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But I would not grudge them ten times But if life was gone -within an inchas much,
What would bring it back like a jug of As long as I had a jug of punch.
punch. Too ra loo, &c.
Too ra loo, &c. Then the mortal gods drink their necthar But when I am dead and in my grave, wine,
No costly tomb-stone will I crave; And they tell me claret is very fine ; But I'll dig a grave both wide and deep, But I'd give them all, just in a bunch, With a jug of punch at my head and feet. For one jolly pull at a jug of punch. Too ra loo, too ra loo, too ra loo !
Too ra loo, &c. A jug of punch, a jug of punch!
Oh! more power to your elbow, my Jug The docthor fails with all his art,
of Punch, To cure an impression on the heart;
So our task ends—may each reader say to us, in the words of Erasmus, YOU DESERVE TO DRINK OUT OF A CUP SET WITH JEWELS."*
ART. V.--THE PEER AND THE POET.
Memoirs, Journal, and Correspondence of Thomas Moore.
Edited by the Right Hon. Lord John Russell, M.P. Vols. I. and IŤ. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Long
THIRTY-THREE years have passed since Thomas Moore and Lord John Russell journeyed together from London to Milan. The Poet was flushed with the success of Lalla Rookh ; the Longmans had paid him a noble price for the work; the claims against him, arising from the defalcation of his deputy at Bermuda, had not yet embittered his life; he was free, happy, joyous, and revelling in the sun shine of the world and of happiness. Lord John Russell was then a young man, just entering into life, but ignorant of those qualities which have since made him the chief of a great party, a leader of the House of Commons, and have raised him to the highest offices in the State :-he informed the Poet that he contemplated retiring from the struggle of politics, with the intention of devoting himself to other, and more congenial pursuits. Moore's quick perception enabling him to see that this expressed intention was only one of those passing fancies, which occasionally over-cloud the most brilliant and the most active intellects, he addressed, to his noble fellow-traveller, the following lines :
* We have omitted some songs by Curran, Lysaght, and Maginn, as they are well known. See, however, one excellent song on Whisky, from the glorious pen of Maginn, in IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. II, p. 607.
After a Conversation with Lord John Russell, in which he had intimated some Idea
of giving up all Political Pursuits. WHAT! thou, with thy genius, thy youth, | Yet bold and heroic as ever yet rose and thy name
To the top cliffs of Fortune, and breasted Thou, born of a Russell-whose instinct her storm ;
to run The accustom'd career of thy sires, is the With an ardour for liberty, fresh as, in
youth, As the eaglet's, to soar with his eyes on It first kindles the bard and gives life to the sun!
Yet mellow'd, ev'n now, by that mildness Whose nobility comes to thee, stamp'd of truth with a seal,
Which tempers, but chills not, the paFar, far more ennobling than monarch
triot fire ; e'er set; With the blood of thy race, offer'd up for With an eloquence-not like those rills the weal
fr a height, Of a nation, that swears by that mar- Which sparkle, and foam, and in vapour tyrdom yet!
are o'er ;
But a current, that works out its way into Shalt thou be faint-hearted and turn from light the strife,
Through the filtering recesses of thought From the mighty arena, where all that and of lore.
is grand, And devoted, and pure, and adorning in Thus gifted, thou never can'st sleep in the life,
shade; 'Tis for high-thoughted spirits like thine If the stirrings of Genius, the music of to command ?
And the charms of thy cause have not Oh no, never dream it-while good men power to persuade, despair
Yet think how to Freedom thou'rt Between tyrants and traitors, and timid pledg'd by thy Name.
men bow, Never think, for an instant, thy country Like the boughs of that laurel, by Delphi's can spare
decree, Such a light from her darkening horizon Set apart for the Fane and its service as thou.
So the branches, that spring from the old With a spirit, as meek as the gentlest of Russell tree, those
Are by Liberty claim'd for the use of her Who in life's sunny valley lie shelter'd Shrine.
and warm ; These lines may, or may not, have induced Lord John Russell to reconsider his determination; that he did reconsider it, all the world knows; but the "Remonstrance” is more than sufficiently soul-stirring, to affect one much less attached to his family fame than he to whom it was addressed. He feels grateful to the Poet; and we now find him, the orator, the statesman, the historian, and bearing one of the proudest names in the annals of the Nation, turning aside, from the stormy world of politics, to become the biographer of his dead friend.
We feel pleasure at meeting Lord John Russell in this character. It tells well for the advancement of literature in these kingdoms, and proves that authorship is now in a more suitable position, than in the days when great Edmund Spenser wrote in Southampton's ante-chamber, or than at the period
when Colley Cibber felt delight at being admitted to White's, even though looked upon as something between an amusing mountebank and an impudent intruder. This biography shows too, that Moore judged incorrectly, when he wrote, in his Life of Sheridan : “Talents in literature or science, unassisted by the advantages of birth, may lead to association with the great, but rarely to equality ;-it is a passport through the wellguarded frontier, but no title to naturalisation within." We here find the noble editor expressing his pride in the fact, that the Poet was his old, and firm, and valued friend.-Great power of genius that has broken down the icy barrier of exclusiveness and conventionality-great power of genius that compels royalty to invite Landseer to grace its table-great power of genius that drives a Queen to visit the quiet home of Tennyson-great power of genius, that in the work before us, makes the most distinguished scion of the proud house of Bedford the biographer and editor of the son of a poor Aungier-street grocer! As we read the short, but hearty, introduction prefixed to these volumes by the editor, we recall the lines addressed by Thomas Churchyard to his patron, Sir Walter Raleigh :
“ Where friendship finds good ground to grow upon,
It takes sound root, and spreads his branches out, Brings forth fair fruit, though spring be past and gone,
And bloometh, where no other grain will sprout :
His leaves are fresh, and green as is the grass ;
His goodly bark shines bright, like gold or brass :
“ Himself,” after expatiating, in his usual able manner, upon the peculiar advantages to be derived from the self-examination which autobiographical composition, when honestly pursued, renders necessary, divides this species composition into that written in youth, for amusement and instruction in age, and that composed in age, from the retrospect of past-by years. We consider that the work before us cannot be classed under either of these denominations, but belongs distinctly to both.
There is a charm about biography, about literary biography in particular, which is immediately felt and acknowledged, but
autobiography is still more attractive, being the record of the heart, the feelings, and the actions of him who is the subject of his own pen.
Great old Samuel Johnson said, that if any mau were to note down the facts of his daily existence, the diary should prove interesting, and for our parts we believe, most firmly, that he was right; we even consider that an indifferently executed autobiography is more interesting than an ordinarily compiled biography. Who would not rather read Horace's own account of his school days, of his boyhood, and of his every-day life, than the most erudite and accurate biographical sketch composed by his annotators ? When he writes of himself he is before us, as in the years when he, the freed-man's son, was brought to Rome by a father, noble in the nobility of manhood, and was sent to learn all that the Roman Knight could know. We see him as when he went attended by slaves, and dressed as if his estate had been princely. When he relates the moral lessons given him by his father, and adds, to the noble born Mæcenas
“Nil me pæniteat sanum patris hujus,” the old man is present before, living, breathing, and respected. When he describes his home life, that exquisite picture of Epicurean-real Epicurean, existence, we see him plainly, jogging upon the bob-tailed mule, or enquiring the price of bread and herbs, or loitering in the Circus, or lounging in the Forum, or listening to the fortune-tellers; and we return with him at night to the supper of onions, pulse, and pancakes, served by the three slaves, and observing the two cups, and the tumbler, upon the white stone slab, we think him a Roman right gay fellow," and grasping his hand, in fancy, we cry,
, in his own line :
“Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico, and we hear him say, as his eyes sparkle,
“ Hic me consolor victurum suaviús, ac si
Quæstor avus, pater atque meus, patruusque fuisset.” And turn now to Montaigne. Who could tell, as he himself tells, the history of his early life? Who could place so well before us his father, Pierre Eyquem, Ecuyer, the brave and
loyal soldier who had seen service beyond the mountains; who mixed his language with “illustrations out of modern authors, especially Spanish.” The man is before us, carrying the canes loaded with lead, and with them exercising his arms for throwing the stone. We see him walking with leaden soled shoes, that he might be afterwards the lighter for leaping and running. The old man and his son are before us, when Michael writes—“of his vaulting he has left little miracles behind him; and I have seen him, when past three score, laugh at our agilities, throw himself in his furred gown into the saddle, make the tour of a table upon his thumbs, and scarce ever mount the stairs, up to his chamber, without taking three or four steps at a time.'
Who could tell as well as Montaigne, the plan of education marked out for him by his father ; his being, before he could articulate, committed to the care of a German,who was ignorant of French, but who spoke Latin fluently; and the scheme of education worked so well, that George Buchanan, “that great Scotch poet," who was his tutor in the College of Guienne, where Michael played the chief parts in the Latin tragedies of Buchanan, Guerente, and Muret, and where Buchanan told him that he must write a treatise upon Education, founded on the plan of that carried out by Montaigne's father, Buchanan being then tutor to that Count de Brissac, who afterwards proved so valiant and so brave a gentleman! Who but Montaigne could lead us onward, through all his charming, babbling book, where he, his habits, his errors, and fine, noble, too truthful, disposition steal out in every page, till we agree in his opinion, “ Je n'ay pas plus faict mon livre, que mon livre m'a faict, - livre consubstantiel à son autheur." Who but Robert Southey could tell us so charmingly of his own early life, as in the first pages of his memoirs, we read from his own pen. Boswell's inimitable work, with all its life-like sketches, is not so interesting as the few personal incidents stated by Johnson himself. Who does not wish that Sydney Smith had continued that preface to his works, which he begins with the words, - When I first went into the Church, I had a living in the middle of Salisbury Plain.” In these books, the writers are our friends, their ininds, their actions, their hopes and fears are before us; and when the work is biography, we like
, it better, the nearer it approaches to autobiography, by the insertion of the private letters of him who forms the subject.