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deur-what elegance-what grace and completeness in the effect! The whole is beautiful-because the beauty is in the whole ; but there is little merit in any of the parts, except that of fitness and careful finishing. Contrast this, now, with a Dutch or a Chinese pleasure house-where every part is meant to be beautiful, and the result is deformity,--where there is not an inch of the surface that is not brilliant with colour, and rough with curves and angles,—and where the effect of the whole is monstrous and offensive. We are as far as possible from meaning to insinuate that Mr. Moore's poetry is of this description ; on the contrary, we think his ornaments are, for the most part, truly and exquisitely beautiful; and the general design of his pieces very elegant and ingenious: all that we mean to say is, that there is too much ornament—too many insulated and independent beauties--and that the notice, and the very admiration they excite, hurt the interest of the general design ; and not only withdraw our attention too importunately from it, but at last weary it out with their perpetual recurrence.

“Mr. Moore, it appears to us, is decidedly too lavish of his gems and sweets ;-he labours under a plethora of wit and imagination-impairs his credit by the palpable exuberance of his possessions, and would be richer with half his wealth. His works are not only of rich materials and graceful design, but they are every where glistening with small beauties and transitory inspirations—sudden flashes of fancy, that blaze out and perish; like earthborn meteors, that crackle in the lower sky, and unseasonably divert our eyes from the great and lofty bodies which pursue their harmonious courses in a serener region.

“ But though its faults are certainly of the kind we have been endeavouring to describe, it would be quite unjust to characterise it by its faults, which are beyond all doubt less conspicuous than its beauties. There is not only a richness and brilliancy of diction and imagery spread over the whole work,'that indicate the greatest activity and elegance of fancy in the author but it is every where pervaded still more strikingly with a strain of tender and noble feeling, poured out with such warmth and abundance, as to steal insensibly on the heart of the reader, and gradually to overflow it with a tide of sympathetic emotion. There are passages indeed, and these neither few nor brief, over which the very genius of poetry seems to have breathed his richest enchantment—where the melody of the verse and the beauty of the images conspire so harmoniously with the force and tenderness of the emotion, that the whole is blended into one deep and bright| stream of sweetness and feeling, along which the spirit of the reader is borne passively away, through long reaches of delight. "Mr. Moore's poetry, indeed, where his happiest vein is opened, realizes more exactly than that of any other writer, the splendid account which is given by Comus of the song of

• His mother Circe, and the Sirens three,
Amid the flowery-kirtled Naïades,
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul,

And lap it in Elysium.''
In the year following the appearance of this extraordinary poem,
Mr. Moore visited Ireland, and had there a most gratifying opportunity of
witnessing the pride which his genius had inspired in his admiring country.

A dinner was given in honour of him in Dublin, which was attended by all the most distinguished Irishmen in the vicinity, who seemed to emulate each other in testifying the high estimation in which they held their great national poet.

men.

His works now succeeded one another in rapid succession.

In 1823 appeared his well-known poem, the “ Loves of the Angels.” It is somewhat singular, that the subject on which this book is written, strange and intractable as it may appear, was chosen almost at the same time by Lord Byron, as the basis of his drama, entitled, “ Heaven and Earth.” To this fact Mr. Moore refers in his preface, though with very unreasonable modesty, in the following words “Some months since, I found that my friend Lord Byron had, by an accidental coincidence, chosen the same subject for a drama; and, as I could not but feel the disadvantage of coming after so formidable a rival, I thought it best to publish my humble sketch immediately, with such alterations and additions as I had time to make; and thus, by an earlier appearance in the literary horizon, give myself the chance of what astronomers call an heliacal rising, before the luminary, in whose light I was to be lost, should appear.”

The “Epicurean,” though written in prose, was scarcely less imaginative and equally characteristic of its author. From this period, however, his works assumed a somewhat different aspect.

His Memoirs of Captain Rock' was, in fact a history of Ireland, and very palpably exhibited the political notions and sentiments of the author. In the title to this work, he has merely borrowed the name of the celebrated Irish chieftain, to personify that spirit of violence and insurrection which is necessarily generated by systematic oppression, and which rudely avenges its inflictions.

One fault, however, was observed, with general displeasure, throughout its pages, which seems, from many instances, almost distinctive of the nation to which Mr. Moore belongs. This was, the inconsistency between the serious character of the subject, and the airy and volatile manner in which it was treated.

His “Life of Sheridan ” appeared in 1825; and, as it exhibited its author in a new character, so it greatly enhanced his reputation. It contains a most comprehensive and admirable history of the times in which its subject flourished; it delineates the character of Sheridan with equal fidelity and delicacy; and, above all, is but little chargeable with that epidemic fault of biographers, the perpetuation of all the vicious excesses of their subjects, under pretence of discharging their own consciences, and preserving their character for historical accuracy. With these merits, however, it will never be considered as an unexceptionable model of biography. Its style is what might have been expected from the author of “Lalla Rookh;” and, while it exhibits all the liveliness and feeling of Mr. Moore's former productions, it is overloaded with metaphor, and is in general unsuited to the relation of facts.

Mr. Moore's intimacy with Lord Byron is unquestionably one of the most interesting features in his history. It appears to have commenced in a challenge, though it was prosecuted, till the death of his Lordship, with a degree of warmth which would scarcely have been augured from so inauspicious a commencement. Lord Byron appears to have accurately estimated the many excellencies which adorned the character of his friend; and his letters to him, published in Moore's “Memoirs of Byron,” no less than the poems which he addressed to him, sufficiently indicate the ardour of his Lordship's regard for him.

Much was said, prior to the publication of the “ Memoirs of Lord Byron,” respecting certain auto-biographical papers which his Lordship was known to have presented to Mr. Moore, and for which the latter had, with Lord Byron's consent, received two thousand guineas from Murray, but which were not forthcoming after the death of the writer.

These memoirs are, as is well known, lost to the world : and though this fact cannot be very fully accounted for, still it is proper to give the only explanation which can be given, in Mr. Moore's words :—“ Without entering,” says he, “ into the respective claims of Mr. Murray and myself to the property in these memoirs—a question which, now that they are destroyed, can be but of little moment to any one--it is sufficient to say, that, believing the manuscript still to be mine, I placed it at the disposal of Lord Byron's sister, Mrs. Leigh, with the sole reservation of a protest against its total destruction, at least without previous perusal and consultation among the parties. The majority of the persons present disagreed with this opinion, and it was the only point on which there did exist any difference of opinion between us. The manuscript was accordingly torn and burnt before our eyes; and I immediately paid to Mr. Murray, in the presence of the gentlemen assembled, two thousand guineas, with interest, &c., being the amount of what I owed him upon the security of my bond, and for which I now stand indebted to my publishers, Messrs. Longman, and Company. “ Since

en, the family of Lord Byron have, in a manner highly honourable to themselves, proposed an arrangement, by which the sum thus paid to Mr. Murray might be reimbursed to me; but, from feelings and considerations which it is unnecessary here to explain, I have respectfully but peremptorily declined their offer.”

Mr. Moore's “Life of Lord Byron" appeared in 1830, and entirely fulfilled the large expectations which had been formed of it. It is unquestionably one of the most fascinating works which have been given to the public for many years. With that modesty and good feeling which have characterized the literary life of the author, he has, as far as possible, suffered his noble friend to be his own biographer, introducing as much of his Lordship's correspondence, journal, &c. as were calculated to elucidate his opinions, character, and habits. In doing so, he has exhibited his subject in a new and most advantageous light. Most of Lord Byron's admirers had considered him only as a poet, and had limited their admiration to this single development of his genius. They are, however, apprized by Mr. Moore's pages, that, as a master of the epistolary style of composition, he is as far superior to most of his contemporaries, as he was in those distinctions on which his fame had formerly rested, and on which it still must ultimately depend. His letters combine the graceful and spontaneous flow of Cowper, with an energy and a pungency characteristic of scarcely any but himself.

Since this period, Mr. Moore has given to the world two works, entitled, “ The Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,” and “ An Irishman in Search of a Religion.” These works have been variously received, according to the political and religious views of readers ; though all seem to concur in placing them far below the merits of his former productions.

Mr. Moore married a Miss Dyke, by whom he has had several children; and the superintendence of their education, no less than his literary pursuits, has led him to preserve that domestic retirement in which he has spent the later years of his life.

We may add, that he is the author of those exceedingly happy and elegant political jeux d'esprit which have for a few years appeared, from time to time, in the Times newspaper; and when we consider his age, and the vigour of his mind at the present time, we can have no doubt that a future biographer will have many additions to make to Mr. Moore's literary life; among which, it is understood that the production of a History of Ireland will be one.

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Nothing,” says Dr. Johnson, " is too little for so little a creature as man;" and to one who contemplates the brief duration of human life, the vanity of human pursuits, and the mutability and want of character which mark our common nature, the very term greatness would seem altogether inappropriate to the species. One would be disposed to believe, after a serious survey of mankind, present and past, that this and other terms of similar import, together with the ideas they express, were derived alone from the stupendous appearances of the material world, the revolutions of times and seasons, the remains of deceased generations, or the partially revealed attributes of superior beings ;that they were thus derived, and secondarily applied to whatever is human, not without great violation of their primary meaning. Yet, after all, this is only one of the aspects in which the many-sided object, human nature, presents itself. If we turn, for example, from its present condition to its future destiny, our impressions of our own dignity will be greatly heightened. And even if we confine our view to the present character of some individual minds, we may find that which justifies the application of so imposing an epithet. What then are these features of character? What is that wbich can countervail the depressing causes, and overshadow with its majesty the vanities and petty liabilities of our present condition? These questions it is the object of the following remarks to resolve.

The first consideration that naturally suggests itself to the mind upon this subject is, the great variety of opinions entertained respecting it, most of which a little examination is sufficient to falsify. In noticing these sentiments we may remark in general, that all are incorrect, which place true greatness in any thing extrinsic to the individual. This may, indeed, seem too obvious to be insisted on; and so it would be, did not the conduct of mankind prove that, however they might hesitate to avow it, this is a prevalent feeling among them. It may, perhaps, scarcely be necessary to mention physical strength, as one of the adventitious endowments which has, in many instances, received the honour due to very different qualifications. This sentiment is chiefly perceptible in the lowest and almost brutalized tribes of mankind. It would seem to belong peculiarly to that early condition of society in which brute force rather than political sagacity is the means of extending territory and consolidating empire. Among the civilized and the intellectual, the feeling is only seen in the general wish for a healthy and effective population ; and consequently is well nigh extinct in our age and country, except in the case of a few half-civilized, mad-cap boors, who make this feeling (in itself an evidence only of harmless stupidity,) the apology for their savage taste for pugilism. What a satire upon modern institutions, that some of these partially tamed beasts should occupy the benches of our highest legislative assembly. A far more extended error, however, possesses the minds of men, which is in some degree analogous to that which we have noticed. We refer to that by which greatness is attributed, in feeling and external homage, at least, to the accidental distinction of wealth. As the former erroneous notion is peculiar to the infancy of society, so this belongs more especially to a more advanced and cultivated æra. We are far from denouncing this notion as radically absurd and indefensible ; nor as entirely destitute of advantages in the social system. Whatever, indeed, fosters respect without engendering servility, and invites patronage without incit. ing to haughtiness and oppression, must be considered as a valuable cement, uniting the minuter portions of the social fabric. But we should here carefully distinguish between a respectful recognition of superior station, or homage to that enlarged beneficence for which wealth alone affords the occasion, and the more theoretic notion which we are now exposing, namely, that any superiority necessarily attaches to the individual, in consequence of the possession of wealth ; much more, that it can confer any thing deserving the name of true greatness.

Nor, we may remark again, is there more of rationality in associating true greatness with the distinctions of rank. This is a point on which far more numerous and serious mistakes are incurred. The distinctions of rank, doubtless originated, in a great measure, in the degrees of martial courage, and other species of individual merit. They received further confirmation, and a more imposing character, from the fantastic but gorgeous institutions of chivalry, and thus have come, by long prescription, to exercise a powerful influence on the popular mind. It is not surprising that unthinking minds should regard the quiet and regular transmission of wealth and titles, and all those means of happiness for which others undergo a life of toil, to certain individuals, by virtue of their birth, and without any effort on their part, as indicating some nécessary superiority in the privileged class. Their invariable exemption from that labour for their bread, and for honourable distinction, which is the general lot of the species, seems like a by-law of nature in their favour; and, when regarded as simply dependent on their blood, may be mistaken for a mark of radical superiority. Such has, in many countries and times, been the popular sentiment, and in our own days there can be no doubt that it is in some degree maintained by the hereditary right of legislation. To see its fallacy in a strong light, we have only to remember that the only real possession to which this class rightfully succeed is their wealth ; to which, as conferring any character of greatness, we

eve referred above; on the other hand, the titles of rank are merely nominal, and might, with as much natural fitness be appropriated by the worshipful company of barbers; and the hereditary succession to stations of political influence is a very doubtful advantage, as it seems, alas ! too frequently to make ignorance conspicuous, to polish dulness, and to place the weapons of mischief in the hands of imbecility. A cursory comparison of the existing aristocracy of our own land with that of the past generation, will convince uś that among the possessions to which they have succeeded, the talents and virtues, no less than the mediocrity and vice of the parents, formed no part of the entail. The dissolute fop of the present day lounges into the honoured seat of his noble and learned father, and beside him sits the grey-headed warrior, whose father never dreamed of law-giving, but whose scarred breast wears the opima spolia of the civilized world, å galaxy of honours, in which each emulous nation and monarch of Europe has done itself the honour to plant a glittering memento.

It is manifest, then, that the accident of birth is not the principle on which the hereditary succession to the second estate of the realm is founded ; and from the same considerations it must be manifest that nothing deserving the name of greatness, any more than of official capacity, is necessarily connected with rank. Nor, further, does the exercise of office, however important, necessarily involve true greatness. To take the extreme case (which, by the way, is the best mean of testing a general principle,) the kingly office has been vulgarly regarded as necessarily connected with greatness. . The majority of mankind are not apt at making nice distinctions. Thus, their very rational homage to the kingly office is easily transferred to the person of the monarch, and deifies the object of their undiscriminating loyalty. It is, indeed, a magnificent moral spectacle to see a monarch whose personal greatness overfills the capacities of the office: and the pleasure we feel in bowing to the mingled majesty of such a person and such functions, results from some of the best and purest feelings of our nature. But it is no less true that we never make a more humiliating surrender of our rationality than when we invest, with all the attributes of greatness and excellence, a man who, should he be stripped of those trappings, which would fit millions of backs in the empire beside his own, and should his sign-manual cease to be the inevitable messenger of death, would probably be the tame butt of village wits, and, perhaps, would not be trusted for a penny at the chandler's shop.

Hitherto we have attempted to shew that true greatness cannot consist in any thing extrinsic to the individual. But these are not the only limitations which it is necessary to make. There are some imposing qualities belonging essentially to the individual, between which and true greatness it is important to distinguish. As an example of

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