himself was visited with something like self-reproach, twenty years later; whilst, that Lord Holland, whose generous soul was incapable of harbouring resentful emotions after the occasion was past, should have looked back upon former enmities and political conflicts with unaffected regret, is nowise surprising. But this admission made, we are bound to say that the poet, as well as the peer, were engaged in cordial combination for party ends, with the most violent of their political allies.
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completely cast adrift upon the waters, shipwrecked
ban for their pains. Moore himself felt at times pricks of conscience at writing lampoons which were to be paid for, but salved over the sore by reflecting (and with some justice too) that his “squibs” served to promote a good cause,_a “set-off” not always within the grasp of a professional newspaper scribe.
We find Mr. and Mrs. Moore in 1813 at another and more attractive little dwelling, called Mayfield, near Ashbourne, at which Mr. Rogers pays them a friendly visit. And now children begin to cluster about the poor poet's hearth, whilst his wife's health, being delicate and weak to a deplorable degree, gives him much uneasiness, as, in fact, it continued to do throughout the whole of his life. No topic, always excepting that of Lord Lansdowne (who is the “Protagonist” of the Diary), is half so often recurred to as the unhappiness which “Bessy’s” bad health occasions him.
Although intent upon his long-meditated task, Lalla Rookh, Moore contrived to support himself and his family by means of newspaper facetiae, humorous satires, “Melodies,” and songs (an opera was even composed), from 1811 to 1817. His connexion with Richard Power, the musical publisher in the Strand, was for years his main stay, and a “bill upon Power,” to be taken up or not (as the case might be) when due, by the efforts of his pen and fancy, was the regular issue out of every embarrassment (and they were not few) which occurred.
A letter written in 1812 furnishes a tolerably clear notion of the position in which Moore's affairs stood after the downfall of his prospects of advancement :—