Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/256

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


In the August of 1792, he went to Paris, to witness with his own eyes the memorable proceedings which were then in progress in the French capital, and which others were content to learn from report. Dr Moore, on this oc- casion, frequently attended the National Assembly. He was present also at the attack on the Tuilleries, and witnessed many other sanguinary doings of that frightful period. On his return to England, he began to arrange the materials with which his journey had supplied him, and in 1795, published " A View of the Causes and Progress of the French Revolution," in two volumes 8vo M dedicated to the duke of Devonshire. This work was followed, in 1796, by " Edward : Various Views of Human Nature, taken from Life and Man- ners, chiefly in England;" and this again, in 1800, by " Mordaunt, being Sketches of Life, Characters, and Manners in various countries; including the Memoirs of a French Lady of Quality," in two volumes 8vo. These works scarcely supported the reputation which their author had previously acquired : in the latter he is supposed, in detailing some gallant feats of a young British officer, to allude to his heroic son, the late general Moore, who was then a field-officer.

Dr Moore has the merit of having been one of the first men of note who ap- preciated and noticed the talents of Burns, who drew up, and forwarded to him, at his request, a sketch of his life. This was followed by a correspondence in 1787, which is to be found in those editions of the poet's works, which include his Letters.

At the time of the publication of his last work, " Mordaunt," Dr Moore had attained the 70th year of his age. He did not again appear before the public, but spent the short remaining period of his life in the quiet seclusion of his residence at Richmond, in Surrey. After an illness of considerable duration, he died at his house in Clifford Street, London, February 29, 1802.

" As an author," says a distinguished modern writer, 1 " Dr Moore was more distinguished by the range of his information, than by its accuracy, or extent upon any particular subject ; and his writings did not owe their celebrity to any great depth or even originality of thought. As a novelist, he showed no ex- traordinary felicity in the department of invention ; no great powers of diversi- fying his characters, or ease in conducting his narrative. The main quality of his works is that particular species of sardonic wit, with which they are indeed perhaps profusely tinctured, but which frequently confers a grace and poignancy on the general strain of good sense and judicious observation, that pervades the whole of them."

Dr Moore left five sons, and one daughter, by his wife, previously Miss Sim- son, daughter of the reverend Mr Simson, professor of divinity in the univer- sity of Glasgow. The eldest of the former, John, became the celebrated military general already alluded to ; the second adopted his father's profession ; the third entered the navy ; the fourth was admitted into the department of the secretary of state ; and the fifth was bred to the bar.

MOORE, (Sm) JOHN, a distinguished military commander, was born at Glasgow, on the 13th of November, 1761. He was the eldest son of Dr John Moore, the subject of the preceding article, by a daughter of John Simson, professor of divinity in the university of Glasgow. His education commenced at a public school in Glasgow, and, afterwards advanced at the university of that city, was completed under the eye of his father, then acting as travelling tutor- to the duke of Hamilton. The subject of this memoir accompanied Dr Moore during five years of continental travel, by which means he acquired a knowledge of

1 Mr Thomas Campbell, in his memoir of Dr Moore, contributed to Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopedia.