[Charles Greville; Thomas Moore, poet] Autograph Manuscript in Greville's hand of story told by Thomas Moore, replicated in Greville's Diary. See scan of first page.

[Thomas Moore, poet] Charles Greville [Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville (1794 – 1865), diarist and an amateur cricketer ].
Publication details: 
No place or date.
SKU: 23584

Four pages, cr. 8vo, bifolium, good condition. Text in Greville's hand introduced by words Crompton Loquitur and Told by Thomas Moore at Roehampton Nov 1829 - & written down by Charles Greville in Greville's hand, printed in Greville's Diary, Chap.6, 12 Nov. 1829: [Text from Greville's Diary as follows} 'Some years ago I was present at a duel that was fought between a young man of the name of MacLoughlin and another Irishman. MacL. was desperately wounded; his second ran up to him, and thought to console him with the intelligence that his antagonist had also fallen. He only replied, I am sorry for it if he is suffering as much as I do now. I was struck by the good feeling evinced in this reply, and took an interest in the fate of the young man. He recovered, and a few years after my interest was again powerfully excited by hearing that he had been arrested on suspicion of having murdered his father-in-law, his mother's second husband. He was tried and found guilty on the evidence of a soldier who happened to be passing in the middle of the night near the house in which the murder was committed. Attracted by a light which gleamed through the lower part of the window, he approached it, and through an opening between the shutter and the frame was able to look into the room. There he saw a man in the act of lifting a dead body from the floor, while his hands and clothes were stained all over with blood. He hastened to give information of what he [244] had seen; MacLoughlin and his mother were apprehended, and the former, having been identified by the soldier, was found guilty. There was no evidence against the woman, and she was consequently acquitted. MacLoughlin conducted himself throughout the trial with determined calmness, and never could be induced to acknowledge his guilt. The morning of his execution he had an interview with his mother; none knew what passed between them, but when they parted he was heard to say, Mother, may God forgive you! The fate of this young man made a deep impression on me, till time and passing events effaced the occurrence from my mind. It was several years afterwards that I one day received a letter from a lady (a very old and intimate acquaintance) entreating that I would immediately hasten down to the assistance of a Roman Catholic priest who was lying dangerously ill at her house, and the symptoms of whose malady she described. Her description left me doubtful whether the mind or the body of the patient was affected. Being unable to leave Dublin, I wrote to say that if the disease was bodily the case was hopeless, but if mental I should recommend certain lenitives, for which I added a prescription. The priest died, and shortly after his death the lady confided to me an extraordinary and dreadful story. He had been her confessor and intimate friend, and in moments of agony and doubt produced by horrible recollections he had revealed to her a secret which had been imparted to him in confession. He had received the dying confession of MacLoughlin, who, as it turned out, was not the murderer of his father-in-law, but had died to save the life and honour of his mother, by whom the crime had been really committed. She was a woman of violent passions; she had quarrelled with her husband in the middle of the night, and after throwing him from the bed had despatched him by repeated blows. When she found he was dead she was seized with terror, and hastening to the apartment of her son, called him to witness the shocking spectacle and to save her from the consequences of her crime. It was at this moment, when he was lifting the body and preparing to [245] remove the bloody evidence of his mother's guilt, that the soldier passed by and saw him in the performance of his dreadful task. To the priest alone he acknowledged the truth, but his last words to his mother were now explained.' The Manuscript varies in its use of abbreviations and some punctuation. A nd with occasional textual differences. For example, floor, which as with the hands & cloaths of the man was stained all over with blood is printed as floor, while his hands and clothes were stained all over with blood.