Imágenes de páginas

Lover can write, and Lover himself can sing; touched by his finger, the piano may be said to laugh and speak.

They may talk of the ruin

That Bacchus is brewing,


And her sweet mouth some question demanding,

But if my advice a young soldier would Puts your heart beyond all self-comask, sir,

I would say that the hiccups

Is safer than tea-cups;

So beware of the chaynee, and stick to

your flask, sir.

Had I stood to my bowl,

Like a gay jovial soul,


Through the steam of the tea-pot her
eyes shine like stars,

And Venus again makes a conquest of

When I entered the army,

At first it did charm me;

By this time I might be a general officer, Says I, "by St. Patrick, 1'll live yet in

But I dallied with Sally,

And Betty, and Ally,

And lost all my time with their tay and their coffee, sir

Oh! tay is a dangerous drink,

When the lady that make's it's a beauty;

With her fingers so nate

She presents you a plate,

And to cut bread and butter she puts you
on duty;

Then she pouts her bright lips,
While the Congou she sips,


When war is announced-"

But a petticoat flounced,

With a nate bit o' lace, it ensnared me from glory.

Had I mounted the breach,

Glory's lesson to teach,

I might have escaped, and a pension be paying me;

Instead of soft folly

With Nanny or Molly,

Which bound me, like Sampson, while
Cupid was slaying me.

Oh! tay is a dangerous drink, &c. &c.

One more song remains upon our list. It is laudatory of that much abused, much praised, source of so many misfortunes-WHISKY. We like the song, we like its spirit, and, in good truth, we like the spirit. We have never heard a would be Irish aristocrat declaring his dislike to punch, but we longed to tell him, as George Canning would the man who could assert that he liked dry champagne-" you lie, sir." We know not the writer's name, he may have been, from the style of composition, a hedge schoolmaster; or, he may have been one who loved "the scholar's delight, feeding worthily, and sleeping heartily," and who employed his vacant hours in cultivating social harmony in rustic language. When a grave scholar and theologian like Beza, wrote the Juvenilia; when a great logician, and solemn archbishop like Dr. Whately, wrote the Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte; when Dean Burrowes wrote, The Night before Larry was stretched-why may not some old learned lover of the bottle have written of Irish Nectar, in the Irish brogue ?


As I was sitting in my room,
What more divarshin might a man desire,
One pleasant evening in the month of Than to be seated by a nate turf fire,


I heard a thrush singing in a bush,
And the tune he sung was a jug of punch.
Too ra loo! too ra loo! too ra loo!
too ra loo!

Jug of punch, Jug of punch,

The tune he sung was a jug of punch.

And by his side a purty wench,
And on the table a jug of punch?
Too ra loo, &c.
The Muses and Apollio famed,
In Castilian pride, drinks precious

[blocks in formation]

So our task ends-may each reader say to us, in the words

of Erasmus,




Memoirs, Journal, and Correspondence of Thomas Moore. Edited by the Right Hon. Lord John Russell, M.P. Vols. I. and II. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. 1853.

THIRTY-THREE years have passed since Thomas Moore and Lord John Russell journeyed together from London to Milan. The Poet was flushed with the success of Lalla Rookh; the Longmans had paid him a noble price for the work; the claims against him, arising from the defalcation of his deputy at Bermuda, had not yet embittered his life; he was free, happy, joyous, and revelling in the sun-shine of the world and of happiness. Lord John Russell was then a young man, just entering into life, but ignorant of those qualities which have since made him the chief of a great party, a leader of the House of Commons, and have raised him to the highest offices in the State:-he informed the Poet that he contemplated retiring from the struggle of politics, with the intention of devoting himself to other, and more congenial pursuits. Moore's quick perception enabling him to see that this expressed intention was only one of those passing fancies, which occasionally over-cloud the most brilliant and the most active

*We have omitted some songs by Curran, Lysaght, and Maginn, as they are well known. See, however, one excellent song on Whisky, from the glorious pen of Maginn, in IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. II p. 607.

intellects, he addressed, to his noble fellow-traveller, the following lines:


After a Conversation with Lord John Russell, in which he had intimated some Idea of giving up all Political Pursuits.

[blocks in formation]

Yet bold and heroic as ever yet rose

To the top cliffs of Fortune, and breasted her storm;

With an ardour for liberty, fresh as, in youth,

It first kindles the bard and gives life to his lyre;

Yet mellow'd, ev'n now, by that mildness of truth

Which tempers, but chills not, the patriot fire;

With an eloquence-not like those rills from a height,

Which sparkle, and foam, and in vapour are o'er ;

But a current, that works out its way into light

Through the filtering recesses of thought and of lore.

Thus gifted, thou never can'st sleep in the shade;

If the stirrings of Genius, the music of fame,

And the charms of thy cause have not power to persuade,

Yet think how to Freedom thou'rt pledg'd by thy Name.

Like the boughs of that laurel, by Delphi's decree,

Set apart for the Fane and its service divine,

So the branches, that spring from the old

Russell tree,

Are by Liberty claim'd for the use of her

These lines may, or may not, have induced Lord John Russell to reconsider his determination; that he did reconsider it, all the world knows; but the "Remonstrance" is more than sufficiently soul-stirring, to affect one much less attached to his family fame than he to whom it was addressed. He feels grateful to the Poet; and we now find him, the orator, the statesman, the historian, and bearing one of the proudest names in the annals of the Nation, turning aside, from the stormy world of politics, to become the biographer of his dead friend.

We feel pleasure at meeting Lord John Russell in this character. It tells well for the advancement of literature in these kingdoms, and proves that authorship is now in a more suitable position, than in the days when great Edmund Spenser wrote in Southampton's ante-chamber, or than at the period

when Colley Cibber felt delight at being admitted to White's, even though looked upon as something between an amusing mountebank and an impudent intruder. This biography shows too, that Moore judged incorrectly, when he wrote, in his Life of Sheridan: "Talents in literature or science, unassisted by the advantages of birth, may lead to association with the great, but rarely to equality;-it is a passport through the wellguarded frontier, but no title to naturalisation within." We here find the noble editor expressing his pride in the fact, that the Poet was his old, and firm, and valued friend.-Great power of genius that has broken down the icy barrier of exclusiveness and conventionality-great power of genius that compels royalty to invite Landseer to grace its table-great power of genius that drives a Queen to visit the quiet home of Tennyson-great power of genius, that in the work before us, makes the most distinguished scion of the proud house of Bedford the biographer and editor of the son of a poor Aungier-street grocer! As we read the short, but hearty, introduction prefixed to these volumes by the editor, we recall the lines addressed by Thomas Churchyard to his patron, Sir Walter Raleigh

[ocr errors]


Where friendship finds good ground to grow upon,
It takes sound root, and spreads his branches out,
Brings forth fair fruit, though spring be past and gone,
And bloometh, where no other grain will sprout:
His flow'rs are still in season all the year,

His leaves are fresh, and green as is the grass;
His sugar'd seeds good, cheap, and nothing dear,
His goodly bark shines bright, like gold or brass:
And yet, this tree in breast must needs be shrin'd,
And lives no where, but in a noble mind."

John Foster, in his essay "On a Man's Writing a Life of Himself," after expatiating, in his usual able manner, upon the peculiar advantages to be derived from the self-examination which autobiographical composition, when honestly pursued, renders necessary, divides this species composition into that written in youth, for amusement and instruction in age, and that composed in age, from the retrospect of past-by years. We consider that the work before us cannot be classed under either of these denominations, but belongs distinctly to both. There is a charm about biography, about literary biography in particular, which is immediately felt and acknowledged, but

autobiography is still more attractive, being the record of the heart, the feelings, and the actions of him who is the subject of his own pen.

Great old Samuel Johnson said, that if any man were to note down the facts of his daily existence, the diary should prove interesting, and for our parts we believe, most firmly, that he was right; we even consider that an indifferently executed autobiography is more interesting than an ordinarily compiled biography. Who would not rather read Horace's own account of his school days, of his boyhood, and of his every-day life, than the most erudite and accurate biographical sketch composed by his annotators? When he writes of himself he is before us, as in the years when he, the freed-man's son, was brought to Rome by a father, noble in the nobility of manhood, and was sent to learn all that the Roman Knight could know. We see him as when he went attended by slaves, and dressed as if his estate had been princely. When he relates the moral lessons given him by his father, and adds, to the noble born Mæcenas

"Nil me pœniteat sanum patris hujus,"

the old man is present before, living, breathing, and respected. When he describes his home life, that exquisite picture of Epicurean-real Epicurean, existence, we see him plainly, jogging upon the bob-tailed mule, or enquiring the price of bread and herbs, or loitering in the Circus, or lounging in the Forum, or listening to the fortune-tellers; and we return with him at night to the supper of onions, pulse, and pancakes, served by the three slaves; and observing the two cups, and the tumbler, upon the white stone slab, we think him a Roman "right gay fellow," and grasping his hand, in fancy, we cry, in his own line :

"Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico,"

and we hear him say, as his eyes sparkle,

"Hic me consolor victurum suaviús, ac si

Quæstor avus, pater atque meus, patruusque fuisset.” And turn now to Montaigne. Who could tell, as he himself tells, the history of his early life? Who could place so well before us his father, Pierre Eyquem, Ecuyer, the brave and

« AnteriorContinuar »