10 OCTOBER 1840, Page 17


Tins edition resembles that of SOUTHEY'S Poems more nearly than any other popular reprint of copyright works in the present day ; as it is to be accompanied by biographical pre:faces, professing to narrate the circumstances under which the poems were composed,— though in the volume before us the preihee extends further, giving, in fact, an autobiography of Mr. MooRE's juvenile career in letters,

'rho size and general style of the work correspond with the other collected editions of modern authors; but an injudicious endeavour after novelty has not added to its beauty. The page is circum- scribed by a ruled border, which gives an effect of smallness to its appearance ancl the pea-green binding of the volume, though probably an allusion to the Emerald Isle, may he emblematical, but is scarcely attractive. There is a beautifully-engraved frontis- piece head of Mown; after the portrait by LAWRENCE, and a vignette illustratioo, in which the mechanical execution excels the mental design.

The first volume contains the translation of ANACREON'S Odes, and commences what arc called in the present edition the "Juvenile Poems ;" but the attraction is, of course, in the autobiographical notice. Like fort, Mr. Mown.: appears "to have lisp'd in num- bers;" though there is nothing which will bear a moment's com- parison with the " Ode to Solitude " of the bard of Twickenham, ill Mr. 3loonif's schoolboy fragment, or perhaps in any of his juve- nile ellimsions. The account of his boyish days, his early efforts in literature, and the jollities of Dublin at the close of the last century, are N-cry clicerfill and agreeable—full of a sort of con- viviality, which perhaps, after all, formed the charm of his poems, and was the secret of their success. Ilere is the narrative of Ids first efforts at composition and publication.

" The whole of the poems contained in the first, as well as in the greater part of the second vulnine of this cullucl bat, were written between the sixteenth and the twenty-third rear ad' the author's age. But I had begun still earlier, not only to rhyme but to publish. A sonnet to my schoolmaster, M. Samuel 'hyte, written in my fourteenth year, appeared at the time in a Dublin ma-

gazine, called the ' Anthelogia first, and, I liar, almost only creditable attempt in periodical literature of "Lich Ireland has to boast. I had even at an earlier period (1793) sent to this magazine two short pieces of verse, pre- faced by a note to the editor, requesting the insertion of the ' V,t00Itf at- tempts of a youthfid muse ; ' and the tai and trembling frith which I ventured 111)00 this step were agreeably dispelled, not only by the appearance of the con- tribution:, but still more If.) no finding myselfi a low months after, hailed as

' Our esteemed correspondent " Moor; :; SCHOOLMASTER.

Iffy schoolmaster, 3Ir. Whyte, though amusingly vain, was a good and kind. hearted num ; and, as a teacher or puhlic reading and elocution, had long en- joyed cenSitleHthle reputation. Nearly WI ty years belifre 1 became his pupil, Richard Dribsley Sheridan, then about eight or nine :saws of age, had been placed by 3Irs. ff"beritlan under his care; and, strange to say, was, after about a year's trial, paonounced both by tutor and parent to be " an iucorrigible dunce."


At the time when I first began to attend his school, Mr. Whyte still con- tinued, to the no small alarm of mammy parents, to encourage a taste fur aetintr among his pupils. In this Fife I was long his favourite show-scholar; alit among the playbills harm:hie, d in his volume, to illustrine the occasions of his own prologues and epilogues, there is one or a play got up in the year 17013, at

Lady Durrowes's Firing theatre in where, among the items of the evening s entertainment, is " An Epilogue, A Stiteceze /0 fit. Pours, 3Iaster Moore."

With acting, indeed, is associated the very first attempt at verse-making to which may memory enables me to plead. guilty. It was at it period, I think, even earlier than the date last mentioned, that, whiic passing the summer holy- days, with a nund:.-r of ()OLT young people, at one a those bathing- places ha

the neighhourlimd of which :Ilford such fresh amid bealthfill retreats to its inh.fl.itams, it: was pr..posed among us that we should combine together in

some tin atrical purtlaniance ; and tl:u er.1 a Dark quill Pan- tomime being: the entertainments agreed ni.m, the tarts of 13.ariek foul the Motley hero full tl.:,Iny share. 1 v.ad also t1) write and recite an appropriate epilog:a: on time occasion ; and the f .1:•.:e.hii; lines, allud r

ing to ou speedy return to subsol, and rcularka!iio only for their having lived so lung in lay memory, formud part of this juvcbilu effort.

ff the nmudoon. who Ina :/ age,11..ok,

ro•on.ioIris milli, his tad:. 1.!g.

Oar sl.ipn'd. d die 1, Mos ,Ion by his mader s side."

I have thus Leen lad 1,:sek, fop by step. from an early 'mite to one still earlier, with the view of it..cern:ining, Mr those who Mk,' any interest in literary bio- graphy, at what rtiOd I 111,1 showed an aptitude finf the now common Craft of verac-InalaIng; and the result is—so far back in childhood Ifes the epoch—that I fun naily unable to Say at what age I first began to act, sing, and rhyme. Aii;ottlfs mother earnestly wished that her sou should study tiur the bar ; but the family NV:IS Catholic, and at that time every avenue to distinction v,:ls RODIalliStii. Ll 17,3, however, tiler: , g;,ni„g re„tricti,,,es avt-re swept away, and ..\1r. MOORE entered time l'elvcrsitv. To gratify- maternal pride, he be- came competitor for a scholarship, and was successtid ; but the honour Was all he obtained, the proiit being reserved for a Protest- ant. Ile 5000 blonSd1 too, by verse its well as learn- ing: and this was iris first experience of • A CRITIC, IN Hoomm- rizesesee. you great credit ; and I shall not fail to recommend them to the notice of the Board." This result of a step ventured upon with some little fear and scruple, was of course very gratifying to me ; and time premium I received from the Board was a well .bound copy of the Travels of Anaellarsis, together with a certificate, stating, in not very lofty Latin, that this reward had been conferred upon me "propter laudabilem in versibus cmnponendis progressum."

The commencement of the translation of ifintereon is narrated in sonic detail; but the narrative breaks off with Mr. MOORE'S arrival in London, though his autobiography here would have been of the richest, had it been fully told—narrating his introduction to

the Prince of WALEs, and his reminiscences of the wits then about town, and of their convivial doings. Perhaps these are judiciously reserved to impart new interest to another volume.

The poems that follow the Anacreon, though called "Juvenile," contain in reality part of the once celebrated "Little's Poems" ; the remainder to be completed in the second volume. The majority of these verses always struck us as somewhat nutgazinivh—such as if published now would have attracted but little attention, and which even in their own day were as much indebted to their titillating allusions for their success, as to any higher qualities. One or two of the poems in the present volume may be considered of a questionable nature, the others may pass; and we trust that it is intended to omit the looser ones altogether, not less upon moral than prudential considerations. The retention of some of Mr. MoosE's warmer effusions would, in our opinion, injure the circulation of the work ; and they are not of a nature to be missed,

or of a character to be regrett I

garbling' of Queen Mob by Mrs. SHELLILY was unauthorized : it removed nothing which could sap amorality by inflaming the ideas, but merely speculative opinions which it was well known the author cut< relined ; and it destroyed the character of a very,- remarkable production. But the bulk of Litlie's Poem.: might be extinguished \\idiom loss to literature. In the present voitune, the only two which rise much above mediocrity, arc " Friend of my soul," and " When Time, who steals our years away." The former, indeed, has all ineongrueus mixture, by calling upon the niodern toper to " shade his brow" with the " wreath" Of all ancient bacchanal; but the latter is animated by an agreeable combination of truth and l'aney, the limey neither pushed to an extreme nor degenerating into acre prettiness, whilst, to the best of our remembrance, the idea is original.