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tions of the time, and though they praised the letter, he concealed the circumstance of his being the writer. This fact, however, became known on the following day to his mother, in whose presence a friend of Moore's (Edward Hudson), dropped a few words which told the secret. She entreated of her son to avoid any further connexion with the “ Press," and Moore, who never disobeyed her, gave the required promise. “Thus it was."
“ Thus it was,” says Moore, “that by gentle and womanly watchfulness, by the Providence of the little world of home, I, although placed in the very current of the movement, and living familiarly with some of the most daring of those who propelled it, was guarded from any participation in their secret oaths, counsels, or plans, and thus escaped all share in that wild struggle to which so many far better men than myself fell victims.”
In one scene, however, of the startling drama then being enacted, Moore was destined to be an actor. The authorities of the University of Dublin dreaded the increase of the principles of the United Irishmen amongst the students, and a “Visitation” was held by Lord Clare, Vice-Chancellor of the University, for the purpose of investigating the extent to which the United Irishmen had infused their spirit into the minds of the Collegians, and expelling those who might be discovered to have any connection with illegal societies. The “Visitation” proceeded, and several students were found to be United Irishmen. Moore discovered to his astonishment, that some of his most intimate friends were found to be concerned in measures which placed even their lives at the disposal of the executive. He was painfully struck by the circumstance that some of the Collegians came forward as voluntary informers against their companions. Some were, however, driven by fear to secure in this manner their own safety, at the expense of that of their friends. When the day approached for his own examination before the Visitors, he became nervously anxious, and resolved not to answer any question tending to criminate others. But we must allow him to state the circumstances in his own interesting manner.
“I well remember the gloom, so unusual, that hung over our family circle on that evening, as, talking together of the events of the day, we discussed the likelihood of'my being among those who would be called up for examination on the morrow. The deliberate conclusion to which my dear honest advisers came, was that, overwhelming as the consequences were to all their plans and hopes for me, yet, if the questions leading to criminate others, which had been put to almost all examined on that day, and which poor
alone had refused to answer, were put to me, I must, in the same manner, at all risks, return•a similar refusal. I am not quite certain whether I received any intimation, on the following morning, that I was one of those to be examined in the course of the day; but I rather think that some such notice had been conveyed to me; and at last my awful turn came, and I stood in the presence of the formidable tribunal. There sat with severe look the Vice-Chancellor, and, by his side, the memorable Doctor Duigenan--memorable for his eternal pamphlets against the Catholics.
“ The oath was proffered to me.
"I have an objection, my lord,' said I, "to taking this oath.' What is your objection ? he asked sternly.
"I have no fears, my lord, that anything I might say would criminate myself; but it might tend to involve others, and I despise the character of the person who could be led, under any such circunstances, to inform against his associates.' This was aimed at some of the revelations of the preceding day; and, as I learned afterwards, was so understood. • How old are you, sir ?' he then asked. • Between seventeen and eighteen, my lord.' He then turned to his assessor, Duigenan, and exchanged a few words with him in an under tone of voice. • We cannot,' he resumed, again addressing me,
suffer any one to remain in our University, who refuses to take this oath.' 'I shall, then, my lord,' I replied, 'take the oath-still reserving to myself the power of refusing to answer any such questions as I have just described.' • We do not sit here to argue with you, sir,' he rejoined sharply; upon which I took the oath, and seated myself in the witnesses' chair.
" The following are the questions and answers that then ensued. After adverting to the proved existence of the United Irish Societies in the University, he asked-Have you ever belonged to any of these societies ?? No, my lord.' 'Did you ever hear of a proposal, at any of their meetings, for the purchase of arms and ammunition ?' 'Never, my lord.' *Did you ever hear of a proposition made in one of these societies with respect to the expediency of assassination ?? Oh! no, my lord.' He turned again to Duigenan, and after a few words with him said to me--'When such are the answers you are able to give, pray what was the cause of your great repugnancé to taking the oath ?' 'I have already told your lordship my chief
in addition to which, it was the first oath I ever took, and the hesitation was, I think, natural.'
“I was now dismissed, without any further questioning; and, however trying had been this short operation, was amply repaid for it by the kind zeal with which my young friends and companions flocked to congratulate me; not so much, I was inclined to hope, on my acquittal by the court, as on the manner in which I had acquitted myself. Of my reception, on returning home, after the fears entertained of so very different a result, I will not attempt any description—it was all that such a home alone could furnish.”
Moore's sympathy with the sufferings of Ireland was not evanescent. He says himself, that it was amongst the events of 1798 the feeling which afterwards found a voice in his country's music was born and nurtured. Thirty-four years later, in his Memoir of Lord Edward Fitzgerald (vol. 1, page 300), he speaks of what his own feelings were during the last few eventful years of the eighteenth century, and states those feelings to be even in mature age unaltered. As the passage to which we refer is autobiographical, disclosing the state of Moore's opinions at the time of which we treat, and as it eloquently describes some of his early associates, we make no apology for presenting it to the reader.
“Though then but a youth in College, and so many years have since gone by, the impression of horror and indignation which the acts of the govern
ment of that day left upon my mind, is, I confess, at this moment far too freshly alive, to allow me the due calmness of a historian in speaking of them. Not only had I myself, from early childhood, taken a passionate interest in that struggle, which, however darkly it ended, began under the bright auspices of a Grattan; but among those young men whom, after my entrance into College, I looked up to with most admiration and regard, the same enthusiasm of national feeling prevailed. Some of them, too, at the time of terror and torture I am now speaking of, were found to have implicated themselves far more deeply in the popular league against power then I ever could have suspected ; and these I was now doomed to see, in their several ways, victims,-victims of that very ardour of patriotism which had been one of the sources of my affection for them, and in which, through almost every step but the last, my sympathies had gone along with them.
“One, considerably my senior, and not in the University, who, by his industry and taste in collecting old Irish airs, and the true national expression with which he performed them on the flute, contributed to nurse in me a strong feeling for our country's music, is now, if he be still alive, languishing in exile. Another, whose literary talents and mild manly character gave every promise of a bright, if not splendid career, was (under the ban of a Collegiate sentence which incapacitated him from all the learned professions,) driven to a line of employment the least congenial to his tastes, where, through the remainder of a short amiable life, his fine talents lay useless; while a third, young