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He set sail for Hamburgh, where, struck Chronicle. He was then a poor literary with the sight of the many Irish exiles in adventurer, unfitted with an aim. Perry that city, he strung his harp anew, and was so much pleased with him that he of sung that touching song, The Exile of fered him a situation on his paper, which Erin, which will endear his name to the Campbell thankfully accepted. But what heart of every honest Irishman. On his could Campbell do? he could not report, road from Munich to Linz, he witnessed and he was not up to the art of writing from the walls of a convent the bloody field leaders. At last it was agreed that he of Hohenlinden (Dec. 3, 1800), and saw should receive two guineas a-week, and the triumphant French cavalry, under Mo- now and then contribute a piece of poetry reau, enter the nearest town, wiping their to the corner of the paper. He did write, bloody swords on their horses' manes. But certainly," said Hill, “but in his worst he saw, while abroad, something more than vein. We know what newspaper poetry “the red artillery” of war; he passed a day is, but some of Campbell's contributions with Klopstock, and acquired the friendship were below newspaper poetry-many pieces of the Schlegels.
were not inserted, and such as were insertHe was away altogether about thirteen ed, he was too wise to print among his colmonths, when he returned to Edinburgh, lected poems." Tom Hill's means of into make arrangements with Mundell about formation were first-rate; he was, moreover, the publication, in London, of a quarto the intimate friend of Perry, and Campedition of his poems. Mundell granted at bell's neighbor for many years at Sydenonce a permission which he could not well ham. refuse, and Campbell started for London by The quarto edition of his poems, which way of Glasgow and Liverpool. At Liver- Campbell was allowed to print for his own pool he stayed a week with the able and profit, was the seventh. This was in 1803. generous Dr. Currie, to whom he was in-The fourth edition, corrected and enlarged, troduced by Dugald Stewart. Currie gave was printed in Glasgow in 1800. His own bim letters of introduction to Mackintosh edition is a fine specimen of Bensley's printand Scarlett.
ing; but the engravings are of the poorest “ The bearer of this,” Dr. Currie writes to description of art. Scarlett, “is a young poet of some celebrity, In 1803, and before the publication of his Mr. Campbell, the author of The Pleasures of subscription quarto, he printed, anonymousHope. He was introduced to me by Mr. ly, at Edinburgh, and at the press of the Stewart, of Edinburgh, and has been some Ballantynes, his “ Lochiel” and “ Hohendays in my house. I have found him, as might linden." be expected, a young man of uncommon ac- and the dedication is addressed to Alison.
The title is simply “ Poems," quirements and learning, of unveual quickness of apprehension, and great sensibility.
“ John Leyden,” says Sir Walter Scott,“ in“He is going to London, with the view of troduced me to Tom Campbell. They astersuperintending an edition of his poems, for his wards quarrelled. When I repeated Hobenown benefit, by the permission of the book- linden' to Leyden, he said, “ Dash it, inan, sellers to whom the copyright was sold before tell the fellow' I hate him, but, dash him, he the work was printed; and who, havir:g pro- has written the finest verses that have been fited in an extraordinary degree by the transaction, have now given him the permission published these fifty years.' I did mine errand above-mentioned, on condition that the edition as faithfully as one of Homer's messengers, shall be of a kind that shall not interfere with and had for answer, “Tell Leyden that I their editions. He is to give a quarto edition, detest him ; but I know the value of his with some embellishments, price a guinea; the critical approbation.'' Scott knew “ Hoprinting by Bensley. You must lay out a fee henlinden” by heart; and when Sir Walter with him; and if you can do him any little dined at Murray's in 1800, he repeated at service you will oblige me and serve a man of genius."
the table, as Wilkie tells us, Campbell's
poem of “Lochiel.” Currie's letter is dated 26th February, What Campbell's profits or expectations 1802, so that we may date Campbell's ar- were at this time I have never heard. rival in London (there was no railway then) When a poet is in difficulties, he is sure, on or about the 1st of March.
said William Gifford, to get married. This “ When Campbell came first to London," was Campbell's case, for I find in the Scotch said Tom Hill, to the collector of these im- papers, and among the marriages, of the perfect' Ana,' “he carried a letter of in- year 1803, the following entry :
:-"11th troduction to Mr. Perry, of the Morning Oct., at St. Margaret's Church, Westmin
ster, Thomas Campbell, Esq., author of the day of his death, a period of nearly • The Pleasures of Hope,' to Miss Matilda eight and thirty years. Sinclair, daughter of R. Sinclair, Esq., of He now took up his residence in the Park Street."
small hamlet of Sydenham. Here he comThe fruit of this marriage, the most piled his “ Annals of Great Britain, from prudent step the poet could have taken at the Accession of George III. to the Peace of that time, was a son, born at Edinburgh on Amiens.” Forty years of eventful history, the Ist of July, 1804, Thomas Telford compiled without much accuracy of inCampbell, a helpless imbecile, still alive. formation, or any great elegance of style. If there was any one point in Campbell's This was a mere piece of journeyman's character more amiable than another, it work, done to turn a penny. Few have was his affection for his son. They were heard of it, fewer seen it, and still fewer much together; and, before his imbecility read it. The most intelligent bookseller became confirmed, it was a touching sight in London was, a week ago, unaware of its to see the poet's fine eyes wander with af- existence. fection to where his son was seated, and, at Some small accession of fortune about any stray remark he might make that in this time, and the glorious certainty of a timated a returning intellect, to see how pension, enabled him to think seriously of his eyes would brighten with delight, and a new poem, to outstrip his former efforts, foretell the pleasures of a father's hope. and add another stature to his poetic height.
In the volume of Johnson's Scots Musical As soon as it was known that the celebratMuseum for 1803, there is a song of Camp- ed author of "The Pleaures of Hope” was bell's, addressed to his wife, when Matilda employed upon a new poem, and a poem of Sinclair. It is in no edition of his poems length, expectation was on tiptoe for its that I have seen, and can make no great appearance. The information first got claim for preservation, beyond any little wind in the drawing-room of Holland biographical importance which it may bear. House. Then the subject was named
then a bit of the story told by Lord Hol, “O cherub Content, at thy moss-cover'd shrine I would all the gay hopes of my bosom resign; Holland; so that the poem
land, and a verse or two quoted by Lady
had I would part with ambition ihy votary to be,
every And breathe not a vow but to friendship and thee. vertisement which rank, fashion, reputa
tion, and the poet's own standing, could “But thy presence appears from my pursuit to fly, lend it. The story was liked—then the Like the gold-colored cloud on the verge of the metre was named and approved--then a
sky: No lustre ihat hangs on the green willow tree
portion shown; so that the poet had his Is so short as the smile of thy favor to me. coterie of fashion and wit before the public
knew even the title of the poem they were " In the pulse of my heart I have nourish'd a care That forbids me thy sweet inspiration to share ; trained up to receive with the acclamation The noon of my youth slow departing I see;
it deserved. But its years as they pass bring no tidings of thee. Nor was public expectation disappoint
ed, when it became generally known that "O cherub Content, at thy moss-cover'd shrine I would offer my vows, if Matilda were mine;
the poet had gone to the banks of the SusCould I call her my own, whom enraptur'd I see, quehanna for his poem-had chosen the deI would breathe not a vow but to friendship and solation of Wyoming for his story, and the thee."
Spenserian stanza for his form of verse.
The poet, however, was still timidly fearThis is poor poetry, after the passionate ful, though he had the imprimatur of Hollove-songs of Burns, in the earlier volumes land House in favor of his poem. I was of the same publication.
told by Tom Hill that Campbell sent the On the 28th of October, 1806, Campbell first printed copy of his poem to Mr. Jefhad a pension granted to him from the frey (now Lord Jeffrey). The critic's reCrown, payable out of the Scotch Excise, ply was favorable. “Mrs. Campbell told of one hundred and eighty-four pounds me," added Hill, "that, till he had received a-year. It was Fox's intention to have be- Jeffrey's approbation, her husband was sufstowed this pension upon Campbell, but fering, to use his own expression, 'the horthat great statesman died on the 13th of rors of the damned.'” the preceding month.
A Whig poet was safe in those days, when however, saw his wishes carried into exe- in the hands of a Whig critic. He had more cution, and the poet enjoyed his pension to to fear from the critical acumen of a Tory
writer ; but only one number of the Quar- bookseller's catalogue, or a will in Doctors' terly Review had then appeared. If Gifford Commons. had dissected “little Miss Gertrude," he Mr. Peter Cunningham, at the eleventh might have stopped the sale, for a time, of hour, was called in by Mr. Murray to supera new edition ; but no critical ferocity could intend the reprint, and correct the common have kept down “Gertrude of Wyoming" errors of fact throughout the seven volumes. for more than one season. But Gifford was Various inaccuracies were removed ; some prepossessed in favour of Campbell; he liked silently, for it had been burdening the book his versification and his classical correct with useless matter to have retained them ness; so the poem was intrusted to a friend in the text and pointed them out in a note ; ly hand-one prepossessed, like Gifford, in while others, that entangled a thought or his favor—the greatest writer and the most gave weight, were allowed to stand, but not generous critic of his age—Sir Walter Scott. without notes to stop the perpetuity of the
No poet ever dreaded criticism more than error. A quiver of rage played upon the Campbell. Coleridge has attacked' The lips of the poet when he was informed that Pleasures of Hope,' andall other pleasures any one had dared to revise his labors : whatsoever," writes Lord Byron; “Mr. but when he saw what was done, and knew Rogers was present, and heard himself indi- the friendly hand that had gone with so rectly rowed by the lecturer. Campbell will much patient care through the whole work, be desperately annoyed. I never saw a man he expressed his unfeigned pleasure, and, (and of him I have seen very little) so sen- as we have heard, thanked Mr. Cunningham sitive ;-what a happy temperament! I am for his useful services. sorry for it; what can he fear from crit The Essay is a charming piece of prose, icism?”
fresh at the fiftieth reading, and the little His next great work was the “Specimens of prefatory notices abound in delightful critithe British Poets,” in seven octavo volumes, (cism, not subtle and far-fetched, but charpublished in 1819. This was one of Mr. acteristically true to the genius of the poet. Murray's publications, and one of his own He is more alive to beauties than defects, suggesting. His agreement with Campbell, and has distinguished his criticism by a wiwas for 5001., but when the work was com- der sympathy with poetry in all its branches, pleted he added 5001. more, and books to than you will find in any other book of Enthe value of 2001., borrowed for the pub- glish criticism. Johnson takes delight in lication. Such fits of munificence were not stripping more than one leaf from every lauuncom pon with John Murray; he had many rel-he laughs at Gray-Collins he comdealings, and dealt fairly, straightforwardly, mnends coldly, and he even dures to abuse beyond the bounds of common liberality. Milton. Dryden and Pope, the idols of Dr. We wish we could say the same of Camp- Johnson's criticism, are the false gods of bell in this transaction. No second edition Southey's : of the “Specimens” was called for before
" Holy at Rome-here Antichrist." 1841 ; and when Mr. Murray, in that year, determined on printing the whole seven vol- Campbell has none of this school of critiumes in one hansome volume, he applied to cism; he loves poetry for its own sweet sake, Campbell to revise his own work, and made and is no exclusionist. him at the same time a handsome offer The great fault of Campbell is, that he does for the labor of revision. Campbell de- not give the best specimens of his authors; clined the offer, and set his face at first but such pieces as Ellis and Headly had not against the publication. What was to be given, Of Sir Philip Sydney he says, “Mr. done? There was a demand for a new edi- Ellis has exhausted the best specimens of tion, and it had been a piece of literary mad- his poetry. I have only offered a few short ness on Mr. Murray's part if he had sent ones." No one will go to a book of specithe book to press with all its imperfections mens for specimens of a poet in his secondon its head—not the imperfections, be it best manner, or his third-rate mood. We understood, of taste and criticism, but of want the cream of a poet, not the skimmed biographical and bibliographical informa- milk of his genius. ' A long extract from tion. Good taste can never change—it is Theodoric would not represent Mr. Camptrue at all times; but facts, received as such, bell's manner in the fiery Hope, or the more for want of better information, may be set gentle Gertrude. Specimens are intended aside by any dull fact-monger who will take for two classes of people-one who cannot the pains to examine a parish register, a afford to buy, and the second who do not
care to possess, the British Poets in one a monthly failing, not, as is here set forth, hundred and fifty odd volumes. The poor a rare occurrence. want the best, and the other class of pur The success of Gertrule induced him in chasers want surely not the worst.
1824 to put forth another poem, a dramatic In the year 1820 Mr. Campbell entered tale, entitled Theodoric. A silence of fifupon the editorship of the New Monthly teen years put expectation upon tiptoe, but Magazine, which he conducted, we are told, when Theodoric appeared it was much in " with a spirit and a resource worthy of his the condition of Jonson's Silent Woreputation, and of the then palmy estate of man, there was no one to say plaudite to it. periodical literature.” We doubt this. He The wits at Holland House disowned the drew his salary regularly, it is true, but con- bantling; the Quarterly called it “an untributed little of his own of any merit. worthy publication," and friend joined foe The whole labor, and too much of the re- in the language of condemnation. Yet sponsibility, rested on the shoulders of the Campbell had much to encounter, he had assistant. The poet's name carried its full to outstrip his former efforts, and fight a value; the Magazine took root and flour-battle with the public against expectation ished, and the pay per sheet was handsome. and the applause awarded to his former He soon drew a good brigade of writers poetry. There is a conscious feeling around him, and placing implicit confi- throughout the poem that the poet is fightdence in what they did, and what they ing an unequal battle; he stands up, could do, he made his editorship a snug his play is feeble, he distrusts himself, and sinecure situation. “Tom Campbell,” said is only tolerated from a recollection of his Sir Walter Scott, "had much in his power. bygone powers. A man at the head of a Magazine may do much for young men; but Campbell did
"I often wonder,” says Sir Walter Scott, nothing, more from indolence, I fancy, than how Tom Campbell
, with so much real gendisinclination or a bad heart.”
ius, has not maintained a greater figure in the A series of articles appeared in the New writing in 1826. “The magazine seems to
public eye than he has done of late.” Scott is Monthly Magazine when Campbell was its have paralyzed him. The author not only of editor, entitled Boswell Ridivivus--a catch- The Pleasures of Hope, but of Hohenlinden, penny name, given by Hazlitt to a collec- Lochiel, etc., should have been at the very top tion of Northcote's conversations and
of the tree. say
Somehow he wants audacity, ings, uttered, as was urged, by Northcote, shadow of his own reputation.” * * * “What
fears the public, and what is worse, fears the in all the confidence of friendship. An ill
a pity it is,” said Sir Walter to Washnatured saying or two brought the painter ington Irving, “that Campbell does not write into trouble, and Northcote wrote to Camp- more and oftener, and give full sweep to his bell, complaining of their appearance, in a genius! He has wings that would bear him letter in which he calls Hazlitt a wretch to the skies, and he does, now and then, spread who had betrayed him. Campbell's answer them grandly, but folds them up again, and is a striking illustration of the system he resumes his perch, as if he was afraid to launch
away. The fact is, Campbell is in a manner pursued in editing the New Monthly.
a bugbear to himself; the brightness of his “I am afflicted beyond measure,” says the early success is a detriment to all his further poet, at finding my own inattention to have efforts. Ile is afrail of the shadow that his been the means of wounding the feelings of a own fame casts before him.” venerable man of genius. Dictate the form and manner of my aitempting to atone for
In 1827 he was elected lord-rector of his having unconsciously injured you, if I can
He was make any atonement. The infernal Hazlitt own mother university at Glasgow. shall never more be permitted to write for the elected by the free and unanimous choice New Mon!hly. I mean not to palliate my own of the students, and was justly proud of his want of watchfulness over the magazine which election. has occasioned such a paper being admitted. I only tell you the honest truth, that a crisis “It was a deep snow," writes Allan Cunin my affairs
, which is never likely to occur ningham, “when he reached the collegeagain, fatally tempted me this last month to green; the students were drawn up in parties, trust the revision of some part of the number pelting one another, the poet ran into the to the care and delicacy of another person ; ranks, threw several snow-balls with unerring that person, like mysell
, has slepi over his aim, then summoning the scholars around him charge."
in the delivered a speech replete with
philosophy and eloquence. It is needless to This want of watchfulness was, we sear, say how this was welcomed."
When his year of servitude had expired, than Campbell's so-called “Life of Mrs. he was unanimously re-elected, the students Siddons.” The Quarterly called it “ presenting him at the same time with a abuse of biography,” and its writer "the handsome silver punch-bowl, described by worst theatrical historian we have ever the poet in his will as one of the great read.” Some of his expressions are turgid jewels of his property.
and nonsensical almost beyond belief. Of On the 9th of May, 1828, he lost his Mrs. Pritchard he says, that she “ electriwife. This was a severe blow to him. Jfied the house with disappointment.” Upon She was a clever woman, and had that in which the Quarterly remarks, "This, we fluence over him which a wife should al- suppose, is what the philosophers call negaways have who is a proper helpmate to her stive electricity.” husband. I have heard him say, and with Since Mr. Campbell's death, Mr. Dyce much emotion, " No one can imagine how has addressed a letter to the editor of the much I was indebted to that woman for the Literary Gazette, disclaiming any partnercomforts of life.”
ship in the composition of what he calls In 1829 and 1830, he quarrelled with “ that unfortunate book.” There was a Colburn, threw up the editorship of the rumor very rife, when the book appeared, New Monthly Magazine, and lending his that Mr. Dyce had had a main-finger in the name to another publisher, started a maga- pie; but the gross inaccuracies of the work zine called The Metropolitan. A Life of gave the best answer to the rumor. Mr. Sir Thomas Lawrence, in two octavo vol- Dyce's accuracy deserves to be proverbial, umes, was advertised, with Campbell's and no one could suspect that he could name to it, about the same time. The Life have had a hand in any thing like “ a very was soon abandoned, and the new maga- large portion" of the unfortunate performzine, after a time, transferred to Saunders ance. However, in disclaiming the share and Otley, with two editors instead of one, assigned he lets us a little behind the Tom Campbell and his friend Tom Moore. scenes on this occasion. We see Mrs. The after history of the magazine is well. Siddons in Tom Canıpbell's tiring-room. known—the two poets retired, and Marryat,
“Soon after Campbell had received the mawith his “ Peter Simple," gave it a swing terials which Mrs. Siddons had bequeathed to of reputation which it had not before.
him for her biography, he wrote to me on the The sorrows of Poland, and the ebulli- subject; informing me, that, as he had a very tions of bad verse, occupied much of Camp- slight acquaintance with stage-history, he bell's time when editor of The Metropolitan. dreaded the undertaking, and offering me, if I He lived in the Polish Chambers, and all would become his coadjutor, one-half of the his talk was Poland. Czartoryski and the work. I refused the money, but promised
sum which E. Wilson was to pay him for Niemciewitz were names everlastingly on him all the assistance in my power. He next his lips. A tale of a distressed Pole was forwarded to me his papers, consisting chiefly his greeting when you met, and an alms or of Mrs. Siddon's memoranda for her life, and a subscription the chorus of his song. Bos- great mass of letters which she had written, at well was not more daft about Corsica than various intervals, to her intimate friend Mrs. Campbell about Poland. Poor Tom Camp- the whole, I returned them with sundry illus
Fitz-Hughes. Having carefully gone over bell, he exhausted all his sympathy on the trations; and subsequently, from time to time, Poles, and spent all his invectives upon I sent him other notes which I thought night Russia. Yet he did good-he was the suit his purpose. As, on one occasion, he had means of assisting many brave but unfortu- spoken slightingly of the letters to Mrs. Fitznate men, whilst his ravings against Russia Hughes, (calling them very dull,' and saying passed unheeded by, like the clamorous
that the mind of Mrs. Siddons moved in them outcries for liberty of Akenside and Thom
like an elephant,') and was evidently inclined not to print them, I strongly urged him by no
means to omit them, since they appeared to In 1834, he published, in two octavo me, though a little pompous in style, extremely volumes, the “ Life of Mrs. Siddons." Our characteristic of the writer. great actress had constituted Campbell her " While he was engaged on the biography, biographer, and Campbell has told me, a report reached him that Mrs. Jameson was more than once, that he considered the about to publish Memoirs of Mrs. Siddons, work a kind of sacred duty. No man ever had furnished her with many anecdotes. At
and that Miss Siddons (now Mrs. Combe) went to his task more grudgingly than this he was excessively angry; and showed Campbell; and no man of even average me a letter which he had written to Miss Sidabilities ever produced a worse biography dons, indignantly complaining that she should