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fully-trimmed nails, with an alarmingly perceptible increase in the rate of mortality.'
Jim looks up quickly, and away again.
That is, alas, true; sapristi!' with an expressive shrug. Particularly among the higher classes,' pursues the lawyer; they are so rash, so sadly rash, and despise proper precautions to-day, if so be that yesterday was fine.'
Jim turns a shade paler. Higher classes! What does the man mean?'
'Ah, well, well,' resumes Peter; how true it is, "in the midst of life"-ah, well!'
Good gracious, man,' breaks in the Captain, 'in Heaven's name let us change the subject!' nervously; I don't suppose you-you know anybody who has-fallen a victim to the uncertainty of the weather?'
I grieve to say, my dear sir, that I do'-very serious. I was alluding to the death of a client of mine. He was taken from us very suddenly.'
Thank God it's a he!' aside, fervently, from Jim.
I fear it is a friend of yours,' the solicitor goes on quietly, watching the effect of his words; in fact, I am sure it is a friend of yours of whom I speak. I should say, a relation. Now, my dear Captain Tregarvan, you really must compose yourself; allow me a moment to tell you all. This relation of yours leaves nothing, by his death-’
'It wouldn't make me one whit better off if he did,' interrupts Jim, in an undertone of intense melancholy. He is thinking of Minnie, not of his dead kinsman.
'Leaves nothing, by his death,' repeats the old man with emphasis, between you and the vast Tregarvan estates! Your brother, Sir Hugo, is no more.'
The ex-fencing master jumps up as if he was shot.
My God!' he stammers, in a dream; then I'm-I'm-' You are Sir James Tregarvan; and, as I said, now the largest land-owner in the county of Cornwall.'
Camille has been listening eagerly, leaning over the table with breathless interest. Holy Virgin!' he exclaims, clasping Jim's hand in his; 'calm yourself, my friend. It is the lot of each of us. That cannot avoid itself. Be firm, my friend. Ah, mon Dieu!"
Jim has hated his brother, and bitterly; but now he sinks into a chair, and hides his face in his hands.
Poor lonely old Hugh!' in a rough murmur. 'Poor fellow! poor fellow!'
Then, after a pause, still to himself:
'And I, Hugh, I am as lonely; your wealth comes too late! Ah, if I had the choice, I had rather be you. Too late!'
PEOPLE WHOM WE MISS
No. III. THE POET MOORE AND DANIEL O'CONNELL.
WHEN I entered Trinity College, sometime about the year 1830, an apartment was taken for me in a quiet street on the north side of Dublin, in order that I might pursue my studies uninterrupted by any contact with those fine joyous bacchanalian spirits who had rooms within the sacred precincts of the University. I am afraid this system of seclusion did not answer the purpose; but I used to meet frequently on the stairs, as I passed from my chamber au quatrième, an elderly lady of most benign aspect, but in stature one of the very smallest personages I ever saw. Frequent meeting in this way led at last to an acquaintance. I learned she was Miss Ellen Moore, a sister of the famous Thomas; and great I remember was my gratification when I received one evening an invitation to drink tea with her. It was the drawing-room entertaining the attic, and I was much pleased by the compliment. It was a thé pur et simple, not a thé dinant; but many handsome young ladies-and Dublin in those days abounded in beauty-used to congregate round the table in that little drawing-room. I became a frequent guest; for although I then abhorred their politeness, the company was mightily to my taste. Upon a certain evening I observed preparations being carried on for an entertainment of a more pretentions character; and I learned that Mr. Thomas Moore, having arrived that morning in Dublin, was expected to join our company. A large party was assembled to meet him. I must own to feeling great astonishment at his appearance, as, if his sister was small, he was smaller still-that is, for a man. He was what Charles Dickens would have called a 'mite.' He came into the room on tip-toe, at a sort of run, with his head thrown back; and first he kissed his sister Ellen most affectionately, then he kissed nearly every other pretty girl he could get at. He was soon surrounded, and he sat there chirping and chatting, and turning his head about like a pet bird. His manner was delightfully frank, genial, and winning. He was full of the gossip of the day, and looked like a well-to-do little gentleman who had no other occupation except amusing himself. His head was nearly bald, and there was just a fringe of slightly-grizzled hair round the back and the temples. His nose was retroussé (cocked). His complexion resembled the colour of a certain apple, with which as a schoolboy I was overfamiliar, called a russet brown, with a good tinge of healthy red in it. A soupçon of the same colour was visible on the end of the little
man's nose; but his head, which he carried in a slanting direction, was very good, and his eye was large, liquid, lustrous, and full of intelligence.
He had a large double gold eye-glass, which he carried suspended round his neck by a black ribbon, and made frequent use of. I cannot remember how he was dressed; but when I met him, as I did, on many subsequent occasions, his attire was peculiar. He wore a long olive-green surtout coat, a blue neckcloth, and a white hat set very much back upon his head. In society it was almost impossible to get at him; for he was generally the centre of a perfect galaxy of petticoats. All the prettiest women seemed to fondle and caress him, and treat him much as they would a large wax doll; but when he sang, as he did on that particular evening, two of his famous melodies, the 'Last Rose of Summer' and 'Oft in the stilly Night,' there was a vibration, a flutter, and a tendency to hysterical emotion instantly perceptible, such as I have never observed in any other audience except that of Mr. Robertson in his chapel at Brighton. I cannot attempt to describe either the singing or its electrical effect; but I could perfectly well understand the meaning of a story which I remember reading in the Memoirs of Sir Jonah Barrington, of how a certain lady of quality, hearing the little man warbling one of his love ditties, laid her hand upon his arm and said: 'For Heaven's sake, Moore, stop, stop! THIS IS NOT FOR THE GOOD OF MY SOUL!' Earl Russell, in his Memoirs, says Moore was the most brilliant man he ever met. I suppose he was right; but this brilliancy was concealed by a manner which, if you did not know who he was, would have led to an entirely different conclusion. He was flippant, restless, and seemed never at ease except when he was the centre of observation. Looking at him, I could not for the life of me bring myself to believe that this was the individual who had inspired Byron with the famous lines:
'My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
Here's a double health to thee.'
Yet there he was hopping about, whispering pretty nothings into the willing ears of Hibernian beauties, and comporting himself much like a boy let loose from school. I could no longer wonder at the Prince Regent's proposal, at one of the Carlton-House banquets, to put him into a punch-bowl, which secured the poet's lasting resentment; but I did wonder how he contrived to inspire so many great men with such an affectionate interest and regard. He was in prodigious request at that time, I remember, in Dublin. The Marchioness of Normanby used to send her carriage to fetch him out for airings in the Phoenix Park, and he was continually receiving invitations to dine with the Lord-Lieutenant, or Lord Morpeth, then the Secretary. A covered
car, which is a species of conveyance peculiar to Dublin, used to fetch him to these entertainments, about which he was constantly making mistakes; for instance, going to dine with the Chief Secretary when he had been invited to dine with the Lord-Lieutenant, forgetting the date of the invitation, dropping in on a day when he was not expected, and making all sorts of strange blunders. In all the relations of private life Mr. Moore's conduct was unexceptionable; a better husband, a kinder father never existed; and he allowed his only sister, at whose house I made his acquaintance, out of his own slender income, sufficient for her comfortable support. But in his children he was peculiarly unfortunate. His eldest son-for whom, by dint of great sacrifices, he purchased a company in the English army-lost his commission through extravagance, and died at Algeria in the French service. The second lost his health in India, and came home to Sloperton to die. His only daughter, while in the act of kissing her hand to him as he was going out to dine at Lord Lansdowne's, fell over the balusters and was killed. Thus perished all his hopes, and he died at last in his own house in the arms of his faithful wife, having outlived even his own brilliant intellect.
The visitors to Dublin may see the little grocer's shop where Moore was born; it is on the right-hand side of Augier-street, and is, I believe, a grocer's shop to this day. He will see also a statue of the poet, which I cannot think does him justice, within the enclosure in front of Trinity College. He may read his voluminous prose writings and his many poems; but no one who has not heard the poet sing them can form the remotest conception of the charm of those wonderful melodies, which, as long as music married to immortal verse has power over the mind, must continue to enchant and delight the world. They have been translated into every living language. Scrope Davies, Byron's friend, wrote thus about them:
'They say, dear Moore, your songs are sung-
At midnight, in the Persian tongue,
Along the streets of Ispahan.'
The writer of this paper in his early life thought those songs perfectly matchless. Age and a tolerably wide experience have not altered that opinion. He asked the poet to write him one in his own hand. Mr. Moore asked which of them he would prefer, and on being told the Minstrel Boy,' wrote it immediately on a sheet of letter-paper, saying at the time: 'Well, I think it is about the best of them.'
Moore's hands were singularly beautiful, and he was so extremely careful about their preservation from any kind of stain, that he always wore a pair of kid gloves when he was writing. In the throes of composition it was his habit to nibble at the ends of these until the tip of each finger was bitten quite through. These trophies were
preserved by his sister Ellen with affectionate solicitude, and became the object of immense competition among the numerous circle of her lady friends. The last time I ever saw the poet he was going into a hatter's shop-Locke's, I think-at the foot of St. James's-street. I followed him to see if he would remember me, and I found him in the act of having his white hat brushed by the shopman. He turned round as we went out at the door; pointing westwards, 'They are all gone,' he said, 'every friend I had in the world; I am like a stranger now in a strange land.' Those were the last words I ever heard him speak, and as he uttered them the tears came into his eyes. He had a dazed appearance at the time, as if his intellectual faculties had begun to give way; which indeed, I learned afterwards, was really the case.
At the time I made his acquaintance, the political fortunes of O'Connell were on the decline, and that formidable agitation which for so many years convulsed Ireland had received its quietus by the State trials of 1846. Sir Robert Peel, who hated the agitator with all the bitter animosity of a cold nature, was at the head of affairs; and under the guidance of that consummate lawyer Sir Edward Sugden, afterwards Lord St. Leonards, who was his Lord Chancellor, criminal proceedings were instituted, which, after a long trial, resulted in the conviction of O'Connell-his sentence to two years' imprisonment and to a fine of 500l. These famous State trials, memorable in many respects, are chiefly remarkable now as showing the glorious uncertainty of the law. They were conducted at an enormous expense; the keenest intellects in the kingdom were engaged on either side. The Irish judges were unanimous in their opinion that the points of law raised in favour of the defendant were untenable. The whole of the English judges coincided in that opinion; but a gentleman named Peacock, who afterwards became Sir Barnes Peacock, an Indian judge, at the last moment hit on what he thought a blot, and on writ of error to the supreme tribunal the House of Lords reversed the decision of the court below-Lord Denman pronouncing his opinion that the whole trial was a mockery, a delusion, and a snare. But the agitation, thus interrupted, was never renewed. O'Connell died shortly afterwards of a broken heart. I saw him on the morning he received his sentence. He came alone into the little robing-room where I used to keep my wig and gown, donned his professional habiliments-his silken robes of Queen's Counsel and his bar wig. As he exchanged for this the curly nutty-brown 'jasey' he usually wore, I observed his head was entirely devoid of hair. He was bald as the first Cæsar.
When the Chief-Justice Pennefather pronounced sentence-he had been the agitator's personal enemy and professional rival through his whole career-I noticed a bitter smile flit over the old man's