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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

3236524

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

R. 1927

Tompkins & E'oyd, Panters; 70 Betty

MEMOIR

OF

THOMAS MOORE, ESQ.

THOMAS

HOMAS MOORE, Esq. the only son of Mr. Garret Moore, formerly a respectable merchant in Dublin, and who still resides there, was born May 28, 1780. He has two sisters; and his infantine days seem to have left the most agreeable impressions on his memory; for in an epistle to his eldest sister, dated November, 1803, and written from Norfolk in Virginia, he retraces with delight their childhood, and describes the endearments of home, with a sensibility as exquisite as that which breathes through the lines of Cowper, on receiving his mother's picture

He acquired the rudiments of an excellent edu. cation under the care of the late Mr. Samuel White, of Dublin, a gentleman extensively known and respected as the early tutor of Sheridan. He evinced such talent in early life as determined bis father to give him the advantages of a superior education, and at the early age of fourteen, he was entered a student of Trinity College, Dublin. Mr. Moore was greatly distinguished while at the Uni.

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versity, by an enthusiastic attachment to the liberty and independence of his country, which he more than once publicly asserted with uncommon energy and eloquence, and he was equally admired for the splendour of his classical attainments, and the sociability of his disposition. On the 19th November, 1799, Mr. Moore entered himself a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, and in the course of the year 1800, before he had completed the 20th year of his age, he published his translation of the 66 Odes of Anacreon” into English verse, with notes, from whence, in the vocabulary of fashion, he has ever since been designated by the appellation of Anacreon Moore. So early as his twelfth year he appears to have meditated on executing this performance wbich if not a close version, must be confessed to be a fascinating one, of this favourite bard. The work is introduced by a Greek ode from the pen of the Translator, and is dedicated, with permission, to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. When Mr. Moore first came to London his youthful appearance was such, that being at a large dinner party and getting up to escort the ladies to the drawing-room, a French gentleman observed, “Ah! le petit bon homme, qui s'en va.” Mr. Moore's subsequent brilliant conversation, however, .soon proved him to be, though little of stature, yet, like Gay, “in wit, a man.”--Assuming the appropropriate name of Little, our author published in 1801, a volume of original Poems, chiefly amatory. Of the contents of this volume it is impossible to speak in terms of unqualified commendation,

Many of the Poems exhibit strong marks of genius, they are the productions of an age when the pas. sions

very often give a colouring too warm to the imagination, which may palliate, if it cannot excuse, that air of lubricity which pervades too many of them. In the same year, his “ Philosophy of Pleasure" was advertised, but was never published.

Mr. Moore's diffidence of his poetical talents induced him to adopt, and with reluctance to reject, as a motto for this work, the quotation from Horace,

Primum ego me illorum, qnibus dederim esse patis.
Excerpam numera; neque enim concludere versus

Dixeris esse satisand to this very day, although his reputation is so well established, he speaks of himself with bis 'yonted modesty. "Whatever fame he might have acquired, he attributed principally to the verses which he had adopted to the delicious strains of Irish melody. His verses, in themselves, could boast of but little merit, but like flies preserved in amber, they were esteemed in consequence of the precious materials by which they were surrounded."

Mr Sheridan, in speaking on the subject of this memoir, said, “ That there was no man who put so much of his heart into his fancy as Tom Moore: that his soul seemed as if it were a particle of fire separated from the Sun, and was always fluttering to get back to that source of light and heat."

Towards the autumn of 1803, Mr. Moore embarked for Bermuda, where he had obtained the appointment of Registrar to the Admiralty. This

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