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Emmet, but escaped with the same branding sentence to be reserved for that most sad but memorable doom, to which despair, as well of himself as of his country, at last drove him.
“Of this latter friend, notwithstanding his own dying entreaty, that the world would extend to him the charity of its silence,' I cannot deny myself the gratification of adding a few words, conscious that, at least, the spirit of his wish will not be violated in them. Were I to number, indeed, the men among all I have ever known, who appeared to me to combine in the greatest degree, pure moral worth with intellectual power, I should, among the highest of the few, place Robert Emmet. Wholly free from the follies and frailties of youth-though how capable he was of the most devoted passion events afterwards proved—the pursuit of science, in which he eminently distinguished himself, seemed, at this time, the only object that at all divided his thoughts with that enthusiasm for Irish freedom which, in him, was an hereditary as well as a national feeling-himself being the second martyr his father had given to the cause.
“Simple in all his habits, and with a repose of look and manners indicating but little movement within, it was only when the spring was touched that set his feelings, and through them, his intellect in motion, that he at all rose above the level of ordinary men. On no occasion was this more peculiarly striking than in those displays of oratory with which, both in the Debating and Historical Society, he so often enchained the attention and sympathy of his young audience. No two individuals, indeed, could be much more unlike to each other than was the same youth to himself before rising to speak and after, the brow that had appeared inanimate and almost drooping, at once elevated itself in all the consciousness of power, and the whole countenance and figure of the speaker assuming a change as of one suddenly inspired.
“Of his oratory, it must be recollected, I speak from youthful impressions, but I have heard little since that appeared to me of a loftier or (what is a far more rare quality in Irish eloquence) purer character; and the effects it produced, as well from its own exciting power as from the susceptibility with which his audience caught every allusion to passing events was such as to attract at last seriously the attention of the fellows, and by their desire one of the scholars, a man of advanced standing and reputation for oratory, came to attend our debates expressly for the purpose of answering Emmet, and endeavouring to neutralize the impressions of his fervid eloquence.
“Such in heart and mind was another of those devoted men, who, with gifts that would have made them the ornaments and supports of a wellregulated community, were yet driven to live the lives of conspirators and die the death of traitors, by a system of government which it would be difficult even to think of with patience, did we not gather a hope from the present aspect of the whole civilized world, that such a system of bigotry and misrule can never exist again.
“ With Lord Edward I could have no opportunity of forming any acquaintance, but remember (as if it had been but yesterday) having once seen him, in the year 1797, in Grafton Street, when, on being told who he was, as he passed, I ran anxiously after him, desirous of another look at one whose name had, from my school days, been associated in my mind with all that was noble, patriotic, and chivalrous. Though I saw him but this once, his peculiar dress, the elastic lightness of his step, his fresh healthful complexion, and the soft expression given to his eyes by their long dark eyelashes, are as present and familiar to my memory as if I had intimately known him. Little did I then think that, at an interval of four and thirty years from thence—an interval equal to the whole
span of his life at that period—I should not only find myself the historian of his mournful fate, but (what to many will appear matter rather of shame than of boast) with feelings so little altered, either as to himself or his cause.
TRANSLATION OF ANACREON.
Moore states that from a very early age the idea of publishing an English version of the Odes of Anacreon had occurred to him. His first attempt to translate the bard of Teios appears in the February number of the Anthologia of 1794, in which will be found a “ Paraphrase on the Fifth Ode of Anacreon, by T. Moore.” The principal object of the youthful poet was to place before the Board of Trinity College a select number of Odes, with a view to the translator receiving some honour or reward. Moore submitted the manuscript to Dr. Kearney, one of the senior fellows (afterwards Provost and subsequently Bishop of Ossory), but that gentleman, though most friendly to Moore, hesitated to lay before the Board an English translation of so gay a writer as Anacreon. He, however, advised Moore to complete the translation and to publish it. Moore worked laboriously at his task, and he observes that he collected much of the materials for the notes from Marsh's library adjoining St. Patrick's Church. “I often," says he,
was locked in alone at that period of the year when the library was closed to the public, and to the many solitary hours which I passed in hunting through the dusty tomes of the old library, I owe much of that odd sort of reading which may be found scattered through my earlier writings." Early in 1799 Moore went to London, with, (as he says) the two not very congenial objects of keeping terms at the Middle Temple and publishing his translation of Anacreon.
Moore's translation of Anacreon attracted much attention when first published, and it has always been considered the version which transferred to English most of the sprightly gaiety of the Greek poet. It was, however, pronounced at the time by the Edinburgh Review and other authorities to be more a paraphrase than a translation. Moore, too, was accused of lending additional warmth to the at least sufficiently glowing ideas of Anacreon. We have not taken up our pen to write an unqualified panegyric of Moore, but to trace a biographical sketch as truthfully as our resources permit. We are, therefore, free to admit that although Moore's Anacreon displays much talent, it is well that his fame does not rest on that production alone. It is not the least strange feature connected with this subject, that Moore in the latest editions of his works expresses his opinion that the Greek Odes considered to be Anacreon's are “merely modern fabrications." The following extracts will illustrate the light and airy style of Moore's first volume :
TO THE GRASSHOPPER.
O thou, of all creation blest,