T. C. Croker, Introductory letter to Notes from the Letters of Thomas Moore to his Music Publisher (NY 1854)

[ Details: [Anon.,] Notes from the letters of Thomas Moore to his music publisher, James Power (the publication of which were suppressed in London), with an introductory letter from T. Crofton Croker, Esq. (Redfield: 110 & 112, Nassau Street, New York [1854]” Includes T.p. engraved in 1853 for suppresssed London edition.

Editorial note: Punctuation and italics have been adapted to present-day style while retaining such features as italics for emphasis. The pagination, which appears in the header of each page, has been moved to indicate page-endings here in in conformity with the general practice in RICORSO.]

 

NOTES / FROM / THE LETTERS OF THOMAS MOORE / TO HIS / MUSIC PUBLISHER, JAMES POWER, / (THE PUBLICATION OF WHICH WERE SUPPRESSED IN LONDON.) / WITH AN INTRODUCTORY LETTER FROM / THOMAS CROFTON CROKER, ESQ., F.S.A, / OF LONDON, / MEMBER OF THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY. / ETC. ETC. ETC.

Introductory Letter from T. Crofton Croker Esq.

To J. S. Redfield, Esq.
110, Nassau Street, New York.
3, Gloucester Road, Old Brompton,
London, 8th March, 1854.       


Dear Sir: - I have to thank you for your courtesy in forwarding to me the sheets of Notes from the Letters of Thomas Moore to his Music Publisher, James Power, which, having been suppressed in this country, were purchased by you for publication in America, and requesting to know, with reference to myself, whether there is any thing I would wish to have altered or cancelled therein.

Whoever the editor may be, I will presume to make no corrections upon what he is pleased to state respecting myself; there is indeed little or nothing on my part to object to, except that matters of such small moment as those in which I am named should be thought worthy of being recalled to memory: and I only beg to observe that at p.81, the woodcut given was from a drawing by my friend William Henry Brooke, although I certainly did design the engraved title-page of the 8th number of the Irish Melodies - a group of antiquarian objects surmounted by an Irish harp; to which Moore refers. However, “violently,” as you observe, the Right Honorable John Wilson Croker remonstrated in the Times of 30th January last against Lord John Russell’s “spitefulness,” I have nothing whatever to do with their literary or political differences, although Mr. Wilson Croker is an old and valued friend of mine.

I will therefore proceed, to the best of my humble ability, to reply calmly to your questions; and if I should exceed the ordinary [iii] limits of a letter, I trust to your indulgence to pardon my tediousness.

Thomas Moore - about whom I need not say one word here, as a poet - died on the 26th February, 1852, and for some time previous to his death, it was no secret that, like Swift, Scott and Southey, his mental faculties had been gone. It was also generally known that for some years previous to the failure of his memory he was in the habit of keeping a journal and of writing notes, with the view of leaving behind him materials for a Biography, as a provision for his widow. But who the editor of that Biography was to have been did not exactly trauspire until the promulgation of the poet’s will, written in 1828, in which Lord John Russell was named. A “task” which his Lordship, in compliance with his promise, nobly undertook. How he has accomplished it is another question; nor have I any thing to do with American opinions respecting Viscount Mahon or Lord John Russell as historians, whatever my own opinion may be.

It had been a curious practice with Moore to ask various people to write a posthumous Memoir of him. He certainly did so to Viscount Strangford in 1806, to myself in 1819, and I have been well assured, to others subsequently. Among them, the late Mr. Moran, the sub-editor of the Globe newspaper, who in consequence formed extensive but not very important collections chiefly of newspaper-cuttings for the purpose. On the 25th April, 1837, Moore visited Moran, and on the following day the latter thus wrote to me - “Moore was particularly pleased with my annotated copy of his works, saying, ‘Well, it is something to have a commentator, and a friendly one too, while one is alive.’ He also obtained a promise that I was to let him have the use of my collection for a posthumous work which he contemplates, and which I hope the public will long lack the sight of. I gave him a hint of your treasures, of which also - i.e. of their existence - he seemed well aware.”

The connection which had existed between the late Mr. Power, the publisher of Moore’s most popular work, the Irish Melodies, from the year 1806 to Mr. Power’s death in 1836, with a short [iv] interval of estrangement in 1832-3, always induced me to regard the collection of Moore’s letters to him, which he had carefully preserved, as perhaps the most important series of documents for the poet’s biography; and that they are “irretrievably dispersed,” to use the words of your advertisement, “has been and still is a matter of regret,” which however adds considerably to the value of your book.

The widow of Mr. Power died on the 17th July, 1850; and by her these letters, manuscript music, the musical copyright of the “Irish Melodies” and other works, were bequeathed to her unmarried daughters.

Some months afterwards, in conversation with the Misses Power, I offered to assist them in arranging this mass of letters; and as it appeared to me that many of them might be required for publication, and that a certain value attached to the originals as autographs, I recommended them to prepare transcripts to be ready when wanted, as the doing so would be a work of time and labour, and the state of Moore’s mind and health had then removed all delicacy of feeling on the subject. I observed to these ladies, who were perfectly aware of the fact, that Moore was then dead to the world; and that in whatever shape a Memoir of him was to appear upon his bodily demise, or whoever was to be the editor of his Journal, the most interesting letters would probably be selected for publication, and if not copied, might in passing through the press be either injured or destroyed. For many months did these ladies assiduously transcribe the letters in their possession, to the amount of about twelve hundred, which had been addressed by the poet Moore to their late father. And if, as Mr. Bentley (the eminent London publisher) told me, he was prepared to offer to Mrs. Moore £4,000 for her late husband’s papers, as the foundation for his biography, I had no hesitation in expressing to the Misses Power my conviction that, in the same ratio, the collection of letters in their possession could not be worth less than £500, for the same purpose.

On the 25th May, 1852, I was informed that Lord John Russell had advised the acceptance of an offer made by Messrs. Longman [v] & Co., on condition of his Lordship undertaking to be the editor of Mr. Moore’s papers, and the sum offered for which, (stated to have been £3000,) “with,” adds Lord John Russell, “the small pension allowed by the crown,” (£100 per annum,) “would enable Mrs. Moore to enjoy for the remainder of her life the moderate income which had latterly been the extent and limit of the yearly family expenditure.”

From copies of about twelve hundred letters, forwarded at Mrs. Moore’s request, for Lord John Russell’s information, fifty-seven only, as you correctly state in the advertisement, were selected and published by his Lordship, many with omissions, which I observe your editor has supplied. The copies of Moore’s letters to Mr. Power, subsequent to 1818, were returned to his daughters with a few unnecessary blottings. All the original letters were then placed in my hands; and after having carefully read them over and weeded them, to the best of my judgment, of letters containing offensive personalities, I had no hesitation in recommending their sale as autographs, with the view to a pecuniary division of property between two sisters. Some good judges estimating the value of a letter at sixpence, others being of opinion that five shillings each would be a fair average price, there was no other way of testing this difference of valuation than in determining the question by public sale.

Accordingly, one thousand original letters and notes from Thomas Moore to Mr. Power, were sold “by Messrs. Puttick & Simpson, auctioneers of literary property, at their great room, 191, Piccadilly, on Thursday, June 23, 1853, and the following day.” Their catalogue, which is now not to be procured, although eagerly sought after, appears to have been the foundation of your volume, and is very properly acknowledged as such. The additions made by the editor, and pointed out in the advertisement, add considerably to the interest of the work. Personally I cannot but feel highly flattered at the manner in which Mr. Moore is pleased to regard me in his conversation with my late valued friend, John O’Driscol.

The British public seem to have read with regret The Memoirs, [vi] Journal and Correspondence of Thomas Moore, edited by the Right Honorable Lord John Russell,” and complaints have been made of many painful and unfair paragraphs having been allowed to appear. Moore’s autobiography of his boyhood, full of childish reminiscences, has been printed by the noble editor of the poet’s remains without any attempt to explain or illustrate it. From documentary evidence, which could easily have been procured, it can be shown to be most unsatisfactory and deceptive - to use no harsher word, - which however may be applied to the narrative of Moore’s foolish duel with Jeffrey in 1806,

“When Little’s leadless pistol met the eye.”

Four hundred carelessly arranged and not very judiciously selected letters, ranging in date from January, 1793, to 8th November, 1818, follow this autobiographical fragment, among which letters is wedged in the account of this memorable duel; and upon the whole, about twenty editorial notes, some of one word only, occur - perhaps altogether they may make forty lines, and are of little or no consequence. Moore’s Diary follows, commencing on the 18th August, 1818, and occupies four 8vo. volumes and a half, terminating at an exceedingly odd date - not the close of the year 1833, but the 31st October, 1833, for as odd a reason, because, “ having reached a period of only twenty years from the present time,” (i. e., the precise date on which the sixth volume [ftn.: The volumes referred to are those of the London edition.] was committed to the press,) the remaining portion of materials are to be employed with more reserve; and announcing what the public had already discovered, that “the constant repetition of daily engagements becomes at length wearisome.” Had these thoughts before occurred to the unreflecting editor of Moore’s Diary, they might have saved some pangs to parties still living, who have been most wantonly assailed, and have judiciously reduced the length of admitted weariness to the reader.

The passages which occur in Volume VI, and to which you call my attention, with reference to Mr. Power, are indeed not only painful and unfair, but the introduction of *** twice over [vii] furnishes inuendoes against the character of Moore’s early patron and friend, which, even if true, should not have been allowed to appear; and therefore the singular termination of the poet’s Diary requires, as you observe, some explanation, as in this very gap of two months - November and December, 1833 - was Mr. Power’s conduct (of which Mr. Moore complains so strongly, and against which Lord John Russell allows insinuations to appear) most completely and triumphantly vindicated. Why then close the Diary on the 31st of October, leaving a slur upon Mr. Power’s name, which would not have been the case if the Diary had been continued to the 31st December, and there was any truthfulness in it?

Your advertisement has echoed the popular soubriquet of “Honest James Power;” and it will be for Lord John Russell to explain, if he can, why, after having published Moore’s unfounded, pettish, and then virulent attacks upon his music publisher, he has not the moral courage to avow himself that they are unjust. And that publishers of Messrs. Longman’s reputation, to whom the transaction must have been well known, could have lent themselves to the promulgation of a garbled statement, in deference to the judgment of any noble Lord, I confess, to me, is both matter of surprise and grief. Let them, however, to use the quaint phrase of their editor, enjoy the pleasure of “ safe malignity” against the memory of a brother tradesman, who, when alive, was courted by them.

In what I am about to state to you, in compliance with your request, truth and justice shall be my only guides towards the graves of departed individuals, where, I had hoped, all differences of opinion would have been allowed to repose, respecting a question of mere worldly dross. But as this has not been the case, the feelings of the resurrectionist who revives such memories must not be shocked at learning that the recollection of a father may be as dear to his children as the memory of a husband to his widow.

If I mistake not, the semi-musical, semi-literary connection between the late Thomas Moore and James Power (the publisher of Moore’s “Irish Melodies”) existed for thirty years. It commenced [x] so far back as 1806, and the first number of that national work appeared in Dublin, in 1807. The copyright of that number was purchased from Mr. Moore for £50; and so successful did the speculation prove to be, that Mr. Power and his brother soon afterwards entered into an agreement to pay Mr. Moore £500 per annum, for seven years, to produce in each year another number of the “Irish Melodies”, with a few single songs in addition. The particulars which led to the temporary rupture between Mr. Power, after upwards of twenty-five years of the closest professed friendship on Moore’s part, are well known to me. Power once said to me, after receiving an insulting letter from Moore - somewhat irritated by its tone - “By G - , Mr. Croker, I am his banker, bill-acceptor, and fish-agent - letter-carrier, hotel-keeper, and publisher, and now he wants to make me his shoeblack.”

Certainly, the impression conveyed by Lord John Russell’s publication is not only an ungrateful return on the part of Moore towards his steady and constant benefactor, but it is equally erroneous as to facts. It may be pleaded that a poet is not always bound to adhere to those every-day common-place matters which form the regular occupation of the mere man of business; however, as I have been nearly all my life more of the latter than the former, and, as I have stated, had opportunities of knowing the details of this matter, in justice to the memory of Mr. Power, (and without communication with any of his family,) I feel it to be my duty at once to contradict to you the statements left on record by Mr. Moore, and it cannot be advanced, unguardedly published by Lord John Russell, who, as your editor is perfectly correct in stating, had the means afforded to him of testing facts, which his Lordship has only done by making serious omissions on the one side of the question.

The circumstances to which I particularly refer, are briefly these: Moore having allowed the pecuniary debt due by him to Mr. Power, on the 1st of January, 1820, of half a crown, or 2s 6d, to creep up on the 1st of January, 1829, to the not inconsiderable sum to a tradesman, of £1,665 13s 1d, for which advances I believe Mr. Power never charged him interest, and for security, [ix] held no other than the brains of the poet - Moore having reduced this large balance due to Mr. Power, in 1832, by about a £1,000, suddenly wished to come to town for a settlement of his accounts. On the 27th Moore called on his music publisher. It was the morning after Moore’s arrival in London; and on the 31st, as usual, made a convenience of Power’s house by dining there, returning to supper, and leaving his son to sleep there. On the 5th April, Moore thus records in his diary:

“To Power’s: having been urging him for my account; indeed, had written before I came to town to say that one of the chief objects of my coming was to see how our long-standing accounts stood, but he seems nervous and shy upon the subject.” Now it may be safely asserted that no such letter was ever written by Moore to Power, from the perfect sequence of six letters written by the former in March, and all at present before me. Moore writes in his Diary between the 1st and 24th March: “Meant to have timed my visit to town (the chief object of which is the settlement of my accounts with Power) so as to be in town to attend St. Patrick’s dinner.”

And that was his true object, and then and there to have announced himself as the candidate for the representation of Limerick, as appears by Moore’s letter to Power of 14th March:

“I have had no formal requisition yet from Limerick, but I rather think they mean to tempt me. What they propose is, a subscription among the women of Ireland for the purpose, which would certainly be a very pretty way of doing the thing.”

Here it should be observed, that Mr. Power had not then received Mr. (now Sir Henry R.) Bishop’s account for musical arrangement, part of which had to be charged against Mr. Moore. This, Mr. Power distinctly told Mr. Moore in my presence , on the 5th April, saying at the same time: “I fear, Mr. Moore, it may be more than either of us expect.” Moore observed, that he did not care much about that, and inquired what was something like the actual amount of his debt? Mr. Power’s reply was: “Why Why, I should say something about £500.” Moore’s light-hearted remark was, “I can soon arrange that .” And Mr. Power’s respectful comment, “Certainly, Mr. Moore, when you please.” [x]

There had evidently been a misunderstanding of some kind between Mr. Power and Moore, before this meeting at which I was present, for on seeing Moore come into his shop, Mr. Power said to me in the back counting-house, where I happened to be chatting with him: “Don’t go, Mr. Croker; you may as well hear all about this bubble Limerick affair” - referring to Moore’s letter of the 14th March; and I know that Mr. Power considered it to be a very silly speculation on Moore’s part, and that if he entered Parliament, his mind would be taken off from literary employment, which would probably plunge him into irretrievable difficulties.

On the 29th, or in about three weeks after this conversation upon the account current between them, which extended over the space of fourteen years, (from 1818 to 1832,) Moore chronicles in his Diary that he received these long-standing accounts from Mr. Power; but he adds -

“Being busy, however, did not look into them till - ”

“May 1st. - Glanced my eye hastily over the balance against me, [which it may be stated, was £534. 0. 10,] and was somewhat startled by its amount; but on looking through some of the items, saw such regularity and (as I thought) fairness in them, that I concluded all was right, and wrote to Power to say so, adding in my simplicity, that I flattered myself, never were accounts of so long a standing settled so smoothly and amicably as ours would be.”

The actual words of Mr, Moore’s letter of 2d May, 1832, to Mr. Power, are -

“The state of our account is pretty much what I expected, and nothing could be kept more correctly and regularly; though I knew the balance would be about what it is, the sight of it in figures startles me; I must, however, work to get it down.”

The entries made in Moore’s Diary under date 4th and fifth May, contain serious charges against Power, and what is infinitely worse, a suppressed passage indicated by *** from the Editor, (who thereby, not having been over-scrupulous about what he had before published,) leaves the worst to the imagination. It is necessary for me to quote the passages at length, [xi] with a view to their perfect refutation, except where no clue has been afforded to what Moore might have called “the starry mind” of his Editor; for poor Moore had long before sent his good genius (typified by the common sense of Power) wandering upon a moonlight night, to get on as well as he could. Prophetically did Moore write of his evil genius, who plunges into the torrent as he -

“idly gazed
On each night- cloud o’er him:
While I touch the string,
Wreathe my brows with laurel;
For the tale I sing
Has, for once, a moral.”

Which moral should be, in my opinion, the correction of the wish expressed in Moore’s Diary, (Vol. ii., p.151,) that “every literary man would write his own memoirs,” into, “I wish no literary man would write his own memoirs, and in an evil hour leave it in the power of genius to unmask his character and destroy all respect for it.” Sooner let such cold-hearted genius shiver and perish on the muddy bank of the stream of Time.

“May 4th. - Took the opportunity of a leisure moment to look more accurately over Power’s accounts, and found, to my consideration, that they are any thing but what I had supposed. ... Wrote to him that in looking over his accounts, I had found what must, I thought, be a mistake; namely, his charges against me during several years for the (£125) of an annuity which, it appears, he paid to Mr. Bishop, and the whole of the large sums charged by Mr. Bishop for the compositions and arrangements to my songs; that it was very true I had assented to a deduction of £650 annually from the £500 that had been for some years paid to me, as an aid towards defraying the expense of the composer, but that I had never, by word or writing, consented to any further reduction of my stipulated annuity, nor had he himself ever even hinted to me his intention of making such a reduction, and therefore his bringing such charges against me now must be an entire mistake.

“6th. - A smooth answer from Power, saying that it was no mistake; that having informed me at the time what was the annuity he was about to give Bishop, he ’ concluded’ that I would not consider it too much to pay the half of it. ‘Concluded’ [xii] indeed! Not the slightest notice does he take of the actual fact that I never assented, in word or writing, to any other reduction of my annuity than £50, which was agreed on between us. Instead of which, he has now mounted up charges little short of £150 to £200 each year.”

This assertion on the part of Moore is not correct. While he declaims like Shylock, “I will have my bond,” Mr. Power modestly pleads “lex Mercatoris” - established custom and “silence gives consent.”

The facts may be briefly summed up. Moore, after fourteen years of procrastination in facing pecuniary difficulties, through which Power helped him to flounder creditably, takes courage to look into them, after three days’ consideration. He then fancies that he discovers an improper charge in the long standing over accounts, by an annual payment made to Bishop for doing what Moore himself was unable to perform, or at least did not do; namely, the arrangement of the symphonies and accompaniments to his words and preparing the music for press. Upon all these points, Moore was exceedingly particular.

On the 6th, or in due course, Moore receives a “common sense” letter - what he calls “a smooth answer from Power,” saying that there was no mistake in his accounts. Nor was there any. At which Moore, who further fancies himself seated as M. P. for Limerick, with a landed qualification from the beautiful lips of Ireland, becomes indignant, and directly changes his tone of address towards a tradesman in the Strand from “My dear Sir” into “Dear Sir.”

From May to October, a correspondence occurs between Moore and Mr. Power which I have been permitted to see - at least, the letters of the former. It is not of an agreeable character, as Moore appears to identify him with his hero, Tom Cribb, and commences sparring at Power and his (common-sense genius’s) power over a literary man, whose head has been turned by the offer of £500 a year from Marryat, (Memoirs, vol. vi. p. 275) and a thousand guineas from Harding, (vol. v. p. 269,) not ten weeks previously, with the prospect of writing M. P. after his [xiii] name as representative of indignant “Limerick of the treaty” or “Cashel of Munster.” Let me pass over all this as briefly as possible; which might have turned astray from the path of honor and duty a less imaginative head than was elevated by nature or education upon the shoulders of Thomas Moore.

Moore candidly acknowledges that he is by no means insensible to Mr. Power’s courtesies “in not pressing rigidly the ‘due performance’ of our deed.” “But allow me,” he proceeds, “to remind you that I have so far gone beyond what I engaged to perform, as in two instances, instead of confining myself to the stipulated number of songs, to have given you poems of considerable length, [alluding to the “Summer Fête” and “Evenings in Greece,”] which, whatever may be the success or failure of the name connected with them, will, as you well know, be property, as literary works, so long as any thing I have ever written shall endure.”

What a specimen of a head inflated with the intoxicating gas of vanity! and so “up it goes,” soaring through a cloud of mystification in the following passage, to the eyes of any reasonable publisher of modern times, who at this period was sustaining heavy losses by the publication of Mr. Moore’s works. In fact, to nearly such an extent had Mr. Power experienced losses through Mr. Moore’s reckless conduct, that Power, after he himself had put up the shutters of his shop in the Strand, lamented to me Mr. Moore’s speculative ideas, and said (literally “with tears in his eyes,” to use Moore’s words,) that he feared he should be ruined by them. He only desired to have more “Irish Melodies”, which he could sell, and not poetry, brought out in an expensive form which remained on his shelves. “For,” said he, “’Butterfly Balls,’ like the ‘Summer Fête’ and slow ‘Evenings in Greece,’ are heavy works to publish with scarcely an expectation of the expense of the production being repaid. I do not want such literary efforts. I want “Irish Melodies” or simple ballads, (like the ‘Woodpecker Tapping’ or ‘Canadian Boat Song’) which will sell and leave me a profit to enable me to pay Mr. Moore his annuity under our deed.” These were Mr. Power’s words; how different was Moore’s estimate of his own value in the market! [xiv]

“Had you,” he writes, “taken into consideration this extra effort of mine, and added to my emuneration [what charming simplicity!] in consequence, I should undoubtedly have thought such an act liberal; but from the language I have always heard you hold on such points, I should not have been surprised at it.”

“When, on the contrary, however, I find the very reverse of all this has taken place - when I find that, knowing as you do the sums of money I can command for my writings, and that I have at this very moment the offer of a thousand pounds for a poem not longer than the “Summer Fete” - when I see that, knowing all this, you yet think it ‘equitable’ to reduce by charges (none of them before announced or specified to me) the sum that in bare justice I should have had for the poems, to a pittance of not so much as four hundred pounds each - I confess that I am surprised, and that a new view of your notions of ’equitableness’ breaks in upon me, of which I had before no conception. In truth, you could not have had a stronger proof of my entire reliance on your fairness, than my writing off to say I was perfectly satisfied with your account, when I had not, I am ashamed to say, done more than glance at a few items of it.”

Moore, having worked himself up into a heat, determines to come down from his elevation as coolly as he can, practically illustrating Curran’s famous joke about Kouli Khan, after having spoiled in his Diary some of Curran’s best Irish pleasantries with those of other wits, which the honourable editor considers not only worthy of being retained, but of explanation!

“As I have here,” concludes Mr. Moore to Mr. Power, “stated to you quietly all that I think on this matter, (what I feel would take far other language to express it,) this is the last letter I shall think it necessary to write on the subject. I shall proceed, at my leisure, to finish such things as are incomplete; and shall forward them to you as I do them.

Yours truly, Thomas Moore.”

The extracts from this letter appear to be very cool indeed. “Proceed at my leisure” to pay off a debt of a thousand pounds to a tradesman, who holds no security for the fulfilment of the promise! In the first place, Mr. Power did not want from Mr. Moore long poems elaborately constructed. He wanted only simple melodies, or ballads, likely to become popular. For the former he had, comparatively speaking, no sale; for the latter, [xv] an extensive one; perhaps at the time, the most extensive sale for works of this class of any music publisher in London. A single song, if it became popular, was a property; if a failure, or it did not sell, a loss of no great consequence; but Moore, who from his cradle to his grave was an actor, felt ambitious that he or his work should monopolize the attention of an audience for a whole evening, and hence the operatic construction of his “Summer Fete,” and “Evenings in Greece,” intended for the drawingroom. But he forgot to inquire where the actors were to be found in private circles, whose performance, after being once or twice listened to with indulgence, any intellectual drawingroom assembly would for hours endure the repetition of. The sale of both works was consequently limited, and the production of Mr. Moore’s long poems connected with music, however he might have estimated their value, proved to be anything but of advantage to the publisher.

Moore has the grace to acknowledge Mr. Power’s forbearance with respect to “our deed.” He then proceeds, without further reference to the matter, to laud his own liberality, by which Mr. Power was so serious a loser, and therefore asks - indeed, nearly demands - an increase of pay upon what already must be considered a most liberal stipend. This is cool. Moore next goes on to insult Mr. Power by the mention of a “pittance” of not so much as £800 for superfluous matter under “our deed,” by which no superfluous matter was required, and being then in Mr. Power’s debt upwards of £500 under that deed. Now, for the cool finale: Moore winds up by a statement to his best benefactor and steady friend in his difficulties and emergencies, that he shall proceed at leisure to pay off this little debt, by completing work that ought to have been long before performed and delivered. The bad taste, and worse feeling, of ingratitude displayed in this letter, attempting to vindicate a breach of contract, or rather breaches of contract, require no comment here.

So long previous to this as the 26th November, 1818, Moore mentions in his Diary “having called upon Power, and mustered up courage enough to tell him that I could not take less than the [xv] clear £500 a year in our future agreement, without any deductions, such as had been made before for the arrangement of my music; left him to consider of it.” And so was off for Holland House. On the 24th January, 1819, Power arrives at Sloperton Cottage, and acquaints Moore that Bishop is the person he thinks of for arranging Moore’s music in future, who, next to Stevenson, Moore prefers. On the following morning they enter into the business of the renewal of their agreement.

“He [Power] at first did not seem quite willing to consent to giving the full £500 a year, but expressed something like a hope that I would contribute towards paying the arranger of the music. However, on my saying it would be better, perhaps, to let the whole matter lie over till some other time, he professed himself quite ready to come into my terms. I accordingly signed the draught of a deed he had brought with him for a clear £500, and then told him he might be very sure I would not allow it to press heavily upon him; as, though I wished to gain my point of having the round sum of £500, (without the deduction of £50, which he had before made for arranging,) yet if he found Bishop’s terms for undertaking the musical part at all extravagant, I should not be backward in giving my former share towards the expense.* Two or three things he said during our conversation annoyed me a good deal: among others, when I proposed that, if he felt any dislike to a renewal of the agreement (which I was not at all anxious for), I might remain free, and merely give him the preference in the purchase of anything I wrote, he said: ‘You know, as to that, I might constrain you to give them to me, as I have your promise in one of your letters to go on to a tenth number of Irish Melodies with me.’ This readiness to take advantage of a mere castle-building promise, made in the confidential carelessness of a letter, did not look well; however, upon my saying as much, he disclaimed all such intention, and said I should never find him other than he had been.”

[*Viz. - half. Sir John Stevenson’s charge was £100. Sir Henry R. Bishop’s, £250.]

Here Moore records the most perfect justification of Mr. Power’s conduct that can be conceived, and stultifies himself subsequently.

Moore being aware that Power was particularly anxious to have, [xvii] instead of unsaleable songs or poetry, the final or tenth number of the Irish Melodies, which the poet had most unjustifiably withheld, on the plea of the want of suitable airs, for no less than twelve years (1818-1830), having acknowledged in a note upon the advertisement to the seventh number of that national work, the receipt from myself alone of nearly “forty ancient airs,” - to some of which he has written words, as have also Lover and Bayley, most acceptably, and feeling that his former letter had not induced “Honest James Power” to alter his accounts, assumes another attitude, and threatens again, on the 1st August, 1832, in a change of tone: “With respect to a future number (or numbers, for my stock of airs is now considerable) of “Irish Melodies”, it will be time enough to talk on that subject when our present accounts are settled to my satisfaction.”

And the speculative character of Moore referred to, is illustrated by the following P.S. to his letter:

Among the things I left in your hands in contemplation of a Miscellany, (now long since given up,) there are, I believe, two or three translations from Catullus which I wish you to send me.

Mr. Power in a feeling of conscious rectitude, stood firm to his accounts. And so Moore’s tone becomes more subdued. On the 20th of August, when returning some proof-sheets, he writes to Mr. Power:

We shall be very glad to see you whenever you may find it convenient to come: but I must repeat that until the very extraordinary account you have made out against me shall have been settled between us, my agreeing to undertake any new work for you is wholly out of the question. Your note leads me to hope that a satisfactory settlement will take place, in which case you will find me most ready to resume a connection, the interruption of which has, I feel, arisen from no fault or default of mine.

It is quite unnecessary to pursue this correspondence further, or to comment upon the last sentence quoted as coming from the pen of one who had been, whether owing to his own fault or the fault of others, a defaulter throughout the greater portion of his life. That unjust feelings of hostility were rankling against Mr. [xviii] Power in the breast of Moore, is evident from his Diary, as most inexcusably published by Lord John Russell, to whom the opportunity of knowing all the circumstances of the case had been afforded.

In the October subsequent to August, 1832, Moore came to London, where, after nearly a week’s disporting himself, he falls in with the poet Campbell, and takes him as a kind of witness to call at Power’s, heartlessly recording respecting his best, his steadiest, and most sincere friend - “my first visit to that gentleman since I have been in town.” Moore, however, had called at the shop of “that gentleman” on the previous day, when he learned that Mr. Power was confined to his bed at his private residence by illness; and yet, though that private residence was not one minute’s walk, (from 34, Strand to 22, Buckingham Street,) that minute appears to have been so precions to the flutter of Mr. Moore through the metropolis, as not to allow him time to perform the ordinary act of courtesy from a “gentleman” towards a tradesman, by inquiring after Mr. Power and leaving his card. If a Lord had been in the case, Moore’s conduct would probably have been very different.

The 14th of October appears to have been the day of Moore’s call at the shop, and whether Mr. Power was found there or in his bed-room by Messrs. Moore and Campbell, cannot be decidedly stated from the Diary of the former. However, they “staid but a few minutes.”

The shop was that in which Moore had formerly been so anxious to be admitted as a junior partner; and he probably might have been so, had not the sagacity of James Power foreseen that habits so vainglorious, so reckless and unbusiness-like as those of Moore, would soon have ruined the concern. Had the partnership taken place, which luckily for Mr. Power it did not, it is impossible to conceive a more unsatisfactory or vexatious partner than Moore would have proved himself to be, notwithstanding the poet’s promise to put annually a thousand pounds’ worth of brains into the stock, instead of subtracting £500 from it.

Moore’s Diary, if closely tested by dates, facts, and circumstances [xix], exhibits the most lamentable confusion of mind and memory. But I am not going to revert to melancholy recollections, nor to enter into too minute particulars to prove this: on the contrary, I would, if I could, appear as Moore’s friendly apologist.

Let us now enter a new year, (1833,) upon which dawns the hope of a reconciliation between Moore and Power. The latter, however, still maintains the correctness of his accounts, and the year opens gloomily enough upon poor Moore. The supplies are stopped from that quarter and another source, (a periodical edited by Captain Marryat.) Neither Harding’s £1,000 nor Heath’s £1,000 were forthcoming, and on the 1st of January Moore makes the following entry in his Diary:

Had been for some days in correspondence with Lardner respecting my Irish History, which I am now about to resume in earnest: and my resources from Power no longer going on, and my supplies from the Metropolitan being now at an end, I found it necessary to request of him an advance of money on the work.

Of course. So, on the 17th February, Moore writes to his “Dear Sir,” the following note, in which, however attempted to be disguised, the cringing feelings of a subdued spirit, unwilling to acknowledge itself to be in the wrong, peep out in every sentence. Moore, who on the 13th of the previous October, could not afford one minute to inquire personally after Mr. Power’s health, now commences,

I am very glad to hear that you are so much better. I have been, indeed, for some days past intending to write you to say that I expected to be up in town about the beginning of next week, and that I look to our then settling our accounts satisfactorily. All I shall now say of them is that, as they stand at present, they exhibit an instance of sharp dealing (to give it no harsher name) which exceeds all I have ever experienced in my connection with men of business, and in comparison with which all you have sometimes heard me complain of from your brother and from Carpenter* [xx] not only fades into insignificance, but actually appears fair and liberal. Having thus, once for all, expressed my opinion of the present state of the transaction between us, I shall not write or utter another harsh word on the subject till I shall have seen whether you yourself consider the matter in the way that is alone worthy of you, and about which, believe me, there could not be two opinions among men of fair and honourable minds.

[*Ftn: And yet Moore’s statement (22d September, 1803) with regard to Carpenter is, (Vol. I. p. 135:) “My dear father should write to Carpenter and thank him for the very friendly assistance he has given me. Without that assistance the breeze would be fair in vain for me, and Bermuda might be sunk in the deep, for any share that I could pretend to in it,” &c.]

Here let me interrupt the current of this letter by observing that there certainly were “not two opinions among men of fair and honourable minds;” so far Moore was right, but their opinion was adverse to Moore’s judgment. He thus continues to Mr. Power:

“I need not tell you (for I have often repeated it to you) that it has always been my intention to go on with you as my publisher, as long as I cared to write or as you cared to publish what I wrote. But this intention was of course founded upon my confidence that you would go on as you commenced, and not - but I have said that I would not any more give way to what I feel on the subject, nor will I.

“I have two works already on the anvil - the tenth number of the “Irish Melodies”, and a collection from the Latin Anthology. In the warm hope that all will yet be right between us, I again sign myself,

Very truly yours, Thomas Moore.”

On Wednesday, the 6th March, Moore arrives in town, but professes to be so much engaged (his Diary will show how) that he can only admit Mr. Power, whose purse is really of so much consequence to him, to an audience after Sunday, and then only by special appointment. “I have every hope,” writes Mr. Moore, “that we shall come to an amicable understanding together.” But he still doggedly continues to assert that Mr. Power and his accounts are wrong, and that he should have paid him £100 a year

more than he was fairly entitled to, (as the sequel will show,) or at the clear rate of £450, if not £500 per annum. He strongly urges this conclusion upon Mr. Power, as it would “at once place us where we were, both in friendship and business.” Then comes the threat: “If, however, you should unfortunately persist in your own view of the transaction, I must then only consult [xxi] with my friends (of whom but one at present knows any thing about the matter) as to what steps I had best take.” On the 17th March, (an ominous day when Irish harmony is in question,) Moore evidently becomes uneasy at what he regards to be Mr. Power’s obstinacy, and, coupled with a request to send a copy of the letter-press of the “Irish Melodies” to Mr. O’Connell, “as he is in want of some mottoes for his letters from them,” goes so far as to admit that “it is just possible that in a business point of view” he may be mistaken, and purposes to leave their differences to arbitration, naming either Mr. Longman or Mr. Rogers on his part, or leaving Mr. Power to name both arbitrators. To this proposal Mr. Power promptly assented, as well as to both the arbitrators named by Moore: but instead of Mr. ongman, his partner, Mr. Rees, agreed to act on behalf of Mr. Power.

To save his time, Mr. Power left with Mr. Rees documents upon which the arbitration was to be founded, to look over; and according to Moore’s statement, both Messrs. Longman and Rees said, that Power “had not, as they expressed it, ‘a leg to stand on’; “and adds Mr. Moore, in his Diary - “In consequence of finding the case so bad, it was Rees’s intention to decline being arbitrator; but I suggested it would be advisable to state at the same time his reasons for so declining, as it might have the effect of making Power think a little more seriously on the subject.”

Now this suggestion, as recorded by himself with a view to prejudice an arbitration, was not only impertinent, but most improper on the part of Mr. Moore. The fact, however, is the very reverse of what Moore has stated in his Diary, and that after looking over the documents confided by Mr. Power to Mr. Rees, the latter said that he “must decline to act in the matter, as Mr. Moore had not a leg to stand upon; and that it would be painful for him to urge an adverse decision upon any claim, however fanciful, set up by Mr. Moore, considering his connection with the publishing-house in which he (Mr. Rees) was a partner.

On the 27th March, Mr. Moore told Mr. Rogers, that Mr. Rees had declined acting as an arbitrator, adding:

“Nothing, Rogers thought, could be more injudicious and mischievous to me than [xxii] this step. Rees ought to have refused looking at my papers till they were laid before him and Rogers together, when they might have secured a settlement; but now, by defeating thus the prospect of an amicable arrangement, he has thrown the whole thing adrift, and left no other alternative but law. This I felt to be but too true. *** ”

What do these *** mean? is not an unfair question; and “my papers?” What! - an advocate not look over his client’s brief before he went into Court to plead his cause? Certainly such things have occurred, but Mr. Rees was not a member of the bar,

“Who would by every commonplace
Make wrong the right or better case.”

No; he was like Mr. Power himself, a plain-spoken, fair-dealing tradesman, who lived respected and died regretted.

My papers ” indeed! why, Mr. Moore’s own Diary, on the very opposite page, without one word as to his verbal ex parte statements, shows “ that Power had been with Rees in the morning, and left him our deeds of agreement and some extracts from my letters to look over.” I should like to know what title Mr. Moore had to call these documents his papers! - papers to be considered in an issue between Moore versus Power, and to be merely used in self-defence by the latter, from the accusation of an overcharge of £500 in his accounts!

On the 4th of April, 1833, Moore records in his Diary, “Visit from Power;” adding, that he “was soon made sensible of the great injury Rees had done me by declining the arbitration, and declining it too, in such a way as to leave Power still under the impression that there was nothing beyond the mere ordinary course of business in his conduct to me. ***”

Here these mysterious and mischievous inuendoes occur again. If the passage was worth giving at all, why leave its meaning doubtful? Why should not an editorial note abridge or explain the circumstances - the result of the interview, or that the MS. was torn or blotted, or could not be deciphered? No, it stands as left by the hand of Lord John Russell, a worse than “malignant” [xxxiii] attack - an unexplained insinuation against the conduct of Moore’s steadiest and unveering friend, “ Honest James Power.”

If Mr. Rees had told Mr. Power that he “had not a leg to stand upon,” (as asserted by Mr. Moore), why should Power have run himself into the risk of threatened law proceedings? He had already suffered severely in pocket from Moore’s duplicity by law charges. And the effect of this proposed arbitration having so far failed by the withdrawal of Mr. Rees, it was determined that another arbitrator should be named in his place with Mr. Rogers, and that if I would accept the unpleasant office, I was

to be the party to act for Mr. Power: but circumstances prevented our arbitration taking place; and I will here only venture to repeat that Mr. Rees’s opinion was, that “Moore had not a leg to stand

upon,” exactly the contrary to what Moore has stated , as will be presently established by the decision of two barristers, one of whom I am happy to say survives, and may be appealed to, if necessary, as to the accuracy of the following statement - Mr. Serjeant Merewether, who was Moore’s arbitrator, and from whom I first learned that Moore had kept a diary chronicling the gossip of the day.

After this interview of 4th April, between Moore and Power, the latter called on me and asked me if I would have any objection to act on his (Power’s) part in a little dispute about a small sum of money of no great consequence between Mr. Moore and himself. To this my answer was, “Certainly not;” adding, however, that “I should like to know something more of the particulars.” When Mr. Power named Mr. Rogers as the party proposed by Mr. Moore in an amicable arbitration, I did not hesitate to assent, and a few evenings afterwards I was allowed by Mr. Power to inspect his books for a series of years with reference to the subject.

I found that for fourteen years Mr. Power had regularly credited Mr. Moore with £500, under the simple entry of “By annuity,” without charging, so far as I recollect, interest upon his advances, which were on the 1st January [xxiv]

1819 £102.11.11   1826 £1233.6.11
1820 - 2. 6   1827 1496.11.10
1821 201.18. 1   1828 1547.12.8
1822 504. 6. 6   1829 1665.13.1
1823 585. 3. 8   1830 966.12.10
1824 842.19.19   1825 1134.7.10
1831 814.12.10   1832 534.0.10

On the 31st December, 1828, Moore wrote to Mr. Power - “To have you so much in advance to me without any set-off in my work, is a very uncomfortable feeling to me, whatever your good-nature may make it to you.”

Moore’s work, covenanted to be performed for this annuity, was always much in arrear, or in such a crude and sketchy state as to be useless to Mr. Power, whose loss by the delay in the production must have been considerable. There is an old adage that “short accounts make long friends,” but Moore thought otherwise; and long accounts appear to him to have been more agreeable with his music publisher, when, in 1828 and 1829, Moore could not but have been aware that he was upwards of £1500 in Mr. Power’s debt; or to use Moore’s admirable sentence with reference to Sheridan, written about this period, (and which truly explains Moore’s own pecuniary situation,) he had attained “that happy art in which the people of this country are such adepts, of putting the future in pawn for the supply of the present.”

Mr. Power’s declaration was, that with a young and growing family, he felt glad to get any thing from Moore, as a kind of security for this heavy advance over and above his annual payments of £500, but that he never could induce Mr. Moore to come to a settlement, as, whenever the subject of their “reckoning” was mentioned, he was “always in a flutter after Lords, Ladies, and Lobsters.”

Power’s accounts showed at a glance that he had always acted in the most liberal spirit towards Moore, as charges for music, binding, stationery, books, and other similar items, although entered in Power’s Petty Cash Account at what is called “the trade” (or a reduced) price, were often struck out, and sometimes the amount [xxxv] was considerable; - at least this is my impression. I had therefore no hesitation in expressing in writing to Mr. Power my candid opinion that, from what I had seen, I did not think that Mr. Moore ought to resist or dispute a balance of £500 against him, in so liberal an account current; for even admitting that more than one charge was wrong, they were balanced or nearly so upon the whole by no calculation of interest upon money in advance being brought to account, as well as by the deductions from the Petty Cash Book; and Moore could, if he pleased, in the course of the next year or two, easily clear off this balance against him by sixteen or twenty songs in a state fit for publication. And therefore that according to my feeling there need be little dispute or arbitration about the matter.

From the documents which I had looked over, it appeared clear to me that Moore was bound to furnish to Mr. Power a certain number of lyrics (sixteen, I think, of course in a proper state for the press) for his annuity of £500; but being unable to do this without calling in professional assistance, he directly sanctioned a payment or deduction from the annuity to Sir John Stevenson of £50 for his musical arrangements; because Sir John wisely selected the brothers Power to be his paymaster of £100 a year, in preference to drawing upon, or “flying kites,” as it was then called, with Thomas Moore. And thus did this charge creep into the accounts of Mr. Power for musical arrangements, reducing Moore’s annuity to £450. This is acknowledged by Moore.

Stevenson having failed, as Moore did (perhaps in consequence), to execute his work within anything like the stipulated time, Moore, whose fine musical ear and fastidious taste no one can doubt, was left at liberty to select another “musical arranger,” and his choice fell upon Sir Henry Bishop; who however considered £250 per annum, instead of £100, to be nearer his marketable value for the performance of the work required of him by Mr. Moore and Power; towards this Mr. Power contributed his half, charging the other against Mr. Moore. But let us revert to previous circumstances.

Moore, in his letter of 10th April, 1813, to Mr. Power, says [xxv] that he would give Sir John Stevenson one of his hundreds to get him fixed with him. This shows that he was willing to pay, twenty years previously to his dispute with his publisher, more than £50 per annum to arrange his lyrical compositions, for the arranger suited his taste.

Mr. Moore even never objected to an additional sum charged against him on the 9th August, 1816, for Sir John Stevenson’s compositions of five sacred songs, viz., £41. 13. 4. This alone is a proof that Moore always considered himself to be liable for such charges in proportion to the annuity, exclusive of the charge for arrangement.

In letter of 29th August, 1818, Mr. Moore says that in justice to Mr. Power his works “must be put into a finished state by some one.” He also says: “You can hardly fix upon any composer for the purpose till I am on the spot to consult with you.” A proof that Bishop would not have been employed on Moore’s works without his advice and consent.

In letter of 23rd December, 1818, Moore says that he has written to Stevenson to know if he means to finish his works, as, if he will not do them off hand, he (Mr. Moore) must get somebody else to do them. This shows that Mr. Moore considered himself as employing his own arranger and composer.

On the 18th January, 1819, Moore stated by letter to Mr. Power, that the account furnished to December was “highly satisfactory,” and made no objection to the sum of £41. 13. 4 charged by Sir John Stevenson for composing five sacred songs - making the annual payment to him £91. 13.4. And yet, in the face of this fact, Mr. Moore has the audacity to write to Mr. Power, on the 8th May, 1832, “I but require you to adhere to the terms on which we first commenced, with the simple exception of the £50 a year deducted from my annuity to pay the arranger, which is the only deviation from our original terms that either you ever proposed, or that I, either by word or writing, ever consented to.”

After this strange lapse of memory, who can believe any statement made by Mr. Moore?

Moore’s letters to Mr. Power of 16th and 22nd July, 1823, [xxxvii] January, 1824, and 17th April, 1829, establish the fact that Moore employed Bishop to compose music to his words, and of course bound himself to pay for those compositions he had thus ordered, however willing to transfer his debt to the shoulders of his pecuniary Atlas, Mr. Power.

Indeed, all this appeared so obvious to me, that I stated to Mr. Power my conviction that, without any arbitration being necessary, if the matter was put in its proper light before Mr. Moore by any mutual friend, he could not fail to be convinced of the erroneous view he had taken of his case with Mr. Power, both in honour and in equity. And I drew up a short statement, of which some parts have been used in the present letter. But Mr. Moore was not to be convinced, and he went about making representations of his supposed grievance, which no doubt he made appear to be a real one to many, by the suppression of facts.

Early in August, Moore appeared again in London, and returned to his old charge about the accounts by addressing the following somewhat taunting letter to Mr. Power:

“Brooks’s, August 8, 1833.

“Dear Sir: - Until the main point of difference between us, - that of the charges for arrangement which you have (so entirely at your own discretion and without even asking my assent) brought against me, - until this important point has been settled in the way that not only myself, but all the friends I have consulted upon the subject think fair and honest, you must excuse my declining to enter into those details on which you ask for my reply.

“Mr, Rees informs me that since I was last in town, he professed to you his readiness to undertake the arbitration which he had before declined; but that you did not seem disposed to accept the offer. I also, you will recollect, went so far (much too far, in the opinion of some of my friends) as to beg that you yourself would appoint any two persons whatever to decide between us, and I would most Willingly abide by their decision. What would you think of the fairness of the man that declines such a proposal? I know, at least, what in former times you would have said of him.

“Yours, &c. Thomas Moore.”

As I had not given my refusal to act with Mr. Rogers as an arbitrator in this, as it appeared to me, most unnecessary dispute, Mr. Power had naturally and most honourably hesitated for the [xxxviii] second time accepting the services of Mr. Rees, of whose opinion he was aware, in the adjustment of a very simple question, whether Moore was entitled to receive £450 per annum, positively claimed by him, or £350, the difference having been paid to Bishop, instead of Stevenson, for performing Moore’s work. This statement of the case has been repeated, for we are now about to come rapidly to the conclusion of these unhappy differences, and to show how completely Mr. Power was right, and how vexatiously Mr. Moore was wrong. Even the loss of the “pittance” of £350 per annum, for no very great amount of Kabour, (sixteen songs,) Mr. Moore does not appear to have, been very anxious to abandon.

And so he writes to Mr. Power:

“Brookes’s, Nov. 3.

“Dear Sir: - Having brought up to town some musical works for publication, I am unwilling to take any steps in the matter till I shall have heard from you on the subject of our accounts, and learned whether you are inclined to bring them to a fair and equitable settlement; my opinion of the statement you have already furnished me with is so well known to you, that I need add nothing more, than that I am

“ Yours, &c, Thomas Moore.”

“You will have the goodness to address your answer as above.”

Of course Mr. Power did so; and the result was, the appointment of the late Mr. Horace Twiss (M.P. and Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies) as the arbitrator on his part, and on that of Mr. Moore, Mr. Serjeant Merewether, (now Town Clerk of the city of London,) with, of course, the choice of an umpire. This agreement to refer to arbitration is dated 14th November, 1833, upon a stamp of thirty-five shillings, and was drawn up by Messrs. Clarke and Fynmore, the award to be made on or before the 21st December, or, in case an umpire was necessary on or before 21st January, 1834.

It was soon followed up by the choice of an umpire in

Power and Moore

“We concur in requesting the favour of Sir George Rose to act as umpire between us in the event of any difference arising.

(Signed,)
Horace Twiss,
Hy. Alworth Merewether.

Dec. 3, 1833.”

[xxix]

“I am perfectly willing to act as umpire in the event suggested. (Signed,) G.Rose.”

There was no occasion however, for any reference to an umpire, as the following document will prove:

“Park Place, St. James’ street,
December 17th, 1833.     

“Every thing to rest as it is between the parties, except (as hereafter mentioned,) both with respect to the accounts and works.
 “Mr. Power to deliver up the Musical Annual, (except the songs.)
 “Mr. Power to give up the Miscellany.
 “Mr. Moore to supply sixteen songs as before, for the tenth number of the “Irish Melodies”, at the sum of £500, allowing £50 for the arranging them, AND £100 for any other difference between the parties; and therefore, on payment of £350, Mr. Moore to deliver to Mr. Power sixteen songs for the tenth number, and to execute a conveyance to Mr. Power of the copyrights of the works which Mr. Moore has supplied to Mr. Power.”

“Wednesday, Dec. 18th, 1833.

“Met Mr. Twiss in Portugal street, and then went to Mr. Power’s; told both that though the new proposal was a departure from the old one, yet he would accede to it, but must require the payment of the £350 when the tenth number was delivered, which however, would not be for some months.

“Having thus settled the matter, begged Mr. Power to send for his papers, which he did, and I delivered them to his son.

(Signed.) “H. A. M.”

Thus ends! these lamentable details of Moore’s petulancy; which Would never have been allowed to see any other light than that of the fire, had not Lord John Russell’s publication dragged them forth in vindication of the slandered character of as kind-hearted and as noble-minded a man as ever existed. Moore’s vain-glorious opinion of his own floating ability through life, when buoyed up by Power’s cash and credit, made him have no hesitation, like a swimming child, when he thought himself secure, to strike out right and left, leaving the means by which he had been supported to drift with the current. The retrospect is deplorable. Moore entered into unworthy pecuniary discussions with his long-tried and best friend; they certainly gave many a severe and undeserved [xxx] pang to the closing years of Mr. Power’s anxious and struggling life. Moore was profuse, and even wanton, in his expenditure both of time and money. Power liberal, but economical of both.

And that Lord John Russell’s editorship should have revived the recollection of these pangs, no one can regret more than myself. It would not only have been kind, but judicious on his Lordship’s part, to have consigned these feelings of human frailty to the oblivion of the grave. And it is indeed a very feeble apology for ungenerous admissions in a half-told story, that Moore “was one of those men whose genius was so remarkable that the world ought to be acquainted with the daily current of his life and the lesser traits of his character.”

If this be admitted as a truism, it will not be denied that there are two sides to every question. And it only remains for me to congratulate you upon the decided step you have taken respecting submitting to the world the Power Correspondence of Moore, so far as it is now possible to do so.

I remain, Dear Sir, your very obedient servant,

T. Crofton Croker.

P.S. - As I was about to close this letter, I received from Mr. Murray a pamphlet, entitled “Correspondence between the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker and the Right Hon. Lord John Russell, on some passages of ’Moore’s Diary,’ with a Postscript by Mr. Croker, explanatory of Mr. Moore’s Acquaintance and Correspondence with him.”

The correspondence having appeared in the Times newspaper of the 30th of January and 1st instant, you will probably have seen, With the P.S., which, like that of a lady’s letter, contains the more important matter, it is unnecessary for me to trouble you, as copies of the pamphlet will no doubt have found their way into the United States by the packet which conveys this communication to you.

[End; note that a copy of the Puttick & Simpson catalogue is held in Glasgow Library - see COPAC online; accessed 1.11.2010.]

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