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The characteristics of his genius-brilliancy, fancy, wit, and humor, give a charm to these letters, which must have delighted his correspondents in the days when they were written, as they now delight us whilst we read them in these volumes. He describes, in a few words, better than other men could in sentences. He writes to Power, referring to the Sacred Melodies—"I wish a design to be made for a Mary Magdalen, as beautiful as possible, from the words,
• Like Mary kneel, like Mary weep ;
• Love much, and be forgiven !' This I should like to be the chief and leading frontispiece of the work; it is such a mixture of the sacred and profane as will be most characteristic of me, and may be made most tasteful and interesting.” Writing from Paris, he observes, of Sir John Stevenson, Stevenson is not in very high force here; the ice is too cold for his stomach, and cannot get whiskey-punch for love or money-accordingly he droops." In another place he writes, and it is a hint to the female lovers of poets—Tennyson for example :-“Received from one
female correspondents a Christmas present, consisting of a goose, a pot of pickles, another of clouted cream, and some apples. This, indeed, is a tribute of admiration more solid: than I generally receive from these fair admirers of my poetry." There is a bitter humor in this—"Have got a wet-nurse for little Tommy, a woman in the neighbourhood, to come three times a day, which is better than nothing. Poor little thing ! with a mother that can give him no milk, and a father that can give him no money, what business has he in the world ?” In the following there is much
of life than that which he himself occupies ; and in time he will learn to estimate, at their real value, the levellers who give “ cheap and nasty". lectures at popular meetings, and will class them with vagabond tenant righters, strolling mesmerists, universal philanthropy mongers, and other virtuous and indignant apostles of slangwhangery. Lord Belfast says of Moore-“ As to myself, if there is one heir-loom I prize more than another it is the Dedication of the Irish Melodies to an ancestress of mine, and the beautiful Letter on Music which he addressed to the same Lady Donegall.” We recommend this volume of Lord Belfast's to all our readers ; like his novels, it proves him to be a man of very exquisite taste; if others of his order followed the example he has set, we might soon say with the great poet
“ Thus linked the Master with the Man,
Each in his rights can each revere ;
Scorn the lewd rout that dogs the rear.'
matter for thought: “Read, after tea, Miss Lee's comedy, • The Chapter of Accidents,' to Bessy and Mary D- The latter seemed to think it made a mistress more interesting than she ought to be: but anything that encourages toleration and tenderness does good. The world is but too inclined to the opposite extreme, particularly with respect to the frailty of woman, whose first fault might often be repaired by gentleness; instead of which they are violently sent adrift down the current, and the ruin which their own weakness begun, the cruelty of the world consummates."
Šir Walter Scott writes, in the second canto of The Lay of the Last Minstrel
“ If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon light" but he never, himself, saw it by moonlight.-The following is in the same strain :- A friend wrote to Moore, asking whether The Meeting of the Waters written under Castle Howard, or under Ballyarthur Castle. Moore observes, “The fact is, I wrote the song at neither place, though I believe the scene under Castle Howard was the one that suggested it to me. But all this interest shows how wise Scott was in connecting his poetry with beautiful scenery: as long as the latter blooms, so will the former.”—Not so wise as Moore himself in connecting his poetry with the hearts and feelings of a Nation in which, so long as one pulse shall beat, one aspiration shall ascend to heaven, one mind shall possess the faculty of thought, one bosom shall swell at the record of our country's history, at the sound of Moore's Melodies his name shall live, and the glory which his birth gives to Ireland shall be treasured amongst the noblest and proudest of our National honors.
We liave not reviewed these volumes in the ordinary meaning of the term. We have merely written of them as our reading suggested;—the time for reviewing has not yet arrived and as for extracts, we presume there are few men or women in these kingdoms, who are unacquainted with the contents of the Letters
Lord John Russell has been taunted, abused, and contemned by a slashing critic in the Times newspaper, for the peculiar method in which he has edited the volumes before us; for our parts, we sincerely hope that he will continue to edit the succeeding volumes in precisely the same manner. Moore kept the Diary, and preserved the Letters, with the expressed intention of publishing them; he meant that they should tell the story of his life, and that the story should be gathered from his own recorded opinions and feelings; therefore, the more we read from Moore's own pen, and the less from that of his editor, be that editor Lord John Russell or any other person, the better the reading public will be pleased.
Had Moore, or John Murray, thought themselves justified in publishing the Memoirs of his Own Life, presented by Byron to the former, it would have been precisely such a book, and edited in the same manner, as that before us. We would suggest to Lord John Russell the propriety, or, at all events, the convenience, of adding, to the succeeding volumes, by way of appendix, the few prose papers contributed by Moore to the Edinburgh Review. We have endeavoured to supply the omission of them in the present issue of the work, by the extracts above inserted.
We thank Lord John Russell for the manner in which he has presented these books to the nation; hereafter he may become a Peer of Parliament—these volumes prove him to be that higher and nobler thing--the Peer of a Poet.
Since writing the foregoing remarks upon the Lectures of the Earl of Belfast, the melancholy news of his Lordship’s death reached this country. He expired at Naples in the second week of February, aged twenty-five years. His worth as an Irishman, his noble love for literature, his anxiety for the good of all dependant upon him, or around him; his truesouled anxious yearning after all that could advance the real interest of his native land ; his appreciation of all the benefits conferred upon this country by the great scheme of the National System of Education; all these make us deplore his death as a friend, and as an advocate lost to Ireland. Men of his stamp are needed in the mind-battle, and in the clash of interests which now are, and which will yet more strongly be, waged in this country. The Noble who at five and twenty had gained for himself, in this age, an honorable name in Literature, might at five and thirty have secured for himself a reputation as a statesman and as a patriot. God had otherwise decreed it :-“Time, with his scythe, cuts down all ; happy they who are mowed down green."
ART. VI.-REMINISCENCES OF A MILESIAN.
Reminiscences of an emigrant Milesian. The Irish abroad
and at home ; in the camp ; at the court. With souvenirs of The Brigade. In three vols. 8vo. London : Richard Bentley, 1853.
ALTHOUGH the editor of these volumes introduces them to the public by a statement that the manuscript from which they were printed was committed to his custody by an Irish emigré, whom he accidentally encountered plying as a valet de place in Wurtzburg, we are inclined, from internal evidence, to ascribe the work to a writer who early in the present century amused our metropolis by his contributions to a noted periodical of the day, and who subsequently held for twenty years the office of principal foreign correspondent to one of the largest newspapers in the world. Apparently regardless of literary reputation, the “ Emigrant Milesian” has here produced as original a number of old stories and anecdotes, which having been worn out by constant repetition, were by general consent consigned to merited oblivion. Of his offences in this line, the first and grossest is a tale entitled “A giant refreshed,"
a purporting to be a traditional description of a ludicrous rencounter between Finn Mac Cumhaill and an Irish giant, in which the former figures as a kind of pantomimic monster, although Macpherson considered him a personage sufficiently sublime to act the hero in his poem of “Fingal,” while by foreign writers he is represented as a man of great talents, and the first who, in these islands, organized a standing army on the model of the Roman legions. Absurdities similar to the tale in the work before us, may amuse the illiterate and unreflecting, but the origin and animus of such productions are traceable to causes unapparent to the generality of readers. In the majority of subjugated countries, it has ever been the policy of the successful party to misrepresent and calumniate the dispoiled or resisting races and their champions, and to ridicule and obliterate, as far as practicable, their most cherished national associations. Hence, on the French conquest of England, the Normans demolished the shrines of the native saints,
and converted the name of Saxon into a term of reproach. Their descendants, pursuing a similar system towards all whom they oppressed, styled Wallace a "master of thieves,” Owen Glendowr a sorcerer, and Hugh O'Neill an “arch traitor," although it is now admitted that these men were fully justified in taking up arms to regain their natural rights.
From their first settlement in Ireland, a section of the colonists found that vilification and ridicule were the most effective modes of depriving their opponents of the sympathy and justice to which they were justly entitled; the language of the Irish was conquently pronounced to be barbarous, their laws impious, their ancient history a mass of fabrications, and every effort was made to eradicate those sentiments of national pride which dignify and exalt the human character. The colonial oligarchy and the venal writers existing on the income derived from the prejudices of those classes whom they goaded into fanaticism, combined to represent the Irish as a nation of fools, blunderers, drunkards, and assassins. Bythus exciting the fears of the English government, they contrived quietly to appropriate to their own uses the entire spoil of the plundered Irish, whose attempts to obtain justice or to regain their properties were always styled rebellions. Pausing at no falsehoods, however monstrous, the ascendancy faction succeeded in convincing the neighbouring country that the Irish were little better than cannibals, and so widely was this idea circulated in England in the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, that a writer of the reign of George I. observes that: “ upon the arrival of an Irishman to an English country town, I have known crowds coming about him, and wondering to see him look so much better than themselves ;" while the following description of the inhabitants of Ireland written in 1738, affords a specimen of the monstrous misrepresentations propagated under the patronage of the colonial faction, despite the opposition of an enlightened and far-seeing minority of their own party :
“The people of Ireland at this day are uncivilized, rude and barbarous, they delight in butter tempered with oatmeal, and sometimes eat flesh without bread ; but which they eat raw, having first pressed the blood out of it, and pour down large draughts of usquebaugh for digestion, reserving their little corn for their horses. Their dress is no less barbarous; cows and cattle are their chief wealth ; they count it no infamy to commit robberies, and violence and murder is in their opinion no way displeasing to God. They are much given to incest,