1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Thelwall

Thomas Campbell, 1802; William Beattie, Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell (1849) 1:418.



Thelwall's course of lectures upon what? Why upon taste, reading, writing, elocution, and eloquence! — He deserves encouragement, and if he comes to Edinburgh, I beg you to raise the clans in his favour — for two reasons: — first, he is a poor persecuted devil, honest everybody believes, and well-intentioned in the cause which costs him persecution: in the next place, although he recites but mediocrely, yet the very circumstance of his reciting my Hohenlinden, is doing me a service, and contributing "a puff direct" — not the less effective, that it comes not from my own lungs! You know me too well to suppose I found upon his opinion, or on that, perhaps, of the bulk of his audience; but when the public see any piece of mine chosen by even an attempt at elocution, it gives a popularity to it, independent of its intrinsic merit.