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A reconciliation took place, and the worthy Doctor, having long before proved himself a bad second in duelling matters, was determined to prove himself second to none in devotion to his former principal. Indeed, he rather monopolised the lion,' and it was often a puzzle that his attentions did not wear ont the patience of their victim. His friendship was, however, sincere, albeit excessive in its zeal.
“One day they found their way in company to the old house in Aungier-street, and going into the shop, asked if Mr. Moore had not formerly lived in that house ? “Yes,' was the reply, and it was in this house that Sir Thomas Moore was born.' The poet could not help smiling at the new title he had acquired, and which was not, we presume, any gratuitous honour, but one resulting from confusion of ideas about the poet and the statesman of a former age, or perhaps, resulted from an idea that one so distinguished must have a title.
“Moore asked as a favour to be allowed up stairs ; and it is easy to imagine with what feelings he visited every portion of the house consecrated by the recollection of the best of parents,' early associates, and happy homes. Above all, he should get up to the little upper room, one window of which looks into Little Longford street, at the corner of which the house stands; here had been his own sanctum, and here he had got up his little theatricals. How changed was the visitor from the boyish inhabitant of those rooms forty years before? Who but himself, in that moment of retrospection, could
how far the world-wide fame he then enjoyed had exceeded or fallen short of the picturings of the boy's ambition !
“ Fidus Achates had taken care, in the course of the visit, to pass the word who was the little visitor; and on hospitable cares intent, the good lady of the mansion had cakes and wine' in the drawingroom when they descended. All the young people were presented in due order, and no doubt, in the family chronicles the poet's visit to the house of his birth is well preserved.”
Moore and Campbell were warm friends, though their friendship was for a time interrupted. In the New Monthly Magazine (March, 1830), Campbell reviewed the first volume of Moore's Life of Byron, in the following flattering strain :
“No condensing powers which we can command will compress within our narrow limits any thing like a competent conception of the merits of this very able work.
We can give but a glance, and we confess a glance at such a performance seems a mockery. We hope to make some compensation when the whole is before us. It is not half a dozen sentences that will exhaust our admiration of the genius of Lord Byron, or express our warm feeling of the brilliant talents of his scarcely less distinguished friend. They are equally blessed; the one in kis biographer, the other in his subject. Sure we are there exists no other person so equal to the task of delineating the character, anything but simple, of the noble poet—none that knew him so thoroughly-none at once so capable of estimating his real feelings, and so completely up to his artificial ones-none more acute in discriminating the venial from the perverse—none that could better tell where he was serious and where he was mystifying, or discover when he was concealing
ignorance or suppressing knowledge. Others might readily separate good qualities from the contrary, but the good and the bad of Lord Byron were not always what appeared on the surface ; and nothing short of intimate knowledge, and familiar intercourse, with the keenest sagacity, could penetrate the true character of either. In him these qualities were rather in a state of composition than of mixture, and it was no common chemistry that could analyse them. See what absurdities Sir Egerton Brydges falls into, for want of this interior know. ledge.
“Mr. Moore's narrative is a model of transparency and order; the style throughout is one of the most perfect propriety. The flowers so thickly strewn in the Life of Sheridan' are here none of them visible; there is scarcely, we think, a trope in the book; in our judgment the absence is no loss. The point which he has most indefatigably and successfully laboured is the tracing of the formation of Lord Byron's character, so far as character is traceable, and that perhaps is not very far, to peculiarity of circumstances.'
In the same article appears the following letter from Campbell to Moore, relative to Moore's suspicion that Campbell was jealous of Byron's popularity. The letter is interesting as showing
. the cordial tone which then existed between the brother poets :
“My dear Moore,
“ A thousand thanks to you for the kind things which you have said of me in your Life of Lord Byron-but forgive me for animadverting to
what his lordship says of me, at page 463 of your first volume. It is not every day that one is mentioned in such joint pages as those of Moore and Byron.
“ Lord Byron there states, that one evening at Lord Holland's I was nettled at something, and the whole passage, if believed, leaves it to be inferred that I was angry, envious, and ill-mannered. Now, I never envied Lord Byron, but, on the contrary, rejoiced in his fame ; in the first place from a sense of justice, and in the next place because, as poetical writer, he was my beneficent friend. I never was nettled in Lord Holland's house, as Lord and Lady Holland can witness; and on the evening to which Lord Byron alludes, I said, “ carry all your incense to Lord Byron," in the most perfect spirit of good humour. I remember the evening most distinctly, one of the happiest evenings of my life; and if Lord Byron imagined me for a moment displeased, it only shows me, that with all his transcendant powers, he was one of the most fanciful of human beings. I, by no means, impeach his veracity ; but I see from this case he was subject to strange illusions.
“What feeling but that of kindness could I havo towards Lord Byron. He was always affectionate to me, both in his writings and in personal interviews. How strange he should misunderstand my manner on the occasion alluded to; and what temptation could I have to show myself pettish and envious before my inestimable friend Lord Holland? The whole scene, as described by Lord Byron, is a phantom of his own imagination. Ah i my dear Moore, if we had him but back again, how easily
could we settle these matters. But I have detained you too long; and begging pardon for all my egotism, I remain, my dear Moore, your obliged and faithful friend,
“ T. CAMPBELL.”
In the June number of the same year, Campbell speaks of Watt's engraving of Moore as is the resemblance of a charming poet and an amiable
In the review of the second volume, however, a very different tone was adopted, chiefly in consequence of Campbell's opinion, that Moore had not acted fairly as a friend to Byron in disclosing so many of the noble poet's weaknesses. This notice went so far beyond the limits of fair criticism as to impute very mercenary motives to Moore. Campbell's defence of Lady Byron was marked with excessive severity towards Moore. Campbell afterwards wrote Moore a letter of apology for his vehement language, but declaring that his opinion was unaltered upon the point of difference. He withdrew all imputations of mercenary motives, and asked Moore's forgiveness for his angry tone.
In the passage from the works of Leigh Hunt respecting Moore, which we have given above, Hunt speaks of Moore's Letters in terms of considerable praise. Moore generally wrote briefly, but in a few sentences he included much interesting matter. Fifteen of Moore's letters are affixed to Hunt's “Autobiography," of which we shall present a couple as illustrative not only of Moore's off-hand epistolary style, but as affording additional glimpses