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journals, with the interwoven notes and comments of Mr. Moore, is rendered something between an autobiography and a review. This second volume (which completes the work) opens with a notice of the noble Poet's departure from England subsequent to a separation from his Lady. It is certainly much to be regretted, after the published statement of Lady Byron and the dark insinuations of Campbell, that Mr. Moore has not entered into an explanation of the causes of the melancholy matrimonial strife which, whether justly or not, has cast so deep a shadow on the memory of his friend It can hardly be supposed that Mr. Moore, the most intimate associate of the noble Poet, who was remarkable for his lavish confidence and his inability to preserve a secret, should be ignorant of the real circumstances of the case, unless there was something in Lord Byron's conduct of so black a character, that contrary to his ordinary habits, a guilty consci. ence or a dread of infamy, compelled him to be silent. In Leigh Hunt's preface to the second edition of “ Byron and his contemporaries" there is a terrible insinuation, wrung from him, as it were in bitter self-defence, which connected with the mysterious allusions of Lady Byron and her champion Campbell have left the public in a state of uneasy doubt and painful anxiety, that it was incumbent on Mr. Moore, as far as he was able, to satisfy and allay. In his concluding paragraph he observes that— any mistakes or misstatements I may be proved to have made shall be corrected ;-any new facts which it is in the power of others to produce will speak for themselves. To mere opinions I am not called upon to pay attention—and still less to insinuations or mysteries.” As Lord Byron himself, is no longer able to meet“ insinuations” or explain“ mysteries” injurious to his reputation, it is certainly the duty of his friend and biographer, to do as he would be done by, and defend or uphold his character against assaults, not the less deadly because they are dark and undefined. Mr. Moore cannot, without unreasonable presumption on his part, affect to treat such opponents as Campbell and Lady Byron, with a feeling of contempt, and therefore his silence in this matter when the public have been waiting for something open and decisive, will naturally be interpreted by many in a way by no means advantageous to the memory of the Noble Poet. If he really had it in his power to offer a satisfactory explanation or defence he ought to be ashamed of himself for thus leaving the character of his friend to the mercy of the world. The effect of his general eulogies, interesting and vaļuable as they are, from such a source, will no doubt be regarded by many as greatly invalidated by his silence on so important an incident in the life of Byron, as the conjugal separation. If this silence be occasioned by a consciousness of his Lordship's guilt, and an unwillingness to acknowledge it, Mr. Moore's extravagant and enthusiastic admiration is misplaced, inconsistent and immoral, and if on the other hand, he has reason to believe him a calumniated man, he should stand boldly over his grave and defend with all his heart, with all his soul and with all his strength, the injured spirit of his distinguished friend. It is curious that Lord Byron expressed to Mr. Moore his impression that his Lady had “ a fixed hostility” to him which could not rest, he thought, even at his grave. “So strong was this impression on him” says Mr. Moore, “that during one of our few intervals of seriousness, he conjured me by our friendship, if, as he both felt and hoped, I should survive him, not to let unmerited censure settle upon his name, but, while I surrendered him up to condemnation, where he deserved it, to vindicate him where aspersed.If Byron has received " merited” censure from his Lady and Mr. Campbell, how has Mr. Moore performed the sacred duty imposed upon him by this pathetic appeal ? May not his silence after this look very like * surrendering up his friend to condemnation ?”

But we have said enough upon this painful and inexplicable affair and will now turn to a brief consideration of the other im, perfections of the book, that we may get through the disagreeable portion of our task as speedily as possible. We have accused Mr. Moore of too great a partiality for his subject, and we must say, that in some instances he has sacrificed both justice and morality at the tomb of Byron. The licentious intrigues and low debaucheries recorded in the work before us,could scarcely have been more minutely detailed or more shamelessly exculpated by the pen of Harriette Wilson. It is true that a passing compliment is occasionally paid to virtue by the expression of a regret that the noble poet should have fallen into these excesses, but it is always insinuated or implied that the character of a Lord and a man of genius is not seriously affected by irregularities that would be pronounced infamous and disgusting in ordinary men. The reader is quite sure that Mr. Moore's admiration of his friend is not materially lessened by a knowledge of his crimes. Mr. Leigh Hunt is perfectly justified in his complaint that Mr. Moore and others have defended Byron and traduced and condemned him on the principle that the opponent of a great Lord and a Literary Lion cannot possibly be in the riglit. If a commoner had been guilty of ever so small a portion of the crimes, inconsistences and indiscretions of Byron, he would have been stunned and terrified to death by the thunder of virtuous indignation. But every thing is graceful or excusable in a Lord, and especially a literary one. The metaphysical theories and speculations of Hunt and Shelley, may find few defenders, but their personal characters have been eulogized by many. Hunt and Lord Byron, who agreed in nothing else, have both testified, in the most enthusiastic manner, their passionate admiration of Shelley's moral qualities, and if Lord Byron occasionally ridiculed the vanity of Hunt, he never breathed a syllable against the purity of his character. In fact he has described him as the very “Bigot of Virtue."

Hunt and Shelley, even as authors, are certainly not a whit less moral than his Lordship, for while the latter laughs at virtue as an empty name, the two former bend profoundly at her altar and profess the most ardent adoration.

Such men may

be
wrong

in their theoretical notions of the nature of vir. tue, but they are at least entitled to the praise of sincerity, and have the same degree of merit as the mistaken but pious Brahmin, whose heart (by the liberal Christian) is not thought contaminated by the errors of his head.

Lord Byron's religious creed was not more orthodox than Hunt's or Shelley's, his politics were similar and bis moral conduct by no means purer, and yet what a different treatment have these men experienced froin the world ! If they had been lords instead of coinmoners, the critics would have set down less in malice and have extenuated every fault. As they wanted a title, it seems they wanted every thing-even genius has been denied them. Mr. Moore who began by being not only a radical but a licentious and immoral writer, soon discovered that it was a dangerous thing for a poor and unfashionable man to offend the best feelings of Society. In order to recover himself and acquire an influence in the world, he thought it necessary to restrain the amorous propensities of his Muse, and even cut his old acquaintances, for the advantages of the reflected lustre of Lordly circles. He was no sooner domesticated in “ families of distinction” than he became shocked at the vulgarity of untitled virtue. The Examiner newspaper and The Liberal were his abomination. He discuvered « a taint" in both, and endeavoured to persuade Lord Byron that Hunt was a heavy and spiritless writer. Since the publication of the book now under review, Mr. Hunt bas printed in the Tatler, a clever and amusing little paper of which he is the Editor, some of Moore's letters to him before their quarrel which afford a striking example of the mode in which our opinions are often influenced by circumstances and our passious. We shall make room for these letters as literary curiosities.

In introducing them to his readers Mr. Leigh Hunt observes that it is his object to show the inconsistency between the opinion which Mr. Moore gave of him to Lord Byron after he had fallen into adversity and lost his public influence and the one which he expressed to Mr. Hunt himself, when Lords came to visit him and when Mr. Moore thought his good word of consequence. The Letters commence in 1811 when Mr. Leigh Hunt was Editor of the Examiner :

ON RECTIVING A LETTER AND SOME BOOKS.

LEITER I.

(1811.] " My dear Sir, -I am just about to step into the mail for a week's absence frorn town, and bave only time to say tbat I have received your letter, which I have read with gratitude and admiration. How you, abo write so much in public, can afford to write so wellin private, is miraculous - I shall take your books with me, and hope to tell you all I think and feel about them at Bockeubam.

" Burg-streat, Monday Evening."

LETTER II. On MR. MOORE'S OPERA OF M. P., or Blue STOCKING-MR. LEIGU Hunt's FEAST

OF THE Poets, &c.

[Post-mark, 1811.] “ My dear Sir,- It was my intention upon receiving the last letter with which you favoured me, to answer it by a visit, and that immediately ; but I was hurried off to the country by the sickness of a friend ; and since my return, I have been occupied in a way that makes me very unfit society for you—namely, in writing bat jokes for the galleries of the Lyceum. To make the galleries laugh, is in its-li sufficiently degrading, but to try to make them laugh and fail (which I fear will be my destiny) is deplorable indeed, The secret of it however is, that, upon my last return from Ireland, in one of those moments of weakness to which poets and their purses are too liable, I agreed to give Arnold a piece for the summer, and you may perceive by the lateness of my appearance with what reluctance I have performed my engagement.

It will no doubt occur to you, upon reading the first page of this note, that the whole purport of it is to ask for mercy; but the kind terms in which you have spoken of some things I have written, make me too much interested in your sincerity to ask for, or wish, the slightest breach of it. I have no doubt that, in this instance you will treat me with severity, and I am just as sure that, if you do, I shall bave deserved it. Only say that you einected something better from me, and I shall be satisfied.

" I must (though late) thank you for your last Rofector—the poem to wbich you were good enough to direct my attentions, interested me extremely ; there is no. thing so delightful as those alternate sinkings and risings, both of feeling and style, which you have exhibited in those verses, and you cannot thiuk how gracefully it becomes the high philosophy of your mind to saunter now and then among the Aowers of poetry. Do indulge her with a few more walks, I beseech you.

“I am afraid you look upon me as a bad politician, or you would likewise have bid me read the fine article, entitled (if I recollect right) “ A Retrospect of Publio Affairs.” It is most ably done-but you write too well for a politician-and it is

really a pity to go to the expense of fulminating gold, when common gunpowder perves the purpose just as well.

I shall not call upon you now till I have passed the ordeal-but till then, and ever, believe me, my dear sir, yours with much esteem, Bury-street, Saturday.”

" THOMAS MOORL. “ The fragment wbich Carpenter told you I bad for the Reflector was vir kedly political. Some of the allusions bave now lost their hold, but you shall see it, and perhaps something may, with your assistance, be yet made of it..

LETTER III.

ON M. P. OR THE Blue STOCKINGS. “ Mrdear sir. I have not the least fear that you will make any ungenerous uso of the anxiety which I express with respect to your good opinion of me. I dare bay you bare read in the Times of yesterday the very well-written, and (I confess,) but too just account which tbey give of the shorting of my fo l's bult on Monday. The only misrepresentation I can accuse them of (and that I feel very sensibly) is the cbarge of royalism and courtiership which they have founded upon my foolish claptrap with respect to the Regent;- this bas astonished me the more, as the opora underwent a very severe cutting from the licenser for a very opposite quality to courtiership, and it is merely lost you should be led into a mistake (from the little consideration you can afford to give to such nonsense) that I trouble you with this note.

“ If the child's plea, - I'll nəver do so again,'could soften criticism, I may be depended upon from this moment, for a most bearty adjuration of the stage, and all its heresies of pun, equivoque, and clap-trap :-bowever humble I may be in other departments of literature, I am quite conscious of being contemptible in this.

“ Your's, my dear sir, very truly. 27. Bury.street, Wednesday.

“ Thomas MOORB. “ Did you receive a note I sent you about a week ago ?”

LETTER IV.
ON THE FEAST OF THE POETS-LORD MOIRA, &c.

[Post.mark, August, 1819.) My dear Sir, I am sorry to find by your Examiner of last Sunday that you are ill, and I sincerely bope, both for the sake of yourself and the world, that it is not an indisposition of any serious nature.--I have very often, since I left town, bad thoughts of writing to you ; not that I had any tbing to say, but merely to keep myself alive in your recollection, till some lucky jostle in our life's journey throws us closer togetber than we have bitherto been. It is not true, bowever, that I have had nothing to say to you, for I have to thank you for your poem in the Reflector, which I would praise for its beauty, if my praises could be thought disinterested enough to please you-but it has won my heart rather too much to leave my judgment fair play ; and the pleasure of being praised by you, makes me incapable of returning the compliment ;-all that I can tell you is, that your good opinion of me, in general,

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