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TO HIS SON AT SCHOOL.
mately gain an independence for myself and children," this is plain and intelligible; but, by Birkbeck's account, it is much like settling at Putney or Kew; only the people are more liberal and enlightened. Their economy and their cheap government will də some good in this country by way of example. Their allowance to Monroe is £5,000 per annum; and he finds his own victual fire, and candles!
Ever yours, dear Lord Grey, most sincerely,
TO HIS SON DOUGLAS.
(To Douglas Smith, Esq., King's Scholar at Westminster College, Foston Rectory, 1819.) My dear Douglas: Concerning this Mr. I would not have you put any trust in him, for he is not trustworthy; but so live with him as if one day or other he were to be your enemy. With such a character as his, this is a neces
In the time you can give to English reading you should consider what it is most needful to have, what it is most shameful to want-shirts and stockings, before frills and collars. Such is the history of your own country, to be studied in Hume, then in Rapin's History of England, with Tindal's Continuation. Hume takes you to the end of James the Second, Rapin and Tindal will carry you to the end of Anne. Then, Coxe's "Life of Sir Robert Walpole," and the "Duke of Marlborough;" and these read with attention to dates and geography. Then, the history of the other three or four enlightened nations in Europe. For the English poets, I will let you off at present with Milton, Dryden, Pope, and Shakespeare; and remember, always, in books, keep the best company. Don't read a line of Ovid till you have mastered Virgil; nor a line of Thomson till you have exhausted Pope; nor of Massinger, till you are familiar with Shakespeare. I am glad you liked your box and its contents. Think of us as we think of you; and send us the most acceptable of all presents -the information that you are improving in all particulars.
The greatest of all human mysteries are the Westminster holidays. If f you can get a peep behind the curtain, pray let us know immediately the day of your coming home.
We have had about three or four ounces of rain here, that is all. I heard of your being wet through in London, and envied you very much. The whole of this parish is pulverized from long and excessive drought. Our whole property depends upon the tranquillity of the winds: if it blow before it rains, we shall all be up in the air in the shape of dust, and shall be transparished we know not where.
God bless you, my dear boy! I hope we shall soon meet at Lydiard. Your affectionate father,
(To Lady Mary Bennett, Dec. 1821.) In the first place I went to Lord Grey's, and stayed with them three or four days; from thence I went to Edinburgh, where I had not been for ten I found a noble passage into the town, and new since my time; two beautiful English chapels, two of the handsomest library-rooms in Great Britain, and a wonderful increase of shoes and stockings, streets and houses. When I lived there, very few maids had shoes and stockings, but plodded about the house with feet as big as a family Bible, and legs as large as portmanteaus. I stayed with Jeffrey. My time was spent with the Whig leaders of the Scotch bar, a set of very honest, clever men, each possessing thirty-two different sorts of wine. My old friends were glad to see me; some had turned Methodists-some had lost their teeth some had grown very rich—some very fat-some were dying—and, alas! alas! many were dead; but the world is a coarse enough place, so I talked away, comforted some, praised others, kissed some old ladies, and passed a very riotous week.
AN ARGILLACEOUS IMMORTALITY.
(To John Murray, Foston, 1821.) How little you understand young Wedgewood! If he appears to love waltzing, it is only to catch fresh figures for cream-jugs. Depend upon it, he will have Jeffrey and you upon some of his vessels, and you will enjoy an argillaceous immortality
(To the Countess Grey, Foston, York, Feb. 19, 1823.) For God's sake, do not drag me into another war! I am worn down, and worn out, with crusading and defending Europe, and protecting mankind; I must think a little of myself. I am sorry for the Spaniards-I am sorry for the Greeks-I deplore the fate of the Jews; the people of the Sandwich Islands are groaning under the most detestable tyranny; Bagdad is oppressed—I do not like the present state of the Delta-Thibet is not comfortable. Am I to fight for all these people? The world is bursting with sin and sorrow. Am I to be champion of the Decalogue, and to be eternally raising fleets and armies to make all men good and happy? We have just done saving Europe, and I am afraid the consequence will be, that we shall cut each other's throats. war, dear Lady Grey!-no eloquence; but apathy, selfishness, common sense, arithmetic! I beseech you, secure Lord Grey's sword and pistols, as the housekeeper did Don Quixote's armour. If there is another war, life will not be worth having. I will go to war with the King of Denmark if he is impertinent to you, or does any injury to Howick; but for no other cause.
"May the vengeance of Heaven" overtake all the Legitimates of Verona! but, in the present state of rent and taxes, they must be left to the vengeance of Heaven! I allow fighting in such a cause to be a luxury; but the business of a prudent, sensible man, is to guard against luxury.
(To Lady Holland, 1823.) Nothing can be more disgusting than an Oratorio. How absurd, to see five hundred people fiddling like madmen about the Israelites in the Red Sea! Lord Morpeth pretends to say he was pleased, but I see a great change in him since the music-meeting. Pray tell Luttrell he did wrong not to come to the music. It tired me to death; it would have pleased him. He is a melodious person, and much given to sacred music. In his fits of absence I have heard him hum the Hundredth Psalm! (Old Version.)
(To Lady Holland, 1827.) Jeffrey has been here with his adjectives, who always travel with him. His throat is giving way; so much wine goes down it, so many million words leap over it, how can it rest? Pray make him a judge; he is a truly great man, and is very heedless of his own interests. I lectured him on his romantic folly of wishing his friends to be preferred before himself, and succeeded, I think, in making him a little more selfish.
IRRELIGION AND IMPIETY.
Foston, 1827.) I hate the insolence, persecution, and intolerance, which so often pass under the name of religion, and (as you know) I have fought against them; but I have an unaffected horror of irreligion and impiety; and every principle of suspicion and fear would be excited in me by a man who professed himself an infidel.
(To Lady Holland, 1828.) Many thanks for your kind anxiety respecting my health. I not only was never better, but never half so well indeed I find I have been very ill all my life, without knowing it. Let me state some of the goods arising from abstaining from all fermented liquors. First, sweet sleep; having never known what sweet sleep was, I sleep like a baby or a ploughboy. If I wake, no needless terrors, no black visions of life, but pleasing hopes and pleasing recollections: Holland House, past and to come! If I dream, it is not of lions and tigers, but of Easter dues and tithes. Secondly, I can take longer walks, and make greater exertions, without fatigue. My understanding is improved, and I comprehend Political Economy. I see better without wine and spectacles than when I used both. Only one evil ensues from it: I am in such extravagant spirits that I must lose blood, or look out for some one who will bore and depress me. Pray leave off wine: the stomach quite at rest; no heartburn no pain, no distension.
(London, 1831.) My dear Moore: By the beard of the prelate of Canterbury, by the cassock of the prelate of York, by the breakfasts of Rogers, by Luttrell's love of side-dishes, I swear that I had rather hear you sing than any person I ever heard in my life, male or female. For what is your singing but beautiful poetry floating in fine music, and guided by exquisite feeling? Call me Dissenter, say that my cassock is ill put on, that I know not the delicacies of decimation, and confound the greater and the smaller tithes; but do not think that I am insensible to your music. The truth is, that I took a solemn oath to Mrs. Beauclerk, to be there by ten, and set off, to prevent perjury, at eleven; but was seized with a violent pain in the stomach by the way, and went to bed. Yours ever, my dear Moore, very sincerely.
(To Lady Holland, Combe Florey, 1831.) Philosopher Malthus came here last week. I got an agreeable party for him of unmarried people. There was only one lady who had had a child; but he is a good-natured man, and, if there are no appearances of approaching fertility, is civil to every lady. Malthus is a real moral philosopher, and I would almost consent to speak as inarticulately, if I could think and act as wisely.
(To the Countess of Morley, Bristol, 1831.) Dear Lady Morley: I have taken possession of my preferment. The house is in Amen-corner- —an awkward name on a card, and an awkward annunciation to the coachman on leaving any fashionable mansion. I find, too (sweet discovery!) that I give a dinner every Sunday, for three months in the year, to six clergymen and six singing
*In answer to a note of Moore expressing the regret, that "he had gone away so soon from Ellis's the other night, as I had improved (i. e., in my singing) afterward, and he was one of the few I always wished to do my best for."-Moore's Diary, June 15, 1831.