Sivut kuvina
PDF

exceptionally busy; and his labours had not been merely great, 'his influence and weight were increasing. His father wrote to him on June 1—

I have had a good deal of conversation with old Tierney at Cassiobury1 about you. I felt anxious to know in what way he thought you would be most useful in your senatorial capacity. I find with pleasure that he has a very high opinion of your' debating powers; and says, if you will stick to one branch of politics and not range over too desultory a field, you may become eminently useful and conspicuous in the House of Commons. He says your speech on his motion was very good, but his friends were dismayed by the great numerical strength of the line of battle in front of them, and became flat and dispirited, and consequently did not cheer you as they ought to have done. The line I should recommend for your selection would be that of foreign politics, and all home politics bearing on civil and religious liberty—a pretty wide range. I hope you will raise your voice on Thursday against the Attorney-General’s odious Bill.2

Lord John was evidently paying increased attention to the business of the House of Commons. At the close of the Parliamentary session, however, the old instinct returned in full force, and he again decided on foreign travel. He had the good fortune to secure, as the principal companion of his tour, a man who was thenceforward to be drawn into close communication with him, to share his entire confidence, and to some extent to influence and shape his opinions. He had, indeed, for many years enjoyed a slight acquaintance with Mr. Moore. But, from November 1818, Lord John’s name recurs with growing frequency in the poet’s journal. Mr. Moore was at this time suffering from the failure of his deputy in the sinecure office in Bermuda to which he had been appointed in 1803. Heavy pecuniary liabilities were hanging over him, and his friends were seriously considering whether they should find him a retreat at Holyrood or advise him to seek seclusion on the Continent till he was freed from his embarrassments. Pending the poet’s decision,1 some of his admirers came forward with offers of pecuniary help. Lord Tavistock, writing to Lord John at Bowood, said—

1 The seat of Lord Essex in liertfordshire. Writing to Lord John from Cassiobury in 1827, Lord Dudley, who was then Foreign Secretary, said, ‘ The most singular form of government with which I am acquainted is that which obtains here at Cassiobury. So far as I recollect, it is not mentioned by Aristotle. It is a pure Doulotraty. I have seen some approach to it in other places, but here alone it is quite unmixed—the person who, in a language borrowed from institutions of an opposite nature, is improperly termed the Master of the HouseI exercising no control over the liveried and salaried depositaries of all lawful authority. These rulers take very little notice of such persons as arrive here under a notion of being his guests; and are evidently displeased with any behaviour on their part that seems to proceed from a misapprehension of the real nature of the institutions established within the walls. It is said, indeed, that there are two or three carpenters and joiners about the place that submit to receive orders from him, but I have no distinct evidence of the anomaly, in which, therefore, I rather disbelieve.’

2 The Foreign Enlistment Bill, on which, howeVer, Lord John did not speak.

I am very poor, but, having always felt the strongest admiration for his independent mind, I would willingly sacrifice something to be of service to him.

And Lord John forwarded the letter to the poet in the accompanying note :— Bowoon. MY DEAR SIR,—I enclose you a note from Tavistock on the subject on which we spoke yesterday. I hope you will not be offended with my saying at the same time that, if you had not expressed to me your resolution not to accept of any assistance, I meant to have proposed to you yesterday to take the future editions of the ‘ Life of Lord Russell,’ as, by Longman’s agreement with me, he was to publish the first edition upon paying only for the print. Perhaps the ‘remainder’ is not worth anything; but, if it is, it is heartily at your service. . . . Believe me, yours truly, I. RussnLL.2

[graphic]

1 The correspondence on this subject is still preserved among the Russell papers. Mr. Allen and Sir J. Mackintosh obtained the highest opinions that (1) until Mr. Moore's creditors obtained from the Scotch authorities letters of caption against him his person would be free from arrest in Scotland ; and (2) within the sanctuary of Holyrood House he would be absolutely free from arrest.

2 This letter is the only extant letter from Lord John to Mr. Moore beginning ‘ My dear Sir.’ All the subsequent letters commence ' Dear Moore.’ There is an allusion to the correspondence in the text in Moore’s Diaries, ii. 343. Lord john reverted to the offer in October 1821 : ‘ I wish you would take my £200,

Mr. Moore at the time declined to accept the proffered help, or to seek shelter from his creditors under a royal roof. The more his wiser friends pressed on him the advantages of Holyrood, the more he himself sighed for the freedom of the Continent. On August 30, 18r9, Sir James Mackintosh wrote to him—

The Continent is best for pleasure; Holyrood House for study, composition, present income, and lasting fame.

But the next post brought a letter from Lord John :—

DEAR MOORE,--Rogers, as I suppose you know, declines going. I hope you have not been persuaded by Allen that Holyrood House, with a view of Arthur’s Seat, is better than Paris with a range of all Europe. I must leave town, however, Saturday, so pray let me know your mind to-morrow night, when I shall be in Arlington Street. I want to go on Saturday in order to cross in my father’s packet on Sunday.—Yours truly, J. R.

The bait proved irresistible. Mr. Moore packed up his clothes, sent his wife down to Sloperton in the coach, and on Saturday, September 4, set ofi" with Lord John in his carriage at seven; breakfasted, and

arrived at Dover to dinner at seven o’clock; the journey very agreeable, Lord John mild and sensible. . . .

[graphic]

and leave more of your £2000 for other things [i.e. the £2000, or guineas, advanced by Messrs. Murray to Moore on the security of Lord Byron's [Lle~ moirs: see Moore’s'Memairr, iii. 260 :q.]. I say this seriously and with a reason. For it is not £200 out of my pocket, but proceeds of the sale of Lord Russell's sze. I have made it a service of duty to spend the money in a manner suitable to the source it came from—for the Parguinotes, for Whit. bread’s election, &c. I shall not in any event profane it to common daily expenses; and after all you may with as much dignity receive the value of the sze of Lord Russell as of Lord Byron. Q.E.D. I shall expect to hear no more about it.‘ Messrs. Longman in 1822 applied this £200 to the settlement of what Mr. Moore called the Bermuda claim (rt/emairr, iv. 22). But it was apparently repaid and suffered to roll up at compound interest till it amounted in 1837 to ,6400. It was then, as appears from a letter to Lord John from Messrs. Longman, invested in favour of the poet’s second son, John Russell Moore, to whom Lord John had stood sponsor. ‘ I shall be happy,’ so he had written to Mr. Moore in 1823, ‘ to stand godfather to any production of yours or Mrs. Moore‘s; so pray tell her I am delighted with the honour entrusted to me.‘

Talked a good deal of politics. Lord John much more moderate in his opposition than the Duke and Lord Tavistock.

On the following morning Lord John and Mr. Moore sailed with the Duke and Duchess of Bedford to Calais, and on the Monday the four friends parted company, the Duke and DucheSs setting out for the Rhine and Vienna, Lord John and Mr. Moore for Paris.

Lord John remained with Mr. Moore in Paris till September 18, spending much of his time in consulting Barillon’s papers, to which the French authorities had previously refused him access. Then, after passing through Fontainebleau, Tonnerre, and Dijon, the two friends crossed the Jura and descended on Geneva,1 where Lord John’s uncle, Lord William, had a villa. Crossing the Simplon, they passed through Como, and reached Milan on October 1. Thence Mr. Moore turned eastward to pay a visit to Lord Byron, who was living near Padua ; Lord John turned westward to Genoa.

It was probably Lord John’s intention, when he left Mr. Moore at Milan, to renew acquaintance with a lady who occupied for many years a warm place in his regard. The Durazzos were a noble family in Genoa in the eighteenth century; and, as Lord John went out of his way to declare, in his ‘Memoirs of the Affairs of Europe,’2 they made large sacrifices in the cause of the Republic. In 1819 the head of the house had for a wife a lady who sixty years ago was well known in English society, and who was described by Mr. Moore as ‘a fine woman; must have been beautiful,- not at all like an Italian.’8 Lord John had probably made Madame Durazzo’s acquaintance during a visit to Genoa in the early part of 1818; and, on leaving the town, had bade her farewell in a sonnet which is still preserved among his papers.4 He

1 This descent suggested to Mr. Moore the first of his series of poems called Rhyme: an lite Road. 2 .Memoir: q“ the Afair: qf Europe, ii. 336.

3 Moore's Alemoirr. iii. 235. 4 The lines are as follows :—

ON LEAVING GENOA. FEB.

Genoa, farewell! thy placid bright blue sea,
The hills that with their folds do gird thee round,

certainly was with her in October 1819, for his stepmother, in writing to him from Vienna, sends her kindest remembrance to ‘la belle et aimable Louise ;’ and it is probable therefore that, when Mr. Moore parted from Lord John at Milan, the latter was drawn to Genoa by a more potent charm than “mountain cape’ or ‘ placid sea.’

His visit was destined to be abruptly terminated. Before Lord John had left England, meetings, held in various parts of the country to promote the measure of Reform which the House of Commons had refused to consider, had culminated in the great gathering at St. Peter’s Field, near Manchester, which is known in history as Peterloo. The yeomanry, in obedience to the instructions of an in.judicious magistrate, charged and dispersed the crowd. But this course was unhappily attended with bloodshed; and, though the magistrates of the neighbourhood, and the Liverpool Administration, thought fit to approve or condone what had been done, a cry of indignation was raised throughout England. Meetings, denouncing the conduct of magistrates and Government, were held in London, Yorkshire, and many of the largest English towns; and Ministers, alarmed at these demonstrations, determined on hastily summoning

[graphic][merged small]

I infer that this was written in February 1818, as Lord John was at Florence in the autumn of r817, and at Milan in 1818, and I cannot find that he was again in Italy in February for many years afterwards. In a letter dated March 30. 29, and signed ‘ with sincere friendship, yr. sincerely afl'te.,' Madame Durazzo says, in the quaint English of a foreigner, ' I feel a sort of pride in every display of your talent, because I have had the quickness of finding out soon the distinction of your mind.’

« EdellinenJatka »