Assorted George Letters

Writer: Thomas Moore, Poet

Date: 24th October 1850

Recipient: William Bentley George (1814-1882)

                                Decr16th 1845

My dear Sir
            As I have always fan-
cied that your name was the same as
your uncle’s, and therefore not recogni-
zing your signature, I was just on the
point of committing your letter to that gene-
ral receptacle of the applications I re-
ceive daily for autographs, when lucki-
ly I looked to your address and thus was
saved from the hardly less than crime of
refusing so trifling a favour to a sis-
ter of yours. I have but barely time to
despatch it, and with my best compliments
to the young lady herself am, my dear Sir,
               Yours very truly
                     Thomas Moore

The minstrel boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you’ll find him,
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.
“Land of Song”, said the warrior bard,
“Though all the world betrays thee,
“One sword at least, thy rights shall guard.
“One faithful harp shall praise thee.”

Thomas Moore
December 16th 1845


I think that Moore sent this letter to John Durancé George, and that ‘your uncle’ referred to Samuel Cartwright. Durancé’s sister might have been Annette, who died at Romsey on 1st January 1848; or possibly Catherine, wife of Nathaniel Jackson, who died early in 1846 in Islington.

Moore has written out the first two verses of the four-verse poem The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone which was first published with a musical setting by Sir John Stevenson in the fifth part of Moore’s A Selection of Irish Melodies in 1813.

His address of 'Sloperton' is Sloperton Cottage at Bromham, Wiltshire.

Moore is considered Ireland's National Bard, and is to that country what Robert Burns is to Scotland. He died in February 1852.

Further reading: Wikipedia article

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