« AnteriorContinuar »
tical air sung by the boatmen, - how closely it linked itself in my imagination with the scenes and sounds amidst which it had occurred to me, — may be seen by reference to a note appended to the glee as first published, which will be found in the following pages.*
To the few desultory and, perhaps, valueless recollections I have thus called up, respecting the contents of our second volume, I have only to add, that the heavy storm of censure and criticism,
some of it, I fear, but too well deserved, — which, both in America and in England, the publication of my “Odes and Epistles” drew down upon me, was followed by results which have far more than compensated for any pain such attacks at the time may have inflicted. In the most formidable of all my censors, at that period, — the great master of the art of criticism, in our day, - I have found ever since one of the most cordial and highly valued of all my friends; while the good-will I have experienced from more than one distinguished American sufficiently assures me that any injustice I may have done to that land of freemen, if not long since wholly forgotten, is now remembered only to be forgiven.
As some consolation to me for the onsets of criticism, I received, shortly after the appearance of my volume, a letter from Stockholm, addressed to “the author of Epistles, Odes, and other Poems,” and informing me that “the Princes, Nobles, and Gentlemen, who composed the General Chapter of the most Illustrious, Equestrian, Secular, and Chapteral Order of St. Joachim,” had elected me as a Knight of this Order. Notwithstanding the grave and official style of the letter, I regarded it, I own, at first, as a mere ponderous piece of pleasantry ; and even suspected that in the name of St. “ Joachim ” I could detect the low and irreverent pun of St. Jokehim.
* Page 100. of this volume.
On a little inquiry, however, I learned that there. actually existed such an order of knighthood; that the title, insignia, etc. conferred by it had, in the instances of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Bouillon, and Colonel Imhoff, who were all Knights of St. Joachim, been authorized by the British court; but that since then, this sanction of the order had been withdrawn. Of course, to the reduction thus caused in the value of the honour was owing its descent in the scale of distinction to “such small deer” of Parnassus as myself. I wrote a letter, however, full of grateful acknowledgment, to Monsieur Hansson, the ViceChancellor of the Order, saying that I was unconscious of having entitled myself, by any public service, to a reward due only to the benefactors of mankind; and therefore begged leave most respectfully to decline it.
FRANCIS, EARL OF MOIRA,
GENERAL IN HIS MAJESTY'S FORCES, MASTER-GENERAL
OF THE ORDNANCE, CONSTABLE OF THE TOWER, ETC.
It is impossible to think of addressing a Dedication to your Lordship without calling to mind the well-known reply of the Spartan to a rhetorician, who proposed to pronounce an eulogium on Hercules. “On Hercules !” said the honest Spartan, “who ever thought of blaming Hercules ?” In a similar manner the concurrence of public opinion has left to the panegyrist of your Lordship a very superfluous task. I shall, therefore, be silent on the subject, and merely entreat your indulgence to the very humble tribute of gratitude which I have here the honour to present. I am, my Lord, With every feeling of attachment
THOMAS MOORE. 27 Bury Street, St. James's,
April 10, 1806.