THOMAS CAMPBELL was born in Glasgow, on the 27th of July, 1777. His father was a resident of that city, and a respectable shopkeeper, or merchant, as the Scotch say, which is equivalent to the Kauffman of their kindred the Germans. Merchant Campbell was descended from an old Highland family, upon which circumstance it is said the poet prided himself no little, though most probably he himself was the greatest man his family had ever produced. He was the tenth and youngest child of his parents, and was born in the sixty-seventh year of his father's age, at which age it is somewhat remarkable that he himself died. He was baptized by his father's intimate friend, Dr. Thomas Bird, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the university, after whom he was also named. The house in which Campbell was born stood very near the University, close, I believe, to the east end of George-street; it has been, however, cleared away in effecting some of the modern improvements of the city; but as to how much is now known about it, or the place where it stood, may be best shown from my own experience in Glasgow in the autumn of last year.
My peregrinations in that city in quest of traces of Campbell, was one of the most curious things I ever met with. Accompanied by Mr. David Chambers, the younger brother of Messrs. William and Robert Chambers, of the Edinburgh Journal, I called on a Mr. Gray, a silversmith, in Argyle-street, a cousin of Campbell, and the gentleman at whose house he stayed when he came there. Here we made ourselves sure of our object, at least as to where Campbell was born. We were not so sure, however. Mr. Gray, a tall grey man, made his appearance; and on my asking if he could oblige me by informing me where Campbell was born, to our great astonishment he replied, that he really did not know. "And, indeed," asked he, very gravely, "what may be your object in making this inquiry?" I presented my card, and informed him that it was to gain information for a work on the residences of celebrated poets. The tall grey man reared himself to an extraordinary height, and looked very blank, as though it was a sort of business very singular to him, and quite out of his line. Had my name been that of a silver merchant, no doubt it would have been instantly recognised; as it was, it was just as much known to him as if it had been Diggery Mustapha, the Ambassador of the Grand Turk himself. He shook his head, looked very solemn, and "could really say nothing to it." "What!" I exclaimed, "not know where your celebrated cousin was born?" "Well, he had an idea that he had sometime heard that it was in High-street." "In what house?" "Could not say, — thought it had been pulled down." "Could he tell us of any other part of the city where Campbell had lived?" You might just as well have asked the tallest coffee-pot in his shop. He put on a very forbidding air, — "Gentlemen, you will excuse me, — I have business to attend to. Good morning!" Away went Mr. Gray, and away we retreated as precipitately.
This was an odd beginning. We then proceeded to the shop of Mr. Robertson the bookseller, who entered most cordially into the inquiry, and said at once, "Oh! Mr. Gray, the silversmith, is the man!" We laughed, and related our adventure. On this Mr. Robertson, with the most zealous kindness, accompanied me to various parties; but it was not till we reached Mr. Strang, the city chamberlain, that we got a glimpse of intelligence. Mr. Strang most politely offered to accompany me in my search. He believed it was in High-street. Away we went, and called on the secretaries of the Campbell club; but they, like the tall Mr. Gray, and still more like the Shakspeare club, who know nothing about Shakspeare, knew nothing of Campbell. So we proceeded to the very end of the town, to a blind gentleman, a nephew, I believe, of Campbell; but he was not so blind but that he had found his way out. He was not at home. On returning, we met another Mr. Gray, a brother of the former one, and Mr. Strang exclaimed, "Now we have it! Mr. Gray is a particular friend of mine, and we shall learn all about it." We accosted him with the question, but he shook his head — and "really did not know!" This was rather too much for my gravity, and I observed that I supposed the fact was, that Campbell was not known in Glasgow at all. This remark seemed not quite lost. He replied gravely — "They had heard of him." And we, too, had heard of him, but not where he was born. On this we went and asked two or three other people, with the like result. We then went across the bridge, I suppose a mile, to Mr. Strang's house, and consulted several books. Mr. Dibdin in his Northern Tour, we found, gave a very long account of many things in Glasgow, and incidentally mentioned that Campbell the poet was a native of the town. We referred to other books, and learned just as much. Taking my leave of Mr. Strang, a man of much literary taste, and a friend of the late poet Motherwell, and who had amid pressing public business devoted some hours to assist my inquiry, I went and dined, and afterwards set out afresh to clear up this great mystery. Had I wanted but a manufacturer of any stuff but poetry, how soon could I have found him! I directed my way to High-street itself, a very long street, running up to the High kirk, that is, the old cathedral, and in which the college stands; and inquired of the booksellers. It was in vain. One bookseller had been forty years on the spot, but had never heard where Campbell was born. Seeing all inquiries vain, I went on to the cemetery, to see the grave of Motherwell. Now Motherwell, too, was born in Glasgow, and he is buried here. He was not only a poet, but an active editor of a paper. I asked a respectable-looking man, walking near the cemetery gate, if he knew where he lay. "Oh," said he, "ye'll find his grave, and that of Tennant too." "What! is Tennant dead then?" "Oh, aye, sure is he." "What! Tennant the author of Anster Fair? Why, he did not live here, and I fancy is still living." "Oh, no," replied the man, "I mean, Mr. Tennant of the Secret Chemical Works there;" pointing to a tall smoking chimney. Heaven help us! what is a poet in Glasgow! — I went on, and found tombs and mausolea as big as houses, aye, and fine large houses too; but Motherwell has not a stone as big as an ostrich egg to mark the spot where he lies! One of the grave-diggers, however, knew the place. "Strangers," he said, "often inquired after it; but you'll not find it yourself," he said, "there's nothing to distinguish it" — so he went and pointed it out. There stand, however, on the spot a thorn and a laburnum. It is at a turn of the carriage road, as you ascend at the north end of the cemetery. God save the mark! There is the poet's grave, sure enough, without a stone or epitaph, and opposite to it is a large Doric temple, with wreaths of bay on its front, the resting-place, no doubt, of some mighty man of mills. Such was my day's perambulation in Glasgow in quest of the traces of poets.
But to return now to Campbell, as a boy living in Glasgow. As a child he gave evidence of considerable powers of mind, and before he attained the age of twelve was a good Latin scholar. At twelve he commenced his studies in the university, where he distinguished himself greatly. As regards this part of his life we cannot do better than quote from a well-written biographical sketch of his life, published last year in Hogg's Weekly Instructor. "In his thirteenth year, Campbell succeeded, after a formidable competition with a student nearly twice his own age, in gaining the bursary on Archbishop Leighton's foundation. He continued seven years at the university, receiving at the close of each session numbers of prizes, the reward of his industry and zeal. The exercises which gained him these distinctions were often of a very difficult nature, and such as tested his powers severely; but his correct taste and sound judgment, combined with his diligence and application, enabled him to accomplish the tasks prescribed to him, in a manner highly creditable to himself and most satisfactory to his teachers. In translations from the Greek especially he excelled; so much so, indeed, that his fellow-students were afraid to enter the lists with him. His poetical versions of several Greek plays of Aristophanes, Aeschylus, and others, obtained the highest commendations of his professor; who, in awarding the prize for the translation of The Clouds of Aristophanes, thus eulogized, in terms the most flattering, the production of the youthful poet, — that, in his opinion, it was the best performance which had ever been given within the walls of the university. Portions of these translations have been published in his works.
"At this period of his life Campbell is described as being a fair and beautiful boy, with pleasant and winning manners, and a mild and cheerful disposition. That he had at this early age an innate perception of his own growing powers, is proved by his commencing to write poetry at the age of thirteen, and by his great desire, even while still but a year or two at college, to see himself in print. Having got one of his juvenile poems printed, to defray the expense of this, to him, then hold adventure, it is related that he had recourse to the singular expedient — whether of his own accord, or suggested to him by some of his class-fellows, is not known — of selling copies to the students at a penny each. This anecdote has been told by one who remembers having seen the beautiful boy standing at the college gate with the slips in his hand. Campbell himself, in after years, used to be angry when he was reminded of this incident; but surely it reflects, anything but discredit on him.
"The Greek chair, during his attendance at the university, was filled by Professor Young, who was a complete enthusiast in Greek literature. From him Campbell caught the same enthusiasm, which, nourished and strengthened as it was by his success at college, endured during his whole life. Often, in his latter years, has the writer of this sketch, while sitting in his company, been electrified by the beauty and power with which he recited his favourite passages from the Greek poets; with whose writings his mind was richly stored, and which he appreciated and praised with the characteristic warmth of one who was himself a master in their divine art.
"On leaving college he went to reside for about a year on the romantic banks of Loch Gail, among the mountains of Argyleshire. His paternal grandfather possessed the estate of Kernan, in the Highlands; and it was in reference to it that the beautiful and pathetic stanzas, beginning, 'At the silence of twilight's contemplative hour,' were composed. He was for some time tutor in a private family residing on the sea-coast of the island of Mull; and while in that situation he planned and wrote a considerable part of his most celebrated poem, The Pleasures of Hope. His youthful musings were nourished amid the magnificent scenery around Mill; and by the contemplation of the wild aspects of nature that presented themselves on every side, his ideas were expanded, and his imagination was filled with many bright and majestic images, which he afterwards introduced with such admirable effect into his poetry. Lochiel's Warning and Lord Ullin's Daughter, for instance, could only have been written by one who cherished an intense love and admiration for Highland scenery and Highland associations. He himself has mentioned the delight with which he used to listen, at the distance of many leagues, to the far-famed roar of Corryvreckan. 'When the weather is calm,' he says, 'and the adjacent sea scarcely heard on these picturesque shores, the sound of the vortex, which is like the sound of innumerable chariots, creates a magnificent effect.'"
The poem, however, into which it seems to me he has most thoroughly infused the spirit of the wild and romantically desolate scenery of the Western Isles, is Reullura, one of the most exquisite poems of the language. Without any apparent attempt at description, either of scenery or individual character, both stand forth in strong and clear distinctness Aodh, the far-famed preacher of the word in Iona; and Reullura, beauty's star, with her calm, clear eye, to which visions of the future were often revealed; and those desolate, treeless islands, the savage shores of which, riven by primeval earthquakes, will be lashed by the waves of a wild, stormy sea, to the end of time. The church of Iona again stands aloft, the Gail listens to the preaching of the word, and the heathen sea-kings come from Denmark for plunder and massacre. This poem it is, above all others, into which the wild music of the Corryvreckan entered; and, though it was written many years after the poet's residence amid these bcenes, nothing can be clearer evidence of the deep impression which they made upon his mind.
After leaving Mull, Campbell removed to Edinburgh, where he also was engaged in private tuition. He lived in Alison-square, or court, in the old town, with his mother, who, it is said, being afflicted with an unhappy temper, did not make her son's home as pleasant as it might have been. It was during this time, and amid these home annoyances, with narrow income and with a portion of his time devoted to the drudgery of teaching, that he completed his longest and greatest poem, The Pleasures of Hope. It is said, that at this time he was much given to solitude, and might often be seen wandering alone over the bridge, or in the vicinity of the city. This seems probable enough. The Pleasures of Hope was published in April, 1799, when Campbell was twenty-two, — about the same age that Shelley published his Revolt of Islam; Keats, his Lamia and Hyperion; and Byron, his first two cantos of Childe Harold. The public heart, refreshed and purified by the writings of Cowper, was in a fit state to receive with the deepest love and the warmest admiration a poem like The Pleasures of Hope. The success of the work was instantaneous, and at once the young author and humble private tutor found himself in the possession of a brilliant reputation, and taking rank among the first poetical names of the age. This poem, remarkable for the harmony of its versification, and the genuine fervour of its style, and for the generous sentiments and feelings of patriotism which pervade it, gained for him the notice and friendship of Dugald Stewart, Professor Playfair, Henry Mackenzie, author of the Man of Feeling, and also gained him the acquaintance of Brougham, Jeffrey, and Sidney Smith.
"The profits of this work," says the able writer we have already quoted, "which ran through four editions in the year, enabled him to make a tour in Germany. Early in 1800, he accordingly proceeded from Leith to Hamburg, and remained for about a year on the continent, visiting several of the German states. War was at that time raging in Bavaria, and thither he hastened, with a strong desire, as he himself expressed it, animating his breast of seem human nature exhibited in its most dreadful attitude. Front the walls of the monastery of St. Jacob, he witnessed the celebrated battle of Hohenlinden, fought on the 3d of December, 1800, between the French and Austrians. 'The sight of Ingoldstadt in ruins,' he said, in a letter he wrote, descriptive of the scene, 'and Hohenlinden covered with fire seven miles in circumference, were spectacles never to he forgotten.' His spirit-stirring lyric of Hohenlinden was written upon this event. He afterwards proceeded in the track of Morcau's army over the scene of combat, and then continued his route. He used to relate the following incident, as illustrative of the phlegm and attention to his own interest of his German postilion, which happened at this time. The latter, while driving him near a place where a skirmish of cavalry had occurred, suddenly stopped, alighted, and disappeared, without uttering a word, leaving the carriage, with Campbell in it, alone in the cold, for the ground was covered with snow; and he was absent for a considerable time. On his return, the poet discovered that the provident German had been engaged cutting off the long tails of the slain horses, which he deliberately placed on the vehicle beside him, and silently pursued his journey. When Ratisbon was occupied by the French, Mr. Campbell happened to he in the town at the time, but he was treated with kindness by the victors. The enthusiasm and genius of the young traveller seem to have made a very favourable impression on the French officers, who evinced their respect for him by entertaining him at their different mess-tables, and furnishing him with a pass that carried him in safety through the French army. Afterwards, however, he was not so fortunate, as he was plundered of nearly all his money, books, and papers, while endeavouring to cross into Italy, by the route of the Tyrol, which prevented him from proceeding farther in that direction. While he continued in Germany, he devoted himself to acquiring the German language, and also resumed his Greek studies, under Professor Heyne. He made the friendship of the two Schlegels, and of other eminent men of that country, and passed an entire day with the venerable Klopstock, who died two years afterwards. On his return to Hamburg, on his way home, he casually became acquainted with some refugee Irishmen, who had been engaged in the rebellion of 1798, and their story suggested to him his beautiful ballad of The Exile of Erin, which he wrote at Altona. The hero of the poem was an Irish exile, named Anthony M'Cann, whom he had met at Hamburg. After remaining in that city for a few weeks, he embarked for Leith; but the vessel he was on board of, being, while on its passage, chased by a Danish privateer, was compelled to put in at Yarmouth. Finding himself so near London, he at once decided upon paying it a visit. He entered the metropolis for the first time, without being provided with a single introduction; but his reputation had preceded him, and he soon found admission into literary society. In one of his letters, published by Washington Irving, he describes his impressions of a sort of literary social club, to which he had been introduced by Sir James Mackintosh, in the following terms: — Mackintosh, the Vindiciae Gallicae, was particularly attentive to me, and took me with him to his convivial parties at the King of Clubs — a place dedicated to the meetings of the reigning wits of London — and, in fact, a lineal descendant of the Johnson, Burke, and Goldsmith society, constituted for literary conversations. The dining-table of these knights of literature was an arena of very keen conversational rivalship, maintained, to be sure, with perfect good-nature, but in which the gladiators contended as hardly as ever the French and Austrians, in the scenes I had just witnessed. Much, however, as the wit and erudition of these men pleases an auditor at the first or, second visit, this trial of minds becomes at last fatiguing, because it is unnatural and unsatisfactory. Every one of these brilliants goes there to shine for conversational powers are so much the rage in London, that no reputation is higher than his who exhibits them. Where every one tries to instruct, there is, in fact, but little instruction; wit, paradox, eccentricity, even absurdity, if delivered rapidly and facetiously, takes priority, in these societies, of sound reasoning and delicate taste. I have watched sometimes the devious tide of conversation, guided by accidental associations, turning from topic to topic, and satisfactory upon none. What has one learned? has been my general question. The mind, it is true, is electrified and quickened, and the spirits finely exhilarated; but one grand fault pervades the whole institution; their inquiries are desultory, and all improvements to be reaped must be accidental." Campbell's own conversational powers were of the highest order, and he showed singular discrimination in the choice of subjects of an interesting and instructive nature. Mere talk for display on the part of others, must, therefore, have been exceedingly disagreeable to him.
"After a short sojourn in London, the poet returned to Edinburgh, where, strange to say, he was subjected to a private examination by the authorities as a suspected spy, from his having been known to have been in the society, while on the continent, of some of the Irish refugees. He easily satisfied the civic guardians of his unshaken loyalty, and continued to reside for about a year in Edinburgh, during which time he wrote his Lochiel's Warning, and others of his well-known ballads and minor poems. It is related, as an instance of the wonderful powers of memory of Sir Walter Scott, that on Lochiel's Warning being read to him in manuscript, he requested to he allowed to peruse it for himself, and then astonished the author by repeating it from memory from beginning to end. Campbell now determined upon removing to London, as the best field for literary exertion. Accordingly, early in 1803, he repaired to the metropolis, and on his arrival he resided for some time in the house of his brother poet, Mr. Telford, the celebrated engineer. In the autumn of the same year he married his cousin, Miss Matilda Sinclair, of Greenock, a lady of considerable personal beauty, and fixed his residence in the beautiful village of Sydenham, in Kent, about seven miles from London. At the time of Campbell's marriage, it appears that hope, and reliance on his own exertions, formed by far the largest portion of his worldly fortune; for, on his friend Telford remonstrating with him on the inexpediency of marrying so early, he replied, 'When shall I be better off? I have fifty pounds, and six months' work at the Encyclopaedia.' The Encyclopaedia here mentioned was Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, to which he contributed several papers."
Campbell resided at Sydenham eighteen years. His house was on Peak-hill, and had a quiet and sweet view towards Forest-hill. The house is one of two tenements under the same roof, consisting of only one room in width, which, London fashion, being divided by folding doors, formed, as was needed, two. The front looked out upon the prospect already mentioned. To the left was a fine mass of trees, amid which showed itself a large house, which during part of the time was occupied by Lady Charlotte Campbell. The back looked out upon a small neat garden, enclosed from the field by pales; and beyond it, on a mass of fine wood, at the foot of which ran a canal, and now along its bed, the atmospheric railway from London to Croydon. The house is, as appears, small, and very modest; but its situation is very pleasant indeed, standing on a green and quiet swell, at a distance from the wood, and catching pleasant glimpses of the houses in Sydenham, and of the country round. In the little back parlour he used to sit and write; and to prevent the passage of sound, he had the door which opened into the hall covered with green baize, which still remains. This at once defended him from the noise of the passing, and operations of the housemaid, as the door was near the stairs, and also from any one so plainly hearing him, when, in poet-fashion, he sounded out sonorously his verses as he made them.
The next door to Campbell lived his landlord, a Mr. Onis, and who is still living there, an old man of ninety, having every one of his windows in front filled with strong jealousies, painted green, which give a singular and dismal air to the house, as the dwelling of one who wishes to shut out the sight of the living world, and the sun at the same time. To prevent too familiar inspection from his neighbour's premises, Campbell ran up a sort of buttress between the houses at the back, and planted trees there, so that no one could get a sight of him as he sat in his little parlour writing. In the village is still living Miss Mayhew, a lady afterwards alluded to, and now, of course, very aged. Here Campbell lost a son, of about eleven or twelve years of age, who is buried at Lewisham. His wife was ill at the time he left in 1821, and he had much trouble about that time. He went to reside in London in 1821, on account of his literary engagements. Here he wrote Gertrude of Wyoming. The country, which then was so fresh and retired, is now cut up with railroads, and new buildings are seen rising like crowding apparitions on every side.
Soon after his settlement at Sydenham, he published, anonymously, a compiled work, in three volumes 8vo, entitled, Annals of Great Britain, front the Accession of George III to the Peace of Amiens, intended, probably, as a continuation of Hume and Smollett's histories. This was the first of his commissions from a London publisher. He now devoted himself to writing and compiling for the booksellers, and furnishing occasional articles to the daily press and other periodical publications. His conversational powers, as we have already stated, were very great; and these, with his other qualities, acquired for him an extensive circle of friends. In the social parties and convivial meetings of Sydenham and its neighbourhood, his company was at all times eagerly courted; and among the kindred spirits with whom he was in the habit of associating there, were the brothers James and Horace Smith, Theodore Hook, and others who afterwards distinguished themselves in literature. Through the influence of Charles James Fox, he obtained in 1806, shortly before that statesman's death, a pension from government of £300 per annum.
Campbell was at this period, and for many years afterwards, a working author, the better portion of his days being spent in literary drudgery and task-work. His gains from the booksellers were not always, however, in proportion to the merit of the matter supplied to them; and an anecdote is recorded which strongly illustrates his feelings in regard to them. Having been invited to a booksellers' dinner, soon after Pam, one of the trade, had been executed by command of Napoleon, he was asked for a toast, and with much earnestness as well as gravity of manner, he proposed to drink the health of Buonaparte. The company were amazed at such a toast, and asked for an explanation of it. "Gentlemen," said Campbell, with sly humour, "I give you Napoleon, — he was a fine fellow, — he shot a bookseller!" In the beginning of 1809 he published his second volume of poems, containing Gertrude of Wyoming, a simple Indian tale, in the Spenserian stanza, the scene of which is laid among the woods of Pennsylvania; Glenara, the Battle of the Baltic, Lochiel, and Lord Ullin's Daughter. A subsequent edition contained also the touching ballad of O'Connor's Child. This volume added greatly to his popularity, and the high reputation which he had now acquired must have been very gratifying to his feelings. Indeed, even in the meridian of his living renown, the native simplicity and goodness of his heart rendered him peculiarly pleased with any attention of a complimentary nature which was shown to him. Of this many instances might be given, but the following, related by himself, may be quoted here: — In writing to a friend in 1840, respecting the launch of a man-of-war at Chatham, at which he was present, he mentioned that none of the compliments paid to him on that occasion affected him so deeply as the circumstance of the band of two regiments striking up "The Campbells are Coming," as he entered the dockyard.
Campbell himself preferred Gertrude of Wyoming to the Pleasures of Hope. It is said that one cause of this preference was, that from hearing himself so exclusively called the author of the Pleasures of Hope, it became so hackneyed, that he felt towards it as the Athenian did, who was tired of hearing Aristides called the Just.
"His mode of life at Sydenham," says Mr. Cyrus Redding, in a memoir of the poet now publishing in the New Monthly Magazine, "was almost uniformly that which he afterwards followed in London when he made it a constant residence. He rose not very early, breakfasted, studied for an hour or two, dined at two or three o'clock, and then made a call or two in the village, often remaining for an hour or more at the house of a maiden lady, of whose conversation he was remarkably fond.
He would return home to tea, and then retire early to his study, remaining there to a late hour; sometimes even to an early one. His life was strictly domestic. He gave a dinner party now and then, and at some of them Thomas Moore, Rogers, and other literary friends from town were present. His table was plain, hospitable, and cheered by a hearty welcome. While he lived at Sydenham, "continues Mr. Redding, "or at least daring a portion of the time, there resided in that village the well-known Thomas Hill, who was a sort of walking chronicle. He knew the business and affairs of every literary man, and could relate a vast deal more about them than they had ever known themselves. There was no newspaper office into which he did not find his way; no third-rate of whom he did not know his business at the time. But his knowledge was not confined to literary men, he knew almost all the world of any note. It was said of him, that he could stand at Charing-cross at noon-day, and tell the name and business of everybody that passed Northumberland House. He died of apoplexy in the Adelphi four or five years ago, nearly at the age of eighty, few supposing him more than sixty.
"At the table of this singular personage at Sydenham, there used to meet occasionally a number of literary men and choice spirits of the age. There was to be found Theodore Hook, giving full swing to his jests, it the expense of everything held cheap or dear in social life, or under conventional rule. There, too, came the authors of the Rejected Addresses, whose humour was only the lowest among their better qualities. The poet living hard by, could not in the common course of things miss being among those who congregated at Hill's. Repartee and pun passed about in a mode vainly to he looked for in these degenerate days at the most convivial tables. Some practical jokes were played off there, which for a long time afterwards formed the burden of after-dinner conversations. Campbell was behind none of the party in spirits. He entered with full zest into the pleasantries of the hour. Some of the part leaving Sydenham to return home by Dulwich, to which they were obliged to walk upon one occasion, for want of a conveyance, those who remained behind in Sydenham escorted their friends to the top of the hill to take leave, in doing which the poet's residence had to be passed. But he scorned to leave his party. All went on to the parting place on the hill summit, exchanging jokes, or manufacturing indifferent pulls. When they separated, it was with hats off and three boisterous cheers."
In 1820, Campbell undertook the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine; and in this magazine appeared some of his most beautiful minor poems. For some time he had lodgings at 62, Margaret-street, Cavendish-square. In 1824, he published Theodoric, a poem, by no means equal to his former productions. "To Mr. Campbell," says his anonymous biographer, "belongs the merit, we believe, of originating the London University, in which project Lord Brougham was an active coadjutor. During the struggle for independence in which Greece was engaged, and in which she was ultimately successful, he took a strong interest in the cause of that country, as he subsequently, and indeed all his life did in that of Poland." In November, 1826, he was chosen Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow. It was with the utmost enthusiasm, as might well be supposed, that this election took place; it was a triumphal return to the scenes of his early life; and among the numerous incidents which might be given in evidence of the enthusiasm felt by all classes towards their illustrious townsman, may be mentioned, the notice which was taken of a very beautiful rainbow, which was seen on the day he entered his native city, and which fond admirers of his genius regarded as a token that Heaven was smiling on the event.
"The poet, after the death of his wife, and suffering from an accumulation of domestic calamities, gave up the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine, and went into chambers, where he resided for some years in a state of comparative loneliness at No. 61, Lincoln's-inn-fields. His chambers were on the second floor, where he had a large well-furnished sitting-room, adjoining which was his bedroom. One side of his principal room was arranged with shelves, like a library, which were full of books. In that room has the writer of this sketch, passed many a pleasant and profitable hour with him, and he never shall forget the active benevolence and genuine kindliness of heart displayed by the poet on one occasion when he called upon him. On entering the room one forenoon in the year 1839, he found Mr. Campbell busy looking over his books, while, near the fire-place, was seated an elderly gentlewoman in widow's weeds. He was desired to take a chair for a few minutes. Presently the poet disappeared into his bedroom, and returned with an armful of books, which he placed among a heap of others that he had collected together on the floor. 'There now,' he said, addressing the widow, 'these will help you a little, and I shall see what more I can do for you by the time you call again. I shall get them sent to volt ill the course of the day.' The widow thanked him with tears in her eyes, and shaking her cordially by the hand, he wished her a good morning. On her departure, the poet said, with great feeling — 'That lady whom you saw just now is the widow of an early friend of mine, and as she is now in somewhat reduced circumstances, she wishes to open a little book and stationery shop, and I have been busy looking out all the books for which I have no use, to add to her stock. She has taken a small shop in the neighbourhood of town, and I shall do all I can to serve her, and forward her prospects, as far as my assistance and influence extend. Old times should not be forgotten.' He mentioned the name of the place, and asked if the writer had any acquaintances in the vicinity to whose notice he might recommend the widow, but was answered in the negative. The abstraction of the volumes he thus so generously bestowed on the poor widow made a sensible alteration in the appearance of his library. On another occasion, soon after this, when the writer introduced to him a friend of his of the name of Sinclair, he said, while he shook him by the hand, 'I am glad to see you, Sir, your name recommends you to me:" adding, with much tenderness, my wife's name was Sinclair.'"
In 1832, the interest excited by the French conquest and colonization of Algiers induced him to pay it a visit, and on his return he furnished all account of his journey to the New Monthly Magazine, which he afterwards published under the name of Letters from the South, in two volumes. He did not confine himself to Algiers, but made an excursion into tie interior of the country as far as Mascara and his work, with a great deal of light gossipping matter, contains much interesting information respecting Algiers and the various races inhabiting that part of Barbary. The same year, in conjunction with the Polish poet Niemcewiez, Prince Czartoryski, and others, he founded the society styled the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland. He also originated the Clarence club, where he occasionally dined, in 1834 he published his Life of Mrs. Siddons. On the death, that year, of his friend Mr. Telford the engineer, after whom he had named his surviving son, he, as well as Mr. Southey, was left a legacy of £500; which, added to the gains from his works, placed him in very comfortable circumstances so far as money was concerned.
Soon after the queen's coronation, she made Campbell a present of her portrait, It was highly prized by him, and is especially mentioned in his will, together with the silver bowl given to him by the students of Glasgow; which two articles, says the said will, were considered by him the two jewels of his property. With regard to this picture, which always filled him with ecstacy and admiration, I cannot do better than again quote the biographical sketch to which I am already so much indebted.
"It was, or rather is, a large full-length engraving, enclosed in a splendid frame, and was hung up in his sitting-room in Lincoln's-inn-fields, on the same side as the fire-place, but nearer the window. The writer of this called upon him a day or two after he received it, and the explanation he then gave of the way in which it was presented to him, is so nearly alike what has already appeared regarding it, that it may he given here in nearly the same words. Indeed, he was so much flattered by the unexpected compliment of a present of her portrait from his Sovereign, that he must have spoken of it in a somewhat similar manner to every one on terms of intimacy with him, who about that time happened to come into his company. 'I was at her Majesty's coronation in Westminster Abbey,' said Campbell, and she conducted herself so well, during the long and fatiguing ceremony, that I shed tears many times. On returning home, I resolved, out of pure esteem a and veneration, to send her a copy of all my works. Accordingly, I had them bound up, and went personally with them to Sir Henry Wheatley, who, when he understood my errand, told me that her Majesty made it a rule to decline presents of this kind, as it placed her under obligations which were unpleasant to her. Say to her Majesty, Sir Henry, I replied, that there is not a single thing the queen can touch with her sceptre in any of her dominions which I covet; and I therefore entreat you, in your office, to present them with my devotion as a subject. Sir Henry then promised, to comply with my request; but next day they were returned. I hesitated,' continued Campbell, 'to open the parcel, but, on doing so, I found, to my inexpressible joy, a note enclosed, desiring my autograph upon them. Having complied with the wish, I again transmitted the books to her Majesty, and in the course of a day or two received in return this elegant engraving, with her Majesty's autograph, as you see below.' He then directed particular attention to the royal signature, which was in her Majesty's usual bold and beautiful handwriting.
"In 1842, his Pilgrim of Glencoe, and other Poems, appeared, dedicated to his friend and physician Dr. William Beattie, whom he also named one of his executors; Mr. William Moxon, of the Middle Temple, brother of Mr. Edward Moxon, his publisher, being the other. He also wrote a Life of Petrarch, and a year or two before his death he edited the Life of Frederick the Great, published by Colburn. In this year, that is in 1842, he again visited Germany. On one occasion, in the writer's presence, he expressed a strong desire to go to Greece; but he never carried that intention into effect probably from the want of a companion. On his return from Germany, with which he was now become familiar, he took a house at No. 8, Victoria-square, Pimlico, and devoted his time to the education of his niece, Miss Mary Campbell, a Glasgow lady, whom he took to live with him. But his health, which had long been in a declining state, began to give way rapidly. He was no longer the man he was; the energy of his body and mind was gone, and in the summer of 1843 he retired to Boulogne, where at first he derived benefit from the change of air and scene. But this did not continue long, and he gradually grew feebler; he seldom went into society, and for some months before his death he corresponded but little with his friends in this country. A week before his decease Dr. Beattie was sent for from London, and on his arrival at Boulogne he found him much worse than he had anticipated. The hour was approaching when the spirit of the poet of Hope was to quit this transitory scene, and return to God who gave it. On Saturday afternoon, the 15th June, 1844, he breathed his last, in the presence of his niece, his friend Dr. Beattie, and his medical attendants. His last hours were marked by calmness and resignation. The Rev. Mr. Hassell, an English clergyman, was also with Mr. Campbell at the time of his death.
"Campbell's funeral," continues this able writer, "was worthy of his fame. He was buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, on Wednesday, July 3, 1844. The funeral was attended by a large body of noblemen and gentlemen, and by several of the most eminent authors of the day. Mr. Alexander Campbell and Mr. Wiss, two nephews of the deceased poet, with his executors, were the chief mourners; and the pall was home by Sir Robert Peel, the Earl of Aberdeen, the Duke of Argyle, Lord Morpeth, Lord Brougham, Lord Campbell, Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart, and Lord Leigh. The corpse was followed by a large number of members of parliament and other distinguished gentlemen. The following interesting account of the funeral was written by an American, who was present among the crowd of spectators, on the mournful occasion:—
"'At twelve o'clock the procession, which had been formed in the Jerusalem Chamber, adjoining the abbey, came in sight, as you looked through the length of the abbey towards the western door. All you could see at first, at this immense distance, was a dark mass, and so slowly did the procession advance that it scarcely seemed to move. As it came near, every voice was hushed, and beside the solemn tramp of the procession, the only voice audible was the voice of the clergyman echoing along the vaulted passages, "I am the resurrection and the life." Borne before the coffin were a number of mourning plumes, so arranged as to correspond with it in shape. When the procession halted, and the coffin was laid upon the temporary scaffold before the desk, the plumes were placed upon it. There was no other attempt at splendour. All was as simple as in the most ordinary funeral solemnity. It was a grand spectacle, and such as I never expect to see again. Not merely the nobles of the land, but its ablest men, who from day to day are directing the destinies of the mightiest monarchy on the globe, and whose names will live in after times, were bearing the remains of the departed poet to the hallowed palace of the dead. Among the pall-bearers were Lord Brougham, Sir Robert Peel, and Lord Aberdeen; and among the mourners, Macaulay, D'Israeli, Lockhart, and many others known to fame. I had hoped to see Wordsworth, and perhaps Carlyle, but neither of them were there. The burial service was read by the Rev. Dr. Milman [canon of Westminster, and rector of St. Margaret's], author of The Siege of Jerusalem, History of the Jews, and other works. At the close of the service, the plumes were taken from the coffin and the body lowered into the grave. As the mourners gathered around the opening, the sound of what seemed distant thunder called my attention to the windows. It was a dull dark day, and I supposed for a moment that a storm was at hand, till the sweet strain of a beautiful melody, from the organ in the choir, in the rear, undeceived me. Then followed again the rumbling of thunder, like the marching of mighty masses of the dead, varied occasionally by snatches of harmony, and conveying an impression of unutterable solemnity. It was the Dead March in Saul!
"'There was one part of the ceremony more impressive still. A deputation from the Polish Association was present, in addition to the Poles who attended as mourners; and when the officiating clergyman arrived at that portion of the ceremony in which dust is consigned to dust, one of the number (Colonel Szyrma) took a handful of dust, brought for the occasion from the tomb of Kosciusko, and scattered it upon the coffin. It was a worthy tribute to the memory of him who has done so much to immortalize the man and the cause and not the less impressive because so perfectly simple. At the conclusion of the service, the solemn peals of the organ again reverberated for some minutes through the aisles of the abbey, and the procession retired as it came.
"'The barrier with iron spikes, which protected the mourners from the jostling of the crowd, was then removed, and there was a rush to get a sight of the coffin. After waiting a little while, I succeeded in looking into the grave, and read the inscription on the large gilt plate:—
THOMAS CAMPBELL, LL.D.
AUTHOR OF THE PLEASURES OF HOPE,
Died June 15, 1844.
"'On visiting the abbey the next day, I found the stone over the grave so carefully replaced, that a stranger would never suspect there had been a recent interment. To those who may hereafter visit this spot, it may be interesting to know that it is situated between the monument of Addison and the opposite pillar, not far from that of Goldsmith, and closely adjoining that of Sheridan. His most Christian wish is accomplished. He lies in the Poet's Corner, surrounded by the tombs and monuments of kings, statesmen, warriors and scholars, in the massy building guarded with religious care, and visited from all parts of the land with religious veneration.'"