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sex and of his country. It would have been inconsistent in a politician so spirited, and a patriot, so warm, as Mr. Moore, to assist in rendering us slaves in private, while he would have us all freemen in public.
The real admirers, therefore, of this poet were rejoiced to see in his latter publication, the Irish Melodies, how greatly he had improved his morality, and not only so, but how much the graces of his fancy bad gained instead of lost by the improvement. In the sprightly and idiomatic flow of his
songs he had already overtaken Prior, and on the ground of sentiment had left him behind ; but the union of strong fancy and feeling discoverable in his later productions, and the unexpected appearance of a taste for the dignified and contemplative, so distinct from the town associations that crowded about one's ordinary idea of him, were promises of a still greater reputation, and will enable him, it is trusted, to reach posterity under an exemplary as well as graceful aspect.
As a versifier, Mr. Moore does not appear, hitherto, to have attempted any improvement of the models he found in vogue ; but what he might doo in this respect may easily be conceived, from the natural fineness of his ear. The lines in his lyric pieces, however, have a music in them, distinct from the ordinary monotony of bis cotemporaries, and evidently traceable to his taste for the sister art. You feel at once, that his songs are
indeed to be sung--a happy propriety, which he seems to share exclusively with Dryden.
(14) When, all of a sudden, there rose on the stairs
A noise as of persons with singular airs;
The last couplet originally stood thus :
Or at least my Lord Colley with all his grand brothers;
Colley is one of the Christian names of the Marquis Wellesley. I notice this alteration, lest, having felt myself bound to make it, I should seem to evade its acknowledgment. There are still some points about the noble marquis which I may not particularly adınire ; but the policy he has lately pursued and avowed, the just appreciation he seems to have formed of the contest with Bonaparte, and the military genius displayed by his brother in the peninsula, are very far from warranting any contemptuous allusion to him or his family. There used to be certainly a feeling of distaste to them on account of their imputed haughtiness ; nor did the Indian governorship, or their domestic politics, tend to diminish it; but the marquis's present conduct seems to be rather
independent than arrogant; and there is a welltempered and strait-forward simplicity about the military character of the field marshal, worthy of the greatcause to which his sword made an opening. The original line, therefore, such as it is, stands against myself, and not against the noble brothers.
(14) You'd have thought 'twas the bishops or judges a coming,
Or whole court of aldermen, having and humming,
This alludes to the affectation of universal superiority-of being best and wisest in whatever they felt, thought, and did—which used to mark the Lake Poets in the days of their innocence, and has not forsaken them now that they are men of the world. It was then, however, a pardonable piece of boyishness and enthusiasm, at which good nature would smile ;-now, it has become a full-grown and insolent pretension, which good sense must deride.
It is curious to see with what apparent unconsciousness this change has been effected. The best feature in their character, till of late years, was their public as well as private integrity ; but the maudlin German cant which first infected their muse at last corrupted their manners, and being a jargon adapted to every sort of extreme, enabled them to change their free opinions for slavish ones, without altering the cast of their language. Good opinion still lingered about some of them ; but latterly the very best have quite lost the bloom of their character, and degenerated, like the others, into servile place hunters, and gross editorial puffers of themselves. Mr. Southey, and even Mr. Wordsworth, have both accepted offices under government, of such a nature, as absolutely ties up their independence; Mr. Coleridge, in pamphlets and newspapers, has done his best to deserve likewise; and yet they shall all tell you that they have not diminished their free spirit a jot. In like manner, they are as violent and intolerant against their old opinions, as ever they were against their new ones, and without seeing how far the argument carries, shall insist that no man can possess a decent head or respectable heart who does not agree with them. Persons who go to neither extreme, are of course to expect still less mercy,
if possible. Mr. Southey, who is one of the pensioned reviewers in the Quarterly, does not blush to tell those who are acquainted with his former opinions of the great and their corruptions, that a mere stickler for Reform now-a-days, even with good intentions, is little better than a " house-breaker."* Poor fellow! he must have
* See an article on the State of the Poor, in a late number of the Quarterly. I mention the authors of these reviews with the less scruple, because I think that anonymous writers in general have no right of concealment, particularly when they attack
been a sad well-meaning profligate in his younger days!—It is in vain you tell such reasoners, that you are neither Jacobin nor courtier, that you have never made a noise about equality, as they did formerly, nor ever truckled to the vice of a court, as they do now :-you differ with them; and that is enough, with their intolerant egotism, to prove you either fool or knave.
The grossness of this utter defiance of candour and consistency would be too despicable for notice, did it not tend to bring all profession and principle into doubt-and to add strength, by so doing, to the scepticism of men of the world, and bitterness to the reflections of those who suffer for being otherwise. But let us never forget to separate an honest and tried consistency from the vague, complexional enthusiasm that starts away at the sight of danger, and runs into any and every extreme. The persons of whom we have been speaking have been always in extremes, and perhaps the good they are destined to perform in their generation, is to afford a striking lesson of the inconsistencies naturally produced by so being. Nothing remains the same but their vanity.
(15) As soon as he saw him, Apollo seem'd pleas'd ;
When this line was written, Mr. Southey had people in this manner-and because I never thought myself at liberty to conceal my own name, when it either was asked or might be so.