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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3

Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore.

I heard long ago from an old London comp, now departed, a pleasing anecdote of Thomas Moore, the poet, which, being a personal reminiscence of his own, has never found its way into print. In his boyhood, my informant was a reader-boy at Clowes's, and knew the poet well by sight, as an edition of « Anacreon » was in the press, and the author often looked in to see the proofs. On one occasion, he found the reader-boy in tears, having just had a cuff on the ear for his « stupidity. » Making enquiry. Moore found that the trouble had arisen over some Greek words in the text, and he expostulated with the reader for expecting the lad to decipher Greek by intuition. « Did you ever learn the Greek alphabet, my boy? » he asked. « No, » was the reply. « Then learn it now, » he said. « You will not find it very difficult; and if you know it when I come again, you shall have five shillings. » Whereupon he wrote the alphabets, large and small, on a sheet of paper, and gave them to the lad. The task was duly accomplished, and the reward given, and the poet never afterwards passed the boy without a word of encouragement. « Persevere, » he would say, « and you will be a scholar yet. »