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request, obtained for him in 1803 the appointment to a Government post in Bermuda, whither he went, arriving there in January, 1804, and whence he returned very soon, finding the post uncongenial and the climate unhealthy, and having committed his duties to a deputy. This subordinate embezzled large sums of the Government moneys, for which Moore was responsible. The defalcations, amounting to about £6,000, were brought to light in 1818, and Lord Lansdowne, his friend, paid the amount, and Moore repaid it from the proceeds of his literary labours. Soon after his return to England, in 1806, he published his 'Odes and Epistles.' These were so severely criticised in the Edinburgh Review--he was called a licentious versifier' and 'poetical propagator of immorality—that he challenged Jeffrey. The celebrated Chalk Farm duel was arranged, the police interfered, the 'bloodless pistol' was discovered, and—a comedy in real life-the combatants embraced and became friends. The incident was ridiculed by Byron, whom, therefore, Moore challenged with bloodthirsty pugnacity, hardly in keeping with his character; the result of the second. challenge, though by different means, was also lifelong friendship between the two. In 1807 the 'Irish Melodies' were projected. In 1811 he married Bessie Dykes, a young Irish actress, by whom he had three children, all of whom died in his lifetime. In 1813 he wrote the 'Twopenny Post Bag,' which ran through fourteen editions in one year. The ambition to emulate his contemporary poets, to produce a poem, and not to rely for fame on short fugitive pieces, love-lyrics and political squibs, now possessed him, and in 1817 'Lalla Rookh' appeared. Longman paid 3,000 guineas for it; the whole country joined in a chorus, a very tumult of applause.
Moore was the most popular man of the time. The world of fashion had cast off their former idol, Byron, and with exaggerated praise and superlative demonstration taken Moore to their hearts. In 1818 'The Fudge Family' appeared. In this year also he visited Ireland, and was hailed with great enthusiasm as the National Bard. He subsequently wrote 'The Loves of the Angels,'The Epicurean,' biographies of Byron, Sheridan, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a History of Ireland,' and other works. In 1819 he made a continental tour with Lord John Russell, who afterwards wrote his 'Life and Memoirs,' and who conferred (in 1835) a pension of £300 a year upon him. In 1832 he was solicited to stand for the Parliamentary representation of Limerick, as an O'Connellite, but declined. He died on the 25th January, 1852, having for three years previously been, like his contemporaries Scott and Southey, almost an imbecile by reason of softening of the brain; and the brilliant triumphs of a life of glory are darkened by this closing scene of sad infirmity. He was buried in Bromham Churchyard, near Sloperton Cottage, where he lived; there also on 4th September, 1865, his wife was laid beside him, and to their memory a beautiful window is in the church.
Moore's versatility and his superiority in some, and his proficiency in the majority, of his literary undertakings have gained for him a high place not only in Irish, but in English literature. He was a translator, a musician, a song-writer, a poet, a satirist, a biographer, an historian, a prose story-teller. His prose story is languid and vague; his 'History of Ireland' is not now read. Of his biographies, that of Byron will always be of interest, not because of the biographer's art, but because of the
subject and the extracts from his letters and journals. Of another of his biographies the Prince Regent said that he had been guilty of a criminal offence in attempting the life of Sheridan. As regards his love-poems, their merits and demerits are alike great and striking. Perfect rhythm, unexcelled harmony, happiness of phrase, fidelity of description, felicity of epigram, are adorned with a luxuriance that overpowers, a languor and perfumery that is meritricious and artificial, an intensity that is strained, a feeling that is unreal, a gorgeousness that is tiresome and monotonous. Tenderness and sprightly fancy, picturesqueness and vivacity, exquisite finish and delicious gracefulness, lcse much of their beauty and power to charm because of the ever-present conviction that all is artificial and unreal-tinselled and spangled and bright only with a lime-light glare which soon dazzles and wearies. In his 'Translations,' the simplicity of the original is concealed or distorted by the clothings and embellishments of the copyist.
It is as a satirist and song-writer Moore will be best remembered. "The Fudge Family in Paris,' as a social and political sketch, is unsurpassed for humour, irony, and brilliancy. But as an Irish national song-writer, Moore's immortality is, as we have said, certain and secure. Though he is far and away inferior in robust feeling, healthy intensity, and vigorous and profound sensibility to Burns, he approaches nearly to Béranger. Though in the 'Melodies' the loftiness and dignity is sometimes sacrificed to a conceit or a stroke of wit, on the whole they are irreproachable and of the highest excellence. The melody is exquisite and faultless, the language clear and vigorous, tender and even majestic, the pathos is natural and true, the patriotism is purified.
'They are worth all the epics that ever were written, says Byron. To these songs his country is partially indebted for the early granting of Catholic Emancipation. The whole English-speaking world will for ever lie under an obligation to this son of the Aungier Street grocer for the sweetest and most singable lyrics in our literature. They were prompted by an enlightened and liberal patriotism, and of them and of him Shelley well said that he was the sweetest lyric of Ierne's saddest song, and 'Love taught Grief to fall like music from his tongue.'
He was, as a husband and a son, irreproachable and estimable. He allowed his parents £100 a year when he was poor himself, and "never omitted to write twice a week to his mother." His wife idolised him, as he idolised her, but even her loving solace could not relieve the bitterness occasioned by the loss of all his children in his lifetime.
With many whose biographies are here briefly recorded -Sheridan, Curran, and others-the closing scenes of their lives are a strong and sad contrast to the brilliancy and triumphs of their literary and social careers. Moore is no exception. Though he did not, like Swift, expire 'a driveller and a show,' his life-light perished in pitiable. imbecility. Nothing can be sadder than that picture of him weeping over one of his own melodies, which hearing, he did not recognise. It was an altogether mournful and dismal termination to the darling of society, who in his heyday fascinated and enraptured that world of fashion which he so 'dearly loved.'
GERALD GRIFFIN is another on the roll of Irish literature who was of lowly origin, who wrote his name plainly
amongst the famous, and who died before his prime. The man who at twenty-two years of age wrote 'Gisippus,' and at twenty three wrote "The Collegians,' 'the most perfect Irish novel,' was no common person. What he might have been under other circumstances and other conditions is one of those problems which inevitably suggests itself in the perusal of his life. He did great things in a short, laborious, distracted life. He should have done the greatest had he lived on to the threescore years and ten, and had he passed his days in calmness, affluence, and contentment. As it was, his life was marked into successive stages of hope and disappointment, penury and feverish drudgery, success with its attendant praises, and desponding morbid religious
He was born at Limerick on 10th December, 1803, the ninth son of a county Limerick farmer, who afterwards tried brewing as a trade; was intended for the medical profession, but preferred to spend his time in dreaming and poetising. At an early age he wrote a drama, afterwards in later years, perhaps wisely, destroyed by him, and his 'first appearance in public' was in the columns of a local newspaper. His ambition was cabined and cribbed in 'sweet Adare,' where he lived with his uncle after the removal of his parents to Pennsylvania; and before he was twenty years old he betook himself to London with his boyish tragedy in his pocket and his heart full of high hopes. His tragedy was not accepted, and he found it a struggle to eke out his daily bread as a newspaper hack. He toiled on in distress the greatest; 'without food for three days' was not a solitary episode in his life. He wrote poems for the magazines and articles for The Fashion News, and completed 'Gi